Shock and Aw, we knew it already

by John Holbo on October 8, 2016

So Trump said something truly horrible in 2005. And, it would seem, Hillary’s Wall Street speeches have leaked. Or bits. And internal emails concerning them. (I guess it could turn out that these have been doctored by the Russians, in collaboration with Wikileaks. But it looks like the real deal.) This is going to make that Town Hall debate hot. But, as bombshells go, it’s hard for me to imagine anything less surprising. Everyone already knew – how could it not be? – that Clinton said cosy-cosy stuff to Wall Street folks. And Trump? Is there a single person on the planet surprised that he talks this way? (And surely it isn’t just talk.) Dog bites man. Donald gropes woman. His defenders aren’t even feigning surprise.

I’m not trying to say these aren’t big deal revelations. There are calls for Trump to drop out. Ryan has disinvited him to some event. But this latest thing isn’t more disqualifying than approximately four dozen manifestly disqualifying factors that came to light before.

I wonder what Bernie is going to have to say about these Clinton revelations. Or will he bite his tongue?

It’s interesting that information that only confirms everyone’s priors about this pair of candidates could be significantly game-changing. How can something be at once unsurprising and shocking?

I feel that my own prognosticatory radar is pretty badly fried this election. I watched that first debate and I thought Donald Trump was awful, awful, awful, awful. I thought that meant he won. Because, going into the debate, he was almost tied, and his performances to date had been awful, awful, awful, awful, AWFUL on stilts. I thought that meant he beat the spread. He didn’t seem worse in the debate than I already thought he was. Thankfully, I appear to have been completely wrong. Significant numbers of people, who have surely been watching Trump be awful for a year, decided he was awful, based on that debate. Go figure. I hope many, many more people now decide he is awful, based on a tape that proves he says exactly the kinds of things everyone already perfectly well knew he must say all the time. Duh.

I hope Democrats don’t decide Hillary is worse than we thought she was, because stuff we already knew was true turns out to be true.

I guess I can see how this tape thing benefits Democrats more when it comes to embarrassing other Republicans, who will be under pressure to distance themselves from Trump. By contrast, I can’t see Republicans getting much mileage out of pointing out that Hillary Clinton sounds like Mitt Romney when she’s in a room full of bankers. That might just cause Republicans to vote for her. But, again, this question of who can cut the more cutting ads just pushes the question back. How can it possibly change anyone’s mind to learn that what they knew already is actually true?

UPDATE: I should probably amend ‘sounds like Mitt Romney’ to ‘sounds in private like Mitt Romney in public’, to clarify that there is no 47% moment here. There isn’t really anything in the content that’s shocking or surprising. It’s just that the optics of flattering the financial industry are bad for Clinton. But surely no one thought they hired her to fulminate against their vices for an hour.

{ 583 comments }

1

Bill Benzon 10.08.16 at 1:29 pm

But the tape converts “those things we knew privately but didn’t talk about” into “those things we all know NOW because it’s out there in the open.” Like in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” when the Emperor stepped out in public and started to parade in his ‘clothes’ everyone knew that he was naked. But no one said anything so no one knew that every one else knew. The moment that pesky little kid blurted out “he’s neckkkid!!!” everyone knew that everyone else knew. It became public knowledge.

2

Russell Arben Fox 10.08.16 at 1:37 pm

Bill (#1) is correct. It’s Journalism 101: you can’t make an issue out of what everyone already knows until someone publicly commits the act of Knowing It.

Lots on thoughts running through my head this morning. Here’s one: Let us assume that, given the electoral realities and mechanisms already in play, and also given his own narcissism, Trump does not withdraw from the presidential race. If you were in Hillary Clinton’s inner circle, how would you suggest she comment on these latest revelations during their debate on Sunday? How, when dealing with a man like Trump, and with an albatross like the ghost of 1980-and-1990s-era Bill sitting her shoulders, should she vocalize the disgust so many Americans no doubt are feeling? I’m genuinely curious.

3

Zamfir 10.08.16 at 1:45 pm

At a guess: deniability, even to oneself. The crucial voters are people who don’t like Trump, but who always vote Republican. Those are tempted to downplay Trumps flaws, for themselves and to others. Not proven, then it’s not proven.

4

Alan White 10.08.16 at 2:19 pm

My greatest fear? Trump suddenly drops out. Look at Nate Silver’s double-sine-wave-like tracking. Such a move could make things awfully close awfully fast.

5

John Holbo 10.08.16 at 2:23 pm

“But no one said anything so no one knew that every one else knew. The moment that pesky little kid blurted out “he’s neckkkid!!!” everyone knew that everyone else knew. It became public knowledge.”

Yeah, I agree, but it’s kind of like the Emperor’s New Clothes when half the crowd has been yelling that he’s got no clothes for a whole year. Kind of changes the story and makes it mysterious why any fresh shouts should shift the balance.

6

Sebastian H 10.08.16 at 2:35 pm

“Everyone already knew – how could it not be? – that Clinton said cosy-cosy stuff to Wall Street folks. “

“I hope Democrats don’t decide Hillary is worse than we thought she was, because stuff we already knew was true turns out to be true.”

These are deeply frustrating comments to anyone who supported Sanders during the primaries. The argument at the time was “oh no, she isn’t really that cozy with Wall Street she just goes there because that is where the money Democrats have to raise to be competitive is” and 10,000 variations of “money isn’t corrupting when we are talking about the Clintons”. It would have been nice to see these transcripts when we could analyze them without feeling like taking them as seriously as we should might lead to a Trump victory.

7

Daragh 10.08.16 at 2:38 pm

From the NYT story –

“The leaked email, dated Jan. 25, does not contain Mrs. Clinton’s full speeches to the financial firms, leaving it unclear what her overall message was to these audiences.”

In other words, Russia’s intelligence services probably have edited the information they have chosen to release via their front organisation, Wikileaks.

As an aside, what a terrible shame it is that, when Assange and Wikileaks first emerged, no-one thought to question the wisdom of treating a man with incredibly dubious ethics, motives and actions as a credible source for anything.

8

John Holbo 10.08.16 at 2:42 pm

“These are deeply frustrating comments to anyone who supported Sanders during the primaries.”

I hope you mean they are frustrating facts not frustrating comments. I mean: the comments just state the truth, right? Everyone pretty much knew Clinton must have made nice with the bankers. But it would be bad if Trump won because of this. I quite agree that it would have been better for this stuff to come out earlier, when the Democratic Party could have decided to go with Bernie or someone else.

9

Sebastian H 10.08.16 at 2:46 pm

Daragh, you’re misreading the NYT story. The leaked email was edited by her staffers to highlight which comments they thought might not play well in front of the electorate.

Also if Clinton thinks Russia is manipulating the record there happens to be a super easy way to prove that–she could release the transcripts herself.

The initial Clinton response is the typical Clinton response to bad news, and exactly why both Clintons are so irritating as politicians–they try to sound like they are denying it without actually denying it. (Except on the Lewinsky thing where Lewinsky got painted as a crazed liar until the dress showed up).

10

Omega Centauri 10.08.16 at 2:46 pm

John at five: But, those shouting about the lack of clothes are from the other party, automatically to be disbelieved. It can’t be true, because of who is saying it.

11

milx 10.08.16 at 2:47 pm

We knew she didn’t get paid to harangue the financial sector when banks were paying her to speak. I understand why she didn’t want these released – especially during the primary where any kind of conciliatory or positive expression to bankers would’ve been vilified – but they are barely news. She believes financial insiders know the business best and therefore know how to regulate it best? She doesn’t preclude outsiders being involved to make sure there’s no corruption – she’s just making the very obvious observation that you need to know about the thing you’re regulating. During the primary I thought that the worst thing the speeches had were some relatively innocuous praise of the banks that would’ve been red meat for the Bernie left – no matter its merits. The example I had in mind was “the banks played a pivotal role in preserving our economy in the wake of the recession.” This would’ve played horribly then (Bernie shouting: “In 2008 I remember the banks were destroying our country!”). Everything released has been at about that level. Politically inconvenient and not particularly interesting like gmafb I’m supposed to be outraged that she was nice to the people she was paid to address?

12

Bill Benzon 10.08.16 at 2:47 pm

“…when half the crowd has been yelling that he’s got no clothes for a whole year.”

But that video isn’t “half the crowd yelling.” It’s not a (highly probable) conjecture about things we’ve not actually seen. In that video we actually see and hear them.

13

milx 10.08.16 at 2:49 pm

I should probably add tho full disclosure I am not horrified by open borders / free trade comments bc I think they’re more-or-less correct and that the protectionist left is wrong on this particular issue. If you were feeling some relief bc Hillary said she’d oppose TPP (though these don’t indicate that she’ll reverse that stance – she has staked too much of her campaign on it) I could see you being upset to learn that position doesn’t represent her true feelings on creating growth.

14

Sebastian H 10.08.16 at 2:54 pm

John, yes I thought all along that it was pretty obvious that Clinton was thick as thieves with Wall Street. During the primaries you couldn’t find any Clinton supporters who thought so. So they were either lying to us about noticing that, or they really hadn’t noticed it. So the fact that there was documentary evidence showing that she really is in deep with Wall Street would have been nice to talk about during the Democratic Party when we trying to decide if she was going to be the nominee. (Actually it would have been nice to see even before Sanders, when she was busy clearing the field).

The thing that pisses me off about the revelation now, is that we all have to pretend that it doesn’t show what it clearly shows, because now we have Trump breathing down our necks.

It ESPECIALLY hurts because every single time we have to deal with the Clintons they get away with it from the Democratic side because they get to invoke how scary the Republicans are.

Yes, especially this year Republicans are batshit crazy and we have every right to be scared of them. But the Clintons aren’t the only Democrats in the world, and we could damn well be voting for one of the other not-Republicans.

15

kidneystones 10.08.16 at 3:04 pm

A torrent of mud works better for HRC than Trump. I find pretty much all critiques short of Trump-Hitler to have some/a lot of merit, and I say that as someone who’d prefer Americans take a chance on Trump. Cue the wailing.

The last discussion HRC want to have is on her record, and that of the administration. It’s only slightly amusing that the reality star who insulted his way to the top of the garbage heap now finds himself going to toe-to-toe in a mud-slinging match where his frat-boy antics are served up days before a ‘serious’ debate on the issues. Whether we’re talking about Mark Foley stalking congressional pages, or Anthony Weiner, the slime is never too far from the discussion.

I cringed when reading Trump’s latest spew in much the same way as I do whenever I recall Clinton’s comments about a cigar. I don’t like to think of myself as a prude and consider the sex lives of the candidates a non-issue.

But really, could it get any worse? I expect the HRC folks will come out with ‘serial rapist’ charges whilst chasing down Trump’s kids to get them to ‘distance’ themselves from dad. Trump has wisely avoided (so far) going too far on Hillary’s sex life. As noted above, she’d prefer to have do that discussion, rather than on the Affordable Care Act, rising premiums , and the new jobless figures.

I can’t see many people feeling particularly satisfied with the outcome, whatever that outcome may be. I wanted Sanders to win, refuse to offer support HRC this time round, and find myself now cheering for the rodeo clown. I wouldn’t want my kids within fifty feet of any of them.

My only consolation is that Ted Cruz is out of the running this time round.

As for the prognostications, HRC needs to be up by 5, at least, after the 3rd debate. Any major attacks, or bad economic news between now and the election and voters aren’t going to care what Trump said in 2005 anymore than what he said in 2016.

I haven’t watched any of the debates, or any other kinds of coverage. We can spare ourselves that much at least.

16

kidneystones 10.08.16 at 3:17 pm

Down ticket? Make no mistake, as the other threads have shown, most Republicans in Washington look forward to seeing Clinton in the WH. They and the Kochs want the donor class candidate to win. The GOP and HRC are in lock-step agreement on drone strikes, regime change, globalization and more money for the richest. Plus, she’s well disciplined in the arts of prevarication and double-talk.

17

milx 10.08.16 at 3:17 pm

“Trump has wisely avoided (so far) going too far on Hillary’s sex life.”

You didn’t watch Trump’s apology video. He explicitly mentions Bill’s abuse of women in it and makes it clear that he plans to bring it up at the next debate.

18

milx 10.08.16 at 3:18 pm

Also the down ticket considerations are not whether Republican elected officials would prefer Hillary to Trump. They’re whether – in an age where vote splitting has become extremely rare – they can even survive the election.

19

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 3:23 pm

= = =I hope you mean they are frustrating facts not frustrating comments = = =

(John – not saying you did this personally). It was, and still is, the endless flow of arrogant condescending statement about the childishness and naïveté of those asking the questions that Sanders asked from Scott Lemieux and his ilk. Head on over to Washington Monthly or LGM and you can still read them, along with demands that Sanders voters abase themselves (it not being enough to have bent the knee). I’m no Millennial – way too many years and political campaigns behind me for that – but guess what? Wall Street and neoliberal economics _are not working_ for much of the country outside NY/DC/LA/Seattle. Bringing Wall Street into yet another nominally Dem administration is doubleplusunwise.

20

Yan 10.08.16 at 3:24 pm

“It would have been nice to see these transcripts when we could analyze them without feeling like taking them as seriously as we should might lead to a Trump victory.”

This is a good reminder that if the Democrats lose, a lot of blame should go to Hillary’s primary voters, who repeatedly chose to increase the risk of a GE loss in order to decrease the risk of a primary loss for their favored candidate.

There was a lot of self-deception: historic unfavorables don’t mean anything, primary polls about GE matchup odds are worthless, speeches and donations don’t matter if no proof of pay to play, etc.

This election is an astonishing display of denial on a collective scale in both parties: no one believes what they say or admits to themselves, much less others, what they believe, while they believe anything and everything about each other. It’s got to be a clinical level of mass pathology.

21

Yan 10.08.16 at 3:35 pm

“Politically inconvenient and not particularly interesting like gmafb I’m supposed to be outraged that she was nice to the people she was paid to address?”

Hillary supporters remind me of gullible spouses who excuse their partner’s cheating. It didn’t happen. And anyway it only happened once. And it was just a fling, he/she didn’t mean it when they promised they’d divorce me. And dishonesty to them doesnt prove he/she’s dishonest to me.

“Clinton also told a housing trade group in 2013 that on certain issues, she has “a public and a private position.” “If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” said Clinton. “So, you need both a public and a private position.”

22

RNB 10.08.16 at 3:39 pm

I am pretty sure that Clinton had said openly that she would recruit regulators from Wall Street on the grounds of their having the technical knowledge to do the job. And if I remember correctly Mike Konczal at the Roosevelt Institute has said that Clinton’s Wall Street reform package handled derivatives and shadow banking better than Sanders’. There is nothing new here.

Clinton also expressed support for single payer. She also dreams one day of there being a common market and open borders in the Americas. Those are her private beliefs, and I say “good” for her.

The real problem here for progressives is her giving into Bowles-Simpson to counter the Republican threat to shut down the government. But again nothing new here. She has repeatedly said that she is willing to make these sorts of compromises with the Republicans. However as long as interest rates remain low she will not be an austerity candidate, I do not believe.

23

milx 10.08.16 at 3:42 pm

Idiotic. What she said isn’t disqualifying. She wasn’t ‘cheating.’ She is who she was all along – a center-left politician. She’s more left on social issues than economic issues but she can be pushed on economic issues as well. Your cheating analogy is indicative of the weird moral expectations you have of politicians. Her inability to satisfy your particular ideological requirements doesn’t make her a cheater.

Re her comments about a public and private position read them carefully, particularly the part that says “all of the back room discussions and the deals.” Now maybe you don’t know a lot about politics but that is how things get done – you agree to support their cause in exchange for their support. Or you promise them a position in your government if they deliver a vote on an important bill. This isn’t like – you’re so naive. This is more like – you don’t understand how great Presidents (Lincoln, LBJ) have gotten important legislation passed. But she’s right – obviously from your very comments – that many American voters find this kind of insider negotiation disgusting. It’s not because they’re correct though. It’s bc they’re political children.

24

RNB 10.08.16 at 3:43 pm

Really maddening to me is how equal attention is not being to Trump’s reassertion of the guilt of Central Park 5 . He’s horrifically racist; and has no respect at all for the role of law in the protection of minorities and as a bulwark against premature judgment. Note the OP too ignores Trump’s remarks on the Central Park case yesterday as well.

25

Nick 10.08.16 at 3:45 pm

There’s a lot of silliness here, such as “if the Democrats lose, a lot of blame should go to Hillary’s primary voters” — but the biggest thing is the way that some paid speeches to bankers are considered a smoking gun or fundamental insight. Does anyone have any evidence that Clinton will treat Wall Street in a fundamentally more favorable way than Obama did? Are her policies likely to be anything other than some window-dressing of reform, with a basic support for this sector? Because I don’t remember the vast outpouring of progressive angst over Obama’s re-election; or professions of commenters here that they were voting for ‘none of the above’.
Hilary leads a coalition of Democrats, she’s not going to be Queen. That coalition has become significantly more liberal over the years; its not necessary that its leader be in the vanguard. This whole ‘true feelings’ debate is silly, both because there is no way to know what Clinton’s ‘true feelings’ are (and it’s silly to assume that they are revealed in a paid speech, any more than my ‘true feelings’ are revealed in a political discussion at work), but because even if you do identify them, they’re going to be mediated by the interactions of her caucus, and the Republican caucus.
Remember how much of the 2008 campaign was about each candidates health care policy? It would have been far more productive if that had included talk about the health care policy of Vote 59 and Vote 60 in the Senate.

26

pretendous 10.08.16 at 3:47 pm

I like open borders. I don’t like bankers regulating their own industry. Why shouldn’t I treat this “revelation” as a wash?

27

Yan 10.08.16 at 3:50 pm

Who said anything about smoking guns or disqualifying? So defensive. Not that that means anything of course. No emperor, and surely none of their apologists, has ever been naked. I’m sure of that.

28

Matt 10.08.16 at 3:53 pm

Well, it seemed to me that Kevin Drum, in his usual sober way, got the Clinton emails about right here:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/new-email-dump-reveals-hillary-clinton-honest-and-boring

29

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 3:54 pm

milx,
The arrogant assumption that those who question the financialization of the economy and extensive fan service to the ultra wealthy are naive and inexperienced is part of the problem. We got the very weak CFPB – great. Then the Dem Party teamed up with the financial institutions to start dialing back the (weak) protection. We see the results in the massive Wells Fargo identity theft and fraud: no criminal charges. Do you think we don’t see this?

30

stevenjohnson 10.08.16 at 3:55 pm

Really, it seems to me the interesting question is why the video didn’t surface in Trump’s run in 2012, or in the Republican nomination campaign? Talking about generals “reduced to rubble” and hinting he’ll fire them til he gets a winner has finally brought out some big guns against him. It’s too late to give him the silent treatment after they’ve fed him free publicity for so very, very long.

As for Clinton speeches, the thing about that is the confused way people talk about Clinton being a liar. Even, crazy as it seems, a bigger liar than Trump. If that’s what they really believe they should have a clue why she wouldn’t lie to the bankers? Those guys were paying her big bucks and she was also hoping for big campaign finance, which are great reasons to lie. The possibility she’s not particularly dishonest for a politicians, which is one reason she’s not very good at politicking, seems to be ruled out because it doesn’t fit the script. All the best liars are extremely adept at flattery, demagogy and pretending to be one of us.

31

milx 10.08.16 at 3:55 pm

This sounds a lot to me like when the DNC emails were revealed and though everyone who could read quickly realized it was some DNC staffers who didn’t like Bernie but never organized or conspired against him, some Bernie supporters continue to pretend like it constituted evidence that Clinton cheated him out of the nomination. A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

32

BenK 10.08.16 at 3:56 pm

In a certain sense, yes, we already knew this – though the classified information, which is legally disqualifying, and the statements about irredeemable people, are quite special.

The continued theater about the Russians doctoring the releases is comical. They might withhold documents, but minor editing is really counterproductive, if they could achieve it. We can accept the documents at face value. What they mean, … well, that’s a postmodern question.

33

Chip Daniels 10.08.16 at 3:58 pm

@22
Purity politics always claims the moral high ground, while disdaining compromise and negotiation as inferior.

Which is really an insult to the notion of seeing ourselves, not as Master and peasants, but as equal citizens negotiating our interests and ideas and reaching a consensus.

Purity politics is really just a form of theology, where the one true faith should rule without question or resistance.

34

milx 10.08.16 at 3:58 pm

“The arrogant assumption that those who question the financialization of the economy and extensive fan service to the ultra wealthy are naive and inexperienced is part of the problem.”

I didn’t say anything about that. I said that working politics in reality are messy and gross and don’t look good to many voters, but that doesn’t mean they’re unnecessary. That’s what I called childish. What particular issue you’re using politicking to champion will differ from person to person but big things don’t get passed w/out the “back room discussions” and “deals.” Even if the issue is arresting more white collar criminals.

35

Daragh 10.08.16 at 3:58 pm

@sebastian_h

Oh dear – missed that. Thank you for catching. That being said, I’m still deeply, deeply skeptical of anything that comes from Assange, and it’s interesting that the leak is of the excerpts the Clinton campaign considered most damaging, not the speeches themselves (though to be scrupulously fair perhaps Wikileaks was unable to access them for some reason).

That being said – I’m largely with Nick. I’ve never really gotten the outrage over HRC’s Wall St. speeches. A little distasteful, sure, but I’m not that fussed about a politico taking cash to say nice things to bankers after dinner, if her actual campaign is reasonably progressive – which it is! More to the point I don’t see how the speech revelations undermine the most fundamental argument against Sanders’ candidacy – that however laudable his policy positions and goals there are massive structural obstacles to their implementation, and when presented with this inconvenient truth Sanders simply handwaved them away. That’s pandering, not radicalism.

36

Daragh 10.08.16 at 3:59 pm

“Really, it seems to me the interesting question is why the video didn’t surface in Trump’s run in 2012, or in the Republican nomination campaign?”

Possibly because Trump didn’t actually run in 2012?

37

marek 10.08.16 at 4:02 pm

I don’t like to think of myself as a prude and consider the sex lives of the candidates a non-issue.

The sex lives of consenting adults may be a non-issue. The normalisation of sexual assault is very much an issue.

38

John Holbo 10.08.16 at 4:04 pm

I just clicked over to Slate and Michelle Goldberg writes:
“This is how Trump talks privately, which is at once shocking and entirely unsurprising.”

39

kidneystones 10.08.16 at 4:04 pm

@18, 17 Trump has already discussed Hillary’s role as ‘enabler’ of Bill’s abuses and his repeated on-camera lies are a matter of record, as is his tasteless behavior. But who are we to judge? Pretty much all of Trump’s supporters want him to avoid the mud bath, but he’s doing it his way.

Re: down-ticket Republicans preferring Trump, I’m referring to GOP elected officials in Washington, not voters. My comment was a response, in part, to comments about Republicans working with Obama and HRC on security issues, drone strikes, etc. and to calls from Republican elected officials for Trump to quit.

The entire mess is a train wreck on both sides.

40

mjfgates 10.08.16 at 4:05 pm

I always figured that Hillary’s speeches were going to be something along the lines of her offering to give a handy-j to every member of the audience. The thing is, if Goldman Sachs offered me half a million dollars to give that same speech, I would. Spend an evening saying whatever, then take the check and donate it to charity. I’d do that every day for the rest of my life.

41

milx 10.08.16 at 4:06 pm

“I’m referring to GOP elected officials in Washington”

I know who you meant. I’m pointing out that they won’t be elected officials much longer if this turns into a landslide for Hillary.

42

Nick 10.08.16 at 4:08 pm

Another thing that I think is interesting is that here — with a (I believe) largely male commentariat — Trump has just admitted to a habit of sexual assault, and the discussion is focused on the issue of Clinton’s truthfulness and financial sector policy . . . Seems a little odd, frankly. A politician dissembling in private is a standard occurrence, but confessing to a habit of assaulting women is not, you’d think people might find those two big revelations a little, shall we say, asymmetrical?

43

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 4:08 pm

Cranky Observer has it correct in comments above. The basic fact that it’s important to remember is that HRC supporters are not the kind of people to do their excusification during the election and then stop afterwards. It’s joined up with their personal virtue signaling, so it will never stop. After the election there will still be the same old tropes: anyone who opposes HRC from the left must not like her because she’s a woman: anyone who opposes bombing or “free trade” agreements is a racist. They are not allies to the left or committed to the left in any way.

44

TF79 10.08.16 at 4:10 pm

Isn’t this a bit more like “The emperor has no clothes, and he bragged about sexually assaulting women”? There’s an awful lot of folks with the mindset of “I’m not Y, because people who are Y do X, and I don’t do X, thus I’m not Y” where Y is {racist, homophobic, sexist} and X is {wear white robes, beat up gay people, treat women awfully}; e.g. “I’m not a racist, but I wish those thugs would get off welfare and get a job,” “I’m not homophobic, but I wish those people weren’t so in your face about it,” or “I’m not sexist, but I don’t think it’s a good thing so many women entered the workforce,” etc. And as long as their preferred candidate avoids those X’s, they’ll still support them. This is an X. It would be similar to if a candidate who supported anti-gay policies was caught bragging about beating up someone for being gay – sure, it’s not a surprise in the sense that it was already clear that they hold awful views about people who are gay, but it’s the explicit confirmation of doing X that moves the needle. Or in other words “Donald Trump is a serial sexual assaulter who brags about it” is not something that “confirms everyone’s priors.”

45

Yankee 10.08.16 at 4:11 pm

The human psyche seems to need a defining moment in order to crystalize an actionable thought out of nightmare gibberish.

46

Yan 10.08.16 at 4:11 pm

Child: The emperor has clothes, but they’re non-trivially frayed!
Courtiers:
1. They’re not perfect, but that’s no reason to object.
2. Don’t be childish. He has rightly has none, because having no clothes is how politics works.
2. He has clothes and they’re immaculate, so stop playing purity politics.

47

Suzanne 10.08.16 at 4:12 pm

@7: Clinton’s campaign hasn’t denied the quotes, so we may assume they’re genuine. I agree that context matters, but I don’t doubt the quotes.

@6: I’d never vote for any candidate proposing himself for the presidency who refused to release his tax returns, as Sanders did, consistently. (Eventually he said he would do so – after the convention.) This not only put him in dubious company with Romney and Trump but meant that an important aspect of his candidacy went unvetted — actually, Sanders was never properly vetted, because no one thought he would win and Clinton went pretty easy on him.

48

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 4:16 pm

kidneystones,
Bill Clinton has zero relevance to Donald Trump’s sexual harassment as caught on tape. Iveintveven say “nice try at deflection” because normalization of sexual assault by _Donald Trunp_ and his supporters is contemptible.

49

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 4:17 pm

=”I won’t even say”

50

kidneystones 10.08.16 at 4:18 pm

@ 34 ‘normalizing sexual assault?’ From what I understand Trump was exchanging observations about the power that comes with celebrity, money and greed.

He’s a vulgar buffoon and his behavior and remarks, offensive as they are, are a far cry from laughing and bragging about killing people on camera as the ‘better balanced’ Hillary Clinton does.

Trump, in a stretch, may well be guilty of attempting to ‘normalize’ sexual assault.

My objection to Clinton is that she’s attempting to ‘normalize’ the killing and dismemberment of countless innocents in Iraq, Libya,Syria Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere all in the name of ‘humanitarian’ regime-change.

Nap time

51

bruce wilder 10.08.16 at 4:19 pm

Also, the effective legalisation of felony theft.

Oh, wait, that is not an issue.

52

RNB 10.08.16 at 4:19 pm

@48 My claim was not that anyone who opposes the Investor Dispute Resolution Mechanism is a racist or nativist. My claim is that those with principled objections to free trade were largely Sanders supporters and most (but not all) in the Trump camp who railed against trade largely did it as a cover for nativist, birther politics in the US. Catherine Rampell at the Washington Post reached a similar conclusion.

53

Nick 10.08.16 at 4:23 pm

“From what I understand Trump was exchanging observations about the power that comes with celebrity, money, and greed.”

Yeah, I guess that’s one interpretation of ‘Grab them by the pussy’ — it’s an abstract observation about the power that comes with celebrity, money and greed! Nothing to see here, folks, just Philosopher King Trump ruminating. Maybe in a ‘stretch’, this ‘might’ have something to do with sexual assault. Must analyze.

As for Clinton, the killing and dismemberment of innocents abroad was normalized long ago. Sure, she’s going to continue it — that sucks. Are you arguing that Trump’s foreign policy wouldn’t be violent too?

54

kidneystones 10.08.16 at 4:24 pm

44 I agree. As I said, Trump has yet to discuss Hillary’s sex life and I sincerely hope he doesn’t. I don’t care much what he says. I supported HRC in 2007-8. Her appalling record and her laughing on camera about killing US targets means I won’t be supporting the war candidate of the donor class. That’s my normal stance.

Go ahead, however, lick the glove.

55

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 4:32 pm

Nick: “As for Clinton, the killing and dismemberment of innocents abroad was normalized long ago.”

No, not really. Let’s assume a U.S., post-WW II context. Both parties agreed that anti-Communism (really, opposition to the USSR) justified killing and dismemberment of innocents abroad. But in the 1980s, and especially in the 1990s once the USSR was gone, there was a chance at this becoming a contested issue again. People on the left began to revert to an anti-war position, a good majority of them rejected the Iraq War because it was Bush’s war. But they turned out to only be anti-war for partisan reasons. Obama continued what Bill Clinton had begun and normalized killing and dismemberment for “humanitarian” reasons, and HRC will continue in this neoliberal tradition.

Trump, I assume, would be worse. But there is nothing tougher in a U.S. context than to oppose something that both main parties agree on — killing and dismemberment. And HRC supporters can not separate their support of HRC from their support of killing because they can’t face supporting HRC as strictly a lesser evil.

56

milx 10.08.16 at 4:35 pm

US targets = Gaddafi? I understand why you anonymize it – it’s not so bad when she’s talking about a guy who just said: “We are coming tonight. You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.”

57

milx 10.08.16 at 4:38 pm

The problem with the Glenn Greenwald narrative that Democrats only opposed GWB’s war because he was a Republican and excused the same actions from Obama is that it doesn’t make sense. Lots of people opposed GWB’s war because they thought it was predicated on a lie, or would be extremely costly, or cost too many American lives. Some of that opposition was also radically anti-war in any manifestation but Greenwald’s sleight of hand requires you to not distinguish dove/hawk sentiments on any spectrum. I imagine the American consensus is: “No new wars. Yes to projecting ‘strength.’ Yes to bombing terrorists.” If GWB had limited himself to this the opposition would have been much less significant.

58

RNB 10.08.16 at 4:39 pm

Is Rich Puchalsky still talking about bombing without taking the time to study who is bombing whom with full spectrum support in Syria today? And is Rich Puchalsky still trying to get us to believe that Clinton but not Sanders supported humanitarian bombing in Libya and Serbia? Sad.

59

milx 10.08.16 at 4:40 pm

Like do you really think people would’ve been out in the streets in any kind of number for a NATO-approved “interventionist” GWB bombing action in Kosovo and Libya? I doubt it.

60

stevenjohnson 10.08.16 at 4:56 pm

Daragh @33 “‘Really, it seems to me the interesting question is why the video didn’t surface in Trump’s run in 2012, or in the Republican nomination campaign?’

Possibly because Trump didn’t actually run in 2012?”

Of course Trump did actually run in 2012. You don’t need to announce you’re not running, unless you were running unofficially. Also, you don’t wait until May of election year to make that decision. That late in primary season is when candidates, declared or not, are dropping out because they’re unsuccessful, and maybe endorse someone. His birther campaign was his presidential campaign shtick.

You’re wrong in every sense but the literal, which isn’t good enough in real life. You’re like the guy who signs his checks with the wrong middle initial, then tells the bank they needn’t pay.

But even if you were right about 2012, that still leaves the Republican nomination campaign where he was a declared candidate. Still the interesting question.

61

stevenjohnson 10.08.16 at 4:59 pm

As an act of charity, to settle Daragh’s mind, I declare officially I am not running for President of the United States. (I think he has dark suspicions about some of the regulars.)

62

Lord 10.08.16 at 5:09 pm

These don’t seem to change anything the way the debate did. Prior to the debate you argue it was all publicity and style with Trump and that he could become serious when it came time to and that it was the weakness of the primaries that he never had to, however unlikely. If there was anytime to become serious it was the debate, so it just showed that is all one can expect, there is no deeper level there. Hillary is well known by contrast. That Hillary is a politician is one of her strengths, not weaknesses.

63

bruce wilder 10.08.16 at 6:04 pm

Trump has just admitted to a habit of sexual assault, and the discussion is focused on the issue of Clinton’s truthfulness and financial sector policy . . . Seems a little odd, frankly. A politician dissembling in private is a standard occurrence, but confessing to a habit of assaulting women is not, you’d think people might find those two big revelations a little, shall we say, asymmetrical?

“asymmetrical”?

What we usually argue about in these U.S. election threads is how far people should go in the cause of protecting the world from a greater evil by pretending Hillary Clinton is not a monster. Not especially a monster as an individual but a monstrous manifestation of a monstrous politics. Clinton giving speeches or talks for big bucks for major banks and keeping the content secret takes us into the heart of darkness, and not for the first time. If you don’t really care about anything but your personal virtue and whatever twisted counterfactual you confuse with evidence, then sure, the contrasts of private policy position with public policy position is all “nothing to see here, move along” maybe with a sidelong toss at Bernie Sanders didn’t disclose his income taxes. Clinton in public wants campaign finance reform; Clinton in private circumvents the limits and corrupts the DNC. Clinton in public promises to fight for the common man person; Clinton in private tells banksters she will support cutting Social Security.

The revelation that Trump is personally a pig and reveled in the power that comes with being a celebrity billionaire? That is a different heart of darkness. Is it disqualifying for high office? Probably should be. You don’t give more power to people who cannot handle it. Duh.

We have only one commenter who regularly argues for Trump I think and he is not a U.S. voter. So, our arguments are always about Clinton.

I have never thought Trump had a realistic chance. So, the more hysterical lesser evilism has always seemed both overwrought and unrealistic. I get the Dems have a made for teevee propaganda template built on a supposed Republican War on Women, and they will crank the Wurlitzer because they can. If we change the culture to reduce the frequency of sexual assault in the process, that is all to the good, I guess; I hope that is what is happening and not just vilification of the white male.

I worry a bit about whether Clinton oversells herself as the anti-Trump, mostly because of the effects after the election on her legitimacy, but also because of the still very small risk of “winning” what has become an unpopularity contest. (“The Russkies hacked my email” seems amazingly and bizarrely short-sighted.)

My own view remains dominated by the expectation of coming catastrophe, not especially caused or meliorated by Clinton personally, but very much an outcome of our degenerate politics. Kunstler had a good rant after the first debate.
http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/sizing-up-the-endgame/

64

Lupita 10.08.16 at 6:05 pm

@ Nick

Another thing that I think is interesting is that here — with a (I believe) largely male commentariat

As for Clinton, the killing and dismemberment of innocents abroad was normalized long ago.

As an female CT commentator and innocent abroad – though not an Islamic one, so the killing and dismemberment is of the financial, free trade, and covert sort – it is my considered opinion that Western hegemony, with the US at its center, is imploding.

65

Lynne 10.08.16 at 6:13 pm

Nick: “A politician dissembling in private is a standard occurrence, but confessing to a habit of assaulting women is not, you’d think people might find those two big revelations a little, shall we say, asymmetrical?”

Yes.

66

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 6:23 pm

The OP included discussion of the Clinton information and its implications, I don’t find it odd that we are discussing that. That topic is entirely separate from the extremely serous new information shedding light on the history of sexual assault allegations about Trump. Two discussions running in parallel and not converging despite kidneystones’ best efforts. Almost a mini fugue.

67

Lupita 10.08.16 at 6:35 pm

@ Cranky Observer

Two discussions running in parallel and not converging

They converge on the corrupt and decadent neoliberal global order.

68

Russell L. Carter 10.08.16 at 6:35 pm

People in this thread who I ordinarily agree with are making a basic mistake re: Hillary vs. Bernie. Everybody *I* personally know, knew already a year ago that from a purely leftist perspective Hillary is an abysmal candidate who will kowtow to Wall St. and (*most* repugnantly) give people like Colin Powell(!!) and Henry Kissinger(!!!!!) an ear on stuff that really matters. In other words, her judgement (from a pure leftist perspective) is shit.

HOWEVER. On a point by point comparison of the policies that Bernie espoused, Hillary has mostly sound, sensible, and most importantly, implementable ideas, and Bernie, well he didn’t and he doesn’t. Sad to say, but Hillary is *much* less likely, on balance, to fuck things up on a whole host of policies that really do matter.

And I think the primary results reflect this, to a large extent. Nobody made Bernie push nonsensical stuff! I should say that if Bernie had won instead, even with the identical campaign rhetoric, I would, and all the people I know personally, have no problems supporting him, with a similar sad list of caveats available as per Hillary above.

They both suck, but heh, at least each of them are massively more competent that apparently any top tier British politician of any party. I.e., it could easily get worse, witness Trump.

So if you want to toss me into the same bin of people like the LGM crew that you weirdly view with contempt, I suppose I’ll suffer it, but the outcome is I have to seriously wonder about your ability to perceive reality. People are weird. People can’t help but fuck things up. Caligula and Nero are always waiting for an opportunity. Hillary, I believe, is likelier to do a better job of fending off the crazies. (She is still awful.)

69

T 10.08.16 at 6:52 pm

kidney and Halbo–

It’s been quite a while since I checked in but I see you’ve changed your tune. Same views on HRC (understandable) but you’re unbridled support for Trump seems to have waned. Of course, I told you the other shoe would drop — lied about his taxes, lied about his charities, lied about his income, couldn’t stop insulting, and on and on. This will not stop either. There is always more. Stuff is being held back. I tried to tell you, but… btw-he’ll be more awful in the Town Hall debate than debate #1.

JH – You probably aren’t familiar with the Ray Rice incident. He’s an American football player. He admitted to hitting his wife who was knocked out. However, it was only when the video of the incident appeared that he faced real consequences. A video is way more powerful than a transcript. And yes, Trump’s full tax returns are worse than you can imagine. Literally seeing 18 signed returns with a 0 for taxes owed is worse than knowing he paid nothing.

70

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 6:58 pm

Mr. Carter,
I actually agree with essentially everything you say. Hiwever, when the phrase “purity pouter” ( and worse ) is being used by the centrist/realist [both self-styled] faction of the Democraic Oarty in an attempt to shame voters who were less impressed by Secretary Clinton’s positions than said faction I’d say there is a long-term problem for the Demicratic Party and the nation. Again, those “centerist” policies aren’t working out for a lot of people. Much like the Noonan yard sign argument, those just don’t happen to be the people DC/NYC insiders know.

71

js. 10.08.16 at 7:11 pm

I think re Trump, one of the more convincing arguments I’ve seen (made by, e.g., Sam Wang at PEC, Zeynep Tufekci et al on Twitter, etc.) is that it’s in large part because Trump is already behind and likely to lose—so jumping ship is easy/makes sense. I don’t know if that explains all of the reactions, but it probably does play an important part.

72

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 7:13 pm

One news event is about a creep politician boasting about how he likes to grope women. The other news event is about a sober, Presidential politician telling the banking industry about how it’s important to present one face to the public and another one to the people who matter in a public policy context.

So of course not talking about the first one and focussing on the second one is suspect. It must mean that you support gropers! And the second isn’t important because it’s about money and the elite and who cares.

The electorate gets the politicians it deserves. No one made Bernie’s proposals supposedly nonsensical except the electorate, the prevailing Democratic faction of which has priorities as described above.

73

Lynne 10.08.16 at 7:18 pm

” It must mean that you support gropers! “

Or that you never worry about being groped yourself.

74

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 7:21 pm

Yes, or that you never worry about being groped yourself, obviously. Just as Jews never have to worry about white nationalism and have no understanding of what it means to be a religious minority in America, or they would obviously have the same stupid priorities that you do and there could be no other reason. That’s what HRC supporters claim.

As I wrote above, prepare for 4 years of this — every bombing run, every trade deal is going to be followed by “you just hate HRC because you’re not a woman”.

75

Tracy Lightcap 10.08.16 at 7:22 pm

What many of the posts above forget is the Unruh Rule.

Jesse Unruh was, for many years Speaker of the California House. When new members came on board, he always took them aside and said, “Son (for in those days it always was), there are going to be a lot of people up here offering you all sorts of things to get your vote. But if you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, their women, take their money, and still vote against them, you don’t belong up here.” Sexist, yes, but also true for anyone in a legislative position.

Yes. I wouldn’t take any near-promise Hillary made in a speech to bankers as a pledge that she would do anything at all for them if she gets to be president. Indeed, I’d wager that nobody in the management suite of an investment bank would take anything she said in a speech to them with anything less then a boulder of salt. When she gets to be president, she’ll do what seems politically feasible and fits the promises she made publicly in the campaign, just like any other successful candidate for that office. And her head-nods to bankers at private gatherings won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit.

76

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 7:32 pm

“… But if you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, their women, take their money, and still vote against them, you don’t belong up here.”

Little evidence that this hoary bromide was put in practice then, and less now. Obama took Wall Street money and appointed Geither to Treasury, took Hollywood money and appointed RIAA lawyers to Justice and FCC, etc.

77

Jason Smith 10.08.16 at 7:32 pm

I think Bill Benzon #1 nails it — certain events become nucleation sites for cascades (like those videos for Cokes that instantly freeze on some kind of shock). It’s hard to tell which shock will lead to a cascade. However, there is nuance here. The real question is whether the pro-Trump electorate was in some kind of unstable denial state.

I think the GOP elite was, but the pro-Trump voters are not. The elite is realizing everyone in the elite could move to the new anti-Trump equilibrium and may do so (e.g as js mentions above — Trump’s behind, so jumping ship is easier). I have my doubts about the GOP base voters. Some might, but the question remains as to whether there will be a cascade or simply more denial. From everything I’ve seen so far, doubling down (yet again!) seems very likely. And then there is the question of whether the electorate feeds back into elite opinion.

This is a complex dynamic state and I would not even try to predict the outcome!

78

Asteele 10.08.16 at 7:33 pm

There’s a two step going on with regard to Clinton, there is a difference between.
1. Not laying out all your negotiations to public.
And
2. Saying on thing in public to get people to vote for you, then funneling all the money to the 1% in private because they are the actual people your in office to serve.

1 is not a problem, 2 is.

79

RNB 10.08.16 at 7:35 pm

Trump has emboldened quite a bit of ugly anti-Semitism. As well of course as anti-Muslim sentiment and nativist bigotry and virulent sexism. Making the fight against all that a priority was not stupid. Did Puchalsky really just say that? Wow. By the way, it would have been nice if the OP had acknowledged that Trump had a horrific Friday not only because of his sickening conversation with Billy Bush (Al Roker knows how to talk to that guy) but also because of Trump’s stating that he still thinks five innocent black teenagers should have been put in a gas chamber.

80

Lee A. Arnold 10.08.16 at 7:39 pm

If Pence has any brains left at all, he will walk away from this ticket immediately.

81

Layman 10.08.16 at 7:42 pm

I find the false equivalency inherent in this post frankly bizarre. To recall something Trump said, I imagine that if Trump shot a man dead in Times Square in front of ten thousand witnesses tomorrow, John Holbo would write a post, the gist of which is that we knew Trump was the sort of monster who would kill a man, just as we knew that Hillary was the sort of monster who would say nice things to people who were paying her to say nice things. Then Bruce Wilder would say that, in fact, Hillary was the bigger monster, since Trump’s body count was so much lower than he predicts will result from Hillary’s speeches; and Rich Puchalsky would say that the real problem is that people will think ill of him, Rich Puchalsky, if he agrees with Bruce’s assessment.

82

RNB 10.08.16 at 7:46 pm

@80 That is a funny post, layman.

83

Val 10.08.16 at 8:05 pm

If we change the culture to reduce the frequency of sexual assault in the process, that is all to the good, I guess; I hope that is what is happening and not just vilification of the white male.

Am I misreading this? He ‘guesses’ that reducing sexual assault is a good thing, but is worried that it might really be all about vilifying white men?

If it made sense, it looks like Bruce Wilder might be saying something awful here. It’s hard to tell because it doesn’t make sense.

As for Rich Puchalsky suggesting that people who talk about sexism are anti-Semitic (not for the first time) again it’s hard to respond because it doesn’t make sense.

It does seem like BW is claiming that if you are concerned about sexism, you are probably anti white men, while RP is claiming that if you are concerned about sexism you are probably anti-Semitic. Both of them are free to correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s how it sounds to me.

Seriously, I think the CT owners should do something about this, because it’s damaging CT.

84

efcdons 10.08.16 at 8:06 pm

Layman @ 74

What false equivalence? Basically everyone here thinks Trump is a POS and has for all eternity. Talking about Trump’s latest slimy statement or revelation is like talking about how blue the sky is today.

With Clinton it’s seems like either 1) she sucks, but we have to ignore how much she sucks because Trump, 2) we always knew she was a essentially saying one thing to paying audiences and something else to the public so shut up up about it, or 3) The campaign speeches are great because it shows her populist pablums were just lies for the rubes which is great because liberal “centerism” for evah.

I don’t know which is worse. 1 is at least defensible, but dumb here because no one cares what people at CT have to say so it can’t effect the election. 2 is basically an exercise in gaslighting because all I’ve heard until now is Clinton was always a super progressive and the 90s were just political expediency. So much for that theory. 3 is honest at least, but it shows there is still a DLCist undercurrent which needs to be killed off once and for all. But it also means Clinton needs to be kept on her toes. Just ignoring what she said in her speeches or saying “well Trump is worse so don’t talk about it” doesn’t really help to make sure once in office Clinton will be public consumption Clinton rather than paid speeches Clinton.

85

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 8:07 pm

“RP is claiming that if you are concerned about sexism you are probably anti-Semitic”

Ah yes, the usual quality of reading that will make Val’s academic career a joy to behold. That must indeed be what I meant: there could be no other explanation.

86

Val 10.08.16 at 8:07 pm

I should of course say, not “concerned about sexism”, but in this case, concerned about sexism and sexual assault.

87

Val 10.08.16 at 8:08 pm

What did your response to Lynn mean then? Can you explain it?

88

JimV 10.08.16 at 8:15 pm

” … pretending Hillary Clinton is not a monster. Not especially a monster as an individual but a monstrous manifestation of a monstrous politics”

For someone who at last blush was rejecting any inference that HRC was evil, just incompetent, this is skating very close to the edge, despite the quick back-off.

The site has become very tiresome with a lot of noise and not much signal – uncharitable readings and not much fact-checking before making accusations, from people of whom I used to think better. Have fun storming the windmills.

89

Layman 10.08.16 at 8:31 pm

efcdons: “What false equivalence?”

I think I was perfectly clear. If Trump shot a man dead just to see him die, apparently no one would be able to say “gosh, that Trump fellow is really awful”, without feeling obligated to go on to say “…and Hillary, too, she’s awful, see how she said nice things to those people who were paying her.” It’s false equivalence, there’s-no-difference-between-them-ism. But one is a sociopath who preys on women and thinks that wanting to fuck his own teenage daughter is so normal that he can talk about it out loud, in public, in front of an audience and recording devices; and the other is not. But hey, they’re both awful!

90

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 8:32 pm

Val: “What did your response to Lynn mean then? Can you explain it?”

Egad.

All right, here is the explanation. Since the beginning of this election, HRC supporters have cast everyone on the left who does not support HRC sufficiently as not supporting HRC because that person is a member of a privileged class. Here are two examples of this syndrome:

1. If a man thinks that Trump boasting about being a groper is not as important as HRC boasting about having one policy for the public and another for the financial industry, this must be because this man is not a woman and therefore does not worry about being groped.

2. If a Jew thinks that concerns about Trump oppressing Muslims are overblown, this must be because Jews are white and naturally don’t worry about white supremacy in the U.S.

The second of these has been used extensively on CT — supported by you yourself, of course.

This kind of argument is insulting on many levels. I’ll explain them, since you’re having so much trouble:

1. It asserts that the leftist you’re having the difference of opinion with does not have the basic empathy to understand any problem unless they themselves are directly affected by it.

2. It asserts that your approach to the problem is the only one. For instance, someone can not be feminist if they disagree with you, because your feminism defines feminism.

3. It asserts that the deaths and, yes, gropings, of people that will happen under a neoliberal order are not as important as having the right attitude of personal indignation.

4. It often verges into straightforward rightism. For instance, the people who say that Jews are whites and therefore must have no problem with white nationalism obviously have no knowledge about the interactions between Jews and white nationalists in the U.S., or (since this knowledge has been pointed out to them repeatedly by now) are simply anti-Semites.

5. It casts every disagreement as being one about privilege and refusal to consider privilege and thus actively dumbs down the conversation.

I could come up with more. Should I continue?

91

stevenjohnson 10.08.16 at 8:35 pm

Bruce Wilder @57 “Clinton…corrupts the DNC.” Like Kaine before her, Debby Wasserman-Schultz wasn’t working for Clinton, but President Obama, the head of the party until replaced. Also, the Democratic Party is in no shape, form or fashion socialist. The cognitive dissonance has always been a supposed socialists running as a Democrat, not the party being unwelcoming to a socialist.

Trump confessing to crimes is indeed asymmetric, if you believed him. Since he wasn’t under penalty of perjury, I’m not so sure. I gather there have been a couple of allegations against him, though. It’s a damned shame who ever had this video didn’t think it would be useful to examine in a deposition or a trial.

92

christian_h 10.08.16 at 8:38 pm

Just out of interest: among those here old enough to be politically aware in the nineties, who supported George HW Bush over the vile sexist pig Bill Clinton in 1992? Who supported impeachment to get the serial sexual predator out of the White House later in the decade? If not, why not?

93

Layman 10.08.16 at 8:45 pm

Not satisfied with the current state of false equivalency, christian_h undertakes to top it!

94

christian_h 10.08.16 at 8:47 pm

I don’t follow. I haven’t compared anything, how can it be false equivalency? If anything is being equated it’s only in your head.

95

christian_h 10.08.16 at 8:49 pm

Apparently in Layman’s internal dictionary, “false equivalency” stands for “talking about anything but what I, layman, currently find important”.

96

Layman 10.08.16 at 8:50 pm

“I don’t follow. “

Of this I have some doubt.

97

efcdons 10.08.16 at 8:53 pm

@81

Sure, only one person can be awful at a time. It’s not possible for two separate people to be different kinds of awful for different reasons. There is only enough awful to go around for one person at a time.

Considering Clinton is going to be the next President unless something incredible happens it seems like her potential awfulness would be a little more important to dissect and investigate than Trump’s obvious and gigantic, but ultimately meaningless in the long run, awfulness

98

Layman 10.08.16 at 8:59 pm

efcdons: ‘Sure, only one person can be awful at a time. It’s not possible for two separate people to be different kinds of awful for different reasons.”

No, what is apparently not possible is to avoid conflating the two kinds of awfulness, or to ever point out the awfulness of the truly awful without making the point that the other one is awful, too, implicitly or explicitly equally awful. Maybe even MOAR awful!

99

milx 10.08.16 at 9:03 pm

“Just as Jews never have to worry about white nationalism and have no understanding of what it means to be a religious minority in America, or they would obviously have the same stupid priorities that you do and there could be no other reason.”

The crazy thing about this assertion is that something like ~80% of Jews will likely vote for Hillary over Donald, partially because they know what it means to be a religious minority in America.

100

christian_h 10.08.16 at 9:10 pm

No Layman I really do not follow. You clearly think that I implicitly, if not explicitly, equated two things that aren’t equal. Could you spell it out for me? (To save time let me be clear: I wasn’t talking about what Democrats call Clinton’s extramarital affairs, and don’t think having such an affair is equivalent to the vile stuff Trump described. I was choosing my words carefully. Even if for some strange reason you choose to disbelieve all women who accused Clinton of rape it is absolutely obvious that he was the kind of man who hits on every woman in the office, every woman he comes into regular contact with. Which is what Trump was talking about.)

101

Yan 10.08.16 at 9:13 pm

“Also, the Democratic Party is in no shape, form or fashion socialist.”

True. So much the worse for it, especially starting in 2020 when millennial voters will outnumber boomers. Either the party will change or it will die. And the alternatives on the right are only going to get worse.

102

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 9:14 pm

milx: “The crazy thing about this assertion is that something like ~80% of Jews will likely vote for Hillary over Donald, partially because they know what it means to be a religious minority in America.”

Jews are actually the second most reliable ethnic/whatever group of Democratic Party voters in America (after African-Americans), precisely because of this history. But show insufficient support for HRC and it must be because Jews are white.

103

Daragh 10.08.16 at 9:22 pm

Stevenjohnson @54

Hmmm – I’m assuming you’re claiming Trump was a candidate in the so-called ‘invisible primary.’ To be fair, that’s a fairly subjective assessment, dependent in large part on whether other Republican elites considered him to be a serious potential candidate, and whether Trump himself seriously considered and prepared for a campaign. The fact that Trump publicly mused about a run is neither here nor there – he’s been doing that since the 90’s at least. I personally come down on the side that his 2011 tilt was a PR stunt for the apprentice, and I think the evidence backs me up. But like I said that’s a subjective assessment.

More to the point, I was responding to this part of your comment – “Really, it seems to me the interesting question is why the video didn’t surface in Trump’s run in 2012, or in the Republican nomination campaign? Talking about generals “reduced to rubble” and hinting he’ll fire them til he gets a winner has finally brought out some big guns against him. It’s too late to give him the silent treatment after they’ve fed him free publicity for so very, very long.”

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I read that as you suggesting that there’s something fishy going on here, and that the tape was withheld as some sort of October surprise, which is unlikely for all sorts of reasons. If I’m wrong, then there’s no argument to be had here.

104

Yan 10.08.16 at 9:23 pm

The OP did not say or even imply that Hillary is awful. It said that everyone knew she cozied to Wall St in her speeches.

The only comparison it made was in terms of strong reaction to already known facts, which is a perfectly reasonable analogy. The content of the knowledge, whether it’s about an awful candidate, or the relative degree of awfulness if so, is completely indeterminate in the post.

It is also worth noting that equating claims of the form “x is also bad” to “x is equally bad” is ironically a false equivalence.

105

Layman 10.08.16 at 9:25 pm

christian_h: “No Layman I really do not follow.”

So you say, but then you go on to make explicit the equivalence implied in your earlier comment. You say that Trump and Bill are equivalent; and that people who voted for Clinton in 1992 are equivalent to people who support Trump right now. If that was not the point of your fatuous question, what was?

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christian_h 10.08.16 at 9:40 pm

Bill’s and Trump’s behaviour towards women is equivalent, yes. Are you disputing that? I didn’t compare the two because I’m not regulating access to heaven or hell here – rather I was interested to find out what motivates politically invested citizens to support someone politically even after it has become clear to anyone willing to see clearly that they are personally vile.

I imagine Clinton voters and supporters had reasons to do so. Probably they managed not to believe Clinton was a sexual predator, or they did believe it but chose to ignore it because they really hated Bush 41, or Gingrich. Or, you know, society has improved a bit and what was then considered normal male behaviour is now rightly considered disqualifying for the job. That’s why I’m asking – I’m genuinely interested to know. It might shed some light on why someone might still support Trump even after this video came out.

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F. Foundling 10.08.16 at 9:45 pm

@ milx 10.08.16 at 4:35 pm
> “We are coming tonight. You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.”

What exactly was he supposed to tell armed rebels? ‘We will cuddle with you?’ This wasn’t addressed to the entire civilian population. From the Reuters article reporting on the speech: ‘Muammar Gaddafi told Libyan rebels on Thursday his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them. In a radio address, he told Benghazi residents that soldiers would search every house in the city and people who had no arms had no reason to fear.’ http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE72G7SB20110317

Re the Trump tape – yes, this is piggish behaviour. Since, AFAIK, it’s also *traditional macho* piggish behaviour, I suspect that it mostly wouldn’t be seen as a big deal by the demographic that votes for Trump.

Re HRC’s speeches, the revealed duplicity might harm her image a bit. What’s worse is that I think that it was in these speeches and not in her public pronouncements that she was sincere on the subject of open trade and things like raising the Social Security retirement age (a lot of other evidence pointed in the same direction), and that this will have practical consequences for her policies.

The reason people here are discussing one and not the other is, of course, that there is nobody here to defend Trump, and there are lots of people to defend Clinton. Also, it’s interesting that one scandal is about who the candidate *is* as a person (a pig), and the other one is to some extent about what the candidate is likely to *do* (open and cut).

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Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 9:59 pm

F. Foundling: “What exactly was he supposed to tell armed rebels?”

I think that this concedes too much in some ways. The claim that war was justified in some people’s minds because Gaddafi did horrible things is the same exact claim that war in Iraq was justified in some people’s minds because Saddam did horrible things. Both of these people were dictators and both did horrible things. Wars that ended up killing even greater numbers of their country people than they did were clearly not a good response to them doing horrible things.

This objection — “why are you supporting Saddam” — was routinely brought up against anti-war people in the run-up to the Iraq War, and as a retrospective justification afterwards. People simply can’t see that the same thing is happening when it’s one of their favored leaders in charge.

109

Nick 10.08.16 at 10:02 pm

Jim V writes:

“The site has become very tiresome with a lot of noise and not much signal – uncharitable readings and not much fact-checking before making accusations, from people of whom I used to think better. Have fun storming the windmills.”

And I completely agree. I don’t frequently comment here, but I used to read it often — on this year’s Presidential election, however, the comment section of Crooked Timber has become a real embarrassment. I don’t know if the original posts aren’t conducive to debate, or if for whatever reason regular commenters avoid these threads; but this one here is an excellent example of really pointless ‘political’ arguments. When I want to engage with people at the level of vague abstractions and bad-faith sophistry, there are plenty of other places on the Internet to look, it’s a shame CR has come to this.

110

Layman 10.08.16 at 10:03 pm

sebastian_h: “Bill’s and Trump’s behaviour towards women is equivalent, yes.”

Yet in #86, you wrote: “I don’t follow. I haven’t compared anything, how can it be false equivalency?”

Now we agree that you meant that comparison, and I correctly grasped it.

“I was interested to find out what motivates politically invested citizens to support someone politically even after it has become clear to anyone willing to see clearly that they are personally vile.”

Yet in your original question, you wrote: “…who supported George HW Bush over the vile sexist pig Bill Clinton in 1992?”

This is yet another comparison, that of 1992 Clinton voters with today’s Trump supporters, again one which I correctly detected. And it’s a false equivalency, given what a voter in 1992 could know about Bill at that time, and what a Trump voter can know now. Probably you need to refresh your recollection of the events at the time.

111

Val 10.08.16 at 10:06 pm

RP @ 82
There’s a lot of debatable claims in what you said, but I will stick to the main point. There is nothing there to explain why you made the association between what Lynne said about being groped and what others may have said about Jews.

There is no logical connection. What you did was use the rhetorical technique of guilt by association.

The thing is, you’re quite good at using rhetorical techniques (including insults, I’m not sure if that’s classified as a rhetorical technique). I think quite a few people get taken in by this. It’s a pity for two reasons, one that you sometimes have some good points, but they get buried by the rhetorical techniques and insults. The other is that it affects the tone of debate at CT and makes it a less worthwhile place to try to have discussions on important issues.

I hope you’ll think about this and try to tone it down a bit. I also hope some of the CT bloggers might talk to you about it (again – I know at least one has done so already).

I have concerns about why you are allowed to go on as you do, while RNB got banned. I think there could have been more reasonable outcomes, but I’d better leave the meta stuff now.

112

Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 10:21 pm

Val: “There is no logical connection. What you did was use the rhetorical technique of guilt by association.”

I explained the logical connection as soon as you asked. It’s obvious, ever since the Bernie Bros trope, that this line of attack has been the primary one used by HRC supporters against everyone to their left. If you pretend not to see any logical connection, well that’s your opinion, but that doesn’t mean your opinion is correct.

I have concerns about why you are allowed to go on as you are, Val. You’re one of the worst, most crude users of this kind of attack that I’ve seen. Unlike you I don’t try to get people banned, but maybe someone should talk to you about it.

113

Sebastian H 10.08.16 at 10:25 pm

Layman, I did a search and I didn’t say what you think I said. That was christian_h.

114

Layman 10.08.16 at 10:30 pm

Yes, you’re right. Sorry about the misattribution.

115

bruce wilder 10.08.16 at 10:33 pm

stevenjohnson: Debby Wasserman-Schultz wasn’t working for Clinton, . . .

Not on this plane of reality.

116

F. Foundling 10.08.16 at 10:33 pm

Rich Puchalsky @ 99

>I think that this concedes too much in some ways.

I was simply denying that this specific quote was evidence of anything whatsoever (note that it was used in propaganda at the time and later as evidence of the urgent need for an intervention). I am not thereby conceding that if it *were* to be proven that Qaddafi was, indeed, a nasty piece of work – which, of course, he was – that *would* have justified an intervention.

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milx 10.08.16 at 10:36 pm

“We will find you in your closets.” This is a threat to find and kill people who are hiding, not people who are fighting.

118

Val 10.08.16 at 10:51 pm

@ 103
There is not, and was not, a logical connection. You can’t make things so just by saying them, and insulting me makes no difference.

Unfortunately, this site is becoming a waste of time. Great pity.

119

merian 10.08.16 at 11:08 pm

Rich Puchalsky @82:

All right, here is the explanation. Since the beginning of this election, HRC supporters have cast everyone on the left who does not support HRC sufficiently as not supporting HRC because that person is a member of a privileged class. Here are two examples of this syndrome:

You’ve been saying that, and you even came down on me (when I was describing my personal criteria for political discourse relative to the moment within a presidential election cycle) with the full force of this argument despite the obvious fact that I’m not even a Clinton supporter. Problem is, while there without doubt exist such people in particular if they’re party-loyal Dems, I can’t even find them anywhere close to the left and know hardly any in person.

Here’s an example of a Clinton supporter (as of right now), loosely modeled on a person close to me: Former resident of NY while HRC was US Senator, came away with an excellent impression of HRC’s understanding and commitment to rural and small-town economic development and overall competence; not a registered D (left because of Bill Clinton’s welfare reform), but WFP then and independent now; Pacifist, and highly critical of HRC regarding war and Wall street; thrilled about Sanders initially, disenchanted over his failure to address race and his deficient movement-building; ended the primary season with “I’d be happy to vote for whoever gets nominated”. Or another: Bernie all the way; registered D, caucused for Bernie; doesn’t trust Clinton to understand the local way of life, or to be not beholden to Wall Street; gun owner, but angry at gun mortality and morbidity who’s used to sparring with the local libertarians on reasonable control measures; currently engaged in peeling off voters from Trump via comment threads with (typically libertarian or conservative) neighbours.

1. If a man thinks that Trump boasting about being a groper is not as important as HRC boasting about having one policy for the public and another for the financial industry, this must be because this man is not a woman and therefore does not worry about being groped.

2. If a Jew thinks that concerns about Trump oppressing Muslims are overblown, this must be because Jews are white and naturally don’t worry about white supremacy in the U.S.

“Groper” is a mild term, but whatever. For 1., it would be an invalid conclusion based on insufficient premises, but it’s a legitimate question what that man’s attitude towards gropers is. Is it disqualifying, but the financial industry thing is, uh, more disqualifying (how can there be anything worse than disqualifying?)? Is the first an amusing foible and the second a serious, but not disqualifying failure? If the first is less important than the second, what would his argument be for not preferring Trump over Clinton? The questions may have good answers, of course.

As for 2., no, no, no, no… even if someone were to affirm 1. (which I don’t), it follows in no way that they would affirm 2. None of my actual Jewish family members or friends even thinks that thinks that concerns about Trump’s attitude to Muslims are overblown. In my experience, Jewish people are more likely than Christians to be sensitive to that. That’s just pure straw man, even if it happened to you.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 11:09 pm

Val, I’ve explained why I think that there is a logical connection. This connection isn’t just my theory, it’s been noticed by a wide, wide range of people on the left that HRC supporters use racism and sexism pretty much interchangeably as ascriptive reasons why people on the left wouldn’t support HRC. It’s a much more widely noticed connection than anything confined to CT.

So no, I can’t make things so by saying so, but you can’t make things not so by just saying so. One of the differences between us is that I give reasons and examples for what I believe when I’m asked to, while you rely on simple denial plus a whole lot of nonsense about how whoever you’re disagreeing with is damaging the site. In this you’re like RNB, who got himself banned after multiple warnings because he just couldn’t believe that his blanket accusations of racism — like your blanket accusations of sexism — were the problem.

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bruce wilder 10.08.16 at 11:18 pm

Me: I get the Dems have a made for teevee propaganda template built on a supposed Republican War on Women, and they will crank the Wurlitzer because they can. If we change the culture to reduce the frequency of sexual assault in the process, that is all to the good, I guess; I hope that is what is happening and not just vilification of the white male.

Val: If it made sense, it looks like Bruce Wilder might be saying something awful here. It’s hard to tell because it doesn’t make sense. . . . It does seem like BW is claiming that if you are concerned about sexism, you are probably anti white men.

Why do you think it is A-OK to presume that something you admit you don’t understand is “something awful”?

I supply a sentence you omitted from your quotation of me that might supply context if you understood it, which you might not, because you are not in the United States where you might be exposed to the 24/7 news cycle onslaught that powers this kind of media frenzy.

On American television media, a number of pundits and commentators serve as reliable surrogates for the Parties and / or Candidate Campaigns and supply an enormous quantity of commentary and argument, the volume of which rises noticeably during one of these media frenzies. This propaganda machinery has sometimes been referred to as the Wurlitzer, after a brand of very loud theatrical organs, because the ability to mechanically fill the sound space with talking points and histrionic (and largely fake) outrage. The Republican War on Women was a theme that the Obama Administration has successfully used in its propaganda in the past, which has been repurposed in the present news cycle.

I “guess” because I am not certain what the eventual effect of these propaganda campaigns may be. One positive possibility is that the country takes one more step toward greater awareness and less tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Another not so positive possibility is that the over-the-top expression of outrage alienates people or wears out their moral sensibility. Clinton may be overselling herself as the anti-Trump and encouraging a degree of tribalism that is not healthy for the country.

I saw this on Hullabaloo (digbysblog.blogspot.com), a blog I often read whose main author (styled “digby”) I admire:

[quoting the NYT:] “Within the white male demographic, 37 percent of those who are college-educated support Mrs. Clinton, versus 48 percent for Mr. Trump, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Among white men without college educations, Mr. Trump’s lead is even greater: 76 percent to 17 percent. “

[digby:] That is a sad comment on the college educated white male demographic. But it is clarifying. If they don’t have enough sense to know that Donald Trump is a fascist demagogue who will destroy everything in his path it’s obvious the country can no longer rely on them to run it. It’s a good thing there are a bunch of people of color and women ready to step up.

I think those statistics are very disturbing, too, but I don’t know that I think digby’s response is positive or helpful. It is resentful and angry and heedless of reactions. The U.S. doesn’t need more tribalist polarization along any dimension. If men are feeling alienated from Clinton’s campaign, that might be a problem Hillary Clinton needs to address, now and during her Presidency.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.08.16 at 11:27 pm

merian: “That’s just pure straw man, even if it happened to you.”

What? Even if it happened here on CT, it’s a straw man? Does that mean something like I have to find an example that’s less obviously foolish because this one doesn’t count?

I could start Googling and lining up citations to David Brock’s propaganda, where this exact kind of attack is spelled out. Do I really have to do that? Maybe you could do that for yourself if you think that experiences here are not good examples of what happens here.

123

F. Foundling 10.08.16 at 11:42 pm

@ milx 10.08.16 at 10:36 pm
>This is a threat to find and kill people who are hiding, not people who are fighting.

Again, Reuters explicitly reports that he said, in the same speech, that ‘people who had no arms had no reason to fear’ and that he had ‘told his troops not to pursue any rebels who drop their guns and flee’. The regime was also ‘warning residents to avoid rebel installations’, thus clearly separating insurgents from civilians, not threatening to slaughter civilians indiscriminately. Without a broader context, I don’t know how the bit about people hiding in closets was supposed to make sense combined with the above statements about unarmed people – perhaps he was imagining a stage of the conflict where guerrilla-style resistance continued after the military defeat of the rebels, with active guerrilla fighters hiding in houses; perhaps it was some kind of rhetorical image intended to discount the very possibility that the rebels could mount any military resistance and had any choice but to hide trembling; perhaps it was a lapse into incoherent rambling (there was plenty of that in the Zenga Zenga speech, too). In another speech, he stated: ‘Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya and other places did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.’ (this quote and more evidence that the claims of impending mass slaughter were unfounded can be found in the report of the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, summarised in Salonhere)

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Anarcissie 10.08.16 at 11:45 pm

milx 10.08.16 at 10:36 pm @ 208 —
Hiding and fighting are not necessarily distinct.

Is (re)arraigning Qaddafi now a part of Clinton’s campaign? It seems like an odd move.

125

stevenjohnson 10.08.16 at 11:54 pm

bruce wilder @106 “stevenjohnson: Debby Wasserman-Schultz wasn’t working for Clinton, . . .

Not on this plane of reality.”

Oh yes, that sort of nonsense comes from your scam about how Obama isn’t responsible for anything, so we simultaneously fake criticism of Clinton from the left while approving worse in action from Obama. Obama picked Wasserman-Schultz. The head of the DNC does not ignore the sitting president to take orders from a mere candidate, except in your plane of unreality.

126

Lee A. Arnold 10.08.16 at 11:54 pm

Bruce Wilder #112: “The U.S. doesn’t need more tribalist polarization along any dimension. If men are feeling alienated from Clinton’s campaign, that might be a problem Hillary Clinton needs to address, now and during her Presidency.”

I would strongly urge a President Hillary to reject both assertions. If she gets both the Senate and the House then she should push the Sanders/Warren legislative ideas including a public option and other things, and drive the wedge even deeper into the tribalists. It will be good and it is the only way she will be re-elected. And it is certainly not her responsibility to address the problem that a lot of male idiots hate her. That sounds like blaming the female victim for the sexual abuse.

127

F. Foundling 10.08.16 at 11:54 pm

christian_h @ 92

>…it is absolutely obvious that he was the kind of man who hits on every woman in the office, every woman he comes into regular contact with.

Sorry, but I still don’t see what’s wrong with that. Some people like casual encounters. I’d say that whoever really acts like this must not mind being rejected a lot. If, on the other hand, someone really is capable of making himself desirable for a large percentage of the potential partners he comes into regular contact with, then more power to him, and I don’t see any reason to see these potential partners as victimised. Would that were the worst thing you could say about Bill Clinton.

128

bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 12:09 am

stevenjohnson @ 116

Debby Wasserman-Schultz was working for Clinton — that’s now well-documented thanks to email leaks, though it was pretty obvious long before that confirmation. There were many complaints as far back as 2015.

I do not enjoy debating easily ascertainable facts. It is a waste of comment space for you to make assertions that are factually false. If I don’t take you seriously as a commenter, it will be because of this kind of misbehavior.

I won’t respond on this point again.

129

F. Foundling 10.09.16 at 12:11 am

stevenjohnson @ 116

Obama *and* HRC are bad in very similar ways, and I think most critics of HRC here have also been critics of Obama for a long time. That said, there is enough evidence that she has been, is and will be more hawkish than him, unfortunately. I do have to admit that this ‘Stalinists for Clinton’ shtick of yours is fresh and original and adds to the entertainment value of the site.

130

Suzanne 10.09.16 at 12:12 am

@98: Obama raised similar fears with regard to Social Security in the “Grand Bargain” era. What Clinton says about deficits and trade in the excerpts we have resembles a lot of what was conventional wisdom, particularly in Obama’s first term. However, the ground has shifted and I expect Clinton’s policies to reflect that. She’s running to the left of him now (and in some areas ran to the left of him in 2008). She also has a lot to prove to a newly restive and vocal left wing of her party. I can’t imagine that Clinton wants to go down in the books as the Democrat who sold out the social safety net.

I also agree that Trump’s speech and conduct will not disturb his base. (Trump could probably mow down dozens of people from a clock tower and it probably wouldn’t disturb his base.)

131

merian 10.09.16 at 12:16 am

Rich Puchalsky, #113:

What? Even if it happened here on CT, it’s a straw man? Does that mean something like I have to find an example that’s less obviously foolish because this one doesn’t count?

Sigh. I thought I’d have to address that one. No, the plural of anecdote isn’t data. Someone was being an idiot if they jumped from one to the other. There’s no basis for you to affirm that this is some sort of general problem, without actual data.

132

Raven Onthill 10.09.16 at 12:44 am

“How can it possibly change anyone’s mind to learn that what they knew already is actually true?”

There’s known in the abstract, and felt. The difference, obviously, is important. But then, I suspect that poll analyst Sam Wang is exactly right, “Despite all of this year’s venom and caterwauling…or maybe because of it, voters are well entrenched.” So maybe it will not change any minds.

I have said for a year now that I think the best possible outcome here is that the Republicans implode and that a new party forms and moves in on the Democrats from the left, but I do not now think we will see that; the alt-right that Trump that energized will not go away.

I doubt that Sanders is surprised; I know I am not. We know that Trump will undertake mass deportations and crash the economy, as well as let loose the fascists of the alt-right. It is possible both that Clinton has been moved during the conventions or that she might be moved after the election. Even if not, there’s a difference between still playing the game, and kicking over the board.

It is not a complex analysis, or a hard decision, really. What faults Clinton has are magnified 100-fold in Trump, and he is a misogynist harasser (possibly a rapist) and a racist to boot.

133

engels 10.09.16 at 12:45 am

Obama *and* HRC are bad in very similar way

HRC = Obama + extra hawkishness + Clinton dynastic lineage – (intelligence + charisma)

is basically how I see it

134

Raven Onthill 10.09.16 at 12:50 am

Sam Wang comments:

Elected officials have a nose for the stench of a candidate who is on the cusp of becoming a loser. All along, Republican officials have been skittish about Trump, who executed a hostile takeover of their party. Now they have an excuse to jump ship.

Josh Marshall also points out that “in the context of intra-Republican politics that leaves him with massive levels of support intact.”

So perhaps this is less of a change on the Republican side than may appear.

135

bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 12:51 am

Suzanne: I can’t imagine that Clinton wants to go down in the books as the Democrat who sold out the social safety net.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-end-of-welfare-as-we-know-it/476322/

136

Collin Street 10.09.16 at 12:52 am

Sorry, but I still don’t see what’s wrong with that.

Being asked imposes a cost [neither rejecting a request/offer nor even thinking about the request / offer are cost-free], which means that asking generates externalities. And asking a lot generates a lot of externalities.

You shouldn’t need me to take you through the rest of the logic chain. Whether “imposes a cost” is enough to become “becomes a problem” or “something wrong” obviously depends on small details that we largely don’t know. But the potentiality is certainly there.

[this is a general thing for all requests, btw; nothing special about sex.]

137

Raven Onthill 10.09.16 at 12:52 am

Engels, I don’t think Clinton is actually especially hawkish for a mainstream US politician; she only looks so in comparison with someone like Sanders or Maxine Waters, both very much out of the mainstream.

138

Faustusnotes 10.09.16 at 12:59 am

Good to see the CT comment thread has escalated to defending workplace sexual harassment and gaddafi. I wonder if there is any length some commenters won’t go to to show Clinton is as bad as trump?

The misrepresentation of the LGM “position” on Clinton is also interesting. The LGM “position” is obviously that Clinton is part of a party and it is the whole party’s politics that counts, driving the party left and forcing the nominee to adhere to the party’s platform is more effective than picking a pure nominee at odds with the party. Also, your vote is not a special spiritual thing. Somehow some commenters here think that this means they’re condescending to Bernie voters and “real” leftists (who we now learn have a special insight into gaddafi’s peace loving ways, and the high affection young women have for old men who grab their pussy in the office!)

Top tip for the gaddafi loving leftists here: when people point out that you’re completely and utterly wrong with strong logical arguments, they aren’t patronizing you. Although I guess if you’re e kind of dude who thinks grabbing women’s genitals in the office ain’t so bad because “maybe they like casual encounters” then my guess is you never, ever know when you’re wrong.

139

Cranky Observer 10.09.16 at 1:02 am

“”Debby Wasserman-Schultz wasn’t working for Clinton, . . .””
“Not on this plane of reality.”

It is incontrovertible that DWS was and is working for the payday ‘loan’ (theft) industry, and that neither Obama or Clinton see a problem with that. Bit of a concern….

140

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 1:04 am

merian: “Sigh. I thought I’d have to address that one. No, the plural of anecdote isn’t data. Someone was being an idiot if they jumped from one to the other. There’s no basis for you to affirm that this is some sort of general problem, without actual data.”

And I already alluded to how I’d answer this one, but OK. I gave examples from CT because we talking on CT. Any example from CT is going to be definitionally an anecdote: I don’t know how you’d convert these comments into data. In any case there are 5 or so regulars who habitually do these kind of “you must not support HRC because you’re racist / sexist” attacks, so with the number of regular commenters being as low as it is, you could always dismiss this an anecdotal.

But it goes beyond CT, and that’s where it goes beyond these illustrating anecdotes. The whole Bernie Bros stereotype consisted of taking angry comments from some people on the Internet and turning them into “People who don’t support HRC are like this: people who don’t support HRC are privileged, sexist and racist white men and any criticism they make of HRC is because of that.” And this was part of the campaign’s funded attack on Sanders, led by David Brock. Do I really have to trudge through Google to show that this is part of an overall pattern, not simply two disconnected anecdotes?

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Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 1:11 am

Does faustusnotes’ comment #129 above count as only one more anecdote? Let’s see: “gaddafi loving leftists” and “if you’re e kind of dude who thinks grabbing women’s genitals in the office ain’t so bad”. No doubt this is just one more incident not connected to anything.

142

Cranky Observer 10.09.16 at 1:26 am

= = = The LGM “position” is obviously that Clinton is part of a party and it is the whole party’s politics that counts, driving the party left and forcing the nominee to adhere to the party’s platform is more effective than picking a pure nominee at odds with the party. = = =
I was taught my political science in the 1980s, the era of the rational voter. Said rational voters ( or those participating in political action of any kind) carefully calculated costs and benefits, and only took action (including voting, or voting for a specific candidate) when the benefit/cost ratio _to them_ was greater than 1.0. Those who are less than impressed by the Lemieux party line have perhaps seen precious little evidence of positive benefit emitting from the organized Democratic Party of late.

Or perhaps you are advocating a return to political parties as social/emotional membership organizations, similar to churches, as was the case from 1820-1968. Setting aside that USians don’t join membership organizations any more, other than evangelical churches, let me know how dripping contempt on your potential recruits and using phrases such as ‘your vote is not a special spiritual thing’ and ‘purity pouting’ work for you as recruiting methods.

143

Raven Onthill 10.09.16 at 1:27 am

christian_h: “Bill’s and Trump’s behaviour towards women is equivalent, yes.”

Not so. A huge amount of effort was spent making that claim; the Clintons have been stalked for decades. In the end what turned out to be true was two consensual affairs, and perhaps one instance of harassment. And then there is William Clinton’s marriage with Hillary Clinton. This is also very different from Trump, who cheated on and ultimately left two wives, and would never in a million years consider marrying a woman as strong as Hillary Clinton.

Would you claim that Hillary Clinton would have stuck with William Clinton, if he were a rapist? That is not the least bit plausible.

144

js. 10.09.16 at 2:00 am

society has improved a bit and what was then considered normal male behaviour is now rightly considered disqualifying for the job.

Genuinely think this is part of it. Obviously, garden variety partisanship plays a role too.

That aside, the thing with Trump is that it’s cumulative—it’s the assaults + the cartoonishly vile misogyny + the white ethno-nationalism + the fact that he seems to have the motivational set of a 7 year old, etc.

145

js. 10.09.16 at 2:03 am

HRC = Obama + extra hawkishness + Clinton dynastic lineage – (intelligence + charisma)

You’re almost certainly wrong on the intelligence. And… charisma? Really? Not sure how important that is beyond winning votes. Otherwise, I agree.

146

Suzanne 10.09.16 at 2:07 am

With regard to #135: I’d like to point out that Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for president in 2016, not 1992, and that she is the candidate this year, not Bill.

Under ordinary circumstances I’d not feel the need to state the obvious, but there does seem to be some confusion on the matter.

@132: The nomination of Trump itself has already given a new sense of power and freedom to the alt-right. Unless he is crushed, which given the polarization of the electorate is unlikely, I fear that genie may never return to the bottle.

147

js. 10.09.16 at 2:10 am

Meanwhile. And CT commenters be like—yeah, totally cool man! (#notallctcommenters)

148

John Holbo 10.09.16 at 2:29 am

Nick suggests upthread that there is a tendency here to morally equate being extra polite to bankers, for money, to sexually assaulting women (or speaking in favor of the sexual assault of women.) For the record: I do not regard these things as morally equivalent. I think the sexual assault thing is worse.

149

Russell L. Carter 10.09.16 at 2:38 am

Mr. Observer,
I don’t really understand your sensitivity to fairly gentle jabs from transitory factional opponents. So what? We’re both old. None of this matters. Fighting genuine anti-science, anti-rational, theocratic fascist, racist bigots matters, IMHO. How are you helping?

I voted for Nader. I wonder how that worked out… let me think, premature Alzheimers is a bitch… Oh SHIT. Not so well, actually!

150

js. 10.09.16 at 3:00 am

Also, can we just stop with the maligning of “Bernie voters”, on both ends? I and most people I know are Sanders voters who perfectly well understand the difference between Clinton and Trump. The fact that you’ve got an extremely vocal yet small minority of Sanders voters living in la la land is not really a reflection on most of us who supported Sanders’ candidacy. Or you know, you could look at what Sanders said.

151

Yan 10.09.16 at 3:18 am

Missed this one from HRC’s Wall St speeches:

“We were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media,” Clinton told tinePublic on June 18, 2014. “We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort — oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you — and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia.”

152

kidneystones 10.09.16 at 3:58 am

@151 Speaking of deplorable statements, the TPPP, banking regulations etc:

In another private speech mentioned in the Carrk email, Clinton said it’s important to have both a “public” and “private” position on certain issues.

“If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” she said. “So, you need both a public and a private position. ”

She’s against the TPPP 100 percent! Your health care premiums will go down. You can keep your doctor. I stand with the American worker. Democrats will fix the inner city problems of African-Americans this time for sure! No more wars of choice.

Did I miss anything?

153

Faustusnotes 10.09.16 at 4:08 am

Rich just look a little unthread for f foundling defending gaddafi and saying theboffice girls might like a bit of casual groping.

Cranky, you could think the democrats have delivered nothing for their rational voters – but you’d be wrong, and ludicrously so.

154

js. 10.09.16 at 4:21 am

Those who are less than impressed by the Lemieux party line have perhaps seen precious little evidence of positive benefit emitting from the organized Democratic Party of late.

I have a decent bit of sympathy for your argument, but this is demonstrably false for Obama’s terms in office. (That is, that there hasn’t been any positive benefit is demonstrably false.)

155

js. 10.09.16 at 4:34 am

Oh and just to piss you all off—Jamelle Bouie and Rebecca Traister have been the most incisive commenters on the election season. Consistently. (You should all really read that Traister piece, tho I realize that those who haven’t already aren’t about to start now.)

156

Jason Weidner 10.09.16 at 5:18 am

Cranky Observer 10.08.16 at 7:32 pm
“… But if you can’t eat their food, drink their liquor, their women, take their money, and still vote against them, you don’t belong up here.”

Little evidence that this hoary bromide was put in practice then, and less now. Obama took Wall Street money and appointed Geither to Treasury, took Hollywood money and appointed RIAA lawyers to Justice and FCC, etc.

I think that the way this works has little or nothing to do with financial incentives and rather the way that in certain areas, especially related to finance and the economy, what is considered expertise is dominated by a particular group. The idea that there is really only one kind of professional experience and expert knowledge that enable one to craft and manage economic policies is, I think, the main reason for the Rubens, Geitners, et al.

157

kidneystones 10.09.16 at 5:29 am

Slate is such a good site for informed political analysis. If we’re talking women-hating pornographic speculations, I can’t think of a better. Here’s the Slate hit piece on Sarah Palin from 2008, the Republican ‘scare doll’ of that election.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2008/09/the_sexy_puritan.html

The visual doesn’t do the piece justice. There were actually two, one for the article and another for front page. We don’t need to deconstruct the article image at any great length other than to note that the image of a women grinning with a cross between her legs invokes some unfortunate connotations, especially when the political ‘analysis’ consists of Christian fisting, masturbation and voyeurism.

And while we’re on topic of taboo subject matter – namely liberal misogyny – who can forget good old Martin Bashir, new hire at the BBC.

If you were ever wondering when it’s acceptable to argue that a certain kind of woman deserves to have someone defecate in her mouth, we can turn to Martin, who did precisely that live – on air.

Martin kept his job in large part thanks to the deafening silence of so many good liberals. Eventually (Trump should quit now!), Mr. Bashir issued a non-apology apology and blamed the woman for ‘forcing’ him to humiliate himself live on air.

Somehow it’s always the woman’s fault, even in liberal land.

158

js. 10.09.16 at 6:51 am

Layman @81 — Thanks. I couldn’t have said it as well myself.

159

merian 10.09.16 at 9:12 am

Rich Puchalsky, #140&141:

One sec, your point 1 started “If a man thinks that Trump boasting about being a groper is not as important as HRC boasting about having one policy for the public and another for the financial industry …”, so why are you objecting to faustusnotes’s ““if you’re e kind of dude who thinks grabbing women’s genitals in the office ain’t so bad”. Sounds like a fair paraphrase to me. For what it’s worth, f. already answered themselves regarding the other bit. I don’t read the two as referring necessarily to the same person. So what are you complaining about?

Well, what you do seem to be complaining about is two things: a) tarring any men who thinks this with the brush of sexism and b) inherent anti-Semitism of anyone who does so. The first is, if that’s what happens, surely an example of either faulty reasoning or rhetorical use of hyperbole. Just because someone may have employed either of them it doesn’t follow that someone else who analyses the HRC situation through the lens of sexism (or racism) does. That would require data, which you don’t have — can’t have, except if you happen to do research (or have access to some) in the area. You called me (kinda sorta) a dipshit. Am I to assume that everyone else who disagrees with me and/or (both? either?) misrepresents my words also thinks of me as a dipshit? Surely not. I hope.

Someone who objects to fellow commenters making unjustified generalizations can be expected from offering them himself.

As for your 2., taken on its own its a lot more faulty than 1 (because it would require subscribing to anti-Semitic stereotyping at a minimum, albeit a rather idiosyncratic kind I haven’t actually encountered in the wild). But subscribing to 1. doesn’t imply any approval of 2. (You know, sexist Jews do exist. It’s quite likely that there are men that actually fulfill the conditions of 1. — preferring a sexist to whatever HRC is because of one’s own misogyny — without also being anti-Semitic. OR conversely without being inclined to have tender feelings for non-whites.)

And the Bernie-bros of yonder in my own social media network, all white, male, and lacking any substantial links to writers, journalists or activists of color, were quite real. They were inexperienced in any form of social justice or political activism but, unlike other excessively idealistic and enthusiastic politicised youngsters, bolstered in their self-esteem by, for most of them, above-average salaries by dint of their tech industry jobs. I didn’t invent them — I’d could have done without them. So I’m sure those journalists (the unknown, just starting out, middle-of-the-road ones) that later talked about quite disgraceful messages they received each time they dared to criticize St. Bernie. I quite doubt any of them was paid by the DNC.

160

kidneystones 10.09.16 at 10:05 am

Just skimmed a fresh load of anti-Trump slime, looks like it’s open season on the Trump family now. Most excellent. My moral and intellectual superiors are now sniffing bicycle seats.

All we need now is Sullivan coming out of his crypt to camp out in Melania’s vagina until the election is over in order to save America.

Only one more month of this if HRC wins, and four more years of the ‘liberal’ high road if she doesn’t.

161

Ronan(rf) 10.09.16 at 10:17 am

“No, the plural of anecdote isn’t data. “

http://blog.revolutionanalytics.com/2011/04/the-plural-of-anecdote-is-data-after-all.html

“I’ve used the quotation “The plural of anecdote is not data” in various talks over the years, never knowing the original source. I searched the usual places (though clearly not hard enough!), but never figured out whom it should be attributed to..”I said ‘The plural of anecdote is data’ some time in the 1969-70 academic year while teaching a graduate seminar at Stanford. The occasion was a student’s dismissal of a simple factual statement — by another student or me — as a mere anecdote. “

162

Ronan(rf) 10.09.16 at 10:26 am

Havent read all the comments so not sure if it’s been said. Turning point seems to be because it’s clear to Republican establishment (post debates) that Trump has no chance of winning, so they’re looking to get off a sinking ship. That McCain (famous for joking about the looks of a teenaged Chelsea Clinton ) should now be the model for non sexist good behaviour in politicians is ridiculous. Most of these characters are a collection of oddballs, rabid dogs and scum. Mitt Romney probably being a rare exception among Republicans as the Mormons are basically one of the few political factions on the right with a non awful set of values.

163

engels 10.09.16 at 11:32 am

charisma? Really? Not sure how important that is

Here ya go

164

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 11:33 am

merian: ““If a man thinks that Trump boasting about being a groper is not as important as HRC boasting about having one policy for the public and another for the financial industry …”, so why are you objecting to faustusnotes’s ““if you’re e kind of dude who thinks grabbing women’s genitals in the office ain’t so bad”. Sounds like a fair paraphrase to me.”

If it sounds like a fair paraphrase to you, then I reiterate my previous summary of your views.

We’re talking about policy (maybe), not about which politician is a good person. Are you capable of making that distinction? Trump is not a good person. HRC may or may not be a good person, but her policy of telling the public one thing in order to fend off a challenge to her left while assuring the financial industry that things will be run as they would like is bad policy. Trump already had bad policy with respect to the things that this scandal reveals about him.

So if you think that the important thing about politicians is their policies rather than their personal goodness or badness, does that equate to thinking that “grabbing women’s genitals in the office ain’t so bad?” Lynne already chipped in with her theory that only a man is likely to think this because men don’t have to worry about getting groped. Is that what you’re writing too?

merian: “Well, what you do seem to be complaining about is two things: a) tarring any men who thinks this with the brush of sexism and b) inherent anti-Semitism of anyone who does so.”

Can anyone here read? I don’t want to explain this all again.

I described a syndrome, a line of attack or whatever you want to call it. That line of attack holds that if anyone does not support HRC sufficiently, it’s because that person is personally a member of a privileged class. One of those classes is “man”. Another one is “white”. People who claim that a man would have different priorities that would cause them to morally favor HRC if they weren’t a man are doing the first variant, which implies nothing about anti-Semitism. People who claim that a Jew would have different priorities that would cause them to morally favor HRC if they weren’t white are doing a second variant of the same thing, but for that one it does imply anti-Semitism.

165

Ronan(rf) 10.09.16 at 11:55 am

Charisma is very subjective . I find Clinton more charismatic than Obama, but I like that laid back, louche attitude that the boomers have. Obama has the personality of a trendy bishop, forever delivering sermons from his pulpit about how we’ve all fallen from grace . Admirable in a lot of ways, but not charismatic, imho.

166

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 12:05 pm

Look, what I was writing above was just too advanced an example of political thought for anyone to understand, apparently. So let’s forget about the whole “privileged class” thing and just go to faustusnotes’ idiotic “gaddafi lover” example.

I suggest that people read over F. Foundling’s comments above. Here’s one of them:

“I was simply denying that this specific quote was evidence of anything whatsoever (note that it was used in propaganda at the time and later as evidence of the urgent need for an intervention). I am not thereby conceding that if it *were* to be proven that Qaddafi was, indeed, a nasty piece of work – which, of course, he was – that *would* have justified an intervention.”

According to faustusnotes, this shows that F. Foundling is a Gaddafi-lover. Do people start to see the beginnings of a problem with this logic? It’s the same logic being used with the “men who don’t think groping women is so bad” thing.

167

Layman 10.09.16 at 12:37 pm

“Look, what I was writing above was just too advanced an example of political thought for anyone to understand, apparently.”

Yes, that must be the problem.

168

Faustusnotes 10.09.16 at 1:54 pm

Yes, how a man feels he can behave when he has great power is completely irrelevant to whether he would be a good president.

A man who boasts about the impunity granted by his riches … we have to judge whether he was serious when he said “we should take all their oil.” Some here say he isn’t. However are we to tell what he would be like if he were in power? Perhaps there’s a clue in the way he feels women’s bodies are his for the taking, just because he can.

169

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 2:11 pm

And we had no clue, before this, that Trump boasted about the impunity granted by his riches. People who think otherwise must think that Trump would be a good President.

Look, this is really no different from the other thing you’re doing, which is exactly “If you think that Saddam isn’t history’s greatest monster, you must be a Saddam lover.” It was tiresome when Bush’s minion’s did it and it’s still tiresome now.

Since none of the HRC defenders here are capable of taking the other side and can only write gibberish, I’ll do that part of the argument myself and then answer it. The counter to this is obviously what John Holbo wrote in the OP: that the HRC mini-scandal doesn’t tell us anything new about HRC’s Presidential policy either. She was a go-along-to-get-along-with-bankers mild liberal before, and she remains one after. So who cares, because it only tells us what we already knew.

The problem with this is that Trump’s scandal seems to have confirmed what people “already knew” because it restated it more graphically and openly, while HRC’s defenders are not willing to admit that quotes of actual statements to bankers confirm what we “already knew” because anyone who thinks that they did must approve of women being groped.

170

Lynne 10.09.16 at 2:26 pm

“while HRC’s defenders are not willing to admit that quotes of actual statements to bankers confirm what we “already knew” because anyone who thinks that they did must approve of women being groped.”

Good grief, no one said that. I’m remembering why I avoid commenting to you. When you aren’t being rude, you’re twisting what people say. Enough.

171

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 2:44 pm

Oh, excuse me. I wrote ” It must mean that you support gropers! “ And you wrote in response “Or that you never worry about being groped yourself.” So if we’re talking only about what you wrote, you only wrote that the alternate explanation was that people who disagreed with you must do so because they personally didn’t worry about being groped.

This is the same argument that has appeared throughout the election. If someone says “I don’t think that Trump could actually deport lots of Muslims: the President isn’t a dictator” the answer was “You don’t worry about being deported yourself since you are privileged, or you’d think differently.”

Of course, by mentioning both of these examples as part of a general description of a type of argument, I must be making bad analogies. The two are completely different, right?

172

engels 10.09.16 at 2:45 pm

I might get flamed for saying this but my interpretation of what Fuckface Von Clownsticks said was that if you’re an ‘alpha male’ you can ‘grab [women] by the pussy’ and they’ll consent to it. So obnoxious and sexist but not condoning (/boasting about getting away with) groping (i.e. non-consensual assault). Happy to be corrected…

173

Yan 10.09.16 at 2:57 pm

Engels, as a casual brainless comment by a moron of unimaginable scale, that may well have been the intended meaning. But if so, it says a lot more than he intended. It says alphas don’t need to worry about consent, because they’ll get it afterwards. So, retroactively justified assault.

174

Layman 10.09.16 at 3:02 pm

‘…HRC’s defenders are not willing to admit that quotes of actual statements to bankers confirm what we “already knew” because anyone who thinks that they did must approve of women being groped.’

I’ll bite: Which HRC defenders are not willing to admit that those statements confirm what we already know? Which ones say that those who admit it approve of sexual assault?

175

Faustusnotes 10.09.16 at 3:02 pm

Jesus Christ rich, foundling up above is making a repeated case that gaddafi didn’t commit any crimes. Are you reading this thread or not? I’m not attacking some vague anti war hippy here, I was responding to the actual war crimes denialism on this very thread.

176

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 3:11 pm

F. Foundling made precisely three comments about Gaddafi in this thread. I already quoted one of them in full. The last one links to, for support, a Salon article which in turn summarizes a report of the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. None of those three comments remotely in any way made a case that Gaddafi didn’t commit any crimes.

But your same logic is evident here as it always is. F. Foundling criticized a piece of pro-war propaganda, therefore he’s making a case that Gaddafi didn’t commit any crimes.

177

Yan 10.09.16 at 3:21 pm

Back to the OP, I think the issue is denial rather than deniability. The key similarity: “locker room” and “back room.”

Both parties are divided into (indeed the psyches of their members are divided into) a cynical side and a naive side. The naives knows what the cynics know, but they use its deniability not cynically against the opposition but to support their own denial in bad faith. To convince themselves they don’t know it.

Between each party’s naives and cynics (and between each party-bound psyche’s cynical and naive sides) there’s a tacit agreement: the cynic shall not disturb the naive’s bad faith. That’s what’s new. Trump’s naives don’t care that this is proof to the public he’s a pig. They care that it’s proof to themselves. It’s supposed to stay in the locker room not to hide it from opponents, but from his faithful, who need deniability not for its own sake but for self denial.

Likewise, democrats don’t care about the transcripts because they prove to the public something. They don’t care about deniability to others, but the personal denial that rested on that deniability.

The cynic republicans failed their naives by not keeping it in the “locker room”, and the cynic democrats failed their naives by not keeping it in the “back room.”

Both sides want to believe and don’t. They want to believe their candidate is better than they know their candidate is. (Roughly: republicans want to believe he’s merely a bad boy not a loathesome monster and democrats want to believe she’s a totally adequate candidate with no serious drawbacks.)

This is why, in the style of Freuds kettle logic, both sides dismiss the cases with absolute contradictions: different parts of their divided party psyche are speaking:

I returned your kettle, it was already broken, besides, I never borrowed it.
he’s an anti PC hero, he didn’t say it, he didn’t mean it no big deal.
She playing 12d chess against Wall St, that’s unfortunately how politics work, she didn’t say anything questionable.

178

Howard Frant 10.09.16 at 3:57 pm

I get confused by the #NeverHillary crowd; the discussions seem to be constantly oscillating between the Killery and the Shillery storylines. Either way, we get an almost comical level of hysteria and venom.

On Killery:

Really? Monstrous? People here seem to be channeling the deranged Maureen Dowd, who recently warned of Killery “unleashing hell on Syria.” Um… Maureen? 400,000 people have died in Syria in the last few years, very few of them killed by the US. Hell’s been off the leash there for a long time. Non-intervention hasn’t been a success, either practically or morally.

And while we’re at it, what should we do about ISIS, which recently locked 19 Yazidi girls in a cage, and publicly burned them alive for refusing to have sex, and is holding unknown thousands more as sex slaves? We certainly don’t want to do air strikes, because then civilians might be killed, and *we’d* be responsible. And who are we to accuse others of genocide?

On Shillary:

Apparently Dodd-Frank has had some success, though not as much as people on the left might like. Banks are significantly safer and significantly less profitable. And Wall Street is lobbying feverishly to get rid of it, with the strong support of the real neoliberals: the Republican Party. But hey, the two parties are just the same, so why worry?

And, as someone asked, what was the deal with Bernie’s tax returns? Is “My wife handles the taxes, and she’s busy” a good excuse? For not producing past returns?

179

Yan 10.09.16 at 4:18 pm

Howard, which posts in this thread represent this crowd in your view? Who called Hillary monstrous? Who said the parties are the same? Faustusnotes often makes up invisible opponents in his fanciful head who say such things, but if you examine posts besides his you rarely find them.

Again, I recommend a trigger warning at the beginning of all CT election threads:

“Everyone here agrees Trump is awful, including all the Hillary critics and even the one Trump supporter. Everyone here, except one or possibly two people, agrees that the democrats are not as bad as the republicans. Please consider those debates closed.”

180

Howard Frant 10.09.16 at 5:09 pm

Yan@151

Russia supplies a third of the natural gas to the EU, and has pretty much a monopoly in Eastern Europe. They haven’t been shy about using their power.

Bulgaria apparently has some shale gas, but after a huge anti-fracking movement, they’ve imposed a moratorium. I would find it extremely surprising if Russia were *not* involved in some way, wouldn’t you?

And this seems like a legitimate concern for a US Secretary of State, whether or not one is a shill for the oil and gas industry. Wouldn’t you say?

181

js. 10.09.16 at 5:12 pm

C’mon engels, I’ve read my Weber. I don’t really see any significant difference between Clinton and Obama in Weberian terms.

182

js. 10.09.16 at 5:16 pm

Lynne @73 (etc.) — I’m not saying anything about Rich Puchalsky one way or another, but in general what you say exactly matches my experience discussing racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, etc. on CT threads.

183

Lynne 10.09.16 at 5:27 pm

js, maddening, isn’t it?

184

engels 10.09.16 at 7:05 pm

This seems go beyond anything I ‘knew already’. Shocking and disgusting.

https://twitter.com/shizzletheland/status/784615691710263300

185

engels 10.09.16 at 7:20 pm

NBC News (@NBCNews) Bill Clinton responds after heckler calls him a “rapist” during rally in Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/eTJxMeKqOK

186

bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 7:35 pm

Yan @ 179: Who called Hillary monstrous?

I did.

187

merian 10.09.16 at 7:43 pm

Rich Puchalsky,

Sorry, given the forest of tendentious misrepresentation you’ve put up, my feeble brain is unable to keep a database of the previous summaries of my views. (Oh, one sec, you mean the “dipshit” thing? SRSLY.)

Anyway, I think Lynne has it right. You’re clearly not interested in debate as a means to change your own perspective, so we don’t seem to share enough values to have a mutually agreeable exchange. Which is a pity, because you’re clearly a smart and thoughtful guy, and I have benefited from some of your stand-alone stuff. But once you interact, everything seems to be lines of attack or an avalanche of belittling. And that isn’t doing the topic justice. The question of how much of the opposition to Clinton (or toleration of Trump) is basically rationalised affect rooted in sexism is interesting, complicated, and IMHO important. (If you don’t think it’s important you’re doing a poor job of formulating an argument in this sense.) We are starting to have some data analysis that confirms that sexism has an inpact. (Hold the front page.)

The comment thread re: Trump tape in the AK papers are currently filled with both kinds of statements: those that consider his remarks completely disqualifying (some gloat, some are enraged against their party), and those that consider it regrettable but otherwise irrelevant (because men are pigs anyway, or because it’s not so bad in the greater picture, or…). Those two groups aren’t precisely equal in terms of gender distribution. Just like none of the non-white friends of mine or journalists I read ever went full-on Bernie bro, and even when they were strongly on Sander’s side against Clinton kept it respectful and considerate. Do you think these two phenomena are… just completely pure statistical flukes?

Complain at leisure if someone falsely attributes sexist motives to you (though even that can be quite unseemly: you’re unlikely to be any less sexist than I am, or than the average CT poster), but don’t expand it in a blanket rebuttal of sexism and misogyny as sources of anti-Clinton feeling. And for $DEITY’s sake don’t mash it up with racism and anti-Semitism in this cavalier way.

Look what you did with Lynne’s words. The first bit, from you, read “So of course not talking about the first one and focussing on the second one is suspect. It must mean that you support gropers!” She came back with “Or that you never worry about being groped yourself.” Which, incidentally, doesn’t even license the first bit, but even if it did, it was about simply not talking about the Trump statements while being effusive about Clinton’s Wall St. speech excerpt leak. Then you re-paraphrase the attitude as ““while HRC’s defenders are not willing to admit that quotes of actual statements to bankers confirm what we “already knew” because anyone who thinks that they did must approve of women being groped.”, which swaps out the first part for a completely different statement! No wonder you’re increasingly being considered as a dishonest and asshole debater.

188

Yan 10.09.16 at 7:51 pm

Jesus, that’s Podesta? I’m truly shocked. I’d never expect any significant member of her campaign to write that–even if they believed it.

“The main reason behind successful immigration should be painfully obvious to even the most dimwitted of observers: Some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half a chance (Jews*, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example), while others (Muslims, blacks** and Roma***, for instance) fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances.”

Some of this would fit seemleedly into a Trump speech or a Fox News report:

“75 percent of welfare-pampered Dutch gypsies have an official criminal record… The same Germany that once destroyed Europe’s Jewry (its best & brightest citizens by a yawning margin) is now bringing about the massive Muslimization of Europe (all Muslim communities in Europe are socioeconomic disaster zones…”

It just gets weirder from there, too weird and frankly too uncomfortable to even describe. But part of it is an argument that human equality is a PC lie.

The whole thing here: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/1637

189

Yan 10.09.16 at 8:10 pm

Bruce 186,

Ah, I see it now. You qualified the claim so much I mistakenly thought you had basically qualified it away entirely and said she wasn’t: “Not especially a monster as an individual but a monstrous manifestation of a monstrous politics.”

190

bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 8:16 pm

You qualified the claim so much I mistakenly thought you had basically qualified it away entirely

I am sure merian thinks it was unethical, all that qualification.

191

merian 10.09.16 at 8:26 pm

Yan, I can’t see if you’re serious, but it’s not from Podesta. It was sent from some idiot with the email address orca100@upcmail.nl TO Podesta (podesta@law.georgetown.edu — expand the list of recipients) and a bunch of journalists.

And Bruce Wilder, I’m quite ok with the qualified version. It’s an apposite label that, in this form, applies to pretty much everyone in US national politics.

192

bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 8:37 pm

now it is “everyone”?

yours is a remarkably . . . fluid psyche, merian.

193

Yan 10.09.16 at 8:37 pm

Thanks for clarifying that Merian. Engels’ link had Podesta’s name confusingly pasted next to that email address, suggesting it might be
From rather than to him.

That’s a relief, but I’d still like to know who is the creep that wrote it, and how chummy is he with campaign members if at all?

194

engels 10.09.16 at 8:43 pm

I was assuming it was someone on the team (based on tweet); if not, I’d like to know who. And in case anyone missed this:

Clinton team instructed DNC with strategic goal of “elevating” Trump two months before he declared his candidacy https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/1120

195

Kiwanda 10.09.16 at 9:05 pm

The following statements are logically independent. That is, any combination of them could be true.

1. Support of Sanders in the primaries in general was due mainly to sexism.
2. Support of Sanders in the primaries from the left was due mainly to sexism.
3. Support of Sanders in the primaries by men was due mainly to sexism.
4. Support of Sanders in the primaries by Rich Puchalsky (e.g.) was due mainly to sexism.
5. Rich Puchalsky is white and male.
6. Rich Puchalsky is sexist.
7. Trump is an awful human being who should not be president.
8. HRC has held some awful policy positions.
9. Criticism of HRC in general is due mainly to sexism.
10. Criticism of HRC by CT commenters is due mainly to sexism.
11. Criticism of HRC by Rich Puchalsky (e.g.) is due mainly to sexism.
12. HRC won a majority of women voters in the primaries.
13. Sanders won a majority of under-30 women voters in the primaries.

Some arguments here amount to claiming that they are tightly related. Often 1 and 2 are conflated. It’s often argued that 7 implies that 9 (or 10, or 11) is true, and/or that 8 is false. Another is that 5 implies 6 implies 11.

It’s true some of these might be considered as evidence regarding others, depending on the interpretation of “mainly”. I tend to think that 13 suggests that 3 is unlikely, at least among under-30 men, but both could be true.

merian seem to claim that Rich claims that 6 is false (Rich is not sexist), and that Rich is expanding a claim that 4 is false (his support of Sanders was not due to sexism) to a claim that 1 is false (support of Sanders was not mainly due to sexism), but I only see him claiming that 2 is false (suppose of Sanders *from the left* was not due to sexism), or indeed the weaker claim that not *all* support for Sanders was due to sexism.

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bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 9:31 pm

Kiwanda @ 195

In 1,2,3,9,10 that “due mainly to sexism” makes the assertions provocatively stupid and ignorant on their face. Did anyone ever hold to “strong-form” statements like these?

The “weak-form” of such statements to the effect, “sexism is a factor in the support for” [fill in the blank: Sanders, Trump, Clinton] hardly make any point at all. In two-candidate races in which one candidate is a woman, it would be strange indeed if sexism of some flavor was not a factor shaping support for either candidate.

4,5,6, 11 name “Rich Puchalsky” and attribute motives to him. That’s insulting. Given the difficulties of mind-reading, such statements need textual support.

If someone is introducing the generally stupid and ignorant as a provocation and following up with personal insults, there’s your logical connection, and it isn’t in the demographic electoral data.

197

Ronan(rf) 10.09.16 at 9:48 pm

I remember seeing some polling that i can’t find now which showed Sanders supporters had more enlightened views on gender than the hrc faction. The one thing Sanders supporters showed strong, consistent opinions on (in polling) was anti elitism. This easily enough explains the (hyperbolic, imo) opposition to Clinton. There’s a general dislike of the elite, which Clinton clearly personifies. I don’t mind her, personally, as I’m not particularly anti elite, but I can see the logic.

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F. Foundling 10.09.16 at 9:55 pm

Howard Frant @ 180

>Russia supplies a third of the natural gas to the EU, and has pretty much a monopoly in Eastern Europe. They haven’t been shy about using their power.

That power seems to be rather limited, considering the actually observable policies of Eastern European countries and of the EU in general.

>Bulgaria apparently has some shale gas, but after a huge anti-fracking movement, they’ve imposed a moratorium. I would find it extremely surprising if Russia were *not* involved in some way, wouldn’t you?

Yes, why would those stupid Bulgarians actually be worried about their environment on their own initiative? I mean, fracking is banned in France and de facto in Germany since about the same time, but the Bulgarians – come on, someone evil must have put that idea into their silly little heads. After all, f***ing up the environment in Bulgaria a little bit should be a small price to pay for the greater cause of liberating the country from Russian energy slavery. If only the Bulgarians themselves could realise what their true priorities ought to be…

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merian 10.09.16 at 9:59 pm

Kiwanda:

Merian claims nothing whatsoever about Rich’s motives. The only way in which I claim that 6 is (probably) false is that I think that sexism is something no one of us is likely to have escaped, male or female. I claim that a weaker version of 9: 9′. Criticism of HRC in general is due partly to sexism. And it’s debatable how large that part is, and how tied up it is with the propensity to subscribe to stances critical to HRC that are non-sexist. I guess I also claimed that Rich Puchalsky is expanding a claim that 10 is false into a claim that those that believe in 10 also must believe that 11 is true.

bruce wilder:

“Now”? Isn’t this the first time we’re talking about this here? I just don’t think that anyone can exercise power without ethical compromise. (I mean, “power corrupt” is a children’s literature kind of message — is it controversial?) It includes those I think of as personally admirable (Obama), or thoughtful and hardworking (Clinton). There is no voting that isn’t voting for evil. And yes, the US politics are monstrous. Similar to the other Western nations, but in many respects both quantitatively and qualitatively worse. (This said, few nations can look at themselves with pride.) Some of the stuff that’s discussed on CT is, ultimately, about making it less monstrous. But we’re many years away from it percolating up into the seats of power, as far as I can tell.

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F. Foundling 10.09.16 at 10:28 pm

Faustusnotes @ 138, 153, 175

> Good to see the CT comment thread has escalated to defending workplace sexual harassment and gaddafi. … saying theboffice girls might like a bit of casual groping. … foundling up above is making a repeated case that gaddafi didn’t commit any crimes.

Thanks to RP for explaining what I said about Qaddafi, even though no explanation should have been necessary for anyone possessing a modicum of reading skills and good faith. Yes, Qaddafi was a dictator who was well-known to have committed crimes many times during his career. No, there was no evidence that he was about to commit some kind of genocidal massacre; and no, his being a dictator was not a justification for overthrowing his regime by military force in violation of international law or for bragging laughingly on camera after his lynching ‘We came, we saw, he died’. As for the unrelated issue of workplace sexual harassment, no, hitting on people, which is what christian h explicitly mentioned @ 100, does not by itself constitute sexual harassment, nor does it imply ‘casual groping’. These were some rather blatant misreadings that I can only see as deliberate. In general, ever since the thread in which you said that people criticising secret speeches given to the one-percenters are just jealous of those one-percenters, and that critics of HRC’s warmongering and regime change efforts are motivated by their dislike of old women, I’m disappointed – not so much by you, but by the other people on your side such as Layman and js., who had seemed sensible before this election season and who are now not embarrassed to have an ally like this. Then again, they were OK with RNB, too, and still mourn his absence, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

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Howard Frant 10.09.16 at 10:37 pm

Proposal for new piece of software at CT:

Whenever the number (over some range) of new comments about other commenters, or about how to interpret comments of other commenters, exceeds the number of new comments about the topics in the OP, the thread automatically shuts down.

I use equality as the cutoff purely as an illustration. Depending on the patience of readers, one might want to use 0.5 or 0.25.

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bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 10:39 pm

Isn’t this the first time we’re talking about this here?

I think one of the things that divides the CT commentariat along its habitual electoral faultlines — a particular faultline that divides you from me — is memory.

203

Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 10:39 pm

Ronan(rf): “The one thing Sanders supporters showed strong, consistent opinions on (in polling) was anti elitism. This easily enough explains the (hyperbolic, imo) opposition to Clinton. “

Sanders beat HRC among young women by quite a bit, and I don’t believe that young women have suddenly become more sexist. But expanding the question into a general one about whether people in society are generally sexist in some way is beside the point — they are. This is about statements like — well, js referred to me by name above in a too-cute pretending not to way, so I’ll quote him:

From here:

Actually, once you realize that (at least) half the CT commenters give zero fucks about the lives of anyone other than white men, this all makes sense. And also that there’s no point in arguing with them. They know that they’ll be fine under a Trump presidency. And why should they care about anyone else?

This isn’t a matter of some vague and general “HRC is losing some voters because of sexism”. It’s the same line used by js, ,Val, RNB, faustusnotes etc. from the beginning of the election, and that other people sometimes chip in with because it fits a prevailing propaganda line used by the HRC campaign. It attempts to deflect all attacks on HRC as being what js describes above. (Sometimes it’s comical, of course, as when Bruce Wilder was supposed to be voting for Jill Stein instead of HRC because he didn’t like old women.)

So maybe some people believe it — that half the commenters here only care about white men, don’t care about Trump because they know they’ll be OK as white men, etc. If you do believe it, then I’m going to enjoy making fun of you and have no particular interest in arguing with you. But let’s get real: this is a propaganda line, used by the HRC campaign to discredit critics to her left, and picked up uncritically by people who should know better and who probably do know better.

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bruce wilder 10.09.16 at 10:53 pm

How do we know that it is a propaganda line of the HRC campaign? Can it actually be traced back to known surrogates or coordinating organizations?

Since the social media revolution, I’ve lost track of how these things are generated and disseminated.

Do you think they are centrally scripted? Or, is their generation more decentralized, more predictably spontaneous after a kind of seeding?

I am curious if anyone knows anything about these processes.

As a sidenote, some years ago, Frank Luntz, a master of the focus group, became visible and his role in generating buzz phrases, like “death taxes” for inheritance taxes, was exposed. Is it known whether similar processes drive these arguments?

205

kidneystones 10.09.16 at 11:04 pm

@ 204 Hi Bruce. Robert Wright of the ‘Moral Animal’ and ‘Non-Zero’ is running a series of ongoing interviews with different figures on Trump and HRC. His work is among the best I’ve seen from elite media critics hostile to Trump, in that he asks questions and usually listens to the answers. The interviews are listed under ‘The Wright Show’, podcast or video. His latest with Murray Tracy is very good.

http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/44086

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Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 11:05 pm

You could start with Correct the Record, a super PAC run by David Brock, and its press release here. Annoyed at some Bernie Bro being white and male on the Internet? Rest assured that “Correct The Record will invest more than $1 million into Barrier Breakers 2016 activities, including the more than tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram.”

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Howard Frant 10.09.16 at 11:13 pm

F. Foundling@198

Yes, anti-fracking protests could be entirely domestic. Opinion on this breaks down about the way you’d expect it to. Do Orthodox priests in Bulgaria have a long history of getting involved in environmental issues? I would suspect not, but I don’t know.

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Howard Frant 10.09.16 at 11:14 pm

209

William Timberman 10.09.16 at 11:24 pm

Bruce Wilder @ 196

Reminds me of the moment, years ago, when I heard through the grapevine that someone I was interviewing for a position had gone to HR with the complaint that I was a racist. The back story: she claimed that she didn’t get the position because my boss and I were both Jewish — he was, I wasn’t, but I suspect my name sounded Jewish to her — and were therefore 0bviously prejudiced against Mexican Americans. As this was the University of California, such a complaint would have been at best a pain in the ass for me, and at worst a total nightmare, but for the fact that the person we’d already hired was named Gonzalez, and was also a woman. The complainant didn’t know that at the time, of course, as the unsuccessful candidates had been notified, but the successful one hadn’t yet been announced.

Any social norm — and this was and is a good one — can be weaponized by the needy, or unscrupulous. Something to think about, if in fact we want to think about such things, rather than simply taking advantage of whatever freebie is available to us. Old white men aren’t the only ones guilty of such practices.

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merian 10.09.16 at 11:24 pm

bruce wilder, this may very well be. I often have to drop even reading CT for weeks at a time. Too much stuff going on with the pace. What I don’t get, though, is why you’d prefer vague whispering about alleged discrepancies and “my memory is better than yours, neener, neener” to just calling me out (“how would X fit with your statement of Y about Z weeks ago?”).

So, no, I’m not a DNC-sponsored HRC boot-licking automaton. I agree with John H. (OP). Does anyone expect that what Clinton’s says in, say, a private meeting with Planned Parenthood / women’s health charity folks, or a closed session with African-American civil rights activists wouldn’t be different from the focus-group-tested, sanded, shined and lacquered big-speech sound bites? She depends on all three groups (and more – I just pulled up two obvious ones). She probably feels quite comfortable with all three. I’d like her to be less comfortable with the first, but have no problem with the other two — however, she is who she is. And it’s a small consolation that she is subscribing to measures that would make her, and everyone else, less dependent (in a small way) on the first group (or their general ilk).

I’m seeing this called “Straussian”, but believe that none of this would be different for $GENERIC_CANDIDATE for national elected office — just swap around groups — and actually the US tends to be a little more transparent about those things than other countries.

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basil 10.09.16 at 11:42 pm

Much of the ugliness on CT devolves from a feeling abroad that we’re dealing with perfidious allies, persons who though sharing our sources of information and beliefs make choices or elect means that we find odious.

Most commentators proceed from an assumption of a broadly shared worldview, with similar ethical precepts and commitments, taboos and hatreds. And then broken, raging hearts. The super-viability – as click-bait – of poking fun at/ attacking/ lamenting Tories/Republicans/conservatives/forthright racists gives us this false sense of solidarity but it should be clear now that the aspirations of the CT congregation are far from compatible. If even mild mannered, urgent shifts like Sanders or Corbyn incite such lively hatred from liberals, the permissive coalitions of the past are no longer tenable.

Imagine the emancipation of no longer being unevenly yoked under these old assumptions.

I am much less upset at the liberals on here, whether they call themselves right, left, social democrats or pragmatists, even with their support for and extenuation on behalf of the ugliest, most violent regimes possible now that it is clear to me just how alien their politics are.

There’s no planet on which CR, Rich or christian_h deserve what’s been thrown at them above.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.09.16 at 11:45 pm

merian: “Does anyone expect that what Clinton’s says in, say, a private meeting with Planned Parenthood / women’s health charity folks, or a closed session with African-American civil rights activists wouldn’t be different from the focus-group-tested, sanded, shined and lacquered big-speech sound bites?”

Does it matter that HRC made specific promises to Sanders voters to get them on board after the convention — promises that she’s told other people that she has no intention of keeping? Yan has a good comment at #177 about the similarity between the “locker room” and “back room” and the division between cynicals and naives. But what I find disconcerting is when people switch back and forth between them as required. I thought that there was no chance that HRC would follow up on her promises to the Sanders campaign that she made in order to get Sanders’ support — that the accepted procedure was to promise anything and everything knowing that people would forget later and for those who didn’t it would be too late. But I was told earnestly that Sanders had succeeded in pushing the Democrats to the left and that these promises were going to be followed up on.

Wasn’t impressed by the whole “you misrepresented Lynne” thing, by the way. I wasn’t specifically addressing her comment when I mocked the whole argument, but I see no real difference between her presentation of it and anyone else’s.

213

Will G-R 10.09.16 at 11:52 pm

Rich @ 203: (Sometimes it’s comical, of course, as when Bruce Wilder was supposed to be voting for Jill Stein instead of HRC because he didn’t like old women.)

Or when faustusnotes called Lupita (a woman from Mexico) a “brocialist”, then after Lupita pointed out to him the absurdity, tried to backtrack and claimed he wasn’t using the term to describe Lupita herself but only male commenters with the same position as Lupita’s.

Or, to pick a live ongoing example, the Twitter spectacle of Internet-famous male feminist and “Hillary man” Devin Faraci joining the current chorus of Trump criticism and promptly getting called out for doing literally the exact thing Trump was talking about. (And not even remembering it, to boot! Presumably getting it lost down the memory hole of all his other similar instances of behavior that haven’t been publicly called out!)

On a broader level, the “brocialist” and “Bernie bro” narratives are only a particularly headline example of left-liberals’ increasing fervor to rip up, trample, and burn any last trace the “fellow traveler” relationships with the radical left that originally allowed them to implement their vaunted 20th-century welfare states in the first place, even while performatively blaming the radical left for their own helplessness to defend the welfare state from the onslaught of market-centric neoliberalism. We can at least thank this US election cycle (with an assist from the “Chicken Coup” in UK Labour) for clarifying beyond a shadow of a doubt that liberals would ultimately rather surrender to the right than to the left.

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William Timberman 10.09.16 at 11:52 pm

basil @ 211

A United Front has always been problematic for the left. It’s those verkakte Stalinists — always fucking things up, damn them….

215

F. Foundling 10.09.16 at 11:54 pm

@ 207, 208
I don’t know enough about the particpants in the protests in every separate Eastern European country. What is clear is that environmentalist opposition to fracking is a worldwide movement and not something invented by the Russians. There is no doubt that geostrategically, fracking in Eastern Europe would be bad for Russia and good for the US. This doesn’t mean that fracking is a good thing for the environment and the general population, and it should not make anyone more inclined to excuse Clinton’s pushing *for* fracking – no, not even if Putin is, indeed, proved to be pushing against it for his own selfish reasons.

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basil 10.09.16 at 11:55 pm

Would to God that the fevered discussion of the tapes indicted not just terrible Trump, but the patriarchy, the banality of misogyny and the capacity of the powerful to insulate themselves from the consequences of their active hatred of women, even women whose lives they’ve destroyed with their power.

Trump is really useful as a shield for our misogyny. Now we can hide behind this and not see our faux feminist’s personal actions against multiple victims of sexual assault, and David Brock of all the people in the world can offer to cover the legal costs of the leakers should the horrible Trump come after them in court.

Would to God that we believed in them, and could petition for the reservation of a special place in hell.

217

Yan 10.10.16 at 12:17 am

Bruce @204
“How do we know that it is a propaganda line of the HRC campaign? Can it actually be traced back to known surrogates or coordinating organizations?”

There’s certainly some evidence that these are very specific strategies promoted by the campaign. For example, information from people who claim to have been paid “digital information specialists” or internet trolls with very clear directives about how to tar HRC opponents. I don’t know if any of these claims can be verified, but it wouldn’t be surprising.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/4/24/1519540/-Paid-Clinton-Troll-Speaks-out-I-was-aghast-at-what-I-saw

“Just to give you an idea, here are some of the guidelines for our posting in October:
1) Sexism. This was the biggest one we were supposed to push. We had to smear Bernie as misogynistic and out-of-touch with modern sensibilities. He was to be characterized as “an old white male relic that believed women enjoyed being gang raped”. Anyone who tried to object to this characterization would be repeatedly slammed as sexist until they went away or people lost interest.
2) Racism. We were instructed to hammer home how Bernie supporters were all privileged white students that had no idea how the world worked. We had to tout Hillary’s great record with “the blacks” (yes, that’s the actual way it was phrased), and generally use racial identity politics to attack Sanders and bolster Hillary as the only unifying figure.”

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merian 10.10.16 at 12:26 am

Rich Puchalsky

Does it matter that HRC made specific promises to Sanders voters to get them on board after the convention — promises that she’s told other people that she has no intention of keeping?

Of course it counts. I certainly hope that the Sanders wing and supporters on the street will remind her once (if) she makes it to the presidency. If I was allowed to, I’d consider going on the street myself: politicians have a tendency to require reminding. I’d also bet that barring further deterioration of the world fabric, and barring further egregious idiocy from that wing, neglecting it would all ensure she’d have a one-term presidency. She’d deserve it. (She wouldn’t be the first, but I hope she’s too smart for that.)

But what makes you think she has no intention of keeping them? (I mean, timeline-wise those speeches were in 2013/14. Not now. Long before she even knew about promises to Sanders-supporters.) Or rather, how could anything she’s doing right now change your opinion about any of her intentions at all? She’s got one job at the moment — winning the election. I presume that everything single fucking thing she says and does is governed by that goal. Any dishes she may be breaking in the time can be repaired afterwards, I’d hope.

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merian 10.10.16 at 12:31 am

One more thing — I believe the rationale for making these speeches was that she needed to fill up her personal coffers to facilitate being able to run for president, right? (Yes, the fees are ridiculous. There’s a scandal in Germany right now about similar speaking fees — same ballpark — for the most high-ranking MPs before industry organizations, fwiw.) What makes you think she isn’t using the Wall Street guys the very same way you think she’s using the party left?

220

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 12:59 am

@219 I don’t expect that your comment here summarizes pretty much all the reasons she’s disqualified herself from office.

Manipulative? Check; Dishonest? Entirely; Unscrupulous? Of course.
Wholly undeserving of trust. Obviously. Unprincipled? Entirely. Scripted? Totally.

Hence her approval ratings from the donor class. She’s their new hire, although she definitely lacks the shiny patina and glibness of the current office holder.

Lick the glove.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 12:59 am

“What makes you think she isn’t using the Wall Street guys the very same way you think she’s using the party left?”

Her record of public actions in office.

How many times do we have to go around the same cycle? You write about people going on the street to remind of her promises, but we did that with Obama and it didn’t and doesn’t matter: outside the 4 year scareathon, not enough people care. And all of the excuses that people made for their behavior during this election (“we have to stop Trump!”) will not end with this election cycle, any more than than the bits about 12 dimensional chess, Green Lanternism, and so on stopped being used as excuses for Obama once his elections were over. Let’s get real, again: in 4 years there will be Trump 2.0 and all of the same people will be saying that we absolutely need to stop going on about HRC’s past broken promises in order to get rid of Trump 2.0 and that we’re racist and / or sexist if we don’t.

I’m OK with public cynicism that says that all politicians are lying and that none of their promises can be trusted. But how are people going to follow up on that? Is there any mechanism by which they plan to pressure them, in any realistic way? Note that Sanders supporters just did the time-honored “primary challenge to pull the party to the left” and got nothing.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 1:08 am

Yan: “There’s certainly some evidence that these are very specific strategies promoted by the campaign.”

I wouldn’t trust the information at that link. I prefer to link to things like the press release from the PAC itself, which at least is pretty much guaranteed to give their view of what they are doing.

223

F. Foundling 10.10.16 at 1:14 am

@201,203,209,211,213

I suppose that a large part of the unproductive parts of the discussions that we’ve been seeing recently might be avoided if there were a CT rule that one may only discuss another person’s comments on their own merits, and that one may *not* discuss who this person is in real life and speculate about the ways in which that might influence his comments and make him biased. If a position is wrong, it should be possible to prove that without discussing the background of the person who espouses it. I normally observe this rule anyway, admittedly with some exceptions in cases of utter exasperation, but for some commenters, this type of ad hominem seems to have become the argument of choice.

I’m not sure the split about HRC is so much ideological in the sense of specific policy preferences; I have the feeling that it is more about a degree of emotional and tribal identification with the (liberal-left side of the) mainstream and the status quo. The regular ‘dissidents’ are a riff-raff of fringe types that share little besides an alienation and detachment from this status quo – off the top of my hat, I can think of an anarchist or two, an old-school New Deal liberal (I think?), a Marxist or two, a non-Marxist socialist (if I’m not mistaken), and a global south nationalist. (I suppose I could mention myself as some sort of vague libertarian socialist, too, although my being a non-Westerner seems to have been more important in this context.) Forget ideology – there doesn’t even seem to be any shared opinion about what people should do as a voters in the coming election. The joke about herding cats comes to mind.

224

F. Foundling 10.10.16 at 1:33 am

Howard Frant @ 178

>400,000 people have died in Syria in the last few years, very few of them killed by the US. Hell’s been off the leash there for a long time. Non-intervention hasn’t been a success, either practically or morally.

We’ve been through this. The killing is the result of a proxy war between two international alliances, where the US is a member of one, following an insurrection that was also encouraged by the US very early on (not that this absolves the Assad regime of its own responsibility for it). The US wasn’t somehow free to choose between intervention and non-intervention as approaches to the problem; observing international law is not just optional. There is no obvious reason to believe that an intervention in support of the side preferred by the US would have had a better effect in humanitarian terms – and yes, you are far more responsible for killing someone directly than for not preventing someone somewhere from being killed. As for intervening now that the Russians are there, that’s just WW3 plain and simple, and it’s rather scary that parts of the Western establishment sound as if they are unaware of that fact.

225

Kiwanda 10.10.16 at 1:41 am

Bruce Wilder: “4,5,6, 11 name “Rich Puchalsky” and attribute motives to him. That’s insulting. Given the difficulties of mind-reading, such statements need textual support. “

You seem to be suggesting that I am making such statements. I’m not.

226

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 1:42 am

Front page: ” Broaddrick, an Arkansas nursing home administrator who has accused Bill Clinton of forcibly raping her when he was the state’s attorney general, said that ‘actions speak louder than words. Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me. And Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.”

Evidently there is a comparison.

What Bill and Hillary Clinton did, according to his victims, is nowhere near as serious as what candidate not Hillary Clinton said.

The press and many here agree!

Discuss a female Republican candidate in the context of fisting, masturbation, and voyeurism? Cool. Suggest someone defecate in a woman’s mouth? Fine.

Liberal land!

227

F. Foundling 10.10.16 at 1:59 am

F. Foundling @223
>off the top of my hat
Head.

228

Kiwanda 10.10.16 at 2:08 am

merian: “Merian claims nothing whatsoever about Rich’s motives”

Kiwanda thinks that merian says that Rich is “clearly not interested in debate as a means to change [Rich’s] own perspective,” and that “[Rich] is unlikely to be any less sexist than I am, or than the average CT poster” and that “[Rich] is increasingly being considered as a dishonest and asshole debater”. But OK, merian claims nothing whatsoever about Rich’s motives.

merian: “I guess I also claimed that Rich Puchalsky is expanding a claim that 10 is false into a claim that those that believe in 10 also must believe that 11 is true.”

That is, a claim that those that believe that criticism of HRC by CT commenters is due to sexism must also apply that judgement to a particular person’s [Rich’s] criticisms of HRC. I take it that merian disagrees with that claim, so if somebody says general bad things about a group merian is a member of, merian doesn’t take what they say as applying to merian, necessarily.

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Val 10.10.16 at 2:16 am

F Foundling @ 223
I suppose that a large part of the unproductive parts of the discussions that we’ve been seeing recently might be avoided if there were a CT rule that one may only discuss another person’s comments on their own merits, and that one may *not* discuss who this person is in real life and speculate about the ways in which that might influence his comments and make him biased.

F Foundling, when I (a non-Indigenous, middle class person) proposed to do research involving people of Indigenous backgrounds, and people who have experienced homelessness and serious mental illness, the Ethics Committee of my university made me do a whole lot of reading and jump through many hoops to get ethics approval. You might like to think about why they did this.

It might help to explain why, for example, a white man may not have a perfect understanding of the position or experiences of women or people of colour, and that his misunderstandings and biases may be detectable to those people in a way that they are not necessarily apparent to those who are like him.

230

basil 10.10.16 at 2:23 am

@223 I’m sorry that you’ve also been treated uncharitably by the posse. By your stripes, etc.

I don’t think it’s just about HRC and the present campaign. It seems steady and long-standing to me.

I look forward to the times when my sense of how we are arranged is confounded (like CR’s puzzling corruption piece) but comments and OPs are roughly predictable. It was once about BHO and his chess moves and drones, Libya, then Syria, Greece, the Ukraine, Trident, Corbyn and the coup, Obamacare, the financial crisis, capitalism, terrorism, neoliberalism, feminism, police power, surveillance, unions, Occupy, immigrants, and the Scottish Referendum.

My suspicion is that it rests on the breadth of community we imagine, whether one thinks this community lives in a generally just world, how we explain injustice, how much change is necessary in order that we might life better, and who ought to drive that change.

Or this video – and Obama on BLM in London.

>>>
‘He praised the movement as “really effective in bringing attention to problems,” but said young activists should be more willing to work with political leaders to craft solutions instead of criticizing from outside the political process.

“Once you’ve highlighted an issue and brought it to people’s attention and shined a spotlight, and elected officials or people who are in a position to start bringing about change are ready to sit down with you, then you can’t just keep on yelling at them,” Mr. Obama said.
<<<

I find that publics gain important perspectives from considering and empathising with differentiated experiences so I think it unwise to discourage identity confession. I am more interested in liberals' contingent deployment of identity in defence of the status quo, to discipline radicals, and to fracture aggregating collectives. See for example all the anti-racists who support/extenuate for war, drones, cages for immigrants, and the liberal politicians pushing these positions.

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Val 10.10.16 at 2:38 am

basil @ 230
who are the “all the anti-racists who support/extenuate …cages for immigrants …”?

I think it is fine to talk about people’s identity in so far as that reflects their lived experience and position in structures of power and privilege. However the thing I would like to ban is ‘imaged examples’ like this one. If you can’t give examples of anti-racists who support cages for immigrants, don’t bring them up as some sort of evidence for something. And if you can give examples, but they are not people commenting on this thread, don’t use them to imply things about other commenters.

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Val 10.10.16 at 2:40 am

my #231
‘imagined examples’ I mean, not imaged examples

233

Will G-R 10.10.16 at 2:43 am

Presumably Barack Obama isn’t an imagined example, nor are the liberals who make excuses for his behavior…

234

ZM 10.10.16 at 2:57 am

Val,

“who are the “all the anti-racists who support/extenuate …cages for immigrants …”?”

I think maybe he means detention for “Illegal immigrants”/asylum seekers/refugees.

You could look at someone like Phillip Ruddock like that maybe, with his Amnesty brooch but supporting a harsh immigration/asylum seeker regime…

That’s just my reading of basil’s comment though, he might have meant something else.

The UN and Obama September conference on refugees has produced something called the New York Declaration, which is meant to guide international policy on asylum seekers, refugees, and displaced persons and I think the governments have committed to work together further on actual policy in addition to the guiding declaration which is to be delivered by about 2018 :

“By adopting the New York Declaration, Member States are making bold commitments including: to start negotiations leading to an international conference and the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018; to develop guidelines on the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations; to achieve a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees by adopting a global compact on refugees in 2018.

As called for in the Declaration, the Secretary-General also launched a new campaign called “Together – Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” to “respond to rising xenophobia and turn fear into hope”. He urged “world leaders to join this campaign and commit together to upholding the rights and dignity of everyone forced by circumstance to flee their homes in search of a better life.”

Also today, the Secretary-General and the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration signed the new agreement by which IOM becomes a related organisation of the United Nations, thus strengthening the comprehensive global approach to migration.”

https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/sites/default/files/un_press_release_-_new_york_declaration_-_19_september_2016.pdf

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Will G-R 10.10.16 at 2:58 am

F. Foundling: “I have the feeling that it is more about a degree of emotional and tribal identification with the (liberal-left side of the) mainstream and the status quo.”

The relevant philosophical/psychological term here is fetish. Left-liberals have fetishized the idea that their engagement in electoral circus shows (however marginal and low-level this engagement may be) is some sort of effective means of changing the world for the better, in order to avoid the ideologically traumatic realization of just how disempowered they are to do anything to actually change the world for the better. Most honest radical leftists of any stripe will admit that there’s at least some crucial aspect of how to effectively change the world for the better (read: how to replace capitalism with socialism/communism) that they haven’t figured out yet, which is part of why there are so many disagreements among us and part of why political theory is still so important to hash these disagreements out. For liberals, the way to fix everything is fundamentally just to do what liberals are already doing but more so, which implies that political theory is fundamentally just mental masturbation.

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Lee A. Arnold 10.10.16 at 2:58 am

Trump just said at the second political debate that as president he would jail his political opponent.

237

Will G-R 10.10.16 at 3:01 am

Jesus, ZM, you liberals never cease to amaze me with your commitment to taking noncommittal, unenforceable, feel-good PR fluff at face value…

238

Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 3:04 am

basil: “See for example all the anti-racists who support/extenuate for war, drones, cages for immigrants, and the liberal politicians pushing these positions.”

Since I’m really talking about a coherent line and not a few commenters, it’s worth pointing out that every one of the items that basil mentions has its own particular defense as part of that line:

war: Don’t you want to help people who are being killed by [dictator X]? Or the women being attacked by the forces of [dictator X]? You must not care about saving the lives of these people because you’re a white man, you [dictator X] lover.

drones: Don’t you know that bombs and bullets kill people too? How would it better to kill more people with a bomb drop since these people obviously have to be killed? Wait, you’re saying that maybe we shouldn’t kill them — oh, you just can’t support any of the unpleasant but necessary things that Obama does because you’re a racist.

cages for immigrants: The GOP manipulated the stats to make it seem like Obama was deporting more people than he actually was, so it’s not true that he deported more people than any other President. No, Obama manipulated the stats himself to placate them. And he couldn’t do anything differently anyways. You seem to be opposing a lot of the things that Obama, our first black President, does. It’s not coincidental that you’re white, is it.

liberal politicians:

[1] OMG you think Obama could have pushed to fulfill any of his promises? You’re a Green Lanternist who believes that a President only has to will something in order to accomplish it. Don’t you know that Presidents have very little power? Although Trump absolutely can not be allowed near the Presidency because he’d have so much power. Wait, you’re saying he wouldn’t, wow you’re a white guy who only cares about other white guys.

[2] Obama planned that the GOP would reject his Grand Bargain all along! He was definitely not bargaining away Social Security. It was all a plan to make them look bad. Don’t you know that politicians lie and that you can’t take their public statements at face value… wait. You’re saying that HRC’s promises to carry out her bargain with Sanders are worthless? You really don’t like women, do you?

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merian 10.10.16 at 3:06 am

Oh, FFS, Kiwanda, I was replying to your statement “merian seem to claim that Rich claims that 6 is false (Rich is not sexist)”. The context clearly was your 14 points. Nothing else.

Of course I’ve otherwise made conjectures about Rich Puchalsky’s motives, but that doesn’t mean you get to misrepresent mine. I was annoyed. I take back the words “nothing whatsoever”.

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basil 10.10.16 at 3:09 am

Thank you, Will G-R, ZM. My mistake, Val. I didn’t mean to exaggerate.

I intended to say, support and excuses for politicians and policies that lead to the caging/imprisonment/detention of unauthorised immigrants. In the US, UK and Australia this has expanded vastly under ‘liberal’ governments. See Dilley, Yarl’s Wood, Nauru, etc.

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ZM 10.10.16 at 3:13 am

Will G-R,

“Rich @ 203: (Sometimes it’s comical, of course, as when Bruce Wilder was supposed to be voting for Jill Stein instead of HRC because he didn’t like old women.)

Or when faustusnotes called Lupita (a woman from Mexico) a “brocialist”, then after Lupita pointed out to him the absurdity, tried to backtrack and claimed he wasn’t using the term to describe Lupita herself but only male commenters with the same position as Lupita’s.”

Faustus notes did not call Lupita a “brocialist” — he called YOU a brocialist and you deflected his criticism of you by repeatedly inaccurately claiming he was calling Lupita a brocialist.

Whoever said Bruce Wilder didn’t want to vote for Hilary Clinton since he didn’t like old women was unlikely to have said that in context of Bruce Wilder saying he was voting for Jill Stein since they would sound absurd making that claim in that context, and they may not have known at the time that Bruce Wilder was voting for Jill Stein.

You are needlessly attacking other commenters with deliberately inaccurate claims here!

242

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 3:14 am

: http://www.france24.com/en/20161010-trump-appears-with-bill-clintons-accusers-moments-before-debate

ST. LOUIS (AFP) –

“In a bombshell development just hours before Donald Trump debates Hillary Clinton to try to salvage his presidential candidacy, the Republican nominee staged a surprise appearance with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct…his invited speakers included Paula Jones, a former government employee in Arkansas who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment, and Juanita Broaddrick, also of Arkansas, who claims that Clinton raped her in 1978.”

Thanks to the media covering Trump and the desperate need to make Hillary’s leaked docs go away, everyone in the world now gets to meet the women the press succeeded in shutting out for two decades. And see their tears and pictures in interviews.

This qualifies as a ‘win’ for Democrats?

243

ZM 10.10.16 at 3:17 am

Will G-R,

“Jesus, ZM, you liberals never cease to amaze me with your commitment to taking noncommittal, unenforceable, feel-good PR fluff at face value…”

I am Australian I think its been explained to you before that in Australia the Liberal party is the major right wing party in Parliament.

I am sure you have a fantastic policy to fully solve the global refugee and displaced person problem as long as we immediately install a socialist world government according to your plans which you fail to ever specify ;-)

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Val 10.10.16 at 3:20 am

You have to laugh. I complain about basil’ ‘imagined evidence’ and rich jumps to his defence with a whole lot more.

Usually accepted rules of evidence in debate: you can’t just say ‘the people I’m critiquing think X and X is bad!’ – you have to give examples. Who thinks it? How do you know? Where is recorded so that others can see it? When was it said? What was the context?

If you can’t do any of that, then it isn’t evidence.

245

Val 10.10.16 at 3:21 am

Good one ZM!

246

ZM 10.10.16 at 3:29 am

Will G-R,

“Left-liberals have fetishized the idea that their engagement in electoral circus shows (however marginal and low-level this engagement may be) is some sort of effective means of changing the world for the better, in order to avoid the ideologically traumatic realization of just how disempowered they are to do anything to actually change the world for the better.”

There are a lot of different ways people can participate in the political or policy making processes, not just voting in elections.

For instance I am part of a group in Australia called Rural Australians for Refugees for instance, and the organisation does awareness raising and letter writing and other things all over Australia, and recently had a national conference and is starting a journey of a Welcome Scroll around Australia to Welcome Zone towns where mayors and communities affirm their commitment to welcoming refugees. RAR has undertaken to do this in conjunction with the official Refugee Council of Australia.

Even just talking to people you can sometimes achieve things. I remember going to a talk on defence and climate change a while ago for the launch of an important report on defence strategy in the climate change era, with the former Australian defence chief as one of the speakers. I mentioned the numbers of refugees and displaced persons that are expected to be caused by climate change by 2050, and then on the Australian national broadcaster’s current affairs program the former defence chief talked about that very thing. I will never know if my words prompted him to be thinking about that for his television interview, but you never know how just something like talking about things and sharing information can influence things.

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kidneystones 10.10.16 at 3:31 am

Meaningless data point: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/10/09/savings-study/91083712/

7/10 in US have less than 1k in savings.

No connection between this practice and election fears.

248

bruce wilder 10.10.16 at 3:35 am

Kiwanda @225: You seem to be suggesting that I am making such statements. I’m not.

Sorry. Not my intention. My phrasing could have been better.

249

Val 10.10.16 at 4:16 am

@ 240
Thank you basil for acknowledging that, but I still have questions. You’ve said this in the context of a debate about commenters on CT, so it looks as if you are trying to make some relevant point. For example, one of the prominent anti-racist commenters here is js. who has also (I think my memory is correct) sometimes made remarks about ‘white dudes’ or similar on CT not understanding issues around Trump’s anti-Muslim stance (I strongly support his position btw).

But I feel very certain that js. would never excuse or support immigrants being locked up in cages. The point is you (we all) need to think carefully about the points we are trying to make in these debates on CT and especially be very careful to resist the temptation to throw in a whole lot of unrelated stuff in an apparent attempt to strengthen our points.

In your case I’d be pretty sure you don’t (even unconsciously) mean to suggest that js. or anyone with similar views to js. here, supports or excuses locking people up in cages. But the question then is, what are you talking about? Are you talking about debates on CT and specific commenters here? Are you talking about ‘liberals’ in the broader community, and if so, why did you raise them in the context of a discussion about commenters on CT? (And do you realise that the term ‘liberals’ has different meanings in countries outside the US, so that it is not even clear who you are talking about?)

I think there is a problem in the discussions here. There’s a lot of vague claims, guilt by association, straw-wo/manning, and contemptuous dismissals. For example, look at the discussion between ZM and Will G-R on refugees. Anyone who has read ZM’s comments for a while would know that she has been very involved in activism on refugees and is strongly in favour of international solutions (again I strongly agree with her on this). Will G-R dismisses her quite contemptuously as a “liberal” (which isn’t relevant in Australia), but doesn’t offer any reasoned critique, any discussion of why international/UN-mediated solutions won’t or can’t work, what the alternatives could be, etc.

So you have one person here who is doing as much as she can to address the awful problems around asylum seekers in Australia, and refugees in a world wide context, and another person who offers basically nothing – and yet he feels entitled to treat her with contempt, on the grounds that she is a “liberal”, which is a largely meaningless and empty term of abuse in this context. It really is a problem.

250

Val 10.10.16 at 4:28 am

And – excuse me – one more thing. There are activists who, far from being ‘liberals’ (whatever that means) feel so strongly about issues like refugees, or climate change, etc, that they are prepared to break the law, which I would think is very much in conflict with whatever idea of ‘liberals’ Will G-R has in his mind. But you know, they are not going to talk about that on a public blog like CT!

(I am not suggesting anyone here has broken the law).

251

Will G-R 10.10.16 at 4:59 am

ZM:

Faustus notes did not call Lupita a “brocialist” — he called YOU a brocialist and you deflected his criticism of you by repeatedly inaccurately claiming he was calling Lupita a brocialist.

Lupita and I were articulating the same position, which Faustusnotes characterized to Lupita as being articulated by “brocialists”. After being called out, he inexplicably claimed to have been making two different accusations against two different groups of leftists: the (presumably) white/male “brocialists” were propagating “nihilism”, and the nonwhite/nonmale socialists like Lupita were propagating “fatalism”. How these two positions were allegedly supposed to be different, in order to justify the claim that he hadn’t accused Lupita of being a “brocialist”, he never even tried to explain.

And the broader issue is that aside from Faustusnotes’ brief foray into the rooting out of sub-brocialist tendencies in the nonwhite/female population, nobody else in that thread who talked unironically about anti-liberal leftism as a white/male phenomenon (notably js and Val) deigned to acknowledge Lupita’s existence in this regard at all. Since this is the same point Rich tried to explain to Val @ #90 (with some truly Job-like patience in dealing with her thick-headedness), here are a few easy questions for you or for any other liberal who’s staked themselves to the “brocialist” critique. (1) Do you acknowledge that (e.g.) Lupita is a leftist who believes that collaborating with the faction of the ruling class represented by (e.g.) Hillary Clinton is not in the interests of the oppressed? (2) If you do acknowledge this, do you think she believes this because she is white and male? (3) If you don’t think she’s white and male, can you think of any other reasons (presumably not connected to her own individual racism/misogyny) she might have for believing this? (4) If you can think of any other reasons, can you think of any reason why white/male leftists like myself might not reject collaboration with (e.g.) Hillary Clinton for equivalent (again presumably not racist/misogynist) reasons?

I think its been explained to you before that in Australia the Liberal party is the major right wing party in Parliament.

I think it has been explained to you before what the term “liberal” means in political philosophy, and if it hasn’t, you may need some remedial education.

awareness raising and letter writing … mayors and communities affirm their commitment … you never know how just something like talking about things and sharing information can influence things

My God!

252

bruce wilder 10.10.16 at 5:04 am

Lee A Arnold: Trump just said at the second political debate that as president he would jail his political opponent.

In the little aftershow on CBS, the network’s elder statesman, Bob Schieffer was the voice of dignitas: “I mean this is what they do in a Banana Republic. . . America can do better than what we have seen here tonight. This was just disgraceful”

Hard to argue with that assessment, but I could not help remembering that Schieffer was a great friend and frequent golf partner to George W Bush. I wondered to myself if he ever questioned George on his war crimes. Probably too polite. Did he reflect on America’s descent into Banana Republic status when if was revealed that the U.S. had tortured prisoners?

You can see Donald Trump as an isolated nutcase, but it is hard to do that when one of the great political Parties has made him their nominee. This is America’s Id being exposed. This ping-pong we see some commenters engage in, between naivete and cynicism is part of the same phenomenon, I think. Nothing is quite real in the Reality Show version of politics; the contest (I won’t call it a debate) comes down to how convincingly you can pretend to be outraged, or conversely, how well you can archly dismiss the concerns of your opponents and / or puncture their hypocrisies.

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Val 10.10.16 at 5:30 am

@ 251
Since this is the same point Rich tried to explain to Val @ #90 (with some truly Job-like patience in dealing with her thick-headedness)

I think you have no answer for the criticisms I have made of you, Will G-R.

You continue to think that insults are a substitute for argument.

254

Howard Frant 10.10.16 at 5:34 am

Nothing personal, merian; I don’t know you and have nothing against you, but objectively, don’t you think things like this are a sign of a thread that’s swallowing its own tail:

“Oh, FFS, Kiwanda, I was replying to your statement “merian seem to claim that Rich claims that 6 is false (Rich is not sexist)”. The context clearly was your 14 points. Nothing else.

Of course I’ve otherwise made conjectures about Rich Puchalsky’s motives, but that doesn’t mean you get to misrepresent mine. I was annoyed. I take back the words “nothing whatsoever”.”
*******************************
A number of commenters have mentioned the hatred that liberals allegedly have for Sanders and Corbyn. Can’t comment about the UK, but in the US, boy, I haven’t seen this at all. I never did, even as the FB of my Bernista friends filled with ever more baroque venom toward Clinton. I’ve never seen a Clinton supporter say they would never vote for Sanders. This strikes me as like Trump saying that Clinton’s heart is filled with hate.
********************
F:Foundling@224

The killing is the result of a proxy war between two international alliances, where the US is a member of one, following an insurrection that was also encouraged by the US very early on (not that this absolves the Assad regime of its own responsibility for it).

This is all beside my point, which was that anyone claiming that Clinton is going to unleash hell on Syria when she’s President must have been living under a rock, because, as I said, hell’s already long since off the leash.

But you are completely wrong about the facts. There was no insurrection. There was an ever-increasing number of non-violent demonstrations against Assad (remember the Arab Spring?), demanding that he resign. Syrian police opened fire on demonstrators, repeatedly. Obama sided with the demonstrators– I guess that’s what you mean by “encouraged by the US very early on.” Eventually the demonstrators got tired of getting killed and started getting arms.

The US wasn’t somehow free to choose between intervention and non-intervention as approaches to the problem; observing international law is not just optional.

True if intervention means military force. In this case I didn’t. In the early days of the armed civil war, the rebels begged the US for arms. Obama refused. As a result, a lot of the arms ended up going to groups more to the liking of the Gulf, i.e., Islamists. I don’t say that intervention would’ve led to better outcomes, but non-intervention clearly didn’t work.

yes, you are far more responsible for killing someone directly than for not preventing someone somewhere from being killed.

Well, I guess we’ve just erased the idea of “never again”. Because obviously there’s nothing we can do to prevent, say, genocide. If we’re far more responsible for people we kill, even inadvertently while trying to prevent people from being killed, then we are for the deaths we don’t prevent, obviously the moral thing is just to let the genocide go ahead. Even sanctions, though probably too slow, run the risk of killing people.

As for intervening now that the Russians are there, that’s just WW3 plain and simple, and it’s rather scary that parts of the Western establishment sound as if they are unaware of that fact.

I doubt that.

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Val 10.10.16 at 5:35 am

@251
Obviously, being “thick-headed”, I too need some “remedial education”, so I am interested in your definition of “liberal”. What is the definition you are using?

256

christian_h 10.10.16 at 5:37 am

Trump came across as an absolute turd in this debate (again). And yet I can’t profess myself happy with Clinton either – “America is already great because its people are good” (well some people – those who aren’t deplorable I imagine). Cf. yesterday’s long expose in the NYT about the victims of US torture. Presumably we tortured them out of our goodness, and refused to hold even a single person accountable in any way at all to avoid becoming a banana republic. (She probably agrees that torturing captives tarnished America’s greatness. But she has never as far as I can recall suggested, let alone demanded, that anyone be held responsible.) There are many facets of the Trump phenomenon – both the man and the movement – that are indeed extremely deplorable. One major one is that he makes the alternative look good by comparison.

257

ZM 10.10.16 at 5:39 am

Will G-R,

“I think it has been explained to you before what the term “liberal” means in political philosophy, and if it hasn’t, you may need some remedial education.”

You don’t really understand I am sorry so I will try to explain:

In Australia our major right wing political party is called the Liberal Party after the UK “liberal” political tradition.

The right wing Liberal Party instituted the beginnings of the post-war welfare state in Australia under the Menzies governments.

The left wing party in Australia is the Labor Party.

The Liberal party was the successor of the Commonwealth Liberal Party in Australia , which united the 2 anti-Labor political parties.

Australian politics pits right liberals against the left Labor parties, although the Liberal party in Australia is somewhat different from the American Republican Party — for instance it supports Australian universal healthcare through our Medicare system, and supports federal government involvement in education policy nationwide.

The American usage of “liberal” to mean the left wing side of politics is completely opposite to the Australian case, and AFAICT is the result of anti-Union and anti-Labor politics in America generally which has meant you have no Labor party and a small union movement compared to other countries like Australia and the UK.

If people in Australia are talking about American style liberalism we sometimes use the colloquial term “small l liberal”, although that can also refer to the liberal political tradition generally if and when people want to distinguish the Liberal Party from the liberal political tradition.

258

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 5:43 am

@ 252 Thanks for this, Bruce. We just had the family lunch, after which I asked our son what he knew of Trump’s immigration policy. What he’d been fed, turns out. The policy Trump wants is somewhat less restrictive than the policy Japan currently employs, and about what Canada employs. Nobody gets in illegally. Those who do are locked up and deported.

As for why I support the candidate ‘normalizing’ sexual assault over the preferred candidate of the media, I explained her war record. I added that he’s extremely unlikely to hear about Hillary’s war record because all the same news outlets: Wapo, and the networks that made supporting the invasion of Iraq a damn fine idea, ditto Libya, ditto Syria have all decided to make the election about Trump’s vulgarity, rather than the dual-party death machine, known either as ‘liberal interventionism’ when practiced by Democrats, or ‘neo-conservatism’ when practiced by Republicans.

The deaths resulting know no political label. I informed our son that I did not support any of the Iraq invasions, campaigned against the most recent, and absolutely oppose any and all military action in the ME, among other areas.

Given the choice between supporting the candidate who enjoys the full support of the US foreign policy establishment, and of think tanks on both sides of the political divide, as well as the donor class, and the media who help sell war and despair as ‘our best options’, and a vulgarian rodeo clown who promises something different, I’ll take the rodeo clown every time.

It’ll be interesting to see the polls. Trumps already got stuff up on You tube with him being repeatedly interrupted by the moderators.

If the Hillary team figured this would be the weekend they knock Trump out of the race, the early results suggest the outcome in November is very much in doubt.

259

ZM 10.10.16 at 5:48 am

Also part of the reason for this is that the Australian Labor Party had a socialist policy based on Trade Union votes in the early 20th C, although since the Whitlam leadership in the 70s there have been 2 main factions in the ALP — the Labor Right and Socialist Left. The Whitlam government did a lot for healthcare and education and the arts, but it also tried to modernise Labor and I think moved the party away from socialism as part of this since it had proven unelectable. A bit like an early 70s more left wing version of the UK Blair government if you get what I mean.

260

christian_h 10.10.16 at 5:48 am

Howard: I was told by a number of Clinton supporters that they would never vote for Sanders, which is fine! I have no problem with that. Less fine are the massive condescension aimed at, and berating of, young (and old, but mostly young) people who might not show the enthusiasm about Clinton their elders do. Maybe the generation that quite likely has managed to destroy humanity for the sake of the suburban house and the two cars – which they could afford dye to the practically free college they enjoye – should be careful to tell the “kids these days” what is or isn’t politically realistic, or what must or mustn’t be done.

Agree on Syria, and want nothing to do with those on the left making excuses for butcher Assad and those propping him up – even if I agree with them on Clinton. Of course the idea that Clinton supports democracy in Middle East is ludicrous (cf family friend Mubarak) – but that only means that claims she’ll start WW3 over Aleppo are even more fanciful than they are anyway.

261

Howard Frant 10.10.16 at 5:53 am

I mean, I doubt they’re unaware of that fact.

262

christian_h 10.10.16 at 5:55 am

Sorry who is unaware of what?

263

ZM 10.10.16 at 6:11 am

Will G-R,

“Lupita and I were articulating the same position, which Faustusnotes characterized to Lupita as being articulated by “brocialists”. After being called out, he inexplicably claimed to have been making two different accusations against two different groups of leftists: the (presumably) white/male “brocialists” were propagating “nihilism”, and the nonwhite/nonmale socialists like Lupita were propagating “fatalism”. How these two positions were allegedly supposed to be different, in order to justify the claim that he hadn’t accused Lupita of being a “brocialist”, he never even tried to explain.”

Well I can explain for you — faustusnotes was insulting you and your position and trying to convince and win over Lupita

“(1) Do you acknowledge that (e.g.) Lupita is a leftist who believes that collaborating with the faction of the ruling class represented by (e.g.) Hillary Clinton is not in the interests of the oppressed?”

Why, yes I do Will G-R

” (2) If you do acknowledge this, do you think she believes this because she is white and male? “

Um, no, I think I recall Lupita identifying as a female from Mexico actually. Where is this going exactly?

“(3) If you don’t think she’s white and male, can you think of any other reasons (presumably not connected to her own individual racism/misogyny) she might have for believing this? “

Well for instance she is from Mexico even though she is an expat at the moment, so I think she identifies with the interests of Mexico in many ways and finds USA policies that affect Mexico such as NAFTA generally objectionable and sees damaging effects on Mexico such as draining the young working population from rural areas

Hilary Clinton is not really offering any policy for Mexico which addresses Lupita’s concerns, and in fact Lupita’s particular concerns about the population draining would be positively addressed by Trump’s anti-immigration policies to some extent

“(4) If you can think of any other reasons, can you think of any reason why white/male leftists like myself might not reject collaboration with (e.g.) Hillary Clinton for equivalent (again presumably not racist/misogynist) reasons?”

Well, you are not from Mexico I am pretty sure you are from the USA, is that right?

So, no, I don’t think you really have any equivalent reasons to Lupita’s reasons as someone from Mexico who finds current USA policy towards Mexico as negative

I also don’t know what you mean about “collaboration” with Hilary Clinton exactly here. You should like you are accusing people who are saying they will vote for Hilary Clinton as “collaborating with the enemy” or something TBH

If you explain your actual reasons for rejecting “collaboration with Hilary Clinton” I could evaluate whether or not they are racist or misogynistic, but its kind of hard when you don’t specify what they are.

I have no idea what your reasons are, for all I know you are from a Right Wing think tank pretending to be a socialist to try and discourage people from voting Democrat in this election or something

264

bruce wilder 10.10.16 at 6:29 am

F Foundling: The killing [in Syria] is the result of a proxy war between two international alliances, where the US is a member of one, following an insurrection . . .

Bit off topic, but I think you might want to revise your count. There are multiple layers and more than two sides. The U.S. is already backing two opposed sides in the Turks and Kurds. Iran and Russia back Assad, but are not allied with each other. The Syrian civil war is related to civil wars on-going in Yemen and Iraq.

Scruples about international law seem superfluous in a conflict this complex and international in its character already.

265

Will G-R 10.10.16 at 7:50 am

ZM, I didn’t think it was possible to be quite so naïve. As far as liberalism, stop embarrassing yourself and at least read “>a Wikipedia entry or something. Here’s a hint, when leftists in either the US or Australia (or in one of the many other countries in which leftists exist!) use the term “liberal”, we’re generally not referring to the ways in which groups like Aussie Labour and/or US Democrats (the people we call “welfare liberals” or “left-liberals”) are different from groups like Aussie Liberals and/or US Republicans (the people we call “classical liberals” or “right-liberals”) — we’re referring to the ways in which they’re not different. That any of this needs to be explained in a setting where folks are allegedly supposed to have some baseline level of philosophical literacy is staggering.

As far as Lupita’s and my political commitments, she can correct me if I’ve misread her but both of us are internationalists, and as such neither of us “identify with the interests of” any nation-state, be it Mexico or the US; we identify with the interests of people, regardless of which nation-state happens to have enclosed the piece of ground on which they reside and bethought itself of saying “this is mine”. For anybody who ascribes to any remotely leftist critique of capitalism and imperialism on a global level, we’re all evaluating the same basic facts about how this system works and coming to the same basic conclusions about why we’ll never consider the people who administer it to be other than monsters. (Leftists often can and do disagree on some of the particulars, especially when it comes to proposed practical responses for leftist movements, but regarding someone like Hillary Clinton as an irredeemable enemy of the oppressed is probably one of the closest things to a universally agreed upon sentiment for all of us.)

Aside from that, I’d prefer not to complement your baseless, insulting speculation about my motives with too much just-as-insulting but far less baseless speculation about your philosophical literacy, so I’ll stop there.

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kidneystones 10.10.16 at 7:55 am

Hillary’s Debate Fail in one word: Choke.

The press will tell a different story, but she looked tired, out of ideas, and out of answers.

267

engels 10.10.16 at 8:02 am

We’ll that was 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

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kidneystones 10.10.16 at 8:11 am

How do we know the Clinton camp realize how badly she blew it?

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/09/clinton-spokesman-to-trump-go-fuck-yourself/

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Howard Frant 10.10.16 at 8:21 am

christian_h

At the risk of being condescending, my generation, too, thought that our parents’ generation was responsible for how screwed up the world was, and that once we were in charge things would be different. But actually, that’s just a pat no-cost way to explain things, requiring no analysis and no humility. Not that we did very well. But maybe that’s why.

But the question wasn’t condescension. I was commenting on the perception of some people here that the “center-left” hates Sanders. I’ve never seen it. Possibly people who think that are projecting their own hatred of Clinton onto her supporters. I put “center-left” in quotes, because I don’t think it means much. At the Nevada caucuses, one (completely non-existent) Bernie Bro called Barbara Boxer, who by most measures is about as far left as Bernie, a “neo-lib bitch.”

The right condemned Obama for easing Mubarak out. Do you think Clinton was opposed to this? I think we should stop personalizing everything… there are a lot of dictators in the world (though fewer) and diplomats have to deal with them. I think even if Clinton didn’t care at all about democracy and only cared about US strategic interests (which was, in fact, her job) she would have supported the Arab Spring.

270

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 8:30 am

Brian Fallon National Press Secretary for the Clinton Campaign Apologizes on TV for “Go Fuck Yourself” Jesse Lehrich tweet.

Somehow I doubt the Clinton campaign envisioned they’d be the ones be apologizing to the American public for vulgarity and profanity post-debate.

Clinton blew her big chance to put teh Donald away. Lehrich confirmed as much with his tweet. Brian Fallon, Clinton’s national press secretary is now confirming both.

Talk about blowing it.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/10/clinton-campaign-regrets-sending-go-fk-yourself-tweet/

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Howard Frant 10.10.16 at 8:43 am

Will G-R @265

I take it, then, that you don’t regard Bernie Sanders as an irredeemable enemy of the oppressed. Why not? Because he uses the S-word? Because he wants to bring back Glass-Steagall? Because he proposed a single-payer health plan? Those all seem, obviously, pretty thin. How about Obama? Irredeemable?

272

engels 10.10.16 at 9:07 am

the “center-left” hates Sanders. I’ve never seen it.

He’s out of the game. If he wasn’t, you’d see it.

273

engels 10.10.16 at 9:42 am

The joke about herding cats comes to mind.

Part of that’s endemic to the left, part of it is a feature of the political crazytown that is the US of A but mostly it’s the USP of the CT comments section. The ratio of bullshitters, cranks and grandstanding know-it-alls to anyone with much interest in or connection to left-wing/working class politics (esp. outside US) is unusually small.

274

ZM 10.10.16 at 9:54 am

Will G-R,

“ZM, I didn’t think it was possible to be quite so naïve. As far as liberalism, stop embarrassing yourself and at least read “>a Wikipedia entry or something. “

Great 2 more of your needless insults

“Here’s a hint, when leftists in either the US or Australia (or in one of the many other countries in which leftists exist!) use the term “liberal”, we’re generally not referring to the ways in which groups like Aussie Labour and/or US Democrats (the people we call “welfare liberals” or “left-liberals”) are different from groups like Aussie Liberals and/or US Republicans (the people we call “classical liberals” or “right-liberals”) — we’re referring to the ways in which they’re not different.”

Summing up — you use the word “liberal” to describe all the major political parties in the US and Australia

This is not the most useful definition of “liberal” I have come across TBH

“That any of this needs to be explained in a setting where folks are allegedly supposed to have some baseline level of philosophical literacy is staggering.”

You have explained nothing about the meaning of “liberal” whatsoever apart from you think the major political parties in the US and Australia are all “liberal”, and there you go again with another one of your needless insults

I have read about liberalism and neoliberalism thank you, but you can see I provided you with information about the political parties and usage of liberal in Australia, and you just say well all major political parties are liberal — its not a very useful definition.

Yes, at this time the major political parties usually have policies you could describe as examples of neoliberalism leaning to the left or right, but my comment to you was specifically responding to you calling me a “liberal” in relation to my comments about UN refugee policy, and I was explaining to you the meaning of “liberal” in my country, Australia

“As far as Lupita’s and my political commitments, she can correct me if I’ve misread her but both of us are internationalists, and as such neither of us “identify with the interests of” any nation-state, be it Mexico or the US”

Right, you identify with no nation state, but you think United Nations work is “noncommittal, unenforceable, feel-good PR fluff “

A key difference between you and Lupita though is that Lupita is from Mexico and you are from the USA as far as I can tell

I don’t know if Lupita is an internationalist socialist or not, but she has clearly voiced concerns about the effects of US policy on her homeland Mexico

What are you policy alternatives to nation state politics or the United Nations right now?

“Aside from that, I’d prefer not to complement your baseless, insulting speculation about my motives with too much just-as-insulting but far less baseless speculation about your philosophical literacy, so I’ll stop there.”

Thanks for putting in another of your needless insults

Yes I do wonder about your motives, since your comments are mainly about discouraging people to vote Democrat in the US presidential elections even though you identify as left, and you consistently attack and insult other commenters, and you criticise any discussion of policy on several issues saying no good policy is possible until there is a total revolution, which you have said won’t happen for several decades and by that point action on issues I care about like climate change and refugees will be too late to either prevent catastrophic global warming, or to help people who are actual refugees and asylum seekers needing help now

And you don’t even provide any ideas what your revolution would be like or what society would be like after your revolution like the other socialist commenter Plume did provide — you just attack and criticise everything and discourage people from voting Democrat and insult people as often as is humanly possible

275

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 10:01 am

James Carville before debate: “Trump is going to have to quit.”

James Carville post debate: “I didn’t see her get rattled.” It’s a train wreck from beginning to end. She got stomped, she looked scared shit-less to be standing in the same room with the women who claim Hillary helped Bill cover his pecker tracks, and the first thing she did when she took the stage was sit down. Both moderators tried to spin for her during the debate. But Carville actually performed worse than his candidate. Can’t even keep his glasses on straight.

It was supposed to be over tonight. It isn’t.

Rachel Maddow and Chris Mathews:”Trump may not be the GOP candidate next week.”

Informed commentary from the it’s over for Trump can’t do it. Guess we’ll have to wait for another “last straw” right up until he’s sworn in.

Then it’ll be how long till Trump is impeached, or quits. One year? 18 months. He won’t finish his first term?

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/09/carville_i_did_not_see_her_get_rattled.html

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kidneystones 10.10.16 at 10:44 am

James Carville and Mark Cuban join Bill Mahr before the debate to gloat over Trump quitting the race.

Not a hint of hubris in any of them including the audience:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/08/james_carville_trump_will_quit_the_race.html

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Lee A. Arnold 10.10.16 at 10:51 am

Bruce Wilder #252: “Did he [Bob Schieffer] reflect on America’s descent into Banana Republic status when if was revealed that the U.S. had tortured prisoners?… You can see Donald Trump as an isolated nutcase, but it is hard to do that when one of the great political Parties has made him their nominee. This is America’s Id being exposed.”

I’m not sure what Bob Schieffer’s playing golf with Republicans has to do with this, but the answers are:

1. Yes, to my best recollection Schieffer is one of the earliest who spoke against torture and about its numbing effect on the US’s psyche, and

2. No, I do not think Trump is a nutcase, isolated. I think that around 15% of the US population are nutcases along with him, and they think he is their saviour. Another 25% of the population hates Hillary so bad that they are willing to hope that Trump is merely a reality show carney barker who will divert his attentions from sex and somehow Do the Right Thing, whatever in hell that is (perhaps he will be reined-in by those geniuses in the Senate). The parallels to public psychology of pre-fascist eras in other countries should be apparent, all the way back to the origin of the fasces.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 11:47 am

About “the center-left hates Sanders”: can we at least say that the HRC campaign opposed Sanders? It seems pretty uncontroversial that during a primary election one candidate’s campaign would oppose another rival candidate. When I link to David Brock’s PAC, I’m not claiming something abstract and unfalsifiable like “The center left hates Sanders”, I’m claiming that millions of dollars were spent to put a particular line of attack out there. (The press release only mentions 1 million dollars, but that wasn’t the only money spent by the campaign, clearly).

So why do we see the continued use of this by people like the commenters here? Because good propaganda doesn’t end when the propaganda does. This line offers obvious personal benefits in the areas of virtue signaling, substitution for real-life political activity, instant and non-demanding “solidarity”, and general avoidance of any challenging opinions.

279

faustusnotes 10.10.16 at 12:03 pm

Will G-R, you still don’t understand the concept of the brocialist, and you still don’t understand the limits of the term “liberal”. It’s been explained to you twice now – the people from outside the USA who are criticizing the brocialists here are not liberals. We are social democrats, mostly. Your US “liberal” is our “far right kook”. You might want to note that a large part of the international order you’re criticizing as feel good was created by non-US non-liberals, and maybe we have a different way of thinking about it and its efficacies than you.

Rich, F. Foundling at 107 dissected carefully Gaddafi’s statement that his forces would find the rebels “in their closets.” He’s clearly trying to say, on the basis only of a regime statement, that Gaddafi wasn’t causing any harm to civilians, only to rebels. This is patently not true, and it’s really disappointing to find leftists defending a murderer simply because he’s not HRC.

You might also like to note I opposed the 2003 Iraq war (you can ask Sean Hannity), even though Saddam Hussein was bad, and thought it would be better to drop the sanctions and no fly zones and let his country normalize relations with the world. I am well used to being accused of supporting evil dictators. But thinking a particular policy is good or bad for the people of a country doesn’t require that the leader of that country be exonerated for their obvious and heinous crimes – I never did and I would expect better of you.

Once again, it’s sad to see people revising history just so they can have a pure fire of Hilary hatred in their bellies. This corruption of far left intellectual effort really needs to go – though I suppose you think it can be dealt with after the revolution, which you have a concrete plan for bringing about that you are ready to share with us any day now, right?

280

engels 10.10.16 at 12:13 pm

Anyone who isn’t American and uses the term ‘brosocialist’ has been spending far too much time on the internet.

281

Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 12:21 pm

Here’s what milx wrote: “US targets = Gaddafi? I understand why you anonymize it – it’s not so bad when she’s talking about a guy who just said: “We are coming tonight. You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.””

Here is exactly what F. Foundling wrote up at #107 about Gaddafi in response, in full:

“What exactly was he supposed to tell armed rebels? ‘We will cuddle with you?’ This wasn’t addressed to the entire civilian population. From the Reuters article reporting on the speech: ‘Muammar Gaddafi told Libyan rebels on Thursday his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them. In a radio address, he told Benghazi residents that soldiers would search every house in the city and people who had no arms had no reason to fear.’ http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE72G7SB20110317

You characterize this as:
“He’s clearly trying to say, on the basis only of a regime statement, that Gaddafi wasn’t causing any harm to civilians, only to rebels.”

Do you have reading comprehension problems? Dyslexia is a serious problem: I won’t make fun of you if it’s something like that. I’ve noticed you seem to be most certain of your comments when they’re about statistics, and I wouldn’t try to tell you what kind of regression was best for a particular data set or something, but really — if you don’t at some level know this already — the above exchange does not say what you confidently and insultingly say that it does.

282

faustusnotes 10.10.16 at 12:32 pm

I don’t see an alternative explanation forthcoming. Perhaps you’d like to have a bash at it? How else would you quibble over the stated lethal intentions of a man with a recent history of murdering demonstrators? Do you take Gaddafi at his word, as F. Foundling does?

283

Layman 10.10.16 at 12:41 pm

“Do you have reading comprehension problems? Dyslexia is a serious problem: I won’t make fun of you if it’s something like that.”

Rich P responds to a distressing deficit of smarm in this thread.

284

Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 12:43 pm

OK then, here’s a short primer on pro-war propaganda. When warmongers are trying to get people to go to war, they don’t rely on factual and true statements like “Gaddafi murders demonstrators” or “Gaddafi is a violent dictator” etc. They instead rely on atrocity stories, like “Gaddafi is such a horrible dictator that he told people that he would murder them in their closets”. This extra detail makes the atrocity much more immediate and concrete and makes the recipient of the propaganda much more likely to think that any response — such as dropping bombs and killing a whole lot more people — has to be done to stop the dictator from killing people in their closets.

So part of actually opposing war has to do with criticizing this pro-war propaganda. When Gaddafi said the bit about closets, he really was talking about armed rebels. That makes the speech a whole lot more run-of-the-mill for a dictator, or really, for anybody. After all, our bombs kill armed rebels in their closets too.

So saying “He was directing that to armed rebels” does *not* mean that you’re claiming that Gaddafi was a good person, or that you’re taking his word that he’s not killing civilians, or that he isn’t actually killing unarmed civilians, or that you’re defending him. It means that you’re criticizing a piece of obvious and tiresome propaganda about that Gaddafi speech — propaganda whose intent was to encourage killing people and to defend politicians who had ordered the killing of people.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 1:03 pm

And, I should add, this is exactly what happened around the Iraq War. Whenever people said that Saddam actually hadn’t done or said whatever atrocity was claimed, the response was “Why are you defending Saddam, you Saddam lover.” I bring up as an example Saddam’s shredder.

I really have trouble believing that you don’t know this, and could uncritically use phrases like “gaddafi lover” above.

286

kidneystones 10.10.16 at 1:08 pm

Kar Krash Debate Kontinues

CNN Coaches Focus Group on hot mic:

http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/10/cnn-possibly-caught-coaching-post-debate-focus-group-video/

Making the news!

287

faustusnotes 10.10.16 at 1:18 pm

The first small problem with your rant, Rich, is that if you read the “propaganda” F. Foundling linked to, it doesn’t offer any critical reinterpretation of his speech, simply reports on it. The second problem is that Gaddafi had already lost one battle of Benghazi, during which his forces had killed civilians (opening fire on protesters and funerals, and killing soldiers who refused to fire on civilians). At the same time as the New York Times was reporting the speech Foundling links to, it also reports Libyan jets were bombing the town.

We never got to find out whether or not Gaddafi’s intentions were only to kill those he called “traitors” and “mercenaries”, because the intervention stopped his troops from dragging people from their closets.

That is, of course, without going into detail about what, exactly, constitutes a civilian in a conflict that pits protesters against the military.

I look forward to your greeting future US statements that they only kill soldiers with the same uncritical approval that you have given to Gaddafi’s threats. It’ll be refreshing to see you so naive and pure in your assessment of Hillary Clinton’s motives!

288

Yan 10.10.16 at 1:31 pm

This “liberalism” debate is so weird.

Will G-R, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the whole point that you are *not* using it in the American sense? You’re using it (I think) in the sense that originates with fine American patriots like John Locke and–to a lesser extent–John Stuart Mill, where it indicates a prioritizing of rights (often property rights) that is basically in tension with any left political project of class struggle or substantial wealth redistribution.

ZM thinks this makes it a useless term since it gathers too many political views together, but it does so in order to highlight how they all on some level basically resist a central feature of left politics. It’s not unuseful so much as unflattering and inconvenient.

So ut should be Americans if anyone confused about your usage. Indeed, I suspect you could half seriously accept faustusnotes’ comically exaggerated definition of liberal as “[the UK’s] far right kook”–if it weren’t for the fact that this overgenerously underplays how much more their liberals and our liberals have in common than they’d like to admit.

In any case, I’m just glad to learn Faustusnotes and I finally agree on something: Hillary Clinton is a far right kook.

289

engels 10.10.16 at 1:52 pm

It’s not unuseful so much as unflattering and inconvenient.

Yup. I knew there was a current of liberal punditry that wanted to stop people using the word ‘neoliberal’ for this reason but ‘liberal’—that’s a new one.

290

ZM 10.10.16 at 1:54 pm

Yan,

John Locke was not an American patriot he was English

“ZM thinks this makes it a useless term since it gathers too many political views together”

No, what I said was Will G-R’s usage was not very helpful since it was completely vague and he just defined “liberal” as “what all the major US and Australian political parties are” without any further definition apart from insults to me

“Indeed, I suspect you could half seriously accept faustusnotes’ comically exaggerated definition of liberal as “[the UK’s] far right kook”–if it weren’t for the fact that this overgenerously underplays how much more their liberals and our liberals have in common than they’d like to admit.
In any case, I’m just glad to learn Faustusnotes and I finally agree on something: Hillary Clinton is a far right kook.”

Please do feel free to tell us all your plans for the great revolution and how society will be structured afterwards, it would be nice to hear some actual plans

291

stevenjohnson 10.10.16 at 1:55 pm

It is absurd to pose as a critic of Clinton’s warmongering while passing on criticism of Obama’s warmongering. Since Obama may be preparing an imminent open assault on the Syrian government and Russia, the fraudulence of the leftist pose is extraordinary, and extraordinarily shameless. When you have no problem with that, you are a right winger.

(And again, there so called peaceful demonstrators resorted to organized armed violence within mere weeks, and persistently refused all efforts by the government to negotiate. Also, the notion that the US simultaneously supporting and fighting with Islamic State and theKurds somehow makes it impossible to assign responsibility to the US would be crazy, were it not so useful for avoiding unpleasant conclusions.)

The notion that Clinton’s landslide election will be a realignment election that wipes out the Republican Party was always incoherent as well as preposterous. The notion that Clinton will win in a landslide ignores the question of turn out, resting firm in the assumption that these are good times, just because the US government stats, Ben Casselman at fivethirtyeight and such ilk say so.

292

ZM 10.10.16 at 1:56 pm

“but it does so in order to highlight how they all on some level basically resist a central feature of left politics. “

what is this central feature you speak of?

293

Yan 10.10.16 at 2:16 pm

ZM, I thought prefacing that joke with a statement that he’s not using the American sense would be sufficient, without adding “[SARCASM]”. Indeed, just the phrase “fine American Patriots” on CT should make that unnecessary.

I’m not sure why you think my definitional claims about Will G-R’s use of liberalism commit me to any political views whatsoever, much less straw man revolutionary ones.

@292, The central feature was also, like the sarcasm warning, pretty clear: a prioritizing of rights over class equality or just distribution of wealth (which aren’t unvalued, but constrained by that prioritization). In the most right wing versions, it’s property rights and the rights of the market. In left versions, the emphasis is on other human rights, but they’re often intertwined with property rights and market freedom, and even on their own can be obstacles to class equality or redistributive measures.

294

Yan 10.10.16 at 2:32 pm

Sorry, correction: the central feature of left politics I had in mind was the prioritizing of class equality or abolition of classes over abstract rights.

295

ZM 10.10.16 at 2:35 pm

Well he isn’t using the Australian sense of liberal, and he was calling me a liberal and I can’t see how I fit the definition of liberal in the English sense either which is where the Australian term comes from

AFAICT Will G-R was using the American sense of liberal when he called me a liberal for commenting about the United Nation’s refugee summit

John Locke was English but I don’t see how calling him an American Patriot is sarcasm since I never even brought up John Locke and anyone can google me complaining about John Locke on previous CT threads, so why would Will G-R be saying I was like John Locke? and how is it sarcastic saying John Locke is an American Patriot when no one even brought John Locke up?

Yes classical liberal philosophers are not necessarily American Patriots — but I never said they were Yan

“I’m not sure why you think my definitional claims about Will G-R’s use of liberalism commit me to any political views whatsoever, much less straw man revolutionary ones.”

Since you said Hilary Clinton was a “Far Right Kook”, and you said liberalism “indicates a prioritizing of rights (often property rights) that is basically in tension with any left political project of class struggle or substantial wealth redistribution” and you said liberal political parties — by which you mean all the major political parties as per Will G-R’s definition — “on some level basically resist a central feature of left politics”

These all sound like you must be a leftist revolutionary, or else you are just saying these things for effect and have no plans for revolution at all

“@292, The central feature was also, like the sarcasm warning, pretty clear: a prioritizing of rights over class equality or just distribution of wealth (which aren’t unvalued, but constrained by that prioritisation).

In the most right wing versions, it’s property rights and the rights of the market.

In left versions, the emphasis is on other human rights, but they’re often intertwined with property rights and market freedom, and even on their own can be obstacles to class equality or redistributive measures.”

Okay, you’re saying property rights and human rights get in the way of class equality and redistribution of wealth.

So you want a classless society with equal distribution of wealth without property rights or human rights, is that it?

296

engels 10.10.16 at 2:41 pm

I agree with Yan’s definition of liberal. Possible others:
– people for whom capitalism is natural
– people for whom capital is invisible
– people for whom class is invisible

297

Will G-R 10.10.16 at 2:47 pm

ZM, the standard social-scientific definition of “liberal” wouldn’t be the standard definition if it wasn’t quite useful. Yes, it denotes essentially all major electoral factions within the space of what we call “liberal democracy” (other terms for which might include “capitalist politics” or “the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”) potentially excluding those factions we might call “illiberal” because their demonstrated objective is to gain power over liberal democracy in order to abolish and replace it. To be fair, one source of confusion here is that while in many countries terms like “social democracy” and “labor” originally denoted independent working-class movements that indeed sought to abolish and replace liberalism, the institutionalization of welfare states within a liberal framework in the late 19th through mid 20th centuries involved integrating these parties into the liberal political order, such that today’s mainstream political parties under “labor”, “social democratic”, or even “socialist” labels do not in fact seek to abolish liberal democracy.

That said, the above should be utterly basic stuff in any remotely literate understanding of modern political history, and acting as if it’s somehow news is absurdly anti-intellectual if not outright disingenuous. But if it truly does escape your comprehension, ZM, then Yan and I are doing you a disservice by trying to do your secondary-school homework for you. So hit the books!

298

Will G-R 10.10.16 at 2:54 pm

Actually, it makes a fair bit of sense that the same kinds of people who aren’t literate enough in basic political history to understand how 19th-century classical liberalism relates to 20th-century Keynesian/Fordist welfare liberalism, and why both of these ideological currents are subspecies of the broader species “liberalism”, are also the people who interpret the term “neoliberalism” — the core doctrine of which is a reassertion of fundamental liberal principles against the left in contrast to earlier liberals’ perceived compromise on these issues — as some kind of meaningless commie gibberish. At some point you really do have to bring a certain baseline understanding to the table, and none of this stuff is honestly that hard to understand unless you’re actively trying not to.

299

ZM 10.10.16 at 2:55 pm

engels,

Yan hasn’t defined liberal at all though apart from saying

1. liberalism prioritises property rights and human rights over class equality and redistribution of wealth

and

2. agreeing with Will G-R’s definition of liberal which was just liberal is all the major political parties in the US and Australia

The whole argument I had with Will G-R started when I commented about the United Nations summit on refugees and he said “Jesus, ZM, you liberals never cease to amaze me with your commitment to taking noncommittal, unenforceable, feel-good PR fluff at face value…”

My comment didn’t have anything to do with capitalism it was about refugees — and human rights are important for refugees

300

Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 3:03 pm

faustusnotes: “The first small problem with your rant, Rich, is that if you read the “propaganda” F. Foundling linked to, it doesn’t offer any critical reinterpretation of his speech, simply reports on it.”

One more time, here is the order of events. 1) milx repeats war propaganda about Gaddafi’s speech meaning that he was going to kill people in their closets, 2) F. Foundling says that that the speech does not mean what milx says it does, 3) F. Foundling links to reporting on that speech. F. Foundling did not link to the news article because F. Foundling thought the news article was propaganda: F. Foundling was presenting the news article as backing up F. Foundling’s claim.

Do you what a waste of my time it is to painstakingly present this to you as if you were a ten year old? That is not what I comment on CT for. I hope to have conversations with intelligent people who can read. You are obviously intelligent, for some version of “intelligence”, but you can not read and follow along with what people are writing.

There are two alternative explanations. One of them is that you’re blustering (I noticed the psychological projection in claiming that my comment was a “rant”) because you don’t want to admit that you were wrong, or indeed that your whole worldview is wrong. That’s annoying but understandable.

The other is that you’re doing this on purpose. It’s well-known that if you simply continue any argument for long enough, and pretend not to understand what the other person is saying, then readers will drop out in disgust. Annoying people will start to write things like “CT threads are so much worse now”. That’s a valuable propaganda technique in its own right, and one that David Brock’s minions are supposed to be well versed in.

301

engels 10.10.16 at 3:11 pm

Annoying people will start to write things like “CT threads are so much worse now”.

In case that’s directed at me, I don’t think they’re getting worse (I’m not sure that’s possible), just longer.

ZM, I was referring to 1. (I haven’t followed your argument with Will about the UN but it seems possible to me someone could be in favour of action on refugees while thinking the UN’s claims to promote this are mostly just talk).

302

ZM 10.10.16 at 3:16 pm

Will G-R,

So you want to call basically everything since the 19th C through the mid 20th C to the 21st C “liberalism” without making any distinctions between different political parties and different political actors and different policies and different historical periods apart from those groups that wanted to “gain power over liberal democracy in order to abolish and replace it” which you say no longer exist in mainstream politics

To me this sounds like a really broad use of the word liberal, I don’t find it that useful, and I find your repeated insults about my reading ability and education quite annoying and unfounded

“At some point you really do have to bring a certain baseline understanding to the table, and none of this stuff is honestly that hard to understand unless you’re actively trying not to.”

You aren’t saying anything much to understand — you are saying everything is liberal, all the major political parties are liberal, and everything liberal is bad

You are being simplistic in my opinion and what you are saying doesn’t seem that useful for policy making, especially when you founder at offering alternatives

What is your alternative non-liberal refugee policy since that’s what I was commenting about when you attacked me?

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William Timberman 10.10.16 at 3:26 pm

Will G-R @ 297-298

Clarity. It’s a bit daunting, watching all these folks tramping through 200+ years of western political and economic history with their bullhorns and books of chastisements, but given that a) the shit finally seems to have hit the fan, and b) Hillary Clinton is considered credible as a representative of the center left, how could we realistically expect anything else?

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 3:26 pm

Will G-R: “potentially excluding those factions we might call “illiberal” because their demonstrated objective is to gain power over liberal democracy in order to abolish and replace it.”

I favor that definition, distinction or whatever you want to call it. American conservatives and American liberals are both liberals in their basic political framework, but when talking about practical politics I favor JQ’s three-party model.

I was a left-liberal for most of my political life, but I was always aware (as far as I can remember) of the basic kind of classification that Will G-R is making. This is why, even now, I write things like “Neoliberalism is a liberalism” — it shares important characteristics with other forms of liberalism, without being exactly the same as them and without all liberalism being neoliberalism. You could equally well talk about socialism as a kind of politics with certain assumptions even though there are socialisms that are very, very different from each other (e.g. libertarian socialism and state socialism). I got annoyed at people who tried to read Sanders out of socialism for this reason: I thought that his beliefs fitted into one historical strain of socialism even though they didn’t many others (and even though many of his voters treated “socialism” as a kind of shorthand for opposition to the system rather than having what seemed to be socialist beliefs as such).

Parenthetically, Will G-R, I think that you should go easier on ZM.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 3:28 pm

“In case that’s directed at me”

No, it wasn’t, but it is a general trope around the election. I don’t know why people think that it is a bad sign that around contested elections arguments get longer and more heated.

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Yan 10.10.16 at 4:15 pm

ZM @295

For the record, although I agree with most of Will G-R has said, I was trying to clarify the terms not take sides. I do think some of his comments to you have been uncharitable, but sympathize with his frustration, since he’s using the term in a relatively common and noncontroversial way, found often in the history of ideas and the history of philosophy. It’s not even an ideologically directed definition. Many on the right use it to (mistakenly) argue that leftist politics is fundamentally dangerous, tending inevitably toward egregious violations of rights.

My joke, such as it was, was that you claimed he was using an American definition of liberalism. To which I was responding: only if you think Locke is American.

Not that he’s suggesting you agree with Locke in every way, but in the way I defined that delineates a rather complex, and self-contested, tradition: giving priority to rights over equality and to abstract legal recognition of rights over concrete egalitarian conditions that make the exercise of those rights possible and meaningful. (A variant of this is the liberal emphasis on “negative rights” and suspicion of “positive rights”.)

I was joking that Hillary is a far right kook, to highlight faustusnotes’ inconsistency: he defends Hillary, but she’s on his definition of liberal a far right kook.

The key word in my definitions is “prioritize”. I went out of my way to say that liberals don’t disregard equality and lefties don’t disregard rights. They give one more weight.

This is the history of ideas definition, not mine. I prefer thinking of equality as the necessary condition of concrete freedom or excercise of right. So I prefer to think of left politics as the equal promotion of rights and equality, but of real rather than symbolic rights. And I think of liberalism as the promotion of conditions that undermine real rights while doing lip service to their symbolic acknowledgement.

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Lee A. Arnold 10.10.16 at 4:17 pm

People should probably just give their own short definitions of “liberalism” instead of coyly laying claim to its historical periods. In 50 words or less.

I think “liberalism” should be strictly confined to its earliest and shortest definition: the early modern defense of individual liberty and equality, as against the whims of monarchy, aristocracy, priesthood. This included strong property law against unjust seizure.

Thus, liberalism is an historical episode.

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bruce wilder 10.10.16 at 4:17 pm

Will G-R: . . . none of this stuff is honestly that hard to understand unless you’re actively trying not to.

Apparently, some of it is hard to understand.

One of the difficulties does seem to arise from how people deal with time.

Political ideas and ideologies have evolved. Liberalism has a long history as the ideology of the modern capitalist and managerial / professional classes, being reproduced with variations from one generation to the next to the next. Turgot sounds surprisingly like any austerian from the IMF. And, in the course of that evolution, conservative counter-points have arisen as have some more radical and avant-garde socialisms. The evolution of some socialist views in a liberal direction, adopting a reform agenda (Eduard Bernstein et alia), became a vital part of European politics.

That the whole of American mainstream politics is and always has been basically liberal just has to do with the U.S. as one of the first wholly modern nation-state and the first modern post-feudal state after the Dutch Republic and Britain after the Civil War and Glorious Revolution.

FDR re-purposed the term, “liberal” for the New Deal Populist-Progressive fusion in support of legitimate labor politics and some features of a regulatory and social welfare state. Populist and Progressive, with capital letters, have specific meanings in American political history that are somewhat orthogonal to the history of the two political parties. No reason why people outside the U.S. should be especially attuned to that. It gave “liberal” a meaning that contrasted with the application of liberal to some of the non-Catholic centrist Parties of Western Europe post-WWII, but it was hardly a day-night contrast. That it corresponded in some rough way with Labour politics in Britain and Social Democratic politics in Western European should hardly be some challenge to powers of translation.

From the 1940s, some right-wing figures, conceding the hegemony of liberal ideologies, started using classical liberal as a retronym disguising their own arguably reactionary and authoritarian views. This was part of the design that stole “libertarian” from the radical left.

From the 1980s, neoliberal came from multiple origins to represent an evolution of liberal and European socialist in Third Way politics and technocratic speak in a global ideology of the executive and managerial classes (as RP has argued).

How hard is all that, really? But, cartoonish ways of handling political history serve some purposes I guess.

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Lee A. Arnold 10.10.16 at 4:20 pm

Stevenjohnson #219: “The notion that Clinton’s landslide election will be a realignment election that wipes out the Republican Party was always incoherent as well as preposterous.”

I don’t know what “wipes out” means here, but I think that this misreads what is going on. The crackup doesn’t need a landslide, nor even Hillary Clinton.

The Republican Party already looks like it will split into two (more like, 1/3 vs. 2/3), and a victory by any Democrat against “TeaPartyTrumpism” might do it.

This split within the GOP has been in the cards since Reagan.

Trump merely accelerated the process by his pure opportunism. He openly attacked the party leaders in the primaries, ran toward the fascist right, and returned to that “burn-the-house-down” style at last night’s debate (Oct. 10 – perhaps signaling that he no longer expects to win the election).

It looks like even Republican Party strategists finally understand that a crackup is a high possibility. Although they still don’t trace it all the way back, to the fantasy-promise of smaller gov’t, reduced taxes on the “job creators”, and deregulation, all to create economic growth.

Anyway, if Trump loses, then what? Well, it is possible that his ego — and his commercial interests — are likely to lead the TrumpTeas to split-off into a third party, founded upon a cable TV & social media network.

Or do you think that, instead, Trump will go gentle into that good night?

And, if the TrumpTeas absquatulate, then at that very moment the “moderate” Republicans, who have been stringing the Teas & their predecessors along for years, won’t have enough remaining voters to be elected dogcatcher.

So then, what do the moderates do?

Well, a lot of the immediate answer to that depends on whether the Republicans have held the Senate and the House. If they hold Congress, then can oppose President Hillary the way they opposed Obama.

But then, there is another new wrinkle. The obstructionists are going to run into the changed media landscape. Mainstream reporters had been their enablers — until now.

Reporters have realized that the GOP has played them for suckers, (or, for the most part, they realize it), and the lack of investigative reportage in their standard “he said, she said” format has led to an uninformed electorate — and indeed has led us all right to Candidate Trump, a circumstance which really ought not be repeated.

The reporters will find validation among most of the voters, who are going to be very weary of further obstructionism, at least for a while. (Most of the voters, except the TrumpTeas.)

So, the moderate Republicans are going to be trapped. Thus, I don’t see an easy course correction for the GOP.

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ZM 10.10.16 at 4:28 pm

I tried to explain that in Australia we have an opposition of liberal politics versus labour politics, with our major right wing political party being the Liberal Party.

If we are talking about American style “liberalism” we say “small l liberal” and if we want to distinguish the UK classical liberal tradition from our Liberal Party we also say “small l liberal”.

Also both our major political parties are to the left of the Republican and Democrat parties in the US on things like healthcare and education and welfare.

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Will G-R 10.10.16 at 4:48 pm

Point taken re: charitability. Most of us here who consider ourselves to the left of liberalism were liberals once (by some people’s definitions we’re still liberals until we throw our full material weight behind some Maoist party mounting a protracted people’s war) and I like to think that at least the more naïve forms of liberalism are at least in some way redeemable. As Žižek puts it:

Apropos liberal egalitarianism, it is not enough to make the old Marxist point about the gap between the ideological appearance of the universal legal form and the particular interests that effectively sustain it — as is so common amongst politically-correct critics on the Left. The counter-argument that the form is never a “mere form,” but involves a dynamic of its own which leaves traces in the materiality of social life, made by theoreticians such as Claude Lefort and Jacques Rancière, is fully valid — it was the bourgeois “formal freedom” which set in motion the process of altogether “material” political demands and practices, from trade unions to feminism. One should resist the cynical temptation of reducing it to a mere illusion that conceals a different actuality. That would be to fall into the trap of the old Stalinist hypocrisy which mocked “merely formal” bourgeois freedom: if it was so merely formal and didn’t disturb the true relations of power, why, then, didn’t the Stalinist regime allow it? Why was it so afraid of it?

The interpretive demystification is thus here relatively easy, since it mobilizes the tension between form and content: to be consequent, an “honest” liberal democrat will have to admit that the content of his ideological premises belies its form, and thus radicalize the form (the egalitarian axiom) by way of implementing it more thoroughly onto the content. (The main alternative is the retreat into cynicism: “we know egalitarianism is an impossible dream, so let us pretend that we are egalitarians, while silently accepting necessary limitations…”).

So OK, ZM… if you’ll go back and read what I wrote, your characterization that I’m not “making any distinctions between different political parties and different political actors and different policies and different historical periods” is 100% incorrect. I actually did try to explain to you an important distinction between different policies and historical periods of liberalism: what various people in various countries call “welfare liberalism”, “the welfare state”, “social liberalism”, or “social democracy” is liberalism’s adaptation to the demands of leftist movements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which is especially evident in liberal rhetoric of the 1930s about the potential for economic dislocation to drive workers into the arms of the radical left, stressing the need for liberals to incorporate some concessions to leftist demands into the liberal framework in order to prevent a revolution. The (maximally simplified) periodization of liberal political trends would thus run “classical liberalism” –> “welfare liberalism” –> “neoliberalism”, with neoliberalism denoting our current era of ever-more-defanged leftist movements and ever-more-dismantled welfare states. But yes, if we’re determined to maintain our intellectual rigor in the face of propagandistic bastardizations (from the American to the Australian), all of these trends still fall under the rubric of liberalism.

As far as refugees, my favored policy would be absolute free movement of people, with a global political apparatus empowered to ensure that this is able to occur with a minimum of human misery, i.e. organized and legitimate flows of safe mass transportation as opposed to illegitimized and deliberately life-threatening human trafficking operations. My favored policy would also be to end the various destructive Western political and economic interventions that lead to global flows of refugees and/or economic migrants (a distinction I consider illegitimate) fleeing unsafe/destitute regions for safe/affluent ones in the first place. On a broader level, my favored policy would be to end the fragmentation of the global working class by nation-state, and to treat nobody’s claims to political or economic security as any more legitimate than anybody else’s on account of their nation-state of origin. Unfortunately, for reasons the radical critique of capitalism make quite clear, the politics of global capitalism (a liberal politics) will not allow any of this to happen, which is why we need something else.

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Lee A. Arnold 10.10.16 at 4:54 pm

Back in the “shocking and awesome” dept., U.S. Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has just announced that he will not campaign for, or defend, Trump.

It looks like the Republicans are going to try to protect their high-end tax cuts and free enterprise by swallowing hard, and making:

“tough and even odious compromises” to help “low-skilled labor and immigrants” thereby to help build

“a coalition with displaced workers like we did with the religious right after Roe vs. Wade and which we used to lower the marginal rate from 70% to 28% — it’s gradually grown back to 43% as the demographics of that coalition have eroded — and that leaves us in control, us being advocates of free enterprise, in control of the coalition.”

— from the speech given by Edward Conard to Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the GOP panjandrums back in June (click at bottom of the following page to read the transcript):

http://www.edwardconard.com/ed-conard-at-mitt-romneys-2016-offsite-how-free-market-advocates-can-regain-control-of-the-gop/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/saving-gop-for-capitalism?utm_term=.iyj2WO4ke#.nmobR3Ako

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Howard Frant 10.10.16 at 5:22 pm

Will G-R

OK, here’s what I’ve got so far:

Liberals prioritize human rights over class equality.
Clinton is a liberal.
Sanders is not a liberal.

Do the people who voted for Sanders know this? I don’t think so.

Now that we’ve got this established, can we at least refrain from broadening the term “neoliberal” so it loses its original intended meaning of reviving an extreme free-market ideology? We’ve got the term “liberal” covering the entire US political spectrum except Sanders; we don’t really need another term covering the entire US political spectrum except Sanders. Instead of calling Barbara Boxer a “neolib bitch” we could just call her a “liberal bitch”. That would at least not leave people scratching their heads.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.10.16 at 5:33 pm

“So, the moderate Republicans are going to be trapped. Thus, I don’t see an easy course correction for the GOP.”

So the moderate Republicans join the Democratic Party, which now has essentially no difference in ideology from theirs. Then what? Then we have much the same situation as we have now: the GOP can not win a national election until / unless the electorate really gets disgusted with the party in power: the GOP can still maintain a strong presence in the House and Senate. Maybe they convert to House and Senate minorities as well, but this is an unstable situation. In the American set-up, one party can not win indefinitely before there’s some kind of break.

So either the GOP gets reconstituted as it was, or the realignment breaks the Democratic Party as well. I don’t see how the GOP can really go away without the Democratic Party splitting.

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Will G-R 10.10.16 at 5:40 pm

The willpower it takes not to be snarky here could singlehandedly solve the Earth’s dependence on fossil fuels, but no, Howard, nowhere did I claim that Bernie Sanders is not a liberal. This is the second CT thread now in which you’ve brought up Bernie Sanders to me completely out of the blue, without my having mentioned him at all, as if any American with a left critique of Hillary Clinton must naturally be a supporter of Bernie Sanders. (In the previous thread, after I incredulously denied having staked my political position to Bernie Sanders, your reaction was even to assume that this logically implies I’m not actually an American.) If you’ll read what I actually wrote, you might note that I described “social democracy” and “the welfare state” as terms describing a particular form of liberalism, and Sanders’ stated agenda embodies this form of liberalism quite well.

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Yan 10.10.16 at 5:59 pm

Howard you may be making the mistake ZM did, by assuming prioritizing equality implies undervaluing rights.

Consider Sanders’ platform in order of how often he emphasized or talked about issues: break up the banks, universal healthcare, free college tuition. He also talked about equal pay, immigration, and police violence. But clearly not as much (this was many Clinton supporters’ main criticisms, after all!)

So yes, he cares about both equality and rights, but prioritized the former.

Of course many of these issues involve both equality and rights, so one way lefties make their views more palatable to liberals is by framing economic equality in terms of rights: a “right” to health insurance, for example. (This is another reason why I don’t like this common way of contrasting liberalism: I thinks equality doesn’t exist without rights and vice versa, so neither can in practice always be prioritized.)

And surely you recognize that the right wing critique of Sanders for giving away free stuff on their dime was a complaint, however ludicrous, that Sanders wasn’t sufficiently protecting property rights?

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engels 10.10.16 at 6:10 pm

From the 1980s, neoliberal came from multiple origins to represent an evolution of liberal and European socialist in Third Way politics and technocratic speak in a global ideology of the executive and managerial classes (as RP has argued).

Repeatedly and quite mistakenly imho

And in other news—in perhaps another blow for the Puchalsky-Wilder thesis that neoliberalism, classical liberalism and libertarianism are greatly different phenomena: the Adam Smith Institute just declared itself to be a ‘neoliberal’ think tank.

https://twitter.com/asi/status/785519509864153088

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engels 10.10.16 at 6:12 pm

(The point if the above is that imo #308 is far too complicated and Will’s much simpler remarks were basically fine. But said all this before.)

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Val 10.10.16 at 7:38 pm

It was interesting, and a step forward, to read people clarifying what they think ‘liberal’ means, but the remaining weakness is the apparent conflation of human rights and property rights. Sure, as someone above (I think it was Bruce Wilder in his historical exegesis) explained, the idea of individual property rights may have been asserted as part of the assertion of individual rights, as a defence against the overweening sovereign or lord, but there is a danger in confusing them.

John Quiggin has talked at length about what are property rights, and the answer may vary from my right to ‘own’ my toothbrush, to the elaborate schemes of wealth accumulation under high capitalism. It’s not simple.

A suggestion that because ZM believes in the human rights of refugees, she is somehow a ‘liberal’ in the same sense as the Australian Liberal Party, (or the American Republicans), who are committed to extending the wealth and income gap, in the name of trickle down economics, is clearly wrong.

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Anarcissie 10.10.16 at 7:44 pm

Yan 10.10.16 at 5:59 pm @ 316 —
I think one might say that freedom and equality were necessary to each other, because if people are unequal in any significant way some must have more freedom than others. (Freedom being the space in which one can work one’s will.) Rights are often given as a synonym for freedom, but in the form of limited areas of freedom within an overarching system of law; rights are rules, rules are language, language can be juggled and manipulated and subverted, in particular by specialists, and so a system of rights will guarantee some freedom some of the time and at other times may operate in exactly the opposite way. (As in the case of property rights in other human beings.) Sanders had to prioritize some kinds of equality over some kinds of rights because the political-economic system in which he and anything he did to modify it would be embedded already strongly prioritizes inequality over rights.

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engels 10.10.16 at 7:53 pm

322

engels 10.10.16 at 8:02 pm

Iirc Will’s snark at ZM was for taking UN statements at face value. Maybe unfair but it definitely doesn’t imply being concerned for refugees makes someone a liberal.

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Val 10.10.16 at 8:07 pm

@321
That book looks interesting, although I don’t think I have the time or stamina to wade through any more books by French social theorists right now :) Perhaps you could give us the potted version?

On a related point about human rights and property rights (which has also been debated here), as a feminist, I believe that assertion of the right of married women to own property in the 19thC (as well as have guardianship of their children) was a good thing. That doesn’t mean I support capitalism though.

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Val 10.10.16 at 8:20 pm

@322
The point was he called her a liberal as part of that snark, and then went on to make very broad claims about who and what liberals are.

Your interpretation suggests he’s using it to mean ‘naive fool’ which reinforces my point about using the word merely as a general term of abuse.

More charitably, he may in that usage have meant ‘someone who believes in working with established institutions to effect change’, but if so, as ZM points out, he hasn’t given us a recipe for immediately overthrowing the institutions yet.

How would he get rid of the UN, and what would he replace it with, given that even in its present weak form, it’s the bane of the right?

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Will G-R 10.10.16 at 9:16 pm

Val, to the extent that the UN and international institutions like it have enshrined liberal democracy as their ideal form of government through founding statements like the UDHR, and to the extent that they themselves operate as procedural, rules-governed, formally egalitarian institutions in imitation of liberal democratic governments (albeit poor imitations, since in practice, state and nonstate actors allegedly subject to international law are nonetheless empowered to behave in all sorts of highly illiberal ways), it seems mind-numbingly, soul-crushingly, brain-deadeningly uncontroversial to characterize these institutions as “liberal” institutions and proposed solutions within the frameworks of these institutions as “liberal” solutions. But if this is really the rhetorical hill you and ZM want to die on, I won’t stop you.

Aside from this, the constant demand by liberals that radicals provide their complete blueprints for a future society as a baseline cost of admission for bringing the topic up at all never ceases to be disingenuous. Your proposed liberal solutions to the problems you set out to solve will not work. The fact that radicals who understand this generally don’t claim to know what solutions will work doesn’t change this.

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LFC 10.10.16 at 9:47 pm

Val @319
the remaining weakness is the apparent conflation of human rights and property rights. Sure, … the idea of … property rights may have been asserted as part of the assertion of individual rights, … but there is a danger in confusing them.

Bowles & Gintis argued in Democracy and Capitalism (1986[*]) that a “clash of property rights and personal rights” was and is a feature of “liberal democratic capitalism,” which was and is therefore “an intrinsically conflictual social system.” Which sounds somewhat Marxian, except they criticize Marx in some respects (see esp. ch.5). I’m not going to try to give a summary of the bk, but I wonder why I don’t see it mentioned much, if at all. Probably I’m not reading the right (that’s right, not Right) things these days.

[*] Published in ’86, but there’s a later edition w/ new preface, iirc.

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Val 10.10.16 at 9:52 pm

The other way of looking at it, Will, is that the UN is the first attempt at an international form of governance that is not based on violence (in Weber’s sense) It is not an Empire, but at least partially democratic.. In that sense it is a step forward. A lot of this is about perspective and gradualism, versus radical change. If you want to make an argument for radical change, fine, but you have to persuade people how it can be done, (unless you propose to use violence).

(And please don’t tell me that the UN sanctions violence, and even the peacekeeping forces ‘use’ violence, or the threat of violence, in the same way that state police forces do, I know that. Even I, as an ardent pacifist, haven’t worked out how we can do without that form of policing yet.)

Can you (and others here) please stop using insults. I know, we all tend to do it, I’ve done it myself, but it doesn’t help the discussion.

I am not a liberal as I have told you before so please stop calling me one.

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LFC 10.10.16 at 9:59 pm

Since most humane, democratic radicals are (presumably) in favor of certain liberal rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of the person from arbitrary imprisonment and torture etc., and since, if memory serves, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an explicitly aspirational document that includes things like a universal right to literacy, to adequate income, and to meaningful work, I would think an intellectually honest radical would be inclined to acknowledge that if the UN’s founding documents such as the UDHR and various subsequent (non-binding) UN Gen. Assembly resolutions were operationalized, that would represent a substantial step toward desirable and in some ways radical change, albeit not the revolutionary utopia.

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LFC 10.10.16 at 10:03 pm

Shorter 328: There are areas of overlap betw ‘liberalism’ and ‘radicalism’, but it wd be hard to glean that from most of Will G-R’s comments.

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Faustusnotes 10.10.16 at 10:24 pm

So Rich, no alternative explanation of foundling’s point? Am I to assume that from now on you and foundling will be equally uncritical in your interpretation of American military assurances that they only target militants? It’s a bit confusing, since they continually make this claim and you are constantly saying they indiscriminately kill civilians. Perhaps you could clarify why you and foundling trust gaddafi’s public assurances (made just weeks after his forces opened fire on demonstrators!) more than you trust clintons?

The discussion of liberalism is typically silly. I wonder if the Americans understand the history and politics of social democratic movements at all, outside of lenin’s silly pamphlet? I also wonder how they envision a society that prioritizes the violent overthrow of class distinctions over human rights. What happens to indigenous landowners in such a society? Or to gypsies, or refugees? History tells us what is likely to happen to such people, and we all know how well these movements have historically dealt with issues like rape …

Oh! But we must t challenge the radicals to present us with a concrete plan! Our solutions will never work! But heaven forbid we ask them for theirs …

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Lee A. Arnold 10.10.16 at 10:46 pm

Will G-R #325: “Aside from this, the constant demand by liberals that radicals provide their complete blueprints for a future society as a baseline cost of admission for bringing the topic up at all never ceases to be disingenuous. Your proposed liberal solutions to the problems you set out to solve will not work.”

This is nonsense, on both counts.

You have freedom of speech — and you have it right here, on an astonishingly advanced technological development — and so “liberalism” works, at least a little.

Nor do we need a complete blueprint. Just answer the question, “What do radicals think should happen in practice, next?” This is to ask ingenuously.

Again, you appear to be a quasi-religious believer in your own abstractions, abstractions reified as actors, having agency in the world.

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Val 10.10.16 at 11:01 pm

LFC @ 326

Thanks very much LFC. I have started a file called ‘CT reading list’ and will try to keep and follow up all these good recommendations.

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merian 10.10.16 at 11:01 pm

Rich Puchalsky, back at #two-twenty-something:

And all of the excuses that people made for their behavior during this election (“we have to stop Trump!”) will not end with this election cycle,

True.

any more than than the bits about 12 dimensional chess, Green Lanternism, and so on stopped being used as excuses for Obama once his elections were over.

Probably true, too.

Let’s get real, again: in 4 years there will be Trump 2.0

Unfortunately pretty much a certainty.

and all of the same people will be saying that we absolutely need to stop going on about HRC’s past broken promises in order to get rid of Trump 2.0 and that we’re racist and / or sexist if we don’t.

Well, possibly, but I can’t speak for those. I don’t support this as a matter of general principle.

Maybe these points of agreement illuminate why I’m resisting being shoehorned into your system that seems to suppose that anyone who brings up sexism or racism/Islamophobia must must do it out of allegiance to Clinton or the Democratic party establishment. I thought that having no dog in the fight for the success of the Democratic party, per se, would help me escape this sterotype, but no. I also don’t think I’m a crypt-neoliberal; ok, pragmatism looks better than idealism these days.

I wonder how much of what you say is about Clinton in the first place. Would your attitude be any different if the person standing there was — just for a random list of potential options — Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, Harry Reid? (Couldn’t quickly come up with a female option, but well, Clinton’s the first that made it that far for a reason.) Even Bernie Sanders, though the soundwaves would probably more hopey-changey, and the Trum-attack-caused bloodsplatters would have a different pattern.

Your position sounds so oddly anachronistic (not in the sense of outdated, but ahistorical, decontextualized) to me.

I’m OK with public cynicism that says that all politicians are lying and that none of their promises can be trusted. But how are people going to follow up on that? Is there any mechanism by which they plan to pressure them, in any realistic way? Note that Sanders supporters just did the time-honored “primary challenge to pull the party to the left” and got nothing.

How do you know they got nothing? And don’t say her past behavior — the invoice would have to be presented after the election after all, and for her program they DID get stuff. So what mechanism would you suggest? This is the 4th Western democratic country I’ve lived in as an adult, and I am confused why people aren’t following up. It would be obvious how this could look like, so why do you think this isn’t happening? (I’m still new enough to it, and think times have shifted, to hope and half expect that it will. But if it doesn’t, what’s standing in the way? Surely not some nobody like me and others saying that I’m ok with Clinton focussing of winning the election against the would-be dictator at the moment…)

And Howard Frant, you’re speaking to my heart. I find that staying on topic would be so much easier if commenters read for content and abstained from litigating every slightly sub-optimal adverbial phrase.

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hix 10.10.16 at 11:15 pm

“The whole thing here: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/1637

Thats a rather sad confirmation that “centrist” Democrats positions are about the same as the ones of the 10% most right wing Germans )-:. For some reason i was hopeing operatives at that level were just cynical manipulators, but that sounds like he really believes it.

Must be the supirior jew genes… Racism at its worst.

335

basil 10.10.16 at 11:21 pm

>>Our solutions will never work!
Strewth! Love you for owning them.

No, I ain’t got cash
I ain’t got cash
But I got you baby

I don’t need no money
As long as I can feel the beat
I don’t need no money
As long as I keep dancing*

*Not a Rosa quote.

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F. Foundling 10.10.16 at 11:24 pm

Howard Frant @254

>There was no insurrection. … Eventually the demonstrators got tired of getting killed and started getting arms.

Umm, getting arms to fight the government *is* an insurrection, even granting that the government provoked it – although the defection of (Sunni) military to form the FSA was arguably more important.

>Obama sided with the demonstrators– I guess that’s what you mean by “encouraged by the US very early on.”

I was thinking more of the fact that the US and the rest of the West made it very clear that they considered the rebels (the SNC in particular) to be the legitimate representative of Syria and the Assad regime to be an illegitimate government. I would be surprised if inofficial promises to that effect didn’t precede this official recognition.

>>observing international law is not just optional.

>True if intervention means military force. In this case I didn’t. In the early days of the armed civil war, the rebels begged the US for arms.

I’m awfully sorry to break this to you, but arming rebels to overthrow the government of another country is actually illegal as well.

>I don’t say that intervention would’ve led to better outcomes, but non-intervention clearly didn’t work.

More like ‘supporting and arming rebels didn’t work’ (as a way to establish peace), however surprising that may be. Apart from that, both non-intervention and intervention would eventually ‘work’ in that one side would win and the war would end.

>we’ve just erased the idea of “never again” … If we’re far more responsible for people we kill … then we are for the deaths we don’t prevent, obviously the moral thing is just to let the genocide go ahead.

The question is how sure you can be that you will prevent more deaths than you will cause, in the short and in the long run. Clearcut cases like the Holocaust are actually very rare, and yet the comparison with it has been (mis)used as a justification for most US interventions since the Cold War.

>I doubt that.

I sort of wonder if you ‘doubt’ that attacking what is basically a joint military force consisting in part of Russian units would mean a war with Russia, with a serious risk of going nuclear, or whether you are an unaware that ‘very serious people’ are calling for that, and that your own suggestions that non-intervention hasn’t worked (and presumably it’s time to try something else) appear to amount to such a call as well. But never mind.

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F. Foundling 10.10.16 at 11:34 pm

hix @ 334

Last I checked, it wasn’t clear that the person sending these mails was a Democrat at all or that the Democrat that received them liked their content. Could have been some strange spam for all we know – correct me if I’m wrong.

338

Yan 10.10.16 at 11:42 pm

Hix and Foundling @334 & 337

Yes, I looked around a bit and my best guess that some unknown crazy just emailed that to Podest and out of the blue. I can’t find any info about who it is or evidence of a connection to podesta.

339

F. Foundling 10.11.16 at 12:07 am

Faustusnotes @ 330
>Am I to assume that from now on you and foundling will be equally uncritical in your interpretation of American military assurances that they only target militants? … Perhaps you could clarify why you and foundling trust gaddafi’s public assurances (made just weeks after his forces opened fire on demonstrators!) more than you trust clintons?

Sigh. I wouldn’t blame RP if he didn’t respond to that, but I’m going to be the masochist one last time. I *didn’t* say I believed his assurances that he wouldn’t. I said he *hadn’t* given an assurance that he *would*, which is what was claimed at the time and what milx again implied here. I also mentioned, as an aside, that there seemed to be little evidence to prove that he was about to perpetrate some sort of slaughter of genocidal proportions in Benghazi, as was claimed at the time, and I linked to a summary of a Parliament report including statements of Middle East experts arguing that there was, in fact, little reason to believe that. As for the double standard you postulate, I am more than even-handed; I’m fully prepared to oppose an operation to arm and aid Christian fundamentalist rebels in the US in order to overthrow the US government, and I would deplore rather than welcome the news that either Obama or Clinton were killed extrajudicially, lynched, or sodomised with a bayonet, in spite of the targeting of civilians that you have mentioned. This is the last of your misreadings of my posts on this subject that I intend to repond to in this thread, even though I have no doubt that you can and will come up with ever more inventive ways to misread them.

340

Faustusnotes 10.11.16 at 12:11 am

Well that’s all good then! A man whose armed forces openly killed civilians a few weeks earlier, who has commenced artillery and aerial bombardment of a city, declares he is only going to kill armed people! We should definitely take his assurances at face value!! I mean he hasn’t openly said he will kill civilians, and we all know we can trust this dudes word!!

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F. Foundling 10.11.16 at 12:20 am

Howard Frant @269
>The right condemned Obama for easing Mubarak out. Do you think Clinton was opposed to this?

Actually, as an interesting detail, it seems that she was among the more ‘neoconny’ people in the administration even in this respect. Not all that important, but still: NYT: ‘Mrs. Clinton had cultivated a close relationship with Mr. Gates. Both tended to be more hawkish than the president. They had raised concerns about how rapidly he wanted to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. More recently, they had argued that Mr. Obama should not be too hasty in dropping support for Hosni Mubarak, the embattled Egyptian leader, whom Mrs. Clinton had known since her years as the first lady.’

bruce wilder @264
>There are multiple layers and more than two sides.

You are, of course, right that this was a major simplification on my part, although it doesn’t affect the main point I was making about the USA’s involvement. Still, Iran and Russia have been made de facto allies by the logic of things at least in Syria, and the Yemen war is part of the same conflict between Sunni and Shia (the Saudis and Iran). The greatest deviation from the overall pattern is in Iraq, where the US is collaborating with the Shia side.

>Scruples about international law seem superfluous in a conflict this complex and international in its character already.

I don’t follow the logic, and I disagree with the sentiment. Since it’s already an international conflict … international law doesn’t matter? Again, I don’t see adherence to international law as a minor optional nicety for the overly conscientious, as quite a few Americans seem to do.

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hix 10.11.16 at 12:27 am

Puh. That’s sort of a relief.

343

Lupita 10.11.16 at 12:30 am

We should definitely take his assurances at face value!! I mean he hasn’t openly said he will kill civilians, and we all know we can trust this dudes word!!

We?

344

js. 10.11.16 at 12:37 am

Just for the record: if I say, “I’m not saying anything about commenter A“, I mean I’m saying anything about commenter A, whoever commenter A might be, literally. I’m not stopping anyone else from saying anything they want to, but I do want to make my meaning clear.

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F. Foundling 10.11.16 at 1:11 am

Not responding to Fn and won’t be discussing anymore, but still, for anyone interested, in addition to the Salon summary I linked to above:

1. A link to the Independent, citing Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/amnesty-questions-claim-that-gaddafi-ordered-rape-as-weapon-of-war-2302037.html:

‘Nato leaders, opposition groups and the media have produced a stream of stories since the start of the insurrection on 15 February, claiming the Gaddafi regime has ordered mass rapes, used foreign mercenaries and employed helicopters against civilian protesters. An investigation by Amnesty International has failed to find evidence for these human rights violations and in many cases has discredited or cast doubt on them. It also found indications that on several occasions the rebels in Benghazi appeared to have knowingly made false claims or manufactured evidence. … There is no evidence that aircraft or heavy anti-aircraft machine guns were used against crowds.’

2. A link to the most relevant part of the Parliament report, with testimonies by experts:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/119/11905.htm#_idTextAnchor020

This sort of thing among others makes me a bit … cautious on the subject of humanitarian interventions.

346

Howard Frant 10.11.16 at 1:14 am

Will G-R@315

Actually, reading your interactions with ZM the adjective that came to mind was not “snarky” as much as “snotty”. In fact, and I say this with no animus, you generally appear like an arrogant a.hole. I appreciate your forbearance in my case, such as it was.

No, you didn’t bring up Sanders. I did. I assumed from your omission of him that you didn’t include him in the same group. OK, Sanders is a liberal. Can I logically conclude, then, that he, like Clinton, is an irredeemable enemy of the oppressed? If not, why not? And is he a neoliberal? (I guess it goes without saying that Obama is a neoliberal and an irredeemable enemy of the oppressed, since he hardly differs from Clinton on policy. But please just confirm that for me.)

Yan@216

Thanks for your response. There seems to be some disharmony on the left (amazingly enough), because you seem to be saying that Sanders is not a liberal, while Will G-R insists that he is.

When you talk about prioritizing equality, are you talking about as a political strategy, or as an actual ranking of ends? Because prioritizing class equality over human rights should make anyone acquainted with the twentieth century very uncomfortable. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that that’s the ideology that gave rise to more mass murder and human misery than any other in history. Now, as you say, giving human rights a lower priority doesn’t mean ignoring them. But it certainly gives a convenient excuse to anyone who wants to ignore them.

Rich Puchalsky @278

Before you disappear down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories, please be aware that my comment was in reference to a couple of comments on this thread. The only one I can find now is one from Basil@211, talking about how mild-mannered Sanders and Corbyn “incite such lively hatred from liberals.” My reaction was “Really? Don’t know about the UK, but in the U S, I haven’t noticed that at all.” That remains true. It seems more like people *want* it to be true because theory predicts it. We certainly wouldn’t want to believe that Bernie was no threat to the established order.

347

Faustusnotes 10.11.16 at 1:19 am

Interesting that you cite the independent rather than going directly to the source. Amnesty international reports on a campaign of murder and intimidation in misratah and forced disappearances of prisoners of the regime in march to may 2011. Yet here you are believing the regimes claim it won’t hurt anyone in another city it is already bombing and about to attack.

If this isn’t an attempt to exonerate gaddafi of crimes, what exactly is it? It appears to be of a piece with your unwillingness to accept facts about Syria…

348

Guy Harris 10.11.16 at 1:38 am

hix@334:

For some reason i was hopeing operatives at that level were just cynical manipulators, but that sounds like he really believes it.

“He” presumably being orca100@upcmail.nl, who sent out a rather racist mail to a number of people, including but far from limited to John Podesta (as well as people at politico.eu, the Huffington Post, Media Matters for America, and some others).

349

F. Foundling 10.11.16 at 1:52 am

Val @ 229

> It might help to explain why, for example, a white man may not have a perfect understanding of the position or experiences of women or people of colour, and that his misunderstandings and biases may be detectable to those people in a way that they are not necessarily apparent to those who are like him.

Maybe, but after having detected these misunderstandings and biases, you should still be able to demonstrate them in ways other than merely appealing to your authority (say, as a woman or a POC). Arguments like ‘I’m right because I’m an X (in real life)’, even more so ‘You’re wrong because you’re a Y (in real life)’, and especially ‘You’re only saying this because you’re a Y (in real life)’ are generally antithetical to reasoned discussion. They are especially ridiculous online, where you usually can’t even prove who is X and who is Y in real life in the first place.

350

F. Foundling 10.11.16 at 1:57 am

@ Faustusnotes

I didn’t say the regime wouldn’t hurt anyone. I didn’t even say the regime wouldn’t hurt any civilians or commit other human rights violations. What’s more, I would venture to say that I would be highly surprised if it didn’t. And no, this does not in fact contradict anything else that I have said in this thread. This will be my last response – this time for real.

351

faustusnotes 10.11.16 at 2:13 am

So what are you trying to say? Because you certainly seem to be implying that the regime never hurt anyone, or that any harm they cause was simply incidental to a war. You sem to be implying we should trust that their actions and their statements match. You seem to be implying that any exaggeration or fabrication by rebels immediately invalidates all claims of abuse, and you seem to think Amnesty agree with you that nothing bad happened when in fact they presented long lists of atrocities.

You, Bruce Wilder, and Rich (perhaps a few others) have this common strategy of presenting statements that certainly lead to a strong implication, but when challenged on what you appear to be trying to say, denying that and accusing your reader of deliberate misreading; but then consistently refuse to give any alternative conclusion that could give a purpose to the statements you have made. It makes it easy for you to sow doubt and confusion without ever having to actually admit to a position that would probably, if dragged out into the light of day, be an embarrassment to you.

352

Val 10.11.16 at 2:54 am

@ 348
after having detected these misunderstandings and biases, you should still be able to demonstrate them in ways other than merely appealing to your authority (say, as a woman or a POC). Arguments like ‘I’m right because I’m an X (in real life)’, even more so ‘You’re wrong because you’re a Y (in real life)’, and especially ‘You’re only saying this because you’re a Y (in real life)’ are generally antithetical to reasoned discussion. They are especially ridiculous online, where you usually can’t even prove who is X and who is Y in real life in the first place.

Yes but have I (or anyone else here) ever done that? It seems that the imagined examples are making an appearance again.

353

Yan 10.11.16 at 3:03 am

Howard @345,

Sanders is very much a border case, so I don’t find Will’s view strange or unreasonable. As Rich points out, the case can be made that he is indeed a variety of socialist, though for many that’s stretching the definition too far. Such terms have utility only in broad usage, so there’s not much point in bickering about the fine edges of the concepts.

“When you talk about prioritizing equality, are you talking about as a political strategy, or as an actual ranking of ends?”

I think ranking of ends is probably more useful, but I must admit my classification of Sanders as left of liberal was about practice. I suspect if you asked Sanders, he’d say he gives equality and rights equal weight or rights greater weight, even though in practice he gives more time and voice to equality. If so, that explicit set of ends would be a good reason to call him a liberal. I think his choice of the name democratic socialist is a rejection of a strong dividing line, an attempt to carve out a third option between socialist and liberal.

“Because prioritizing class equality over human rights should make anyone acquainted with the twentieth century very uncomfortable. “

Yes, which is why I twice went out of my way to stress prioritizing doesn’t mean disvaluing the second priority. However, I think that discomfort proves nothing. People who grossly violate rights in the name of equality do so for the same reason as people who profess to prioritize rights grossly violate them: because they don’t truly value rights, not because they value them less than equality. No moral monsters wait for permission from a political ideology to be monsters, they borrow them to cover their monstrosity after the fact. They are, as you say, excuses, precisely because they’re not causes.

But that’s a debate for another thread. As I’ve said, I think that way of thinking about liberalism is inexact, since equality and rights are interdependent: one must try to give them equal priority, even if in practice we must sometimes focus on one or the other first.

354

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 3:43 am

F. Foundling: “I wouldn’t blame RP if he didn’t respond to that”

Oh yeah, I’ve had enough. I painstaking went through every stage of what your comments (obviously) went, only to get another demand for an alternate explanation. faustusnotes joins Layman on the list of people who have used up their full lifetime’s supply of good-faith explaining time. Let’s faustusnotes keep going with his Gaddafi-lover slime along with the rest of his fellows — who are proving my point that they only object to this line when the GOP does it.

355

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 3:53 am

Val: “Yes but have I (or anyone else here) ever done that? It seems that the imagined examples are making an appearance again.”

You’re asking us to Google pretty much your entire prior set of comments here? In addition to the usual bits about how people are disagreeing with you because you’re a women, and how they don’t have the opinions that you think they should have because they are men, you also have a sideline in appeals to authority based on your status as a grad student — as if the vast majority of people here don’t have academic degrees or positions. This would be a very interesting blog if every time one of the OPs wrote something, they responded to the inevitable instant disagreement in comments with outraged verbiage about how they’ve studied this and they’re an expert and if people don’t respect their theories they’re being sexist. It’s an interesting attempted manipulation that you also blame people who don’t respond to your nonsense for trying to freeze you out of the conversation.

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Val 10.11.16 at 4:33 am

@ 354
And as usual, you respond with a lot of wild generalised accusations (no direct quotes) and personal insults. Just get over it, for everybody’s sake.

357

Howard Frant 10.11.16 at 5:12 am

Yan@352

No moral monsters wait for permission from a political ideology to be monsters, they borrow them to cover their monstrosity after the fact. They are, as you say, excuses, precisely because they’re not causes.

No, but it makes a difference in how easy it is to be a successful monster. Dictators are dependent on lots of people to carry out their plans, and to carry them out enthusiastically rather than in a perfunctory way. That’s a lot easier when you can tell them that building socialism is more important than a bourgeois concept like human rights.

But that’s a debate for another thread.

358

bruce wilder 10.11.16 at 5:24 am

engels @ 318: imo #308 is far too complicated

I agree. I was groping for some way to distinguish the contrasting way memory and history show up in arguments here, but did not find my way in the dark.

359

merian 10.11.16 at 8:07 am

F. Foundling #348

Maybe, but after having detected these misunderstandings and biases, you should still be able to demonstrate them in ways other than merely appealing to your authority (say, as a woman or a POC). Arguments like ‘I’m right because I’m an X (in real life)’, even more so ‘You’re wrong because you’re a Y (in real life)’, and especially ‘You’re only saying this because you’re a Y (in real life)’ are generally antithetical to reasoned discussion. They are especially ridiculous online, where you usually can’t even prove who is X and who is Y in real life in the first place.

There is no authority vested in merely being a woman or POC. It’s not a simple thing, like being a chemist or a police chief. How it works is that whatever gender or sex, race or ethnicity, etc. etc. we are, modulated by the particular environment we have lived our lives in, will grosso modo enable or disable certain pathways of experiences, which enable understanding what’s going on in terms informed by these attributes. And as long as there is one particular set of attributes whose lucky or unlucky owners just quite nonchalantly thinks of themselves as the universally applicable normal case, conflict will remain inevitable.

I don’t think there is a woman[1] who hasn’t looked into the condescendingly smiling face of a male asshole interlocutor and thought “you wouldn’t say this if I was male”, or a LGBT person who wasn’t utterly convinced the straight person who thinks of themselves as their friend wouldn’t have said what they said to another straight person. From the stories that my POC or disabled friends tell, the same applies to them. And in 99% of cases we bite our tongues hard and don’t say it. Because you can’t prove a negative, and you can’t even prove a positive causality from a single incident, however often we’ve seen the same single isolated incident play out the same way. In 1% we may crack. Maybe we’re playing to a friendly crowd and enjoy some jerk getting laughed at, or maybe we just can’t take the humiliation and let the anger have its way. Both times we end up with a scar of some fashion. Being considered unfit for “reasoned discussion” for example.

Now to avoid that you are telling Val that she “should still be able to demonstrate them in ways other than merely appealing to your authority”. Well, I guess she could. We could. But why, in the name of all that is fucking great and good, would the onus to do that fall on us, and on us alone? Why isn’t it you who thinks it’s your duty in a “reasoned discussion” to listen out for discrepancies that may have arisen from the experiences of those of us who aren’t white, male, staight and able-bodied (etc.)? To take the slightly more laborious step of testing your argument against hypotheticals outside your own personal identity happenstance? I don’t claim that I’m great at that, but I do it all the bloody time: how would X feel if I wasn’t female? how does Y sound to someone who’s [insert ethnicity]? is the agreement I’m getting to Z only coming from able-bodied / white [whatever…] people, and if yes, what’s going wrong here?

Now I don’t know Val. I know I’ve disagreed with her in the past. She’s invited to disagree with every single thing of my opinions. But what I’m seeing when she points to the hoops her institution’s ethical review people make her jump through is not an appeal to “authority as a grad student” (ha, ha) or academic, but simply a practical everyday example of what this extra work looks like in a more structured environment.

And one last thing. And I’ll be leaning myself out of the window here, because I’ll affirm this without proof. That this extra work is placed entirely on the shoulders of the more marginal community members is I believe why this space remains so overwhelmingly populated by contributors who are white and male. Of all the online spaces I frequent for serious exchanges, this one is by far the one most lacking POC, female, queer, disabled voices. You may not have noticed that, but it stands out like a sore thumb to me. Despite the great things our esteemed hosts are doing with CT. Hostility can be embedded in community norms — it doesn’t require a single sexist or racist thought to darken your brow.

PS: My conception of “left” or “radical” if you will includes a notion of equality where everyone is responsible in seeking out the competencies for communicating equitably in this cross-identity, cross-cultural environment. And that, finally, is the reason I added this comment.

[1] insert minor hyperbole marker in this paragraph as appropriate; there are of course people like that; also, the figures in this post aren’t supposed to be taken literally

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Val 10.11.16 at 9:45 am

@358
Ah thanks merian, that was interesting.

One thing you might not have been around for was a time I talked about my research because Rich was trying to mansplain feminism to me.

Will just leave that there.

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basil 10.11.16 at 10:18 am

There are voices in the world, even here, that direct attention to their peculiar experience to say ‘you haven’t a full understanding of what this implies, how it feels to be on the receiving end of this particular violation or exclusion, how it feels to suffer even as you celebrate that reform’. Such voices remind us of the consequences of our elisions, and of the limits of our experience and assumptions. They expand the horizons of our politics, and chastise our lazy imagination of solidarity to say, ‘our shared principles demand that you support this campaign, that you value these lives here, that you don’t turn your face away from this suffering’. Speaking from lived experience, they insist that those who suffer can’t/ won’t to put up with X oppression, its justifications and the excuses made for slow progress any longer.

The liberal voices here don’t ever do that.

What they do instead is to say, ‘this left idea goes too far, this challenge to the bosses is irresponsible, this restraint on power is too strict, you show great disrespect/mistrust/impatience to this important institution or custom, you are ignoring this aspiration of this beloved, well-meaning office-holder. They insist, in a very revealing depiction of their limited association, ‘you are only choosing the bolder, more far-reaching option because you are a privileged white male performing a politics of purity.’

This is the standard form here, IRL, on the TV and across the internets.

Draped in a love blanket for Blair, the Clintons, Obama, Gillard and similars across the planet, gesturing towards liberal, legal expansions for LGBTI, women and swartherners, this politics is infused with an identitarianism that applauds the expansion of access in managerial roles, the participation of darker-skinned, differently gendered bodies in the very structures of violence it pretends to want to change. It is obsessed with governing, with winning office, money, privilege and friends in high places. It is intensely relaxed about occupying the plush palaces.

Not one of the voices it recruits says, ‘as a person with relatives in X country, I warn you of the horrible consequences of a bombing campaign there, or this extraction, or this invasion or this noxious trade pact.’ Not one of them says ‘as a single parent/immigrant at the sharp end of this policy, I say $15 isn’t enough to live on, bring that fence/wall down, stop this violent Labour campaign against immigrants.’ Not one of them has an emancipatory politics beyond that handed down by the bosses. Not one has a vision of the future that is bolder or more capacious than a trust in the mercies of the institutions of the status quo to carry out necessary repairs to a badly leaking boat.

I’ve learned a lot from the tangling of this tendency with feminist, queer, indigenous, Latin American, Middle-Eastern, African, Native American, Southern European, and African-American voices that are on the sharp end of the worst abuse from the global economic and political system. You often see this playing out on social media, subalterns refusing the fake allegiance of those who insist they Lean In and participate, that all comers play by the rules. This tendency approaches campaigns for justice as allies, masquerading as angels of light, but by the passion of their allegiance to the bosses, the bills, the bombs and the ballot they makes their true preference known. It isn’t just that they prefer to work inside of the prevailing system and its limitations, it is that they denounce everyone who won’t.

Val,
You say above that you are an ardent pacifist. Your close associations with Aus Labor/Gillard aside, you insist that you aren’t a liberal. You shouldn’t be standing there then, not with the war party, not with the market champions, not with those who mock the idea of revolution.

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basil 10.11.16 at 10:25 am

If one’s politics is for the abolition of gender, race and class – which is my assumption of what left politics is – some of the interactions here are really difficult to engage with as they reify and entrench, rather than dissolve those categories. This might just be a matter of the limits of language and strategy, but it is incredibly stultifying.

363

J-D 10.11.16 at 10:40 am

Here is a direct quote from about two months ago:

Val 08.11.16 at 8:39 am
J-D you clearly have a problem with taking things very literally, and I think you may possibly also like to find fault with people (possibly particularly with women). …

(If anybody wants to check the full text of the comment, or of the entire exchange of which it formed part, the title of the blog post was ‘Nauru, Australia’s shame’.)

It stuck in my mind and was fairly easy for me to find because of the direct reference to me personally.

I couldn’t (and still can’t) understand what led Val to make the suggestion that I might possibly have a particular liking for finding fault with women, but I wasn’t interested in following up on the point at the time (there were other comments then which dealt with what seemed to me to be the substantive point at issue, so I responded to them).

However, it occurs to me in the context of the present discussion that it might be enlightening if Val could enlarge on that point.

On the other hand, maybe that’s all an irrelevance and I’m barking up the wrong tree, in which case I can only apologise.

364

Val 10.11.16 at 10:45 am

Basil, I’m not standing with Labor and Gillard. I used to work for the Labor party, nearly 20 years ago, and JG was chief of staff. I liked her, she was really nice. I left the Labor party in 2001 over the refugee issue, long before Gillard became PM. I just defended her against the sexist shit, I don’t agree with everything she or the Labor party did.

I stood as a candidate for the Greens in the state elections here in 2002.

You set up straw people, it’s such a waste of time and energy.

365

Val 10.11.16 at 10:48 am

J-D I was assuming you are the same J-D who comments on John Quiggin’s Australian blog? Apologies if I’m wrong, but if that is you, I’ve seen you nitpick a lot, particularly against Julie who comments there.

That’s why I said it.

366

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 10:55 am

merian: “Maybe these points of agreement illuminate why I’m resisting being shoehorned into your system that seems to suppose that anyone who brings up sexism or racism/Islamophobia must must do it out of allegiance to Clinton or the Democratic party establishment.”

Oh good god. Let’s take racism/Islamophobia as an example. I have a theory about this — informed by personal experience and cultural history as a Jew, if I need to call on that as an extra source of “I’m a more marginal member of a community” credit which I apparently do — that holds that the racism and Islamophobia that we’ve seen expressed in relation to Brexit and to Trump has to do with economic precarity and with what is neutrally called income inequality. This theory could be wrong, of course. But I’ve brought it up! It, in my opinion, best fits the case that everyone pretty much agrees that British and U.S. societies are less racist in many ways than they have been in recent decades, yet we’re seeing more expressions of it around these votes. I’ve brought it up before the election as well, both here and in actual activist work around these issues.

So look at the assumptions in your sentence. “anyone who brings up sexism or racism/Islamophobia” — really? I guess that Clinton supporters must own these topics. If you disagree with their understanding of it, you aren’t bringing up sexism or racism/Islamophobia at all. Isn’t that exactly what I’ve been writing about this whole time?

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J-D 10.11.16 at 11:19 am

Val 10.11.16 at 10:48 am
J-D I was assuming you are the same J-D who comments on John Quiggin’s Australian blog? Apologies if I’m wrong, but if that is you, I’ve seen you nitpick a lot, particularly against Julie who comments there.

That’s why I said it.

Yes, I am the same J-D who comments on John Quiggin’s blog.

I’m afraid I have no distinct recollection of my interactions with Julie, but I do recollect interactions with other commenters there which could be interpreted as antagonistic (which might be my fault or might be theirs, or might be nobody’s fault). In particular I recollect that John Quiggin specifically requested (or directed) that Ivor and I stop responding to each other.

I have no recollection of my own to put against yours that I tangled with Julie more than anybody else. But there are certainly other people I have tangled with. Did you not notice when, for example, I tangled with Ivor? Even if you’re right that I found fault particularly with Julie, how does that lead to the suggestion that (maybe) I find fault particularly with women? It seems to me, if that’s the evidence you were going on, that your singling out the gender category as a potentially significant explanatory variable is suggestive of something about your approach which might be connected with the points that F Foundling and Rich Puchalsky were trying to make earlier.

I don’t want to harp on the point (I understand if you don’t feel it’s worth pursuing), but you did (and with some degree of justice) object that F Foundling and Rich Puchalsky had given no specific actual examples of any actual comment by you, which is why it seemed possibly worthwhile bringing up the one I did know of, and your explanation of it so far seems to me (on the basis just explained)) incomplete.

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hellblazer 10.11.16 at 11:22 am

Basil, in an earlier comment:

_There are voices in the world, even here, that direct attention to their peculiar experience to say ‘you haven’t a full understanding of what this implies, how it feels to be on the receiving end of this particular violation or exclusion, how it feels to suffer even as you celebrate that reform’… The liberal voices here don’t ever do that._

It could be because some of us old-timers, who people on this thread would label as “liberal” as if it’s some kind of winning gotcha, got sick of the kind of would-be-telepathic cant that is expounded at tedious length by other commenters. And if you’re going to POC-splain to me, go on, I _dare you, I double-dare you_ (as Jules Winnfeld might say).

Thumbs up to Val, whose comments on other posts I haven’t always agreed with, but who appears to have demonstrated in threads like these more graciousness in the face of guff than I could currently muster.

(Resumes lurking)

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hellblazer 10.11.16 at 11:39 am

Also: regarding this comment, Henry James just called to say he wants that sentence back. You can even borrow his pick-up if it doesn’t fit in the trunk of your own car.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 11:49 am

I’m not going to Google around for Val’s comments. Needless to say, if I did that it would be more supposed evidence that I’m picking on her because she’s a woman. And why Google when she provides more right in this thread?”

Here’s one:
“One thing you might not have been around for was a time I talked about my research because Rich was trying to mansplain feminism to me.”

I had the temerity to have a different view of feminism from Val the academic expert and to explain that. Because Val is female and because I am male, it was mansplaining, unlike numerous interactions with people whose screen names present themselves as male with whom I do the exact same thing.

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engels 10.11.16 at 12:01 pm

(Bar fight status) Stage where people are coming in off the street just to throw a quick punch (/bar fight status)

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basil 10.11.16 at 12:26 pm

Val,
I am grateful for this correction. More power to your elbow. You come across a lot differently in your comments.

hellblazer,
I am not one to shirk a dare but I am not sure I understand. You’re using -splain in a way I don’t get, it seems the opposite of my claim.

I am talking about how liberals use the suffering of oppressed and marginalized peoples to denounce radicalism as the preserve of the privileged. This is a significant way that mentions of the injustice of this system of things intrude this space, not as denunciations or expressions of solidarity, but as point-scoring – primarily – against radicals who think the prevailing attitude too timid, often collusive against victims, in addressing injustice.

I think it abusive that we use actual human suffering to score points in this way. For example, it is deplorable the way the Bill vs Trump vs Hillary spat over sexual violence appropriates the tragedies of their respective victims for individual glory.

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Yan 10.11.16 at 12:32 pm

Anarcissie @320
“freedom and equality were necessary to each other, because if people are unequal in any significant way some must have more freedom than others. (Freedom being the space in which one can work one’s will)”

Just remembered I never responded to this. Yes, I had something like this in mind by the interdependency of equality and rights. I think your freedom/rights distinction is similar to my distinction between concrete/abstract rights, where legal recognition is not enough, there must also be equality to make the exercise of recognize rights possible.

I’d add however that in addition to “space” to act, a metaphor that evokes a negative freedom from, equality above all enables “ground” upon which to act, our freedom for. In the language of Nussbaum and Sen, to be meaningful, rights require capabilities, and inequality limits access to capabilities.

Howard @356,

Not to entirely break my promise to save this topic for another day, but I think one utility of the definition at issue is it allows us to identity positions of very different degrees, with a radical libertarianism than borders on indifference to equality on one side (not coincidentally, given their interdependency, dramatically reducing the number of forms of rights) and a radical egalitarianism that borders on indifference to rights on the other.

My general view is that your worries are justified for any ideology that falls too far toward either end, but that there is a lot of ground and many degrees that are far from both and far from any slippery slopes. And I’d note that those who prioritize rights should should show some of the same discomfort for how such a view can excuse or enable gross violations of equality.

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Val 10.11.16 at 12:44 pm

@369
Remember how you described my feminist theories, Rich? In case you’ve forgotten, it was “dopey”.

Please don’t repeat it, it was rude the first time you said it, and you won’t make it better by repetition. It’s unkind and unpleasant behaviour and you should try to do better.

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engels 10.11.16 at 12:44 pm

Opposing liberty to equality (as liberals tend to) is a category error. Liberty is a good, equality is a pattern according to which goods (including liberty) are distributed. An unequal society is one in which liberty (among other things) is possessed unequally.

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ZM 10.11.16 at 12:51 pm

Will G-R,

“So OK, ZM… if you’ll go back and read what I wrote, your characterization that I’m not “making any distinctions between different political parties and different political actors and different policies and different historical periods” is 100% incorrect. I actually did try to explain to you an important distinction between different policies and historical periods of liberalism: what various people in various countries call “welfare liberalism”, “the welfare state”, “social liberalism”, or “social democracy” ….”

I find this framework problematic still TBH. I see you have different forms of liberalism over time, but I still question why you would characterise liberalism as the defining aspect of the periods.

My undergraduate major was history, so the periodisation most common is Early Modern, Modern, High Modern, Post-Modern or along those lines. Then broken down into smaller periods within those.

I don’t think liberalism would be used how you are using it to be all encompassing even by someone like Hobsbawm. I also don’t think its accurate for a lot of the times — right now we are probably in the tail end of a period where (neo)liberalism has been a strong governing ideology without much competition after the end of communism officially in Russia and less officially in China — but I don’t think you can say that for the entire 150 years or so that you are making the claims about.

If you have a different disciplinary background maybe that accounts for the difference. I could sort of see being given an essay to do on “discuss changing conceptions of liberalism from mid 19th to early 21st C” or something like that maybe, so I agree you can see forms of liberalism all through the periods you point to — but I wouldn’t make it the defining characteristic I would be happy sticking with modernism.

“As far as refugees, my favored policy would be absolute free movement of people …. My favored policy would also be to end the various destructive Western political and economic interventions that lead to global flows of refugees and/or economic migrants (a distinction I consider illegitimate) …. “

Oh I see what you mean. You would find the UN approach sort of unsatisfactory if you favour open borders like Chris Bertram. I don’t really like the idea of open borders myself since it sounds kind of chaotic to me, I think maybe if countries were more equal then experimenting with freer movement across borders could possibly work okay and you could see how it went, but I would prefer to work on lessening inequality between countries first before trying it. But I know some people see open borders as a way of decreasing inequality between countries.

“On a broader level, my favored policy would be to … treat nobody’s claims to political or economic security as any more legitimate than anybody else’s on account of their nation-state of origin. Unfortunately, for reasons the radical critique of capitalism make quite clear, the politics of global capitalism (a liberal politics) will not allow any of this to happen, which is why we need something else.”

I don’t know, I think you could make a fair few changes really before trying to create a totally different social structure.

I was talking to someone about this today, that if you look at the Russian or Chinese Revolutions they had people from below gaining power and then flipping to do top down policy making once they were in power. Once they got power they were even more top down in their management than the governments in Australia or the US in the post-war era.

And they didn’t work that well — they probably succeeded better at modernising the countries than at instituting the sort of radical equality the respective Communist Parties were initially hoping for. They did do modernisation pretty successfully, although at some cost.

But if you look at systems theory I think what they have found is that in complex systems it can be small changes that alter the system into another system.

So I think this can apply just as well to policy making — you don’t need to overhaul the social structure before making changes; its the changes that you make which will alter the social structure.

“Aside from this, the constant demand by liberals that radicals provide their complete blueprints for a future society as a baseline cost of admission for bringing the topic up at all never ceases to be disingenuous. Your proposed liberal solutions to the problems you set out to solve will not work. The fact that radicals who understand this generally don’t claim to know what solutions will work doesn’t change this.”

I did a subject a while ago where the assignment was to create a Utopia. I mean we didn’t have to implement one, we just had to make one up for the assignment with words and visuals. Its actually pretty hard to make up a Utopia, you have to go beyond what you think is immediately possible.

The lecturer used Zizek a fair bit, and also a documentary All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, the course material looked at various plans or implementations of utopian settlements over the last 500ish years.

I would be more interested in your ideas for a future society than your criticisms that no one else’s ideas can work since they are liberals TBH

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Val 10.11.16 at 12:54 pm

@366
Yes J-D I do remember that you had long interchanges with Ivor. I thought you two were rather similar and found your exchanges very boring, as I think you would by now have realised they were for others, if not for you. My memory however is that you did, at least for a time, target Julie, and that you appeared condescending.

Women may be ‘over-sensitive’ to this kind of thing, but there is a wealth of empirical evidence that we do get targeted and discriminated against, so perhaps you (and basil) should pay a bit more heed to that.

I am trying to be patient, it’s probably not my natural tendency, but I’m doing my best. I hope others will also do their best, particularly to stop using straw -wo/manning and insults as debating tactics.

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ZM 10.11.16 at 1:01 pm

engels,

“Opposing liberty to equality (as liberals tend to) is a category error. Liberty is a good, equality is a pattern according to which goods (including liberty) are distributed. An unequal society is one in which liberty (among other things) is possessed unequally.”

This is why I don’t understand the criticism of liberals favouring human rights over equality.

The whole idea of human rights is that all humans have equal rights — human rights are about equality of rights.

Also I think there is some difficulties with the American commenters applying American terminology to Australian commenters — Australia already has a lot of things that are considered very left wing in America.

We have universal healthcare, we have federal involvement in education funding and policy, we have higher education funded by federal government loans that only have to be repaid if your income is over a certain amount, we have a stronger welfare safety net for people too — these are all things that only a very left wing candidate in America would propose, but in Australia they are mainstream and accepted by both major political parties.

At the moment in Australia our political arguments are not about whether or not we want these things — like your arguments in America — our arguments are about preserving these things and also what policy tweaks can improve them.

Its annoying being called a liberal by Americans when in Australia we already have things that only quite far left people in America campaign for. If I was an American style liberal I would have to argue to undo lots of policy we already have here in Australia — which anyone can see I don’t argue for at all.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 1:11 pm

Val: “Remember how you described my feminist theories, Rich? In case you’ve forgotten, it was “dopey”.”

Yeah, I wrote that because you’re a woman, not because you’re trying to revive an essentialist version of 1970s feminism in contrast to everything that people have learned about intersectionality.

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Val 10.11.16 at 1:23 pm

And if I may add, ZM, no-one in Australia has to work for $2 an hour and tips, which I’ve read here some people in the US have to do. Also we have universal parental leave – I could not believe the working conditions of some American women.

Of course our culture has faults, chief among them the terrible treatment of asylum seekers, which ZM and I both actively oppose. However it is very annoying to be treated as a “liberal” by people who don’t understand our society or polity, and whose own country is well to the right of ours in many ways.

I talked recently to an American guy at my local community garden. He has quite an aggressive style in discussion, but he could see it wasn’t culturally appropriate, so he tried to apologise by explaining that it is an American cultural thing. I don’t know if he was generalising from himself, but it does seem to apply to a few people here.

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Val 10.11.16 at 1:31 pm

Rich, seriously, you don’t know what you are talking about. All this stuff around ‘essentialism’ tends to be very shallow and serious scholars in this area are very sceptical of it. And I am a serious scholar of feminist theory, and I haven’t seen any evidence that you are.

It could of course be that you’re not treating me particularly badly because I’m a woman, you’re ‘equal opportunity’ rude. But surely you can see that men explaining feminism to women is problematic.

I mean seriously. I think that’s enough for now, because this conversation is honestly a bit ridiculous.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 1:47 pm

I don’t mind you telling me that the stuff about essentialism is shallow and that I’m not a serious scholar. That’s par for the course. I disparage your views, you disparage mine, etc. — pretty much unavoidable when people are arguing about things that they care about. But no, I am not “explaining” feminism to you. We disagree about essentialism. You think that this disagreement means that I’m mansplaining (or claim to): I think that you’re just using a different variant of something like “you’re not a serious scholar” (which is completely an appeal to your authority as a grad student).

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Yan 10.11.16 at 2:09 pm

ZM and Val,

For what it’s worth, Will’s charge of liberalism–whether or not it’s accurate in application to your views–is an indirect complement to Australian politics. As Will probably uses it, an alternate definition of liberal is: “bad, because too much like America’s feeble version of progressive politics.”

Basically, liberal means: better, but not good enough, because not really socialism.

If you (as I do) think that revolutionary socialism is a mistake and that a compromised incremental progressivism is our only option, I don’t see any reason to take being called a liberal in this sense as an insult, just as a drawing of lines of disagreement. Sanders, for example, is arguably a liberal in this sense.

I don’t think of myself as a liberal, but I’m fine with those on the furthest end of the left seeing me that way, it’s a bit of a fuzzy line, a matter of degree.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 2:23 pm

Yan: “If you (as I do) think that revolutionary socialism is a mistake and that a compromised incremental progressivism is our only option”

I’m a gradualist anarchist, which is like the worst of both worlds. But those aren’t quite the only options.

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bruce wilder 10.11.16 at 2:50 pm

faustusnotes @ 350: You, Bruce Wilder, and Rich (perhaps a few others) have this common strategy of presenting statements that certainly lead to a strong implication, but when challenged on what you appear to be trying to say, denying that and accusing your reader of deliberate misreading; but then consistently refuse to give any alternative conclusion that could give a purpose to the statements you have made. It makes it easy for you to sow doubt and confusion without ever having to actually admit to a position that would probably, if dragged out into the light of day, be an embarrassment to you.

The above seems a remarkably clear statement of an argumentative style bound to provoke hostility. There is a risk attached to challenging someone on what they appear to you to say: it is that they may feel you have misread them deliberately in order to raise your objection. And, feeling deliberately misread, they may think their original statement, read plainly and correctly, was sufficient, and needs no alternative justification.

Commenters by the act of commenting are exposing our positions, our opinions to the light of day with only exceptionally any sense of embarrassment. Having someone attribute a “hidden” and reprehensible position to us and argue against that reprehensible position isn’t embarrassing if we do not hold such a position and have not, by our own lights, expressed such. It may be experienced as annoying or frustrating, provocative of anger.

Criticism is expected in these threads, of both the original posts and the comments that follow. Restating an argument to highlight a shortcoming in the logic or the marshalling of evidence is part of the game. But, to be effective as a critic, you have to restate the argument accurately or draw an implication logically from the actual argument. It is not automatically bad faith on the part of a commenter, if he doesn’t regard the restatement as accurate or an alleged implication as logically entailed.

F Foundling has argued against the sufficiency of justification for the international international intervention in Libya that toppled Gaddafi, a policy supported by Clinton as Secretary of State. Faustusnotes has come back with “gaddafi loving leftists” and obdurate suggestions about rules we should follow in forming beliefs from government statements.

If F Foundling is in fact not a “gaddafi loving leftist” then the Faustusnotes assertion is a groundless insult and otherwise pointless. I believe this is the case.

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merian 10.11.16 at 3:02 pm

Rich Puchalsky:

So look at the assumptions in your sentence. “anyone who brings up sexism or racism/Islamophobia” — really? I guess that Clinton supporters must own these topics. If you disagree with their understanding of it, you aren’t bringing up sexism or racism/Islamophobia at all. Isn’t that exactly what I’ve been writing about this whole time?

Are you even decontextualizing my direct answer to something you said from the context you yourself formulated your own previous bit beforehand? Was your example about making an argument like the straw man arguments you’re trying to shoehorn “liberals” into? My point was, too, that “liberals” (I’m not, but whatever) don’t own these topics.

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Anarcissie 10.11.16 at 3:04 pm

Yan 10.11.16 at 12:32 pm @ 372 —
‘Ground’ might be a better term than ‘space’, but it’s the same idea. I was not thinking of negative freedoms only. Humans are obligate communitarians and the question is not whether they live in communities or not but what kind of communities they live in. I believe that the personal freedom of the individuals constituting a community is maximized in a social environment which includes not only radical negative freedom but also an equal distribution of at least basic goods (communism) because otherwise disparities in control of resources and production offer irresistible temptation, indeed, compulsion, to domination and exploitation (slavery, feudalism, capitalism, fascism).

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merian 10.11.16 at 3:16 pm

basil #360:

Your making a distinction between the deserving marginal people and the undeserving marginal people. The deserving ones are those that a) make better people out of the privileged and powerful by teaching them new stuff and opening their horizon and b) due to their marginal position and perspective, come down on the side of more radicalism.

There is a lot of critique of a) available all over the writings of many. As for b) well, they often do. Sometimes, they don’t. For me, the rare times I don’t are disturbing to me. I gave an example when I got engaged in the fight for equal access to marriage in my then home country instead of throwing in my lot with those who wanted to abolish marriage altogether, and that was hard. (Well, it was only relatively less radical, because what was on offer was much much less, and plenty of people considered it radical to want equal marriage then. It took another 15 years before that arrived.)

Ah, and yes, I fondly remember the abolition of gender, race, and class. I once fervently believed in that. But if your movement to abolish gender, race and class has always winners that are male, white and started out as educated middle-class, you’re doing something wrong. I learnt that from POCs.

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engels 10.11.16 at 3:26 pm

The whole idea of human rights is that all humans have equal rights — human rights are about equality of rights

I’m not sure that’s true. If I believe in human rights I believe everyone has the right not to be tortured. I probably don’t believe everyone has the right to park in my garage… So it seems like I don’t believe that everyone has exactly the same rights.

More realistically, suppose some people think there’s a human right to choose how your children are educated (and to take them out of the state system if you feel that’s right.) And others think the only way to make society more equal is not to have separate systems if education for the rich and the poor. Then it seems to me you’ve got a conflict. What do you think?

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bruce wilder 10.11.16 at 3:26 pm

Your position sounds so oddly anachronistic (not in the sense of outdated, but ahistorical, decontextualized) to me.. . . How do you know they got nothing? And don’t say her past behavior . . .

The above in response to:

Is there any mechanism by which they plan to pressure them, in any realistic way? Note that Sanders supporters just did the time-honored “primary challenge to pull the party to the left” and got nothing.

Time and history as context is being used in an odd and disconcerting to me way in this exchange. Anyone want to explain it to me?

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engels 10.11.16 at 3:36 pm

Imo the fault line isn’t gradualism v. rupture (a revolution doesn’t have to be ruptural imo) but whether you believe capitalism can be replaced or only ‘improved’. If you don’t think it can be you’re a liberal. But it’s possible to argue that some people who claimed to be gradualists had really given up on systemic transformation.

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engels 10.11.16 at 3:38 pm

Perhaps you could give us the potted version?

This might be helpful:
http://marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/reviews/2014/1088

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bruce wilder 10.11.16 at 3:50 pm

F Foundling @ 341

That the there are not in fact two neatly opposed international alliances fighting a proxy war in Syria did seem to me relevant to your arguments about how international law ought to constrain the U.S. or other Powers. And, the fact that the Syrian civil war is part of a larger set of civil conflicts in the region implicating regional and global Powers is also relevant.

Your falsely oversimplified premise invoked the kind of situation in which the imperatives of international law are both clearest and most likely to lead directly to negotiated settlement.

A multifarious conflict in which formally recognized borders are not isolating the conflict poses challenges and international law does not have such clear rules with which to guide response.

For the U.S., the hazards of being sucked into supporting multiple, mutually conflicting sides, to no good effect and at great risk of depleting American material resources and credibility, would seem to me a better cautionary guide than international law that has little to say that is relevant.

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merian 10.11.16 at 4:07 pm

bruce wilder

The above seems a remarkably clear statement of an argumentative style bound to provoke hostility.

I’ve been mulling this over. You seem to say that the argumentative approach may be warranted if it is used to reveal a shortcoming in the other’s argument or assumption, but objectionable, even odious if it represents a “groundless insult and [is] otherwise pointless”.

There are bound to be many uses where which it is, or where it lies on a scale between extremes, is a matter of opinion. Indeed, the snake bites its own tail when a seriously formulated if rhetorically sharpened argument is received as a mere groundless insult.

You further seem to say something like “the other guys are doing it too [or did it first?]”.

I’m not going into the bit you have beef with because I don’t think anyone here is a Gaddafi lover, and otherwise stay out of arguments about Libya. But I’ll note that I was called a dipshit for finding a paraphrase acceptable, if rhetorically sharpened for effect, that was clearly a grave insult to others. So is this about social norms or about substantial arguments?

As for what your problems with my use of time and history are, you’d have to be more specific.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 5:15 pm

Bruce Wilder: “Faustusnotes has come back with “gaddafi loving leftists” and obdurate suggestions about rules we should follow in forming beliefs from government statements. […] If F Foundling is in fact not a “gaddafi loving leftist” then the Faustusnotes assertion is a groundless insult and otherwise pointless. I believe this is the case.”

No, I don’t think that goes far enough. As I’ve written upthread, I’m talking about actual propaganda, not merely the insults of CT commenters. The “Saddam lover” thing was part of pro-war propaganda that lead to an estimated million Iraqis being killed. faustusnotes still being unable or unwilling to reject that kind of propaganda indicates that it still has a strong hold on people like him. Maybe ignorance might be a defense, but I painstakingly went through what F. Foundling was writing at every step, and you saw what faustusnotes’ reaction was. People like him are basically scum and not allies to the left in any way, and their agreement with him shows this at a political level, not merely a personal one.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 5:29 pm

merian: “Are you even decontextualizing my direct answer to something you said from the context you yourself formulated your own previous bit beforehand? Was your example about making an argument like the straw man arguments you’re trying to shoehorn “liberals” into? My point was, too, that “liberals” (I’m not, but whatever) don’t own these topics.”

I don’t understand this paragraph. I don’t remember saying much in this thread about liberals: are you mixing me up with someone else? I thought I was writing about HRC supporters, and the two are not the same. If the point is that people who aren’t in socialist parties say that they aren’t liberals and it’s unfair that people say they really are, well, they have to argue with more than a century of political theory, not with Will G-R.

My point was that discussions with HRC supporters routinely disallow talking about racism/Islamophobia as not really talking about it unless you have the supposedly correct explanatory theories. Or unless you can personally say that you’re a POC. The whole thing about anti-Semitism was about Val, RNB, and others insisting that Jews were white are therefore the Jewish experience was not valid in this regard.

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merian 10.11.16 at 7:47 pm

Rich Puchalsky:

I thought I was writing about HRC supporters, and the two are not the same.

OK, HRC supporters then. Part of my question was what about your line of reasoning was HRC specific, so I fished a term out of the rest of the thread and put it in scare quotes. (Except that I’m not a HRC supporter, but may be ok being counted under liberal-in-scare-quotes.)

[For the record, for the last paragraph, my dice fall like this: Jewish experience is quite obviously relevant in the context of racism. It’s ludicrous to claim that Jews are white (some are, some aren’t, and for some it’s complicated or dependent on the country in which they would be considered white or not), and even more ludicrous to base any argument on this tendentious premise. I’m also quite sure that a lot of Jews reject the notion that they are non-white by virtue of being Jewish, and Jewish experience doesn’t convey a capacity to speak for, say, African-American experience.]

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Val 10.11.16 at 8:00 pm

Rich Puchalsky @ 395

.The whole thing about anti-Semitism was about Val, RNB, and others insisting that Jews were white are therefore the Jewish experience was not valid in this regard

That is untrue, and I did not ever say that. This is going beyond straw-womanning, and into lying.

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Val 10.11.16 at 8:11 pm

Rich Puchalsky @ 395

So Rich, I am a named and identifiable person on these threads, and my name can also be traced back to my professional occupation, through the link. Are you formally accusing me of anti-Semitism? I would appreciate if you would clarify this.

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basil 10.11.16 at 8:34 pm

<blockquote cite="But surely you can see that men explaining feminism to women is problematic."

Why exactly is it problematic Val?

This, and your claim to being an expert on feminism, may explain why I don't agree with much of what you say. It is worth noting that Lena Dunham, Beyonce, Sheryl Sandberg and Hillary Clinton also claim to be feminists.

If I may ask, as an ardent pacifist why aren’t you having a go at fn’s warmongering? Why are you always punching left?

Maybe you lot are just shy Tories.

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basil 10.11.16 at 8:42 pm

Lol @merian,
Looks like we’ve a serious communication problem. I didn’t intend to say that at all. I’ve clarified enough now though. I want to concede, we aren’t on the same side, and we don’t seem to want to be either.

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ZM 10.11.16 at 8:58 pm

basil,

“<blockquote cite="But surely you can see that men explaining feminism to women is problematic."
Why exactly is it problematic Val?
This, and your claim to being an expert on feminism, may explain why I don't agree with much of what you say. It is worth noting that Lena Dunham, Beyonce, Sheryl Sandberg and Hillary Clinton also claim to be feminists."

I don't identify as strongly as a feminist like Val does — but I agree with her its problematic for men to explain feminism to women.

Feminism is a women's movement, men can support feminism or not, but it is not a men's movement, and men can't tell a woman how she should be a feminist.

You are right that women have variations of feminism, but men still can't tell a woman what feminism is. They can say what type of feminism they support — but men shouldn't try and define what feminism can be to a woman.

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basil 10.11.16 at 9:02 pm

No Val you aren’t antisemitic at all. I don’t think Rich has claimed that either.

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Val 10.11.16 at 9:03 pm

@ 399
Basil, perhaps the fact that I’ve been involved in anti-war activism for over 50 years might count for something.

If you can’t understand why men explaining feminism to women is problematic then there’s not much I can do for you.

And I don’t claim to be an “expert” on feminism, I said I’m a serious scholar of feminist theory. Yes I do claim to be a serious scholar, but I don’t claim to be an expert.

405

Val 10.11.16 at 9:07 pm

Thanks ZM, you said it much better than I could!

Basil I think Rich needs to clarify that himself. I think there is an implication in #395 that I and others are anti-Semitic, and it’s not the first time Rich has made remarks like this.

406

Val 10.11.16 at 9:15 pm

Also thanks engels @ 391, that’s very interesting. I’d already added the book to my reading list but that makes it more of a priority.

I’ve used the word “communitarian” to describe my political position here so I was interested to see that Amy Wendling also used it. I think there is definitely a discussion to be had about “communitarian” vs “socialism/t” or “communism/t”, as descriptors, but I think this thread is nearing its end so maybe another time.

407

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 9:24 pm

Oh, get over yourself, Val. You’ve called me anti-feminist or sexist here a whole lot of times, and I’m an identifiable individual using my real name.

Here’s one of the many things you wrote: ( from here, to get the full context you have to go all the way back through RNB’s rant at Corey Robin for writing things that RNB didn’t like):

” js and RNB I support your attempts to stop this being a debate between white guys about issues that particularly affect POC”

Corey Robin and I were already identified Jews, and we’d already explained various aspects of how being a religious minority in America did actually bear on Islamophobia. In particular, I was trying to explain that us being white did not mean that we had a natural affinity for the Klan or other white nationalists, because of various inconvenient bits of history such as the Klan burning crosses on Jewish people’s lawns. You chipped in to support the effort to stop this from being a debate between white guys about issues that particularly affect POC.

I originally characterized this as “clueless”, but as my explanations mounted and you remained clueless, I started to wonder. People can draw their own conclusions.

408

J-D 10.11.16 at 9:26 pm

Val 10.11.16 at 12:54 pm
@366
Yes J-D I do remember that you had long interchanges with Ivor. I thought you two were rather similar and found your exchanges very boring, as I think you would by now have realised they were for others, if not for you. My memory however is that you did, at least for a time, target Julie, and that you appeared condescending.

Women may be ‘over-sensitive’ to this kind of thing, but there is a wealth of empirical evidence that we do get targeted and discriminated against, so perhaps you (and basil) should pay a bit more heed to that.

This is a further illustration of my point.

The premise ‘J-D targetted Julie’ is not, by itself, sufficient support for the conclusion ‘J-D does not heed the empirical evidence that women get targetted’. There’s a gap in the chain of reasoning. Disclosure of the unstated assumptions could be enlightening.

409

bob mcmanus 10.11.16 at 9:28 pm

401: If women’s experience and so feminism is absolutely and irrevocably incommensurable and incommunicable to men and men’s experience say in the military or workplace or schoolyard bullies or demonstrations or activism, everything really, provides zero opportunities or possibilities for empathy for women…if this is is the case, that feminism will always be incomprehensible then not only should men stop telling women what to do or how their form of feminism might be universally pernicious…they should also absolutely stop listening to women, paying attention, or giving a shit about women and and feminism. Since women apparently cannot be understood or communicated with, then women need to simply be managed.

I for one don’t believe the above is true. It is a miracle of language and media that experiences and feelings can be shared, unevenly, such that there may be men who understand women and feminism and have empathy for their cause, and be able to help, support, perhaps even offer advice based on their own unique histories and knowledge.

In this I apparently differ from feminists, who I think have simply applied the old hierarchal and anti-democratic forms (not substance) of patriarchy to use them for factional privilege and advantage, the claims of unique experience as source of privilege being not at all new from this perspective.

410

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 9:52 pm

bob mcmanus: “In this I apparently differ from feminists”

No. You only differ from a particular kind of essentialist (and increasingly rare) feminism.

411

Val 10.11.16 at 9:59 pm

@ 408
there may be men who understand women and feminism and have empathy for their cause, and be able to help, support, perhaps even offer advice based on their own unique histories and knowledge

Not going to engage in detail here, but telling women that their ideas about feminism are “dopey”, doesn’t fit with this.

412

Val 10.11.16 at 10:01 pm

@ 406

Rich, I asked you a question. Are you accusing me of anti-semitism? Please answer.

413

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 10:03 pm

merian: “Except that I’m not a HRC supporter, but may be ok being counted under liberal-in-scare-quotes.”

To return to this bit, Bruce Wilder is obviously a liberal, but not an HRC supporter. I don’t think the distinction is that hard to make. I do wonder how people are using the term “supporter” though. My memory may be faulty, but didn’t you say that you would vote for HRC, that in fact you thought that there was a strong moral case for voting for HRC, and that you’d feel joy if HRC won? Then I think that by any reasonable definition you are an HRC supporter.

414

Faustusnotes 10.11.16 at 10:04 pm

Rich and Bruce, the “Saddam-loving” propaganda was not used to justify the war in Iraq, that was justified by wmds because squeamish wasn’t doing anything especially bad at the time of the war. The “Saddam-loving” thing was applied late in the piece after people like you and I presented arguments against the war that were too compelling to resist. There is no comparison to Libya or Syria because in those cases the dictators against whom you oppose intervention were actually doing bad things.

Hence, we need to establish whether they did bad things, not because we need to show whether you love these dudes or not but because that was the essence of debate then. This has nothing – repeat, nothing – in common with the Iraq war smears.

Foundling has claimed repeatedly that gaddafi was doing nothing wrong, first by citing gaddafi’s own statements as proof and then providing flawed secondary sources which are either a selective reading of the available sources or are themselves misleading. In the former category is his citation from the independent, which misses several very damning amnesty reports about the regime but cites their mistakes; in the latter category is the House of Commons select committee report, which cites extremely selectively from a much more comprehensive human rights watch document that gives corroborated evidence of shelling of hospitals and sniper attacks on civilians.

Note here that foundling isn’t arguing gaddafi wasn’t bad enough to warrant intervention, he is attempting to argue he wasn’t bad at all. In his comment 107 and subsequent comment he makes this explicit, arguing repeatedly that gaddafi’s pre battle statements could be interpreted as stated and that no contextual evidence was needed. He then presents his deeply flawed links as further evidence that gaddafi did not harm civilians (a mere 22, is the number postulated). He’s clearly trying to reduce gaddafi’s civilian toll as collateral damage by hiding evidence of deliberate murder, disappearance, and attacks on hospitals.

Which brings me full circle to Bruce wilder’s defenseof your arguing style. Bruce, I’m saying that you and rich and foundling have a strategy of not saying what you mean. You put these “facts” out there (they never are facts) and then denying other people’s conclusions when we draw them, then refusing to state your real meaning. Hence we have to write long defenses of why we interpreted you to mean what we did.

i would also point out that team brocialists has been consistently wrong on the Clinton related debates. You were and are wrong about the Clinton foundation both in fact and in understanding of how it works; you were wrong about Russia (now trump is openly citing Kremlin misinformation the day it is released, and erroneous info from the same dump has crept into this thread); you are consistently wrong about the order of events in Syria and the disposition of forces, despite being repeatedly corrected; you are wrong about gaddafi; and now I see rich doesn’t properly understand the order of rhetoric in the lead up to the Iraq war; and of course you have persistently peddled a kind of radical leftist variety of global warming denialism, in which it is not as bad as people say, it can’t be fixed by anyone but you anyway, and there is time to wait for your eternally delayed global revolution.

Despite these persistent errors you get outraged if people point out the obvious conclusions to be drawn from these statements of “facts” but refuse to give us what you actually mean when challenged. And all the while you condescend to us, calling us liberals when we’re not, claiming our politics is ineffectual when it is yours that has failed everywhere and every time, and getting your fee fees all het up when it is pointed out that you might not be listening and that you are a bunch of patronizing old men.

Get your facts right; learn to make coherent and clear arguments from those facts; and present us with a coherent vision of your alternative political structure’s solutions to problems like global warming and rape culture; and give us a pathway to get there. Then you can be patronizing. Until then you’re just a bunch of old leftists ranting at clouds.

415

Lupita 10.11.16 at 10:17 pm

@ bob mcmanus

In this I apparently differ from feminists, who I think have simply applied the old hierarchal and anti-democratic forms (not substance) of patriarchy to use them for factional privilege and advantage, the claims of unique experience as source of privilege being not at all new from this perspective.

I was lectured on CT, by feminists, that poor women’s groups in Latin America that organize to bring water into their neighborhoods are not feminist, as we consider them around here, since they play into notions of patriarchy.

416

engels 10.11.16 at 10:25 pm

Is this the most ad hominem CT debate ever?

417

J-D 10.11.16 at 10:28 pm

When I read a statement like ‘men explaining feminism to women is problematic’, I wonder whether that is supposed to mean something more like ‘it is a bad idea for men to express views about feminism to women’ or something more like ‘if men want to express views about feminism to women, it is important for them to exercise special caution and to take into account how men’s experiences and women’s experiences can differ’. If it’s something like the second I tend to agree, but if it’s something like the first I tend to disagree.

418

ith 10.11.16 at 10:42 pm

<i<And in other news—in perhaps another blow for the Puchalsky-Wilder thesis
As a millenial, I think it’s strange that Bruce Wilder and Puchalsky are so often seen as aligned here despite the very great difference in their political standpoints

419

Anarcissie 10.11.16 at 10:45 pm

Well, there is ‘universalizing discourse versus minoritizing discourse’ which is apparently a thing, or at least a lot students have been commanded to write about it, and some of their work has permeated to the surface of Google, analyzing movies and so forth. I take it u.d. is supposed to be Good and m.d. is supposed to be Bad, but I have certainly gotten a lot of ‘You can’t understand X-type culture/problems/politics/activism because you’re not an X’ from a wide variety of people, and to some extent I think it’s valid. In any case, universalizing feminism would be quite different from minoritizing feminism. Males could lecture females on the first because it makes universal claims about the whole of society, whereas it would not seem appropriate for them to lecture on the second (unless specifically invited to).

420

merian 10.11.16 at 10:49 pm

This thread has become quite the object lesson. I’m reminded of the title of an XKCD cartoon, though the original title works fine.

Rich Puchalsky, to tack this on here, I wouldn’t use the noun “X supporter” during an electoral contest strictly for people who have the right to vote, or at least enough civil rights to campaign (eg, in EU countries I lived in, usually I had restricted voting rights, but was ok to take part in the political process; here, I’m not). I did say that “she has my support, until Nov 9” and that yes, the “first woman” thing, for all her copious faults, doesn’t leave me cold. Now that I’ve clarified my exact wording, you’re still not answering though, right?

421

merian 10.11.16 at 10:57 pm

People seem to have very reductive senses of “essentialist” and “problematic”.

Lupita:

I was lectured on CT, by feminists, that poor women’s groups in Latin America that organize to bring water into their neighborhoods are not feminist, as we consider them around here, since they play into notions of patriarchy.

Infuriating. This shouldn’t be happening, but I know it does.

422

bob mcmanus 10.11.16 at 11:00 pm

416: “Sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for virtuous women.” Phyllis Schlafly

Depends on the man, depends on the woman, depends on the issue or controversy. There really is no useful purpose in trying to generalize “mansplaining” since it will usually be used in a specific context between particular people with an intent to appeal to the audience.

Rich, “essentialism” is a feminist theory term-of-art that obviously feminists have been working on for fifty years and have developed an extremely sophisticated discourse to diffuse the accusation and to try to resolve tensions and contradictions between biology and societal determination, nature and culture, apparently resolved to Val’s complete satisfaction but not, as far as I understand them, for all feminist theorists.

423

Faustusnotes 10.11.16 at 11:05 pm

Also the reason I portray brocialist types as privileged is because I was active in radical politics in oz and the people peddling the both sides do it wait for the revolution line were always privileged: inheritors of wealth, rich north shore kids slumming it with the radicals while they did their degree, public servants with job security and good salaries. The people sensitive to gradual change were from poor or working class backgrounds, union types. And the change our social democracies won was often not merely incremental. While the revolutionaries were in smoke filled rooms debating who was right over Czechoslovakia we got universal health coverage; while the dudes were telling black people to wait for the revolution because capitalism can’t be reformed, child removal policies ended; while the blokes were telling feminists not to use the capitalist state to protect themselves, prostitution was legalized.

I want change, not talk.

424

Rich Puchalsky 10.11.16 at 11:09 pm

merian: “Now that I’ve clarified my exact wording, you’re still not answering though, right?”

I told you that I didn’t understand your paragraph. I still don’t, and it’s pretty much impossible to answer a question I don’t understand. When you wrote “I wouldn’t use the noun “X supporter” during an electoral contest strictly for people who have the right to vote […]” did you put in an extra negative? (I’m not trying to get on your case if you did: my own comments are written as fast as I can type and typoes abound).

What were you asking me in relation to my supposedly decontextualizing your comment? What am I supposed to have stripped of its context? Like Bruce Wilder above, I’m kind of puzzled about how my comments have turned ahistorical, but maybe it’s because I’ve been through a lot of these U.S. elections and I’ve seen how they’ve turned out.

If it’s about whether Sanders did actually get anything from HRC, well, we’ll see, won’t we? After the election, of course. My opinion is that he didn’t, but I could be proved wrong.

425

bob mcmanus 10.11.16 at 11:11 pm

417: “Some say”: a universalizing discourse is in itself an attempt to assert privilege and gain hegemony.

I can’t say if it is a devolution or an elevation, but “Why are you saying that here now to me?” is always an interesting and important question, no matter the substance.

Which reminds me, I’d really rather read.

426

engels 10.11.16 at 11:54 pm

I don’t think Hillary being the first female president is too important (there would have been someone else, hopefully someone better, soon). What is important imo is women voters asserting their agency as a group and imo that’s not so much pro-Hillary as anti-Trump. See here for a quite amazing illustration:

https://twitter.com/natesilver538/status/785972385836961792
https://twitter.com/natesilver538/status/785972580301742080

427

Val 10.12.16 at 12:05 am

maybe I should just give up and change my nym to “essentialist anti-Semitic liberal dopey scum” rather than trying to defend myself

anyway I have to do some work too

428

basil 10.12.16 at 12:06 am

You wouldn’t know it reading this list but one of the most significant, bitterest identitarian fault-lines this autumn, in the US-UK-Canada pits ‘white’ feminists against ‘POC’ feminists.

I can’t see how a politics of persuasion and solidarity works out while people hold on to these barriers, and refuse abolition. This it seems was the whole point of the creation of these categories, that humans know their place, don’t speak or act out of turn and perform their ordained roles.

Also really grateful for fn @421. Clarifies much. Black people!

Val,
Just saw your 249. I am sorry, I didn’t mean to ignore you. I can’t recall what I meant, except that your faction seems here most dutiful in piping up in support of/ on behalf of the bosses and the status quo, the DNC, Obama, the Clintons, Blair, the Coup Plotters, Gillard, the Australian political system and its outcomes, etc. Your ardent pacifism, your and ZM’s passion for refugees really doesn’t come across on this platform. This is not to say that you’ve a duty to the collective.

In 376 you imply that I am targeting and discriminating against women? This is a charge I take very seriously. I regret that I cause you to feel that way, and that I didn’t show solidarity with you in the past. I thought I was being courteous and engaging today, so I feel bad that I came across as a pest. I’ve been grateful for the clarifications you’ve made, and I hope you’ll believe me when I say they reveal you in a rather different light than you show here – in your comments and allegiances.

But it is time to go our separate ways and respectfully, I think I’ll stop our correspondence now.

429

Faustusnotes 10.12.16 at 12:12 am

Basil, really? As I have repeatedly said, I am Australian. The word “black” has a different meaning in Australian political discourse. Of course you don’t even know what I’m talking about when I refer to “child removal policies”. Yet people with this level of ignorance want to tell me how I should use the word “liberal ” to describe our politics…

430

js. 10.12.16 at 1:43 am

Yowza! I did not expect a page search on “js” to yield so many results! Glad to see you’re all so interested in my views :)

I… will leave you all to hash it out. I do have a question for basil, and it’s an honest question: How do you suppose anti-anti-Trumpism fosters solidarity? In other words, what is the path or mechanism whereby left solidarity can be constructed on a basis that includes anti-anti-Trumpism as a crucial component? Because from where I stand, this is a complete and utter nonstarter (and not because I’m an anti-left liberal, as anyone who’s read my comments here for a while would know).

431

Helen 10.12.16 at 2:58 am

Also I think there is some difficulties with the American commenters applying American terminology to Australian commenters — Australia already has a lot of things that are considered very left wing in America.

We have universal healthcare, we have federal involvement in education funding and policy, we have higher education funded by federal government loans that only have to be repaid if your income is over a certain amount, we have a stronger welfare safety net for people too — these are all things that only a very left wing candidate in America would propose, but in Australia they are mainstream and accepted by both major political parties.

ZM, as a fellow Australian, that is kind of amusing to me about the “anti-liberal” USian posters here. People like me, who would describe themselves as social democrats in favour of social transformation via feminism, environmentalism and such, are vilified as wishy-washy liberals who are holding up the Revolution, while the US can’t even get it together to build themselves a universal Medicare scheme.
On a more serious note, some of us wishy-washy liberals (if you insist on that nomenclature) distrust the idea of Glorious Revolution because it will probably, according to our historical knowledge, involve bros with guns and bros as Party cadres and Party officials, and probably a lot of opportunities for ultraviolence among those as likes that kind of thing. The idea that we should abandon feminism because a Glorious Revolution will flatten out society is for mugs.

432

ZM 10.12.16 at 3:06 am

bob mcmanus,

“401: If women’s experience and so feminism is absolutely and irrevocably incommensurable and incommunicable to men and men’s experience say in the military or workplace or schoolyard bullies or demonstrations or activism, everything really, provides zero opportunities or possibilities for empathy for women…if this is is the case, that feminism will always be incomprehensible then not only should men stop telling women what to do or how their form of feminism might be universally pernicious…they should also absolutely stop listening to women, paying attention, or giving a shit about women and and feminism. Since women apparently cannot be understood or communicated with, then women need to simply be managed.”

I don’t think this your conclusion follows at all actually.

I think its one thing saying that men can’t fully understand what its like to be a woman, and another thing saying women are “incomprehensible” to men — there are quite a few degrees of understanding between “men can understand exactly what its like to be a woman as well as a woman can” and “men can’t comprehend women at all”.

“I for one don’t believe the above is true. It is a miracle of language and media that experiences and feelings can be shared, unevenly, such that there may be men who understand women and feminism and have empathy for their cause, and be able to help, support, perhaps even offer advice based on their own unique histories and knowledge.”

Yes, I agree with you. Its a matter of degree.

“In this I apparently differ from feminists, who I think have simply applied the old hierarchal and anti-democratic forms (not substance) of patriarchy to use them for factional privilege and advantage, the claims of unique experience as source of privilege being not at all new from this perspective.”

To be honest, I don’t strongly identify as a feminist, but there are a lot of different types of feminism these days.

Men shouldn’t really tell a woman what sort of feminism she should identify with, its not up to men.

This doesn’t mean men can’t discuss feminism with women, but its not right for a man to tell a woman what feminism is, since he isn’t even a woman.

Also I tried to explain to Rich Puchalsky on another thread where this came up, that what he is calling “essentialist” is actually pretty common from post-structural feminist theory onwards. This is a difference between 2nd and 3rd Wave feminism I would guess, although I am not 100% sure. I think 2nd wave feminism was more about equality, and 3rd wave feminism was more about sites of difference like the body.

I think Rich Puchalsky identifies with 2nd Wave feminism, but its not really fair to say that other subsequent feminisms are invalid because they depart from that in various ways. What Val has commented about is really acceptable in academic feminist theory, its okay to say you disagree with it, but Rich has implied at times that its not valid or its not real feminism, which is too strong I think.

433

J-D 10.12.16 at 3:28 am

ZM 10.12.16 at 3:06 am

Men shouldn’t really tell a woman what sort of feminism she should identify with, its not up to men.

This doesn’t mean men can’t discuss feminism with women, but its not right for a man to tell a woman what feminism is, since he isn’t even a woman.

If it’s not right for a man to tell a woman what feminism is, does that mean it could be right for a woman to tell a woman what feminism is? If it’s not up to men to tell a woman what sort of feminism she should identify with, does that mean it could be up to women to tell a woman what sort of feminism she should identify with?

If you don’t know my gender, how do you react if I tell you what feminism is?

434

ZM 10.12.16 at 3:45 am

J-D,

I really don’t identify that strongly as a feminist, so I am not sure I am the best person to answer that question.

I would think there are a few things women would agree are basic feminist principles — like gender equity, education and voting rights, things like that.

Then there are a lot of other things that are contested within the feminist space.

I personally would feel uncomfortable saying that even something I strongly disagreed with wasn’t “real feminism”, unless it was one of the basic agreed upon feminist principles, or if I particularly objected to it on ethical grounds — like if a woman thought she was “empowered” being a neo-nazi or something. Or if someone argued that their feminism was that women shouldn’t be educated, I would probably feel okay saying that isn’t feminism.

But there are other issues that remain contested.

Half the population are women so there is a lot of diversity about what issues women see as feminist issues they want to fight for.

3rd wave feminism I think re-examined sites of difference, and not only sites of difference between women and men, but sites of difference that exist between women due to class or geography or racial or cultural background.

And part of looking at difference is also accepting some diversity within the shared space we call feminism.

435

Helen 10.12.16 at 3:48 am

Since many people have commented on the awfulness of this thread, I propose a new post called “Shock and D’awwww”, featuring baby otters or some such.

436

Val 10.12.16 at 4:07 am

basil @ 428
I don’t have a faction, basil, and I think you may not be reading my comments very carefully, especially as I did not write a comment @ 376.

Perhaps you read the comment @377 to J-D and thought it was meant for you? I didn’t (and wouldn’t) use the word “pest” but if I implied something like that, you should note that J-D has been asked to stop his exchanges with others sometimes on John Quiggin’s website, as J-D himself admits.

It’s a shame you apparently feel so hurt or offended that you don’t want to talk to me anymore (I’m not being snarky) but as I say, is it possible that you are reading more into my comments than is there, especially since you seem to have got a completely wrong idea about my political positions?

Perhaps you might care to look at my website and see whether you still think I am in favour of all the things you thought I was?

437

Val 10.12.16 at 4:43 am

In regard to essentialism, I don’t really see it as a problem because I don’t think there is an essential anything (as I think ZM has suggested).

Everything is constructed, but not just socially constructed, socio-ecologically constructed.

Bodies and gender are both socio-ecologically constructed. ( I actually should reference this because I read some feminist thinker saying something like this the other day but can’t remember who)

438

J-D 10.12.16 at 4:55 am

Helen 10.12.16 at 3:48 am
Since many people have commented on the awfulness of this thread, I propose a new post called “Shock and D’awwww”, featuring baby otters or some such.

Thanks very much for those nightmares.

439

J-D 10.12.16 at 5:17 am

ZM 10.12.16 at 3:45 am

I would think there are a few things women would agree are basic feminist principles — like gender equity, education and voting rights, things like that.

I don’t think that conclusion is reconcilable with observation of, for example, the Honey Badger Brigade.

440

ZM 10.12.16 at 5:28 am

Are they against gender equity, education and voting rights for women?

441

J-D 10.12.16 at 6:18 am

ZM 10.12.16 at 5:28 am
Are they against gender equity, education and voting rights for women?

I don’t think they would agree that those are basic feminist principles.

442

engels 10.12.16 at 8:15 am

some of us wishy-washy liberals distrust the idea of Glorious Revolution because it will probably, according to our historical knowledge, involve bros with guns and bros as Party cadres and Party officials, and probably a lot of opportunities for ultraviolence among those as likes that kind of thing

I take it you’ve heard of the Democratic Party? Or this woman?

443

kidneystones 10.12.16 at 8:27 am

444

engels 10.12.16 at 8:29 am

(It’s so annoying when Bros with guns spoil your peaceful capitalist utopia…)

445

ZM 10.12.16 at 9:17 am

In my State in Australia one of the Year 12 subjects is History Of Revolutions, I think this turned me off revolutions for life. A much younger girl I knew was studying it some years ago, and she had a similar reaction and couldn’t understand at all why the Russians didn’t just copy England with a constitutional monarchy.

446

engels 10.12.16 at 10:08 am

I agree with Yan’s definition of liberal. Possible others:
– people for whom capitalism is natural
– people for whom capital is invisible
– people for whom class is invisible

Just thought of another:
– people for whom state violence is invisible (unless it’s a ‘socialist’ state)

447

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 10:25 am

ZM: “its okay to say you disagree with it, but Rich has implied at times that its not valid or its not real feminism, which is too strong I think.”

I can’t remember ever writing that. As with my comments above, what I’ve written is that it’s a kind of feminism that I think is essentialist. Val is the one who has written that people who disagree with her kind of feminism are anti-feminist and not real feminists at all. Val may in theory say that she believes in social construction, but in practice she always falls back on simplistic constructions like “white man”, where what matters to her is e.g whether a Jew physically has white skin and is therefore not a POC rather than whether they have experienced religious discrimination from the majority.

Also, I don’t identify with second wave feminism, although I’m old enough to have been active in activist movements that were pretty much second wave.

448

Lee A. Arnold 10.12.16 at 11:23 am

“I don’t agree, I didn’t intend, I’ve clarified enough, I don’t identify, I don’t think, I’ve been involved, I don’t claim, I think there is, I’d already added, I’m an identifiable, I support, I was trying, I started to wonder, I for one, I apparently differ, I asked you, I presented arguments, I’m saying that, I would also point out, I was lectured, I wonder whether, I tend to agree, I think it’s strange, I take it, I have certainly gotten, I think it’s valid, I wouldn’t use, I did say, I’ve clarified my, I know it, I understand, I portray, I was active, I want, I can’t say, I’d really rather, I should just give up, I can’t see, I didn’t mean, I can’t recall what I meant, I take, I regret that, I thought I was, I’m talking about, I do have, I’m an anti-, I agree, I don’t strongly identify, I am not sure, I would think, I personally would feel, I think re-examined, I don’t have, I did not write, I didn’t use, I don’t really see, I actually should, I take it, I think this, I can’t remember, I don’t identify, I’m old enough”

449

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 11:27 am

All of Lee A. Arnold’s opinions are universal truths and have nothing to do with his particular circumstances. Of course he doesn’t have to write a lot about them because he’s a boring, tendentious writer whose every comment revolves around the word “mood affiliation” or “knuckleheads” and no one really cares what he thinks.

450

basil 10.12.16 at 11:48 am

fn,
I also liked this post.

Val,
Not hurt. And no hard feelings. Just very careful about perceptions of, and acknowledging your sensitivity to, abuse online. Please see your 377.

engels @444
It is fundamental to this narrative that the voices of those with a radical politics who’re constructed as women or poc, now or in the past, are minimised. All of Twitter and Facebook, Common Rooms, and streets are filled with community organisers, scholars, activists who’re constructed this way who absolutely share the ‘brocialists’ politics. But the violence of the mainstream is to make invisible and inaudible.

@ZM,
Have you in your travels encountered Jacqueline Stevens? They work on migration, borders, and gender. I think you may like their scholarship. Or Sara Ahmed who shares your Australian affiliation and works on similar themes.

451

basil 10.12.16 at 11:50 am

Sorry fn, this is the post of yours I appreciated.

http://crookedtimber.org/2016/10/05/uber-menschen/#comment-694010

452

Lee A. Arnold 10.12.16 at 12:13 pm

Rich Puchalsky #449: “All of Lee A. Arnold’s opinions are universal truths and have nothing to do with his particular circumstances. Of course he doesn’t have to write a lot about them because he’s a boring, tendentious writer whose every comment revolves around the word “mood affiliation” or “knuckleheads” and no one really cares what he thinks.”

Congratulations, you’ve written a paragraph without using the first person pronoun.

453

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 12:34 pm

basil: “All of Twitter and Facebook, Common Rooms, and streets are filled with community organisers, scholars, activists who’re constructed this way who absolutely share the ‘brocialists’ politics. But the violence of the mainstream is to make invisible and inaudible.”

The responses to Lupita’s comments very often have this pattern of implicitly or explicitly denying that she’s a woman, because she’s expressed the wrong opinions.

Here’s pretty much the definitive article on the people who use the word “brocialist”. It’s by Freddie deBoer, who wrote some sexist comments once upon a time and who therefore should be ignored forever.

http://fredrikdeboer.com/2016/07/27/god-save-me-from-the-converted/

It has an absolutely typical Twitter exchange quoted in its opening;

454

Layman 10.12.16 at 1:08 pm

“The responses to Lupita’s comments very often have this pattern of implicitly or explicitly denying that she’s a woman, because she’s expressed the wrong opinions.”

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a response which explicitly denies that Lupita is a woman. As for ‘implicitly’, perhaps the problem is in your mind?

“It’s by Freddie deBoer, who wrote some sexist comments once upon a time and who therefore should be ignored forever.”

Freddie deBoer should be ignored because he’s a self-absorbed idiot.

455

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 1:19 pm

I’m going to write something in response to engels because he seems bored (and because it will involve lots of “I” statements which will annoy certain annoying people):

engels: “Imo the fault line isn’t gradualism v. rupture (a revolution doesn’t have to be ruptural imo) but whether you believe capitalism can be replaced or only ‘improved’. If you don’t think it can be you’re a liberal. But it’s possible to argue that some people who claimed to be gradualists had really given up on systemic transformation.”

I don’t understand a concept of revolution that isn’t ruptural. I certainly think that capitalism can be and should be replaced, but the whole question of gradualism vs revolutionary socialisms seems to me to hinge on this whole question of how it happens.

I tend to think that replacing capitalism involves long-term changes in both cultural values and modes of production, interrelated with each other, and that attempts to do this via rupture don’t seem to work. Basically, I think that state structures as such are part of the problem, and that you can’t have an anarchy without a society in which the large majority of people believe in a certain set of values. Ruptural conflict inherently makes people in society choose sides, and what you don’t want is for people to choose sides: you want values to change so that every “side” really accepts the same thing (e.g. as every side in contemporary politics thinks that chattel slavery is bad).

I also think that problems of scale have a lot to do with this, and that solutions to problems of scale are a large part of why we have both political problems and environmental problems.

456

Faustusnotes 10.12.16 at 1:41 pm

Haha that’s brilliant by lee a a Arnold. Especially funny because I only figured out who he was digging at when that person replied. Sensitive much? Yes it’s all about you and how special you are…

457

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 2:24 pm

faustusnotes: “Especially funny because I only figured out who he was digging at when that person replied”

Maybe boasting that you’re too stupid to figure out who’s saying what to whom isn’t such a great idea.

458

engels 10.12.16 at 2:42 pm

Rich, it may be semantics but to me ‘revolution’ implies (a) systemic transformation and (b) overthrow of a system of power. I don’t think it need be either violent or of a short duration.

459

Lupita 10.12.16 at 2:46 pm

@ Layman

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a response which explicitly denies that Lupita is a woman. As for ‘implicitly’, perhaps the problem is in your mind?

There was RNB who called me a 3rd world poseur and wanted me to prove that I was posting from somewhere in Latin America. He then started using the pronoun “he” in reference to me.

I have also complained on several occasions of feeling excluded from the left-wing group of posters when we are referred to collectively as “white dudes”, as if I were not clearly taking the same positions.

460

Kiwanda 10.12.16 at 2:51 pm

“Freddie deBoer should be ignored because he’s a self-absorbed idiot.”

Sometimes self-absorbed idiots say interesting things. Sometimes people who are surely the nicest people in the world, in real life, devote much of their interactions online to attributing motives or patterns of behavior to other people, based on nothing in particular besides maybe identity, and then attacking those motives or patterns; or willfully misinterpreting what others say, the better to attack them; or mostly complain that others aren’t listening to them, and should be, because they claim authority of one kind or another for what they say; or saying that other people should not be listened to, categorically, because those people *don’t* have the right authority, of one kind or another; or complain about other people’s tone, because that tone is driving out the right kind of participants; or dismiss other people’s attacks on *their* tone, because their tone is the tone of righteousness and justice.

I admit that it’s useful, there only being so many hours in the day, to ignore some people, because what they say is almost always boring or unconstructive. (It’s almost irresistible to name a few who can be safely ignored.) But it’s better to look at one comment at a time, and attack arguments and not people.

And yeah, it’s more interesting to talk about things, than to talk about talking about things, which has long since become very boring here.

461

bruce wilder 10.12.16 at 2:59 pm

merian @394

The qualification I offered above was: ” . . . to be effective as a critic, you have to restate the argument accurately or draw an implication logically from the actual argument. It is not automatically bad faith on the part of a commenter, if he doesn’t regard the restatement as accurate or an alleged implication as logically entailed.”

Faustusnotes presumes that I do not say what I mean. He isn’t saying that I try and fail, as we all do at times, to clearly express intended meaning. His presumption is that I am deliberately and strategically obscuring my meaning. He thinks I have a hidden position that would embarrass me and he makes it his mission to drag an admission from me into the light of day.

What is wrong with this is, yes, it is automatically insulting, but also because Faustusnotes licenses himself to both make up the argument he is going to argue against, attributing it to me without my assent, and to complain when I do not offer additional arguments to explain positions I do not hold.

Faustusnotes complains, “. . .[Bruce] and rich and foundling have a strategy of not saying what you mean. You put these “facts” out there (they never are facts) and then denying other people’s conclusions when we draw them, then refusing to state your real meaning.”

And more Faustusnotes: “You, Bruce Wilder, and Rich (perhaps a few others) have this common strategy of presenting statements that certainly lead to a strong implication, but when challenged on what you appear to be trying to say, denying that and accusing your reader of deliberate misreading; but then consistently refuse to give any alternative conclusion that could give a purpose to the statements you have made. It makes it easy for you to sow doubt and confusion without ever having to actually admit to a position that would probably, if dragged out into the light of day, be an embarrassment to you.”

Re: “anachronistic”, “ahistorical” juxtaposed with “And don’t say her past behavior . . .” in questioning Rich’s argument from experience, precedent and pattern.

I think “ahistorical” may not mean what you want it to mean, if it is intended to mean anything at all. Or you are arguing for an ergodicity in human affairs that would be extreme in its implications.

462

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 3:22 pm

“I have also complained on several occasions of feeling excluded from the left-wing group of posters when we are referred to collectively as “white dudes”, as if I were not clearly taking the same positions”

This is common enough in liberal rhetoric , afaict. liberals have their favoured populations who they utilise for rhetorical purposes, but when a member of one (or many) of those populations disagrees with liberal dogma, then the individual disagreeing is written off as either a fraud or brainwashed idiot.
I’m glad you’re sticking through the patronising dismissals, lupita. Although I’m basically a reactionary conservative at this stage, so wouldn’t have much time for revolutionary socialism, I feel we’re united by a shared contempt for the contemporary liberal chattering classes.

463

engels 10.12.16 at 3:54 pm

I think Americans sometimes use ‘white’ as a stand-on for ‘middle-class’ cf. ‘Stuff White People Like’ alongside various internet polemics against ‘white dudes’.Because officially class doesn’t exist in America and the middle-class are hard-working ordinary people who can not be criticised (or this was true until recently).

464

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 4:02 pm

Ronan(rf): ” I feel we’re united by a shared contempt for the contemporary liberal chattering classes.”

It’s more than that. Here, I’ll quote F. Foundling @223:

“I’m not sure the split about HRC is so much ideological in the sense of specific policy preferences; I have the feeling that it is more about a degree of emotional and tribal identification with the (liberal-left side of the) mainstream and the status quo. The regular ‘dissidents’ are a riff-raff of fringe types that share little besides an alienation and detachment from this status quo – off the top of my hat, I can think of an anarchist or two, an old-school New Deal liberal (I think?), a Marxist or two, a non-Marxist socialist (if I’m not mistaken), and a global south nationalist. (I suppose I could mention myself as some sort of vague libertarian socialist, too, although my being a non-Westerner seems to have been more important in this context.) Forget ideology – there doesn’t even seem to be any shared opinion about what people should do as a voters in the coming election. The joke about herding cats comes to mind.”

I suggest that the real common factor is that we all represent tiny (within the dominant U.S./anglosphere culture) tendencies and can therefore talk about things as relative equals. As I mentioned in a long-ago previous thread, bob mcmanus and I may disagree with each other about Marxism, but he has no Revolutionary Guard to drag me away, just as I have no squad of hot, leather-clad _Sons of Anarchy_ bikers to rough him up. Lupita can not force me to make or eat her stone-ground corn meal, and Bruce Wilder has no New Deal alphabet soup agency to rationalize my production, just as Ronan(rf) can support an Irish-flavored reactionary intellectual conservatism without particularly bothering anyone. We have the power of futility on our side.

Meanwhile — if we have to talk about class analysis — the “liberal chattering classes” really are forming a dominant class complete with control over the high grounds of the world economy, the instinctive conviction that all opponents must be destroyed with force, an inability to even understand that they are a class since all people must share their interests and think like they do, etc.

465

engels 10.12.16 at 4:08 pm

We have the power of futility on our side.

300 000 people in Britain just reelected an opposition leader who broadly shares my values and who’s holding the PM to account in parliament on a weekly basis.

466

bruce wilder 10.12.16 at 4:12 pm

F. Foundling: “share little besides an alienation and detachment from this status quo”

RP: We have the power of futility on our side.

Also, we’re not stupid.

467

engels 10.12.16 at 4:21 pm

Saying commenters don’t have anything in common is silly. Val is right to say it’s predominantly male. The centre of gravity is also (afaict) American, white, middle-class and middle-aged (nb. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that).

468

Layman 10.12.16 at 4:33 pm

Lupita: “There was RNB who called me a 3rd world poseur and wanted me to prove that I was posting from somewhere in Latin America. He then started using the pronoun “he” in reference to me.”

I didn’t recall that. It’s wrong, of course, and it fits Rich’s claim, but seems isolated.

469

engels 10.12.16 at 4:40 pm

It’s wrong, of course

I agree up to a point, but I also think if you’re posting online without an identifiable name and making appeals to your real identity I don’t think you have a absolute right for people never to doubt you’re who say you are. It’s another reason I find the identity politics type discussions a little unproductive.

470

bruce wilder 10.12.16 at 4:41 pm

“middle-aged” seems likely to be something of a forlorn hope

471

bruce wilder 10.12.16 at 4:41 pm

speaking only for my self, of course

472

merian 10.12.16 at 4:52 pm

Rich Puchalsky #424: You’re right, there’s one negation too many. I meant to say that IMHO using the term “[candidate] supporter” in the context of an election is only proper to reference people who are can act as citizens for the purposes of the political process in question. (It’s a different matter if the context is, say, discussions on principles, or relative merits.)

I am feeling quite embarrassed about editing errors I make here on CT. Sorry about that.

The question I was asking is “I wonder how much of what you say is about Clinton in the first place.” [and the paragraph that follows] I understood that you had objections to or misunderstandings (doubtlessly my fault) about the premise.

But I’m not going to press further. The next few days I’m traveling, and deadlines are coming up. I think we have turned the points over as far as it goes, and I’m not sure convincing you about something that pertains to me personally, rather than pertains to the topics at play, is a good use of this space. I continue to be bemused by the discussion culture here. Clearly the goal of several smart and prominent, non-trollish contributors (not only you) isn’t to figure out stuff by talking about it with others. And others who give off the vibe that this is their goal are continually on the defensive.

473

engels 10.12.16 at 4:53 pm

For the record, I don’t doubt Lupita is who she says she is. And I’m going to go and do some work.

474

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 4:55 pm

engels: “300 000 people in Britain just reelected an opposition leader who broadly shares my values and who’s holding the PM to account in parliament on a weekly basis.”

The belief of yours that this means something important is why I didn’t include you in the list of our happy crew. Of course, it could really be important, in which case you’ll soon quickly become just as bad (from my standpoint) as the rest of the people whose politics are proudly supported by a state and party (just as your Labour Party, in power, helped to kill those million Iraqis).

475

merian 10.12.16 at 4:59 pm

One sec, Rich Puchalsky, I think you may have just been answering my “debate culture” question while I was typing it. Are you saying that being a successful and happy CT commenter requires a healthy portion of nihilism?

476

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 5:00 pm

merian: “I am feeling quite embarrassed about editing errors I make here on CT. Sorry about that.”

I’m routinely insulting, but I’d never insult people about that. (Or I’d feel bad if I did.) Would be massive hypocrisy, blaming people for something they can do nothing about (given that we can’t edit), etc.

477

engels 10.12.16 at 5:08 pm

Okay, Rich, as soon as I get a chance I’ll inform the ex-national-chair of Stop The War coalition “ you hold him responsible for Iraq. Enjoy your group therapy session.

478

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 5:22 pm

Jeremy Corbyn is indeed the lesser evil.

479

engels 10.12.16 at 6:40 pm

Neither Washington, nor Moscow, nor London, nor Havana, nor New York, nor Berkeley, nor Ferguson, nor Athens, nor Cairo, nor Gaza, nor Delhi, nor Istanbul, nor Johannesburg, nor Aleppo, nor Caracas, nor Hong Kong, nor …, but GRADUALIST ANARCHISM!

480

F. Foundling 10.12.16 at 6:43 pm

merian @ 475
> Are you saying that being a successful and happy CT commenter requires a healthy portion of nihilism?

Who said that a CT commenter was supposed to be happy, let alone successful? The place for those who want to be happy (in this day and age) is LGM. :) Or the nearest church. They’ll tell you that you’ll have eternal life and that HRC and Obama are, in spite of everything, fairly nice and decent politicians. Happy and successful ones, too.

481

F. Foundling 10.12.16 at 6:47 pm

Personally, I don’t have such a huge beef with the state, unlike RP (the ‘libertarian socialist’ label I used above was sloppy and chosen in haste, or with gradualism (I wish all manner of success to Corbyn), and strictly speaking, if it weren’t for the likely misunderstandings, I would even prefer to identify as a liberal and a socialist.* Really, when I argue with people here (including anything I’ve said against Clinton), I usually do it from what I see as a rather banal, moderate, broadly social-democratic, democratic or, yes, liberal perspective, all of which I do take seriously. There is nothing particularly radical or revolutionary about the principles that I am usually motivated by and refer to. That’s why, it seems to me that the source of the disagreements isn’t really ideology (which is the point I was making above). The way I see it, it’s about whether you’re trying to be part of the big comfy tribe or not. And whether you’re trying to be happy.

* ‘Democratic socialist with an anarcho-syndicalist deviation’ sounds about right. Not that it ever matters here.

482

engels 10.12.16 at 6:55 pm

Merian, in the words of Walter Benjamin, a CT commenting career:

does not lead to banquets and honorary titles, interesting research and professorial wages. It leads to misery, disgrace, ingratitude, prison and a voyage into the unknown, illuminated by only an almost superhuman belief.

483

engels 10.12.16 at 6:55 pm

(I meant Horkheimer!)

484

Lupita 10.12.16 at 7:06 pm

@ Layman

I didn’t recall that. It’s wrong, of course, and it fits Rich’s claim, but seems isolated.

It is isolated, but the instances where I have been excluded from discussions, particularly ones about the sexist/racist nature leftists, have been detected by me and by others. And though it does feel weird to become suddenly a ghostly presence, neither seen nor heard, this isn’t about me: it is about the practice of de-legitimizing one’s opponent with accusations of sexism/racism. It just doesn’t work on me, and my white-washing becomes one more argument against this kind of rhetoric.

485

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 7:10 pm

I always thought

“I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of 9 days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars”

Was apt.

Will you be our Odysseus, engels.

486

Layman 10.12.16 at 7:33 pm

Lupita: “It is isolated, but the instances where I have been excluded from discussions, particularly ones about the sexist/racist nature leftists, have been detected by me and by others.”

Speaking for myself, there are some commenters that I never – or hardly ever, no one’s perfect – respond to. This has nothing to do gender, race, etc. Sometimes I think responding to that person is a waste of time, and one which won’t have the minimal benefit of at least being entertaining. Sometimes I think responding to that person is an invitation to personal attack of an uncomfortable nature. Sometimes, quite frankly, I feel underqualified to respond. And sometimes I just have no appetite for the way some people speak (write) in the jargon of their ideology, making the jargon the point, rather than the ideas.

487

merian 10.12.16 at 7:55 pm

I’ve been wondering for a time why there is so much contempt and insider football going on between here and the Last Glacial Maximum. But now that I’ve figured it out: nah, that place has no John Quiggin, no John & Belle, no Chris B., no Maria Farrell etc.

I’ve increasingly come to value the form that content takes, the gardeners over the trolls (“happy”) and don’t really see the merit of a forum where people aren’t trying to – and actually do – figure stuff out (“successful”).

488

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 8:12 pm

Everyone is happy that they have figured out that things should be exactly as they are. Except, of course, that Trump needs to be defeated. And that is success!

Anything else is nihilism.

489

engels 10.12.16 at 9:04 pm

Beautiful stuff, Ronan. I tried to reply twice only for my Homer to disappear into the Charybdis of the CT spam filter.

490

Val 10.12.16 at 9:08 pm

Lupita, let me put this on the record: I have occasionally used terms like “white dudes” though usually in support of points that others are making* – but I have never meant it to include you. If I have not included you in arguments I’m having with those ‘white dudes’, it’s because I don’t class you as one of them, not because I’m leaving you out.

On the question of who is ‘left’ – I’m a left wing feminist anti-war greenie who is explicitly working for more egalitarian, communal and ecologically sustainable societies** – that’s what I do – yet somehow here I get classified as a closet conservative or something. It’s completely weird.

My suspicion is that it’s anti-feminism disguised as ‘leftier than thou’ rhetoric on the part of some here, including one guy who appears to really think he’s an expert on feminism, unlike me.

* myself, being a boring academic type, I would more likely have said something like ‘it does appear that CT is dominated by white men, though you can’t be sure’ but sometimes it’s handy to have a shorthand!

** this is the stuff I’d rather talk about too

491

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 9:30 pm

Val: “If I have not included you in arguments I’m having with those ‘white dudes’, it’s because I don’t class you as one of them, not because I’m leaving you out.”

Aren’t you glad that you aren’t a real socialist, Lupita? Condescension: it’s how white women show other women that they don’t mean to include *them* in their critiques.

492

Val 10.12.16 at 9:36 pm

Someone above – I’m a bit rushed and can’t find it – said something about defensiveness. And yes, I admit I am defensive – but that’s because I’ve been attacked so much. What I said above about being called anti-Semitic liberal dopey scum (I could actually add Tory anti-Semitic liberal dopey scum) is both literally true, and completely unfounded.

Surely some people here can see that when left wing feminists are called names like that, something has gone a bit wrong?

493

Val 10.12.16 at 9:38 pm

I don’t think Lupita is a “white dude”. Apparently you think “white dude” = “socialist”, which explains a lot.

494

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 9:39 pm

495

Val 10.12.16 at 9:46 pm

In so far as people like RNB and js. (sorry to drag js. in again!) talked about “white dudes”, it wasn’t because they were attacking socialists, it was because they felt “white dudes” were not sufficiently aware of what a threat Trump is to Muslims and people of colour, afaict.

(And I know that you object to being classified as a “white dude” because you’re Jewish, and I respect your position, but I think how much a Jewish person could be included as “white” does depend on the context. If we were able to have reasonable discussions on this issue, without you calling me names, I’d be happy to do so).

496

Val 10.12.16 at 9:47 pm

The above @495 was directed to RP, not Ronan, of course.

497

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 10:11 pm

Don’t worry about it val ; ) and I’m not trying to personalise any of my issues with liberalism to specific people. I’m just expressin a general objection . Just noting the ideological apparatus is rotting , and goin to collapse soon.

498

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 10:15 pm

Val is a serious scholar of feminism, but she is staggeringly bad at reading other women’s descriptions of how they would like to be defined and responding to that in any meaningful way.

Lupita has written that she’s one of the group of people who is being criticized, but she isn’t, because she essentially can’t be. She’s not a white dude, obviously, because white dudeness is defined by physical characteristics. Or, let’s remember social-ecological construction here — screen name characteristics. Lupita could change her screen name to BernieBroDude and change her pronouns and write pretty much exactly what she writes, but then she *would* be included in your critiques because then she’d be a white dude. Or, I don’t know, maybe she wouldn’t be a real white dude, just a kind of trans fake one? Help me out here.

Val, I’ll stop insulting you, but in that case you really have to not object to me not replying to you. You have to learn basic things about how every feminist theory that I’ve read says you’re supposed to do, such as when someone tells you that you’ve written something anti-Semitic, you think about it seriously rather than demanding an apology and nursing a grudge and generally making them explain Jewishness to you.

499

engels 10.12.16 at 10:28 pm

I can’t believe this thread has got to 500 comments on an argument that is literally about nothing.

500

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 10:30 pm

Theres a reason why Seinfeld was popular though

501

engels 10.12.16 at 10:31 pm

In other news, Britain is going to start rationing Marmite

502

Helen 10.12.16 at 10:33 pm

Just for the record, I define a “brocialist”, according to what I’ve read over the past decade, as a person who espouses the fashionable idea that class inequality, and only class inequality, is responsible for every evil and movements like feminism and anti-racism are “identity politics” which detract from the main game of fixing class inequality.
In their world view, patriarchy and white supremacy will cease to exist under socialism.
To me, these are structural and entrenched and are not going to cease to exist if we were to experience socialism tomorrow.
They didn’t cease to exist under previous socialist, communist and other political experiments.
“Brocialists” are not exclusively white males, no, but a lot of them are, and it is not unreasonable to theorise that that might be the case because attending to the structural problems of sexism and white supremacy would entail effort and giving up privilege on their part, so it’s seductive to think of class as the magic bullet that will fix everything. Doesn’t mean you need to be a white male to be in that camp, though, and I don’t think anyone was actually meaning to imply that.

503

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 10:39 pm

Helen: “I define a “brocialist”, according to what I’ve read over the past decade, as a person who espouses the fashionable idea that class inequality, and only class inequality, is responsible for every evil and movements like feminism and anti-racism are “identity politics” which detract from the main game of fixing class inequality.”

Good news — there are no brocialists here, then. Wouldn’t it be amusing if it turned out that the word was only a way of accusing other people of believing that as a way of discrediting them?

504

engels 10.12.16 at 10:43 pm

Helen, that’s a very reasonable critique imo of anyone who espouses class struggle without feminism or anti-racism but I’m not sure how you get from that to thinking that women are better off under capitalism and we should all support Clinton?

505

engels 10.12.16 at 10:53 pm

To be fair that was pretty much abb1’s position, as I recall. But I’m not sure I’d call it ‘fashionable’ ymmv

506

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 11:02 pm

abb1 isn’t here: he was banned. Unless he’s shown up again under a new nym.

Actually… Lupita is one of the people who I can recall most strongly making the case. Maybe she’s the only real brocialist here! I don’t know if I’d call her kind of localism / anti-imperialism / focus on culture and community a focus on class struggle per se, but come on, she’s come really close. Will anyone deny her the right to be called a brocialist? Or siscialist, as she prefers.

507

hix 10.12.16 at 11:03 pm

I used to avoid the I at all costs in the past. Not anymore, as I now think the I is just the proper way to acknowledge a level of subjectivty and limited transferability to other people that is often inherit to blog comments.

508

engels 10.12.16 at 11:05 pm

Was abb1 banned again? I also don’t think anyone here now holds that position.

509

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 11:10 pm

Okay, let me be as specific as I can, to avoid confusion, as I’m probably the only ‘brocialist’ here (though not actually a socialist)
(1) I think identity politics is poisonous (if at times necessary) whether built on class, race, nationality, gender, religion etc
(2) The biggest problems in the future (imo) are going to be based on economic inequality, different levels of educational attainment, different values (in part driven by 1 and 2)
(3) The issues with gender are real and important, but secondary, and mostly important where they interact with the issues raised in (2)
(4) Geography is important (where you are born) and in some places race. But these are more usefully thought of as economic problems.
(5) The wolves arent yet at your door. Theyre still congregating in the forest. This will get worse, and liberals have no ideological or practical mechanism to counter what awaits them.
(6)The backlash we’re seeing is economic AND political AND cultural(independently of ‘racial’) AND racial .
(7) The liberal response has been to dismiss the ‘very real concerns’ of the reactionaries, to skew data and arguments to fit their ideology, and to imagine all historical or political context as irrelevant when explaining what they’re living through. How can you have any respect for people so ignorant ?
(8) back to (2), where i differ from socialists etc is that I think, for the solution, the elite do matter. The right are already making these arguments (there a significant amount of stuff on this) whereas liberals are a joke. The egalitarians need a class to *lead* the defence of egalitarian norms. Large parts of the left think the defence will emerge from the bottom up. But it wont. It has to be top down. So I guess this is a reactionary sentiment.

510

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 11:34 pm

Ronan(rf): “Okay, let me be as specific as I can, to avoid confusion, as I’m probably the only ‘brocialist’ here (though not actually a socialist)”

Look at the fake brocialist, trying to steal all the street cred.

I don’t think that your point (8) describes now any socialist movement that I’m familiar with has actually worked. Egalitarian movements have leaders from the bottom, but also leaders who come from the elite. One of them was even a factory-owning capitalist, I think, although engels wouldn’t know about that.

Bruce Wilder has been pretty much the voice saying what the heck are our elite doing: this is no way to run a railroad. I don’t know how to evaluate the chance that our technocratic elite will ever figure out that their policies are leading to ruin when that is against their short-term class interest.

511

Ronan(rf) 10.12.16 at 11:37 pm

yeah, in fairness to Bruce Wilder (whose perspective Ive been coming around to) he’s often made many of these points.

512

Helen 10.13.16 at 12:02 am

Engels, you keep conflating “I don’t expect X alternative to solve these particular issues” with “I think everything under neoliberalism is fine and dandy”. Cut it out.

513

phenomenal cat 10.13.16 at 12:11 am

“In other news, Britain is going to start rationing Marmite.” –engels

Were I to be crowned ruler of the commonwealth–and, fyi, I am currently available–first order of business would be to ban Marmite production forthwith.

That stuff is gross.

514

William Berry 10.13.16 at 12:23 am

@RP: “One of them was even a factory-owning capitalist, I think, although engels wouldn’t know about that.”

500+. Comments in, and we have a winner!

Comments are now closed.

515

William Berry 10.13.16 at 12:27 am

500+ comments, I mean.

Effing i-Phone keyboard.

516

Val 10.13.16 at 2:40 am

RP @ 498

Val, I’ll stop insulting you, but in that case you really have to not object to me not replying to you. You have to learn basic things about how every feminist theory that I’ve read says you’re supposed to do, such as when someone tells you that you’ve written something anti-Semitic, you think about it seriously rather than demanding an apology and nursing a grudge and generally making them explain Jewishness to you.

I’m going to ignore the first two paragraphs of your comment for now (they are both patronising and wrong) and focus on this because I think it is a big step forward. I’m glad you’re going to stop insulting me and I think it would be good for CT if we all tried to stop insulting each other (we will still do it unintentionally, but we don’t have to try and do it)

And I take the other part on board – I have reflected myself on why I got so angry and I think it’s because being accused of anti-Semitism has such horrible connections. Still as you say, anger is not the right way to respond, ethically or by any liberation theory, no matter how unfair it seems or how hurt you feel, so this has been a learning experience for me.

517

basil 10.13.16 at 3:00 am

It is the oddest thing that this motley of rootless lefties, likely half of them queer gardeners and writers, is imagined as desiring a bloodbath. Useful as rhetoric but no one could possibly believe it.

—–
Racialists everywhere,

https://newleftreview.org/I/181/barbara-jeanne-fields-slavery-race-and-ideology-in-the-united-states-of-america

engels,
Smashing what Corbyn’s managed. A shining beacon in dark times. They are brave and constant, and unlike Sanders, a tried and true repudiation of liberalism, nationalism, militarism, racialism and all the toxic seductions that waylay left insurgencies. I wish them well but if you consider Trident, Syria, surveillance, rEUmain, and the polls as significant markers, you can perhaps sympathise with Rich’s or an anarchist’s attitude to participation in the institutions of liberal democracy?

518

Val 10.13.16 at 3:25 am

Have been having a talk with my American friend here about what is happening in America.

In public health we think a lot about income inequality and health, and there are debates about whether income inequality ’causes’ poor health outcomes or whether it is, at least partly, a marker for other factors such as a lack of social solidarity, and so on. And today we were thinking about it being a recursive relationship.

So that could maybe help resolve another of the apparent divisions here about whether and how far income inequality, capitalism and class are “the main problem”, or whether and how far racism and sexism are “the main problem”.

Let’s agree, America compared with other comparable countries, is sexist, competitive, angry and violent. I’m not sure that it’s more racist than other countries (given that mine, for example, was actually built on racism), but because it is violent, the racism is probably more visible (hence eg BLM). It also has very high levels of income inequality. But you don’t need to see one of those as “the main cause” – they feed into each other. Maybe America has high levels of income inequality because it was violent, racist and sexist to begin with (ie lacking in social solidarity), but almost certainly they exacerbate each other.

So maybe people should stop arguing and agree that it is just as important to tackle racism and sexism as it is to tackle income inequality, and that they should be tackled together.

519

Val 10.13.16 at 3:46 am

just read this in the Guardian

The upper house of the parliament of the Australian state of New South Wales unanimously passed a motion this evening – well, this morning, in Australia – condemning “the misogynistic, hateful comments made by the Republican candidate for President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump, about women and minorities, including the remarks revealed over the weekend that clearly describe sexual assault.”

The body affirmed that what it characterized as “hate speech from political candidates” has a “divisive, destructive impact” on the public, and stated that it agreed with “those who have described Mr. Trump as ‘a revolting slug’ unfit for public office.”

I still say we should try to avoid deliberately insulting each other on CT, but I have to admit I laughed at the “revolting slug” comments

520

William Timberman 10.13.16 at 4:15 am

For the record, I’m a big fan and consumer of Marmite, even though I’ve never set foot in the UK. Fortunately we have World Market outlets here in AZ, which make it available in teeny, tiny jars. (The Vegemite jars are larger, but with all due respect to the folks Down Under, I prefer the full, treacly English version.) So, phenomenal cat, in the unlikely event you should actually find yourself in a position to ban Marmite production, I’ll feel compelled to reconsider my position on regicide.

521

Anarcissie 10.13.16 at 4:25 am

Rich Puchalsky 10.12.16 at 11:34 pm @ 510 —
There is bottom-up, or at least middle-up stuff going on, however. For instance, http://www.geo.coop/ . Now, this web site will appear goofy and naïve to some, but some of the people involved are actually doing something.

Val 10.13.16 at 3:25 am @ 518 —
However, many people seem to believe their particular cause or issue or ideological framework has a universalizing priority.

As ever, anecdotes on request.

522

engels 10.13.16 at 7:22 am

Engels, you keep conflating “I don’t expect X alternative to solve these particular issues” with “I think everything under neoliberalism is fine and dandy”. Cut it out.

No I don’t. What are you talking about? If you think socialism needs to take on gender and race as well as class I agree. O just don’t get how that gets you anywhere near supporting Clinton or capitalism.

you can perhaps sympathise with Rich’s or an anarchist’s attitude to participation in the institutions of liberal democracy?

I’m Just a bit sceptical that you can
(a) want to replace capitalism with socialism
(B) denounce revolution in principle
(C) denounce parliamentary reform in principle
(D) denounce all socialists and social movements that come to your attention with the exception of yourself

523

F. Foundling 10.13.16 at 8:14 am

merian @ 359

I don’t think that you’re really responding to what I’ve said. I have not said that commenters with this or that life experience shouldn’t say ‘you’re failing to take into account this or that problem that I am aware of’. Nor have I said that commenters lacking this or that life experience shouldn’t try to take into account all relevant problems, without being prompted. What I *have* said is that commenters, regardless of their life experience, should use arguments that their interlocutors can assess rationally, and not just refer to who they are and who their interlocutors are and expect agreement because of that. Being a woman is not enough to give you the right to assert ‘you’re being a sexist’ and expect automatic agreement. Being a POC is not enough to give you the right to assert ‘you’re being a racist’ and expect automatic agreement. Just as I, as a non-American/non-Westerner, cannot just assert ‘you’re being an American/Western chauvinist’ and expect automatic agreement. It takes two to tango; you can’t just say ‘you’re wronging me here, fullstop’. An argument needs to be presented, and it will either convince or it will not; you are not guaranteed that it will.

What I see regularly here is a power play, where people are seeking to replace discussion based on rational arguments with discussion based on who they or their interlocutors are. A hypothetical counterpart to that power play on my part would be for me to make a blanket assertion that the reason why you are, from my perspective, blind to the occurrence of the power play in question is your own identity, which makes you automatically take the side of those practicing the power play; or, say, that the only reason you support HRC so fervently is because you yourself are a woman and want to see a woman in the WH at all costs, so this makes you blind to her faults. In fact, of course, I avoid such ad hominem speculations at all costs, since they are both offensive and unprovable; I just try to argue that my *claim* is correct – in these cases, that the power play or HRC’s faults exist. And yet, while ad hominems to that effect are rare to non-existent here, the opposite charges of male chauvinism are made all the time.

You claim that people lacking certain life experiences here are failing to take into account in advance some relevant problems (which those having said life experiences would). That in itself is not only unsurprising, but indeed inevitable and part of the human condition. You’re also claiming that the people lacking certain life experiences are so blatantly not even trying to take into account said problems that this by itself repels people who do have said life experiences. Well, I can no more prove that this is not the case than you can prove that it is. If it is true, CT is probably irredeemable. Nobody can repent unless his sin is demonstrated to him; and it’s certainly possible that he is such a hardened sinner that he can’t even be convinced by any demonstration, and is therefore doomed to wallow in his sin forever. Such is life. Just asserting it doesn’t help, though. I, too, regard myself as an alien here in many respects; yet I am trying to make my case.

524

F. Foundling 10.13.16 at 8:23 am

ZM @ 402

>Feminism is a women’s movement, men can support feminism or not, but it is not a men’s movement, and men can’t tell a woman how she should be a feminist.

‘The labour movement is a movement of the working class, and if a man of the working class says the labour movement is all about eating squirrels, a man not of the working class may not dispute this’. ‘The Italian national liberation movement is a movement of Italians, and if an Italian say that the Italian national liberation movement is all about eating squirrels, a non-Italian may not dispute this.’ You are trying to isolate spaces in discourse that are the monopoly of an identity and enjoy immunity from rational scrutiny; a feudalisation of the universe of ideas. This is an anti-Enlightenment move. It is particularly unfortunate in cases like feminism: since it is about changing the relations between two genders, it is natural that people of both of these genders can and should discuss what it is, what it should be and, yes, they may adhere to it (or not). Again, it takes two to tango. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the labour movement.

525

engels 10.13.16 at 8:55 am

I’m actually sympathetic to ZM’s claim about feminism (& labour, national liberation movements, etc) but I think it needs to br refined a little. Rational scrutiny is universal but having political standing to choose the direction of an emancipation movement for a particular oppressed group is not.

526

F. Foundling 10.13.16 at 8:58 am

merian @ 187

>those that consider his remarks completely disqualifying (some gloat, some are enraged against their party), and those that consider it regrettable but otherwise irrelevant (because men are pigs anyway, or because it’s not so bad in the greater picture, or…).

You know, here’s *one* part of the ‘greater picture’ the way I see it. This man has promised to kill entire families for what one member has done. That wasn’t disqualifying for the American public. He has promised to torture people. That wasn’t disqualifying for the American public. But what *is* supposed to be disqualifying and to cause universal shock and outrage is that he apparently kisses people without properly checking for consent, and might even (under one of several plausible interpretations of his idiotic prattling) try to grope them without properly checking for consent. Well yeah, I have to admit that at this point, I somehow fail to be very impressed. I’m sorry, but piggish groping kind of pales against the background of murder and torturing. And it somehow strikes me as relevant that the women he has promised to kill are obscure foreigners, whereas the ones he might have groped without asking first are American. And yes, I *have* spoken to actual biological (non-American) *women* (OMG) who feel the same way about this. A not uncommon reaction among those who grew up in a working-class milieu is ‘Some fat bugger tries to squeeze your arse, you slap him in the face or kick him in the groin, problem solved’. Now torturing or bombing are, unfortunately, a bit less easily handled – and at least the latter is likely to be practiced by both candidates.

So yes, ideally, both these remarks and pretty much *everything else* about Trump *should* have been disqualifying. Clinton, too, has enough characteristics that *should* have been disqualifying. Almost every actual or likely candidate for US president has characteristics that *should* have been disqualifying. What makes one a ‘lib’ (I’m thinking of a tribe here, not really of a coherent ideology) is that one accepts the game as it is as legitimate and makes oneself forget the abyss between what is and what should be.

527

engels 10.13.16 at 9:01 am

Or to put it slightly more pretentiously, acknowledging that certaib utterances about social movements are performative (Eg. those produced by their adherents about their direction) isn’t anti-enlightment subjectivism.

528

F. Foundling 10.13.16 at 9:04 am

engels @ 525

>Rational scrutiny is universal but having political standing to choose the direction of an emancipation movement for a particular oppressed group is not.

Well, first of all, what is going on in discussions in a blog is arguably precisely rational scrutiny (to what extent this can be separate from ‘choosing the direction’ is another matter). And if you think there shouldn’t be members of non-working class origins in a socialist party, or that they shouldn’t have an equal right to vote in it, then I disagree.

529

F. Foundling 10.13.16 at 9:08 am

engels @527
> Or to put it slightly more pretentiously, acknowledging that certaib utterances about social movements are performative (Eg. those produced by their adherents about their direction) isn’t anti-enlightment subjectivism.

If one uses the concept of performative utterances in order to ban, discourage or delegitimise rational discussion of an issue by certain persons, then this is very much anti-Enlightment in my book.

530

F. Foundling 10.13.16 at 9:34 am

bruce wilder @ 393

>A multifarious conflict in which formally recognized borders are not isolating the conflict poses challenges and international law does not have such clear rules with which to guide response.

Umm, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. All of these details don’t change the basic fact that the US is still not allowed, under international law, to invade a sovereign country or, especially, to fight and topple its government – or even to arm rebels who are doing the same. As for my simplified premise, its point was not to demonstrate the relevance of international law – which doesn’t seem to be disputable to me at all – but to show that the US is *already* (indirectly) a side in the civil war (not just in the anti-ISIS operation), since many espouse the myth that the main problem has been too little involvement by an impartial and detached US.

>For the U.S., the hazards of being sucked into supporting multiple, mutually conflicting sides, to no good effect and at great risk of depleting American material resources and credibility, would seem to me a better cautionary guide

I grant that *your* argument against intervention is the one most likely to convince Americans – we won’t bother to break the law this time, since it’s likely to cost us too much. Not being American, I prefer to express my somewhat different perspective.

531

Collin Street 10.13.16 at 10:19 am

If one uses the concept of performative utterances in order to ban, discourage or delegitimise rational discussion of an issue by certain persons, then this is very much anti-Enlightment in my book.

Of course, one of the big drivers behind the enlightenment was the realisation that accumulated current knowledge was such that the educated expert of the day actually knew more about all sorts of things than the legendary scholars of antiquity.

The application of this principle to modern techniques of arranging useful discourse is left as an exercise to the reader.

532

Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 10:22 am

engels: “denounce all socialists and social movements that come to your attention with the exception of yourself”

Anarchists do tend to denounce all statist movements, it’s kind of implied by the term “anarchist”. You seem to have difficulty with this but I’m not really sure why. The implicit definition of “all socialists and social movements” as not including anarchist ones is a problem, but it’s not my problem.

I don’t really want to scroll up at this point and see your exact reaction to Will G-R”s description of why liberal democracy was not socialism, but I don’t see any difference between the Australian case and the UK one. Corbyn is, like Sanders, participating in liberal democracy and trying to lead it. As such he may well be a socialist (as I wrote that I think Sanders is) but that, in the end, doesn’t matter: the same pressures that caused the Labour Party to become similar to vaguely Clintonite Third Way Democrats will happen again when they regain power. I don’t understand any kind of Marxist analysis that says otherwise. In particular, appealing to Corbyn’s personal rectitude as a liberal democratic leader … well, as I’ve written before, I have no idea what Marxism is supposed to mean these days and I’m glad that I’m not a Marxist and don’t have to reconcile my beliefs with it.

As a gradualist, I think it’s fine that you support Corbyn for whatever that may be worth.

533

Val 10.13.16 at 10:23 am

Anarcisissie @521
I accept Gerda Lerner’s theory that patriarchy was the original or ur form of oppression. That doesn’t mean other forms aren’t important. We should tackle them all together.

Maybe it’s because I trained as a historian, and am interested in what came first. It’s not claiming other forms of oppression aren’t important, just that we can understand them better if we see their origins, and the epistemology that has developed from that.

534

engels 10.13.16 at 10:37 am

Anarchists do tend to denounce all statist movements, it’s kind of implied by the term “anarchist”. … The implicit definition of “all socialists and social movements” as not including anarchist ones is a problem, but it’s not my problem

So give an example of anarchist you approve of. Iirc the only person you’ve ever mentioned was David Graeber—and when I pointed out that he was in favour of revolution you started to back-pedal…

535

Collin Street 10.13.16 at 10:40 am

the same pressures that caused the Labour Party to become similar to vaguely Clintonite Third Way Democrats will happen again when they regain power.

Absolutely. And your better alternative is…?

536

engels 10.13.16 at 10:46 am

the same pressures that caused the Labour Party to become similar to vaguely Clintonite Third Way Democrats will happen again when they regain power

That’s not Marxism but Nietzschism

537

Layman 10.13.16 at 10:54 am

F. Foundling: ‘So yes, ideally, both these remarks and pretty much *everything else* about Trump *should* have been disqualifying. Clinton, too, has enough characteristics that *should* have been disqualifying.’

They’re just the same!

538

Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 10:55 am

Engels #527: “certain utterances about social movements are performative (Eg. those produced by their adherents about their direction)”

Those are NOT performative utterances.

539

engels 10.13.16 at 11:01 am

Yes they ARE

540

Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 11:08 am

Hix #507: “the I is just the proper way to acknowledge a level of subjectivity and limited transferability to other people”

It is egoic, it is emotional, and it leads to shoddy thinking.

541

Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 11:09 am

Engels #539: “Yes they ARE”

No, that’s a declarative.

542

engels 10.13.16 at 11:16 am

(If members of the World Gradualist Anarchist Federation (Central Delaware Chapter) unanimously adopt the motion ‘the policy of WGAF(CDC) is to oppose parliamentary politics’ then the policy of WGAF(CDC) is to oppose parliamentary politics.)

543

engels 10.13.16 at 11:16 am

Come again?

544

Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 11:31 am

If an adherent says, “I think the 7th Socialist Internationale for Stuffing Woolen Socks Up Our Butts, should also try cotton, too,” and the one sitting next to him says, “Does that include 50% Percale?” then: Those are “certain utterances” that have been “produced by their adherents about their direction”, but they are not performative.

545

stevenjohnson 10.13.16 at 11:34 am

F. Foundling @526 “This man has promised to kill entire families for what one member has done. That wasn’t disqualifying for the American public. He has promised to torture people. That wasn’t disqualifying for the American public.”

It seems to me this Trumpery is one of engels’ performative utterances, not a string of words with a meaningful content. It’s a vow: “We’ll do what it takes to win.” Coupled with the demand for a blank check a la Nixon, it would be mystifying how so many have managed to persuade themselves Trump is just business as usual, or that Clinton is the bigger warmonger. Or would be were it not the part of pretending that there is a real choice in mainstreams politics, between the “left” and the right. The US is the imperialist power that won WWII, a victory that will not be undone by the conveniently inevitable and effortless passage of time. The dollar is backed by blood, therefore there will be blood. This is not a lapse in judgment on the rulers’ part, nor is it an optional policy. It is their way of life. And their parties, and all their parties’ politicians, are guardians of their way of life on their behalf. There is no “left” in the mainstream, in the common sense, in the conventional, which is to say, there is no “left” in the defense (or restoration of) capitalism. None.

546

Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 11:39 am

engels: “That’s not Marxism but Nietzschism”

No, the concept of Eternal Return is not involved in an analysis of classes, class interest, socialism vs. liberalism, etc.

You’re getting increasingly nasty, as you always do, so I’ll just say that I think that your linguistic redefinition of revolutionary (!) Marxism as being support for Corbyn is fine. Go to it. I fail to see how anyone could disagree with the various Australians here when they say that they are not liberals when supporting Corbyn does not make one equally a liberal. But we all have our own characteristic illusions.

547

merian 10.13.16 at 11:40 am

F. Foundling # 523

What I *have* said is that commenters, regardless of their life experience, should use arguments that their interlocutors can assess rationally

Oh, absolutely. But not everything is a fully-formed argument, with an underlying theory, a compendium of footnotes and an appendix of illustrative examples. Some things are observations, some things are counterexamples, some things are contextual or circumstantial conditions that need to be accounted for.

Here, we have observations. So let’s say someone — a woman — points to something with such an observation: “This has been tried, but each time in my experience the outcome was that men received the preferred treatment / job / advantage over women.” or “If you look at responses to this, you’ll see that women are much more likely than men to [come out on side X]” or whatever. So now you have a choice. One response might be to puff yourself up and say with force “How DARE you suggest that I am a sexist?! You haven’t shown any causality! Your rationality is lacking. (And also, no one respects women more than I do!”. Another is a pretty common one here; you might consider it acceptable and middle of the road (I don’t). It is to accept, cue avuncular condescension, that bless your heart, something is probably in need of explaining, and maybe the little woman can take over that part of theory-building and come back when she’s done with a fully worked-out argument. The third is to see it as a valuable contribution that points out a deficiency, which is everyone’s job to fix, whatever the gender. (And specifically the job of whoever proposed the original deficient argument in the first place, whatever THEIR gender.)

You don’t seem to have a problem considering it everyone’s task when it fits your ideological priorities, for example to fix the odious imperial foreign policy.

[A hypothetical counterpart to that power play on my part would be for me to make a blanket assertion that …] the only reason you support HRC so fervently is because you yourself are a woman

I do? That’s completely news to me. Fervently, to boot! You’re delivering a nice example of the kind of powerplay that has been driving me to frustration here: Begging the question, assuming the premise, and, as if by pure chance, in a way that belittles the other’s position. When did you stop beating your wife?

As for #524, are you just using my words as a jump-off point for your own stream of thoughts, or are we actually usefully engaging with each other? Because other than the bit about liberals I am mostly in agreement. Not that I think DT seems to require US citizenship for humiliating and groping women, but otherwise it’s fine. Actually, the skew by nationality you’d discover among critics of HRC’s foreign policy is another example for what I said.

548

Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 11:44 am

Stevenjohnson #545: “performative utterances, not a string of words with a meaningful content. It’s a vow: ‘We’ll do what it takes to win.'”

A performative utterance is ALWAYS meaningful. Some “vows” are not performative utterances.

549

Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 11:49 am

But those who think Trump will be less warlike than Clinton would be in for a rude shock.

550

engels 10.13.16 at 11:51 am

your linguistic redefinition of revolutionary (!) Marxism as being support for Corbyn is fine. Go to it.

I never… I mean… what?

I fail to see how anyone could disagree with the various Australians here when they say that they are not liberals when supporting Corbyn does not make one equally a liberal.

So pretty much everyone I can think on the British left (including Graeber fwiw) is a ‘liberal’ because they don’t share your all-encompassing self-absorbed fatalism. Noted, and hasta la vista.

551

merian 10.13.16 at 12:09 pm

I meant to refer to #526 above, but now that I’ve looked at #524…

‘The Italian national liberation movement is a movement of Italians, and if an Italian say that the Italian national liberation movement is all about eating squirrels, a non-Italian may not dispute this.’

That’s a flashback. We used to discuss this as the “Sally Picketfence” argument for months at a time, back in the 90s on LGBT usenet. (Sally Picketfence being supposedly bisexual as per her own identification, married to a man and living the typical suburban American lifestyle.)

Anyhow, the answer is easy. The non-Italian cannot speak on behalf of the Italian liberation movement just by virtue of rational argument. In order to do this, she must be carrying authority conferred by the representatives of that movement. Without that, she can point to contradictions and other observations from the outside in, and if she doesn’t find the explanations satisfactory, may report on that. The outcome of the whole process is likely to be one of two things: a) the movement may state that as far as the role of squirrels is concerned, that particular Italian doesn’t speak for the movement or isn’t representative of it or b) that the movement does indeed have a role for squirrels, possibly a non-public one that isn’t being talked about, but meanwhile could we come back to the topic of Italian liberation?

Of course it can and will happen that non-Italians are in this situation and fulfill the criteria to represent the movement. Just as there exist non-POC scholars in Black history, or male specialists in feminist theory. Nonetheless, a random man lecturing a woman about feminism or a random white person spouting off about discrimination to an African-American are more likely than not to be talking out of their asses and would do better to switch to listening mode for the benefit of all.

552

kidneystones 10.13.16 at 12:19 pm

And then there’s the performative speech act of not saying anything:

““Can we survive not answering questions from press at message events[?]” Abedin, who serves as Clinton’s campaign vice chairwoman, asked in a May 2015 email,”

I realize that I’m revealing a hypocritical bias, but I’ve never been offended (much) by the crudest and coarsest of profanity. Unlike most here, I’m digesting the various email confirming the collusion of the Hillary campaign and it makes for some extremely revolting reading.

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/300590-top-clinton-aide-in-leaked-email-can-we-survive-not-answering-questions

553

Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 12:46 pm

“It is egoic, it is emotional, and it leads to shoddy thinking.”

Lee Arnold, by his disciplined refusal to use the word “I”, has transformed himself into a Vulcan.

554

merian 10.13.16 at 12:49 pm

Yeah, kindeystones, my own hypocritical bias is not being offended by learning that the inside of the sausage factory has some offensive smells. That’s what we have regulators for. It is completely unsurprising that a campaign will consider how and with whom and in which context to present their candidate to which kind of public. Any campaign will do that, otherwise I’d have a rather low opinion about their professionalism, in today’s world. Also, if you look at any organizations internal communications, you’ll find traces of stupid ideas that are looked at and discarded, problems that are flagged up (including of ethics and “optics”), unguarded opinions that aren’t suitable or even relevant as policy statements.

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merian 10.13.16 at 12:51 pm

(And don’t forget that every single of these email documents is something that can be manipulated with a text editor in a completely undetectable way…)

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Yan 10.13.16 at 12:54 pm

Engels @536 and Rich @546,

Rich, I take it Engels meant it is Nietzschean in its fatalism. If every event recurs an infinite number of times, then any strong sense of political progress, however defined, is impossible. That said, I didn’t see your point that way, which seemed a point about change under specific historical circumstances limited to the narrow means of electoral politics.

Engels, in Nietzsche’s defense, he only experiments with it as a cosmological doctrine in unpublished notes, so I wouldn’t call it Nietzscheism, something to which he is committed or a core concept of his philosophy. In the published writings the idea is a test that helps us identity higher types as those most well disposed toward their own life in its entirety. In language he’d hate, it’s a rest to measure something like happiness, but of a non-hedonistic kind, and thus identify an ideal human type as measure and ideal

Rich, this is, in fact, a political as well as moral ideal, as his late work makes clear: an ideal that is to be brought about through aristocratic social organization designed to produce and support such types. The Genealogy of Morals is, in its way (much like Hegel’s lord and servant chapter), an analysis of class politics.

We can even use the concept against Nietzsche’s own intentions as a test of what a just society would achieve: a general affirmation of life in its most basic conditions taken as a whole. Left politics imagines a society that passes the test, not just individuals who do. And it does so in part because it recognizes the deep interdependency of individual and social conditions of happiness.

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kidneystones 10.13.16 at 12:57 pm

Then there’s Jill Stein, the candidate of all the good, Green party supporters, who incidentally happens to be a woman.

Stein, like me, is far more frightened of Hillary’s obscene actions and dissembling than the potty-mouth’s promises and video clips.

Unlike Hillary, she’s happy to talk to the press. Problem is she can’t get an audience for the most part.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/12/jill_stein_hillary_clintons_declared_syria_policy_could_start_a_nuclear_war.html

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engels 10.13.16 at 1:06 pm

Yan, that’s interesting. I’ve got to read Nietzsche properly. To be honest I was being rather shallow and probably misusing him. I meant that in the absence of a concrete analysis, the assumption that Corbyn-led Labour Party will follow a similar trajectory to Blair seems to owe more to fatalism than Marxism. They’re different people and it’s a different historical period (I’m not denying there are constraints on what can be accomplished through parliamentary politics).

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Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 1:16 pm

Yan: “If every event recurs an infinite number of times, then any strong sense of political progress, however defined, is impossible. That said, I didn’t see your point that way, which seemed a point about change under specific historical circumstances limited to the narrow means of electoral politics.”

Yes. In fact, I do have an idea of political progress, which I described in this thread right here. People seem to like to describe this as fatalist, nihilist, Nietzschean, or whatever, but I prefer terms like “informed by how large-scale change actually happens”. Political progress has to be accompanied by cultural change (related to changes in the actual economy — who knows what Marxists think “dialectical” means any more) and that is slow.

Now, there used to be a contrasting theory that lasting, meaningful change could come quickly, and that used to be termed something like “revolutionary”. Maybe people could debate how revolutions alternate with periods of slower change and say that no revolution is the final revolution. But when I’m apparently defending gradualism against the bold revolutionary politics of the UK Labour Party and the bandwagon argument that everyone else on the left is doing it then no, I tend to think that real revolutionary ideas are not involved.

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stevenjohnson 10.13.16 at 1:24 pm

I still insist that Trump is not necessarily to be understood literally and I still insist that what Trump was saying is a meaningful commitment. The latter is exactly what Lee A. Arnold triumphantly claims to be the meaning of “performative utterance.” Since he actually agrees with me on this point, his objections have no meaning nor merit. His post has meaning not in what it says, which is nonsense, but in its existence as an expression of rejection of what he thinks I stand for. Ironically, this makes it a performative utterance. Arnold certainly isn’t interest in the usage of “performative utterance” though, or he would be addressing engels first.

Also, despite Arnold’s malice making him stupid, he is still correct: Thinking Trump is less war-like than Clinton is foolish. Trump is campaigning as the hero who will win the wars.

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engels 10.13.16 at 1:28 pm

So ‘large-scale political change actually happens’ without (a) revolutions and (b) parliament. An original historical perspective…

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Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 2:18 pm

There’s another part of the thread I should go back to:

Val: “And I take the other part on board – I have reflected myself on why I got so angry and I think it’s because being accused of anti-Semitism has such horrible connections.”

OK. What I originally wrote was “Australian and clueless” because — as I vaguely remember faustusnotes writing — I don’t expect Australians in general to know any more about Jews in America than I know about indigenous communities in Australia. (And no, I’m not saying that the two are the same thing or are in any way comparable except for ignorance about them.) But as you think about this you should realize that the horrible connections are part of it.

Think for a moment about the rhetoric being used. It went something like this. These are not actual quotes or an actual exchange — I refuse to do the additional work of Googling those up, which you can do for yourself if you are inclined.

Person 1: “People don’t understand what a threat Trump is to Muslims. It’s because they’re white.”

Person 2: “Um, I’m a Jew. Jews have historical experience about–“

Person 1: “Trump’s rallies are like Klan rallies! Since you’re a white guy of course you don’t have to worry about white nationalism.”

Person 2: “WTF! The Klan does not like Jews! White nationalists commit hate crimes against Jews!”

Person 1: “Trump is like Hitler! But of course you don’t get that because you’re a white dude.”

Person 2: “Wow, that is really, really horrible.”

Do you begin to see the problems with that?

As I remember that thread, people even looked for a picture of me to see whether I had white skin. (No, wait, that was Willian Berry, and it was kind of a drunken joke. I don’t mind.) But yes, if we’re talking physical characteristics, then I do have white skin (as that is defined in contemporary U.S. culture). But “are Jews white” is *not* the question involved. It is *not* about whether I consider myself to be a white person or not. It’s about well-known historical experience and the denial of that experience.

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Layman 10.13.16 at 3:08 pm

Rich P: “These are not actual quotes or an actual exchange…”

Which is to say, they’re your perception of the exchange.

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John Holbo 10.13.16 at 3:24 pm

Well, let no one say the titles of my posts cannot acquire ironic double meaning past the 500 comments mark.

Seriously, folks. I’m declaring last call on this one. When I get up tomorrow morning, in only about 7 hours, I’m going to close the thread. (I consider that a very generous last call time frame.)

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engels 10.13.16 at 3:25 pm

So give an example of anarchist you approve of

Someone who supports the ‘large-scale political change doesn’t happen through the state or through revolution’ theory of history perhaps…

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engels 10.13.16 at 3:44 pm

Sorry—crossed with John. More than happy to stick a fork in this one.

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Lee A. Arnold 10.13.16 at 4:23 pm

Stevejohnson #560: “… a meaningful commitment. The latter is exactly what Lee A. Arnold triumphantly claims to be the meaning of ‘performative utterance.’ Since he actually agrees with me on this point, his objections have no meaning nor merit. His post has meaning not in what it says, which is nonsense, but in its existence as an expression of rejection of what he thinks I stand for. Ironically, this makes it a performative utterance. Arnold certainly isn’t interest in the usage of ‘performative utterance’ though, or he would be addressing engels first.”

Nonsense, and compounded nonsense, at that. Performative utterances have meaning, but not all meaningful commitments are performative. None of my posts is a performative utterance. And if you missed the address: Engels’ definition is incorrect.

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Yan 10.13.16 at 5:03 pm

I wonder if there is a third position possible on this question of whether men can define or determine the direction of feminism.

Granting that there are cases of epistemic privilege, in which my identity or social place give me either access to knowledge others don’t have access, or better access, so that I’m more likely to be correct than others, the question remains: how do I communicate the fact that I do have that epistemic privilege?

The problem is that epistemic privilege of this kind seems incommunicable. To take an extreme case, think of Kierkegaardian faith or the idea of “religious experience” of any kind: it’s at least logically possible that God could communicate to a believer a truth through non-rational means, thus placing me in a position where I have knowledge others have no access to. But I can only communicate to them that it’s possible I have such knowledge, not that I do have it.

In a more mundane example, any dramatic difference in expertise poses the same problem. An expert in physics may be in a position of knowledge that I cannot access, due to my lack of such expertise. But precisely because of that, there is no way for the expert to prove to me that she is an expert. I would have to be an expert physicist to truly determine whether or not she is an expert physicist. (Obviously, there are practical ways of dealing with this in real life: I rely on the scientific community to determine it, but that is, in some sense, a deferral of the problem, not a true solution.)

So, assuming members of certain groups *do* occupy epistemically privileged positions, not only is there no guarantee that any individual member of that group is judging in accordance with that position, but even if they are, there’s no way for an interlocutor to be certain that they are.

In other words, there are people positioned such that we ought ideally to take their view on a kind of faith, but we cannot take the claim that anyone is in such a position on faith.

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bruce wilder 10.13.16 at 6:32 pm

I am not sure I want to buy Yan’s argument that epistemic privilege cannot be proved to others.

Everyone has their own experience and point of view. My experience, in a sense, proves to me that others have an experience — not the content of their experience per se, but the fact of an experience which is personal and centered on the individual in a social context. That’s a fundamentally egalitarian argument though, a religion for a priesthood of all believers. You should not really call that a “privilege”; it is a right to your own.

The claim to an epistemic privilege qua privilege seems to carry with it an implication of license. The problem of proving your experience to others, to justify the claim of special license is reflected in your own limited capacity to examine the experience of others. The claim of epistemic privilege carries the hazard of self-important self-deception.

570

Collin Street 10.13.16 at 6:54 pm

I wonder if there is a third position possible on this question of whether men can define or determine the direction of feminism.

Are you a woman?

Are you highly trained in the female experience and the history and sociology of feminist movements?

No?

Then I don’t care about your perspective on who can control the direction and definition of feminism, any more than I care about your perspective on the direction and definition of feminism, for the obvious reason that they’re the same damned question.

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bruce wilder 10.13.16 at 7:27 pm

F. Foundling @ 530

I do not know that we disagree as fundamentally as you imply. I presume that we both think the U.S. is acting expediently, when both the U.S. and the world would be better served, if the U.S. acted with more deliberate and sincere reference to the framework of international law, which is to say, with principled self-restraint and an open consciousness of the effect of precedents and anticipation of consequences with reference to long-term goals and values.

In making the case that expedience is failing and will continue to fail, I think it is necessary to recognize just how chaotic the situation in the Arabian region including Syria has become. And, that the American deep state is being palsied by expedient leadership at the top. The U.S. is backing multiple players which have conflicts with each other as well as with the U.S. The Pentagon backs the Turks, the CIA backs the Kurds (or is it the other way around?); the U.S. arms the Saudis even as the Saudis fund belligerents in Syria inimical to U.S. interests.

The case for structuring policy to follow norms and conventions of an evolving international law is the same as the case that shameless and uncoordinated expedience in the administration of the state is destructive to the national and global welfare.

We may escape the cowardly bluster of Donald Trump in this election. I am not convinced that cowardly bluster, which is free to be isolationist and risk-averse in practice, is more dangerous than Clinton’s belligerent expedience, which calls for doubling-down with an intelligence surge and other efforts to get results from more arrogant expedience by increasing the material effort to apply destructive force to societies already reduced to rubble. But, hey the Ruskies stole her email.

572

PGD 10.13.16 at 7:44 pm

“epistemic privilege” seems to just be a fancy way of either rephrasing the truism that everyone has eyewitness experiences that others do not share, or else asking huge swathes of the population to shut up because you don’t want to listen to them.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 7:58 pm

No one can determine the definition or direction of feminism: there is no Feminist Central Coordinating Committee. Different people can decide who they are going to listen to and the whole concept can have some kind of cultural mainstream agreement along with various subcultures.

The immediate question isn’t the definition or direction of feminism: the immediate question is how we’re going to write here. On this blog the ultimate authorities are, of course, the blog owners / original posters. They have a commenting policy, and they also sometimes ban people either individually or from the blog as a whole. People are free to ask them to do something or other but from my observation (and for obvious reasons) they generally don’t seem to like it.

This blog in an era of Twitter is a lumbering dinosaur, a living fossil. Look at how often people refer to LGM as if it is The Only Other Blog. Where else are you going to go? Almost every blog from the era of blogs that talks about these subjects is dead. As such, I don’t think that fiddling with its argument culture is going to do much at this stage.

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engels 10.13.16 at 8:52 pm

Granting that there are cases of epistemic privilege, in which my identity or social place give me either access to knowledge others don’t have access, or better access, so that I’m more likely to be correct than others, the question remains: how do I communicate the fact that I do have that epistemic privilege?

Humble opinion (based on a decade’s experience of the CT comments section): you can’t.

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basil 10.13.16 at 9:04 pm

It is just, and strategically crucial, to centre the experience of those harmed, oppressed, marginalised and destroyed when addressing injustices such as racism, colonialism or misogyny. Not to do so extends and compounds that injustice, reproducing and entrenching the inequality that made human lives vulnerable to violation in the first place.

Still, a politics of global solidarity and community, with an understanding of ideology cannot be constructed around such notions as ‘feminism is a women’s issue’, or ‘anti-racism campaigning is for PoC, everyone else can only be an ally’. Feminism isn’t just a belief system, it is also practice and struggle to undo and unlearn, to refuse privilege and to subvert through such speech actions as queering.

If feminism is a campaign for the abolition of gender, and anti-racism has as its end goal the abolition of race, i.e. the work of depriving phenotypical difference of any social and political power, it boggles the mind that emancipation could be worked out through strategies that insist on the silence of some humans, that only the primary victims of the patriarchy or racial hierarchies may participate actively in bringing these structures down. Humans are responsible for each other.

Hegemonies like race/racialism and the patriarchy, both of them structures constructed for control and exploitation, recruit their support from both would be victims and perpetrators. In Phyllis Schlafly, any number of strikebreakers, any number of Uncle Toms, or collaborators with murderous genocidal and colonial enterprises is the evidence that identity isn’t politics. It is strange to imagine that the experience of hegemonic injustice excites the same insurrectionist urges in all its victims, that it doesn’t in fact become a seemingly unassailable nature.

It is useful to pay attention to the interconnectedness of these violations, and the variegated experience of targeted groups. Think of the relationship between racism and the patriarchy, how middle-class career women win concessions on the backs of their exploited immigrant househelps; or gender and nationalism, how suffragettes win concessions and public favour by supporting the war effort; or class and nationalism, how Europe’s put upon workers waged war against their co-suffering brothers in WWI for national glory; or how recruiting sections of the working class into ‘whiteness’ is an important feature of labour management in early 20th century USA; or the class fractures in the USian LGBTI population, etc.

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Lupita 10.13.16 at 9:25 pm

how do I communicate the fact that I do have that epistemic privilege?

You just state what your experience is and what you got out of it. For example, I can write that, since Nafta, tortillas have become a mushy mess and, so far, nobody has contradicted me. My epistemic privilege. Or that poor women’s groups that organize to get water into their neighborhoods are considered feminist around here. What I don’t write is, “Hey, you racist gringos, you have destroyed our cuisine and you, privileged gringas, you don’t know what feminism is.” That is how you lose your epistemic privilege and perhaps even get banned.

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Anarcissie 10.13.16 at 10:20 pm

I thought the universalizing versus minoritizing thing I mentioned in #419 might be a useful way of looking at the ‘epistemic privilege’ question — which is somewhat misnamed because there is more than the acquisition of knowledge going on.

578

kidneystones 10.13.16 at 10:20 pm

Dilbert wins Nobel Prize for Literature (in 2020)

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-songwriter-bob-dylan-wins-nobel-literature-prize-111411379.html

Never let it be said popular culture is forming a nation of illiterates…

I’m sure an OP in this is in the works even as I tap.

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Rich Puchalsky 10.13.16 at 11:38 pm

I might as well write this here before it closes. It’s time for another short play. People should be warned that the levels of meaning and allusion in this play are exceptionally subtle and nuanced: I’m not sure that anyone will understand it immediately. But keep studying it and various symbol-systems may cohere.

Also: trigger warning for eyeball eating and other violence.

Happiness and Success!
A short three act play

Act I
(A WOMAN and A MAN are sitting at a picnic table).

A WOMEN: “I hate this election season. It’s so bitter this year. It’s like our whole civilization is under threat!” [She stabs a fork down into the tray in front of her, pulls out a human eyeball, and eats it.]

A MAN: “Yes, this election isn’t like any other one I’ve heard of. I’m really worried.”

A WOMAN: “I do my best to make things better… I even eat free range eyeballs. “

A MAN: “Free range *people*, honey. It’s not really correct to objectify parts of people that way.”

A WOMAN: “Oh, yes, of course. That’s what that horrible SECOND CANDIDATE does! I can’t believe that for a moment I sounded like SECOND CANDIDATE!” [She eats another eyeball.]

A MAN: “FIRST CANDIDATE will win, if only those young people vote. I don’t know what their problem is, complaining that we ate their eyes and everything.”

A WOMAN: “And they’re so nasty. They even insulted Gloria Steinem!”

Act II
(A circle of GUARDS in standing in the middle of a crowd: each GUARD is holding a leveled automatic weapon. Throughout the scene the GUARDS keep up a low, menacing chant of “KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!” A small group of NIHILISTS stands nearby holding various protest signs.)

A MAN: “He’s running away! KILL!” (A GUARD shoots a running man in the back.)

A WOMAN: “I want to feel safe! KILL!” (Another GUARD shoots three people in the crowd.)

ANOTHER MAN: “Our society is racist! We won’t protect people from dictators.”

ANOTHER WOMAN: “Eh, join in.”

ANOTHER MAN: “All right, I want to fully participate in our society! KILL! KILL!” (GUARDS mow down five more people).

ANOTHER WOMAN: “Law and order! KILL!”

ANOTHER MAN: “Responsibility 2 Protect! KILL!”

A NIHILIST (holding a placard which reads “Maybe we should kill fewer people”): “Um–“

GUARD: “Get back to the free speech zone, sir! Otherwise I will have to KILL!”

A NIHILIST: “Sorry! Going back now!”

ANOTHER MAN: “Racist!”

Act III
(the public square. There are happy people, balloons, etc.)

A MAN: “The votes are almost in. I think it’s going to go for FIRST CANDIDATE!”

A WOMAN: “I’m so happy! I love democracy!”

A MAN: “She’s going to win … I’m filled with hope!”

A WOMAN: “By working together we can all figure out how to succeed at whatever we want to do! I’m so happy and full of joy!”

A DIFFERENT MAN: “The votes are in! FIRST CANDIDATE wins!”

The CROWD cheers. FIRST CANDIDATE smilingly takes a machine gun from one of the guards and mows down ten people.

SECOND CANDIDATE: “Eh, she’s still a loser. I would have killed twenty people, because I’m a winner!”

THE CROWD boos SECOND CANDIDATE.

YET ANOTHER WOMAN: “I’m so proud that she’s shown our daughters that anything is possible. Now my little girl will know that she can grow up to kill lots of people just like any man!”

The crowd starts to sing. Even A NIHILIST is pulled in.

“We’re happy and we’re right”
“And oh so polite”
“We know we can succeed”
“And darkness recede”
“Because the killing future is so bright!”

(People are swirling around, laughing, munching on eyeballs, firing weapons into the crowd.)

“Now with this great leap”
“We’ve beaten that creep”
“The election is over”
“And we’re in clover”
“And now it’s time to sleep”

580

kidneystones 10.13.16 at 11:52 pm

Re: John’s observations that there’s nothing new in stories (factual accounts) of Trump’s baseness and vulgarity. I’d have be preferred a stronger emphasis on the monetization and merchandising thereof by NBC and other media outlets now “shocked and appalled.” Both NBC and Trump got rich off the same.

Just took a quick buzz around the nets and noticed that – yes, Sanders supporters are much, much more pissed-off to discover the actual proof of media collusion to derail Sanders.

So, which ‘newly-surfacing evidence’ is likely to have a greater impact on the outcome: the ‘discovery’ that a guy who organized and profited from beauty pageants and vulgarity said and behaved offensively, or the ‘conspiracy fantasies’ of ‘adult children living in their parents’ basements’ didn’t go far enough in positing corruption and collusion between the globalists’ media outlets and the chosen candidate of the donor class?

It’s a good question. How many Sanders supporters are going to shut-up and clap?

I’m already off the plantation. I expect a number of others to remove the shackles.

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Lupita 10.14.16 at 12:04 am

@ Rich Puchalsky

The song at the end of your play can kind of be sung to the music of “Everything is Awesome”.

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merian 10.14.16 at 12:07 am

Rich Puchalsky, that was a fun little play. I enjoyed the eyeball-eating.

Before John closes off this thread, here is something it reminds me of: The disturbing story of how Seneca, Nebreaska split in two and the sad consequences. No one gets killed, well, no human: at least one horse, and one town. In this case, the two sides don’t neatly map on FIRST CANDIDATE and SECOND CANDIDATE.

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Lupita 10.14.16 at 12:09 am

Wake up, John Holbo! You have already overslept and hour and a half.

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