The Enemy of My Enemy

6 Likes

I make no speculation about how these wars will be fought, other than they will include the civil variety as a primary expression of the breakdown of the liberal democratic consensus.

The term ‘wars of toleration’ were not invented by me, but rather was used by historians to describe the very bitter religious warfare in the sixteenth & seventeenth centuries between Catholicism & Protestantism, which were fought over who & what was the one true expression of the Divine Providence on earth & who & what was the work of the devil.

Something rather similar is going on now.as Woke & more traditional fundamentalists line up against each other to slug it out over the fundamental truths about reality & virtue, delusion & evil…

It will be just nasty now as it was then, as we we determine the truth in a brutally intractable game where only one side can be right, even if winning is over a pile of corpses.

2 Likes

That’s an interesting way of looking at SNF. I know that the world it depicts – the beginning of the end of the postwar boom for the middle and working classes in the mid-1970s – showed a transition away from opportunity for young adults. The future would belong to the credentialed and the occasional winner of the lottery. Not coincidentally, PEOPLE magazine was founded in 1974 to show us the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

2 Likes

And very soon after that, we got the TV show of the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous.

We live in Andy Warhol’s world, in which everybody is famous for 15 minutes, but some people, once they catch the wave, stay famous for ever, and others fall back into oblivion. The presumption, in that generation of Boomer’s and X’ers, would have been that Anyone can succeed, and become rich and famous, on the basis of some mix of natural talent, hard work, and good luck, and that the muses of fortune are fair in their own ways.

But we have moved into an era in which we no long trust the fates; the zeitgeist is angry, and in hard times we success only by climbing over each other. I’m not sure that’s a problem in which the metaphor of scouts and soldiers defines. But perhaps it is relevant.

2 Likes

Robin Leach! I can still remember his Oz accent: “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!”

A striking difference between Donald Trump and his father, Fred. The latter made his fortune building houses for the postwar middle class. The former made his fortune decades later building luxury accommodations for the wealthy.

Yes, we’re more and more in that pre-modern state of mind where real success is a product of fickle fortune or of being born into the right caste. Yet we still mentally profess to be modern. Hence the grinding cognitive dissonance. Maybe we should just accept that the modern world is over. It was a blip in history and nice while it lasted.

1 Like

Grinding Cognitive Dissonance

You can say that again!.

This is the problem, when it is deja vu all over again, (quoth Laurence Berra) but this time it seems like we are really seeing it. If this is the situation which we had dimly forseen, but not believed likely, and now recognize that we are it, how do we take advantage of our previous forrsight and fears? Rather than the defeatism of “I saw it coming.”

I don’t know any better, I love disco, Miles Davis, Bach, Tiësto and countless others. You have to have a good ear to understand music. There is a lot of sewage, sure, but one can sniff it out.

Donald Trump is continuing to destroy the Republican party by converting it to a peoples’ party. The ordinary people, America’s “lǎo bǎi xìng”, see that they are being played by the elites, who see them as pawns to be used and manipulated. The message of MAGA and America First resonates with working class people no mater what their race, ethnicity or sex is.

Blacks and Hispanics, particularly the males, are moving towards Trump’s Republican Party. They find the values of MAGA and America First appealing. They reject globalism. The want secure borders. They want their children educated not indoctrinated. The want safe and secure neighborhoods. They want peace and prosperity. They want to have a say in what goes on. They want individual freedom and liberty. They want to be Americans. They want the American dream.

And they see from his actions that Donald Trump can deliver. They can see from his actions he is not lying to them.

The political intellectual class doesn’t matter anymore. We are hurling towards a new age and the fight is for who controls it. It’s not going to be the “Big Money” democratic party.

4 Likes

This is a joke, right?

2 Likes

@AaronG You’re both right. Aaron is right about the direction of political travel, with blue collar interests, regardless of race and especially amongst the young, increasingly aligning with the Republican party. @Schopenhauer is right that Trump is not the man to deliver it. Much as he gets out the base for conservatives, he also energises a huge number of people who would not otherwise vote, to vote against Trump.

A better figure would be someone like Ron DeSantis. 9% of Democrats are against vaccines and obviously strongly against vaccine mandates. Even more probably only got vaccinated because of work requirements. Most politicians ran their Covid policies on the basis of existing polling- they didn’t realise that over time many would become less enamoured of the authoritarianism of the Covid regime.

He is also better able to articulate why inward immigration towards blue collar work is incredibly bad for the country as a whole, on an economic basis, rather than resorting to nasty and untrue stereotypes about immigrants. There are whole swathes of poorer kids from white, Latino and African American backgrounds who didn’t do well at school and whose only chance at well-paid work is blue collar or trade professional. Their only other option is the economic serfdom of low paid work for the corporations.

Most Americans would be sympathetic to a message that prioritised poorer American kids over the kids of foreigners. It’s just the way it is. Two-thirds of kids are never going to do well at school, regardless of how much money is spent on education.

There are plenty of jobs for legal immigrants. Nobody wants to do seasonal low paid agricultural work. Care workers have the highest rate of in-work injuries of any of the major sources of employment, even if it is mainly lower grade strains and less severe- there are 1.4 million Americans living in care homes and this number is only set to grow. There are a number of highly cognitive and technical degree qualifications which no advanced economy produces in sufficient numbers to man these industries. And there is always room for the wealthy and entrepreneurs.

But America should ban foreign workers in construction, distribution, warehousing, maintenance, manufacturing and whole host of other well-paid blue collar occupations. The rising crime and violence, 100,000 drug deaths a year, huge numbers of American suicides and the drop in American life expectancy- it is all in some way related to deindustrialisation and the complete economic dispossession of the blue collar class, in pursuit of cheap foreign labour by unpatriotic and disloyal American corporations.

Trump doesn’t have the nuance or vocabulary to argue this cause. Ron DeSantis does.

4 Likes

In Reply to @Geary_Johansen2020

The die is cast. The Rubicon has been crossed and there is no turning back. We are marching on the imperial city. Trump is not going to step aside. That reality is not going to change. He is an alpha of alpha males. Whatever will be, will be.

The Republican party before 2016 is gone forever. It either rises from the ashes as a MAGA and America First nationalist party or it is gone. It is simple as that.

Trump has built his own political infrastructure. He has inspired grass roots activism. MAGA candidates have been elected and more are in the pipeline. Many US state governors are aligned with Trump, such as DeSantis. Many congressional Republicans are getting a backbone and standing against the globalist and authoritarian progressive movement.

One of the most significant MAGA developments is the growth of grass roots activism, which is motivated by a sense of reclaiming our birthright as Americans. Government has to be brought to heal and it’s power over our lives diminished. MAGA is a counter culture.

MAGA is more important than Trump, and Trump knows that. He is fighting for MAGA not himself.

1 Like

There are times and places for nuance, and the difference between nuance and pussy-footing isn’t always clear. I agree with you @Geary_Johansen2020 that often Trump’s most serious defects are his excesses, and that if systematic change is needed, then that calls for a systematic approach, not always a brute force head on approach.

That said, though, the Rubicon has been crossed and there is no going back. And to extend the metaphor, I’ll say it was Hillary and the Democrats who burned the bridges when they create the false Russian narrative in order to ‘resist’ Trump.

2 Likes

Ah, this gives it away – now I know you’re a parody of a rabid Trump supporter. Trump has and will never fight for anything besides himself.

If you honestly think that Trump represents the epitome of masculinity, I feel very sorry for you. He’s a bully and a bullshitter who lacks any of the traditional virtues.

Ha! DeSantis is extremely ambitious. He’ll stab Trump in the back the first chance he gets.

Well, most of them need one, because they had theirs removed when they were bending over to lick Trump’s boots.

1 Like