Hungary as "Electoral Autocracy", Giorgia Meloni on Cusp of Power in Italy, America's Disappearing Middle Classes, "Wokeness Loyalty Oaths", Re-assessing the 60s TV Show "The Prisoner"
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RE: Disappearing middle-class: Usually this is EXACTLY why you need a TRUE leftist movement. You know - a movement by and for workers, non-governmental organisations, etc. The biggest thing neo-cons were able to achieve, and I repeat this ad nauseam, is highjacking the left's whole platform and rapidly contort it into the IdPol pseudo-religion it is today. A true leftist (moderate at least) non-Idpol movement would make a huge splash in America's political life (it almost did during Occupy), and the elitist knew this, so they did everything in their power to terminally discredit "leftism" not as a movement of workers, the middle-class and yes, the actual intelligentsia, but a movement of profound moral depravity and woke fascism.
Eclectic and informative, thanks.
Re: Hungary and Poland- while they are both being persecuted by the EU, I wouldn’t lump the two together. Orban has taken several objectively anti-democratic steps to suppress opposition. Poland’s offenses seem rather minor to me by comparison (and I think the government should have the right to reform the judiciary).
I prefer elected leaders who believe that they are serving in a time-limited job, responsive to the will of the people. Of course leaders of all types are going to try to implement policies their party favors and also dispense rewards to supporters and donors, but when the leader’s priorities seem to be focused on eliminating opposition or consolidating institutional power rather than on actual economic and social policies and reforms we should all be suspicious.
Orban is not my kind of leader. For that matter, neither is Macron or Biden. In Biden’s case it is not the extreme and unprecedented level of graft/patronage he ladles out to supporters ($1 trillion in student loan forgiveness, $300 bio “green” slush fund managed by Podesta, $100 bio “infrastructure” slush fund managed by Buttigieg), but his steps to censor and legally persecute/threaten political opponents. Harassing school parents via the FBI is a disgrace and as bad as anything Orban has done. I won’t defend Orban and I won’t defend Biden. I think some people jump to Orban’s defense simply because they don’t like the sort of people and institutions that are critical of him.
A bit weird that people seem to wish for Putin to prevail only so that they can say « I told u so ». I think the West’s policy is misguided but I do hope that Ukraine prevails and Vlad dies today. In many ways, the « new » right is as obnoxious as the stupid woke.
It really is the test that all people go through. Shame and disrespect can only go so far until a person touches his/her own dignity and says I've had enough. The pressure will not stop because those applying it have never entertained an alternative approach. It's what got them to this point in their life so it is the only strategy they have ever considered. It is a tale as old as time. An unstoppable force meets an immovable object (or at least unwilling to budge). And so it goes that things are reduced to the most foundational. A test of wills
Keep up the good work. The Right is now in an existential crisis to see where it will position itself for both itself, its children, and its future. Does it lay down and take the path of least resistance or does it find its self respect to finally say Enough.
I have no sympathy for Poland, PiS are demented chauvinists, they're deliberately stoking anti-German hatred (not just with their reparations campaign and their Molotov-Ribbentropp 2.0 nonsense that is constantly peddled by propaganda outlets like Visegrad 24, they've even more or less threatened to take it out on the remaining German minority in Silesia by cutting language classes etc.), they're all-in for confrontation with Russia (and no, I don't buy it's out of "fear", imo it's because PiS are delusional enough to think they'll become a great power by forming a Polish-Ukrainian bloc), and most bizarrely of all, they think they can keep their national conservative Catholic idyll where abortion is mostly banned etc. WHILE BEING CLOSELY ALLIED TO THE PROGRESSIVE AMERICAN IMPERIUM THAT WANTS TO REMAKE THE ENTIRE WORLD IN ITS IMAGE (!). Just stupid. The EU in its current form isn't something I support, but even if there were a right-wing shift, Poland would still be a problem, because their megalomaniacal ambitions and resentments against both Russia and Germany will always make them an Atlanticist Trojan horse that will support every American geopolitical project, like with Iraq back in 2003. Completely incompatible with any attempt at making Europe its own sovereign geopolitical pole. I like Orban (despite his issues with corruption) and think he's got some good instincts, but apart maybe from Hungary Eastern Europe has nothing to offer in the sense of being a political alternative to the EU mainstream.
Lmao at the “smells like fascism” quote in the meloni piece. Trotting out ridiculous Stalinist rhetoric of defaming any group marginally on the right as fascists is still acceptable journalistic practice with the hysterical historical comparisons only working in one direction
Btw, regarding Meloni have you seen this:
US diplomat admits he's got no direct proof, but still certain Meloni and other Italian right-wingers are on Putin's payroll.
Is anyone at all surprised the EU politburo is now declaring Orban illegitimate after they failed to hijack the election in Hungry recently? They cried fowl almost immediately, with the usual leftoid "confession through projection" accusations of mail-in ballot fraud, partisan media and other corruption.
Joel Kotkin disgusts me. His work is evasive and timid. It is disingenuous to pretend that we are merely at risk of creating a stratified, quasi-feudal, class system. We all know that the quasi-feudal world is already here and has been for a while. Kotkin offers his readers the false reassurance that there are still choices available to the electorate and that the system can correct itself.
The fate of the US middle and working classes was sealed by the confluence of several factors: the successful repression of popular opposition to the Civil Rights movement during the New Deal era and the Cold War, deliberate deindustrialisation, the normalisation of social engineering by the Federal judiciary and the relentless, escalating, waves of immigration that have created electoral coalitions defined by rivalry with the legacy Americans (Americaners) and (above all else) by the fall of the USSR and the loss of any countervailing power to constrain the ambitions and excesses of multinational firms and financial markets.
Ultimately, the widely shared prosperity of the middle-twentieth century was a legacy of the labour shortages created by restricted immigration and the concessions to labour made by an elite that lived in fear of the USSR. There is no way that the existing regime will ever allow the voters a say on immigration and only fools believe that inter-state competition will inspire a return to class-compromise and paternalistic governance...the Empire will gladly yield ground to rival states rather than make concessions at home.
Inequality is simply not a problem for the system, only for those who miss out. A post-national market-state does not need citizens, just a docile mass without collective political agency that cannot disrupt the business of government. The latter is the prerogative of the oligarchs and a wider constituency of essential workers (mostly technocrats and professionals).
When I was in University all my humanities professors were leftist, whereas almost all the STEM professors seemed to be more moderate(politics doesn’t come up as much in discreet math). After graduating I wondered how long it would be until the humanities demanded ideological conformity from the sciences. Seems it was around a decade.
Loved "The Prisoner" reference!
What do you think of the conspiracy/deep state theory about the show that when the question "who is number 1?" is asked, a simple comma changes the whole meaning of the show:
A: "You are Number 6!" (Dodge the Number 1 question.)
A: "You are, Number 6!" (Just jump through the hoops to get your promotion.)
Dunno why, but I get the feeling the Italian election outcome will be the opposite of everything being reported beforehand a la Portugal at the beginning of the year
Poland is “continually squeezed by both the US State Department and the EU over what they refer to as “the rule of law”.
The Past of Poland is Partition as is its Future and the above shows it has begun.
Hungarian chances are better than Poland’s because Hungary isn’t making the wrong enemies and the worst friends ; respectively Russia is a dangerous enemy, America a lethally treacherous friend.