Friday, July 20, 2018

Last Train Out of Hungary

I met a woman whose uncle was on the last train out of Hungary before the borders were closed to people escaping Nazi persecution.

She said that her mother had seen the shift to fascism because she had been working with Jewish refugees escaping Nazi occupied regions. Her mother left before most of her community.

Fascism arrived incrementally. The signs were visible but people could not see the pattern, in part because their liberal sensibilities refused to accept that the madness of fascism could disrupt the law and order of liberal democracy.

This example has relevance for David Runciman's interesting How Democracy Ends.

Although I agree with much of what he says, his disbelief in the possibility of totalitarianism arising in a liberal democracy is mistaken.

Liberal cosmopolitanism (a philosophy held by Democrats and Republicans) has a difficult time recognizing totalitarianism because liberalism (as an ideology) presupposes political pluralism, a view of power as distributed relatively equitably in society.

Liberalism's is not attuned to the ways that power is structured into roles and social institutions because its basic metaphor is the market transactions of goods/symbols between and among individuals. These individuals are thought of as rational utility seekers.  Wrong-doing is thought and policed primarily in terms of individual transactions.

The entire ideology has a difficult time addressing contiguities and patterns of wrongdoings, as well as the homicidal madness that sometimes infuses them.

For example, liberal cosmopolitanism has difficulty coming to terms with the idea that the liberal democratic state can become a primarily repressive apparatus despite examples of that trajectory circulating in the media daily.

Today I read an article on an immigration raid in Tennessee that reminded me of storm troopers in Nazi occupied areas, such as Hungary:

The terror described in this article is being echoed daily in the stories of incarcerated children separated from their parents by immigration authorities.

I can barely stand to read the paper anymore because terror is being used as a weapon by the state everywhere I look.

The ascendancy of the repressive state IS the totalitarian society that emerges in the wake of the exhausted contradictions of late capitalism.

It doesn't happen over night and it isn't irreversible.

But Marx was so wrong about the outcomes of the contradictions of late capitalism:  The Hegelian dialectic is more likely to end in our self-inflicted extinction than a communist paradise.

What can be done to stop this ascent into madness?

I fear the main tactic being deployed as resistance will only exacerbate the problems of repression.

The resurgence of Cold War paranoia by Democrats intent on removing Trump is going to boomerang back in greater cultural paranoia that feeds the repressive apparatus.

This trajectory rhymes with other periods of homicidal madness, especially WWII and atmospheric testing period during Cold War when we bombed ourselves, perhaps into eventual oblivion if Mueller's work on trans-generational mutations in fruit flies applies to human populations.



  1. It is as if their is complicity in the duopoly

    1. This is what we are up against. Climate refugees


      It will undoubtedly get hotter here.
      There will be some reactor accidents and, Trump will attack iran.

      Kids now are not so optimistic. More terror psyops like you talk about, inevitible to keep people distracted or in line. Maybe not always against immigrants soon.

      Too bad for us and the world.

  2. The military industrial complex ranks supreme and it is nuclearist. Extinction is a valid scenario

  3. All who feed at the trough of the military industrial complex and, worship the bomb, are blessed. The rest are cursed

  4. I think you are talking yourself into a state of fear by your comparisons of events to previous events about which you have read but not directly experienced. For example many people in the USA were very fearful of Obama's administration. It favored gun control for example and had a very feeble idea of due process. The Democrats seem to wish to eliminate freedom of expression. How many of your friends own guns and know how to use them? America is fairly unique in its composition. Its size allows for many distinct areas. One, like CA, might seem to go off its rails but the others act like stabilizers.

    Being a professor at this time is a dangerous occupation since one is surrounded by very unstable and poorly educated persons. Not to mention other professors who perhaps have screws loose. Then there is the main stream media thinking that the Trump Putin meeting was somehow a catastrophic event like Pearl Harbor.

    Illegal immigrants in the USA are not at all like Jews in Europe. For one thing the Jews were great contributors to the societies they lived in, occupying professions and being very industrious. They had not illegally entered the European nations. Also our history of WWII is dreadfully distorted and full of propaganda. Even our own history: the lone gunman that killed Kennedy; the two planes that brought down not only the Twin Towers but Bldg 7. Fantastic. Yet most of the media treat them like gospel truth.

    Now back in 1993 when Wm Jefferson Clinton became president there was some reason for concern. He and his wife both had a gangster mentality which played out in his presidency and since with their "charities". Remember the term arkancide being coined? Then we had George W. and his WMD. Finally Obama lacking a real verifiable personal history and one of the foggiest minded and misleading presidents this nations has ever had. Was he also a phantom law student? His grasp of the law seemed very weak at best. Having survived these three characters Trump is something of a vacation. We know all about him; he does what he says he is going to do. We know his three adult children and his wife is definitely a woman! Notice the lack of military adventures? Trump's heart's desire is to build. And that is something the nation needs. Remember the Orville Dam? The bridge in Minnesota? Apparently the airport in LA is a mess. I think doing constructive things that lay within our control is the best course of action. Let the Spenglers of the 21st century write their secular apocalypses. Or put articles in the NYT and WP where they can compare simple diplomatic meetings as like 9/11. Just caring for my yard takes a lot time.

    1. Do you think trump knows what controlled demolition looks like?

      Trump is in on this controlled demolition of America just like the rest of the traitorous presidents you described.

      Why do you support this liar and murderer? And please don’t compare him to the other previous psychopaths. Mass murderers justifying their behavior due to known lies and now and you are okay with that? To support one is to support all.

    2. Who did Trump murder? When and where?

    3. I suppose it could be said that Hitler didn't personally kill anyone either.

    4. Hitler may have killed his half niece with whom he was probably having an affair. In Munich.

  5. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression is a 1997 book by St├ęphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Andrzej Paczkowski and several other European academics documenting a history of political repressions by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, killing population in labor camps and artificially created famines. And then we have The Gulag Archipelago.

    "Macbeth's self-justifications were feeble – and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and spiritual strength of Shakespeare's evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Because they had no ideology. Ideology – that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes.... That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills: by invoking Christianity; the conquerors of foreign lands, by extolling the grandeur of their Motherland; the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race; and the Jacobins (early and late), by equality, brotherhood, and the happiness of future generations... Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago."

    So count your lucky stars that you did not end up in a really bad situation. But then perhaps in one of your past lives you did and are still reacting to the memory obscure though it is.

    Count your blessings.

    1. You speak as if the collective mind does not have a hand in its own fate. I assure you that it does. Too bad the rest of us have to be dragged down along with it.

  6. Not rational. Mostly propaganda and subtle hate and not so subtle hate,is what this troll jabbers out. Says it worked for a university talks the fascist line of hating and threatening professors and teachers. Just an evil shit

  7. Bounces back and forth between threats, racism, the new fascist-cult line, hate. "Count your lucky stars or leave america" or hate professors or immigrants are not people or radionuclides are safer than roundup. Propaganda bs and memes. Crappo to distract, twist hate.

    4600 people genocided in puerto rico. The bombs keep dropping in yemen. In afgahnisthan now they are pushing for using drones to kill people in america. Several o sites blatantly censored. This thing spews the worst lies.

    America raped and pillaged for no reason other than more fake stuff and nukes for the psychos

  8. Global heat wave: an epic TV news fail By Dawn Stover, July 19, 2018

    This month’s scorching heat wave broke records around the world. The Algerian city of Ouargla, with a population of half a million, had a temperature of 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit on July 6, the hottest reliably measured temperature on record in Africa. In Ireland and Wales, the unusually hot weather revealed ancient structures normally hidden by grass or crops. In Chino, California, the mercury soared to 120 degrees. Another round of hazardous summer heat is expected this week, with record high temperatures possible in the southern United States.

    The prolonged heat wave has been a staple of television news for weeks. However, most of the coverage has been sorely lacking in context: Humans are warming the planet, and scientists have already linked some heat waves to climate change. A recent analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes that human-driven climate change, rather than natural variability, will be the leading cause of heat waves over the western United States and Great Lakes region as early as the 2020s and 2030s, respectively.

    Like the heat itself, much of the media coverage was stupefying. “Major broadcast TV networks overwhelmingly failed to report on the links between climate change and extreme heat,” according to a Media Matters survey. “Over a two-week period from late June to early July, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 127 segments or weathercasts that discussed the heat wave, but only one segment, on CBS This Morning, mentioned climate change.”

    TV coverage would undoubtedly improve if weather forecasters were better informed about climate science. But four Republican senators with close ties to the fossil fuel industry are trying to eliminate government funding for a National Science Foundation designed to help forecasters (and by extension, the general public) “become more familiar with the science behind how their local weather and its trends are related to the dynamics of the climate.”

  9. Democratic socialism surging in the age of Trump

    "There is little distinction made
    between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”

    Members during public meetings often refer to each other “comrades,” wear clothing featuring socialist symbols like the rose and promote authors such as Karl Marx"

  10. Propaganda lies and baiting. Fascism is not democratic ass

  11. I do not understand any collective belief that having nuclear waeapons is anything but psychotic

  12. ty for these reflections, wherein this might apply as well...

    1. Great article jBee. Thanks much. I feel the west is at a cross road. Will it be rationality or creeping genocide and insanity Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow
      Babies in cages were no ‘mistake’ by Trump but test-marketing for barbarism


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