Simon Kuper on the Clash of ‘ The ‘Greatest Generation’ vs ‘The Baby Boomers’: A small screen melodrama. Old Socialist comments

Mr. Kuper’s self-presentation is that of the voice of ‘reason’ but it takes patience to read through Mr. Kuper’s collection of cliches, framed by the dubious, even invidious comparison of ‘The Greatest Generation’ and the ‘Baby Boomers’. In terms of Melodrama its moral/political/historical reductivism is worthy of the small screen.  Any political, even moralizing stand-in for rational argument, is marshaled for this- it reminds this reader of the rhetoric used by Allan Bloom’s ‘The Closing of the American Mind’ * replacing the Anti-Student hysterics with the the ‘clash of values’ between the ‘The Greatest Generation’ and the  ‘Baby Boomers’. With some interesting historical examples:

The incompetence of the Brexiters: they had no plan! What was Mr. Cameron’s plan? What was Mr. Cameron’s motive for his referendum? A regret able expression of Tory political arrogance, or the demonstrated incompetence of a Post-Baby Boomer ?

The Republican’s failed attempt to repeal Obamacare: Obamacare is and will remain the property of the Heritage Foundation, in sum it is the Free Market answer to what should have been Single Payer, if Obama wasn’t what he is and remains a Reaganite in New Democratic drag

Russiagate: This, the creation of a desperate Hillary Clinton, and her New Democratic surrogates , with the help of the notorious liars Clapper and Brennan.  And the strategic leaking by the CIA, and other sympathetic operatives of the American National Security State.

The exemplar of ‘The Greatest Generation’ Harold Macmillan: whose revelation of his inherent upperclass paternalism shaped his politics. ‘followed by Clement Attlee (badly wounded in Iraq in the first world war, prime minister 1945-1951), John F Kennedy and George HW Bush.’  In sum, ‘The Greatest Generation’ was morally/politically superior when compared to Trump and Bush Jr.

Baby Boomers: Trump, Bush Jr follow as exemplars of  the inherent fecklessness of  the Baby Boomers.  In sum, ‘The Greatest Generation’ was morally/politically superior when compared Trump and Bush Jr.  Yet the reader can see ,with vivid clarity, that Baby Boomers Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were/are very much in the mold of the Greatest Generation’s faith in the expertise of the Neo-Liberal technocratic elites. That belief in the experts dates back to Walter Lippmann’s advocacy that was a check, in sum, his solution to too much democracy: Lippmann looked upon himself as a Platonic Guardian, though not quite to the extremes of Leo Strauss and his Neo-Conservative acolytes.

Mr. Kuper offers this summation:

So we’re left with an insouciant, inexperienced political class of mostly ageing white men. Thankfully, that will soon change. Everyone raised under baby-boomer rule has learnt that awful and unknown things can happen anytime. Brexit and Trump have mobilised a generation of young people, taught them that government matters, and shown that not screwing up is a lofty goal. Unprecedented numbers of US women — most of them born post boom — are now seeking election at every political level. In the Senate, there are about 10 times more female candidates than in 2014. They will have a generation’s worth of mess to clean up.

According to Mr. Kuper that insouciant, inexperienced political class of mostly ageing white men is about to end. Given this, where might the reader place Jeremy Corbyn  or Bernie Sanders? Are women about to signal an end to the Boys Club ? Should the reader take the examples of Hillary Clinton, Debbie Wassermann-Schultz, Donna Brazile , Diane Feinstein as exemplary of what women can do politically?  Or should the reader look to the political career of Elizabeth Warren, as paradigmatic of what just one person can accomplish with her critical voice, her political advocacy?

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/3a31862c-df91-11e7-a8a4-0a1e63a52f9c

*See ‘Essays On The Closing of the American Mind’  edited by Robert L.Stone for a collection of essays, in response to Bloom’s Neo-Conservative political hysteria mongering.

 

 

 

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My reply to @Joan-Enric Torrent. Barcelona.

@Joan-Enric Torrent. Barcelona.

E.  Burke and B. Disraeli predicated their ‘Conservatism’ on a shared faith in the benevolence of a landed English aristocracy. Call it what it was a comforting political delusion . The fact of  Dickensian London coming to vivid  literary life  proves that ‘faith’ to be utterly misplaced!Or was it a product of  Dickensian political sniping at that ‘benevolent aristocracy’ ?

The genius of Disraeli was that he used his novels as a way of speculative political  thinking , no such politician, even resembling him exists today. I read Vivian Grey’ until it lapsed into a pastiche of the Gothic. Then I found the revelatory study Benjamin Disraeli: The Novel as Political Discourse by Michael Flavin:

https://books.google.com/books/about/Benjamin_Disraeli.html?id=urNlAAAAMAAJ

On Roger Scruton, I read his Modern Philosophy: An Introduction and Survey until page 291 and then I gave up.

https://books.google.com/books?id=pWlS4lPrcCAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=modern+philosophy,+scruton&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPjpuVoofYAhUp54MKHTuAAgIQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=modern%20philosophy%2C%20scruton&f=false

It reminded so much of the hectoring, or more candidly, hostile rhetoric adopted by Paul Johnson in his Modern Times: A History of the World from the 1920s to the 1980s:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Times:_A_History_of_the_World_from_the_1920s_to_the_1980s

Johnson’s savage, indeed unrelenting, attack on Dag Hammarskjöld is representative of Johnson’s animus toward his ‘Markings’ ? Or was it the U.N.’s non-denominational chapel featuring the paintings of Mark Rothko’s, that raised Johnson’s ire?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Times:_A_History_of_the_World_from_the_1920s_to_the_1980s

Mr. Garton Ash, from his aerie at the ultra -reactionary Hoover Institution ( He and Fukuyama must have some compelling chats in the Versailles lunch room, or is it the catering truck in the parking lot?)

Your gush at the end of your comment:

Mr. Gaston Ash linking of Burke, Scruton and the EU, has been a conceptual surprise full of hope.

One could describe, out of many choices, the Mendacity of The Elites: Monnet’s Neo-Liberalism before the fact: the EU cartel masquerading as Federalist. And Scruton as an Enlightener. This admixture of the patently obvious offers hope?   

StephenKMackSD 

http://on.ft.com/2BZDJcU

 

 

 

 

 

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On the pragmatism of Timothy Garton Ash: ‘We should work at preserving what we have, rather than dreaming up new projects’. Committed Observer’s considerations on the question

Headline: The case for European conservatism above grand designs

Sub-headline: We should work at preserving what we have, rather than dreaming up new projects

Would that Mr. Garton Ash had followed his request for silence on the part of EU partisans. Mr. Garton Ash offers this evaluation of the Macron and his Jupertarian Politics, or just call it rule by decree.  Neo-Liberal Reform of France in the throws of a benighted ‘Socialism’ will only be accomplished by a leader elected with 37% of the eligible voters either abstaining or rendering their ballots null.

In his book-length personal manifesto, tellingly entitled Révolution, French president Emmanuel Macron envisages a great round of democratic consultations across the EU throughout next year, culminating in a single “Plan For Europe”.

Next for the reader to consider is the notion of ‘poly-crisis’ as the what ales the EU:

Politicians and authors are right to diagnose a deep “poly-crisis” of the European project. But when you look at their reform proposals, you find that these envisage piecemeal responses to the problems of the eurozone, the Schengen area, the democratic deficit, social protection, and so on. Once these competing proposals have been through the sausage factory of EU decision-making, the resulting actions will be even more complex and pragmatic.

Mr. Garton Ash fails to consider the wisdom of one of Europe’s most eminent historians:

J.G.A. Pocock

Profoundly anti-democratic and anti-constitutional, the EU obliges you to leave by the only act it recognises: the referendum, which can be ignored as a snap decision you didn’t really mean. If you are to go ahead, it must be by your own constitutional machinery: crown, parliament and people; election, debate and statute. This will take time and deliberation, which is the way decisions of any magnitude should be taken.

The Scots will come along, or not, deciding to live in their own history, which is not what the global market wants us to do. Avoid further referendums and act for yourselves as you know how to act and be.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n14/on-brexit/where-are-we-now

The ‘poly-crisis’ of the EU is that it is not an actual  Federation, but a Cartel with the window dressing of free democratic association. In sum, Neo-Liberalism before the fact: the brainchild of Technocrat Supreme Jean Monnet as the in-order-to of selling coal and steel. And as a capitalist bulwark against the Soviet Union. Russian revanchism simply replaces the Soviet menace, in the political present.

Even the mention of Edmund Burke revisiting his native Dublin in the present, and calling the EU ’eminently Burkean union’ identifies- recall that the free spending Burke, received a 30 thousand pound bail out from the Crown, and then voted against the Poor Law.

Many Europeans already have a somewhat conservative attitude to this eminently Burkean union. They want to defend it against the current wave of populist nationalist attacks. They want to look after the family home, mend the eurozone plumbing and erect a better Schengen garden fence, but they don’t want to redesign the whole house. And in these dark times, simply to maintain what has been built since 1945 would already be a great achievement.

Need the reader wonder at Mr. Garton Ash’s declaration of faith in the EU, while ignoring the nearly non-existent foundation for ‘the whole house’ ,courtesy of Jean Monnet and his successors? The ‘what we have’ : a cartel that is not about Federalism nor Democracy , it is about the sale of products, at the highest price: whatever the traffic will bear! Not to forget the dread Populist Menace, that is the bête noire of the respectable bourgeois political apologist, for the abject failure of The Elites. Who placed their wager on the Neo-Liberal swindle and its successor Austerity, that has been catastrophic.   

Not to forget the EU and NATO’s murderous political adventurism in Ukraine, and the troops and weapons dispatched to Poland’s border with Russia. The New Cold War is the product of the collaboration between America and the EU, and the Hoover Institution is one of the many Think Tank advocates, that churn out usable, but not very sophisticated propaganda.

Committed Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/7509d91c-db76-11e7-9504-59efdb70e12f

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@BretStephensNYT ex cathedra pronouncement: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Karl Kraus’ Ghost comments

Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.

Perry Anderson

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary

 


 

The toxicity of greedy European Colonialism, a Sykes-Picot that created ‘The Middle East’ and its ‘Nations‘ , The Balfour Declaration, The Holocaust and European/American Guilt, legitimized the Zionism of atheist Theodor Herzl. Never fear the Neo-Conservative Intelligentsia, in the person of @BretStephensNYT, repeats the Zionist Party Line of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel! Or just call it part of a manufactured theology born of an ersatz modernized  tribalism!

Israel has its own Warsaw Ghetto: call it what it is the Concentration Camp of Gaza. Gaza is totally reliant, of being  reduced to a calorie count of just maintaining a marginal existence. The land and sea blockade make the total control by Israel of all imports into Gaza a fact, as does the cowardly American acquiesce to such an egregious violation of human rights!

America gave $38 billion in military aid ,over a ten year period, to Israel in 2016. A state that has between 100 and 200 nuclear bombs, and the means to deliver them to targets in the region, that is not a signatory to any nuclear arms agreement. Mordechai Vanunu is the whistle-blower that revealed to the world the fact of a nuclear armed Israel. He remains to this day a Prisoner of Conscience.

A nation that continuously re-enacts the conditions of their European oppression, upon the indigenous peoples that they have shared lands for millennia.: the Settler Movement, and their zealotry, of seizing land by ‘law‘, for more room for grandma’s kitchen, and burning down Palestinian olive groves are the vanguard of contemporary Zionism. As is the blundering, not to speak of corrupt, Ultra-Nationalist Netanyahu. The question that occurs: Are Fascism and Zionism compatible forms of  politics?

Karl Kraus’ Ghost

 

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My reply to Charles Shillingburg

Charles Shillingburg,

I researched the idea of  ‘Social Marxism‘ on the internet, and found nothing. But I did find many entries for ‘Cultural Marxism’ here defined in ‘The Urban Dictionary’ as:

The gradual process of destroying all traditions, languages, religions, individuality, government, family, law and order in order to re-assemble society in the future as a communist utopia. This utopia will have no notion of gender, traditions, morality, god or even family or the state. The Philosophy was proven not to Work already by Vladimir Lenin as he tried in vein to control and subjugate the people. He admitted before he died that capitalism was the only true system in which people understand how to live with each other…. Lenin knew that there were a few western Idiots who kept spreading the communist ideas long after Lenin gave up…. he called these people useful idiots as they had more emotion than brains and could be used to subvert the western states for a military takeover in the future as the citizens would already be perverted and sick and weak from poisonous ideas, decadent lusts and mindless entertainment.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cultural%20marxism

If you read the first two sentences carefully , with little or no change this could be a definition of the Neo-Liberalism, whose reason d’etre is to destroy the Western republican tradition and replace it with the ‘Free Market’ and its Austerity/Penury for the 99%.

On the blatant nihilism of the Neo-Liberal project see: ‘Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution’, by Wendy Brown

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/undoing-demos

Communism in Europe collapsed in 1991 and Neo-Liberalism collapsed on 2008.

Look at Noam Chomsky’s political evaluation of Lenin, in which he calls Lenin a ‘Right Winger’:

Or see this entry on the Frankfurt School :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School

On Theodore Adorno, one of the founders of the Frankfurt School, read ‘Theodor W. Adorno: One Last Genius’ by Detlev Claussen. I found this book informative , judicious not to speak of fascinating reading.

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674057135

Or The Melancholy Science : An Introduction to the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno by Gillian Rose, which I am currently reading:

https://www.versobooks.com/books/1555-the-melancholy-science

The notion that Marx and Marxism are somehow ‘alien’ to the Western Philosophical/Political Tradition, rather than integral of a critical tradition that reaches back, even if just an echo of Kant’s imperative of ‘self-emancipation from tutelage’, is not an exaggeration.

Your shopworn recitation of old Cold War hysterics about ‘Marxists, Socialists and Communists’ -in the throws of those hysterics you miss the New Deal Tradition, and its Left Wing Social Democrats: FDR and his allies. Not to speak of two of  its contemporary exponents Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Is the Financial Times open to all who can pay the monthly subscription rate? Or is it the exclusive territory of Capitalist  apologists/rationalizes?

StephenKMackSD

http://on.ft.com/2y7Iwab

 

 

 

 

 

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America’s ‘Russia Fixation’ diagnosed by Edward Luce. Committed Observer comments

In Mr. Luce latest essay, he almost comes to something like political realism by way of Joe Biden? But some questions arise: what and where is ‘Liberal America’ ? That America was purged, beginning with the alliance between the Mundt/McCarren/McCarthy/Nixon Zealots and their ‘Liberal’ fellow travelers  in the ADA and their intellectual/moral leaders Schlesinger and Niebuhr. Much to polemical for Mr. Luce’s discerning, if not stringent political conformism.

But Mr. Luce quite rightly  points to the fact that Clinton and the New Democratic Party apparatchiks are obsessed with the ‘Russian interference’ in the American election. The motive saving face, from both their incompetence and mendacity.  The case for this ‘interference’ provided by the notorious liars Clapper and Monseigneur Brennan, and strategic leaks provided by elements in the spy agencies of the American National Security State. The Podesta e mails probably came from Seth Rich or his allies in the party. American self-serving myopia is always utterly predictable: the myth of American Innocence, blamelessness and Virtue with a capital v is the Party Line, from which no one is allowed to deviate

For those of us with memories longer than the halcyon days of Ronald Reagan, Mr. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972, while Mr. Luce was still a toddler.  Mr. Biden is the perfect political/civic conformist , he even chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in the confirmation hearings for Robert Bork, a man who sounded and looked like he stepped out of the pages of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  An the hearings for Clarence Thomas.

If Mr. Biden is a potential candidate for the presidential nomination of 2020 the Party is in trouble. Shouldn’t it be Neo-Liberal Kamala Harris? Or should we look at this ?

In 2013, Harris did not prosecute Steve Mnuchin‘s bank OneWest despite “evidence suggestive of widespread misconduct” according to a leaked memo from the Department of Justice.[92] In 2017, Harris said that her office’s decision not to prosecute Mnuchin was based on following “the facts and the evidence…like any other case.”[93] In 2016, Mnuchin himself donated $2,000 to Harris’ campaign,[94] making her the only 2016 Senate Democratic candidate to get cash from Mnuchin,[95] but as senator, Harris voted against the confirmation of Mnuchin as treasury secretary.[95][96]

Or this:

In 2015, Harris defended convictions obtained by county prosecutors who had inserted a false confession into an interrogation transcript, committed perjury, and withheld evidence.[14] Federal appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski threw out the convictions, telling Harris’s lawyers, “Talk to the attorney general and make sure she understands the gravity of the situation.”[14]

In March 2015 a California superior courts judge ordered Harris to take over a criminal case after Orange County, California District Attorney Tony Rackauckas was revealed to have illegally employed jailhouse informants and concealed evidence.[14] Harris refused, appealing the order and defending Rackauckas.[14]

Harris appealed the dismissal of an indictment when it was discovered a Kern County, California prosecutor perjured in submitting a falsified confession as court evidence. Harris asserted that prosecutorial perjury was not sufficient to demonstrate prosecutorial misconduct. In the case,[97] Harris argued that only abject physical brutality would warrant a finding of prosecutorial misconduct and the dismissal of an indictment, and that perjury was not sufficient.[98]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Harris

The New Democrats need a scapegoat for the loss of 2016, which Mr. Luce  gingerly describes,  though we understand his reticence. As a pundit he must court the trust of sources. He approaches an almost candid assessment of the current Russia-phobia, yet he misses the American history dating from the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scares of 1917-1920 and the Cold War period from 1947 till the fall of the Soviet Union in December 26, 1991. The search for heretics of all stripes is an American obsession.

Not to forget that Mrs. Clinton is, on foreign policy, a committed Neo-Conservative. Her motto: tougher that any man in the room! War with Russia is foundational to the  Neo-Conservative coterie. Note both William Kristol’s and Jeffrey Goldberg’s enthusiastic support of Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election, that prove beyond doubt a shared and unslakable bellicosity.

Committed Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/1f8601f8-d9e3-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can Bozoma Saint John save Uber, with the help of Arianna Huffington? Myra Breckenridge ponders the question.

How apt that Bozoma Saint John is a sort of protege of Arianna Huffington, but with better hipster credentials . Ms. Huffington lost her ‘Progressive Credential’ with the sale of her website, with the whine that it was just a business, when it was part and parcel the Obama Evangelism, that gripped the American electorate, in answer to eight years of Bush The Younger, and his puppet masters Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and their War on Terror: the realization of Huntington’s ‘Clash’. That Obama Evangelism became the third  and fourth term of the dreaded Neo-Liberalism of the Clinton’s Reaganite political nihilism. Note that Obama never praised FDR but only Reagan:

http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/politics/21seelye-text.html

Spying, lying and compromised customer data are the hallmarks of the Uber Neo-Liberal con. It is not ‘a ride hailing service’ but is, in fact, a taxi service, and as such must be regulated by the municipalities in which it operates, in the public interest!  What a perfect place for Huffington, an adept in the art of the con, to practice the grifters business model. A kind of riff on Rovian politics in a corporate setting. With the vivacious and winning person of Ms. Saint John. Yet…

At Uber, her first big ad campaigns have featured tie-ups with the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. “Utilising these channels in pop culture is really important. People love the product [of Uber]; they don’t necessarily love the brand,” she admits. Uber has previously been seen as a utility, she explains, rather than a service that elicits an emotional connection with its users. “Pop culture . . . is a very effective way to add more, and to talk about the narrative,” she says. In Uber’s recent NBA campaign, sports journalist Cari Champion poses as an Uber driver, interviewing the young basketball stars he is ferrying around.

Ms. Saint John proves to be just another huckster running the con via Pop Culture! Featuring the linchpin of  ‘Brand’ as part of the Madison Ave. campaign to save Uber from its own incompetent, indeed malfeasant ‘self-governance’. Using ‘sports journalist Cari Champion’: What journalist do you know who drives a cab? How much did they pay Ms. Champion for her endorsement? What about a real NFL or NBA player? Or was the bribe to represent Uber not quite high enough to place a career in jeopardy?

Myra Breckenridge

https://www.ft.com/content/0fefb486-da16-11e7-a039-c64b1c09b482

 

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