[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Rebirth of Reason

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unread

Post 0

Tuesday, March 28 - 12:49pmSanction this postReply

Clearly the book is written by an intelligent, thoughtful man, but it is really had to get past the progressive mindset - the knee-jerk, over-the-top Trump hatred and the blinders that progressives wear.  There may be some fine nuggets of wisdom in the book, which I haven't read, but I'll just address the things from this review.


Yes, Trump is a nationalist.  But why do people stop their analysis there?  Shouldn't globalism be a dimension of modern day technology and private trade, while governments should only tend to the application of laws within their national boundries?  In other words isn't globalism good for the private sphere but not necessarily so for government?  Isn't "America First" a good slogan for the purpose of government?  The alternative is global redistribution, and/or rule over American citizens by international organizations with no representation, and/or being a world policeman - none of those are good.  (I don't agree with the policy of tariffs - they are not good for America.)  To my mind a rational nationalism just means recognizing that a nation's government should be restricted to its proper jurisidiction and the purpose of protecting the rights of its citizens and nothing more.  That Trump has occassioned a questioning of the progressives views on globalism is a good thing.


Chapter 6: Be wary of paramilitaries
He does not identify the Occupy movement of the left as a paramilitary, but neither does he dwell on the many “citizen militias” of the right. Snyder’s concern is with the crowd control at the Trump campaign rallies in 2016.  I found that less salient. Hecklers are there to disrupt, not to engage in dialog. In effect, they are thieves who violate property rights, denying access to the venue that was paid for by the candidate and the supporters. 


That is well put and on target.  But Snyder goes on to say, "The SS began as an organization outside the law, became an organization that transcended the law, and ended up as an organization that undid the law.”


This is a nutty allusion to Trump supporters being the vanguard of neo-nazism.  As if, Trump were so evil that his existence will inevitably germinate into full-blown Nazi totalitarianism.  Nutty!

There were disrupters (who instigated violence) and on occasion they managed to start a fight with supporters - we are talking a few scuffles.  And, sometimes, people were put out of a rally for attempting to disrupt it.  But to equate fighting back or removing disrupters from the hall with the SS is outrageous nonsense. 


At this point, the few untutored and angry members of the right are mostly unorganized and lashing out against decades long losses in liberty and the condescending attitude of those who want to tell them what light bulbs they can use, how much water their toilet may use, and what health care they will recieve and all the while calling them irredeemible, racist deplorables. 


It is the left, the progressives that are seeking to control all things and are organized and pushing legislation and actively plotting to transform the culture and bypass the constitution.  (True, There are religious right-wingers who want to impose biblical restraints, usually on things relating to sex.  They should be stopped, but they are like a laughable, amateur-hour act compared to the progressives).


If Synder is attempting to put the locus of blame on "patriotism" and some kind of crowd-sourced violence arising from the ground up, instead of putting the blame on the philosophy of this or that totalitarian belief system, then he is using words to fashion a fantasy argument that is not connected to reality.  I guess if people acquire, by some kind of social osmosis, the hatred for Trump, then they leave themselves vulnerable to this kind of illogical argument.


Synder sees globalization as good, but apparently without specifying the key difference between simple free trade by private citizens which has transformed due to technology, and the onerous loss of individual soveriegnty that comes with global governance or the horrors of military interventionism.  He likens progressivism to "deepening reason" which is blind partisan faith in government by elites - and it harkens back to the old Marxist claims of a 'scientific' approach to governing.  He has swallowed the bald assertion that big government and its regulations will lead to growing prosperity. 


He calls liberalism teleology.  I call it a false promise that masks a drive towards a form of totalitarianism.


His description of conservatives is strange to say the least - a peculiar emotional rendering that is mostly devoid of reality.  Depending upon which brand of conservative you are talking about there are many flaws to be found, but none of them are found in Synder's rendition.

Post 1

Tuesday, March 28 - 5:01pmSanction this postReply

There's a lot to disagree with here, but I found it more fruitful to take the better ideas on their own merit.  As I said, I wondered if he would have written all of this had Hillary Clinton been elected... Because she, too, is a 30s fascist. (Ask any Sanders supporter if Clinton is a progressive.)  While Donald Trump's entanglements with Russia are troubling - especially if you happen to be Ukrainian - I consider the alternatives.  First, the Democrats had no problem appeasing Russia when it was the USSR, endlessly begging for peaceful coexistence and rapprochment. Now, the Democrats claim that Russia is the bad guy. I am sure that Vladimir Putin is as evil as Clinton or Trump, but military confrontation is not profitable - and that is what Clinton promised. Clinton and Trump are both fascists, but they have different foreign entanglements, and different foreign enemies.  

"A nationalist, "although endlessly broodling on power, victory, defeat, revenge," wrote Orwell, tends to be "uninterested in what happens in the real world." Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others...  A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to our best selves. A patriot must be concerned with the real world,, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained. A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well -- and wishing that it could do better." (page 113-114).

 Italy under Mussolini did pose a threat to Germany under Hitler regarding German intentions in Austria. They settled that between them. Similarly, Chiang kai-Shek courted Hitler (or sought to be courted by Hitler), and got Mussolini to train his air force. The Germans (and Italians) ultimately decided that Japan was the better bet in the Far East. There was no morality in their choice.  Russia and Japan fought a brief "border war" in western China in 1938-39, but neither had a strong interest in pursuing the conflict. Similarly, in our time, Clinton and Trump have some different pieces on the board, but the game is the same - and we 6 billions are the pawns.  Among Trump's investors are Russian oligarch banks. I recognize the potential problem, but pouring billions into pleasure palaces seems harmless enough.


I have a briefcase just for business. In one pocket is a booklet publication of the Constitution with an index of clauses. I am putting this book in the same pocket. I found it thought provoking; and I feel that it will continue to provide insights to reflect on, as history is made over the next four years.


(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/28, 5:07pm)

Post 2

Tuesday, March 28 - 6:21pmSanction this postReply

While Donald Trump's entanglements with Russia are troubling....

At this point there is zero evidence of any entanglement.  Purely an anti-Trump talking-point - fake news.

Hillary Clinton a fascist?  That's very peculiar.  She is corrupt which tends to warp her politics so as to fit her bank account, but apart from that her politics are pure progressive - there is no greater fan of Saul alinsky.  And why would you ask a Sanders supporter to define Hillary's politics?  They are supporting a socialist - an avowed Marxist.  I'm sure they would define 'progressivism' as being a democratic socialist.



I am sure that Vladimir Putin is as evil as Clinton or Trump...

Vladimir Putin as evil as Clinton or Trump?  That's bizarre!  Putin is a totalitarian, a thug, a person who kills opponets.  Clinton is just a crook, a liar and a progressive.  And Trump?  We don't know yet - apart from saying he advocates a kind of nationalism and a kind of populism and some conservative positions.  Throwing around the term "fascist" is very fashionable on the left, but it doesn't advance sound understanding or communication of political philosophy.


Orwell is cute with his words, but a little thin on the conceptual side.  I think it would provide a better understanding of what fascism is to recognize that it is a form of socialism (centralized control of a nation by an elite) that holds to a militarized, nationalist theme and is usually run by a strong man.  And I'm not sure that Orwell's definition of a patriot is one I want to accept either.  Weren't there German patriots in the thirties and forties who were not asking that their fellow citizens live up to their best selves.  I'm saying that a patriot could be a passionate supporter of their nation even if it is doing wrong - because his standards could be wrong.



Among Trump's investors are Russian oligarch banks.


Wow! You have uncovered evidence that no one else has yet seen.  Or are you just repeating progressive fake news talking points?


The only Russian bank investment that we have solid evidence of are the speaking fees paid to Bill Clinton by the Russian bank while Hillary was the Secretary of State.

Post 3

Thursday, March 30 - 4:38pmSanction this postReply

 Perhaps better as a separate topic, the phrase "fake news" is tossed around to label any news that someone does not like. In point of fact, the phrase "fake news" did not exist before the 2016 presidential campaign, though lies as purposeful political announcements are ancient.  See this Telegraph UK story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/fake-news-origins-grew-2016/

A story that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump is fake news.


Fake news identified courtesy of Snopes:

Mark Zuckerberg to Resign from Facebook

Snoop Dogg Arrested for Threatening Trump

Restaurant in South Africa Served Human Meat

Obama Orders Life-Sized Statue of Himself for the White House

and many more: http://www.snopes.com/category/facts/fake-news/


The claim that Donald Trump has ties to Russia, and to the oligarchs can be argued at some level for context and relevance, but it was not invented out of whole cloth:

Now, anyone on the right wing spectrum can excoriate Mother Jones, but impeaching the source is an old debater's trick. And, to the point here, I find it amusing that when a story some conservative does not like comes from the New York Times or Washington Post, then they are communist rags, but if the facts align with the reader's expectations, they are cited as authorities.  But we here on RoR have been around that barn before:

Why Evidence is Not Enough



(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/30, 4:43pm)

Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 4

Thursday, March 30 - 10:20pmSanction this postReply

I don't know about you, Marotta.  You accurately identify what "fake news" is, but then you turn to media outlets that have a hair-on-fire hatred for Trump and treat them as exemplars of truth - ignoring that they are key participants in the progressive's false narrative that Trump was in collusion with Putin to win the election.  And you seriously want the readers here to treat Mother Jones as a reliable and unbiased source of news?  I skimmed that article and it is as nasty an example of biased, unfair reporting as I've seen.  If you can't see that, you need to stop drinking the kool-aid.

Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 5

Tuesday, April 4 - 3:02pmSanction this postReply

I'm not a Trump supporter, but I doubt he has the 'ties' to Russia like people are saying.  To Marotta: That Mother Jones article had dates, and things, and Russia, so it must be legit, right?  Wrong.  What the article does is list several anecdotes regarding Trump and Russia then claims a 'connection'.  It creates a false context.  Or false conclusion.   Or false induction.  Or package-deal.  Or pick whatever combination of these works for you, that article has a lot of problems with it.

Post to this thread
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

User ID Password or create a free account.