How the global Left destroyed itself (or, not all sex is rape)

Let’s begin this little tale with a personal anecdote. Back in 1990 I met and fell in love with a bisexual, African American ballerina. She was studying Liberal Arts at US Ivy League Smith College at the time (which Aussies may recall was being run by our Jill Kerr Conway back then).  So I moved in with my dancing beauty and we lived happily on her old man’s purse for a year.

I was fortunate to arrive at Smith during a period of intellectual tumult. It was the early years of the US political correctness revolution when the academy was writhing through a post-structuralist shift. Traditional dialectical history was being supplanted by a new suite of studies based around truth as “discourse”. Driven by the French post-modern thinkers of the 70s and 80s, the US academy was adopting and adapting the ideas Foucault, Derrida and Barthe to a variety of civil rights movements that spawned gender and racial studies.

Each of these was based fundamentally upon the principle that language was the key to all power. That is, that language was not a tool that described reality but the power that created it, and s/he who controlled language controlled everything through the shaping of “discourse”, as opposed to the objective existence of any truth at all.

For a naive if lively ski-instructing Aussie larrikan, being plunged into the hot bed of civil liberties debate was something of an eye-opener. Not least because there I was, flowing long blonde hair and all, getting it on with the same black, lesbian babe that much of the mono-gendered and rampantly tribade campus had a libidinous eye upon.

I recall several dinner debates in which I really did not understand just how out my depth that I was. At one, a gender studies major declared at a table of twenty women that “all sex was rape” owing to the act of penentration being a simulacrum with violation. When I pointed out that perhaps it was more a case of personal power and volition, as well as who was “on top”, I was unsure if she going to run me through with her fork or take me out the back and roger me senseless.

I was saved from penetration of some kind, by another more savvy girl who suggested that during sex the vagina may, in fact, be engulfing the penis, and so the violation may be the reverse!

Take it from me, dear reader, that the place was in an advanced state of politico-sexual meltdown.

Amusement aside there was something else transpiring that was going to, and has, had a very dramatic impact upon global politics. The post-structural revolution has led directly to the rise of the identity politics that today dominates Left-wing policy-making in Western nations and, concomitantly, the decline of class-based politics.

How exactly this happened is impossible to trace with any precision – though the book “No Logo” does a pretty good job of it – but we can observe the rough manner of transformation.

The post-structural revolution transpired before and during the end of the Cold War just as the collapse of the Old Soviet Union denuded the global Left of its raison detre. But its social justice impulse didn’t die, it turned inwards from a notion of the historic inevitability of the decline of capitalism and the rise of oppressed classes, towards the liberation of oppressed minorities within capitalism, empowered by control over the language that defined who they were.

Simultaneously, capitalism did what it does best. It packaged and repackaged, branded and rebranded every emerging identity, cloaked in its own sub-cultural nomenclature, selling itself back to new emerging identities. Soon class was completely forgotten as the global Left dedicated itself instead to policing the commons as a kind of safe zone for a multitude of difference that capitalism turned into a cultural supermarket.

As the Left turned inwards, capitalism turned outwards and went truly, madly global, lifting previously isolated nations into a single planet-wide market, pretty much all of it revolving around Americana replete with its identity-branded products.

But, of course, this came at a cost. When you globalise capital, you globalise labour. That meant jobs shifting from expensive markets to cheap.  Before long the incomes of those swimming in the stream of global capital began to seriously outstrip the incomes of those trapped in old and withering Western labour markets. As a result, inflation in those markets also began to fall and so did interest rates. Thus asset prices took off as Western nation labour markets got hollowed out, and standard of living inequality widened much more quickly as a new landed aristocracy developed.

Meanwhile the global Left looked on from its Ivory Tower of identity politics and was pleased. Capitalism was spreading the wealth to oppressed brothers and sisters, and if there were some losers in the West then that was only natural as others rose in prominence. Indeed, it went further. So satisfied was it with human progress, and so satisfied with its own role in producing it, that it turned the power of language that it held most dear back upon those that opposed the new order. Those losers in Western labour markets that dared complain or fight back against the free movement of capital and labour were labelled and marginalised as “racist”, “xenophobic” and “sexist”.

This great confluence of forces reached its apogee in the Global Financial Crisis when a ribaldly treasonous Wall St destroyed the American financial system just as America’s first ever African American President, Barack Obama, was elected . One might have expected this convergence to result in a revival of some class politics. Obama ran on a platform of “hope and change” very much cultured in the vein of seventies art and inherited a global capitalism that had just openly ravaged its most celebrated host nation.

But alas, it was just a bit of “retro”. With a Republican Party on its knees, Obama was positioned to restore the kind of New Deal rules that global capitalism enjoyed under Franklin D. Roosevelt. A gobalisation like the one promised in the brochures, that benefited the majority via competition and productivity gains, driven by trade and meritocracy, with counter-balanced private risk and public equity.

But instead he opted to patch up financialised capitalism. The banks were bailed out and the bonus culture returned. Yes, there were some new rules but they were weak. There was no seizing of the agenda. No imprisonments of the guilty. The US Department of Justice is still issuing $14bn fines to banks involved yet still today there is no justice. Think about that a minute. How can a crime be worthy of a $14bn fine but no prison time?!?

Alas, for all of his efforts to restore Wall Street, Obama provided no reset for Main Street economics to restore the fortunes of the US lower classes. Sure Obama fought a hostile Capitol but, let’s face it, he had other priorities. And so the US working and middle classes, as well as those worldwide, were sold another pup. Now more than ever, if they said say so they were quickly shut down as “racist”, “xenophobic”, or “sexist”.

Thus it came to pass that the global Left somehow did a complete back-flip and positioned itself directly behind the same unreconstructed global capitalism that was still sucking the life from the lower classes that it always had. Only now it was doing so with explicit public backing and with an abandon it had not enjoyed since the roaring twenties.

Which brings us back to today. And we wonder how it is that an abuse-spouting guy like Donald Trump can succeed Barack Obama. Trump is a member of the very same “trickle down” capitalist class that ripped the income from US households. But he is smart enough, smarter than the Left at least, to know that the decades long rage of the middle and working classes is a formidable political force and has tapped it spectacularly to rise to power.

And, he has done more. He has also recognised that the Left’s obsession with post-structural identity politics has totally paralysed it. It is so traumatised and pre-occupied by his mis-use of the language of power – the “racist”, “sexist” and “xenophobic” comments – that it is further wedging itself from its natural constituents every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very doubtful that Trump will succeed with his proposed policies but he has at least mentioned the elephant in the room, making the American worker visible again.

Returning to that innocent Aussie boy and his wild romp at Smith College, I might ask what he would have made of all of this. None of the above should be taken as a repudiation of the experience of racism or sexism. Indeed, the one thing I took away from Smith College over my lifetime was an understanding at just how scarred by slavery are the generations of African Americans that lived it and today inherit its memory (as well as other persecuted). I felt terribly inadequate before that pain then and I remain so today.

But, if the global Left is to have any meaning in the future of the world, and I would argue that the global Right will destroy us all if it doesn’t, then it must get beyond post-structural paralysis and go back to the future of fighting not just for social justice issues but for equity based upon class. Empowerment is not just about language, it’s about capital, who’s got it, who hasn’t and what role government plays between them.

Not all sex is rape, but most poverty is.

Comments

  1. OK I’ll admit it. The only phrase I understood in that entire article was “bisexual African American ballerina”.

    Totally worth it though.

    • Yeah I’m impressed HnH is my new hero, I went to uni in the early 90s and there was a lot of angry vag it was terrifying

    • It’s a great article. I gagged at “US Ivy League Smith College”. Smith College might be a nice place, but it isn’t in the Ivy League – there are only 8 of them (the ancient 8): Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Yale. Maybe I am being a little precious, but I paid a lot of hard earned to attend one myself.

    • Problem with going out with a bisexual is that you have to be wary of the whole planet possibly catching her eye instead of only half of them……. 😉

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Chomsky has been the main Intelectual influence in my life since my early 20s.

        I love the guy, but he clearly lacks the required , minimum charisma.
        I have fallen asleep 100s of times reading and watching his stuff

        Tommy boy on the other hand has plenty and knows how to tell a joke or funny anecdote.

        https://youtu.be/38JNg210L24

      • @Young – I spend a lot of time around right wingers when I was younger, because I was one. Full on “ABC is a bunch of lefties and commies” type fundamentalism. Chomsky is outright hated for some of the things he has said or written. It is ludicrous to imagine him winning presidency.

      • agreed that Chomsky has no charisma.
        agreed that most US citizens have no idea who he is.
        agreed he would not have beaten trump.
        Sanders would have been a chomsky proxy that had more ambition to win than Clinton.
        Point being, that anyone to the left of Clinton would have been able to take more of the protest vote

    • no, Chomsky sadly has been paid by the Word Factory too long. I too had some respect of him from way back until recently when I read his confused self serving fluff about why Trump won. Chomsky is now living in unreality. Could not find his bum in the dark.

  2. Sadly Australia has it’s own extreme Left problems.

    The extreme left Greens “deconstructed” amounts to: fuck you homeless bastards, i’ve got my own inner city green leafy townhouse and negative geared rental investment properties, and don’t you homeless bastards Dare touch the immigration ponzi and harm the value of my investment portfolio.

    Well i’m just gunna vote Pauline Hanson One Nation and fuckem all 😉

    • No mate – that is not the answer! Better to get those in power to move – how??? To be honest, I am not sure…

    • In anger I said same – will vote Pauline. But in reality I voted Sustainable Aus and will again. They do address the emigration issues and NG and CGT.

      • Good Nikola, we need several to vote for by preferences… once green lib lab are rejected we need some positive choices. Pauline agrees with Sust but has been hit hard when she supported their ideas. Next time. As WA lib will give Pauline preferences its starting. She needs to be nested somewhat with a strong party as was Trump given the aus party set up.

    • The left still care about homelessness and the welfare safety net. The problem lies in the middle class. The left have adopted a globalist view of broadening the middle class which reduces poverty overall. Whilst admirable, their cause is grossly flawed because it comes at the expense of established democratic middle classes. Middle class people like yourself can smell the prosperity lies and will punish the left for favouring the interests of foreigners ahead of the the people who vote.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Not really representative democracy when they persue their own little moral crusades against those that vited for them.

      • Yes. Left and centre-left have sold out on their constituents just not necessarily the poor. Look at the demographics of the US election, the poor voted Hillary due to welfare. It was the middle class that rebelled and voted Trump.

    • “Well i’m just gunna vote Pauline Hanson One Nation and fuckem all”

      Sounds a reasonable way to go BUT she has shown her true colours to be to Supportive of the Liberal Govt –fuck that !

  3. What did the Greens do for the homeless when they had Gillard over a barrel? Nothing.

    What did they do about negative gearing? Nothing.

    Can the lefties explain why Aussie degrees have been dumbed down?

    Why did China have a one child policy? Is it possible to have too many people chasing too few jobs?

    Would not doubling the foreign aid budget and imposing no import taxes on goods made in Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal, be a better way to help the poor than to keep open the immigration floodgates?

    Especially when there are not enough jobs in AUS.

  4. That’s a very disturbing photo of a ‘dealt with’ violated angry white male you’ve posted and I am offended – Are you saying that the greens would poke anything and everything into everywhere and anywhere riding little pony powerfully down upon anyone and everyone with penetrating discourse to create tranny-tyrant reality!

    I hope you will reconsider your choice of photo as it truthfully reflects a negative perception about green anger abuse at many levels. The tranny-tyrants wont like it. Boys call the my little pony posse, we’ve got a reality to fight.

    Not that all trannys are tyrants, some have the brains and heart to walk away from the Identity Politics immigration treason of the Green anger abuse party.

    • After thinking some more about it, I don’t think that video is as effective as you’d hope. The same sorts of arguments could be made about any contentious issue that has existed since the dawn of time. E.g. American intervention in sovereign nations. No matter how many gumballs/wars there are, no matter how little difference they made, America will continue going to war.

      If its ok for 1 side of politics to keep warmongering, it makes sense that the other side would keep trying to open borders up.

      • In the world of politics and public opinion, logical arguments are not king. I’m pointing out that it wouldn’t be hard for a lefty to grab some gumballs and start proving something they believe in. That is where the debate is right now- beliefs and feelings. Truthiness.

    • thanks Jacob – great link and one that should be played in every school and at every political party meeting all over Australia….

      though I expect even if it was attempted the PC/SJW cabals would get it banned in the blink of an eye (after all it’s obviously thinly veiled xenophobia and racist hate speech)

  5. I was also studying at one of those East Coast universities in the early 1990’s, and what you say is absolutely true. Women could talk for hours about feminist theory, and how the “phallus” is really a metaphysical power construct, rather than a part of the body, etc. Books like “My Secret Garden” describing exotic female fantasies such as having sex with a dog were praised to the sky, whereas stories about, for example, a 15-year old boy fantasizing about 15-year-old girls, were lambasted as “patriarchal”. Students at these institutions seemed so educated and erudite on topics of race and gender. And yet if you asked them about issues of class, or foreign policy, they would just look at you blankly. Should the U.S. Government really be supporting the Mujahideen in Afghanistan? Where’s that? Should it take more stringent measures to stop the flow of private money to terrorist groups in Palestine and Northern Ireland? What do you mean? What about the poor living conditions of the working class? Who are the “working class”? I moved back to Australia during the Clinton presidency. It saddens me to see all the bad things that have happened in the U.S. since then. But, as you say, the warning signs were there, even in the 1990’s, that they were sleepwalking to disaster.

    • ‘I really appreciate having stumbled upon this, as it has really made me wonder about my own life — I am 22 and have been in a serious relationship for two years. He’s amazing, and I think he might be “the One,” but he is the only man I have ever slept with. This bothers me because… I really feel like I may be missing out on something that is important for defining who I am.’ – https://radishmag.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/fair-sex/

      ‘we’re talking about sex baby’ – https://radishmag.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/pump-and-dump/

      ‘Confessions Of A Mistress (protip: “Here’s the wisdom I can offer to mistresses out there: do not get too attached.”)’ – http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2013/01/no_self-respecting_woman_would.html

      each is a different take on feminism. i think you will find each disturbing, but thought provoking. ymmv.

      the second one is particularly bad. i mean i subscribe to aspect of nrx thought, but the scale of how badly chicks are fucked these days is enough to make one pause…

      the last one is brilliant btw…

      • I find they are most fcked in the workplace. After a incident with a beautiful Romanian stalker when I was newly married I made it my mission to stay away from them at work and never be alone in a room with a female or talk to one without the presence of a third party. That policy saved me a lot of grief.
        Everything is an insult, Everything an act of oppression, Every ill considered remark demands sanction.
        Now having bought into a project I work with a handful of guys and there is an understanding no chicks will be employed. I like women but I cant spend my working/productive time walking on eggshells.

        As for dating why Bother ? A man who works for himself and lives only for himself only is a free man.

      • I really hope at some point society finally wakes up and acknowledges the biological realities so that we can all stop pretending and actually teach young woman something that is of practical use to them (like mothers and grandmothers used to) instead of selling them on bullshit illusions. Women are born with value and lose it over time, men are born with little and have the opportunity to build value over time – and they have vast amounts of more time to do this. Kick and scream all you like, this is the brutal harsh reality, no amount of progressive liberalism is going to change it. Bio-Technology might one day perhaps.

        And this is fine, everything is fine:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3975644/Teenage-girls-sure-don-t-want-children-want-STERILISED-doctors-refuse-change-minds.html

    • “that THEY were sleep walking to disaster”…….yogiman, what do you think has been happening here????

      I was first at uni in ’72 and had the ‘good fortune’ to see the genesis of so-called feminism in all its man hating glory. What you witnessed was simply the inevitable extension of the late 60’s onwards development of ‘PC Authoritarians’ (to borrow Prof Peterson’s very appropriate phrase – he’s at Toronto Uni. Google youtube on him if you aren’t already aware of his work. He’s undoubtedly a modern hero)

      Beware the PC/SJW cabals – they’re coming for you……..

  6. I remember when the wall came down Marxism was declared dead and the Right went into an apoplectic delight that they still haven’t recovered from. They easily ran with what they’d been given to create a taboo that wasn’t broken for a clean twenty years and is still very suspect. For twenty years I did not hear the words Marx or Marxism mentioned ONCE in public discourse. I remember the day a couple of years ago when I heard the great Voldemort of real life mentioned once again on radio national. I have made jokes including on this site about twenty year olds looking blank if you mention Marx. September 11 compounded the death of a Left discourse by creating an obsession with all the things it’s been obsessed by. Would Marx be surprised? No. that’s what class consciousness is, knowing you’re being manipulated.
    As you say identity politics came along. Thankfully. And there were awkward angry years as women in my world and no doubt Afro- Americans released a whole lot of anger and restructured their own narrative. The Right and co-opted white men have never stopped trying to fight this. But feminism surged when women in left wing political groups got tired of making the tea and being talked over and not being able to participate if childcare wasn’t available. I have always loved the liberating language of my era political correctness, although I’m told it has an earlier Marxist control version but I haven’t bothered to get to grips with that.
    The Left could not move forward without getting its internal politics right.
    Couple more points: sitting around having wanky pontificating discussions about any everything including the power dynamics of penises and vaginas is one of the great joys of youth. When you get older you realise probably half the room had no idea what anyone was talking about. And you realise that sexuality is the great vital force that seems to have been put on the planet to step in and destroy everything just when we think we’ve got everything sorted and might sit back and take a breather. Fortunately for all of us, while it’s constantly pushed down and commercialised and tried to be moulded in every society, it is always stronger and rears its ugly beautiful seductive head once again. It is a mystery, that’s what you learn when you’ve reached an age when you’ve stopped trying to put everything into words.
    I can’t finish without saying a couple of other things. One, there have always been voices right there accessible to all Australians, keeping it real. Helen Razer for one has consistently pointed out the misleading paths and brought discussions back to the impoverishment of women and the distractions being used to fracture the exploited, the working class, who should be united. Yes she has.
    And, its been a tough time to be left in anyway. Unions have clung to a sell out Labor party. The Left of the ALP has chosen, every single time, for almost forty years now, to go for power and Parliament, over their supposed values. Unions have, as we have seen, betrayed their members. And trade liberalisation and globalisation have brought lots of benefits to many people, or at least consumers. Meanwhile the international ruling have continued on their merry way raking in all the profits. So here are once again turning to fascism. Meanwhile the planet warms.

    • Thank you Cath, superb statement / response.

      With respect to the Left unions relationship with ALP, I would like to suggest that this relationship(s) is at the core of the issue of elected representatives not representing their constituents. This would be true of ALP (unions) and LNP (industry FIRE etc)

      I joined the ALP to oppose Howard’s more hostile policies but quickly realised it was a waste of energy. But I did work hard with a female candidate preselected to an un-winnable electorate.

      • Yes this is the sad truth about politicians. You go into politics because you love the life. You’ll do a lot to stay in that life.

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        Remember tony, Unions are democratic instutions also and have to run frequent elections.

        That they are often as courpted by careerism, as the major parties are is no supprise.

        But the solution is more Democracy not less,… lets not throw out the baby with the bath water, eh?

    • ‘I have always loved the liberating language of my era political correctness, although I’m told it has an earlier Marxist control version but I haven’t bothered to get to grips with that.’

      Well you might want to.

    • If you remember Caldwell as Leader of the ALP and all the years in the wilderness, you’ll understand that having values that prevent you obtaining government is like letting the quest for perfection prevent you from doing any good at all. Democracy demands that the rent seekers, the rich, the racists also get a say and have real power in an election.

      • How universal was suffrage in Italy after five or six years of actual Fascist rule?

        ‘Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.’
        Benito Mussolini

  7. ErmingtonPlumbing

    Bravo David, that was brilliant.

    Funnily enough, immediately before reading your piece, I was looking up a Noel Pearson quote to respond to one of “our” Dr Smith’s posts,… and came across the Ben Chifley Memorial Lecture delivered by Noel Pearson in 2000.
    What a great speech! and it speaks to the very phenomenon you describe above so well (No doubt you’ve already read it)

    http://australianpolitics.com/2000/08/12/noel-pearson-the-light-on-the-hill.html

    A bit from that speech on the history of our welfare state.

    “Firstly, the key institutional foundations of this Welfare State were laid down by the Liberal leader, Alfred Deakin. As well as the commitment to a strong role for government (what Kelly calls State Paternalism) it included the fundamental commitment to wage conciliation and arbitration which became law in 1904. Throughout most of the twentieth century the commitment to a regulated labour market enjoyed bipartisan support in this country. Whatever complaints the non-Labor parties harboured about organised labour, there prevailed a consensus about the necessity and desirability of a system of labour regulation in this country, right up to the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser. It is important to remember the bipartisan consensus around the general shape of the Welfare State established in the early 1900s.
    Secondly, it is also important to remember that the Welfare State was the product of class compromise. In other words it arose out of the struggle by organised labour – it was built on the backs of working people who united through sustained industrial organisation and action in the 1890s. It was not the product of the efforts of people in the universities, or in the bureaucracies or even parliament. Whilst academics, bureaucrats and parliamentarians soon came to greatly benefit from the development of the Welfare State – and they became its official theorists and trustees – it is important to keep in mind that the civilising achievement of the Welfare State was the product of the compromise between organised labour and industrial capital.”

    “The lower classes in developed countries have lost much of their political influence because of the shrinking and disorganisation of the only powerful group among them, the working class proper. The shift in the economy away from manufacturing, and economic globalisation which makes it possible to allocate production to the enormous unregulated labour markets outside the classical welfare states, have deprived the industrial workers in the developed countries of their powerful position as sole suppliers of labour force to the most important part of the world economy. The lower classes are therefore now unable to defend the Welfare State. Nor is there any longer any political or economic reason for the influential strata of society to support the preservation of the Welfare State.
    Those who have important functions in the new economy will be employed on individual contracts, and will be able to find individual solutions for their education, health care, retirement and so on, while the majority of the lower classes will face uncertainty. And the Welfare State will increasingly be presented as an impediment to economic growth.”

    “The welfare state will continue to face pressure to retreat. As I have said, it will increasingly be presented as an impediment to economic growth. You do not need me to tell you this.”

    “When I consider the history of your people, I am struck by the ironies. Few Australians today appreciate their history. They do not realise that the certainties they yearn for were guaranteed throughout the twentieth century by the Welfare State to which the great majority of Australians were reconciled and committed. They do not realise that this civilising achievement was founded on the efforts of organised labour. Instead of appreciating the critical role that the organised labour movement played in spreading opportunity and underwriting the relatively egalitarian society which so many Australians yearn for today – organised labour has been diminished in popular esteem. It has come to be demonised, and whilst working people have a proud story to tell – of nation building no less – this is not understood by Australians today.
    The second irony concerns the sacrifices that working people and the organised labour movement made during the painful transition period in our country that occurred from 1983 – and the complete lack of acknowledgment in the historical understanding of the Australian community of this. Wage restraint underpinned the reform processes pursued under Prime Ministers Hawke and Keating. If these reforms were essential and have underpinned the current economic performance of our country – what credit did the working people get from the responsibilities that they shouldered for the sake of the national economic interest? The irony is that rather than taking the credit for the outcomes of the economic reform process during this period (when incomes declined and profit shares surged) the organised labour movement ended up being perceived as retarding economic performance, and the call for labour market ‘flexibility’ never abated. Indeed the pressure mounted and continues today. At the end of the day, organised labour was left between a rock and hard place: responsible for economic reform, but unable to claim credit because many workers wondered whether the sacrifices had been worth making.
    That is the origin and the present predicament of the Australian Welfare State, upon which your people have relied for generations and whose future is of critical significance to the prospects of your children.”

    • Keep missing the forest as you hug a tree why don’t you? The welfare state has ballooned since 00 its just all gone to propping up houses, old people and childcare, all so that the throngs of fifo proletariat never have to suffer the ignominy of going without your jet-skis, surplus motorbikes and IPs.

      It’s over – US10Y 2.33 A10Y 2.7

    • Walloped by the Harvard Business School, free trade and globalisation. The welfare state is consumed by those seeking a free lunch who have no commitment to the society that provides it.

  8. There is no global Right, that’s the whole point. The Left are the ones constantly in search global problems – which don’t exist – and its why neoliberalism is pushed with a decidedly left flavour. It allows people like 3d to denounce the excess mental masturbation of the collegial class while walking away with all the profits…

    Its pathetic.

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      “It allows people like 3d to denounce the excess mental masturbation of the collegial class while walking away with all the profits…”

      Yes this grates the fuck out of me too Mig, the leadership of the left are totally lost and don’t even seem to know it,.. happily raging on “language issues” PC etc and circle jerking away in their enclosed echo chambers,..while the conditions of the proletariat become ever worse.

      I disagree with you strongly though, where you say, there is no Global Right.
      People like 3d are the Apparatchiks of the Global Right.
      Ivy leaguers like Obama, Clinton and Bush are Apparatchiks of the global Right.
      What do you consider Global multinational corporations and their influence over the legislative process, across all countries, to be, other than Right wing?
      Neoliberalism is a Right wing project!,.. That the “leaders” of the “left” have been co opted (bribed) into this project, does not make the dominant economic ideology of the world today “Left Wing”!
      WTF man, you know should this.

      The leadership of left has been allowed and encouraged, by and increasingly powerful Plutocracy (the Right), to run with Identity politics to keep “them” the fuck out of the way of Business and Market primacy.
      Watch how quick the media (Rightwing owned and agenda set) jumps down the throat of any in the left talking up unions,welfare or redistribution)
      It’s a sellout for sure, but the Right is the one paying for it to happen. You know this!

    • In a comment yesterday, I described how the Left has been abusing the “racism” charge against basically innocent and decent people.

      http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2016/11/green-loons-are-pauline-hansons-best-friend/#comment-2759267

      I think H&H has nailed it today, in that the “intellectual” engine behind the Left today, has been diverted onto fabricating absurd charges onto imaginary class enemies, such as all hetero males, all whites, and everybody involved in converting natural resources into products, including the workers in those industries, who are mostly white males – at least in the west.

      Those industries are of course meant to be relocated to the developing world, as a form of penance for “our” sins. Reactionary, militant, medieval patriarchical cultures prevailing elsewhere and among immigrants, will get a free pass though, as these cultures are just another means of disciplining “us” for the evils we have inflicted on the world.

      This is all riddled with raging contradictions and hypocrisies, with the only explanatory denominator being that the destruction of western civilisation is the object.

      It is odd, at first sight, that this agenda is supported by the sugar daddies in the zero-point-one percent who are being mightily enriched by globalisation and “save the planet” policies (in the west). But then it makes sense as a ploy to neuter the Left as an effective political obstruction, and also to dumb down the populace and set them up for fleecing, such as a lifetime of mortgage or rental slavery.

      • Pretty much Phil, but I still blame the Bible as the perennial progenitor of all this left/right/hollier than Jesus crap.

      • And yet, Miguel, some of the clearest minds involved in the spread of enlightenment in the West, suffered no harm from an acquaintance with the Bible. John Locke, for example, and the US Founding Fathers. In fact the biggest threat to the agenda we are talking about, probably is the bible-bashing parts of the USA that oddly correlates with the median-multiple-3 housing markets. There is some mysterious beneficial cultural immunity going on there.

        None other than Albert Saiz, urban economist from Harvard, cited Dennis P. Hollinger, “Individualism and Social Ethics: An Evangelical Syncretism” as a potential explanatory theory for this. Saiz even controlled for percentage of Evangelicals in the population, in cities, in analyses of housing markets.

      • The Calvanist/Jacobites who committed The Terror and the Catholics who perpetrated St Barts massacre were, what’s your point?

      • Wow Locke was a hand maiden of the elites in his day and ran slave plantations…. enlightenment….. wheeeeee ~~~~~~

        Disheveled Marsupial…. people need to study history comprehensibly and desist with the TV tropes…..

      • Skippy, Locke was NOT a handmaiden to the elites, he spent much of his life in exile. Show your ignorance, why don’t you?

        Miguel (and Skippy), obviously there is a history of evil committed by people who “seemed to believe the Bible and in fact claimed it as their authority, more a matter of their own convenience. It was more a question of their own interpretation and even their own ideas completely unrepresentative of their claimed model.

        But what is unique about the history of Christendom is that its underlying founding documents always contained the seeds of reform for the better. It makes sense, does it not, that during the Dark Ages the laity were forbidden to even read the Bible. It was the threat to the established theocratic order, not its justification. “The Brothers Karamazov”

        Who abolished the slave trade? Slavery was BTW a norm in human history, not something that evil Christians invented. The reality of pre-economic-development conditions was that some proportion of humanity was always either starving to death or working for nothing more than food. The Bible contains injunctions about how such people were to be treated. Of course opportunistic critics interpret this as “justifying slavery”. The Bible also condemns “man-stealing”.

      • That was my point Phil, you can make that book justify whatever you want and the church at Rome uses it exactly thus – one minute fomenting right wing dictators, the next liberation theology. It’s all BS – paganism would be much better.

      • Locke had extensive knowledge of and interest in European contact with aboriginal peoples. A large number of books in his library are accounts of European exploration, and colonization of aboriginal peoples, especially Amerindians and their ways. As Secretary to Lord Shaftesbury, Secretary of the Lord Proprietors of Carolina (1668-71), Secretary to the Council of Trade and Plantations (1673-4), and member of the Board of Trade (1696-1700), Locke was one of the six or eight men who closely invigilated and helped to shape the old colonial system during the Restoration. He invested in the slave-trading Royal Africa Company (1671) and the Company of Merchant Adventurers to trade with the Bahamas (1672), and he was named as a Landgrave of the proprietary government of Carolina.

        BTW Locke was banging on about divine right to rule wrt government in his time, some people fail in reconciling that wrt our time and democracy. Yet since Hayek and MPS went deep loon pond economic libertarians have gone full wing nut and declared democracy a gateway drug to totalitarianism, strangely enough at the behest of their benefactors – the new financial feudalistic aristocrats of the last 50ish years [FEE et al].

        Disheveled Marsupial…. high school level histrionics is not applicable here imo…

      • It is such a shame that famous enlightenment figures from history could not time-travel forwards to the 21st century to confer with Skippy. Even Galileo would have benefited, because he didn’t go anything like far enough against the theocrats. Imagine how much greater a historical title than “father of the enlightenment” Locke could have gained had he the benefit of Skippy’s wisdom.

        The utopia fallacy: the perfect is the enemy of the good. Incremental progress is pointless, great leaps straight into 21st century post-modernism is the only thing that historical figures could have done to satisfy the 21st-century post-modernists. Skippy is about as impenetrable as Foucault, Derrida, et al.

      • Phil….

        You have not refuted the points of order and now compound error with folly [rhetorical word salad sans any distinctio], hard to reconcile if you even understand what the enlightenment was actually about, in its day, and it’s relationship in the here and now. Not to mention how certain party’s that have a propensity for bending history or ad hoc assemblage of it, not unlike a TV evangelist uses to concoct a narrative.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. beware when philosophy becomes a cult phil… see Hayek et al…

      • Phil….

        What case – ???? – so far you confuse ‘saying stuff’ with anything concise or evidence based and when its put under your nose you spew random verbiage.

        Look I’m “A” historical but that does not mean I fall victim to romanticism or whitewash out the bits I don’t like, not unlike, Jefferson’s bible.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. suggest you never attempt a pro se defense….

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      Maybe we are talking about two different kinds of left and rights Mig,

      Im for the struggle between Organised Money versus Organised Labor,…old fashioned I know.

      Today what we are served up with today though, with our 2 party political systems Is,… Socially conservative Organised Money versus Socially “Progressive” Organised Money.
      This fact makes the whole Political “Left/Right” debate nothing more than an a distractionary circle jerk we engage in, while the robber barons make off with all the loot.

      • Correct EP. When Hillary and the Saudis are left wing, and the Saudis are re- elected to the Human Rights Council, is fitzy still right wing??, All total BS. When the socialist alliance beat up people with differing opinions on the streets of Mebourne as “racists” in the name of tolerance, you have to ask who the real Nazis are. I suspect they behave in the same way as those with the Swastika tattoos.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        +1
        H&H nailed the global problem, you just summed up the local problem EP.

        A giant circle jerk of globalists pushing the same agenda from different sides of the coin:
        LNP: Globalisation is good for the economy,
        LAB: Globalisation is good for society,
        and for good measure, Greens: Globalisation is good for the environment.

        Each party alone cannot advance the others policies, but over time the Globalists cause is continually advanced. National interest when it is discussed by these parties is a term that they’ve succeeded in tainting almost as much as Xenophobe, sexist or racist, yet this is what the population of working people have been craving, someone who’ll stand UP for their national interests, as opposed to the Globalists DOWN policies of subjugating national interest for global ones.

    • I kinda agree with Mig, in that many on the Right simply decided to pick up the pennies that dropped from the pockets of a structurally defocused left. Each time the left changed their mind that meant a few more pennies fell off the plate, the left was happy with the illusion of control, the right was happy to cede control if they could fill their pockets.
      The left was always more a fractured idea than a cohesive movement so opinion and direction changes were guaranteed, curiously this created a situation where both the left and the right were free to create their own utopias. Of course we all know how this game ends, in a way it’s Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground ” revisited…we have a story being told by an Unreliable narrator, where 2+2 must always be 4 but it never seems to work out that way in the end. Indeed 2+2 must always be greater than 4 to pay for systemic losses, inefficiency has a cost. While the Left embraced uncertainty and created change the Right simply provided the machinery for execution and recouped their costs plus…Truly a match made in heaven….Capitalist heaven that is.

      • That was a tad more eloquent than how I would have put it. I was going to say I was too busy making out like a bandit and banging hot women to care for the left right bullshit ?

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      Maybe we are talking about two different kinds of left and rights Mig,

      Im for the struggle between Organised Money versus Organised Labor,…old fashioned I know.

      What we are served up with today though, with our 2 party political systems Is,… Socially conservative Organised Money versus Socially “Progressive” Organised Money.

      This fact makes the whole Political “Left/Right” debate nothing more than an a distractionary circle jerk we engage in, while the robber barons make off with all the loot.

      Solidarity is the answer Mig,..not Individualism and meritocracy for ever.

      • I prefer to look at it as “rentier” or crony capitalists, versus the rest.

        Henry George said some pretty good things about “labour” wasting its energy fighting its employers who were also “the producers”, while the rentiers in finance and land who were the mutual enemy of them both, were laughing all the way to the bank unchallenged.

      • It illustrate the point about ‘language being power’ in the article : the social justice warrior type have now muddied the water all together by calling themselves ‘Left’ and forcibly stole the history and legacy of the labour movement.

      • I think you are right Phil. The bond holder and the rentier is the enemy of those that employ and innovate as well as those who work. They are the parasite that lives off the workers and the risk takers.

        Ronin you too are spot on.

    • No global right? What would you call Rupert Murdoch? I can open UK, US and Aussie sites on any given day and it’ll be the same news articles with the same angles. All from the right-wing perspective. Global left and global right absolutely exist, and frankly ‘global’ transmission of memes, ideas and thought is fucking ancient. Just look at the cross contamination between Greek, Roman, Islamic and ‘Western’ religion and mythology.

      • Murdoch is garbage propaganda – the local right in the US is walking away from it. What does Greece and Rome have to do anything? They’re all Indo-European

      • My point was only that even before blue water navies, ideology was global. It would be adapted to the locals but it was never locally sourced. Its like a virus- whatever changes the idea has to undergo to survive, it will. When it meets other people it is transmitted. Which is why we have such weird ideas of left and right. Its more Team Red and Team Blue than anything to do with actual policy or belief systems.

  9. Also agree with you, H&H, on what Obama’s supporters really expected of him in dealing with the criminals in the finance sector – and that he let them down badly.

    But I am not yet assuming the worst about Trump on this:

    “…Trump is a member of the very same “trickle down” capitalist class that ripped the income from US households. But he is smart enough, smarter than the Left at least, to know that the decades long rage of the middle and working classes is a formidable political force and has tapped it spectacularly to rise to power…”

    As a property developer, his relationship with “big finance” may well be a love-hate one, and he may have scores to settle. Of course as a property rentier, he may well be on the wrong side, for example on the urban planning and zoning land-racket. But there is almost no-one effectively criticising this racket, and no effective political opposition on it. So Trump is unlikely to have his motives put under scrutiny, just as there is no scrutiny of the motives of the Rockefellers, Soros, et al in their lavish funding of the smart-growth and conservation movements.

  10. The conundrum of the left was conceived when Maggie Thatcher ‘sold’ the concept of the family unit being the only unit people should feel any responsibility toward. By continuing on in that vein to ‘create’ another class, the ‘aspirational class’ that became a perfect political wedge between working classes and the ‘left’. And the really amazing reality is that the ‘new’ aspirationals didn’t have to be given anything other than a promise of something in the far future, which they duly received, debt !

  11. The left/socialism produces equality in misery.
    All dictators in the modern era have been from the left/socialist. Castro, Stalin, Mao, Hitler (Nationalist Socialist Party). Millions killed.
    All leftist governments keep their flawed ideals alive by plunging us all into extreme debt, taxing the productive class out of existence, and finally using military force on their people.
    With the internet age we could all have direct democracy and individual voting on important issues instead of getting caught up in identity, left/right divisions.
    Google or YouTube pizzagate to see how the elite political parties really work.

    • That is a pretty well cherry picked list.
      Try Mussolini, Pinochet, Franco, Zog, Marcos, Estado Novo, Brazil from 64 to 85.

      • We’re probably stretching the definitions of ‘left’ and ‘right’ when talking about dictators and tyrants. A modern ‘right wing’ dictator wouldnt be a guy sitting at the head of a powerful government, crushing all before him. He’d be a guy who sells out all government functions to the private sector, and then uses the remaining government power to enforce the monopolies and crush dissent.

        Hitler had FANTASTIC relationships with corporations & industry. He also opposed Commies. Which side of Parliament shall we assign him? Left or Right?

  12. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Globally the left gave up much of their game when they gave up being seriously (offensively) obnoxious. When they gave up on telling the right around the world (and I tend to the view that the ‘right’ is always a more localised and often tribal phenomena) that for every brutal act visited on people from the right, they would look at the same from the left. Ever since the late 1970s (though you could make a good case for Hawke Keating carrying the reformist age much later in Australia) the left became more obsessed about the image, and the image was one of nostalgia for a glamorous and often tragic past – glittering sophisticated elites more concerned about rogering one another and looking cool than social redistribution of the economic proceeds of production, and even that evolved into a ‘left’ which around the world has seen one of its core requirements when in government, of delivering key parts of the neocon right platform (diminishing labour rights, freeing up capital movement, tax cuts, and looking the other way on money laundering in particular) whenever it comes near power.

    • To be fair to them, modern crowd suppression technology and surveillance/intelligence tech is so advanced that trying to organise probably wont work very well. And people dont usually sign up to a losing cause (even if they support underdogs). Remember society’s backlash when it turned out one of the Aus intelligence agencies had been tracking tree hugger groups? Thats right, maybe a day in the paper.

    • Globally the left gave up much of their game when they gave up being seriously (offensively) obnoxious.

      +1

    • All sex is not rape, but most poverty is.

      I reckon you could go the extra step and say all poverty  is………….

      The identity politics charade HnH refers to above goes further in a key way – it’s a distraction from the main game and has been played out as a vehicle for fragmenting the left.

      The only way to achieve socio economic progress is reform.  All reform is the outcome of a negotiation.  All negotiation is the identification and acknowledgement of ‘facts’ and the ordering of those into a narrative which leads to outcomes.

      For the most part (there are exceptions but they are rare) the right owns the means of production (and the creation of wealth) they own the legislature, and regulatory sub units, and the courts.  For the most part they will assume that the ‘facts’ and the narrative will lead where they determine.  Generally they will outline that narrative for the left as a fait accompli – that if the facts are not acknowledged and recognised (and usually the narrative presented by them agreed with – though sometimes the right will leave some scope for change in this, often overtly to allow something for the left to cling to as an outcome) then there will be some form of pain visited on the left (or some portion of the interests the left would claim to be representing).

      It does not matter if the level of the negotiation is the workplace – see recruitment, performance management, salary and conditions negotiations, or economic policy – see taxation settings and deductions, redistributive outlays, social welfare, or even international policy – the funding decisions of the world bank, the actions by the IMF & EC vis Greece, or mandates to enforce the privatisations of social services and infrastructure.  The message of the right, the owners of the capital (or those who think they do), is backed by threat.

      Look at when the great socio economic reforms have occurred – has there ever been  significant welfare or progressive economic reform without there being a crisis of capital, sufficient to threaten it, or an overtly stated intention to threaten it, and without the socio economic reform being delivered as a trade-off, where capital has accepted the trade off as worthwhile in exchange for what it is getting.

      It is simply not in the nature of the right (or capital) to ‘give’ what it is not forced to give, because anything of value to it is assumed to be its by right (and of its discretion for allocation) until there is a legally enforceable right to that value by something else.  It only ever ‘gives’ when it is forced to give.  The age of managerialism may well espouse mantras like ‘win-win’ but you can be 100% sure that the right will always be keen to talk up ‘wins’ for those with whom it negotiates which cost it nothing, and will always see its own wins as something which someone else is paying for or a cost which capital may conceivably be paying which it manages to avoid.

      The left always plays from behind scratch when attempting to negotiate because, as has been noted by plenty of others here, the left by definition has a broad (and often barely tangible) focus, whereas the right is always focused on the here and now and the allocation of costs within a contractually enforceable future.  A standard play is for the right to give away something intangible in exchange for something tangible.

      The great fear of the right is that labour could potentially organise – because labour is a cost for capital.  That is not the same as the left could potentially organise (because the left will represent a range of interests which are marginal to any given unit of labour).  To the extent that it can get the left focused on non labour issues the right will generally be perfectly comfortable with a left seeking outcomes which are marginal to labour – and as has been the case for more than a generation where the political left in the developed world gains power it has generally delivered the rights agenda (particularly freeing up capital flows, deregulation, tax cuts, looking the other way on corruption, immigration) the right will take these as a free riding bonus.  Not at any point would they take those policy settings and think that they should ‘give’ something to the society giving those policies to them.  It simply is not in their mindset, and would not occur to them (though it may prompt some additional marketing or PR outlays).

      The identity politics HnH refers to plays into this perfectly.  It leads to outcomes which are meaningless or marginal for the right (or sometimes baubles for right wing fellow travellers such as the fruitcake religious set [and their hatred of gays/education/science etc]) and disperses the left with these, while detracting the attention to the main game – economic and social reform and the redistribution of economic power imbalances (which the right – owning capital – sees as requiring them to pay, unless the reform grows the pie sufficiently for them to be able to offset that they would otherwise pay).

      This is where the global left has gone.  Whether it is the idolizing of the Kennedies, or the looking the other way on the interpersonal shortcomings of Bill Clinton, or the excuses for the lack of reform under Obama, or the excuse making for Tony Blair’s foreign adventurism, or even the ‘gee whiz – our first female PM’ (or even ‘Gee whiz – our first deranged psychopath PM’) style of the ALP, it has put in the short steps on addressing the balance of power between labour and capital for a generation, while telling capital it is just as good as the right at supporting capital, and while selling those wanting meaningful reform an array of meaningless baubles.

      Over that same era the once credible narrative verification abilities of the media have been coughed up to provide infotainment and 95 cous cous or polenta recipes, a rundown on who’s tweet has gone viral, and a day in the life of a royal or a movie star.  It has gone from performing a social service to euthanizing focus on issues – virtually eliminating ‘news’ and running anything in its place.

      It is time for the left to start standing up and representing working people and their interests.  Not telling them that things haven’t become expensive because they can all take out more debt to pay for it, not telling them that their jobs aren’t under threat because they can all train up to become baristas, Not telling them that their tax cut is a great outcome when it leads to diminished public services, and not telling them their children will have a better educated future when it is pushing their kids into meaningless vocational certificates or creaming them blind for the chance to go and do something meaningful at university – and certainly not that they are getting a better educational funding regime when they are providing more funding per student to private schools than public.  But most of all they need to stop telling those actually in jobs that when management needs additional ‘flexibility’ then they are the ones who will be sacrificed to provide it every time.

      To have any credibility in doing that they need to start being quite overt on their expectations of the minions of the right – of companies and the owners of capital – that they will hold them accountable for their revenues and they will require them to account for where they don’t pay tax, that they will develop an overt methodology for identifying a net budget position for every individual, that employees get paid first when companies go under, and that board members will be charged and held accountable for decisions they make, as well as ensuring executives are accountable.  Let left parties come out and openly state that welfare is for people who don’t have enough and that for those who do have enough it isn’t available.  Even better let them state openly that where immigration occurs it is to achieve a particular policy aim, and let that immigration be held accountable against that aim.

      And when that sort of sentiment is openly scoffed at, as surely it will be, then let that left put a head on a stick.

      It will only be when I see that sort of commitment that I would be inclined to vote for the mainstream left.

      Currently for a man who would love a leftist agenda steak, all I see on the menu is loads of alfalfa with a steak sauce (and watery at that)

      • Ever heard of WFH(work from home)? The left and their pretence of work/life balance didn’t bring it – individuals in negotiations with management did. This is what the left hates, having their institutions shut out, because to them individuals are always dupes who need to be protected from themselves. Where I work on any given day there’s minimum of 1 person WFH – it was me yesterday

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        3d

        All poverty is relative to the 1%. Just because the 1% feel entitled to it, and feel it maximises their return on investment, or even think that is in the service level agreement, or that that is what they have always done, does not mean it is not rape

      • ErmingtonPlumbing

        From mig

        “Ever heard of WFH(work from home)? The left and their pretence of work/life balance didn’t bring it – individuals in negotiations with management did. ”

        You can still join the union brother.

        https://youtu.be/lBqq5ai5rLQ

        Solidarity mig

        ?

      • I think it’s hard to have true social justice without economic justice, I’d argue it’s one of the most fundamental forms of social justice – Agree the left needs to grow some balls and start demanding it, and maybe remind the 1% that they are only 1%. To quote Mark Blyth, “The Hamptons is not a defensible position”

  13. Great post HnH. Written beautifully with perspicacity, taking those who have not been exposed to the spawning of identity politics on a travel in time. As I am supposed to be part of the patriarchy I try to order my children around, but to no avail.

  14. The ‘post gender politics’ crazies have gone way too far. They are now encouraging kids to become transgender.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/transgender-youth-puberty-blockers/

    Kids are not old enough to have sex legally, but they can have sex operations? W.T.F?? This is coming from the medical community as well? People should have the freedom to do what they want as adults, but to suggest these kind of things to children is simply insane.

    • The blockers are not sex reassignment. They are a biological pause button so that counselling can continue until the person is of an age to make that decision for themself.

    • Sure is “money-making”opportunity for the not so ethical parts of the medical community. Anorexia nevosa is an identity disorder like gender-disphoria and homosexuality, but there’s much more money to be made in medical fees, operations and drugs with gender issues than with anorexia. Funny how both gender issues and anorexia also primarily effecting the developed Western world and not the developing world and Russia. But its not politically correct to point out this similarity now is it.

  15. Best thing I’ve read on this website in a long while.

    My feeling is that the left was slowly guided away from their more hardline beginnings by the narrative of the day and the false sense of security provided by a time of increasing moneysupply.

    It is now slowly awaking to see that what it once stood for has eroded on their shift and that their core constituents have lost all faith in them because of it.

    I saw an absolutely fantastic documentary on Dutch television about the ECB QE programme and how such policies are eroding the value of productivity and labour in favour of rent seeking through the accumulation of assets for those who have the means to do so. Another example of libertarian, right wing policy that hurts the common man. Protest against it is mounting and left-wing parties are finally starting to realise they need to shift back to where they once were with more hardline policies.

    Expect more polarisation.

  16. The left has pretty much given up on economic matters. Are there any ALP or Greens MPs who don’t have at least one property they bought to rent out? So, the only distinction is in increasingly trivial matters, of no great concern to most people. All of which brings two problems:
    a) Economics matters. The two teams have converged upon a system that would appall left wingers from the 50s, and infuriate those who like free markets. No one really talks about economics any more. However, it is a system that suits those who have become rich, and secure in that wealth, because of it.

    b) Since no one is talking about economics, but instead talking about issues that affect smaller groups of people, there is a danger that, when blowback arrives, it will be those groups – indeed anyone who doesn’t fit in – who will be targeted, fuelled by a worldview that erroneously concludes that if, say, trans people are treated respectfully, that is because jobs went overseas, all fuelled by faux-facts, some of which can be seen in discussion here.

    In short, it’s all primed to go sideways. Hopefully it won’t be quite like last century. However, the tenor of online conversations, and the things people are saying even here, are as economically incoherent as last time, with a depressingly familiar tone of whining about how they/minorities are to blame.

    • There we go, the transgender canard – the lastest leftie virtue stick. So for transgenders to be treated disrespectfully they’re not being treated as either the gender they are or trying to be- So what’s the point?

    • Miguel, I was using that as an example — since Ronin8317 seemed to be increasing the amount of misinformation on the internet, it seemed appropriate — however, I could have mentioned the improved lot of women in our society; the situation of Aboriginal people; immigrants with melanin; or various other examples to highlight an important point. When the economy goes wrong, it is easy to point to various groups and apply some small group and either blame them outright, or say that there isn’t enough time to view them as equals, or accuse them of being part of some plot against the majority. It’s not new, nor is it very imaginative. However, it is effective in distracting attention from real problems. Thanks for giving us a demonstration.

      You see, it would be difficult to attack negative gearing (1 in 6 taxpayers or such), whereas attacking a group that is 1% or 0.01% of society is easy. Pointing out the incredible concentration of power in almost every sector of the economy, then doing something about that is difficult. Fixing the structure of the federal budget is hard. It’s so much easier to blame others or to yell ‘cultural marxism’ while pounding one’s chest, isn’t it?

      • No it isn’t, it’s much easier to point at the tiny number of pricks clearly taking all the loot! Like I always tell the cops when I see them harrasing someone for traffic bullshit or train tickets – the real criminals are on Collins, why don’t you go arrest them

      • So, how many of the people who blew up the US financial system in 2008 are in gaol?

        How many people, especially black men, are in US gaols for relatively minor drug charges?

        It really is easier to target the outsiders than it is to target those at the top.

  17. This entire story would have played out very differently if Sanders had run against Trump. Does anyone here seriously doubt that Trump will massively disappoint his supporters within weeks of inauguration? And Hanson?! For fuck’s sake she can’t even hold her collection of lunatic senators together less than six months out from the election. There are no answers here. There are no answers with Do Nothing Malcolm or the loon pond arm of the LNP. The only remote hope of any substantive change in this country rests with the Australian Bloody Labor Party, riddled as it is with career politicians, neoliberals and Big Australia proponents. Voting for the fascists goes nowhere. All you get is an obstructionist Senate and endless deal-making to get a trickle of piss-poor legislation passed.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Completely with you for the most part. The ALP essentially only offers the facade of potential change. They are choc full of Whigs masquerading as social reformers after having done a few years of ‘finishing school’ as a union official.

      • Gunna, show me a better option than the ALP. The Hansonites and the Greens will never form government. They have a slim chance of forming some kind of coalition with the mainstream parties, but One Nation would never have the discipline to hold it together for a term, because they’re all nutters. Sustainable Australia gets 0.0001% of the vote and will never win a seat so what’s the point. I’m fully aware of the the limitations of the ALP, but they are at least proposing modest changes in the right direction, and they stand a reasonable chance of forming government, even with the most underwhelming leader since Simon Crean.

      • Who cares about the leader. Keating was charismatic supposedly, yet he wrecked the country. I’d rather have a train driver with ethics like Chifley.

      • Unfortunately voters do Sweeper, because most voters don’t engage much further than a few core messages delivered by the leader, and it’s the delivery that matters: “Build the wall, drain the swamp, lock her up, stop the boats, axe the tax”.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Yeah I completely buy that. The ALP is the best available voting alternative in parliament for someone wanting progressive socio economic reform.

        However I dont vote ALP because i dont think they are a particularly plausible socio economic reform vehicle and i dont think socio economic reform is a given (or particularly likely) with them.

        I dont vote for anyone thinking that they will likely get themselves into a position where they would be likely to enact policies i think appropriate. I do not believe there is anyone in parliament representing my views. I agree that were i to discover one then it would be highly likely they would come from the ALP. However i tend to the view that even if i were to discover one in the ALP they would be so marginalised within the ALP that they would achieve nowt. In that respect i believe the ALP is most likely an impediment to socio economic reform as i would like to see it.

        I believe the ALP, like the British Labour Party, and the
        Democrats is about providing the soft option and selling that as ‘reform’ (all the while enabling conservative vested interests to continue on their merry way).

        I have in the distant past been an ALP man

      • Gunna, by all means give your first preference to the candidate who most closely aligns with your views — I can’t find one that matches mine either — but of the majors the ALP is more likely to deliver some progress than the other lot, and therefore deserves to be preferenced ahead of them. FWIW, I think the anti-globalisation / anti-neoliberal movement will force change on the ALP in coming years, as will the rise of the AI and the machines, and the ALP of the 2030s will be more like the party of Gough than the party of Hawke & PJK.

      • I have a friend , who many years ago, described his political philosophy as Psychadelic Marxist.
        I have been and still am , a fellow traveller.
        Given power ever so briefly, I would make it compulsary for every citizen ,at least once , to have a psychadelic experience, and let the results falll where they may.
        Then there would be no excuse for saying , ” I didn’t know”.

      • Do not regularly agree with all you say Gunnamatta. I think this nails a huge problem for the ALP to the wall. That problem is the assumption that a careerist indoctrinated pseudo blue collar liberal arts graduate is a good parliamantarian. Best result would be the divorce of the party from the unions. Thats for both of them.

  18. None of this stuff is leftwing. Identity politics sits outside politics. In the sense that it’s aims don’t imply any genuine rearrangement or fortification of power.
    Can anyone imagine a guy like Lenin wasting ink writing treatises on radical gender theory, safe spaces etc.?
    The left ceased to exist when the communist parties disbanded, along with the socialist objective, along with the social reform agenda of the traditional social democratic parties (who sold out to neoliberalism).
    Pretending the left has any presence on the stage just plays into the hands of the 3d types.

  19. Right now Gotti is stupefied as to how to counter this piece. A trip down the Danube and smug reflections on apartment prices doesn’t cut it.

    The real Left died about 25 years ago, when the academic wars were being taken up as the literal minded English language teachers took the French rhetorical style at face value. These reflections are apposite in the context of Adam Curtis’s series The Centruy of the Self: the 3rd way of politics that Clinton and later Blair defined as modus operandi of social democratic-left politics.

  20. I think what we need is for all the men (all colours) who recognise that they’re a bit pissed off with feministy type women and want to get over that to call up their nearest single mum and say ‘hey babe, I’m exploited, you’re exploited, wanna head down to the local pub this Friday night with a view to exploring a path to solidarity?’. Go one, take the challenge!

    • ‘..for all the men (all colours)…’ How about shades? What would be better is if women stopped exploiting men through the tax system.

      • Sure, sure, as long as we go back to no divorce and no sex outside marriage as well, I’m with you.

    • Good to see the ethereal glow of romance has not died on these turgid pages…Quite right….Life’s short!

    • LNP been in 4 years, they’re still selling the “Its Labor fault” spin, and their popularity isnt decreasing particularly fast. Trump will have wayyyy more leeway.

    • The polling averages have been around 53-47 for months now which is landslide territory, and that’s with the most thoroughly uninspiring leader in human history, well, at least since Simon Crean.

      • Exactly, they’re barely moving and they’re hovering at the margin of error. Trump is meant to be a reformer, so I think as long as he keeps his name in the MSM headlines as some sort of villain, he will be given the benefit of the doubt. (Id love to know what would happen if the media suddenly became super supportive of Trump)

  21. Smith is not, nor has it ever been, an Ivy League school. It is among a group of the best liberal arts schools in america, which puts it right up there with the Ivies, but it’s not an Ivy.

  22. The only argument I have against the article is actually the ‘angry white men’ photo. What really intrigued me about the US election results was the relatively high proportion of women voting for Trump across most demographics. ‘Angry white men’ is another of those labels used to dismiss widespread concern about the hollowing out of the Middle Class and income inequality. That question – will my children ever own a home. It bothers more than we think.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      Yes… It was more ‘angry people’ than anything to do with race / gender / class. And a lot of Americans (of all ilk) are pissed off (and worse off too) . Given the choice of “likely more of the same” or “maybe something different” it seems many folks went for the “something different” option. That is really what it boils down too. Personally I cannot blame them.

  23. Yup. Similar to what I noted on Reddit.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/5eq08y/how_can_the_left_respond_to_the_global_resurgence/daeex2s/?context=3

    If you keep giving shit to people for what they are, they eventually push back.
    Doesn’t matter what ethnicity, religion, or sports team they go for, they’ll eventually find a voice for their discontent and smack you in the face with it.

    The right’s identity politics is a reaction to the left’s incessant shutting down of debate with labeling.
    Racist. Sexist. etc.

    As always, one side pushes too far, pisses off the other and they resurge.
    Human nature.

    I should clarify that it is my feeling that it is actually the middle whom get alienated by one side pushing too far. They are repelled naturally to the other side, which they may not have too much in common with, but slightly more than the other’s. That is probably why a ‘side’ as it were can seem to be completely in control of the narrative at one moment and have lost it entirely the next. It’s not that the hardcore of either side switched. The middle quietly walked away.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      “If you keep giving shit to people for what they are, they eventually push back.”

      Yes, insulting people for what they are and believe doesn’t change them, it more often strengthens their beliefs and pushes them toward those holding similar beliefs and the rejection of any idea contrary to the beliefs of the group. Resentment is a powerful motivator.

      “The right’s identity politics is a reaction to the left’s incessant shutting down of debate with labeling.”

      Sort of, the right has always used identity politics, just more broadly. The “alt-right” is a specific reaction to the aggressive and more narrowly focused identity politics that have been more prominent in recent times.

      Unfortunately we’re now seeing the right frequently resorting to labelling rather than debating issues; SJW and virtue signaller are fast becoming the rights version of calling someone racist or sexist. These labels are much more insidious as they’re not only used to stifle debate, but also to deride the pursuit of equality and human rights.

      “I should clarify that it is my feeling that it is actually the middle whom get alienated by one side pushing too far.”

      Yep, the pendulum swings too far in one direction and the middle can switch very quickly. It will be interesting to see what the triggers for reversal will be on its current trajectory.

      • “If you keep giving shit to people for what they are, they eventually push back.”

        This is part of the problem. The average punter concerned about the effects on immigration on living standards, or even has the temerity to hold open a door for a woman, isn’t a homophobic sexist islamophobic racist xenophobe. Yet they’ve been howled down as such every time they dare open their mouths. Now you’re seeing the blowback. For the most case, they’re not right wing nuts, they’re just seriously pissed off people.

      • ‘SJW and virtue signaller are fast becoming the rights version of calling someone racist or sexist’
        That is the SJW’s problem, they need to stop fueling it.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        “I don’t know how you could misrepresent reality any better. Well done.”

        Jeez, you could have at least tossed me a poorly informed argument that references post-structuralism/modernism/retardation/critical theory and how I’m working to destroy the western society that has flourished post enlightenment.

  24. Jill Ker Conway (only one ‘r’ please H’n’H) is a great Australian.
    Read ‘Road to Coorain’ about 25 years ago and have been using her brilliant phrase “affluent mindlessness” ever since.

    • I read this book, and while it was a good read I missed why she is a great Australian.
      It was some years ago now and I’ve forgotten what was in it.

  25. HnH, You ask how it happened. The Soviets spent vast amounts of resources in exporting this cultural Marxism to the west to ‘Useful Idiots’ in Academia and the media. In the same way the Communists in China are using Bob Car, and Fairfax.
    The goal was to destroy the west from within. They new it would take 20yrs + but they are a patient crew.

    Look at video here to explain the whole thing. You dont get massive social change without a concerted effort by those with a plan. Its like with all these Coups and colour revolutions We are led to think they just happened overnight…. when really there was an unseen hand working to that end all along. Victoria Nuland in Ukrian for example.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX3EZCVj2XA

    Watch it its very eye opening

  26. ErmingtonPlumbing

    Wow over 100 posts before 10am (even if you dont include mine and migs posts)

    This is the most succinct link I have found on the rational of the leadership of the lefts betrayal of working people.

    But like all my other “Heros” on both the the left and right,…prof Frank is a little lighton what the solutions might be.

    https://youtu.be/38JNg210L24

    • That is a good video.
      It explains how Bill Clinton shifted the Democratic platform away from traditional left concerns with societally equalising welfare state type policies over to a championing of the so called innovative, technocrat class of ‘wired workers’, which the plebs were to aspire to.
      I suspect the left had no choice. The 90s were a very special time for the US. End of the cold war with victory for capitalism and then a few years later a massive technology bubble. The left had to stay viable and change with the times didn’t they?
      In the US the whole place (thus also voters) was again febrile with the American dream at that time.
      This didn’t and will never happen in Australia, we are not and will never be the world leader and hence not subject to this hubris.
      We just have to hope nothing breaks under Trump, until the hubris once again passes.

  27. Jesus – dominant penises and smothering vaginas… The conversation I remember best from the uni era is an all night argument (well oiled of course) about why a turbine engine actually worked… Sex was straightforward – both parties wanted it, just like other animals…
    As for politics – as I have stated for the thousandth time – just watch the luggage carousel at the airport. Instead of standing away from it, which has the advantages of:
    1) Being able to see your luggage coming; and
    2) Being able to pick it up without knocking people over.

    They all crowd up beside it, achieving the worst possible result. Ah, the human race. If you want the truth about Left & Right watch that carousel.
    Life is COMPETITIVE, just like they show you on programs about the Serengeti. With the honorable exceptions of the hugely successful Leftist regimes of Cuba & Venezuela, the Golden Rule is: The poorer the country the bigger the president’s Mercedes.

    Humans are innately greedy & selfish. The only difference between Left & Right is that the Left have one extra personality trait – hypocrisy.

    Get over it.

    • Rb you are right
      Gas turbines say axial, today, have compression rations of 34 to 1, and it beats me how the air doesnt squirt out backwards.
      But go the the beach at Tugun and watch those jets on departure from Coolangatta, on climb and at high throttle settings, and they sure do work. Just frigging amazing.

  28. The rise of the left as typified by Marx was really about society adjusting to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution. Back then there were monumental changes, and fortunately there was a great thinker to do some thinking. Wind forward a century and we are again on the cusp of huge change and so far all we get is Tania and Jessica keeping tally on their level of oppression.

    Stage II of the Industrial revolution where making stuff cuts its ties with human workers will render “workers control the means of production” as a quaint old fairy tale. The whole idea of the “left” and “right” may not make sense any more if the economic basis for their definitions fades to oblivion. If left and right don’t make sense, them you have to wonder if all the complex paraphernalia of our culture will survive as anything other than a type of Post-God religion.

  29. Good piece and great read David. A few of us remember the 90’s PC breakout. Exactly the same nonsense then as now EXCEPT it is even crazier as post-structuralism/critical theory continues to surpass it’s own self-refuting logical conclusion.

    I liken it to Ebola. Postmodernist Critical Theory escaped academia breifly in the early 1990’s, but somehow the CDC contained the spread. Then the 1%’s Mainstream Media put numerous infected persons on a plane out of Sierra Leone around 2012 and look were we are.

  30. One of the best posts I’ve read . Thanks H&H.
    Thanks to the comentariat, great discussion and airing of views without recourse to abuse.
    .An outbreak of conciusness.
    It’s almost like the ’60’s

  31. Fabulous piece of work HnH. Very historically enlightening and thought provoking. I’m glad I paid my subscription so that I could read this article.

    I’m in the process of conducting my own one man personal revolution against political correctness, globalisation and all that other bullshit, and this provides a bit of theoretical background as to why that is necessary.

    And if anybody is interested, the great Fred Reed has a fabulous article up on Unz.com about why Trump won the election, or rather, how the Dems conspired to lose it. I recommend everybody on MB check out http://www.unz.com/freed/uniquely-talented/

  32. Put all the ducking idiots back in their echo chambers. If you try to argue any counterpoint you get nothing but nonsensical yelling of slogans. Usually their chief yeller is the one making coin out of it, usually their only source of coin, and any idea that might threaten their belief is attacked, because they’re defending their coin.

    Getting paid, getting paid.

  33. I was triggered by the article title. the trauma forced me to click and read the article which was further trauma.

    the world needs more AIDS skrillex, carl the cuck, trigglypuff, smugglypugg, oh and zarna joshi and he sexual harassment cries over a hugh mungus dad joke.

    the regressive left is a stinking rotting carcass. they share more in common with the authoritarian right than anyone else. hopefully the libertarian left and conservative right can realise they have similar end goals in personal liberty and form some centrist parties that can push back against the moral busy bodying from the regressive left and tea bag right.

    i’m heading to my safe space and will watch some videos of puppies.

  34. The modern “left” is really a bunch of academics who have nothing but words in their arsenal. Typically they are philosophers, historians, english literature nerds, and of course lawyers. They need to believe that their particular skills are the the most important in the world. I was told in the first year of my history degree in the 1990s by an academic that we weren’t writing essays to express the truth, that it was all a matter of how well you wrote, not what you wrote. My goal soon became writing to be bold, impressive, and original rather than truthful. I didn’t get brilliant scores in my second year. In my third year I decided that I’d been told a lot of rubbish and that I’d better seek the truth and did a great deal better. I ended up giving up on liberal arts altogether and did a CS degree with heaps of maths and engineering subjects. If you want things to change, you have to stop listening to salesmen, lawyers and journalists, and start listening to scientists, engineers and mathematicians. It’s time to crush those with the gift of the gab.

  35. Anton Chekhov summed it up nicely:

    “I don’t understand anything about the ballet; all I know is that during the intervals the ballerinas stink like horses.”

  36. This thread is like one of those signs you see on uni campuses that says something like ‘Free Sex! Now that we’ve got your attention…’ and then advertises an event that is neither free nor as pleasurable as a good rogering.

  37. Remedial grammar lessons required for this author.

    What the author meant to write was “not all sex is rape”. “[A]ll sex is not rape”, as written, has quite a different meaning.

  38. How has the internet and sites like this played into this?
    The internet has given a voice and created communities for people where there wasn’t one before.

    My simple personal experience to generalisation story is around music.
    I grew up in a regional town, and loved music.
    The regional town only had an AM station until I was 14.
    The local FM station that came in left a lot to be desired.
    Then came jjj.
    Much better and a wider view of the musical world was opened to me.
    I spent all my hard earned weekend job money on magazines and CDs.
    (They used to charge $30 for those things!!)
    It would take up to 6 months for Sanity to order in something that I had read about, if they had it on their list.
    You’d make friends, who had older brothers or sisters and things would be talked about, passed around.

    A few years later I revisited the town and said hello to a family friend.
    His son was 17 years old and even more obsessed with music than I was.
    He showed me his music collection.
    The internet had allowed him to learn and consume more than I had in a fraction of the time.
    He also had an online community to interact with.
    These people also had a voice and a confidence to express their musical views and opinions.
    Other people also possessed the right of reply.

    So, over a short period of time communities with voices outside of the norm have appeared.
    At the same time what were the general voice have become more narrow and specialised.
    Everyone seems to be yelling that they are right and the other is wrong.

    The whole hoo-ha of SJW and RWNJ and everything else plays out amongst passionate people on the internet.
    This is then picked up by lazy journalists and turned into a thing, and feeds back into the forums and comment streams which make up a large part of the internet, but a small part of the actual world.
    But, the louder it all becomes the more it seeps into the actual world.
    Journalists, bloggers and internet fiends like myself would all gain a lot from looking at the world, not just our most loved, and most reviled websites.

    My, probably poorly made, point is that the internet itself has had a massive influence upon the topics of discussion, tone of discussion and distorting the seeming actual importance of things.
    I think that it’s role is understated in this discussion on the collapse of the left due to identity politics.
    It has also, in my view, drawn greater attention to what are important things but made them focal points for discussion due to their socially challenging nature.

    (Not that you’re interested, but my view is that the left, and right, both died when politics became a career for people who were never any better than middle management. All this left/right pap that gets spoken about has nothing to do with left/right but is a tool for the comparison of useless self-interested hacks that happen to sit in chairs that we’ve designated left/right. And we haven’t even done that well. Send in the agent orange grade of ICAC to flush they system and then we might see something close to politics. Not the noises from mouth holes made on behalf of vested interests that we are told is a battle of ideologies.)

    • Do you have any idea how many tweets get generated per day? It is the real world and even @realDonaldTrump *cough* @POTUS

      • I don’t deny that it is part of our world. But more of an influencing factor upon it than an actual reflection of it.
        Someone who has a wide twitter following will obviously be heard by more people than a less popular tweeter.
        Regardless of who is painting a more accurate picture of the world, the more popular tweeter will have a bigger influence.
        When something goes viral, or becomes the focus of an Us vs. Them dispute, then it is elevated in perceived importance.

        I’m not suggesting that all that is out there is nonsense or not a reflection of reality, just that the noise of social media, churnalism and passionate people can make things seem vital and move people away from what should be the focus.

        A local example would be the marriage debate.
        It should not have become the centre of the Australian political world.
        It is just not something that should have chewed up so much space.
        Yet it’s subject matter is such that it is perfect for opinion pieces and distraction politics (both Labor and Liberal).
        I think that this led to the issue being dragged out as well as drowning out other important news and room for discussion of other things.

        The internet and social media has been great for bringing things into view, but also distorted their size.

        To return to identity politics could these topics, and the responses to the through the SJWs, ALT-Rs and so on, have been so big and loud and seemingly overwhelming without the current media landscape and the echo chambers we choose to spend our time in? Would every little thing seem to be an infringement upon our being if we weren’t being bombarded by both sides every time we log on? I suspect not.

    • Thoughtful post Footsore, but I’m a bit with Mig on this one. Some of the SJW stuff is making it into Law – that is the real world if I’m not mistaken.

      • Cheers Hector,

        I’ve replied to Mig if you are interested.

        In regard to the SJW stuff, most of it seems overstated by both sides. And, I find those that yell SJW most loudly tend to be SJWs themselves, their just proclaiming that their values should be the dominant ones.
        The one thing I always try to remember is that we’ll all be considered to be fools by the folks of the future when they compare their norms to ours. Helps me to not take it too seriously.

  39. Ooh la la. Doux souvenirs de la grande pas de deux…

    Trump attracted a broad church: all ages, all educations, mid to high incomes, remarkably white. I doubt there is anything at all the Left can do to attract these voters – too many pundits are still confusing the desires of Sanders voters with the desires of Trump voters. Trump voters are not interested in the same SJW a social justice Piketty pontificating.

    Trump voters are more likely to find comfort in a Randian world, at least theoretically. Masters of their own destiny, self-reliant, can-doers. Not mamby pamby give me a handout I need a safe space whinging lefties. No way.

    I don’t agree that the left should pursue with renewed vigour social justice issues (good grief we’re drowning in victimology). I have no clue what ‘equity based on class’ is – don’t like the sound of it – please explain!

    Eventually demands on taxpayers generated by modern social welfare democracies will kill the welfare state. If anything there might just be a movement towards a diminution of the welfare State and a return to gutsy capitalism, responsibility for self and a compulsory Ayn Rand course in senior high – get them before the liberal arts professors do.

    • “Trump voters are more likely to find comfort in a Randian world”

      Ayn Rand couldn’t find comfort in a Randian world, she was a welfare recipient at the end of her life.

      If she can’t find comfort in it, it’s hard to think it’s feasible that anyone else can.

      • I’m aware of that – hence ‘theoretically’. Nothing and no one is perfect. Nonetheless it is time for a return to a less intrusive State, a windback of redistributive policies, reduced taxation and increased personal responsibility. The Left’s automatic response is to create a victim, create a scapegoat, impose more taxes. The tax burden is too great on too few. This must be remedied.

        Any idea what ‘equity based on class’ is?

      • “..Trump voters are more likely to find comfort in a Randian world, at least theoretically. Masters of their own destiny, self-reliant, can-doers…”

        LOLOLOLOL

        Most voters do not have a clue who Ayn Rand was or the weirdo self absorbed fantasies she passed off as … not sure what to call it but it is filed with the best of Ron L Hubbard..

        Next thing you are going to tell me that conservative catholics prefer the Fountainhead to the New Testament.

        Self reliance, independence, community minded are values that long long long predated your favourite page turner from Hollywood

        Sure lots of people are not taken by the lefty globalist nanny state internationale but that is not the same as saying they are keen on the international neoliberal corporatist TPP/NAFTA rent seeking option either.

        Trump made it clear he was opposed to both.

        He may prove to have been lying about that but we shall have to wait and see.

      • Exactly Mig. Rusty’s was the tired knee jerk reaction to Rand. Paul Johnson wrote a book, Intellectuals, pretty routine for intellectuals whilst promulgating revolution to have a variety of failings common to Man. Doesn’t necessarily mean you throw out the baby.

      • The left should embrace punitive and greater taxation, should embrace a law and order crackdown and personal responsibility for the executive class, should constantly identify the perpetrators in the executive class, should channel community anger on to the media and banks, should refuse to engage in the identity politics distraction, should refuse to engage the false choice and libertarian fantasy of the state v market, should welcome criticism from the liberal elite.

      • Yeah right pfh because the lunacy peddled in the New Testament is eminently emulated… No Christian ever fails to live by all its, insanely contradictory, mandatés…

      • Mig,

        Huh?

        Most of the conservative Catholics of my acquaintance are closer to the Randian world view than Joe Six pack will ever be. Xo would be trying to sign them up but for the fact they are already on board. The right wing of the ALP is stuffed full of them

        Xo is trying very hard to normalise a perspective that is as fringe, alienating and freaky as the utopian socialist ‘lefty’ global paradise.

        That Trump might love Rand novels is hardly a surprise but he is no Howard Roark.

      • Excerpt from a longer article, Ayn Rand predicted a Trump

        “Rand gave us some of the finest analyses of a mixed economy—its premises, implications, and long-range consequences—ever penned by a free-market advocate. In “The New Fascism,” for example, she compared a mixed economy to a system that operates by the law of the jungle, a system in which “no one’s interests are safe, everyone’s interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it.” A mixed economy divides a country “into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense.” Although Rand did not invoke Thomas Hobbes in this context, it is safe to say that the economic “chaos” of a mixed economy resembles the Hobbesian war of all against all in a state of nature, a system in which interest groups feel the need to screw others before they get screwed themselves.”

        “A mixed economy is ruled by pressure groups. It is an amoral, institutionalized civil war of special interests and lobbies, all fighting to seize a momentary control of the legislative machinery, to extort some special privilege at one another’s expense by an act of government—i.e., by force.”

        https://fee.org/articles/ayn-rand-predicted-an-american-slide-toward-fascism/?utm_source=zapier&utm_medium=facebook

      • Xo,

        ‘Equity based on class’?

        Nope I have no idea what that could mean. I am lukewarm on redistribution in anything other than very limited circumstances. At most some might be expected to make a larger contribution to the common wealth than others.

        I cut Rand some slack because she was writing in the context of totalitarianism and was making a point but taking it beyond that purpose is a hard case to make.

        People are just not that nasty – unless they have been given license by some twisted ideology to be so.

      • Xo,

        Just read the Rand link.

        Good grief! According to Rand a mixed economy is the pathway to facsism.

        Considering that every government who acts in anyway is by definition operating a mixed economy, every govt is on the pathway to facsism.

        She concedes there is such a thing as the ‘public interest’ but then insists it must never amount to any form of cooperation as that is the way of govt and facsism.

        And you reckon this is what Trump and his cabinet believe?

        Nonesense, no one who takes part in govt believes in Randian notions other than when it suits.

        All economies are mixed economies.

        Whether they are good, getting worse or getting better is always changing from day to day.

        The price of liberty is eternal vigilence.

      • Whereas at the claim of fascism may now seem ill-conceived
        And whereas at the definition of common good has rarely been in common consistency – save for war
        And whereas at the litany of governmental excess is everywhere readily apparent
        And whereas at the most basic function of a government, its own issue of credit, has long been franchised to tax farmers
        The plaintiff would beg the court to find in judgment that fascism is not only already a present reality, but further that the it has drawn the cloak of bipartisanship in a clear determination to obfuscate its success.

      • A mixed economy in a welfare state democracy will likely ultimately fail under the weight of competing demands for taxpayer dollars. Voters demand burgeoning services, expanded welfare, politicians comply or indeed offer the bribe in the first instance. Once embedded these expenditures are near impossible to unwind. The welfare component supports increasing numbers of individuals who do not pay tax (ex GST) and the tax burden falls heavily on the few. Governments look for creative ways to increase revenues, loathe to cut bribes to voters or governments simply borrow recklessly to fund recurrent expenditures. Eventually the system comes to breaking point.

        Overburdened taxpayers resent the impost, concerned citizens worry about debt and deficit and the legacy to future generations, segments of the welfare sector complain loudly about needing more taxpayer funds to help this or that particular cause and half the population wants them to STFU.

        Enter the strongman.

      • Xo,

        In that article Rand was talking about ALL mixed economies as being on the road to fascism. She was arguing that ANY govt tends to fascism. That is consistent with her radical and utopian ideas about individualism.

        In any event her criticisms of govt that extends its control over private property while formally leaving ownership in private hands sounds like a pretty sharp description of financial capitalism domination of the state which could easily be characterised as private collectivisation using the machinery and authority of the state.

        All we are seeing is a contest for the power to dominant using the power of the state – one by the lefties and one by the neoliberal corporatists – and a widespread reaction to that.

        Yet you wish to deny that and instead claim it is purely about the gays and their wedding cakes.

        Hopefully Trump’s Randian reading circle take seriously her concerns about the powers of the state regardless of who controls them. May they clip the wings of rent seeking corporates and the nanny staters with equal abandon.

        We have seen what happens when corporate and financial interests dominant so any reduction is likely to be an improvement.

        If Trump does not deliver the future may be so bright we will have to wear shades.

      • Xo…

        Until you can reconcile the operating monetary system we currently use and all its features your going to experience a extreme case of cog dis made manifold by a self inflicted ideological edifice.

        Your entire premise about taxes is grounded on ignorance, now if you want to crack a fat about monetarists and neoclassicals messing with it to suit their agendas then thats another story.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. Lmmao Ayn Rand… the philosophical equivalent of say TV evangelist Bob Bakker…

      • “A mixed economy in a welfare state democracy will likely ultimately fail under the weight of competing demands for taxpayer dollars. Voters demand burgeoning services, expanded welfare, politicians comply or indeed offer the bribe in the first instance”

        Well what do you you do then? How do you keep the ignorant masses – too stupid to know the desirability of your Randian utopia – out of politics?
        Well you could tear up their memberships in club democracy.

        Someone else once reached that conclusion:
        “What shall the statesman do if he does not succeed in coaxing the parliamentary multitude to give its consent to his policy? Shall he purchase that consent for some sort of consideration?
        Or, when confronted with the obstinate stupidity of his fellow citizens, should he then refrain from pushing forward the measures which he deems to be of vital necessity to the life of the nation? Should he retire or remain in power?”

        The neo-liberal vision is profoundly anti-democratic because nobody wants it. I’m guessing this will take 3 stages.
        1. First pretend neo-liberalism doesn’t exist
        2. Pretend people are angry at political correctness, not neo-liberalism
        3. Eliminate democracy.

        We are at stage 2

    • Yep – I agree. A compulsory Ayn Rand course would be a great inoculation against people falling for neo-liberal/ libertardian claptrap.

      • Rand was someone who lacked all self-awareness, was a liar, a fraud as a ‘philosopher” , who wrote unreadable turgid novels, and who said, without any irony because she had none as a narcissist, that she couldn’t understand why solipsism wasn’t more popular. Studying Rand is fatuous.

      • Yes, and spending five minutes reading her drivel makes most of that blindingly obvious.

        There’s no better way to turn the people who might be attracted to it off it than to make reading it compulsory.

      • Rand, like the prophet Muhammad, chose the voices in her head over reality.
        If you want some good fiction go read Moby Dick or Last Exit to Brooklyn.

    • Not quite the results the Left intelligentsia are promoting: Will economic populism sweep Democratics to power

      “Maybe not:

      Interestingly enough, in two of those crucial Midwestern states that flipped to Trump, Democratic Senate candidates campaigned on economically populist platforms — but they did notably worse than Hillary Clinton. Russ Feingold underperformed Clinton by 2.4 points in Wisconsin, and Ted Strickland underperformed her by 12.8 points in Ohio. Feingold amassed a populist record of challenging big money and special interests when he was in the Senate, and Strickland harshly condemned trade deals during his campaign against Rob Portman (who served as George W. Bush’s US trade representative).

      Meanwhile, the two Democratic Senate candidates in competitive races who outperformedClinton the most both self-consciously presented a moderate image rather than running as liberal firebrands. In Missouri, Jason Kander overperformed Clinton by 15.9 points, and in Indiana, Evan Bayh did 9.6 points better than her (though they both lost).”

      “Still, as Democrats debate whether to follow Bernie Sanders’s advice and move to the left on economics with the goal of winning back working-class white voters, it is surely at least worth noting that the two Senate candidates most identified with that strategy who ran this year did worse than Hillary Clinton despite her much-discussed weaknesses, and the two Senate candidates who tried hardest to frame themselves as moderates did better than her in their respective states.”

      Because Left intelligentsia has completely missed the key drivers of the Trump victory (hint: it wasn’t inequality and anti-globalisation 😉 )

      http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/27/13716060/senate-democrats-economic-populism

  40. Jumping jack flash

    “Which brings us back to today. And we wonder how it is that an abuse-spouting guy like Donald Trump can succeed Barack Obama. Trump is a member of the very same “trickle down” capitalist class that ripped the income from US households. But he is smart enough, smarter than the Left at least, to know that the decades long rage of the middle and working classes is a formidable political force and has tapped it spectacularly to rise to power.”

    So much better and authentically than Shorten ever was able to.

    And yes I agree, there isn’t much chance that the most radical of Trump’s ideas will ever come to be, but he certainly said what everyone was thinking. Either he’s going to be the most beloved US president ever, or the most reviled.

    I really do hope he turns American manufacturing and productivity around. If nothing else it would prove to the rest of the “developed” nations steeped in debt, that it is possible to convert from a debt-bubble based economy, grown by and secured to house prices, back to one built on solid manufacturing and sales to the world, to generate money for the nation.

    It will be a hard sell for Trump. It sounds good but when you get down to it, one of these paths to national success and riches is very difficult, the other one is very easy. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which one everyone likes.

  41. I would argue that…it [the Left] must get beyond post-structural paralysis and go back to the future of fighting not just for social justice issues but for equity based upon class

    I’m intrigued – what is ‘equity based upon class’ – anyone?

  42. If a lesbian wearing a strap on dildo were to penetrate the other one, would this still be perceived as rape by militant feminists? Or is it only an act of rape should the penetration be performed by a man during sex? ….. im sure the answer would be one of double standards ….

  43. Sigh…. the left was marginalized and relentlessly hunted down by the right [grab bag of corporatists, free marketers, neocons, evangelicals, and a whole cornucopia of wing nut ideologists (file under creative class gig writers)].

    Just from historical perspective, the right wing had more money to forward its agenda and an OCD like affliction [biblical] to drive simple memes relentlessly via its increasing private ownership of education and media. Thereby creating an institutional network over time to gain dominate market share in crafting the social narrative. Bloodly hell anyone remember Bush Jr Christian crusade after politicizing religion to get elected and the ramifications – neocon – R2P thingy….

    Its not hard… once neoliberalism became dominate in the 70s [wages and productivity diverged] the proceeds have gone to the top and everyone else got credit IOUs based mostly on asset inflation via the Casino or RE [home and IP].

    Disheveled Marsupial…. the left has not been at the policy table for 50 years…. its completely a right wing affair [dominate economics]… and now that the hoi polloi are getting the same treatment that the recipients of colonialism received… now are having a sad…. boo hoo….

    • ErmingtonPlumbing

      Well said Skip

      The ” to drive simple memes relentlessly via its increasing private ownership of education and media. Thereby creating an institutional network over time to gain dominate market share in crafting the social narrative”

      This is what younger Chomsky was always on about.

      Unfortunately this simple reality is lost on most people. Kinda like ants working away individually, without knowing they are part of a superorgansim dynamic.

  44. I could do without the ‘rape’ parts of this story and using it as a metaphor. Some of the comments are a bit off too. It is a sensitive topic. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, females also read this site, and the dildos/vag/rape comments have made me feel like shit.

    • But the comments about men calling up single mothers with the apallation “babe” was a-ok wasn’t it

  45. In response to NC posting….

    November 29, 2016 at 7:14 am

    If I was in charge of the DNC and wanted to commission a very cleverly written piece to exonerate the DLC and the New Democrats from the 30 odd years of corruption and self-aggrandizement they indulged in and laughed all the way to the Bank then I would definitely give this chap a call. I mean, where do we start? No attempt at learning the history of neoliberalism, no attempt at any serious research about how and why it fastened itself into the brains of people like Tony Coelho and Al From, nothing, zilch. If someone who did not know the history of the DLC read this piece, they would walk away thinking, ‘wow, it was all happenstance, it all just happened, no one deliberately set off this run away train’. Sometime in the 90s the ‘Left’ decided to just pursue identity politics. Amazing. I would ask the Author to start with the Powell memo and then make an investigation as to why the Democrats then and the DLC later decided to merely sit on their hands when all the forces the Powell memo unleashed proceeded to wreak their havoc in every established institution of the Left, principally the Universities which had always been the bastion of the Progressives. That might be a good starting point.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/how-the-global-left-destroyed-itself-or-all-sex-is-not-rape.html

    Disheveled Marsupial…. add too the Powell memo stuff like ALEC, citi memo, etc….