Category Archives: Imperialism

We Have No Choice – We Must Support the Democratic Party

Latias: Look at the comment section in this thread.

It really shows how anti-imperialist the Mainstream Left is. Look at the hostility the author gets.

From the author:

[There was a reference to Putin dining with Jill Stein]

Based on death toll, better to dine with Putin than 3 presidents in my lifetime — [W?] Bush, Reagan or Nixon. I prefer cooperation to confrontation. We don’t need a new Cold War. The world’s greatest human rights violator abroad (that’s the USA in case you don’t now) is in no position to throw stones from its glass house. The candidate you mention is not without flaws – she has some unscientific views and that’s practically inexcusable from a physician. But Putin’s crimes abroad pale in comparison to those of every single US president of my lifetime, present administration included.

Yes, that is true about Putin.

First of all, that’s not really the Mainstream Left in the US. That’s the Democratic Party, and calling the Democratic Party Left is some sort of a sick joke. Daily Kos is the site of the left wing of the Democratic Party (the base), but those people are what we might call liberal Democrats, and in my opinion, there are hardly any Americans more awful than these liberal Democrats, mostly because there is almost nothing liberal about them. Liberal Democrats in the US are basically rightwingers in most of the rest of the planet.

The problem is that both parties are utterly committed to horrific US imperialism. The US is the imperialist pig enemy of all of mankind, but both parties are just fine with that and the majority of the American people think it’s great too. So the imperialism is probably going to be one of the last things to go. Trump ran as isolationist, but he is now governing as a wildly crazed typical American imperialist pig. Recall how horrifically imperialist even Bernie Sanders was. This murderous imperialist pig crap is nearly woven into the very genes of Americans. It will be very hard to root out.

We have to support the Democratic Party though. We have no choice. They sort of suck, but the Republicans are 50X worse. And the Democrats do do quite a few good things. The problem is more that there is progressive agenda simply yields incremental change. I can live with Democrats. I can’t live with Republicans. The Republican Party is one of the most extreme rightwing parties on the whole planet.

Look, let’s get real here. The United States itself is one of the most extreme rightwing countries on the planet. That’s the people of the US. The people – Americans – are basically fanatically ultra-rightwing freaks. They are out of step with nearly the entire planet. There are hardly any nations on Earth as rightwing as the US.

The only country more rightwing than the US I can think of is Colombia. Show me any other country anywhere on Earth where majorities regularly elect parties that are as radical right as the US Republican Party. Show me one country, one.

Well I will say that the new British government is trying to copy the Republican Party. But I do not think even the horrific Tories are as bad as the Republican Party. But the Tories are probably one of the only countries on Earth that actually ape the US Republicans. US Republican Party conservatism is pretty much rejected across the board in most every country on Earth.

Just a question. How rightwing are the governments of the Baltics and the Czech Republic nowadays? I do not think they are as rightwing as the US Republican Party. Estonia and Latvia are horrible countries, and all of the Baltic countries are Nazi countries with Nazi populations. Ukraine is run by out and out Nazis and maybe half the population are out and out Nazis, but even they do not practice US Republican Party conservatism.

And the present government does not even have the support of the majority. The only reason they are in power is because they outlawed the main opposition party, murdered some of its lawmakers and quite a few of its activists, and tried to set the house of its presidential candidate on fire. They failed in the last one, setting his neighbor’s house on fire. Oh by the way, the Ukrainians had the full support of the US in all of us. The US supported them as they outlawed the opposition party, murdered opposition lawmakers and many activists and tried to burn the opposition presidential candidate to death. After all, this murderous Nazi party was put in by the US government in a US-sponsored coup.

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The Choice Between the Democratic and Republican Parties Could Not Be More Stark

Stalin Tonks: Two other things on (((HBO))).

John Oliver a white flaming liberal cuck faggot from the UK who makes jokes about Trump non stop but as far as I see not about Hillary.

Real Time with (((Bill Maher))) a political discussion show starring a kike who is a flaming liberal (except on Muslims) because he’s smart enough to realize replacing white people with Muzzies is not a good idea in the long term.

But Robert says the (((media))) isn’t biased.

You act like there’s some sort of a difference between Hillary and Trump. What’s the difference?

Apparently your definition of “liberal” means “supports the Cultural Left.” And your definition of “conservative” is “opposes the Cultural Left.” This is what you’re all up in arms about politically in our fair land. These Cultural Left pinhead fools? This is the most important issue in our country. The Cultural Left isn’t even important. It’s just idiotic.

Hillary’s not a liberal. She’s a conservative.

We have a choice between a liberal Republican (Hillary) and a conservative Republican (Trump).

Some of the media does have some biases. There are some outlets that support the Democratic Party. Others support the Republican Party. Other mix and match. What’s the difference anyway?

  • Democratic Party: neoliberal economics, free trade, globalization, Wall Street, the 1%, US imperialism, neoconservative foreign policy, and the Cultural Left.
  • Republican Party: neoliberal economics, free trade, globalization, Wall Street, the 1%, US imperialism, neoconservative foreign policy, minus the Cultural Left.

Are you trying to tell me one is “liberal” and the other is “conservative”?

All in all, the corporate media is not a liberal or progressive institution in any way, shape or form except for that Cultural Left crap, but that’s not even leftwing. That’s just bourgeois hedonistic degeneracy.

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Why the New York Times is a Rightwing Newspaper

I still don’t buy it. Didn’t you call them out earlier (“Jew York Times” and other lying media houses) for pushing the boundaries of left. (Cultural Marxism) and now how come they come across as right wing to you?

Yeah they’re Left on that crap, but the Cultural Left is not that important.

Cultural Left isn’t even Left. It’s just bourgeois hedonist degeneracy. There’s nothing Left about it.

It is the most Jewish newspaper in the US, that’s for sure. The (((NY Times))) is stacked with Jews from top to bottom. Not that that’s a bad thing or anything. I’m just pointing it out. The (((Ochs-Sulzbergers))) have filled that whole place up with the fellow tribesmen. That and (((New York))) is pretty much the Jewish State outside of (((Israel))).

The (((New York Times))) is rightwing on US foreign policy (neoconservatism and US imperialism) and economics (neoliberalism) as per the bipartisan consensus. There is nothing Left about neoconservatism, neoliberalism or US imperialism. That’s all just rightwing crap.

The really important stuff is:

1. US foreign policy.
2. Economics.

All this Cultural Left idiocy is just distraction and nonsense. It’s not even really important. It’s more stupid than anything else. It’s like mass retardation on the Left.

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US and Turkey Not Cooperating at All on Syria

Here and here.

This makes a lot of sense to me.

I have never been able to figure out who was behind that bizarre coup, but I am almost certain that the US was in on it. And the Gulenists may well have played a large role. The coup was probably a US/Gulenist coup to take down Erdogan for cooperating with Russia. The coup happened very soon after Turkey announced a cooperation agreement with Russia.

But it looks like Russia may well have warned Erdogan beforehand, so Erdogan had some sort of foreknowledge of the coup. It was quite suspicious how he rounded up all of those people, put most of his political opponents in jail and jailed half the officers in the country and shut down the nation’s opposition media. He clearly used the coup as a pretext to cement his dictatorship.

The blatherings from the sick US media that democracy had been saved in Turkey and democracy needed to be preserved in Turkey were complete crap. Sure the coupists would not have been democrats, but Erdogan was already a dictator, it’s just that he was even more of one after the coup.

The US government is a maggot entity when it comes to this sort of thing. We foment coups all over the world all the time and overthrow democratically elected governments all the time. We just did so in Haiti, Honduras, Brazil, Paraguay and Ukraine. Usually the sick MSM has some crazy, sick lie about how the coup was necessary because the president was corrupt or incompetent or not democratic!

Ukraine had to be overthrown because it was corrupt. Same with Brazil. Honduras and Paraguay had to be overthrown because the governments were trying to subvert democracy. It’s a lie in both cases, and anyway, they were replaced by putschists who were hardly democrats themselves. Egypt had to be overthrown because the government was a dictatorship. But the coup put in a new government that’s a dictatorship too! Aristide had to be overthrown because he was incompetent and causing chaos. Never mind that things got 10X worse when the putschists were put in and the chaos went crazy, leaving 3,000 Aristide supporters murdered.

It’s all just nothing but lies, hypocrisy and double standards, the three pillars of US foreign policy. It’s pretty simple. When our enemies have a democratically elected government, it needs to be overthrown by a military or legislative coup for some insane reason and a dictatorship needs to be put in. What about democracy? What democracy? The Hell with democracy.

When there’s a coup against one of our democratically elected pals, we scream and yell about the need to restore democracy and get rid of the evil military dictators. And all of our allies are democracies, even the dictatorships. Somehow friendly dictatorships are actually democracies or they are really nice dictatorships, or whatever, or this or that, or nothing. Handwave.

The media of course always plays along with the entire crusade, in fact, US foreign policy is utterly dependent on a compliant media which helps to implement the project. Without the lying propaganda media, US foreign policy goals might be a lot harder to implement. And the entire media goes along. Not one single outlet steps out of line. Name one media outlet opposing the US government on Iran, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela or Russia. One. One. All I ask you is to name one. You can’t. That’s worse than Putin’s Russia. Putin’s Russia has lots of opposition media. That’s worse than the “dictatorship” of Venezuela where the opposition controls 75% of the media. It’s probably worse than the USSR. At least they had their samizdat.

The shootdown of the Russian jet which resulted in the deaths of two Russian airmen is clouded in uncertainty. It is doubtful that Gulenists did it, and Erdogan was raging against Russia at the time. Turkey was utterly defiant and the US and Turkey made up a lie about Russia violating Turkish airspace. Truth is that the shootdown was planned well in advance.

Turkey had received warning 24 hours before from the US military of the flight path of the Russian jets as Russia was coordinating all of this with the Pentagon. The jets were over a tiny bit of Turkish territory for maybe 13 seconds and this sort of thing happens all the time. It’s not like there are border walls up in the sky that keep you from flying over borders. It’s often quite hard to tell exactly where the border even is. But there is no way that those Turkish jets could have scrambled that fast when the Russians barely crossed the line for 13 seconds. The Turks had to have been lying in wait and they must have known the exact flight path. The only way they could have gotten that was through the US military, who had been given that information by the Russians.

I am not sure what to make of this story below. A lot of it is pro-US, anti-Russia propaganda which makes sense as it is published by Al Monitor which is run by US allies in the Gulf.

“Cengiz Candar wrote that “despite official statements to the contrary, Ankara and Washington are not cooperating in Syria. There’s a lot of friction. Ankara acquiesces much more to its former adversary Russia than to its traditional ally, the United States.”

Mustafa Akyol added that Russia is exploiting the friction between Ankara and Washington over the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, whom the Erdogan government considers a terrorist and has accused of being behind the attempted military coup in July.

During a visit to Ankara on Oct. 2, Aleksandr Dugin, a “special representative” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, claimed that Russia had warned Turkey of the coup, which he said took place because of Turkey’s turn toward Russia.

“Since the failed coup attempt, Dugin’s call to Turkey has been played up in the Russian media as well. Pro-Kremlin websites fabricated two fake news stories in September showing that the United States was behind the plot,” Akyol wrote, adding that these stories “found strong echoes in Turkey, which is now more obsessed than ever with conspiracy theories.”

A key element in this new Turko-Russian rapprochement is the common contempt for the followers of cleric Fethullah Gulen, the leader of the Islamic cult widely held responsible for the coup attempt,” Akyol explained.

“Erdogan and his supporters think that Western powers, out of either naiveté or malice, do not comprehend the threat the Gulenists pose for Turkey. In contrast, the Russians have long designated the Gulenists as a perilous group, closing all their schools and even banning the religious movement that identifies with it. That is why Ankara and Russia, even back in 2014, have long been in full agreement on the Gulenists. Now Russians are only adding that Ankara should see ‘the powers behind the Gulenists,’ as Dugin urged in the Moscow meeting.

“The common enmity for Gulenists also gave the two countries a chance to explain away the major rift they had in November 2015, when a Russian warplane was downed by the Turkish air force on the Syrian border,” Akyol continued.

“This incident initiated a cold war between Ankara and Moscow, which ended only last June, when Erdogan reached out to the Russians with an apology. Soon, the pro-government media in Turkey also came up with the theory that the pilot of the Turkish jet that downed the Russian plane was a Gulenist, which may well have been the case, and acted with the sinister intention to break Turkish-Russian ties, which may well be a fantasy. But it seems to be a convenient fantasy on which both Dugin and his Turkish guests in Moscow agreed.”

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Social Democracy for the 21st Century: “A Proposal for an Alt Left Political Program”

From Lord Keynes’ page. This is Lord Keynes’ own proposal for an Alternative Left. He first lists his proposal and then lists Ryan England’s proposal. He critiques Ryan’s proposal somewhat but not too much.

He also discusses yours truly here:

Group (1) doesn’t even belong on the Alt Left at all in my view: these people belong on the Alt Right. The only exception I would make is Robert Lindsay, who seems to have some pretty controversy opinions and is extremely hostile to Cultural Leftism but at least doesn’t seem motivated by Alt Right racial hatred or White Supremacism.

As you can see, he doesn’t think that The Left Wing of the Alt Right or Rabbit’s wing (Alt Left White Nationalism), really one of the original wings, should be seen as Alt Left at all. Instead he says it should be on the Alt Right. Rabbit agrees with me that his wing is the left wing of the Alt Right and says that he started out on the Alt Right, and he may just go back there.

LZ is correct that I am pretty hostile to the Cultural Left. I believe he was shocked at how hostile I am to them because he implied that I am even more hostile to them than he is, and he’s a bit of a Conservative Leftist in that regard also. I definitely hate these people and they are my enemies. I didn’t choose this. They decided to make me their enemy. I hate the Cultural Left even more than the Alt Right people mostly because the Alt Right folks pretty much leave me alone and have done so for quite some time now. In fact, it was from comments on The Right Stuff (Spencer’s site) that I first saw people saying, “The Alternative Left is Robert Lindsay.” So the Nazis pretty much came up with this term Alternative Left but they invented it for me not for themselves.

Oh well. They also invented the Volkswagen. Few things are all bad in this world.

Anyway I would like to thank these folks for coming up with this great term Alternative Left and giving me the idea for this movement in the first place. Thanks Nazis!

LK is also correct that I have some controversial views, though I might be interested in knowing what exactly those are. It’s been a given that I am controversial as Hell since I showed up. The motto of the site used to be “If I’m Not Making You Mad, I’m Not Doing My Job.” Just your basic provocateur out to make the world safe for demogogueracy.

And of course he is quite correct that I am not motivated for race hatred or White Supremacy. This is right, or at least this is how I feel. Every time I read White Supremacist stuff, I want to hit the screen because it makes me so angry. How is it that I am the same as me? If I’m one of them, why do I hate them so much?

I don’t like nasty racism too much either, though sometimes those guys can be pretty funny. VNN is a hilarious site, and even Anglin’s site is a barrel of ticks if you can don’t mind Nazis and handle the humor. I even used to like Chimpout and Niggermania not because they were racist (the people writing there are the most horrible people) but once again, they were so damn funny.

I don’t go there anymore because Alpha keeps spanking me and making me feel guilty every time I go there, and I need to obey my other Mom on this site here. God bless you, Alpha. You keep this boy away from some pretty nasty temptations and help to cleanse his soul.

A Proposal for an Alt Left Political Program

The Alternative Left Facebook group seems to be growing quickly, and I am very glad to see this.

So I have some suggestions for them to create a coherent political program.

First, the Alt Left needs to get a coherent economic theory. This is extremely important. I urge them to read up on why Classical Marxism is a flawed economic theory here and why Marxism is based on the mystical labor theory of value.

At the same time, practically all other economic schools of thought from neoclassical economics (in all its forms) and Austrian economics are also charlatanry and pseudo-science.

The only real and proper economic science for a capitalist economy is Post-Keynesian economics. The Alt Left should adopt this as its economic theory, quite simply because it *is*the only legitimate economic science for market economies.

There are various subschools of Post-Keynesian economics including Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as can be seen  here.

Post-Keynesianism is a radical development of the theories of John Maynard Keynes but also takes important insights from Classical Economics and the theories of the idiosyncratic Marxian Michał Kalecki.

There are all sorts of other ideas and policies that should be combined with Post Keynesian economics to produce a revitalized, rational, humane, and effective Left for the 21st century, as follows:

Economics

(1) The objectives of economic policy are full employment, high wages, a tendency for real wages to rise with productivity growth, strong aggregate demand, and ideally, a dynamic economy based on manufacturing.

(2) As in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), the Alt Left should reject the myth that taxes are required to finance government spending (see the discussions here and here). Governments with their own central banks and fiat currencies are always solvent in their own currency, and there is even a case for limited Overt Monetary Financing (OMF) (or what is commonly called central bank “money printing” to finance some government spending).

(3) A fundamentally important policy to attain full employment is an MMT Job Guarantee. This is a program in which the government will offer employment to anyone ready and willing to work (but unable to find a private sector job) at a socially-acceptable minimum wage to ensure real full employment at all times.

(4) Governments should generally pursue sensible protectionism and industrial policy not only to protect their manufacturing sectors from the disaster of free trade under absolute advantage but as the best strategy to ensure future economic growth and economic independence.

(5) Governments should reject privatization of social services and infrastructure. Instead, these sectors should be nationalized or run as public utilities and maintained by high government investment, e.g., in health care, education, scientific and technological R&D, infrastructure, etc. There is now even a case for limited nationalization of certain key industries as an industrial policy.

(6) Foreign ownership of public assets, infrastructure, key industries and large-scale foreign ownership of real estate should also be strongly rejected, and instead these sectors should be owned by private domestic citizens, and things like infrastructure should be owned by governments.

(7) The banking and financial sector should be subject to severe regulation and prevented from destabilizing the economy given its tendency to create asset bubbles and inflating the level of private debt to catastrophic levels. There is now a case for nationalization of the commercial banking sector. For many nations, there is a case for discretionary capital controls (see here).

(8) The taxation system should be progressive but particularly concerned with taxing parasitic rent seeking and destabilizing speculative activity.

Social and Cultural Issues

(1) The Alt Left should support reasonable and sensible civil and equity,  women’s rights and gay rights, but strongly reject French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, SJW cults, divisive and extreme identity politics, Third Wave Feminism, and endless cults of victimology from Identity Politics. The combination of all these ideas has created a toxic wing of the modern Left called the “Regressive Left,” which needs to be totally rejected.

The Alt Left should also reject extreme social constructivism and the “blank slate” view of human beings because this is not supported by science.

(2) The Alt Left should strongly defend free speech and freedom of expression from its enemies on the Right, the Regressive Left, and from religious conservatives.

(3) The Alt Left should support a secular state and separation of church and state but not alienate liberal religious people.

(4) The Alt Left should continue the anti-imperialist tradition of the Left and be largely non-interventionist on foreign policy, but not isolationist.

(5) The Alt Left should oppose regressive and illiberal Islamism and religious fundamentalism and promote the assimilation of immigrants in the West.

(6) The Alt Left needs a sane and pragmatic policy on immigration. It needs to reject mass immigration and open borders on economic, social and cultural grounds and support sensible limits on immigration. It also needs to recognize that promoting “diversity” is not necessarily a good thing in and of itself and that multiculturalism has serious problems (see here).

(7) The Alt Left should consider the importance of the nuclear family, promote pro-nuclear family policies and – at the very least – be open to serious and rational discussion of the breakdown of the nuclear family in the Western world and what harm this may have done to our societies but with humane policies free from right-wing viciousness or free market economics.

As a further point of interest, there is an interesting post over at the Samizdat blog on the various subgroups of the Alt Left here.

He divides the Alt Left or the people who are receptive to it into these categories (I have added numbers for clarity):

(1) “The Left Wing of the Alt Right” – Rabbit uses this phrase quite explicitly. They are most open to race realism and most opposed to mass immigration and Islamism but are also inclined towards some kind of economic socialism or social democracy and are otherwise put off the Alt-Right somehow or other. Strasserites might be a more explicitly national socialist variant of this, and National Bolshevism would be even more out there still. Left wing nationalism would be a softer variant of this.

(2) “Gamergate Leftists” – Named from an article I read a while back claiming that most Gamergaters were left-leaning, these are another type. These types need not be big on Gamergate per-se (the more I studied Gamergate personally, the more lost and confused I got) but being anti-feminist (at least against the kind of PC feminist theory you’d find in a women’s studies class or on any left-leaning blog) and anti-SJW is huge with them as is civil and cultural libertarianism.

I found a number of these posting on anti-SJW pages. They come to the Alt-Left usually because of a belief in Leftist economics though they are usually not that far Left. Guys who believe in some regulation and a social safety net. Some too get put off by the tendency of anti-SJWs to drift into genuinely misogynistic and racist territory. Remember kids, SJW and social liberalism are not the same things. Think YouTubers like Sargon of Akkad or the Amazing Atheist, though they don’t use the term Alt-Left to describe themselves. Not yet, anyway. These kinds are defecting less from Richard Spencer and more from Milo Yiannopoluous. I used Gamergate’s colors in the design of my page’s logo and banner in an attempt to attract these types.

(3) “Red Enlightenment” – These are most passionate about rationalism, skepticism, empiricism, and in some cases, transhumanism and futurism. Generally scientifically-minded and technocratic sorts of socialists or social democrats.

(4) “True Liberals” – Antiracist and feminist supporters who think the whole thing has gotten out of hand and are concerned for the SJWs’ lifestyle puritanism and opposition to free speech. They are more pro-feminist and pro-social liberal than the Gamergaters though. “The Democratic Party of the 1990s,” someone once remarked to me when I described the Alt-Left to them, to which I replied, “There were no liberals or Leftists in the 1990’s except myself.”

(5) “Brocialists” – Socialists or social democrats with a penchant for men’s rights and anti-misandry. I seem to have drawn a number of these to my page, and a few of my moderators fall into this category. Hillary Clinton supporters have accused Bernie Sanders of using these as his base of support. Used as a pejorative by the ‘Lorettas’ of the present day Left, I’m a firm proponent that we reclaim the term.

(6) “Red Templars” – Especially and specifically anti-Islamic. We get a lot of these from Sam Harris and Bill Maher’s followings. Unlike the Left Wing of the Alt Right types, these sorts are more standard liberals otherwise.

(7) “The New Old Left” – Would dispense with race, culture and identity all together if they could and make Leftism mostly about economic Leftism. The Realist Left page and the blog Social Democracy for the 21st Century are like this. Farther left, you’d find leftypol on 8chan and some Marxist/Anarchist groups that reject IdPol. A whole separate entry could be made of the economic subtypes one might find on the Alt Left. I’ve also found a lot of labor nationalists and assorted 3rd Positionists: mutualists, distributists, market socialists, state capitalists, syndicalism and so on.

https://samizdatchronicles.blogspot.com/2016/09/sub-types-on-alternative-left.html

Group (1) doesn’t even belong on the Alt Left at all in my view: these people belong on the Alt Right. The only exception I would make is Robert Lindsay, who seems to have some pretty controversy opinions and is extremely hostile to Cultural Leftism but at least doesn’t seem motivated by Alt Right racial hatred or White Supremacism.

The big-name Gamergate Leftists seem to have a strange tendency to morph into cultural libertarians or even outright Libertarians, and I have noticed the same tendency amongst “True Liberals.” Both Sargon of Akkad and Dave Rubin, though I doubt either are aware of the Alt Left, seem to be morphing into Classical Liberals.

I am placed in the “The New Old Left” category, but the description is not right: I constantly stress the need to understand differences of culture and to reject cultural relativism as Postmodernist irrationalism. I also strongly think the Alt Left should adopt a pragmatic view that mass immigration and open borders are actually provoking a nationalist backlash in many countries. The Left should channel this into a healthy, sensible nationalism, and recognize open borders are wrong on perfectly good economic, social and cultural grounds.

Realist Left
Realist Left on Facebook
Realist Left on Twitter @realistleft
Realist Left on Reddit
Realist Left Blog
Realist Left on YouTube
Lord Keynes on Facebook
Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Realist Alternative to the Modern Left

Alt Left on the Internet:
Alternative Left on Facebook
Alt-Left on Google+
Samizdat Broadcasts YouTube Channel
Samizdat: For the Freedom Loving Leftist

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Turkey – The Sick Man of Europe, a 100 Year Running Joke

The Turks make up a single race – Turkic-Armenian-Kurdish-Ashkenazi Jewish. The Turks tried to turn most of these people into Turks by eliminating their ethnic identity via abandoning their religion and language. The Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians refused to give up their languages but most importantly their religion, so the Turks killed over 2 million of them for that sin. The Kurds continue to see themselves as a distinct ethnic, cultural and linguistic group from the Turks. The Turks wish to eliminate the Kurdish language, culture and even ethnicity. and that is why the Kurds are slaughtered like flies over there.

Turks are a profoundly backwards people, and they like it that way just fine. In fact, it infuriates them that anyone demands that they act civilized. Turks don’t exactly have European Enlightenment values – in fact, they have exactly the opposite. Erdogan is an Ottoman imperial Sultan and Caliph combined with a murderous Young Turk mixed with an Ataturkist ethnic ultranationalist. He’s literally one of the worst human beings on Earth, and the Turks worship this man like a God.

The Turks are enraged that Europe sees Turkey for the Sick Man it is. Hence they refuse to let them into the EU.

Letting Turkey into the EU would be catastrophic.

First of all, Turkey is incapable of abiding by the EU’s European White Christian Enlightenment values which now verge on Culture Left parody. The Turks don’t even believe in the Renaissance. Why would they believe in the PC SJW Left? Get real.

In order to join the EU, one must do a minimum number of things, including have a minimal base of European civilized Enlightenment values. These include basic human rights, limits on corruption, basic rights for minority groups and their languages, religions and cultures, etc. Turkey fails as miserably on all of those counts as they did a century ago when the Young Turks unleashed their Shoah/Islamic Jihad.

Turkey is a land frozen in time or worse where clocks actually run backwards instead of forwards like they do everywhere else. An example of this is how Erdogan has recreated 19th Century Turkey as the new imperial Sultan/Caliph.

A good guess of how backwards a nation is is whether or not the Left has been driven to such desperation and exasperated rage that they have take up arms. Nowadays, the Left only takes up arms in the most reactionary of holes. The Turkish Left has been so abused that they have been armed for decades. They carry out regular bombings and assassinations. Turkey is the Colombia of Europe, the India of the Near East.

The only way to let Turkey in would be to so weaken these EU ultra-liberal laws to the extent that they barely existed anymore. Further, poorer Turks would flood all through Christian Europe, further Islamicizing an already badly Islamicizing Europe. Even with only a few Muslims, they are causing havoc and chaos all through Europe. Imagine 10’s of millions of Turks given free reign to move to any part of Europe that they wish.

Turks have moved to Germany in large numbers and they have assimilated very poorly. Many of them hate Christian Germans, both their culture and their religion. They stage regular riots calling for the death of Jews, etc. Many are sympathetic to radical Islam. In Germany, many Turks have turned to street crime. Honor killings continue.

There are already far too many Turks in Christian Europe. Let’s not let 10’s of millions more in please.

There is of course a minority of more or less progressive Turks often working in and around academia, the opposition parties and the media. There are good people in the opposition, even in Parliament and there are many fine journalists, including some of the bravest and most daring investigative journalists. I work with a lot of Turks like this now. They bear no resemblance to what I just wrote above other than perhaps denial of their land’s backwardness. These are finest sons and daughters of the land.

Sadly the more forward-looking Turks have long been a minority, though they may make up 20-30% of the population. That’s enough to cause a lot of rowdy (and often violent) street protests, but it’s not enough to win an election.

Like the Colombians, every four years, the Turks march off to the polls to vote for another reactionary ultranationalist nut.

I would say that Turkey is hopeless. 20-30% is not enough to turn a land around, and Turkey has hurdled horribly backwards since Sultan Erdogan assumed the throne and crowned himself Caliph. He has emboldened all of the worst aspect of the Turkish soul in the same way that Trump is doing in the US. Perhaps Turkey can move forwards, but I will not see it in my lifetime.

There is nothing a Turk hates more than a mirror. It’s like a cross to a vampire. Turks refuse to look in a reflection and see what its really there. Instead they wrap themselves up in Rube Goldbergian fortresses of psychological defense because the truth is too ugly to bear. You can’t begin to cure an illness until you diagnose it, and until Turkey looks deeply into the illness of its body politic, it will remain, as always, the Sick Man of Europe, first as harsh truth a century ago, now as pitiful caricature and running twisted joke a century later.

He who is not busy growing is busy dying.

– Bob Dylan

To thine own self be true.

First of all, know yourself.

– famous aphorisms

 

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The Hell with the Pentagon

As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.

First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?

Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.

Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?

The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.

It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?

There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.

Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.

In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.

1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.

So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.

The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.

Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.

The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.

Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.

I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.

But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.

And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.

And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.

One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.

Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.

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The Foreign Policy of the United States of America

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” Gen. Smedley Butler

This man was a general in the US military. And this is what he spent most of his time doing as a general in the US military – rampaging around Latin America overthrowing governments, raping countries, stealing resources and slaughtering people, all so US corporations could rule over their lands as de facto colonies of the United States. None of these countries were even given the opportunity to pursue an independent course of development. None of these actions were ever done in solidarity, instead they were all done in the name of neocolonial imperialism as part of the creation of the American Empire in Latin America, a project which is ongoing as I write this. That is correct, Latin America is still a colony of the United States. A few places tried to liberate themselves from US colonialism and achieve independence, and look what happened to them: Haiti, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil. Earlier cases involved Guatemala, the Dominican Republican, Guyana, and Chile. Brazil and Argentina just got taken down and the Venezuela is finally in the process of being taken down after over 15 years of unrelenting US warfare.

As you can see, raw, naked US imperialism of the most vicious and brutal kind has always been the way of the United States, dating back all the way to 1900. So we were nice guys before that? Nope. We sucked in the 1800’s too. The US spent most of the 1800’s slaughtering American Indians, stealing their land and stabbing them in the back with fake treaties. That was when we were not invading Mexico and stealing and annexing Mexican land.

Although we didn’t do much in Latin America in the 1800’s, that was only because there was not much to do down there. The US did not have much of a foreign policy period, and US corporations did not tend to operate overseas. Further all of Latin America was in the hands of the vicious and voracious Latin American ruling classes which kept their nations in the most abject poverty and pitiful underdevelopment while the rich stole every nickel the economies ever created, leaving everyone else in rags holding the bag. Rule by the vicious 1% has always been a-ok with the US; in fact, this is how we prefer it. Any nation that overthrows rule by the rich to put in democratic rule by the people is usually taken out sooner or later by the United States, often using the very military that Butler lamented being a part of.

I would like to point out one very sorry thing. First of all, not one single thing has changed about US foreign policy since Smedley wrote those famous words. This is still exactly what US foreign policy in Latin America and to a lesser extent other places is composed of. And in between the time Butler is describing until our present day, what he describes has been US foreign policy the entire time. We’ve never had a decent foreign policy for a day in this country. Even the most liberal regimes pursued vicious foreign policies. FDR’s foreign policy in Latin America was monstrous – “Somoza may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.” Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive reformer at home and a monster overseas. “Walk softly and carry a big stick” was his vicious, violent, brutal policy of conquest and dictatorial rule in Latin America. In fact, most of the continent was actually officially colonized under Teddy’s rule. This has always been the way in US politics. That disgusting foreign policy described by Butler has been fully embraced by both parties from Day One. The Democrats were down with it just as much as the Republicans. This is what was known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.” The Democrats were only progressive on domestic issues. They were just as reactionary as Republicans on foreign policy. The two parties have always only differed on domestic policy. This year is no different. In fact, this year Hitlery’s foreign policy is actually much more rightwing and imperialist than even the Republican Donald Trump’s! Trump isn’t really an anti-imperialist, but he’s the closest thing to one in US politics – a good, old-fashioned isolationist. The upshot is that his foreign policy actually ends up being a lot more progressive than “liberal” Democrat Killary’s. Unbelievable! The Democrats are more rightwing that the Republicans!

There doesn’t seem to be any way out of this imperial bullshit. This crap has been the America way for so long that I am not sure that we as a country understand any other way of looking at the world. It’s gotten to where this vicious imperial foreign policy is the only thing we understand. We literally do not know how to act any other way. And when you get both parties in on the program along with ~100% of the media, you have what amounts to 100% US political, corporate and media elite consensus on the outlines of a foreign policy along with a full spectrum dominance way of promoting it. Poll after poll for years shows that Americans almost always support whatever shenanigans US foreign policy is up to at the moment. So the elites do not have to worry about the masses marching in the streets over foreign policy. Americans are always in complete lockstep with foreign policy probably due to media brainwashing. Deep state media control is so complete that the entire media spectrum typically supports anything and everything the Deep State does and believes foreign policy-wise. There’s literally no dissent. The media is that controlled, 100% controlled. With wall to wall 24-7 broadcasting, net and news publishing it’s no surprised that on foreign policy, Americans appear about as brainwashed as a North Korean.

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Proposal for an Old Left

I am not proposing this myself but instead I am linking to and copying this over from Lord Keynes’ site, 21st Century Social Democracy.

I like Lord Keynes and his page, but I am wondering how his Old Left is different from my Alt Left or Ryan England’s Alt Left. We already know it’s different from Rabbit’s Alt Left.

I am thinking that maybe the Old Left is more concerned with economics and less worried about Cultural Left stuff. I am also thinking that perhaps the Old Left is not as conservative on the Cultural Left than mine and Ryan’s Alt Left. And of course, the Old Left doesn’t seem to want to touch race realism with a 10 foot pole and an 11 foot extension. Not that I blame them.

I don’t identify as Alt Left myself, but this Alt Left Facebook Page seems quite interesting, and free from some of the strange stuff I have seen on the Alt Left:

Alternative Left.

I think there is now a sensible Alt Left that has managed to divorce itself from the more extreme original movement.

It would be nice to have some Old Left (which can also be called the “Realist Left”) Facebook pages or social media forums too.

I am now tempted to try and set up an Old Left Facebook page or something like this.

As I have said before, my prediction is that many Millennials will abandon their SJW cults and Regressive Left nonsense in the coming years, but they will need some new left-wing politics to fall back on.

Lots of sensible Alt Left and Old Left points of view should be available for these people when the time comes so that they are not lost to the Right or Far Right.

So what is the Old Left/Realist Left political program? I would still distance an Old Left position from the sensible Alt Left, but there would probably be a lot of overlap, despite differences. E.g., in some respects, some Alt Left people seem to be much more hostile to the Cultural Left and socially conservative than even I am, for example. But respectful debate should be the order of the day here, not mutual hostility.

An Old Left politics I propose is as follows:

(1) The Old Left is vehemently anti-neoliberal and anti-globalization. It completely rejects neoclassical economics. An Old Left/Realist Left politics supports full employment, Keynesian macroeconomic policies and management of our economies, a high-wage economy, an industrial policy, managed trade in the national interest, a humane welfare state, perhaps even a return to some nationalized industries (this can be a legitimate topic for debate), an end to offshoring of our manufacturing and service jobs to the Third World, and an end to neoliberal vandalism and the sale of our national assets to foreigners.

An Old Left would support Left heterodox Post Keynesian economics and MMT, not Marxism or feeble and intellectually flawed Neoclassical Keynesianism.

(2) An Old Left/Real Left also vehemently rejects Libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and all ideological free market capitalism as poisonous and toxic ideologies.

(3) At the same time, the Old Left/Real Left politics vehemently rejects Cultural Leftism: this includes French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism and all their ridiculous and pernicious ideas such as truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, and divisive and extreme Identity Politics.

Of course, reasonable and sensible civil, legal and equity women’s rights and gay rights are fine, but not Cultural Leftist Identity Politics or endless cults of victimology.

In particular, the Old Left should be critical of Third Wave Feminism. End the witch-hunting which inevitably accompanies Cultural Leftism. Abandon the extreme social constructivism and the “blank slate” view of human beings, because it is simply not true: e.g., there are only two natural genders in genetically normal human beings, male and female, and discouraging encouraging this type of thing is neither healthy nor desirable. End the bizarre Cultural Leftist conspiracy theories that blame all our problems on the capitalist, white-male patriarchy and universal “institutional racism.”

(4) The Old Left should defend free speech and freedom of expression from Cultural Leftist and Politically Correct witch hunts, restrictions and hate speech laws. Free speech is sacred in a free society, and you will achieve nothing by demanding that governments silence people whose opinions you don’t like – except to dismantle more of our freedoms and set yourself up for having your own free speech taken away, especially if right-wing governments start imposing their own restrictions on free speech.

(5) The Old Left would be anti-imperialist and largely non-interventionist on foreign policy but not isolationist. Anyone proposing any intervention in the Third World would require a brutally strong burden of proof, and anything proposed must be legal under international law.

(6) An Old Left politics should be strongly pro-nuclear family and be able to address the serious issue of social breakdown, divorce, and single-parent families with humane policies free from right-wing viciousness or free market economics.

(7) An Old Left politics will end Open Borders and mass immigration and end the bizarre cult of “diversity,” which seems to think that multiculturalism is some great good in and of itself (which it most certainly is not). The Old Left recognizes that most people have a normal and natural wish to preserve their nations as homelands for their national culture and their people. Low-level immigration and reasonable refugee quotas are fine as long as minorities actually do remain a minority of the population and people who wish to stay assimilate and do not bring hostile and incompatible cultures.

(8) An Old Left politics will oppose regressive and illiberal Islamism and Islamization of our societies, promote the strong assimilation of immigrants who are here in the West, and abandon failed multiculturalism.

(9) An Old Left politics should be comfortable with healthy and sensible forms of cultural and civil nationalism.

But at the same time there is room for disagreement and open debate on individual issues and also on issues I have not mentioned instead of the intolerant witch hunting that characterizes the modern Left.

However, there do need to be core principles, as follows:

(1) Rejection of neoliberalism, globalization, neoclassical economics, libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, and all ideological free market capitalism. Support for left heterodox Post Keynesian economics and MMT.

(2) Rejection of the extreme aspects of cultural leftism, namely, French Poststructuralism, Postmodernism, truth relativism, cultural relativism, moral relativism, SJWism, the cult of diversity, and divisive and extreme identity politics.

(3) rejection of open borders and mass immigration.

If you don’t reject these things, you ain’t Old Left or Alt Left. This is not the movement for you.

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Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory

I participated in a session with this fellow on Academia.edu. I believe the author is a professor at a university somewhere in the UK. I really liked this paper a lot. It’s a bit hard to understand, but if you concentrate, you should be able to understand. If I can understand it, at least some of you guys can too. It is an excellent overview of what exactly neoliberalism is and the effects it has on all of us all the way down to the anthropological, sociological and psychological.

Was Joseph Conrad a Neoliberal? Are We? A Contemporary Reading of Victory

by Simon During

Over the past decade or so “neoliberalism” has become a word to conjure with. It is easy to have reservations about its popularity since it seems to name both a general object — roughly, capitalist governmentality as we know it today — and a particular set of ideas that now have a well-researched intellectual history.

It also implies a judgment: few use the term except pejoratively. I myself do not share these worries however, since I think that using the word performs sterling analytic work on its own account even as it probably accentuates its concept’s rather blob-like qualities. Nonetheless in this talk I want somewhat to accede to those who resist neoliberalism’s analytic appeal by thinking about it quite narrowly — that is to say, in literary and intellectual historical terms.

I begin from the position, first, that neoliberalism is an offshoot of liberalism thought more generally; and second, that we in the academic humanities are ourselves inhabited by an occluded or displaced neoliberalism to which we need critically to adjust.1 Thus, writing as a
literary critic in particular, I want to follow one of my own discipline’s original protocols, namely to be sensitive to the ways in which the literary “tradition” changes as the present changes, in this case, as it is reshaped under that neoliberalism which abuts and inhabits us.2

To this end I want to present a reading of Joseph Conrad’s Victory (1916). To do this is not just to help preserve the received literary canon, and as such is, I like to think, a tiny act of resistance to neoliberalism on the grounds that neoliberalism is diminishing our capacity to affirm a canon at all. By maintaining a canon in the act of locating neoliberalism where it is not usually found, I’m trying to operate both inside and outside capitalism’s latest form.

***

1 Daniel Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2014, p. 17.
2 This argument is made of course in T.S. Eliot’s seminal essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1921).
Let me begin with a brief and sweeping overview of liberalism’s longue durée.3 For our purposes we can fix on liberalism by noting that it has two central struts, one theoretical, the other historical. As generations of theorists have noted, the first strut is methodological individualism: liberal analysis begins with, and is addressed to, the autonomous individual rather than communities or histories.4

Methodological individualism of this kind is, for instance, what allowed Leo Strauss and J.P Macpherson to call even Thomas Hobbes a founder of liberalism.5 Liberalism’s second strut is the emphasis on freedom as the right to express and enact private beliefs with a minimum of state intervention. This view of freedom emerged in the seventeenth century among those who recommended that the sovereign state “tolerate” religious differences.

It marked a conceptual break in freedom’s history since freedom was now conceived of as an individual possession and right rather than as a condition proper to “civil associations” and bound to obligations.6 We need to remember, however, that methodological individualism does not imply liberal freedom, or vice versa. Indeed neoliberalism exposes the weakness of that association.

Early in the nineteenth century, liberalism became a progressivist political movement linked to enlightened values. But after about 1850, non-progressive or conservative liberalisms also appeared. Thus, as Jeffrey Church has argued, Arthur Schopenhauer, the post-Kantian
philosopher who arguably broke most spectacularly with enlightened humanist progressivism,

3 Among the library of works on liberalism’s history I have found two to be particularly useful for my purposes here: Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: a Counter-History, trans. Gregory Elliot. London: Verso 2014, and Amanda Anderson’s forthcoming Bleak Liberalism, Chicago, University of Chicago Press 2016.
4 Milan Zafirovski, Liberal Modernity and Its Adversaries: Freedom, Liberalism and Anti-Liberalism in the 21st Century, Amsterdam: Brill 2007, p. 116.
5 Van Mobley, “Two Liberalisms: the Contrasting Visions of Hobbes and Locke,” Humanitas, IX 1997: 6-34.
6 Quentin Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1998, p. 23.

can be associated with liberalism.7

Likewise Schopenhauer’s sometime disciple, Friedrich Nietzsche, no progressivist, was, as Hugo Drochon has recently argued, also an antistatist who prophesied that in the future “private companies” will take over state business so as to protect private persons from one another.8 Liberalism’s conservative turn was, however, largely a result of socialism’s emergence as a political force after 1848, which enabled some left liberal fractions to dilute their individualism by accepting that “a thoroughly consistent individualism can work in harmony with socialism,” as Leonard Hobhouse put it.9

Conrad himself belonged to this moment. As a young man, for instance, he was appalled by the results of the 1885 election, the first in which both the British working class and the socialists participated.10 That election was contested not just by the Marxist Socialist Democratic Federation, but by radical Liberals who had allied themselves to the emergent socialist movement (not least Joseph Chamberlain who, as mayor of Birmingham, was developing so-called “municipal socialism” and who haunts Conrad’s work).11

The election went well for the Liberals who prevented the Tories from securing a clear Parliamentary majority. After learning this, Conrad, himself the son of a famous Polish liberal revolutionary, wrote to a friend, “the International Socialist Association are triumphant, and every
disreputable ragamuffin in Europe, feels that the day of universal brotherhood, despoliation and disorder is coming apace…Socialism must inevitably end in Caesarism.”12 That prophecy will resonate politically for the next century, splitting liberalism in two. As I say: on the one side, a

7 Jeffrey Church, Nietzsche’s Culture of Humanity: Beyond Aristocracy and Democracy in the Early Period, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015, p. 226.
8 Hugo Drochon, Nietzsche’s Great Politics, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2016, p. 9.
9 L. T. Hobhouse, Liberalism, London: Williams and Norgate, 1911, p. 99.
10 It was at this point that one of neoliberalism’s almost forgotten ur-texts was written,Herbert Spencer’s Man against the State (1884).
11 For instance, he plays an important role in Conrad and Ford Madox Ford’s The Inheritors.
12 Joseph Conrad, The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad, vol 1., ed. Frederick Karl and Laurence Davis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1983, p. 16.

 

progressivist, collectivist liberalism. On the other, an individualist liberalism of which neoliberalism is a continuation.

By around 1900, liberalism’s fusion with socialism was often (although not quite accurately) associated with Bismark’s Germany, which gave anti-socialist liberalism a geographical inflection. Against this, individualistic liberalism was associated with Britain. But this received British liberalism looked back less to Locke’s religiously tolerant Britain than to Richard Cobden’s Britain of maritime/imperial dominance and free trade.

Which is to say that liberalism’s fusion with socialism pushed socialism’s liberal enemies increasingly to think of freedom economically rather than politically — as in Ludwig von Mises influential 1922 book on socialism, which can be understood as a neoliberal urtext.13 By that point, too, individuals were already being positioned to become what Foucault calls “consumers of freedom.” 14

They were now less understood less as possessing a fundamental claim to freedom than as creating and participating in those institutions which enabled freedom in practice. Crucially after the first world war, in the work of von Mises and the so-called “Austrian school”, freedom was increasingly assigned to individual relations with an efficient market as equilibrium theory viewed markets. This turn to the market as freedom’s basis marked another significant historical departure: it is the condition of contemporary neoliberalism’s emergence.

Neoliberalism organized itself internationally as a movement only after world war two, and did so against both Keynesian economics and the welfare state. 15 It was still mainly ideologically motivated by a refusal to discriminate between welfarism and totalitarianism — a line of thought already apparent in Conrad’s equation of socialism with Caesarism of course. As
13 See Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane. New Haven: Yale University Press 1951.
14 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 63. One key sign of this spread of this new freedom is Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous appeal to the “free trade in ideas” in his 1919 dissent in Abrams v. the US, a judgment which joins together the market, intellectual expression and the juridical.
15 See Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe (eds.), The Road from Mont Pèlerin, Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2009.

 

Friedrich Hayek urged: once states begin to intervene on free markets totalitarianism looms because the people’s psychological character changes: they become dependent.16 For thirty years (in part as confined by this argument), neoliberalism remained a minority movement, but
in the 1970s it began its quick ascent to ideological and economic dominance.

Cutting across a complex and unsettled debate, let me suggest that neoliberalism became powerful then because it provided implementable policy settings for Keynesianism’s (perceived) impasse in view the stagnation and instability of post-war, first-world welfarist, full-employment economies after 1) the Vietnam War, 2) the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement; 3) OPEC’s cartelization, and 4) the postcolonial or “globalizing” opening up of world markets on the back of new transportation and computing technologies.17

In the global north neoliberalism was first implemented governmentally by parties on the left, led by James Callaghan in the UK, Jimmy Carter in the US, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in Australia, and leading the way, David Lange and Roger Douglas in New Zealand.18 At this time, at the level of policy, it was urged more by economists than by ideologues insofar as these can be separated (and Hayek and Mises were both of course).

As we know, neoliberals then introduced policies to implement competition, deregulation, monetarism, privatization, tax reduction, a relative high level of unemployment, the winding back of the state’s participation in the economy and so on. This agenda quickly became captured by private

 

16 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 48.
17 This history is open to lively differences of opinion. The major books in the literature are: Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France 1978-1979, London: Picador 2010; Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, London: Verso 2014; Stedman-Jones, Masters of the Universe; Joseph Vogl, The Spectre of Capital, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2014; David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007. My own understanding of this moment is informed by Stedman-Jones’s account in particular.
18 It is worth noting in this context that the left had itself long been a hatchery of neoliberal economic ideas just because liberalism’s absorption of socialism was matched by socialism’s absorption of liberalism. See Johanna Brockman, Markets in the name of Socialism: the Left-wing Origins of Neoliberalism, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2011 on the intellectual-historical side of this connection.

6
interests, and from the eighties on, it was woven into new, highly surveilled and privatized, computing and media ecologies, indeed into what some optimists today call “cognitive capitalism”.19

In this situation, more or less unintended consequences proliferated, most obviously a rapid increase in economic inequality and the enforced insertion of internal markets and corporate structures in non-commercial institutions from hospitals to universities. Indeed, in winding back the welfare state, renouncing Keynesian and redistributionist economic policies, it lost its classical liberal flavor and was firmly absorbed into conservatism — a transformation which had been prepared for by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.20

But two more concrete conceptual shifts also helped animate this particular fusion of conservatism and liberalism. First, postwar neoliberalism was aimed more at the enterprise than at the individual.21

Largely on the basis of van Mises’s Human Action (1940) as popularized by Gary Becker, the free, independent individual was refigured as “human capital” and thereby exposed instead to management and “leadership.” At the same time, via Peter Drucker’s concept of “knowledge worker,” which emphasized the importance of conceptual and communication skills to
economic production, postsecular management theories for which corporations were hierarchical but organic communities also gained entry into many neoliberal mindsets.22 At that

 

19 Yann Moulier Boutang, Cognitive Capitalism, trans. Ed Emery. Cambridge: Polity Press 2012.
20 Nietzsche and Schopenhauer’s influence is no doubt part of why neoliberalism emerged in Austria. Indeed the Austrian context in which contemporary neoliberalism emerged is worth understanding in more detail. In their early work, Hayek and Mises in particular were responding to “red Vienna” not just in relation to Otto Bauer’s Austromarxism but also in relation to its version of guild socialism associated with Hungarians like Karl Polanyi, with whom both Hayek and Mises entered into debate. See Lee Congdon, “The Sovereignty of Society: Karl Polanyi in Vienna,” in The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi, ed. Kari Polanyi-Levitt. Montreal: Black Rose Books 1990, 78-85.
21 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 225.
22 Drucker was another Austrian refugee who turned to capitalism against totalitarianism in the late thirties and his profoundly influential work on corporate management shadows neoliberal theory up until the 1970s.

 

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point, neoliberalism also became a quest to reshape as many institutions as possible as corporations.

At this point too Foucault’s consumers of freedom were becoming consumers full stop. To state this more carefully: at the level of ideology, to be free was now first and foremost deemed to be capable of enacting one’s preferences in consumer and labour markets. It would seem that preferences of this kind increasingly determined social status too, and, more invasively, they now increasingly shaped personalities just because practices of self were bound less and less to filiations and affiliations than to acts of choice.

This helped the market to subsume older gradated social and cultural structures of identity-formation, class difference and cultural capital. At this juncture, we encounter another significant unexpected consequence
within liberalism’s longue durée: i.e. the sixties cultural revolution’s reinforcement of neoliberalism.

This is a complex and controversial topic so let me just say here that, from the late seventies, neoliberal subjects who were individualized via their entrepreneurial disposition and economic and labour choices, encounters the subject of post-68 identity politics who had been emancipated from received social hierarchies and prejudices, and was now attached to a particular ethnicity, gender or sexuality as chosen or embraced by themselves as individuals. These two subject formations animated each other to the degree that both had, in their different ways, sloughed off older communal forms, hierarchies and values.

Governing this ménage of hedonism, productivity, insecurity and corporatization, neoliberalism today seems to have become insurmountable, and is, as I say, blob-like, merging out into institutions and practices generally, including those of our discipline. And it has done
this as a turn within liberal modernity’s longer political, intellectual and social genealogies and structures rather than as a break from them.

Nonetheless, three core, somewhat technical, propositions distinguish neoliberalism from liberalism more generally:

  1. First the claim, which belongs to the sociology of knowledge, that no individual or group can know the true value of anything at all.23 For neoliberals, that value — true or not — can only be assessed, where it can be assessed at all, under particular conditions: namely when it is available in a competitive and free market open to all individuals in a society based on private property. This is an argument against all elite and expert claims to superior knowledge and judgment: without prices, all assessments of value are mere opinion. In that way, market justice (i.e. the effects of competing in the market) can trump social justice. And in that way, for instance, neoliberalism finds an echo not just in negations of cultural authority and canonicity but in the idea that literary and aesthetic judgments are matters of private choice and opinion. In short, neoliberalism inhabits cultural democracy and vice versa. By the same stroke, it posits an absence — a mere structure of exchange—at society’s normative center.
  2. There is a direct relationship between the competitive market and freedom. Any attempt to limit free markets reduces freedom because it imposes upon all individuals a partial opinion about what is valuable. This particular understanding of freedom rests on the notion of the market as a spontaneous order — its being resistant to control and planning, its being embedded in a society which “no individual can completely survey” as Hayek put it.24 Not that this notion is itself original to neoliberalism: Foucault’s historiography of liberalism shows that, in the mid eighteenth century, this property of markets was thought of as “natural” and therefore needed to be protected
    from sovereign authority’s interference.25 But as Foucault and others have argued, neoliberalism emerges after World War 2 when the spontaneous market conditions of freedom are no longer viewed as natural (even if they remain immanently lawbound) but as governmentally produced.26
  3. Neoliberalism has specific ethical dimensions too. While it generally insists that individuals should be free to “follow their own values and preferences” (as Hayek put it) at least within the limits set by those rules and institutions which secure market stability, in fact individuals’ independence as well as their relation to market risk, provides the necessary condition for specific virtues and capacities. Most notably, in Hayek’s formulation, a neoliberal regime secures individuals’ self-sufficiency, honor and dignity and does so by the willingness of some to accept “material sacrifice,” or to “live dangerously” as Foucault put it, in a phrase he declared to be liberalism’s “motto”.27 This mix of risk-seeking existentialism and civic republicanism not only rebukes and prevents the kind of de-individualization supposedly associated with socialisms of the left and right, it is where neoliberalism and an older “Nietzschean” liberalism meet—with Michael Oakeshott’s work bearing special weight in this context.28 But as soon as neoliberalism itself becomes hegemonic in part by fusing with the spirit of 1968, this original ascetic, masculinist neoliberal ethic of freedom and risk comes to be supplemented and displaced by one based more on creativity, consumerist hedonism and entrepreneurialism aimed at augmenting choice.29

***

23 See Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis, p. 55.
24 Friedrich von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom: Texts and Documents. The Definitive Edition, ed. Bruce Caldwell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007, p. 212.

25 Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 19.
26 This is argued in Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval’s The New Way of the World: on Neoliberal Society, London: Verso 2014. For the immanent lawboundedness in Hayek, see Miguel Vatter, The Republic of the Living: Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society, New York: Fordham University Press 2014: pps. 195-220. Vatter’s chapter “Free Markets and Republican
Constitutions in Hayek and Foucault” is excellent on how law is treated in neoliberal thought.
27 Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, p. 130. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 66.
28 See Andrew Norris’s forthcoming essay in Political Theory, “Michael Oakeshott’s Postulates of Individuality” for this. We might recall, too, that Foucault argues for similarities between the Frankfurt school and the early neoliberals on the grounds of their resistance to standardization, spectacle and so on. See The Birth of Biopolitics, p. 105.

 

I have indicated that Conrad belongs to the moment when socialist parties first contested democratic elections and which thus split liberalism, allowing one, then beleaguered, liberal fraction to begin to attach to conservatism. In this way then, he belongs to neoliberalism’s deep past (which is not to say, of course, that he should be understand as a proto-neoliberal himself). Let us now think about his novel Victory in this light.

The novel is set in late nineteenth-century Indonesia mainly among European settlers and entrepreneurs. Indonesia was then a Dutch colony itself undergoing a formal economic deregulation program, which would increase not just Dutch imperial profits but, among indigenous peoples, also trigger what was arguably human history’s most explosive population growth to date.30

Victory belongs to this world where imperialism encountered vibrant commercial activity driven by entrepreneurial interests, competition and risk. Thus, for instance, its central character, the nomadic, cosmopolitan, aristocratic Swedish intellectual, Axel Heyst, establishes a business— a coal mine — along with a ship-owning partner, while other characters manage hotels, orchestras and trading vessels. Victory is a novel about enterprises as well as about individuals.

But Conrad’s Indonesia is other to Europe as a realm of freedom. Importantly, however, its freedom is not quite liberal or neoliberal: it is also the freedom of a particular space. More precisely, it is the freedom of the sea: here, in effect Indonesia is oceanic. This formulation draws on Carl Schmitt’s post-war work on international law, which was implicitly

 

29 The history of that displacement is explored in Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott. London: Verso 2005.
30 Bram Peper, “Population Growth in Java in the 19th Century”, Population Studies, 24/1 (1970): 71-84.

 

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positioned against liberal and neoliberal theory. In his monograph The Nomos of the Earth (1950), Schmitt drew attention to the sea as a space of freedom just because national sovereignties and laws did not hold there.

But Schmitt’s implicit point was that liberal freedom needs to be thought about not just in terms of tolerance, recognition, rights or markets, but
geographically and historically inside the long history of violent sovereign appropriation of the globe’s land masses so that elemental freedom was enacted on the oceans where law and sovereignty had no reach. From this perspective, piracy, for instance, plays an important role in freedom’s history. And from this perspective the claim to reconcile radical freedom to the lawbound state is false: such freedom exists only where laws do not.

The sea, thought Schmitt’s way, is key to Conrad’s work. But, for him, the sea is also the home of economic liberalism, free-trade and the merchant marines by whom he had, of course, once been employed, and whose values he admired.31 Victory is a maritime tale set on waters which harbor such free trade at the same time as they form a Schmittean realm of freedom — and violence and risk — which effectively remains beyond the reach of sovereign law.

Let me step back at this point to sketch the novel’s plot. Victory’s central character Heyst is the son of an intellectual who late in life was converted from progressivism to a mode of weak Schopenhauerianism or what was then call pessimism.32 Heyst lives his father’s pessimism out: he is a disabused conservative liberal: “he claimed for mankind that right to
absolute moral and intellectual liberty of which he no longer believed them worthy.”33

Believing this, Heyst leaves Europe to “drift”— circulating through Burma, New Guinea, Timor and the Indonesian archipelagoes, simply gathering facts and observing. But, on an

 

31 For Conrad and trade in this region, see Andrew Francis, Culture and Commerce in Conrad’s Asian Fiction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015. For Conrad’s affiliations to free trade proper see my unpublished paper, “Democracy, Empire and the Politics of the Future in
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”. This is available on this url.
32 Joseph Conrad, Victory, London: Methuen 1916, p. 197.
33 Conrad, Victory, pps. 92-93

 

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impulse, while drifting through Timor he rescues a shipowner, Morrison, whose ship has been impounded by unscrupulous Portuguese authorities, and through that act of spontaneous generosity, becomes obligated to Morrison.

The two men end up establishing a coalmine in the remote Indonesian island of Samburan, backed by local Chinese as well as by European capital. The company soon collapses. Morison dies. And, living out his Schopenhauerian renunciation of the world, Heyst, the detached man, decides to stay on at the island alone except for one Chinese servant.

He does, however, sometimes visit the nearest Indonesian town, Surabaya, and it is while staying there in a hotel owned by Schomberg, a malicious, gossipy German, that he makes another spontaneous rescue. This time he saves a young woman, Lena, a member of a traveling “ladies orchestra,” who is being bullied by her bosses and in danger of abduction by Schomberg himself.

Heyst and Lena secretly escape back to his island, causing Schomberg to harbor a venomous resentment against Heyst. At this point Schomberg’s hotel is visited by a trio of sinister criminals: Jones, Ricardo and their servant Pedro. Taking advantage of Schomberg’s rage, they establish an illegal casino in his hotel. To rid himself of this risky enterprise, Schomberg advises them to go after Heyst in his island, falsely telling them that Heyst has hidden a fortune there. Jones and his gang take Schomberg’s advice but disaster awaits them.

The novel ends with Jones, Ricardo, Heyst, Lena all dead on Heyst’s island.
The novel, which hovers between commercial adventure romance and experimental modernism, is bound to neoliberalism’s trajectory in two main ways. First, it adheres to neoliberalism’s sociology of knowledge: here too there is no knowing center, no hierarchy of expertise, no possibility of detached holistic survey and calculation through which truth might command action. Heyst’s drifting, inconsequential fact-gathering, itself appears to illustrate that absence. As do the gossip and rumors which circulate in the place of informed knowledge, and which lead to disaster. Individuals and enterprises are, as it were, on their
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own, beyond any centralized and delimited social body that might secure stability and grounded understandings. They are bound, rather, to self-interest and spontaneity.

This matters formally not simply because, in an approximately Jamesian mode, the narrative involves a series of points of view in which various characters’ perceptions, moods and interests intersect, but because the narration itself is told in a first person voice without being enunciated by a diegetical character.

That first person, then, functions as the shadow representative of a decentered community, largely focused on money, that is barely able to confer identity at all, a community, too, without known geographical or ideological limits just because the narrator, its implicit representative, has no location or substance. This narratorial indeterminacy can be understood as an index of liberalism at this globalizing historical juncture: a liberalism divesting itself of its own progressive histories, emancipatory hopes and institutions. A bare liberalism about to become neoliberalism, as we can proleptically say.

More importantly, the novel speaks to contemporary neoliberalism because it is about freedom. As we have begun to see, Heyst is committed to a freedom which is both the freedom of the sea, and a metaphysical condition which has detached itself, as far as is possible, from connections, obligations, determinations. This structures the remarkable formal
relationship around which the novel turns — i.e. Heyst’s being positioned as Jones’s double.

The generous Schopenhauerian is not just the demonic criminal’s opposite: he is also his twin. Both men are wandering, residual “gentlemen” detached from the European order, and thrown into, or committed to, a radical freedom which, on the one side, is a function of free trade, on the other, a condition of life lived beyond the legal and political institutions that order European societies, but also, importantly, are philosophical and ethical — a renunciation of the established ideological order for independence, courage and nomadism.

To put this rather differently: Heyst and Jones’s efforts to live in freedom — to comport themselves as free individuals — combines economic freedom — a freedom of exchange, competition and

 

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entrepreneurial possibilities— with a state of nature as a line of flight (or emancipation) from received continental laws, values and social structures. Freedom, that is, which combines that which Carl Schmitt and the early neoliberals imagined, each in their own way.

The novel’s main point is that there is, in fact, nothing in this freedom to sustain true ethical substance. It is as if Schmittean freedom has smashed both liberal freedom and pessimistic asceticism, along with their ethical groundings. Or to come at the novel’s basic point from another direction: it is as if the absence at the heart of a free society has transmigrated into these characters’ selves. It is at that level that individual freedom cannot be separated from violence and risk and good from evil.

Without an instituted social structure, Heyst cannot stay true to himself: his commitment to freedom and renunciation is compromised because of his spontaneous acts of generosity and sympathy which lead to his and Lena’s death. On the other side, Jones, a homosexual shunned by respectable society, is afflicted by those key nineteenth-century affects, resentment and boredom as well as a quasi-Nietzschean contempt for “tameness”, which drive him towards living outside of society, at contigency’s mercy, and towards reckless, malevolent violence.

Heyst and Jones die together almost by accident, in deaths that reveal them not just as entangled with one another at existence’s threshold, but as both attuned to death, even in life. It now look as if while they lived they wanted to die. In that way, the novel makes it clear that the risk, disorder and emptiness which inhabit their striving for a radically liberal practice of life corrode distinctions not just between violence and renunciation, not just between good and evil, but also between life and death.

We can put it like this: the freedom that these characters claim and the risks that it entails and which bind them together are inclined more towards death than towards life, just on account of freedom’s own conditions of possibility, namely radical autonomy, absence of sovereign power, and maximum choice.

***

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As I say, this is a reading of the novel which, at least in principle, helps to canonize Victory just because it claims that its form, plot and characters address versions of our current neoliberal social condition, and does so in metaphysically ambitious terms. Victory is a critique of freedom, I think.

Conrad is insisting that even in a liberal society devoted to free trade,
enterprises and markets, the law — and the sovereign state — comes first. It is, if one likes, beginning the work of detaching liberalism from freedom. To say this, however, is to ignore the most pressing question that this reading raises: to what degree should we today actually accede to Conrad’s ambivalent, pessimistic and conservative imagination of radical freedom?

How to judge that freedom’s renunciation of established hierarchies, collectivities and values whether for adventure, risk and spontaneity or for violence and death? It is a condition of the discipline’s neoliberal state that the only answer we can give to that question is that we can, each of us, answer that question any way that we choose.

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