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September 07, 2017


Capitalism 2.0 has some pretty serious bugs. I always prefer waiting for the 2.1 release.

Best guess is it will be a while yet before it makes it to beta. Just sayin'

In case anybody is still interested in reactions/critiques etc to Lilla's book, this (also referring to politics in the UK) by Kenan Malik from today's Observer:


I dig, bob mcm, I dig. And yet it all made a certain sense to me...

By the way, on the creating of content question, my own somewhat pathetic blows against the Empire consist of this: I am not on Facebook, or any kind of social media. My only presence by (nick)name online is being in the acknowledgement sections of certain disparate books written by friends or people I helped in some way or other. Of course, my google searches (although I try to disable recording of them) and shopping are no doubt available, if the ads I see are anything to go by. There's a limit to what a luddite such as myself can accomplish in obscuring my trail, but I guess that's the whole point...

Oh alas, alas, more excellent reason to regret Brexit:


Analyze this:


They have plans for Margrethe Vestager, these visionaries do.

Allow me to reorient myself. To these visionary ilk, WE are that other six-letter V word. As are their dupe supporters.


GftNC:2:59:Mark Lilla

Won't read Lilla, and the article was only ok. Too much politics and not enough economics in its history.

Twas the Fordist era, the age of mass industrialization, mass communication, mass mobilization, and fiscal demand management that created ideological struggles and big governments.

Big governments of imperialism, welfare capitalism, fascism, stalinism, and insurgent anti-colonialisms that competed with each other. All are forms of collectivism.

One peak of the Fordist era was the LBJ administration, with all its wonders and horrors. It wasn't the racism or anti-racism that made the difference, it was a collectivist will and mass mobilization that determined there would be war at Anzio, Stalingrad, Iwo Jima, and Hue.

And a Civil Rights Act, enforced by Federal Marshalls.

The era of big government is over, and we are deciding what will replace it. Or it is deciding us, makes little difference.

Gingrich/rump/bannon's racist, anti-Semitic paramilitary killers:


Delurking again, this time just with a suggestion for people like Gftnc who don't want their google searches tracked. Use something else, like duckduckgo. There are probably others here who know more and can say whether this is a good suggestion-- I am only passing on what others have said who hate or distrust Google.


I found this very lucid regarding Lilla et al:


Asking to weaken and end identity politics is like trying to go back to 3 television channels. We are all, left center right trying to hold on to each other at the edges of a centrifuge.

And I really don't care that much if Jeff Bezos owns all 1000 cable channels. He can't and doesn't want to control the content, just tap a shunt into the Big Pipe.

Count, regarding Lucifer's Hammer and the far right: anyone who ever knew Jerry Pournelle (which I had the misfortune to) would be aware that he was a major scumbag. That the far right would embrace his views seems like a marriage made in . . . somewhere. Soulmates, for sure.

The era of big government is over, and we are deciding what will replace it. Or it is deciding us, makes little difference.

Is this just an expression of hope?

Or do you have some actual evidence that it is happening? Something that would cause us to look at, for example, the ACA (and its "repeal") and say, "See, big government being rolled back already!"? Somehow, like it or no, I'm just not seeing it.

Or do you have some actual evidence that it is happening? Something that would cause us to look at, for example, the ACA

The formal differences between the ACA and Medicare, the different levels of national/state acceptance and implementation.

The political voluntarists say:"Bad Joe Lieberman, Bad John Roberts, Bad Mississippi" as if George Wallace and Barry Goldwater didn't even try.

I don't do alternate histories or utopias, I look at history and say this is what had to happen because it happened. Then I ask why.

We know that power is shifting: From West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble startups and, slowly but surely, from men to women. But power is not merely shifting and dispersing. It is also decaying. Those in power today are more constrained in what they can do with it and more at risk of losing it than ever before.
The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be

I do agree that pessimism, left-wing melancholy (allusion alert!), and defeatism can be effectively conservative or or or dispiriting. Real old-style Marxists kinda hate me.

And fuck I love our 1000 channel-watching 3 billion Facebook using left-handed red-haired polysexual Basque WoW-playing world. Love it to death.

I am damn well not going to try to organize it or expect unity or consistency or solidarity in it. Should have been a tornado or hurricane above.

This i what freedom and democracy looks like. Sophocles followed by plague and a Syracuse expedition.


Donald: many thanks.

The formal differences between the ACA and Medicare, the different levels of national/state acceptance and implementation.

Oh, no question that the ACA is a less big government solution than Medicare. But that isn't the real comparison. We didn't decide to implement the ACA instead of Medicare for all. We implemented it as a large step, a big government step, in that direction.

You can argue that government isn't getting bigger as fast as you expected. But that's not really the same thing as saying that its era is over.

wj:5:12: Good luck. Go for it. I am right behind you. I don't have a plan or any answers, just an analysis and an overwhelming weltschmerz. And books, music, old movies, and anime.

charleswt:End of Power: you hate me, huh.

Out of pot. I take months or years off smoking at a time. Pot helps me read and think, but hurts my writing and sociality. Need some discipline to get back in a groove and channel nervous energy.

Bob, I'm not arguing that it's a good thing. Just noting that it's what's happening.

"We are all, left center right trying to hold on to each other at the edges of a centrifuge."

Superb image.

Some are installing warp speed buttons on the hyper-centrifuge:


The End of Power:


Yeah, whose?

For GFTNC, a Beatle all in on Brexit:


Hmmm, there were those in MoTown and folks like Fabian and Bobby Rydell who might have wanted to place U.S. import and immigration restrictions on the British Invasion too.

Especially because they were more popular than Jesus, whose followers proved back then to be thick and ordinary too.

Pete Best's opinions on Brexit have not been solicited yet, but then he remained working class.

Novakant and GftNC, thanks for those takes on Lilla (and others). People's histories follow them around, and the LRB link shows that despite the seeming reasonableness of Lilla and others claims, because of there they started, you can't really take what they are saying as neutral.

As far as Ringo, genius on the drums, but really loves the bucks, as his forays into Japanese TV commercials indicate


Of course, if I were him, I'd probably do it too...

This is just by way of a test: my email has been out all day, and I can see no comments here after lj @ 01.58 AM. I seem to be able to search, but this is feeling rather weird, and I just want to see if this gets through...

GftNC, it worked. And the comment from lj is also the last one I see.

I'm guessing that means we are due (overdue?) for a new thread. Maybe someone will step up....


Girl from the North Country | September 17, 2017 at 02:59 PM


novakant | September 17, 2017 at 04:13 PM

Both interesting reads, for me particularly because I don't know most of the writers being discussed, but the ideas are so familiar. It sounds like a cabal of some number of more genteel versions of Pat Buchanan.

Yes, novakant, I meant to acknowledge: very interesting piece from the LRB, thank you.

Copied and pasted from the Google news page, just for the weirdness:

Louisiana man suspected in fatal shootings of two black men hit with first-degree murder charges New York Daily News· 3h ago

Related Coverage

Baton Rouge highlighted as one of South's five underrated food destinations by 'USA Today'

I guess "related" is used very loosely here.

Sometimes, the algorithm used for these things seems either extremely crude or . . . very odd.

I remember when Google News use to place articles about impending capital punishment executions in the Health section.

Maybe algorithms are designed to be sociopaths, like their human creators.

Murder .... and then tuck into a good meal, perhaps with a nice Chianti.

Execute a human being and then place the back of your hand on a child's forehead to feel for fever.

All in one motion.

This really isn't any different than your pretty blonde newscaster on the local news station segueing from dire footage of the human toll of pestilence and famine via a bright smile to "and up next, our food editor will show you a new ingredient for your morning smoothie that may shock you."

All in a day's work. We contain multitudes with only the slightest, if any, authentic emotion over any of them. All anxieties tranquilized. All boredom amused.

A sociopath like the stock market. Up 45 points today. Millions in North Korea, perhaps in Iran too, perhaps incinerated tomorrow.


Am I getting through to ya, Mr, Beale?


To increase the share of those so-called Americans voting for sociopathic murderous Republicans, FOX is recruiting this Russian "news"woman too to anchor a show.

They're calling it "Beavers in Glass Houses".

Tune in and get a glimpse of insanity.

I remember seeing an article about cannibalism in Eastern Europe in a British tabloid Food section.


Here's the missing link for the Russian news woman at 5:04 pm:


She's Italian, but so what.

Mexico City experienced a devastating earthquake today.

In anticipation, rump and company ordered ICE to deport the Dreamers so they could make it back in time for the carnage and to experience a frisson of Walter Percy existential catastrophe whoopy.

Meanwhile, genocidal republicans on the other side of town are about to murder hundreds of thousands whose healthcare will disappear and who would probably rather be in Mexico City at the moment.

If North Korea and Iran would hurry and launch their nuclear weapons on Washington D.C., think of the human lives that would be saved.

As a country, we're murderous sociopaths right up there with the worst of them.

Sick, sick perverted fucks.

It's a pre-existing condition, a disease carried only by Americans.

I say pull the plug.

Meanwhile, in closing today, Rod Dreher drives me crazy and is a bit of a sexaholic, but one of those all hat and no cattle kinds. He loves talking about the plumbing:


I guess the Benedict Option (the book is in a stack on the table) does not feature a bidet.

Considering the past two weeks and anticipating nuclear war, more hurricane carnage, and kids being yanked from their health insurance before the IV chemo drip is finished over the next two weeks, I would rather meet one of those liberal women mentioned in the reviewed book because I sure wouldn't want to hang out with a conservative woman during these end days.

She'd probably tell me Death of one kind or another would be good for me, a learning, ennobling, honorable, character-building experience that would make a man, albeit a dead one, outta me.

I'm not into cheap thrills much, but conservative women are merely expensive DeathsHeads. I am curious to know who exactly these conservative women are who "report" their frequency of masturbation, and WHO they are reporting to.

John Galt?

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