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December 12, 2019

Comments

What GFTNC said.
To make the point again, to govern is to choose. If you can’t do that, you’re abdicating leadership before you begin.

The real charge against Corbyn is that he fundamentally believes that British/white lives are of equal value with the lives of others.
That’s one way of framing it. The traditional Labour voter might consider that Corbyn just wasn’t that interested in representing them.

I'll trade you 0% corporate tax in exchange for no distinction in tax rates between earned and un-earned income.

Deal?

Is there any hope?

doesn't seem like the US left wants to hope. seems like they suddenly want to give up.

that's not a great way to win.

I'll trade you 0% corporate tax in exchange for no distinction in tax rates between earned and un-earned income.

Deal?

Nope.
I just can't see any reason for taxing un-earned income at a lower rate, regardless of the corporate tax rate. But if you want to charge different rates for earned and un-earned income, I think there's a far stronger case for charging un-earned income at a higher rate than there is for our current practice.

seems like they suddenly want to give up.

Who are "they", and what evidence can you provide to us backing this assertion up?

The traditional Labour voter might consider that Corbyn just wasn’t that interested in representing them.

Well, OK. So give me an example of what he could have said to allay this opinion?

I am reminded of the back and forth at LGM (and elsewhere) with lefty types asserting that only if Obama would have forcefully led that we would have gotten the public option. They disparaged this as the "Green Lantern" version of politics. After a good deal of consideration, I think Lemieux, et. al make a good case.

It is somewhat disconcerting to now see more moderate types invoking Green Lanternism.

Maybe we need a political version of vaccination.

😊

Who are "they",

i refer you to the sentence before the one you quoted ... ?

and what evidence can you provide to us backing this assertion up?

really, it's everywhere. i've read more "Oh noes! Trump is going to win because nobody cares, and the economy, and the Senate, and nobody sees how great %%MY_PREFERRED_CANDIDATE%% really is!" comments in the past week than i can count. and i'm not alone in noticing it:


Michelle Goldberg noticed it:
http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/12/democracy-grief

Drum:
https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/12/america-in-2020-will-probably-rhyme-with-britain-in-2019/

and of course there are countless pieces about how the UK result means the left is done in the US too.

I realise that although everything I said about the pre-referendum situation was true (i.e. that Labour couldn't support leave), nonetheless they could have said for this election: OK, we supported remain, but in recognition of democratic imperatives we have now to support leave, but on better terms than the Tories have achieved, to protect the NHS etc. (Of course they tried some variant of this, but in their continuing fence-sitting, wishy washy mode). I wouldn't have been happy, of course, but it might have preserved the "red wall". What stopped this really working was their inability to show they had really supported remain before the referendum.

I think there's a far stronger case for charging un-earned income at a higher rate than there is for our current practice.

But, if you use earned income to invest, taxes on income from those investments is, in effect, a double tax.

And, if you keep the corporate tax, it amounts to a triple tax on investments in corporations.

and then if you buy something from that corp and pay sales tax, it's a quadruple tax. but the money goes back to the corporation and then enters the tax cycle again. so, it's really an infinite tax.

the only way to win is to not play.

taxes on income from those investments is, in effect, a double tax.

If I earn $100, pay $30 in income tax, spend $50 of the remaining $70, invest the remaining $20, and make $1 on the $20, I will pay tax on the $1. Not on the original $20.

Unless I'm missing something, which is possible.

so, it's really an infinite tax.

It's amazing that there's any money left at all!! How ever do we survive?

If the Labour leadership had come out strongly and unambiguously for remain before the referendum...

Would have needed a different leadership.

If I earn $100, pay $30 in income tax, spend $50 of the remaining $70, invest the remaining $20, and make $1 on the $20, I will pay tax on the $1. Not on the original $20.

Unless I'm missing something, which is possible.

You are not missing anything.

The double tax argument is usually applied to dividends, since corporations pay them out of after-tax income. But this is not much of an argument. The corporation is not the shareholder. They are two different taxpayers. If I pay a plumber to do some work at my condo, that's money I've already paid tax on, but the plumber still has to pay tax on it too.

Besides, all sorts of things are "double taxes." Payroll taxes are calculated on gross income, for example, and sales taxes are also paid with money that has already been taxed.

The way I see it, money I pay in taxes is money that gets spent on something. Maybe that "something" benefits me directly, maybe it doesn't. Most likely some does and some doesn't.

But it isn't like taking a pile of money and setting it on fire, taxes I pay turn into income for somebody else. And at least some of the taxes that person pays turns into something I end up using, or depending on what I do for living perhaps even income to me, directly.

We're all just passing money around to each other. And the money that gets passed around is just a token of value that each of us turn into tangible things that we need. In the process of turning money into something I need, the money becomes income to somebody else.

There's "waste" along the way in the form of inefficiency, but that usually ends up paying for something somebody somewhere needs, too. And inefficiency of that sort is basically baked into the human condition, to some degree. We shouldn't be stupid or careless or reckless, but you have to let the small stuff go or you'll go nuts.

The issue is whether the money we pay in taxes is paying for stuff we actually want to pay for. And, for pretty much everybody, some is and some isn't. And that's the price we pay for living in a community big enough to contain different points of view.

My personal tax burden doesn't deprive me of anything I need or even especially want, and the various governments I pay taxes to generally do things I find useful. Other stuff, too, stuff I think is wasteful or that I simply would prefer not contributing to, but from my point of view it's far from a dead loss. So I just don't worry about it all that much. I mean, I pay attention, but I don't sit around resenting every dollar I don't have for my own personal use because it went to one tax or another.

We're all swimming in a great big river of money. IMO it's better - it does more good to me, and to everybody else - to let it flow and not to just bury it in a coffee can out in the backyard.

My opinion.

More depressing environmental stuff... the East Med:
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/12/mediterranean-sea-pollution-un-climate/603442/

For what it's worth, (and obviously I agree with every fucking word), the following is from a piece in Friday's Guardian by Polly Toynbee, headlined "Devoid of agility, charisma and credibility, Corbyn has led Britain into the abyss":

Given the worst choice in history, the public preferred him to his opponent. How bad did Labour have to be to let this sociopathic, narcissistic, glutton for power beat them? That’s the soul-searching question every Labour member, office-holder and MP has to ask.

Labour was disastrously, catastrophically bad, an agony to behold. A coterie of Corbynites cared more about gripping power within the party than saving the country by winning the election. The national executive committee, a slate of nodding Corbynite place-persons, disgraced the party with its sectarian decisions. Once it was plain in every poll and focus group that Corbynism was electoral arsenic, they should have propelled him out, but electoral victory was secondary.

I also recommend from yesterday's Guardian the peerless Marina Hyde's "This was a stunning victory for the bullshit-industrial complex". Everything she writes is so witty and perfect that it's hard to pick quotes, but from her first paragraph:

Well. A new dawn has shat, has it not? Shortly after 7am, Boris Johnson slipped into the costume Dominic Cummings has been sewing for him out of the skins of missing statesmen. “I am humbled that you have put your trust in me,” announced the nation’s foremost liar in front of a backdrop reading “the people’s government”, as though this ideally axiomatic concept was an innovation.

I think we need to take the long view:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/14/labour-meltdown-decades-govern-votes

There's "waste" along the way in the form of inefficiency, but that usually ends up paying for something somebody somewhere needs, too. And inefficiency of that sort is basically baked into the human condition, to some degree.

Especially when one considers the inefficiency involved in non-governmental organizations. (And anybody who claims that private businesses are marvels of efficiency hasn't worked in one!) Some are better than others; some are more efficient than government . . . but others are even less efficient.

Well, novakant, this sneering description of David Milliband (an impressive politician, whether one supports him or not, and whatever you think of New Labour they did actually win three successive elections and brought in many of the policies that the left howled about being cut during the austerity years) from your link shows something about "old Labour's" capacity for myopia:

This tribune of the Tyneside proletariat now works 3,000 miles away at a New York-based charity that in 2017 reportedly paid him £680,000.

Q: Is there any hope? (asked more for rhetorical effect.....I had hoped...alas to apparently no avail).

R: "doesn't seem like the US left wants to hope. seems like they suddenly want to give up."

Q: Who are "they"?

R: The "US left"

Q: "what evidence can you provide to us backing this assertion up?"

R: A column by Michelle Goldberg who laments her "democracy grief" and claims "many liberals" are retreating into some kind of "self-protective" cynicism conceding a Trump victory in 2020. What liberal does she cite: None.... other than a NeverTrump conservative. Yep, many. Furthermore, I'm not quite seeing how a lament of the possible pending loss of democracy is "giving up", but whatever.
Then a blog entry by K. Drum is cited, where he claims there are lessons to be learned from the British election despite the recent "bullying" by those asserting the lessons, if any, to be learned from that election are small to none (citation omitted). So don't go too far left, kiddies, because bad things happen. This is an arguable point, but I'm not seeing anything here about "giving up hope."

So, cleek, I remain a bit confused.

Conceding a Trump acquittal in the forthcoming Senate trial is not "giving up". Even so, the House could (if they had the political will) just impeach him on something else. I'd say there's lots to choose from.

Never give in.

Especially when one considers the inefficiency involved in non-governmental organizations.

It's as if they have never guffawed over a Dilbert comic strip (created by one the world's few funny libertarians).

Never give in.

Absolutely. I do think people are in a state of depression right now, and cleek is right in believing that we all need to buck up.

The thing is, we need to do more than one thing:

1) The 2020 elections are going to be influenced by the usual money interests, by foreign influence, and by structural factors. We need to be aware of those things. That means picking the candidate whose policies we prefer in the primaries, but letting that go and supporting whoever wins in the general. (One exception: Gabbard, the Putin candidate).

2) We need to work hard to defeat R's at all levels in 2020. We made it happen in Virginia, folks!

3) We need to start planning what to do if Trump wins reelection. We also need to plan what to do if the Supreme Court votes in favor of Trump on the finance issues. We have states which are capable of obstructing the Trump agenda. We should support all of their efforts to do so.

4) Other than the election, we need to focus on obstructing the new R infrastructure. For example: refugee internment camps: we have to show up constantly and make good trouble. We have to resist private prisons. Anyone have them in their stock portfolio? Do something else.

5) Get your money out of the stock market, people! Put it elsewhere. The economy is going to go bust. Protect yourself. (Was I a prepper? No. Am I a prepper now? Not really, but thinking that it's not a bad idea.)

6) I've been thinking about getting firearms training. I'm not interested in owning a gun, and really don't want to support the weapons industry. But.... I actually think that some blue-state arsenals should be established, where people can train at reasonable intervals, get qualified to check out guns, and be ready if things turn weird.

Add to this, People! We need to figure out what to do.

Regarding No. 5 of my previous rant:

I have long been a believer in the stability of American business, and its relative lack of corruption. (Okay, "relative" .)

No more. There's no way that American businesses won't be anything but corrupt if Trumpism remains pre-eminent.

Obviously, in my list, if we can get rid of Trumpism, and begin restoring normalcy, go right ahead - the stock market's century-long record is the best place to put your retirement money.

If not, anything goes. And even if the stock market continues to do well under Trump, do you want to be contributing to the businesses that support his economy? Put your money in your home equity or something instead.

Add to this, People! We need to figure out what to do.

Send all your money to me:

Bobbyp
2472 Alaskan Way S.
Seattle, WA 98044

A well timed profile of William Gibson:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/16/how-william-gibson-keeps-his-science-fiction-real

Conceding a Trump acquittal in the forthcoming Senate trial is not "giving up".

ok, i wasn't talking about the trial. it would have never even occurred to me that there's any way to 'fight' there. that's preordained. i was talking about the election.

Wow, Nigel, that's a terrific piece on William Gibson. Terrific, and deeply depressing.

I was intrigued by this piece on the election. It's from a Labour supporter, but struck me as a reasonably restrained lefty take as opposed to the generic lefty cant.

Submitted with all due respect...for what it's worth.

Actually, bobbyp, and also for what it's worth, I thought that piece was reasonably fair. But it leads me immediately to broach a subject which wj regularly brings up, often to great disagreement if not scorn.

It doesn't matter how good the prospectus (or manifesto) is (and I think the author understates how unrealistic the Labour manifesto was - something which Pro Bono has alluded to, and which traditional Labour voters in the North also were well aware of), if the people selling it can't get elected. The author, just before the election, sees some of Corbyn's disadvantages as leader, but some of us were very aware of them from the moment he won the leadership. A more centrist Labour leader might not have been as transformative as the author thinks Corbyn would have been, but would instead have had a chance to actually begin to change things, and short-circuit the seemingly inexorable rise of the plutocracy, as well as help green policies along, Instead, we get Boris, as an example openly backed by (among others) the billionaire hedgefunder and ex-Murdoch son-in-law Crispin Odey.

GftNC, in fairness I would note that quite often those objecting honestly do believe that a pure, very left (for the US) platform would win for them, where a center-left platform would not. To my mind, the evidence -- which candidates have won, nationally, and which haven't -- is overwhelmingly otherwise. But they object because they don't see it.

Yup, wj, I do understand that. And I'm rather sympathetic to them, because by European standards people like e.g. Warren don't seem remotely extreme, but of course what matters is how she seems to Americans, and if the situations are at all comparable (which I now fear), it does give one (me, at any rate) serious pause.

Ahem, Brown and Milliband lost the election as well, and yet I don't recall comparable outrage about their leadership.

'Centrism' doesn't solve the problem.

GftNC, I suppose it just show the far right isn't alone in living in a fantasy world. The difference being that, these days, the right's fantasy world embraces more people. A minority, but a somewhat larger one.

Ahem, Brown and Milliband lost the election as well, and yet I don't recall comparable outrage about their leadership.

Yes. After Labour won three successive elections, and transformed quite a few public services (e.g. the NHS) for the better. On the other hand, when they left power they did leave very little money in the exchequer, but they had had to cope with the 2008 crash, and ended up paying the price (for that as well as the understandable Labour-fatigue of the public). Brown was a bad candidate (although I had a great deal of respect for him), temperamentally unfit for campaigning, and Milliband was campaigning during austerity where Labour was constantly (and not totally unreasonably) being blamed for it. The situations cannot be realistically compared.

I know this is very hard for the left (including some of my nearest and dearest), but the choice of Corbyn as leader was a disaster, and this country is going to suffer for it.

Yet another link

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-general-election-result-corbyn-brexit-lucky-eu-a9246411.html

If Boris won on Brexit, I’m unclear on why a Remain Labourite would have won.

GB: "I know this is very hard for the left... but the choice of Corbyn... was a disaster, and this country is going to suffer for it."

USA: "I know this is very hard for the center... but the choice of Clinton... was a disaster, and this country is going to suffer for it."

Not exactly analogous, but you get the idea. Yin meet yang. It will always be so.

One can only press on in the face of such massive setbacks.

Analogous to the extent that one must try to take utmost care that one's chosen candidates do not have such perceived negatives that even corrupt scoundrels can defeat them, by winning the votes of people who will suffer for it. Very much easier said than done, of course. Despite my prescience about Corbyn, I would never have thought that Trump could defeat HRC, whatever her perceived faults (and in my opinion they were not as bad as all that).

One can only press on in the face of such massive setbacks

This is true, bobbyp, and I don't want to fight with you. There is no joy for any of us in this.

Donald, in (not very brilliant) answer to your quesstion at 04.35, which I've only just noticed, see my comments (passim) upthread, saying how the opinion in the country might have been swayed before the referendum if Labour had enthusiastically supported remain, at least enough to have a chance of a different referendum result. But given the actual referendum result, see my 02.59 upthread as to how they might then have dealt with it. By the way, all, I'm not pretending to complete rationality or to having the answers. I'm in a state of low-level rage and misery at what is probably coming, although not as bad as I was after the referendum, possibly because of my personal losses in the meantime.

I remain unconvinced both by the standard centrist "electability" argument and the standard leftist "better platform" arguments because it seems that both, as usually argued and analyzed, seem to miss a key element seen by those on the other side.

The "electable" centrist Democrat candidate polls well in the middle and in the swing states, but generally has a hodgepodge of policy (many parasitized from the right) and a corporatist bent and they come off as serving the status-quo and having no governing principles and so leak votes from the left.

The "platform" center left, meanwhile, focuses on ambitious policy and egalitarian principles, but lose points for a perceived lack of pragmatism and leak votes from the center-right while drawing fire from the corporate media.

What the Democrats really need is Beto in service to Warren's principles and a more incrementalist approach to getting there. But the Dems are crap at linking pragmatism and principles.

Ahem, Brown and Milliband lost the election as well, and yet I don't recall comparable outrage about their leadership.

There's no denying that the center left loses at least as often as they win. This distinguishes them from the far left, which doesn't (because they aren't in a position to) lose anywhere near as often. But doesn't win at all.

So obviously a gradualist, center left, approach is to be avoided at all costs. At least by anyone who desires the right to prevail.

'Nuff said.

which candidates have won, nationally, and which haven't

FWIW, Clinton was the ultimate centrist.

And, lost.

Like I said, centerist Democrats lose as often as they win. Being a centerist is no guarantee of victory. (Just as winning the popular vote isn't a guarantee of getting elected.)

But something can be, on the evidence, pretty much necessary without being in any way sufficient.

“ I'm in a state of low-level rage ”

I know the feeling. My guess from 3000 miles away is that there was no winning strategy for Labour. I like Corbyn in many ways, and think the antisemitism criticisms were mostly unfair , but agree that Corbyn has demonstrated a talent for being dimwitted on this topic ( and others). No matter what the ideology, being a bit dim is usually a handicap. That painting you mentioned, for instance— the man is not bright.

my spreadsheet looks like this:

Trump's base size is the same as it was in 2016, and their support hasn't budged. so his baseline is getting elected by the EC.

and if you only care about the economy, and not politics, diplomacy or foreign policy, he's done fine; the people most hurt by his trade wars seem willing to swallow a lot of shit. yes, it's a straight-line continuation of Obama's economy in every single way, but not fucking it up counts for people who don't care about the details.

that leaves the middle and the Dem base.

so, what the Dems need is charisma to woo the middle and enthusiasm to turn out the base.

the actual platform is irrelevant, if he/she can woo.

who brings that?

I like Corbyn in many ways, and think the antisemitism criticisms were mostly unfair

No. They were not unfair. Corbyn has a habit of putting himself in stupid positions wrt antisemitism and then trying to back out with "I didn't mean that."

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

And some people are their own worst enemy.

who brings that?

If that is the sole criteria, I would say Cory Booker, but he needs to go (and convincingly so) a bit left to get the support of (enough of) the base in the primaries. (He has utterly failed to do so, and instead tries to carve a place out of the middle. Admittedly, he is in a tough spot.)

He can do whatever he wants once he is nominated, because then it's all about the fcuker in the WH.

The Dem base will fall in line no matter what-unless the party is dumb enough to nominate a Blumberg. The middle is an illusion. Find new voters from those who don't vote. They are usually Dem leaners.

I for one am really, really, tired of being admonished to kowtow to the likes of Joe Manchin, Joe Lieberman, or this asshole. Anybody who calls that POS a "moderate" is out of their minds.

But hey, the data shows about 12% of Dem voters to be stone racists....so what do I know?

No. They were not unfair.

This is similar to Clinton's emails. All smoke, no fire. I am not aware of any evidence that Corbyn is personally an anti-semite.* The press got a lot of mileage out of some anti-semitic behaviour in the party, and Corbyn addressed it very ineptly (seems to be a pattern with him).

And the conservatives? Up to their 'effing gills in standard right wing anti-semitism across the board, but nary a peep.

For the most part, my take is Brexit hammered Labour. They had no good outs.

*unless you are the type whose default position equates support for the Palestinian cause as ipso facto anti-semitism, in which case we have nothing to talk about.

from the wikki.....

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

and this...

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

Just how the f does Boris Johnson and his fascist ilk get off so easily?

More from the annals of the political genius of "moderates"....here and here.

Political ineptitude is a disease that knows no ideological boundary.

Political ineptitude is a disease that knows no ideological boundary.

Absolutely true. An inept politician with a winning program can manage to lose an election. But even a competent politician won't win with a bad program . . . unless he lucks out and gets an inept opponent.

I could get into a long extended rant or a short one or something in- between about the antisemitism charge. I think it is complicated. I just started typing paragraphs and deleted them. I’m trying to avoid heated arguments that waste time and emotional energy. If I decide to follow up on this I will post links later.

Here is a link. Longwinded and old and not directly relevant to Corbyn, but I put it in because I just saw Peter Beinart ( who I generally respect) repeating this charge about Raed Salah, who was apparently a Corbyn associate at some point.

http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2015/08/stephen-pollard-jewish-chronicle-editor.html

The claim is that in a poem in Arabic, Raed Salah had invoked a classic European blood libel against Jews. His claim is that they misunderstood the poem— he was criticizing Israel by comparing them to European bigots who persecuted Jews.

I don’t know who is right in that case, and that is part of the point. When you hear one side you are dead certain that it is a case of vicious antisemitism and when you hear the other then it is a case of cynical misrepresentation. Much of the controversy is like that.

Another link, directly relevant and critical of both Corbyn and his critics.

https://www.jewishquarterly.org/2018/10/the-left-and-the-jews/

Another link, mostly critical of Corbyn’s critics. In this case, a rabbi and an archbishop.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/writingfromtheedge/2019/12/archbishop-justin-you-need-some-new-jewish-friends/

So, a rabbi, and archbishop and Jeremy Corbyn walk into a pub...

So moving away from the antisemitism issue, here are some far lefties being analytical about the recent disaster. I think the title is misleading. They are critical of Corbyn as a poor leader. And there are actually three different people with somewhat different views all writing.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/12/dont-blame-corbyn-or-brexit-labour-failed-to-rage-against-the-hated-political-system.html

And actually, the comments underneath the post are in some cases better than the post. “ Clive” is a very effective ranter ( I mean that in a good way).

Clive, I should add, strongly disagrees with some of the front page article, in case you feel the same way and think I am recommending more of the same.

I don’t have a firm view or much of any view of what Labour could have done. Clive sounds reasonable.

An alternate view:
http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2019/12/15/labours-delusions/

FWIW, I think the arguments over the precise nature of what led to Labour's loss fairly sterile. Of rather more concern is the direction they head in now.
Clearly you can't completely dissociate the two things, but equally setting out to refight the issues of the last election rather than helping determine the issues of the next one is a sure recipe for failure.

One other point all this analysis misses is that parties' electoral fortunes do not depend entirely on themselves.

The Lib Dems, for example, ran an exceedingly poor campaign too, managing to lose around 10% of the vote to Labour in the space of two weeks. Imagine how badly Labour might have done, had a leader with rather more experience and media savvy than Swinson been in charge...

What Nigel said, despite my anti-Corbyn rants and jeremiads. And that's a good link, too.

I also agree with quite a lot of the views in Donald's nakedcapitalism link.

I'm going to stop reading the post-mortems, at least for a while, it's a) too depressing and b) too intimidating about the future when one contemplates the size of the mountain which now needs to be climbed, and the time it will take to climb it.

byomtov, on the antisemitism thing. I was inclined to think as you do, particularly when I saw the BBC Panorama about how complaints about anti-semitism in the party had been handled. But friends of mine who knew more about it than I did and understood the actual statistics better (not hard in my case!) pointed me towards more detail, including but not limited to the history of the witnesses Panorama interviewed, and in the end I was pretty sure they were right. But that doesn't excuse the stupidity and carelessness with which the Labour leadership handled the issue. We all know that you can be Jewish, and/or not anti-semitic, and oppose the actions of the Israeli government, but there is no doubt that many anti-semites use anti-Israel, anti-Zionist ideas as a convenient cover for antisemitism. However, as others have pointed out, this is hardly confined to the Labour party.

My what Nigel said referred particularly to his 09.25.

Here's a list of 18 examples of alleged anti-semitism perpetrated by Corbyn.

The list makes no attempt to distinguish anti-semitism from anti-zionism.

This is a motion submitted to the House of Commons a few years ago by Corbyn and others, seeking to rename Holocaust Memorial Day.

I don't know whether it should be considered anti-semitic. But it shows a frightening lack of empathy with Jewish feelings about the Holocaust.

I don't strongly identify as Jewish, but because of the Holocaust I have no known living relatives in continental Europe. For me, it's not something to play political games with.

I don't know whether it should be considered anti-semitic. But it shows a frightening lack of empathy with Jewish feelings about the Holocaust

I understand the wish to include anti-semitism with other forms of racism, and to include the holocaust with other genocides, when trying for example to understand the psychological mechanism which allows some groups to turn other groups into objects whom it is OK to murder and persecute. But you get no argument from me with your second sentence.

because of the Holocaust I have no known living relatives in continental Europe. For me, it's not something to play political games with.

Same here.

I don't know whether it should be considered anti-semitic. But it shows a frightening lack of empathy with Jewish feelings about the Holocaust

I understand the wish to include anti-semitism with other forms of racism, and to include the holocaust with other genocides, when trying for example to understand the psychological mechanism which allows some groups to turn other groups into objects whom it is OK to murder and persecute. But you get no argument from me with your second sentence.

because of the Holocaust I have no known living relatives in continental Europe. For me, it's not something to play political games with.

Same here.

I don't know whether it should be considered anti-semitic. But it shows a frightening lack of empathy with Jewish feelings about the Holocaust

I understand the wish to include anti-semitism with other forms of racism, and to include the holocaust with other genocides, when trying for example to understand the psychological mechanism which allows some groups to turn other groups into objects whom it is OK to murder and persecute. But you get no argument from me with your second sentence.

because of the Holocaust I have no known living relatives in continental Europe. For me, it's not something to play political games with.

Same here.

bobbyp,

All smoke, no fire. I am not aware of any evidence that Corbyn is personally an anti-semite.* The press got a lot of mileage out of some anti-semitic behaviour in the party, and Corbyn addressed it very ineptly (seems to be a pattern with him).

I think you are understating matters. To deal with one celebrated case, it is inconceivable that anyone could look at the famous mural and not see it as antisemitic. Inconceivable.

Is Corbyn personally antisemitic? I don't know and neither do you. We are not mind-readers. I do know that Corbyn himself, not just members of his party, has behaved in ways that suggest he is antisemitic, or that he is just happy to associate with those, like DYR, who are.

Let me ask you, and Donald, this. Suppose there were a prominent American politician whom 87% of African-Americans regarded as racist. Would you shrug off the charge?

But friends of mine who knew more about it than I did and understood the actual statistics better (not hard in my case!) pointed me towards more detail

byomtov, in view of your (very understandable) privileging of Jewish opinion on whether Corbyn/Labour are antisemitic, perhaps I should have made clear that the friends to whom I refer are Jewish, and perfectly prepared to identify anti-semitism where they think it exists. They are very hot on the Palestinian issue, of course, which puts them at odds with a great deal of institutional Jewish opinion, both here and in the US, but they are from traditional Jewish backgrounds, and very far from (the insult so regularly deployed against those who don't unthinkingly follow the pro-Israel line) "self-hating Jews".

As bad as things are here and in the UK, they could be much worse.

https://www.thenation.com/article/arundhati-roy-assam-modi/

India looks like it is trying to be all our worst maladies on steroids.

Yeah. I noticed that India has moved to provide expedited citizenship processing for members of six (6) religions . . . not including Islam. Only some 200 million Muslims in India. But I suppose Modi figures that including 5 religions other than Hinduism will somehow insulate him from charges religious bigotry.

byomtov,

I am well aware of the minefield one gets into when it comes to discussions of I-P and "Zionism". There never seem to be any winners. As to your query, I would naturally respond with a "no".

I may be understating matters, yes. But I also believe the Corbyn has been subjected to an intense oppo media campaign which included a good deal of pure political mudslinging.

My take is Corbyn's longstanding opposition to the policies of Israel makes him inherently suspect in the eyes of that state's more enthusiastic supporters which, as should be rather obvious, includes many adherents to the Jewish faith.

On a related matter, what do you think of Trump's latest executive order regarding campus freedom of speech on this issue? I sincerely hope you found it as odious as I did.

Thank you.

India looks like it is trying to be all our worst maladies on steroids.

Agree. This will not end well.

I think everything about Corbyn’s alleged antisemitism ( including the fact that at least some socialist Jews like him and defend him) can be explained on the theory that he is a mostly well intentioned leftwing ideologue who happens not to be very bright. I can’t read his mind. He might be a bigot. I think it is much more likely that he is a bit dumb.

So take the mural. It savages bankers. It ncludes Rockefeller, Morgan and Rothschild. Rockefeller was a Baptist, I looked up a Morgan— afaik he isn’t Jewish. Imagine you are a somewhat dim lefty who sees a mural savaging bankers and you know at least two aren’t Jewish. No problem, you say to yourself. It’s about the role of evil financiers.

It’s a fact that some of the rhetoric demonizing or attacking the role of finance can easily turn into antisemitic rhetoric. It doesn’t stop lefties from attacking Wall Street, though no doubt antisemites hear Wall Street and think of something else.

If Corbyn had any sense, he would have realized the problem with that mural, but he is an ideologue instinctively and just doesn’t notice the antisemitism until someone points out out. You can call that antisemitism. I’d call it stupidity unless malice is involved. It is a level of idiocy one would prefer not to see in a possible PM, though this is now water under the bridge.

On Eisen, Corbyn is your bog standard leftist anti imperialist. I am guessing he hears of a group called Deir Yassin Remembered and thinks he should show solidarity. I would agree. He doesn’t find out until later that the leader is a Holocaust denier. Or that is my interpretation.

Why does this keep happening? Because the Israel- Palestinian issue is a unique sort of minefield which ( I have noticed) most liberals run screaming away from and Corbyn walks right in. It attracts angry lefties who are anti imperialist ( waves hand) and also some other types with unsavory motives and I also notice ( from outside) that Jews who argue about this argue about where the line is between antizionism and antisemitism. And then the other side is not exactly free from racism either, but they usually don’t get called out for it in the mainstream. ( I could go into a rant here, but won’t.) This makes the pro Palestinian activists angry which can lead to that wagon circling that some accuse Labour of doing. And then this can become antisemitism— there is an example of this in the Klug piece I linked. Look for the Daphne anecdote. That was definitely antisemitism.

So it is complicated, imo.

Bernard, on your question about an American politician widely believed to be racist by most blacks— I don’t think it is a good analogy because there is nothing comparable to the Israel issue. As far as I can tell, an enormous amount of the antisemitism issue was about Israel. Can some of that discussion become antisemitic? Yes, as mentioned above. Has Corbyn handled it well? No.

This argument about Israel, racism, and antisemitism is happening here too and Trump’s executive order is based on the IHRA definition of antisemitism that was pushed on Labour. The author of that definition, Kenneth Stern, thinks it is wrong to apply it to colleges. The issue will only get bigger with time.

Kenneth Stern on the misuse of his definition of antisemitism

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/antisemitism-executive-order-trump-chilling-effect

Having bashed Corbyn, here is someone praising him. I should probably post a few more of these, but it is a little tiring thinking about this.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/12/what-jeremy-corbyn-has-meant-to-me

But Corbyn’s flaws were closely related to his virtues. I think if he were the perfect smart anti imperialist lefty politician of my dreams he still would have been trashed.

For someone who isn't going to participate, jesus, Donald. Google news for all things Corbyn.

By the way, my impression is that no one much liked him, and he lost.

And, yeah, Boris is a monster.

Via Balloon Juice:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_G-FBSf1UI

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Neil Farage, racist antisemites, will be the subjects of their own dedicated percussive suites of automatic gunfire a la Dunkirk shortly, with grenade explosions in the mealy-mouthed Corbyn's, antisemitic foxhole as counterpoint to show that bipartisanship can stoop lower than hate to kill haters.

Avenge the murder of Jo Cox with utter savagery.

More on Modi:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/12/09/blood-and-soil-in-narendra-modis-india

Modi and the nationalist, murderous RSS must be subjected to slaughtering, butchering genocide and held a bloody, chaotic example of what's coming to the nationalist, racist, populist, bigoted, state-and market-monopolizing conservative movement in every country the world over, West and East, the Occident and the Orient.

It's time for politically incorrect Genghis Khan to rise and reclaim his horrific record .. everywhere, in every corner of the Earth the predatory right wing filth operate and I include the murderers of Hong Kong demonstrators and Putin and the right wing mullahs and rabbis as well.

America will be no sanctuary for our home-grown hateful right wing vermin, the tens of millions of them. Hunt them all down.

Make a Yemen of every reactionary murderous right wing regime the world over, in every continent.

Breathe easy, I now return to lurking.

'Tis the Season.

Corbyn was and remains very popular with Labour Party activists. But most of the rest of the country thought he'd be hopeless as Prime Minister.

Michael Foot had the same problem (rather unfairly, I thought). So, once he'd been seen doing the job, did Gordon Brown.

So does Boris Johnson. But someone had to win.

Corbyn beat Boris with the under 45 crowd. But turnout was low.

https://twitter.com/leninology/status/1205538333482508289

So does Boris Johnson.

True - but Johnson's leadership approval ratings were somewhere around minus 11%; Corbyn's around minus 70% (the lowest recorded since pollsters started asking the question).

Corbyn beat Boris with the under 45 crowd

Actually, I believe this time around, the crossover was around 39, not 45 (as it was at the last election).

Johnson's share of the youth vote was better than May's, similar to Major and Cameron, and significantly worse than that of Thatcher.

what is motivating the tendency toward nationalism?

asked a different way - why has nationalism become so attractive, in so many places?

what is motivating the tendency toward nationalism?

I blame the French Revolution. :)

I found this to be a relatively sane take. Your mileage may vary.

THULLEN!

Heartily recommended reading (esp. for McKinney):

God's Crucible by David Levering Lewis.

We exist in the currents and eddies of a history created long ago.

From bobbyp's Intelligencer link:

Although Sanders’s approval rating is much lower now than it was three years ago, only 2.6 percent more Americans disapprove of the socialist senator than approve of him, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average. For Corbyn, the analogous figure is 40 percent. In other words, Sanders is more than 15 times as popular as his British comrade.

Does that strike anyone else as an odd way to quantify relative popularity?

what is motivating the tendency toward nationalism?

Ah, that is indeed the important question. Or to put it another way, quoting Larkin:

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

asked a different way - why has nationalism become so attractive, in so many places?

Because so many people in developed countries now believe that the answer to the question "Will tomorrow be better than today?" is no. And nationalists always promise that the answer can be yes, if we just quit letting other countries (or our own minorities) take advantage of us.

asked a different way - why has nationalism become so attractive, in so many places?

I'm on a break between depositions, so let me ask, Russell, what do you mean, as in, how do you define "nationalism?"

Heartily recommended reading (esp. for McKinney):

God's Crucible by David Levering Lewis.

Read some reviews. Meh. If Islam was somewhat less barbaric than the Franks et al in 750 CE, the bar was low. Fast forward from 750 CE 500 years and do a comparison, then repeat every 100 years. Long term, the Judeo-Christian ethos proved more supple and ultimately far more classically liberal, yet still painfully human, than any other major religion or philosophy.

why has nationalism become so attractive, in so many places?

An integrated global economy, and vastly cheaper and easier travel and shipping, means that more and more people find themselves impacted by the rest of the world. A change on the economy half way around the world can mean layoffs or bankruptcies (or, though it gets less attention, booming growth) here.

Also, people find themselves, like it or not, interacting with people from elsewhere -- people with, often, quite different cultures and approaches to life. In the past, this kind of increased interaction was typically the result of immigration. That's still a factor, of course. But you can also find yourself on the phone and trying to work with someone who turns out to be, not just down the road but thousands of miles away.

Lots of people find that uncomfortable at best. And any time their local economy hiccups, or their own job has to change, they blame "those people" elsewhere. The packaging of that blame-the-other-guys view is, as it traditionally has been, nationalism. What's different today is how many more people, in how many places, find themselves impacted and are looking for a "solution" to the disruption they feel.

how do you define "nationalism?"

It is my way of characterizing the simultaneous phenomena of Trump and "America First"ism in the US, Johnson and Brexitism in the UK, and Modi and Hindu group identity as a political movement in India.

And there are other examples.

why has nationalism become so attractive, in so many places?

seems like immigration is probably a big factor in Europe - immigrants from Africa and the ME, especially, seem to be driving a lot of xenophobia.

in the US, our right wingers decided to make a bogyman out of SA immigration.

and if you're going to be mad at the Other, you'll want to take increase the pride you take in your own identity, for contrast. so when people are mad at foreigners coming into 'their' country, they fluff up their own national identity for contrast. nationalism.

IMO

bobbyp,

On a related matter, what do you think of Trump's latest executive order regarding campus freedom of speech on this issue? I sincerely hope you found it as odious as I did.

If Trump does something there is a strong chance it's odious.

The whole thing seems sort of muddled to me. I think it's wrong to stifle anti-Israel speech on Title VI or other grounds. I also think it's stupid, and not without risk, to try to wedge Jews into the "nation" category for purposes of Title VI. The statute just doesn't include religion as protected.

It would be nice if we could do the simple thing and add "religion" to the Title VI prohibitions on discrimination, but I suppose that might create problems for schools affiliated with some religions, and it would also protect (shudder) Muslims.

Donald,

It seems that the best defense of Corbyn you can muster is that he is stupid and careless. He also seems incapable of learning. I guess my response is that when you have repeated incidents of this type - see the link provided by pro bono yesterday at 10:03AM - then the pattern tells you more than any individual incident.

And it's not really much of a defense to say he is just careless and ill-informed on these subjects, as well as not being very bright. The man was running for PM of the UK, for Pete's sake. Who knows when his carelessness about Jews and antisemitism might make him do something quite harmful? Even if you and bobbyp are correct, he surely is disqualified from high office just for those reasons.

To take my analogy further, suppose an American politician had repeatedly offended African-Americans, and followed each incident with apologies and dubious explanations. What would you think?

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