The Little Führer

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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:55 am

Russian dissident warns that the anti-Trump movement's Russian conspiracy theories are a distraction

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Masha Gessen has impeccable credentials as a Putin critic -- you may remember her from her instant classic Autocracy: Rules for Survival, but you may not know that the Jewish lesbian mother of three fled Russia in 2013 to escape the country's Putin-fueled, ultra-violent anti-LGBT movement -- and so when she tells us that the conspiracy theories about Trump and Putin are problematic, it's worth listening.

Gessen documents the thinness of the theories linking Russia and Trump: it's true that Trump's cabinet of robber-barons has lots of dealings with Russians, but that's because every billionaire is in bed with every autocrat -- dictators from Belarus to Azerbaijan to Turkey to Syria and Saudi Arabia. But developing this into a conspiracy theory about Russia secretly running the Trump campaign is a mirror image of the Russian xenophobic practice of claiming that the US is secretly operating Russia's opposition. The parallels are strong: for example, the unsubstantiated claim that the Russian ambassador to the USA is a "spymaster" is the mirror-image of the Russian claim that Obama's ambassador in Moscow was actually a spy.

The major source of allegations of Russian involvement in the Trump administration is unnamed sources in the US spy agency, who, like their Russian counterparts, are sunk deep in xenophobia and paranoia. They may hate Trump, and you may hate Trump, but that doesn't mean you're on the same side as them, or that they have your best interests at heart.

Making the anti-Trump campaign about Russia is politically useful, because (for now), it's a game the Republicans will play along with. Republicans will forgive Trump's cabinet appointees for perjuring themselves and being incompetent, but not for lying about Russia.

As useful as that is, the real problem of the Russia theories is that they focus the criticism of Trump in xenophobic claims of the other, rather than on the real, undeniable evils of the Trump administration. The debate centers around whether Russia influenced the Muslim Ban, rather than the injustice of the Muslim Ban.


Continues at: https://boingboing.net/2017/03/08/wolverines.html
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:48 am

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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:35 am

Against Liberals

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Liberal Nationalism

The Liberal parties in the United States and elsewhere have never been anti-capitalist. In fact, Liberalism is by definition capitalist, though so-called Social Democrats (such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the United States) or the British Labour Party offer select and relatively insignificant socialist policies to mitigate the damage done by capitalism. The programs they argue for — nationalized (so-called ‘universal) health care and direct income assistance (‘universal’ basic income) — do not directly challenge the capitalist system; rather, they merely modify it in order to keep it functioning.

Not only do Liberals not challenge the capitalist system, they are just as nationalist as the conservative ‘opposition.’ Nationalism takes myriad forms, but all instances of it hold one thing in common: the imagined community of the Nation is paramount to all other individual concerns.

We see this best regarding the militarization of Liberal Democratic states, particularly the United States. The US has the largest military in the world, and in 2014 (the latest available numbers) spent $610 billion dollars on it: three times the next highest budget (China) and 34% of the world’s total military spending. In case you need a reminder, Barack Obama was president in 2014. That’s right: that was the budget under a Democrat.

In comparison, the Russian Federation spent 84.5 billion that same year, or 14% of what the United States spent. I bring up Russian for a very good reason: currently, Liberals in the United States are obsessed over the threat Vladimir Putin poses to America, and Democratic Party politicians and operatives seem certain that Trump’s potential ties to Russian business deals and potential Russian involvement in the recent election constitute treason.

Treason is, of course, a betrayal of the state and the people it claims to represent on behalf of a foreign power. It’s a crime against a Nation, not against individuals. That many Liberals now hope Trump’s frightening rise to power can be thwarted by claiming he is a traitor to America might seem at first a mere political move, but it belies something much more frightening: Liberals are Nationalist, just like the conservatives and fascists they claim to oppose.


...It has been the practice of liberals in both the United States and in the United Kingdom to position themselves as the primary defenders of oppressed minorities within each nation. However, they do not position themselves as our champions against capitalism and state oppression, but rather against conservatives and foreign adversaries (particularly radical Islam, and now Russia). This was in sharp focus particularly during the recent US Election and the so-called Brexit vote in the United Kingdom: in both countries, Liberals painted the vote not as nothing less than a hostage situation.

Consider the rhetoric of the Democratic Party in the United States after Clinton was chosen as their presidential candidate. The same ‘you’re either with us or with the terrorists’ dichotomy which George W. Bush used to elicit support for the invasions of Iraq and Afganistan repeated: if you were not voting for Clinton, you were consigning Black, women, trans, disabled, queer, and other minorities to a brutal death. Likewise, the Remain camp in the UK warned of similar fates to oppressed minorities there.

Were such statements only warnings not to vote for Trump or not to vote “Leave,” we could perhaps forgive the rhetoric. After all, the rise of the fascist right in both countries would seem to prove their deep fears have come true. But these were not just arguments against voting for the opposing side: they were indictments of anyone who did not vote, or voted for a third party (in the US). That is: vote for Clinton/vote Remain…or else.

This is why leftists oppose so-called ‘identity politics,’ which can be better called Liberal Identity Politics. Liberals have become quite good at manipulating the competing identities of oppressed peoples for their own benefit. Clinton’s statement about “super predators,” for instance, manipulated [white] women’s fears of out-of-control Black bodies, pitting Black identity against [bourgeois] Feminist identity. Similarly, racism against Blacks was employed by Clinton in her failed bid against Barack Obama for the Democratic Party nomination in 2008, just as Barack Obama employed chauvinism against women to win that nomination. Anti-Semitic ‘red-baiting’ was used by the Clinton campaign in 2016 against Bernie Sanders, just as Bernie Sanders’ campaign tried to repeat Obama’s successful use of misogyny against her.

In all these cases, Liberals employed identity politics against other Liberals.

Those of us on the Left (no, Sanders was not a leftist) who watched this have more than enough reason to suspect that the once-liberatory social justice framework now serves the nationalist desires of politicians more than it serves us. Conservatives employ identity politics just as well, especially to drum up support for foreign invasions: the invasion of Afghanistan, for instance, was effectively framed as a war to liberate women from the patriarchal Taliban, regardless of whether or not those women were hoping to be liberated by bombs and occupation. And the fascist right (‘alt-right’ in the United States, ‘New Right’ in Europe) frames their politics now as “Identity Politics for Whites.”

In all cases (Liberal, Conservative, Fascist), identity is used as a weapon and method of control, cynically re-directing the self-description of people back into the machine of nationalist oppression.


The Return of the Left

The election of Donald Trump in the United States and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom points both to the rise of nationalism (and soon, fascism). Those events also, however, herald the end of Anglo-Liberalism in both of those countries.

We must see this as good news, and also as a warning.

The complete failure of the Democratic Party in the United States to manipulate identity politics in a way that could win them the presidency (against the most pathetic excuse of a demagogue the world has yet seen) means nothing less than this: the Democratic Party in the United States has little political power any longer.

Insofar as they have set themselves up cynically as the party of the oppressed while building up the power of the state and protecting the interests of capitalism, Leftists in the United States can now build actual anti-capitalist and anti-nationalist movements.

Black Lives Matter and the NODAPL movement at Standing Rock are both signs that indigenous and oppressed peoples have begun reclaiming their own power rather than allowing Liberals to co-opt their revolutionary struggles. Similarly, antifascist organizing against alt-right groups and leaders — despite Liberal attacks against their actions — shows that the Left has finally made a real break from the nationalism of the Democratic Party, and the Democrats are pissed.

That’s where the warning comes in. In every significant Leftist populist movement in the United States, the Democratic Party has shown itself quite adept at co-opting the struggles of the poor and oppressed. Resistance is ‘in’ now, Liberals are already starting to realise their fashion is out of date and seeking new ways to update their image.

How might they co-op these movements? Re-branding our politics as anti-Trump movements, re-directing leftist anger at capitalism and the police-state into electoral and establishment politics. The police were militarized before Trump, the security state exploded in size under Obama, Clinton openly advocated for military engagement in the Middle East, but in our current moment of terror, it will be easy for many to forget this. If a charismatic new Liberal were to rise suddenly, promising an end to Trump, only our memory of Liberalism’s relentless betrayal could stop them.

We who seek a better world must become not just revolutionaries, but keepers of the memories of Liberal betrayal. While Trump promised to “Make America Great Again,” Liberals will soon be promising the same thing, a return to the halcyon days where they had control over the military and police, where they got to be the ones holding the gun to our heads, smiling, telling us they were on our side.

When the Liberals try to co-opt us, we must be ready. We must not settle for anything less than the end of the American Empire, the end of Capitalism, and the end of any political system that would promise to point a gun at another’s head on our behalf.


More at: https://godsandradicals.org/2017/03/11/ ... -liberals/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:11 am

"Pursuing the Russia story is a retreat from politics, only if it is framed simply as a matter of Trump having ties with Russia, and not connected to Trump's ideological agenda. But the story is organically linked with other aspects of Trump that deserve critique. Trump's mysterious ties to Russia can’t be divorced from his secrecy about his finances, his affinity for autocratic politics, and his desire to upend American foreign policy in the pursuit of an Islamophobic agenda. The Russia story is not a distraction from developing an anti-Trump politics, but central to the case against him."
— Jet Heer in The New Republic, March 13
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:07 am

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3133-fa ... the-future


Facing Trump, Building the Future

By George Ciccariello-Maher / 15 March 2017

This essay by George Ciccariello-Maher was written for arranca! issue #51 (forthcoming), to provide an overview for a German-speaking audience on the dynamics behind Trump's election and the resistance to his presidency.

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With the election of Trump, the tempo of our collective disaster has shifted dramatically. Rather than the slow-rolling nightmare of Clintonite neoliberalism, for which Obama was more continuity than respite, this nightmare has suddenly shifted into high-gear with each new day bringing — via a string of brutal executive orders — a new hell to ponder, lament, and resist.

How did we get here? The debates are seemingly interminable and inevitably self-serving. The Democratic Party proclaims itself a part of #TheResistance while refusing to recognize its own role as primary cause. Wars in Syria, Libya and beyond, a coup in Honduras, decades of mass incarceration, neoliberal free trade, offshoring, factory closures, and even a border wall pioneered by Bill Clinton himself all testify to the fact that the effects of the Trump election are also its most potent causes. The failure to recognize this is symptomatic of a broader failure to even begin to grasp the nature of our moment and the echo of radical power that the Bernie Sanders candidacy represented. And so the Democrats play ostrich, celebrating the “deep state” and bathing themselves in crass Russophobia, while the word “resistance” rots in their mouths.

On the left, the debate is bitter and has brought underlying tensions to the surface. Some, centering the overt white supremacy of the Trump campaign, have declared the election a purely racial one. While no longer truly on the left, the former Maoist turned Democratic Party shill Van Jones’ description of Trump’s election as “whitelash” has crystallized both this view and its blindspots. Others, grounded in the class-first milieu and often Sanders supporters, instead point to the neoliberal abandonment of precisely those areas that refused to turn out to support Clinton and advocate an urgent re-engagement with the “white working class,” occasionally neglecting the non-white poor.

Unsurprisingly, the reality is instead a dialectical entwinement of the two. Rather than a neat “intersection” of race and class as separable phenomena, these instead manifest as the swirling condensation of their own interplay. The abandonment of the poor by neoliberalism — whites included — has been real, and Republicans and Democrats alike have been complicit. As Mike Davis has shown concretely, many of those counties that flipped from Obama to Trump had seen recent factory closings. When all that is stable melts into thin air, and absent any alternative, it seems less than crazy to opt for what Davis calls the “cargo cult” of Trumpian millenarianism: praying for factories and industrialization with no real hope that they will ever materialize.

But neoliberal abandonment does not operate outside the context of a resurgent white supremacy build steadily and consciously over the decades. In the most important book of 2016, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor diagnoses the decades-long turn toward a colorblind logic in which welfare for the poor has been recast as handouts for the undeserving. Rather than defend racial justice, the Democrats did the opposite: embracing white supremacy and mass incarceration — particularly Bill Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill, which Hillary actively supported — while abandoning all poor people. It’s little surprise that in white communities, this abandonment would coalesce and harden into a nostalgic white supremacy that is inseparable from Trump’s right-wing populism.

Trump’s success — absolutely incomprehensible for establishment Democrats and Republicans alike — lay in what Davis describes as the “fusion of two anti-establishment Republican insurgencies”: the white nationalist far-Right and radical religious evangelicals. Each has built a powerful apparatus in recent years, from right-wing talk radio and Breitbart — co-founded by Trump advisor Steve Bannon — to economically and politically potent megachurches. Thus while traditional conservatives and the Republican leadership panicked at the prospect of a Trump candidacy — and indeed withheld support from his campaign — it is not accurate to say that he lacked organizational support.

It was this less-visible but more organically rooted organizational apparatus that stepped in to support Trump’s right-populist vision and propel him to the White House. In the process, the white nationalism long present in U.S. politics has been given a dangerous makeover in the so-called “alt-right” (alternative right). While the Trump administration and its alt-right supporters have direct and open links to openly white supremacist and anti-Semitic organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and websites like The Daily Stormer, they nevertheless provide a bi-directional Trojan Horse of sorts.

On the one hand, emerging from online communities like 4chan and the systematic harassment campaign against female video game programmers known as “Gamer Gate,” the alt-right uses ironic racism and misogyny as a gateway for its young, white, male constituents to later embrace the real thing — thousands have been funneled into the waiting hands of a newly empowered neo-Nazi and “traditionalist” movement. That these young, porn-addicted misanthropes are now reclaiming the traditional family — led by VICE Magazine co-founder Gavin McInness under the moniker “proud boys,” who allegedly abstain from masturbation (I remain unconvinced) — is but one of the unsustainable tensions within the alt-right.

On the other hand, by gently disavowing some of the most openly fascistic elements of the racist right, the alt-right provides a politics in which brutal racism and violent misogyny can be both ever-present and plausibly deniable. The symbiotic relationship between the alt-right and traditional conservatives is highly unstable, however. This was clear in the rapid fall of alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopolous over comments about pedophilia that the conservative base could not stomach. And when white nationalist Richard Spencer — famously humiliated with a well-aimed punch to the face outside Trump’s inauguration — arrived at the conservative conference CPAC, he was quickly shown the door.

However, Clinton lost by a hair and could have “won” in many ways — albeit without reversing or even slowing our terminal slouch toward catastrophe. Her campaign strategy was flawed, yes, but not by accident: Democrats have long courted the cities and neglected the countryside as a point of conscious strategy. She relied on the blind support of Black Americans who have never benefited from her policies — as one quip put it in reference to the 1994 Crime Bill, if she wanted to win, she shouldn’t have mass incarcerated her electoral base.

Like all good jokes, this is more truth than lie. The bill imposed a “three strikes” life sentence for violent felonies, even if the first two were nonviolent drug crimes — under Bill Clinton, the prison population nearly doubled, from 1.3 to 2 million. The incarcerated cannot vote, and to these millions we can add the nearly 6 million disenfranchised by felony convictions and the radical and increasing disenfranchisement of millions more. Since the Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act — a central piece of civil rights legislation — in 2013, a combination of new voter ID laws and other explicit voter suppression strategies played explicitly to Trump’s advantage, but not without borrowing from the Democrats’ playbook.

Any of these factors could have turned the election in a different direction, and yet none was pure contingency. All are instead a reflection of the slow-moving disaster of recent decades in which both parties have been more than complicit. As Bertolt Brecht put it in the prophetic poem, “When the Fascists Kept Getting Stronger”:

Comrades, do get it into your heads, this ‘lesser evil’ which

Year after year has been used to keep you completely out of the fight

Will very soon mean having to stomach the Nazis.


While nothing was guaranteed, there is every reason to believe that the left-populism of Bernie Sanders could have defeated Trump’s right-populism, by robbing him of key voter demographics in swing states. This point is of no small importance, and nor is it merely nostalgia for what could have been: it means that the United States — currently governed by a dangerously fascistic right — could just as easily have elected a self-described socialist.

More important still, this points toward the need for a radical left populism. The possibility of opposites is the nature of any radically polarized historical moment, and this moment is a global one. The “end of history” crowned by the victory of U.S.-centered capitalism and liberal democracy has given way to powerfully dialectical ruptures, conflicts, and a global fight back against neoliberal austerity. But on the other side of this rupture lay an empowered fascistic right that threatens Europe as it threatens the U.S.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) devastated communities both south of the border and north, driving Mexican and Central American migrants into the U.S. where they have served as a convenient pretext for xenophobic backlash. Much the same could be said for the Eurozone. In fact, fully aware of the devastation that NAFTA would inevitably wreak, Bill Clinton began to construct the very border wall in 1995 that would be so central to the Trump campaign more than 20 years later. And the wars unleashed by U.S. and European intervention in the Middle East and North Africa have fueled the overt Islamophobia of Trump’s “Muslim Ban” and the popularity of the anti-immigrant right from Greece’s Golden Dawn to Marine Le Pen and Brexit. Mainstream politicians like Angela Merkel desperately embrace the racist upsurge, only throwing fuel on the fire.

The left — from Europe to the U.S. and beyond — desperately needs to provide a coherent argument that destroys prevailing myths about migrants and an alternative explanation for the concrete reality lived by so many. And it needs to embody a new and different horizon, the possibility of international solidarity and integration that doesn’t come at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.

The radical potential amid the wreckage that, following Walter Benjamin, piles around our feet ever more by the day, is manifesting spontaneously in the streets. Trump’s “strategy of tension,” spearheaded by the self-professed “Leninist” of the far right Steve Bannon, has collided with an unexpected mobilization of resistance in the streets. Particularly notable was the rapid mobilization of thousands against the Muslim Ban, an unprecedented gesture that blocked airports nationwide.

This extraordinary show of resistance has mobilized and galvanized disaffected liberals — many of those streaming into airports had never done so before. We must resist the urge to condemn the newly-radicalized: after all, deportation and Islamophobia were present under Obama as they are under Trump. Rather, the task of the present — the task of all radical populism — is to provoke oppositional movements that will eventually draw the masses into resistance against Trump and the Democrats.

The parameters of this resistance are as clear as Trump’s provocative proposals. Endorsed simultaneously by the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Border Patrol Council, Trump represents a looming fascist threat that is both external and internal. As he mobilizes a mass border force to detain, incarcerate, and deport migrants — and to criminalize Muslims — he has also freed the hands of the police to brutalize Black and Brown Americans with impunity.

The tactics and the strategies we must develop and deploy apply to both faces of this reaction: building community-based self-defense movements to detect and resist both the police and ICE (immigration) raids. Only by organizing neighbors to be the eyes and ears of resistance movements — using new technologies to alert one another to ICE raids and police harassment, connecting everyday residents and organizers in the process — can we hope to make their jobs impossible to carry out while building the future in the present.


George Ciccariello-Maher is author of We Created Chávez (2013), Building the Commune (2016), and Decolonizing Dialectics (2017).
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:03 pm

http://kersplebedeb.com/posts/trump-phe ... d-gilbert/

The Context for the Trump Phenomenon (David Gilbert, 2/19/17)

The bizarre and dangerous rise of Donald Trump did not just pop up out of the thin air. The very foundation of the U.S. is white supremacy. This country is, at its core, imperialist, patriarchal and based in a range of ways human beings are delimited and demeaned. Nor are the specific and terribly virulent politics of racial scapegoating brand new. Always a part of U.S. culture, that approach became more central in mainstream politics, with various ups and downs in the rhetoric, since the end of the 1960s. A stable imperialism prefers to rule by keeping the population passive, with large sectors at home placated by relative prosperity. But when the system is in crisis, those running the economy often resort to diverting anger by scapegoating the racial “other.” The sectors of the population who buy into that get the “satisfaction” of stomping on their “inferiors,” which is a lot easier than confronting the mega-powerful ruling class.

The eruption of mass protest against Trump has been exciting, and so far it’s been sustained. People seem to have a feel for the critical need for ongoing education, organizing, and mobilization. The movement also has to be prepared, both psychologically and in terms of legal and support networks, for greater repression, both state and extralegal.

The Democrats in blaming “those damn Russkies” are deflecting attention away from the real reason they lost: they represented the prevailing global capitalism and all the associated frustrations stemming from the decline of U.S. manufacturing and the erosion of job security. Trump spoke to those anxieties – in a totally demagogic and dishonest way. For example, during the campaign he railed against Goldman Sachs as the prime example of how Wall Street banks screw the working man; then, as president he selected seven of his top economic appointments from the ranks of Goldman Sachs. The Democrats could not provide a compelling alternative to this racist scam artist because they too are fully based in the long bipartisan history of white supremacy, capitalism, and wars of aggression.

Regardless of these questionable charges, Russia can’t hold a candle to the U.S. when it comes to interfering in other countries’ elections, let alone more intrusive and violent means of regime change. The big push by the Democrats and allied sectors of the security apparatus for confronting Russia is not only unjustified but also runs the risk of leading to a horribly destructive war. As much as we’re scandalized, and rightly so, by Trump’s more blatant racism and misogyny, we need to look at the continuities as well as the departures.

President Obama, with his kinder and more inclusive rhetoric, provided trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. He presided over seven wars (drone strikes have killed hundreds of civilians and are acts of war under international law). His administration deported a record number of immigrants. In his last year, Obama sought to burnish his legacy around climate change and mass incarceration. He issued a record number of clemencies, but earlier took legal action to keep far more in prison. After Congress passed a law somewhat reducing what had been draconian sentences for crack cocaine, the Justice Department went to court to prevent any retroactive application, and thus kept some 6,000 people behind bars. Similarly, Obama issued a number of executive orders, most of which can be readily reversed, to modestly rein in greenhouse gases. But earlier his administration played a key role in sabotaging the 2009 Copenhagen Conference of Parties, which was the best chance to get a binding international treaty with some teeth in it, at a time when Democrats held a majority in Congress.

Recalling these dire problems is a reminder of how much the most basic issue is the very nature of the system. Nonetheless, there is something new and particularly threatening about Trump’s election: the way he has enlarged, energized and emboldened an active and aggressive base for white supremacy. Immigrants, Muslims, Native American water protectors, Black Lives Matter activists, women who’ve faced sexual assault, LGBTQ folks, those who can’t afford health insurance, and more all feel under the gun. The prospect of an unbridled pouring of more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is terrifying.

We can’t forget that an imperialism in crisis will turn to racist mobilizations to supersede obstacles to continued domination and expansion. The U.S. hasn’t yet reached that dramatic turning point, but it has been teetering in and out of economic and political crises since 1971. And on top of that, we now are on the brink of environmental disasters that can’t be resolved under capitalism.

As of this writing (February 2017) major sectors of the ruling class are still wary of Trump as too much of a loose cannon. They are making an effort at least to rein him in if not bring him down, although leading with the very dangerous push toward greater confrontation with Russia. It remains to be seen if Trump’s amalgam of billionaire businessmen and ultra-Right white nationalists can provide a coherent program or even hold together. Whatever happens with his presidency, we likely are in for a burgeoning of white supremacist movements. If Trump’s economic policies appear to be successful (possible in the short run of a couple of years but, if so, with giant dislocations and problems in the longer run), he’s a hero to those embittered sectors of the white working and middle classes who voted for him. On the other hand, if his administration implodes, millions of his fervent supporters will see it as the “elites” bringing down their champion. In either case our job, our challenge, is to build a strong movement that can articulate the real issues and clearly present humane, international and sustainable alternatives.

There’s been an outpouring of Left analysis on who voted for Trump and why. Some of it is very helpful about race, class, and the economy. From what I’ve seen there’s been very little that puts all that in the global context, with the U.S. as the premier imperial power but in decline. Nor has there been enough that has rooted Trump’s rise in the developments of the past 45 years. This is the challenge for our ongoing project of analysis and action.
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:06 am

Time on the Clock of The World: Amin Husain on How We Handle Trump
By Susie Day / 16 March 2017

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Rounding up immigrants, pissing on transgender bathroom rights, barring press from press briefings… The only good thing Donald Trump has done is to galvanize millions of people into political outrage. For months now we've gone to dozens of marches and rallies. Of course, this isn't enough, but what more to do?

Then I happened on a Facebook post by Amin Husain:"I wish I could share what's wrong and what's missing in how we're handling the Trump era without many of my dear friends thinking that I am just being a downer on the 'resistance.'" I had to hear more.

Amin is a Palestinian artist and political organizer, who has helped form Occupy Wall Street; Decolonize This Place, a project for indigenous movements; and MTL, a collective joining art with politics. He's producing, with Natasha S., a film about Palestine, On This Land, which is scheduled for release this July. Here's a condensed version of our conversation


Read at: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/3131-ti ... ndle-trump
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:54 am

Matt Heimbach: Wealthy Jews are Bankrolling Trump Protesters

APRIL 11, 2016

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Matthew Heimbach — the founder of the white nationalist Traditionalist Workers Party — recently sat down to interview John Friend for his podcast at Radio Aryan. Friend, who just last year lost his job when his employers discovered his connection to virulently anti-Semitic organizations, discussed the protests against Donald Trump which both he and Heimbach asserted were funded by the likes of George Soros (a longtime bogeyman of the right) and other Jewish financiers.

Heimbach cited a video of a Students for Trump meeting at a Portland college that was disrupted by left-wing students, some of whom held banners with “Communist symbols” on them. The point was that this incident was but one example of many, and these left-wing “agitators” are often paid by wealthy Jews like Soros. He even asserted that organizations like Femen — a group whose female members stage topless protests of right-wing religious and political figures — have received backing from Soros. As Heimbach himself put it, many left-wing groups have received millions in “Jewish dollars.”

John Friend agreed, pinning the blame for the 2011 Arab Spring uprising on George Soros, too, and claiming that Black Lives Matter was almost entirely funded by the liberal billionaire and MoveOn.org. These and other rumors have been swirling around for some time now, but there’s little reason to believe they’re true. Indeed, what is more likely is that Heimbach and Friend are preying on the stereotype of manipulative Jews pulling the strings of politics and world finance. And while there are, indeed, wealthy Jews and Jewish organizations (including George Soros for the left and Sheldon Adelson and AIPAC on the right) that lobby for their own pet causes, this does not prove the ridiculous claims about such people and groups literally staging protests and rebellions across the globe.

The pair also discussed the “weaponizing” of language and history to the detriment of white people. Left-wing Jews, it seems, are staging an elaborate brainwashing campaign to convince white people to accept abortion, so-called white “displacement,” and Israeli war crimes. Never mind that many left-wingers, including Noam Chomsky and Angela Davis, have been prominent critics of Israel.

Once again, it all boils down to elaborate and laughable conspiracy theories concocted by the fevered imaginations of white racists.


https://angrywhitemen.org/2016/04/11/ma ... rotesters/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:21 am

Sucking up to the boss: Trump as an Archetype

Now, to suggest that Trump actively embodies “The Boss” should seem like a logical conclusion to draw. He is, after all, the CEO of a multinational corporation. His reality TV persona is literally all about his status as an employer of other people. The Apprentice was just an extremely protracted job interview, in which Trump was doing the interviewing; giving candidates tasks, assessing their performance, firing them and hiring them – in short, bossing them about. All his rhetoric during his campaign and subsequently – concerned with winning, adversarial posturing against competitors, and promising to run America like a business – actively harnesses this image. Trump has approached the entire election as a hostile takeover; of the American state by corporate America.

The fact is that even though archetypes are universal, they take culturally very specific shapes. Tolstoy began Anna Karenina by famously saying that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same could be said of politics. Every country has its own nationalistic obsessions and anxieties; that manifest publicly in quite a specific guises – guises simply wouldn’t fly anywhere else. Every far right leader is necessarily playing to the home crowd; so the fact that someone else’s extremist seems so ridiculous, should never be taken as an indication that your own national discourse would be immune. The fact that there has been an international chorus of disgust at Trump’s election should not make anyone complacent.

Regardless of the particular, local shapes Father-surrogates might take, what unites them is the response these shapes elicit from others: they demand sycophancy, absolute obedience, and unquestioning loyalty. They surround themselves with those who are willing to give these things, and shun or attack those who do not. In short, what the Boss demands from all of us is sucking up.

This, I think, represents a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the Trump moment, that is ripe for exploitation by those of us opposed to it. Just as capitalism is bedevilled by internal contradictions, so it is with the far right politics that defends it. For while Trump’s supporters may like to imagine themselves as muscular, pioneering individuals – who do not rely on the State or anyone else for their livelihood – what Trump himself demands of them is nothing short of vassalage. He will make America great again, create jobs, and bring back the 1950s, and in return, his voters will magnify his own greatness. In dramatic contrast to the kaleidoscopic heterogeneity of the anti-globalisation movement or Occupy***, the Trump movement, with their mass-produced baseball caps, mostly white faces, the choreography of their rallies, the vision that many Trump supporters have of America, is remarkably uniformist.

Such uniform public displays, so typical of totalitarian regimes, do not exist to highlight the strength and distinctiveness of individual participants – but to accentuate and reinforce the power and will of the guy in charge. Of course, the way the Boss copes with this is by creating opportunities for his followers to get a taste of his power, in small, confined ways. By restricting the reproductive rights of women, the Boss makes men the boss of women’s bodies. By expanding and militarising the police, the Boss creates opportunities for small-town sheriffs to feel like the boss of blackfolk’s lives. By forbidding transfolk from entering the right bathroom, the Boss allows ciswomen to feel like the boss of their trans sisters. By rolling back the rights of workers, the Boss allows managers to become more like him. The Boss transforms the contagion of schoolyard bullying into tool of government

And yet, American culture demonises sucking up. Having to tug your forelock at someone richer and more powerful than you to get ahead is precisely what the ancestors of most present-day white Americans were striving to escape when they colonised Turtle Island. This experience has left many scars in American national consciousness – in film and on TV, suck ups are, at best, a pathetic comic relief, and at worst the guy who holds the bad guy’s hat, and runs off squealing in fear when the hero wins

Nobody wants to see themselves as that guy; least of all the sort of middle-class, white folk who voted for Trump in their droves. But that is precisely what they have become. Seduced by the facade of egalitarianism and meritocracy that corporate America has spun around itself, they have become everything their ancestors would have despised – the cringing assistant to the local liege-lord; responsible for keeping the rest of the manor in line, and keeping him in power. Their fate is not their own, but tied to his. This will remain the case, until they choose to abandon him.

Now that Trump is in power, he and his cronies in the Republican party are starting to take steps that will hurt many of those who voted for him – from dismantling the Affordable Care Act, to removing important environmental protections. As a result, some Trump voters are starting to regret their choice. Although I have little sympathy for people who fail to apologise for support an overt racist, sexist, and xenophobe; this bitter experience will hopefully make one thing abundantly clear; The Boss is using you. This is the most important lesson for any Trump voter to take away from the connection between Trump and the Boss archetype; a lesson evident in the anxiety of that first day’s employment; a lesson “Peter” and his fellow Oklahomans failed to grasp. To the Boss, you do not exist as a person to him, but as an employee, as labour that he needs. As soon as he no longer needs that service, or you can no longer provide it, he will discard you. And, unfortunately, you’ve done your bit – he’s in office now.

There may still be time to turn from the dark road the Anglophone world is now on. To turn away from bosses and Father-surrogates, to embrace equality and compassion for all. Because nobody should have to live their life sucking up to the Boss.


https://godsandradicals.org/2017/03/24/ ... archetype/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:32 am

https://leilashami.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... nt-matter/

In Syria, civilian lives don’t matter

March 27, 2017 by Leila Al Shami

Originally published at Hummus for Thought


Since Trump came to power there has been a marked escalation of the US intervention in Syria, supposedly to defeat ISIS.

The US already has hundreds of Special Operations forces fighting on the ground alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces and has backed them with hundreds of airstrikes. Now a marine artillery unit has been deployed to Syria to support the battle to take Raqqa and the US is planning on sending in more ground troops.

Since the beginning of this year there have been daily reports of civilians killed during US airstrikes on Syrian villages and towns. Some have resulted in large-scale massacres. On 16 March more than 40 civilians were killed, including children, and over 100 injured in the village of Al Jina, near Aleppo, when a US airstrike struck the Omar ibn al-Khattab mosque as people gathered for evening prayer.

The US initially denied the attack targeted a mosque, claiming it killed Al Qaeda militants in a meeting. This claim was backed up by a Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman. “We don’t have any doubts that the US airstrikes targeted terrorists,” said Maria Zakharova.

Activists and people on the ground refuted these claims as the White Helmets civil defence volunteers worked round the clock to pull victims from the rubble. Open source investigators at Bellingcat confirmed the site of the attack was indeed a mosque and posted pictures of remnants of US missiles.

A few days later, on 22 March, a US airstrike hit a school in Mansoura, Raqqa. Up to 100 families displaced from Aleppo were sheltering in the school at the time. Over 150 people were reportedly killed, mainly women and children.

The civilian casualties of Trump’s War on Terror are not confined to Syria. In Iraq the US is allying with Iraqi and Kurdish militia to push ISIS out of Mosul. Last week a US airstrike hit three buildings massacring over 200 civilians. Many remained trapped under the rubble for days with no hope of rescue. In Yemen, in January, a botched US raid to target Al Qaeda militants resulted in the death of dozens of civilians in a village in Al Bayda. Earlier this month, a US Apache helicopter killed at least 42 Somali refugees when it attacked a boat off the coast of Yemen. The US is intervening in Yemen in support of the Saudi Coalition, itself responsible for war crimes.

As Trump ratchets up the war against ISIS there are reports that his administration is seeking to modify the current rules of engagement, possibly to include lower thresholds for civilian casualties. Certainly the victims of this War on Terror far exceed the number of victims caused by terrorism itself.

According to Airwars, which is monitoring the anti-ISIS coalition’s airstrikes in both Syria and Iraq, 370 civilians were killed in the first week of March alone. Airwars also states that January was the deadliest month for civilians in Syria and Iraq since the Coalition airstrikes began, with a 68 per cent increase in strikes since December. Active members of the coalition also include the UK, Belgium, France, Denmark and Australia. Yet the US alone carried out 502 strikes in Syria in January, with 11 carried out by other members. In total, since the coalition intervened in Syria and Iraq, the number of civilians killed is 2,715, the result of 72,771 bombs and missiles dropped. US officials have further admitted to using depleted-uranium munitions, which can cause cancer and severe birth defects for generations to come.

The most notable aspect of this large scale massacre of civilians is the deadly silence of the world community. The ‘anti-war left’ only seems to be agitated by hypothetical interventions which may target the tyrant Bashar Al Assad, rather than real interventions which are destroying the lives of thousands of innocents. Assad, responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths in Syria, for running industrial-scale torture centres, and gassing families to death in their sleep, is presented as the saviour for the ills he has caused, whilst his opponents are painted in their entirety as militant jihadists.

This ‘left’ has whole-heartedly adopted the ‘War on Terror’ narrative, first promoted by Assad himself, in a way which puts neo-cons to shame. It isn’t surprising that the world often sees Syrian refugees as potential terrorists when such pundits claim the same, impeding solidarity with the victims of state terror. Some of these so-called ‘progressives’ would rather spend their time slandering the aid workers who rescue the victims rather than denouncing the US’s war crimes and imperial forays. Some of the same people promoted Trump’s candidacy for the President as the supposedly ‘anti-interventionist’ option.

‘The US is attacking ISIS strongholds,’ the media likes to tell us. Yet tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in Raqqa under brutal ISIS occupation. Around 400,000 are under siege in Mosul, among a few thousand ISIS militants, and food and water supplies are running out. Not only are they at risk of bombs ripping their lives apart, many fear retribution from incoming militias who may see civilians as ISIS sympathizers.

Terrorism will not be defeated by foreign bombs. Every civilian killed creates only more anger, pain and despair and feeds the narrative that groups such as ISIS wish to promote. Numerous countries are now intervening in the Syrian battleground, contributing to the whole-scale slaughter. Anti-war activists should be calling on all foreign forces to leave and holding the perpetrators of war crimes to account.
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:09 am

Donald Trump, the Authoritarian Master of Alt-America

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"I think he's doing good," Gary Pelletier, a Buffalo, N.Y., retiree told a local reporter. "People are complaining that he's not doing enough, but I'm all for whatever he's doing."

"He's doing everything he said he was going to do," said another Buffalo resident named Phil Pantano, 60.

This was always the role that Alt-America has played: a refuge for people who reject factual reality, a place where they can convene and reassure one another in the facticity of their fabricated version of how the world works. From its beginnings in the 1990s as an alternative universe with its own set of “facts,” to its growth during the early part of the new century through the spread of antigovernment conspiracism, through its evolution into the mainstream of conservatism through the Tea Party, and finally its ultimate realization as a political force through the ascension of Donald Trump, Alt-America’s primarily usefulness was as a ready tool for right-wing authoritarianism. The army of followers was already fully prepared by 2015, when Trump picked up their waiting scepter.

It was also the real-life manifestation of Robert Altemeyer’s “lethal union” of right-wing authoritarian followers with a social-dominance-oriented authoritarian leader: that moment, as Altemeyer says, when “the two can then become locked in a cyclonic death spiral that can take a whole nation down with them.”

Other experts on authoritarianism similarly fear the outcome of Trump’s authoritarianism. “You submit to tyranny,” writes Yale historian Timothy Snyder, “when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear and what is actually the case.”

Accepting untruth, Snyder warns, is a precondition of tyranny. “Post-truth is pre-fascism,” he writes, and “to abandon facts is to abandon freedom.”

Snyder sees Trump’s insistence on setting the terms of reality as a classic ploy: “This whole idea we're dealing with now about the alternative facts and post-factuality is pretty familiar to the 1920s,” he told Vox’s Sean Illing. “It’s a vision that's very similar to the central premise of the fascist vision. It's important because if you don't have the facts, you don't have the rule of law. If you don't have the rule of law, you can't have democracy.

“And people who want to get rid of democracy and the rule of law understand this because they actively propose an alternative vision. The everyday is boring, they say. Forget about the facts. Experts are boring. Let's instead attach ourselves to a much more attractive and basically fictional world.”

The political reality on the ground, however, will depend on how Trump responds to challenges to his authority. His history so far, particularly his manifest incompetence, points to a bleak outcome.

A longtime Democratic presidential adviser warned Ron Klain told Ezra Klein: “If Trump became a full-fledged autocrat, it will not be because he succeeds in running the state. It’s not going to be like Julius Caesar, where we thank him and here’s a crown.

“It’ll be that he fails, and he has to find a narrative for that failure. And it will not be a narrative of self-criticism. It will not be that he let you down. He will figure out who the villains are, and he will focus the public’s anger at them.”


http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2017/03/do ... er-of.html
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:26 pm

http://blackrosefed.org/beyond-protest-age-trump/


BEYOND PROTEST IN THE AGE OF TRUMP

From South Florida Resistance

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In the early days of the Trump administration, we are seeing Trump’s utilization of executive orders to initiate and/or implement a wide array of right-wing policies. He is starting to make troubling organizational moves, such as the appointment of Steve Bannon- the former executive chairman for Breitbart News, a platform for the Alt-Right- to his National Security Council. We are seeing the emboldenment of the far right and the rising possibility of international warfare with nuclear capable countries such as China. Many are feeling overwhelmed and questioning the best way to resist. None of us has the power to resist these attacks individually; but we do have the power to resist collectively.

We have been engaged in protest actions across the nation mobilizing large numbers of people; but this is not enough. Now is the time to build and strengthen groups in our schools, communities and workplaces to not only resist the far right agenda, but to move on the offensive while building bottom-up popular power in the process. There are three ways we can do this and all of them are necessary: 1) maintain the protest mobilizations, 2) engage in efforts to criticize the right and put forward alternative ideas, and 3) build collective sites of popular power for resistance, as well as going on the offensive towards a more free and egalitarian society.

Three Pronged Approach
There have started to emerge mass protest actions resisting Trump’s far-right agenda building on momentum of ongoing action such as Black Lives Matter protests. These are useful for the morale of those who feel alienated and isolated, for an expression to the elites of our willingness to take to the streets to express our discontent, and to build connections with others in struggle. These are important actions and should continue with efforts at trying to expand our capacity for mobilization including strategic disruption efforts and connection to flyering, message building and dialogue with others who are part of, or witness to our mobilizations.

Part of our activity, has been and also must continue to be the development of critique of the right and putting forward our ideas. There’s a reason that Steve Bannon was associated with a publication such Breitbart; there’s a reason why Trump paid people to argue on social media. There’s a reason why politicians give speeches and create campaign literature. We need to engage with our ideas. People have the capacity to think for themselves; but we need to put forward our critiques and perspectives in the competition for the battle of ideas. This must be done as communication, not just expression; we must look to communicate with others, not at others.

There’s little sense attempting to communicate with the elite or far right militants; but by engaging working people like ourselves in communication about our ideas, we can win more adherents to our movement and grow our own ideas in the process of dialogue. This can include public workshops, one-on-one dialogues, writings, social media conversation, etc. This needs to continue, increase and take on a serious reflective quality that moves beyond sloganeering and expressions, towards engaged and thoughtful communication.

The third aspect that is fundamental is to build bottom-up, directly democratic, anti-oppressive, direct action oriented, popular power. Whether in our schools, communities or workplaces, we all should start to dialogue and develop relationships with like-minded individuals. We should be developing communication infrastructure (utilizing encrypted communication such as Signal when possible) to be able to quickly dialogue and mobilize our groups for resistance when necessary. These groups can also be utilized to build relations of solidarity with other groups as part of the broader resistance and movement for popular power. In addition, they need to be platforms to agitate, to put forward our critiques and argue for our alternatives. Students should look towards building student unions or student collectives; workers should get involved in their union where there’s democratic participatory practices or build a tendency within their workplace where a union doesn’t exist or the union doesn’t allow for participation; communities can build neighborhood associations or issue-based groupings around areas that affect them and others around them (from anti-deportation defense, to housing struggles, to anti-fascist organizing, to anti-police brutality action, to various other struggles).

Organizing Our Power
These groups and the connections between them are the basis for resistance and bottom-up popular power. They must be serious, accountable, connected and empowering to those involved. Decisions should be made collectively and democratically by all those involved. We should actively be confronting oppressive tendencies as a way to build our unity within these groups and be inclusive. These groups should be oriented towards action autonomous from the elites, and autonomous from intermediaries. We must act directly to force the hands of the elites where we have power. We also must act to defend targeted working class communities from immigration raids, far right hate attacks and other oppressive actions. This action might take the form of non-cooperation, strikes, boycotts, sabotage, obstruction, community defense and other forms of resisting strategically at the sites where power operates.

We can look to inspiration from a wide variety of collective, autonomous, direct action oriented groups, some of the most recent prominent US-based groups include elements within the Black Lives Matter movement and the Standing Rock Sioux’s Anti-DAPL struggle. However, there are hundreds of thousands of activists, organizers and engaged individuals involved in everyday struggles including tenants unions, solidarity networks, anti-deportation struggles, reproductive justice movements, unions and other forms of autonomous workplace organizing, indigenous autonomy movements, antifascist/antiracist organizing efforts, environmental justice struggles, queer liberation actions, international solidarity efforts, feminist movement building, and so many more. The power of the elites depends on all of us; we don’t depend on the elites for power. However, we must organize ourselves and identify how we can undermine their efforts by building our solidarity, organization, consciousness and capacity to resist and act collectively.

Taking Ourselves Seriously
If we are to effectively resist, we must take this moment seriously and resist where we are and how we can. In this process we need to continue with our mobilizations while strengthening our bottom-up collective power and promoting our alternatives. The elites and those within institutions of power will not save us; though they will look for ways to opportunistically advance- but their power comes from our compliance. The resistance must be developed a new and taken to the next level. Along the way it must be based in building solidarity in defense of specifically targeted communities. Now is not the time to be overwhelmed by helplessness and isolation, now is the time to mobilize, educate and organize together to build the resistance and move our society towards the free and egalitarian society which we all deserve.
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:42 pm

Image

STEVE BANNON’S TWITTER CESSPOOL

By Benjamin Doscher

With all the noise emanating from Trump’s Twitter account it is interesting to find that Steven Bannon’s account is almost silent. Not interesting in a surprising way but definitely illuminating — indeed a perfect metaphor for how he lurks quietly within Trump’s agenda. Why is it this way? There is no way to be sure and that is not really the question that needs to be answered but analysis of the account is definitely intriguing. As it sets out exactly what his ideology is without saying the words — all in four tweets — which is all it is comprised of.

The words being … White Supremacist Christian Western Culture v. everyone and everything else, and destruction of the current world order. And the easiest enemies, meaning the most accepted in American culture currently, are Muslims and immigrants.


Continues at: https://antifascistnews.net/2017/03/31/ ... -cesspool/
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Re: The Little Führer

Postby American Dream » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:52 pm

Russian Oligarch in Election Probe Linked to Drug Cartel

Posted on March 31, 2017 by Daniel Hopsicker

Image

New evidence indicates that Oleg Deripaska, the Russian billionaire who paid $10 million a year to Paul Manafort between 2004 and 2009, has been in business since 2004 in Guyana with a politically powerful crime family involved in international drug trafficking whose most famous member is a drug pilot who had also been the chief pilot of the owner of the flight school in Venice Florida that taught Mohamed Atta to fly.

Continue reading →


See also:


The Brassington Files


Oleg & Me
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