Archives For politics

This, more than anything, is what is so unsettling about Mr. Coates’s recent writing and the tenor of the leftist “woke” discourse he epitomizes. Though it is not at all morally equivalent, it is nonetheless in sync with the toxic premises of white supremacism. Both sides eagerly reduce people to abstract color categories, all the while feeding off of and legitimizing each other, while those of us searching for gray areas and common ground get devoured twice. Both sides mystify racial identity, interpreting it as something fixed, determinative and almost supernatural. For Mr. Coates, whiteness is a “talisman,” an “amulet” of “eldritch energies” that explains all injustice; for the abysmal early-20th-century Italian fascist and racist icon Julius Evola, it was a “meta-biological force,” a collective mind-spirit that justifies all inequality. In either case, whites are preordained to walk that special path. It is a dangerous vision of life we should refuse no matter who is doing the conjuring.

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At the very least, this demonstrates that decreased democratic turnout had as much if not more of an impact in the election than Trump’s ability to rally supporters. Of course, none of this is to absolve Trump supporters for making unwise voting decisions, but if Coates wants to prove that white supremacy was the dominating force fueling the rise of Trump, he must demonstrate that all other possible motives are implausible—which he doesn’t.

 

The danger of proceeding in this way is not simply the acceptance of logical fallacies. Using a single factor to explain the election forfeits a golden opportunity to grapple with the layered motives that are always in play in human affairs. And a popular discourse that assumes the worst about Americans has a chilling affect on the rest of the country, tears at the fabric of our institutions, and accelerates the disintegration of our social and civic bonds.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/coates-trump/541158/?utm_source=atltw

Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a fourth term in Germany’s election Sunday, but her victory was clouded by the entry into parliament of the hard-right AfD in the best showing for a nationalist force since World War II.

Merkel, who after 12 years in power held a double-digit lead for most of the campaign, scored around 33 percent of the vote with her conservative Christian Union (CDU/CSU) bloc, according to preliminary results. It was their worst score since 1949.

Its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats and their candidate Martin Schulz, came in a distant second, with a post-war record low of 21 percent.

But in a bombshell for the German establishment, the anti-Islam, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) captured around 13 percent, catapulting it to become the country’s third biggest political force.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/merkel-heads-german-poll-win-hard-afd-first-020926172.html

The so called postmodernists had a different view on the matter. They apparently thought that all this arguing is too much of a hassle, so they decided to make it simpler by drastically lowering the standards of what should count as an argument. That is why you can find sentences such as: “It is the horizon itself that is in movement: the relative horizon recedes when the subject advances, but on the plane of immanence we are always and already on the absolute horizon.” (That is an actual sentence from What is Philosophy, by the French duo Deleuze and Guattari.) The first and most obvious thing about this sentence is how convoluted and apparently meaningless it is. But while there are ways by which one can navigate the jargon and find some meaning in these words, there is no justification for it; no argument to demonstrate that “on the plane of immanence we are on the absolute horizon.”

 

As I said, Brazil’s situation is not the same as in the US. Intersectionality has just now started creeping out in the media and academia, and college campuses are part of a slowly bubbling debate on free speech. Still, in other aspects Brazil seems to be ahead of the postmodern curve when compared with America. Postmodern thought is prevalent from high school onwards and I am sure that it is at least part of the reason why, despite heavy investments in education and a growing number of college enrollments, Brazil’s education seems not to have improved at all in the last decade.

https://areomagazine.com/2017/09/09/my-experience-in-a-postmodern-phd-program/

More relevant is the principle that large mobs are more dangerous than small mobs, and likely to harbor more psychopaths. Apparently running out of Nazis to resist, Boston protesters threw rocks and urine-filled bottles at police. Any shortage of white supremacists can always be corrected by expanding the definition. Opponents of a $15 minimum wage are racist. Skeptics about a pending climate crisis are racist. Anyone questioning the utility of pulling down old statues is racist.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-great-nazi-scare-of-2017-1503440903

Partisan bickering over the president’s mental capacity is not new. It’s as American as apple pie, in fact, and a subject of more urgency only as a function of the phenomenal powers invested in that office. It’s one thing to concern ourselves with the unknowable mind of this president, but it’s something else entirely to obsess over the minds of the masses. Those are the thoughts with which so many seem preoccupied. Those thoughts might be wicked thoughts. And since wicked thoughts cannot be proscribed, their very inception must be interdicted. Down that road lies its own sort of madness.

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/fear-people-think/

It’s the most rapid descent for a French president in recent memory. A new poll published by YouGov last week found Macron has a remarkably weak 36 percent approval rating — a massive slide for a man who won the presidency with 65 percent of the vote despite never having held elected office.

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/8/14/16114640/emmanuel-macron-unpopular

 

https://pauluslandericus.com/2017/05/07/macron-wins-e-u-survives-for-now/