Extremists Unite to Diss Populism as Threat to Democracy

If there’s one thing that brings a tear to Caitlin Johnstone’s eye, it’s the inspiration she feels watching Republican-aligned neoconservatives and Democrat-aligned neoconservatives find a way to bridge their almost nonexistent differences. 

By Caitlin Johnstone
If there’s one thing that brings a tear to my eye, it’s the inspiration I feel when watching Republican-aligned neoconservatives and Democrat-aligned neoconservatives find a way to bridge their almost nonexistent differences and come together to discuss the many, many, many, many, many, many many many things they have in common.

In a conference at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, “Resistance” leader and professional left-puncher Neera Tanden met with Iraq-raping neocon Bill Kristol to discuss bipartisanship and shared values. While leprechauns held hands and danced beneath candy rainbows and gumdrop Reaper drones, the duo engaged in a friendly, playful conversation with the event’s host in a debate format which was not unlike watching the Pillsbury Doughboy have a pillow fight with himself in a padded room after drinking a bottle of NyQuil.

To get the event started, the host whose name I refuse to learn asked the pair to discuss briefly what common ground such wildly different people could possibly share to make such a strange taboo-shattering dialogue possible.

“Issues around national security and believing in democratic principles as they relate to foreign policy,” replied Tanden. “And opposing authoritarianism, and opposing the kind of creeping populism that undermines democracy itself.”

Neera Tanden, in case you are unaware, is a longtime Clinton and Obama insider and CEO of the plutocrat-backed think tank Center for American Progress. Her emails featured prominently in the 2016 Podesta drops by WikiLeaks, which The New Republic described as revealing “a pattern of freezing out those who don’t toe the line, a disturbing predilection for someone who is a kind of gatekeeper for what ideas are acceptable in Democratic politics.”

Any quick glance at Tanden’s political activism and Twitter presence will render this unsurprising, as she often seems more concerned with attacking the Green Party and noncompliant progressive Democrats than she does with advancing progressive values. Her entire life is dedicated to keeping what passes for America’s political left out of the hands of the American populace.

Kristol co-signed Tanden’s anti-populist rhetoric and her open endorsement of neoconservative foreign policy, and went on to say that another thing he and Tanden have in common is that they’ve both served in government. That makes you realize that nothing’s black and white and everything’s kinda nebulous and amorphous so it doesn’t really matter if you, say for example, help deceive your country into a horrific blunder that ends up killing a whole lot of people for no good reason.

“I do think if you’ve served in government –this isn’t universally true but somewhat true– that you do have somewhat more of a sense of the complexity of things, and many of its decisions are not black and white, that in public policy there are plusses and minuses to most policies,” Kristol said. “There are authentic disagreements both about values, but also just about how certain things are gonna work or not work… and that is what adds a kind of humility to one’s belief that one is kind of always right about everything.”

I found this very funny coming from the man who is notoriously always wrong about everything, and I’d like to point out that “complexity” is a key talking point that the neoconservatives who’ve been consistently proven completely wrong about everything are fond of repeating. Everything’s complicated and nothing’s really known and it’s all a big blurry mess so maybe butchering a million Iraqis and destabilizing the Middle East was a good thing. Check out this short clip of John Bolton being confronted by Tucker Carlson about what a spectacular error the Iraq invasion was for a great example of this:

I listened to the whole conference, but it was basically one long smear of amicable politeness which was the verbal equivalent of the color beige, so I had difficulty tuning in. Both Tanden and Kristol hate the far left (or as those of us outside the U.S. pronounce it, “the center”), both Tanden and Kristol hate Trump, and hey maybe Americans have a lot more in common than they think and everyone can come together and together together togetherness blah blah. At one point Kristol said something about disagreeing with internet censorship, which was weird because his Weekly Standard actively participates in Facebook censorship as one of its authorized “fact checkers”.

The buzzword “bipartisan” gets used a lot in U.S. politics because it gives the illusion that whatever agenda it’s being applied to must have some deep universal truth to it for such wildly divergent ideologies to set aside their differences in order to advance it. But what it usually means is Democrat neocons and Republican neocons working together to inflict new horrors upon the world. 

America’s two mainstream political parties agree furiously with one another on war, neoliberalism, Orwellian surveillance, and every other agenda which increases the power and profit of the plutocratic class which owns them both. The plutocrat-owned mass media plays up the differences between Democrats and Republicans to hysterical proportions, when in reality the debate over which one is worse is like arguing over whether a serial killer’s arms or legs are more evil.

Neera Tanden and Bill Kristol are the same fucking person. They’re both toxic limbs on the same toxic beast, feeding the lives of ordinary people at home and abroad into its gaping mouth in service of the powerful. And populism, which is nothing other than support for the protection of common folk from the powerful, is the only antidote to such toxins. Saying populism undermines democracy is like saying democracy undermines democracy.

This article originally appeared on Medium.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.

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113 comments for “Extremists Unite to Diss Populism as Threat to Democracy

  1. David Schadeberg
    October 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    A+

  2. Zhu
    October 7, 2018 at 4:05 am

    Does it matter if you’re stepped on by Godzilla or Nechagodzilla?

  3. Uncle Bob
    October 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Just wondering if Gerald Ford’s , Nixon pardon speech is on full display in the lobby of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy,..

  4. October 4, 2018 at 2:07 am

    “In a conference at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, “Resistance” leader and professional left-puncher Neera Tanden met with Iraq-raping neocon Bill Kristol to discuss bipartisanship and shared values. While leprechauns held hands and danced beneath candy rainbows and gumdrop Reaper drones, the duo engaged in a friendly, playful conversation with the event’s host in a debate format which was not unlike watching the Pillsbury Doughboy have a pillow fight with himself in a padded room after drinking a bottle of NyQuil.”

    Caitlin, hilarious! Cheers to you! BUT HOW do you do it??? You have the most incredible mind!!! I love reading your articles!!!

  5. Abe
    October 3, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    In 2012, the US State Department would delist anti-Iranian terrorist group – Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) – from its Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. Yet years later, MEK has demonstrated an eager desire to carry out political violence on a scale that eclipses the previous atrocities that had it designated a terrorist organization in the first place […]

    US policy before the State Department’s delisting, and events ever since, have proven this rationale for removing MEK as an FTO to be an intentional fabrication – that MEK was and still is committed to political violence against the Iranian people, and envisions a Libya-Syrian-style conflict to likewise divide and destroy the Iranian nation […]

    It is clear in retrospect that the rise of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other extremist fronts in Syria were a result of this US policy. It is also clear that there are many other extremist groups the US has knowingly whitewashed politically and is covertly supporting in terrorism aimed directly at Iran itself.

    It is just a matter of time before the same denials and cover-ups used to depict Syrian and Libyan terrorists as “freedom fighting rebels” are reused in regards to US-backed violence aimed at Iran. Hopefully, it will not take nearly as long for the rest of the world to see through this game and condemn groups like MEK as the terrorists they always have been, and continue to be today.

    Also in retrospect, it is clear how US-engineered conflict and regime change has impacted the Middle Eastern region and the world as a whole – one can only imagine the further impact a successful repeat of this violence will have if visited upon Iran directly.

    US-Delisted MEK Terrorists Still Openly Committed to Violence
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/10/us-delisted-mek-terrorists-still-openly.html

    • October 4, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      Your point—> It is clear in retrospect that the rise of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, and other extremist fronts in Syria were a result of this US policy. It is also clear that there are many other extremist groups the US has knowingly whitewashed politically and is covertly supporting in terrorism aimed directly at Iran itself.

      So true. Both the the US military and terrorist groups that are US supported (currently) have been hijacked as weapons for globalization whether they know it or not just as capitalism was hijacked for corporatism.

      The US government and capitalism can be fixed as opposed to being destroyed as so many leftist foot-soldiers hope to do… unfortunately it will take an incredible movement to make America whole again.

  6. October 3, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Nationalism, populism, tribalism, localism… whatever you want to call it, it IS democracy. It is the bringing together of differing people/views to have their voices heard by leadership.

    Democracy is NOT where everyone looks and thinks alike… that my friend is the epitome of globalization… the destruction of diversity through the forced mashing together of people everywhere brought about by the manipulation of markets or war where homelands are destroyed and the natives run somewhere else.

    The term “populism” is a word bandied about by those who:

    1.) See an enemy in sovereign nations and people united by creed, culture, traditions and/or religion.

    2.) See a way to manipulate public opinion against people who aim to keep their nation sovereign and independent of global centralization.

    It’s all clear as day when you look at the big picture and the dead end it entails.

    • Maxwell Quest
      October 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Agreement on all points!

  7. JRGJRG
    October 3, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Hate like hell to be a die-hard contrarian, but don’t let’s forget that Hitler was fantastically “popular” with the German people.

    So please someone explain to me, why that kind of populism isn’t dangerous to democracy?

    • Businka2008
      October 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      Perhaps you are not aware that Hitler never got an absolute majority in Parliamentary elections and was never voted into power. On the contrary he was APPOINTED Chancellor by the ageing Hindenburg. As late as the 1932 election the Nazis obtained 33.5% of the popular vote against a combined SPD/KPD left bloc of 38% of votes cast. This hardly suggests that the German people as a whole were fantasically popular supporters of Hitler and the Nazi party. The rest of the votes went to various minority parties.

      • October 4, 2018 at 2:34 pm

        Point to take away —> APPOINTED Chancellor by the ageing Hindenburg.

        Hitler was like the ANTIFA activists/bullies of today… using violence and groups to intimidate dissent.

        • Zhu
          October 7, 2018 at 4:09 am

          No, ANTIFA’s equivalents were the Sozi & Kozi paramilitary groups. Trump is not Hitler, but Trumpees have a fair amount in common with Nazi voters

    • Bill
      October 4, 2018 at 11:27 am

      in the first years of taking power, Hitler was about as popular as trump was in the beginning of his taking power….which is to say…not all that popular.

    • John Puma
      October 5, 2018 at 5:09 am

      I’d suggest that “the kind of populism” being trashed by the 2 “extremists” of the article is the “the kind of populism” being constantly trashed by the corporate media, as I have mentioned below: that is, the kind that leads to “government of, by and for the (biological) people,” as distinct from the government of, by and for the 0.001% of the (biological) people who control the world’s (corporate) people.

      The media’s free (estimated ~$6 million worth) coverage of Trump argues against the notion that the bashing is in opposition to “the kind of populism” that lead to Germany’s, and now, America’s Hitler.

      • John puma
        October 5, 2018 at 5:11 am

        That’s: $600 million worth

  8. John Puma
    October 2, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    John puma
    October 2, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    “(2???)Extremists unite.”

    It is not ONLY the two, individual extremists you have identified that are pushing the “actual democracy is not democracy” propaganda but also (feverishly) doing so are the “moderate” extremists, persistently portraying themselves as legitimate, media,(i.e. the 0.001%-controlled media outlets, ie WaPo, NYT, LAT, Economist, etc.)

    It is impossible to avoid this recent version of steaming merda, oozing forth 24/7/365.

  9. Spencer
    October 2, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Kristol–Bolton–Trump–throw in Kavanaugh–need to be prosecuted–They are not all there–Not playing with a full deck of cards–

  10. Punkyboy
    October 2, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I never thought I’d be cheering on a host on Faux, but I have seen some absolutely great pieces by Carlson in which he absolutely wipes the floor with a-holes like Bolton and the neocon agenda in general. I like him almost as much as I like Lee Camp on RT. Never thought I’d say that. Wow.

    • October 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      I agree Calrson has shown some backbone and principles for once.

      • JRGJRG
        October 2, 2018 at 11:09 pm

        I agree about Carlson. Which means he won’t be there much longer. The autocrisy hates dissonant voices. Last time it was Tim Russert who asked too many questions, leading a parade of personalities that tried to be “journalists.”
        And I agree about Kavanaugh. The more you look at his grooming to work for Big Brother, the less there is to like.

        • JRGJRG
          October 2, 2018 at 11:13 pm

          That wasn’t a misspelling, btw. “Autocrisy” is a portmanteau of “autocracy” and “hypocrisy.” They belong together, don’t you think?

          Love Caitlin’s writing style.

      • Will
        October 4, 2018 at 11:29 am

        it’s called hedging one’s bets…a finger in the wide ect ect.

  11. October 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Dear Sir’s
    this is Jainal Abedin from Bangladesh can you help me? ………….. then we will contact by mail. thanks

  12. p.brooksmcginnis
    October 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Problem with being anti nuclear weapons and pro marijuana is that most folks just turn off their hearing when nuclear weapons are mentioned and think they are powerless to stop such evil Mother Earth destroying weapons; which may even be correct; but consider what happens after even just one nuclear weapon is used.

    The consequences of a terrorist nuclear attack

    A small and primitive 1-kiloton fission bomb (with a yield of about one-fifteenth of the one dropped on Hiroshima, and certainly much less sophisticated; detonated in any large capital city of the developed world, would cause an unprecedented catastrophic scenario.

    An estimate of direct effects in the attack’s location includes a death toll of 7,300-to-23,000 people and 12,600-to-57,000 people injured, depending on the target’s geography and population density. Total physical destruction of the city’s infrastructure, due to the blast (shock wave) and thermal radiation, would cover a radius of about 500 meters from the point of detonation (also known as ground zero), while ionizing radiation greater than 5 Sieverts – compatible with the deadly acute radiation syndrome – would expand within an 850-meter radius. From the environmental point of view, such an area would be unusable for years. In addition, radioactive fallout would expand in an area of about 300 square kilometers, depending on meteorological conditions.

    But the consequences would go far beyond the effects in the target country, however, and promptly propagate worldwide. Global and national security, economy and finance, international governance and its framework, national political systems, and the behavior of governments and individuals would all be put under severe trial. The severity of the effects at a national level, however, would depend on the countries’ level of development, geopolitical location, and resilience.

    Global security and regional/national defense schemes would be strongly affected. An increase in global distrust would spark rising tensions among countries and blocs, that could even lead to the brink of nuclear weapons use by states (if, for instance, a sponsor country is identified). The consequences of such a shocking scenario would include a decrease in states’ self-control, an escalation of present conflicts and the emergence of new ones, accompanied by an increase in military unilateralism and military expenditures.

    Regarding the economic and financial impacts, a severe global economic depression would rise from the attack, likely lasting for years. Its duration would be strongly dependent on the course of the crisis. The main results of such a crisis would include a 2 percent fall of growth in global Gross Domestic Product, and a 4 percent decline of international trade in the two years following the attack. In the case of developing and less-developed countries, the economic impacts would also include a shortage of high-technology products such as medicines, as well as a fall in foreign direct investment and a severe decline of international humanitarian aid toward low-income countries. We expect an increase of unemployment and poverty in all countries. Global poverty would raise about 4 percent after the attack, which implies that at least 30 million more people would be living in extreme poverty, in addition to the current estimated 767 million.

    In the area of international relations, we would expect a breakdown of key doctrines involving politics, security, and relations among states. These international tensions could lead to a collapse of the nuclear order as we know it today, with a consequent setback of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation commitments. In other words, the whole system based on the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty would be put under severe trial. After the attack, there would be a re-assessment of existing security doctrines, and a deep review of concepts such as nuclear deterrence, no-first-use, proportionality, and negative security assurances.

    Finally, the behavior of governments and individuals would also change radically. Internal chaos fueled by the media and social networks would threaten governance at all levels, with greater impact on those countries with weak institutional frameworks. Social turbulence would emerge in most countries, with consequent attempts by governments to impose restrictions on personal freedoms to preserve order – possibly by declaring a state of siege or state of emergency – and legislation would surely become tougher on human rights. There would also be a significant increase in social fragmentation – with a deepening of antagonistic views, mistrust, and intolerance, both within countries and towards others – and a resurgence of large-scale social movements fostered by ideological interests and easily mobilized through social media.

    • hjs
      October 2, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      Before starting a debate about the expected damage from a hypothetical “terrorist” plot that depends on the successful acquisition, handling, transport, etc. of such delicate and expensive requisites as radioactive components for some kind of mini-nuke, without being discovered, common sense would suggest that “the developed world” puts a complete halt on all its devastating bombardment of the people of Africa and the Middle East, and also immediately ceases their use of depleted uranium for their “conventional” ammunition.
      Besides that I need some help to understand the exact role of marihuana in your very sophisticated scenario.
      As you obviously have a high level of expertise, you might also give us some approximate numbers of the socio-economic impact when a city of the size of Mossul is turned into rubble. Is there a scientifically defined factor to compare the loss of 10’000 citizens of a “developed” nation to “undeveloped” or “developing” places? How many Iraqis does a terrorist have to kill to affect the GDP in the same degree as by blowing up ten New Yorkers with a car-bomb in the streets of Manhattan? The “science” of economic studies!!

      PS: Great piece, as usual Mrs. Johnson! Thank heavens there is a thing like Consortiumnews!

      PPS: With the coming, once again tougher sanctions that targets every participant in trade with Russia and Iran, we are quickly approaching a critical point. We can call ourselves lucky for even coming thus far! The 16th century church reformer Martin Luther once was asked what he would do if he knew that world would end tomorrow. “I would plant an appletree” was the response.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 4:37 am

      “attempts by governments to impose restrictions on personal freedoms to preserve order… ”

      Sounds like the present.

  13. Susan Sunflower
    October 2, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Stunning poll — another world is possible

    Guardian: ‘Our time is now’: world youth poll reveals unexpected optimism
    “”Survey across 15 countries finds 90% of teenagers in Kenya, Mexico, China and Nigeria hopeful for the future – in stark contrast with those in developed nations””

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/ng-interactive/2018/sep/24/our-time-is-now-world-youth-poll-reveals-unexpected-optimism

    • Salim
      October 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      I no longer read The Guardian. It’s full of “Vichy journalists” now.

  14. DH Fabian
    October 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Again, Anyone want to0 define “populism” in a country as deeply divided as this?

  15. Cratylus
    October 2, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Congrats to CN for publishing Caitlin.
    She is not always right but in this case she is right on the money. (And who is always right, anyway?)
    And she is always an enjoyable read.
    She was attacked mercilessly by the CounterPurge triumvirate as were a number of other fine writers who have appeared since on CN and elsewhere.
    (CN don’t need no stinking Cold War liberals in progressive clothing.)
    Keep up the courageous work.

    • JRGJRG
      October 2, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      Yeah, she gets a little naive at times, like when she recently claimed history never repeats itself. She really did. That’s a tragic mistake to believe. It not only repeats itself when conditions repeat themselves, but bad people copy it ! And it contains important lessons to avoid precisely because it does repeat itself.

      • Zhu
        October 7, 2018 at 4:40 am

        But history does NOT repeat itself. Everything is radically contingent. People are always people, but that’s not the same thing.

  16. DH Fabian
    October 2, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    There is no “populism” today. At the least, the country has suffered long-term middle class myopia. While it makes people angry to point it out, years of work went into pitting the “masses” against each other by class, race, and political ideology. People use the word “populist” to imply that the majority of people agree with their own positions. It’s a comforting illusion.

  17. Kofi Ashanti
    October 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Neera Tanden, the Indian Aunt Jemima. To Neera, ambition and career come first. Ingratiating to Hillary gets her what she wants in life.

    • JRGJRG
      October 2, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      All of these female status climbers like Neera or Hillary justify their sycophancy by the same infectious foolish myth, that the only thing wrong with the world is male behavior, and if they can somehow break through the glass ceiling by any means necessary and be the first woman at something or other and lead other women to power, without having to earn it with talent by doing something or really being something, they can save the world from men. Let’s save the world from women like that.

      • Will
        October 4, 2018 at 11:42 am

        Hillary did kind of “earn it” in the sense that she was as qualified as almost anyone running in 2016 any and possibly more so than her husband was when he first won-lots of experience as a first lady,senator, state dept. member lawyer, campaigner for Goldwater(oops!), ect ect). Certainly more qualified than Bush or Obama and waaaaay beyond Jill Stein, who if she had won would have been unable to accomplish anything at all (hard to do anything without an actual political party in this country). Whether she would have made a good president is another question entirely. it seems, she a neoliberal/neoconservative murderer just like her husband and Obama were, or to a lesser extent, like George W. Bush and his dad were. Unfortunately, trump is really worse and more dangerous in quite a few new and novel ways. Question: if it is somehow noticed tomorrow that a meteor was going to hit earth in a year,who would you want running our country: Hillary Clinton or Orange Trumpkin?

        • Zhu
          October 7, 2018 at 4:45 am

          Eager for constant warfare, killing 3d world people for her own glory, bending the knee at home to plutocrats & robber barons, trampling on those of us wondered about homelessness.

        • Zhu
          October 7, 2018 at 5:25 am

          I don’t think it would matter. Godzilla is not different from Mechagodzilla.

  18. unfettered fire
    October 2, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Economic democracy is not quaint. The nation-state is not quaint. It may be overrun for decades by globalists that have no respect for it, but quaint it is not. In fact, now that the sham economic policy of neoliberalism has long reached its zenith and is fading, it’s time to implement MMT (modern monetary theory) and not just for the 1%… the $5 trillion tax cut, defense spending and corporate subsidies.

    Neoliberalism’s huge failure was in thinking that bank credit could fuel the economy. How ridiculous! All that the trillions in QE did was flood the finance sector where it was spent on speculation, stock buybacks, asset-purchasing and new financial schemes. It’s created a two-tiered economy, a bloated financial sector pretending to be part of the starved industrial sector.

    All sovereign nations, unlike the EU countries that’ve forfeited control of their own currencies for the Euro, have fiscal (gov’t) power and control over their own destinies. THIS is why borders are important. No more lies to hold us back. No more cuts to social programs, no need for an increase in taxes, no more private bank lending!

    “A major advantage of a government as chief banker and credit creator is that when debts come to outstrip the means to pay, the government can write down the debt. That is how China’s banks have operated. It is a prerequisite for saving companies from bankruptcy and preventing their ownership from being transferred to foreigners, raiders or vultures.” ~ Michael Hudson

  19. Babyl-on
    October 2, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Second posting – first one disappeared.

    In 1992 Francis Fukuyama published “The End of History and the Last Man. The book was received very well by the established power in the US. The book spoke to their egos and demonstrated, in their eyes, the superiority of US Imperial power and global hegemony.

    Apparently progressives have been seduced by this Syrian Song even more fully than the established Neo-feudal power structure.

    For progressives there is only one answer to every issue, “democracy” – stop war the answer is “democracy” and we see just how well that has worked out – racism – democracy is the answer – name the issue the response is the same from progressives.

    To be so blindly behind “democracy” that is “Western Liberal Democracy” is anything but progressive, it is in fact regressive. Western culture based on enlightenment ideas is over “progress” is not backward looking to an old and utterly failing political and social system based on ideals from 500 years ago.

    The US is not the center of the world, new ideas are emerging in Central Asia, in Malaysia, across Africa and around the world that will solve problems in ways not even contemplated in the minds of US “progressives” with a mindset that ONLY Western Liberal Democracy is the answer to any ill.

    As much as “progressives” would like us to believe that “the ultimate achievement of man” is “democracy” they betray their own principals.

    • Susan Sunflower
      October 2, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      Yes, remember the formulation that “democratization” would follow the rise of “capitalism” in china and — of course — that (capitalist) prosperity and “opportunity” would foster demands for more participatory governance (democracy) … these reassuring and deeply political “memes” become reflexive, like Fukuyama’s End of History. (WE WON!!!) victory dance. as our CIA is so busy expanding its influence (and feathering its nest) that it misses the threat contained in (American supported) Islamic fundamentalism as an antidote to (godless) communism. (Even as a child I wondered if the “communist menace” wasn’t more ephemeral than real as an actual threat.

      Globalization was the “next phase” in a Spenglerian march of progress…. as the lyrics in “The Producers” put it — “doni’t be dumb, be a smartie, come on an join the Nazi party” …. an almost 100 year advertising blitz selling the superiority of capitalism … which always baffled me in two particular ways … wouldn’t that “superiority” be self-evident (as I was taught as a child) by superior standard of living, health and health care, education, etc. but also by the paradox that capitalism has never shown much promise or inclination at the sort of ambitious “bringing China into the 20th century” project. Most “beneficiarys” of our “help” seem stuck as client state or failed altogether.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 4:50 am

      When I first saw Fukuyama’s book, I thought “Jesus came back and no one noticed?” It was pretty obvious that history had not ended, that the sun still rose every day, etc., etc.

  20. October 2, 2018 at 8:56 am

    “Neera Tanden and Bill Kristol are the same fucking person. They’re both toxic limbs on the same toxic beast, feeding the lives of ordinary people at home and abroad into its gaping mouth in service of the powerful. And populism, which is nothing other than support for the protection of common folk from the powerful, is the only antidote to such toxins. Saying populism undermines democracy is like saying democracy undermines democracy.”

    Ms. Johnstone, you are not only a wonderful wordsmith, you have a lot to say. Thanks for putting this on the CN website.

    I do share your affection for Bill Kristol.

    • JRGJRG
      October 3, 2018 at 9:12 am

      And populism undermines populism, too. Don’t forget that! ?
      It all sounds perfectly logical to an idiot, doesn’t it?
      But remember how “democracy is the worst form of government… except for all the others?” That’s probably true.

  21. Dennis
    October 2, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Loved the article, another great insight and i’m starting to love Tucker Carlson. I still can’t believe he is doing this for Fox News of all stations and he still has a job! ..

    • DH Fabian
      October 2, 2018 at 2:41 pm

      Yes, he has been a solid right wing ideologue for years, on everything from war to immigration to our own anti-poor policies.

  22. Babyl-on
    October 2, 2018 at 8:52 am

    In 1992 Francis Fukuyama published “The End of History and the Last Man. The book was received very well by the established power in the US. The book spoke to their egos and demonstrated, in their eyes, the superiority of US Imperial power and global hegemony.

    Apparently progressives have been seduced by this Syrian Song even more fully than the established Neo-feudal power structure.

    For progressives there is only one answer to every issue, “democracy” – stop war the answer is “democracy” and we see just how well that has worked out – racism – democracy is the answer – name the issue the response is the same from progressives.

    To be so blindly behind “democracy” that is “Western Liberal Democracy” is anything but progressive, it is in fact regressive. Western culture based on enlightenment ideas is over “progress” is not backward looking to an old and utterly failing political and social system based on ideals from 500 years ago.

    The US is not the center of the world, new ideas are emerging in Central Asia, in Malaysia, across Africa and around the world that will solve problems in ways not even contemplated in the minds of US “progressives” with a mindset that ONLY Western Liberal Democracy is the answer to any ill.

    As much as “progressives” would like us to believe that “the ultimate achievement of man” is “democracy” they betray their own principals.

  23. backwardsevolution
    October 2, 2018 at 4:21 am

    John Podesta founded the Center for American Progress in 2003 and left in 2011. Neera Tanden became President after he left. Of course, John Podesta went on to become Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. The New Republic article said:

    “None of this, however, provided the insight that has been gained from the WikiLeaks release of the hacked emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, who founded CAP in 2003. These emails, in which Tanden is a frequent figure, reveal an operator who, in spite of her professed deference to ‘serious ideas,’ has actively blurred the lines between policy and politics, all to advance a single goal: electing Hillary Clinton.”

    Tanden started out as policy adviser to Bill Clinton, then went on to advise Hillary. So both she and Podesta have been working hard to advance Hillary ever since.

    Her being the “Resistance” leader makes a lot of sense. She would be working hard to thwart Trump at every turn, and no doubt has been instrumental in elevating Identity Politics to a new level, further splitting and fracturing the country, all with a goal of bringing Hillary back. If Hillary runs again and wins, watch for slogans such as “Come Together” and “All You Need is Love”. There’d all of sudden be a miraculous realization that Identity Politics is bad. Ya think!

    Both she and Kristol would love a return of the neocon witch. These people are actually dangerous. What is with these first generation East Indians? Nikki Haley is another prime example of this.

    “And populism, which is nothing other than support for the protection of common folk from the powerful, is the only antidote to such toxins.” Yep, people know when they’ve had enough.

    • October 2, 2018 at 5:21 am

      The Podesta Group worked with Maniford in the Ukraine.

      They got immunity

      Podesta Group one of the companies mentioned in Manafort indictment: report

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/policy/national-security/357884-podesta-group-is-one-of-the-companies-mentioned-in-manafort%3famp

    • Juan P. Zenter
      October 2, 2018 at 7:14 am

      “What is with these first generation East Indians?”

      The Caste system. The natural order of society doesn’t allow those at the bottom telling those at the top what to do. By telling the hoi polloi to shut up, you signal your superior position.

      Also, Neera and her patron Hillary both suffer from Gatekeeper Syndrome. Their condition requires that they oppose any Democratic Party initiative that doesn’t rely on them. Whenever there is a groundswell of support for an issue, they’ll explain that people are unrealistic and can’t have everything they want. Why? Because.

      • Dave P.
        October 2, 2018 at 2:59 pm

        “What is with these first generation East Indians?”

        That is what two centuries of British Raj did to most of them. You can buy them for two pence and half penny. I am very familiar with the likes of her.

        There is the other one, Nikki Haley at the U.N. desk. I don’t think any humanist thought ever entered her head; a completely empty mind.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 4:55 am

      “What is with these first generation East Indians? Nikki Haley is another prime example of this.”

      Self-hatred? Want to persuade themselves that they too are descended from English criminals & religious fanatics?

  24. October 2, 2018 at 3:39 am

    Are we pretending that we have a democracy?

    That’s quaint.

    I won’t go back through all the shanagans of USA elections but will start with Bush who stole the election and did it twice.

    Republicans obviously wanted a democrat ( to blame the economic crisis they helped create)to win or they would never have picked McCain who wasn’t even popular with republicans and then chose the grifter from Wassilla?

    And we know from Wiki leaks that Sanders was cheated by Hillary and the DNC.

    We know that the last election got us the 2 most hated candidates in the history of the country.

    We also know Hillary picked Trump, her pied piper baboon , the only republican she polled above.Banana republics have more popular candidates.

    Both parties work together and for the same people and conspire against us.

    Trump only won because Hillary was so sure that her conspiracy to steal the election was so in the bag she felt she could ignore and insult the white workers who’s lives she helped destroy.

    Trump only won because Hillary was so dispicable and even republicans voted against the bush republicans and GOP.

    Just a reminder of what Trump voters voted for:

    Trump; Bush worst president ever

    https://youtu.be/j6N8l8DMu3M

    Sanders would have won

    Both parties are well aware that there is a reckoning coming and the people left and right are disgusted.

    Interestingly there is a lot of common ground between us

    Room full of Trump voters cheer Bernie Sanders

    https://youtu.be/-ArbwhF0M_I

    If we can put aside our differences we will be a force to be reckoned with.

    That’s the real threat!

    • October 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Amen and AMEN!

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 4:57 am

      Why do you think half of us never vote? Or write in Donald Duck?

  25. mrtmbrnmn
    October 1, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Considering the amount of methane gas emitted out of the mouths of ordureheads like Neera Tanden, Bill Kristol and especially the repulsive John Bolton, is it any wonder the sea levels are rising and the ozone layer is fast depleting?

  26. Maxwell Quest
    October 1, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Duplicate of my comment on Caitlin’s Medium site:

    Understand this: the rise of populism is an existential threat to the globalist agenda. The natives are restless not only in the US, but across Europe as well. Don’t expect to see this discussed on the news, though, unless it is twisted into some ominous hobgoblin as exemplified by Tanden and Kristol above.

    Trump, Bernie, Farage, Le Pen, Corbin, Brexit, etc. are all symptoms of an awakening populace who are disillusioned with the dead-end road their leaders have ‘lied’ them down the past few decades. The older generation has seen their communities morph from Bedford Falls into Pottersville, the greedy having replaced virtue with vice in order to extract more wealth, as in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

    The plutocrats are frightened, so one should expect to see increasingly ham-fisted efforts to put down populism and control the ‘narrative’ — the social control system of lies. Amped up propaganda, fixed elections and internet censorship are only the beginning.

    • DFC
      October 1, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      It is the sheer OBLIVIOUSNESS that astounds me.

      I imagine these people dining with King Louis XVI in the Palace at Versailles in 1789 when they hear that the Bastille just fell. Then one timid soul pipes up:

      “Should we find out what those people want or start dessert?”

      The Jordan Peterson phenomenon is another example. So many college professors can’t understand how a guy they completely dismiss can rack up millions of youtube followers and two million book sales in a year.

      It is as if like Trump, Peterson & Populism just somehow randomly appeared in the world from the void.

      They never seem to be able to step back and ask themselves: Who was driving the bus when all of this occurred?

      • backwardsevolution
        October 2, 2018 at 4:40 am

        DFC – do you think they actually don’t see it? I think they’re always watching – always. These think tanks would have a good handle on what’s going on with the rabble, and their job is to steer the herd in specific directions, manufacture crises. They work hand in hand with the media and opinion writers to engineer the “right” way to think, and they’re even now eliciting the help of Facebook, Google and Twitter to censor dissent. Hollywood is brought in to keep thinking in line with however they want the population to behave.

        The college professors might be surprised at Jordan Peterson, but I doubt the think tanks are. People like Peterson and Trump are their cue to bring things back to where they want them. That why they’d have Tanden and Kristol on the same panel and Identity Politics is front and center (divide and conquer) at the moment.

        I think they are always watching and steering the herd. If things start getting too far out of hand, they’ll pull the switch on the markets. The Federal Reserve can handle that.

        • Maxwell Quest
          October 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm

          I think you are on the right track, BR. Those that sit atop the great wealth extraction machine are neither stupid nor out-of-touch. They have mastered the art of controlling large populations and their governments. Politicians come and go, yet the great machine continues to vacuum up global wealth without a hiccup.

          As you said, they are always watching, and can make adjustments as needed using any of the levers of control at their disposal. Isn’t that the message that Edward Snowden was willing to sacrifice himself for, to make the world aware of our vast and comprehensive global surveillance system?

          As DFC, intimated, I imagine that a certain amount of arrogance goes with the job of wanting to rule the world, but recent circumstances tell me that they are afraid. They know that an uprising of the commoners is blowing in the wind, thus all the ham-fisted attempts to regain control, and ten years of ZIRP and endless QE to prop up all the hollowed out economies.

          • backwardsevolution
            October 2, 2018 at 3:52 pm

            Maxwell Quest – “Politicians come and go, yet the great machine continues to vacuum up global wealth without a hiccup.” Such a good line because that’s exactly how it works! Cheers.

          • Zhu
            October 7, 2018 at 5:01 am

            “Those that sit atop the great wealth extraction machine are neither stupid nor out-of-touch.” They do a good imitation, though.

        • DFC
          October 2, 2018 at 2:04 pm

          Backwards

          I guess that was my question: Do they see it or don’t they? Louis XVI and his court didn’t see it and lost their heads for that lack of insight. Maybe they do see it as you point out, governing through “controlled chaos”. If so, I think it is a strategy of needlessly sailing awfully close to the wind.

          • backwardsevolution
            October 2, 2018 at 4:08 pm

            DFC – I think they do see it, I think they are very vigilant (an eagle’s eye), but you are right to point out that they didn’t always. Louis XVI wasn’t paying attention (preferred to play with his locks), and his political advisers underestimated what was going on.

            But I have read (not that I’ve done much reading on the subject) that it wasn’t even the rabble who started the revolution. It was the relatively newly-formed merchant class who incited the rabble to revolt, although the rabble were starving (because of poor crops), so it didn’t take much to incite them. Then after the members of the elite were guillotined, guess who took control?
            The merchant class, businessmen. I’d like to know who these people were. Were they the banking families we see today?

            Nowadays our Deep State make sure that no one starves. They have learned their lesson. Oh, they make out that it’s the benevolent thing to do, but they really could care less. They just don’t want the riff-raff coming after them.

            As Maxwell Quest said, they are now “afraid”. People are getting uppity and going against the program. Trump is trying to dismantle globalism, get control of the borders, things the population wants. The Deep State will want to put a stop to this nonsense thinking. That’s why we see Tanden and Kristol on the same stage touting the benefits of maintaining the status quo.

            Good talking to you, DFC.

    • Walter J Smith
      October 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Biparticrats are the puppet thugs of the the kleptocratic thugs (think: CFR – the billionaire’s club that is pure lobby with every word it [including its staff & non-staff mouthpieces] publishes). Biparticrats, like Obama, the Bushes & the Clintons, do not care what party anyone belongs to; they only care about competing with their respective professionally misguided voters for the blessings dripping their way by those billionaires whose predecessors have enjoyed the lion’s shares of every US budget ever signed into law since Lincoln. The current war in the D thug puppet circus against the left will escalate over the next two years as the GOP discovers it has effectively committed suicide by drowning itself in its own drool over the idiot in chief.

      Calling kleptocrats ‘plutocrats’ is a form of self-deception. No self-respecting writer will make that mistake after simply looking into the differences between the two terms.

      The US has deteriorated into a raw kleptocracy; the idiot in chief is merely the latest incarnation of a very long line of kleptocratic-thug-puppets. Until writers can tell the truth with precise detail, who cares what they supposedly think? Calling them plutocrats is like calling nuclear weapons merely military weapons systems. It ignores the globally devastating differences in both cases. The net effect on public discourse is the same: obliteration of anything worth participating in.

      Populism is another term needing some parcing out for clarity. There are reactionary populists – they popularize reactionary nonsense; and there are cutting edge left-leading populists – they present cogent commentary on current conditions as well as presenting concepts and programs with promise for transforming the politics away from all the reactionaires and away from all the biparticrat status quo thug puppets. Obama was & remains a self-promoting fake lefty populist. Notice how he can now still get away with pretending to give a fart; who calls him out for it? He is on nothing but a studied cruise toward becoming another tiring, thieving, billionaire celebrity thug. Imitating both Clintons. Even at times doing a better Bill fake charisma act than can Bill.

      Until we can draw clear lines around such common-condition-defining culture, with more precise and more nuanced language, we are not even communicating at all – neither hearing come from ourselves hollow platitudes, nor listening to our critics, nor listening to those who try making sense of what we are saying/writing. For all his narcissistic, sloppy foibles, at least Michael Moore can convey the similarities between Obama, Trump and both Clintons & all three Bushes. Only those who do no nuance fail to notice. These include about the same percentage of Ds as Rs. MM’s impact, in turn, makes the effect even more effective. He reaches into the dark sub-conscious of a few of those biparticrat couch potatoes and tickles a nerve here and there.

    • JRGJRG
      October 3, 2018 at 9:33 am

      Frightening the plutocrats who have their hands firmly on the levers of power and the nuclear triggers is infinitely dangerous for the world and has serious consequences, so don’t forget that.

      They proved that in the days of the 50s purges, the 1963 JFK coup, the 1981 Reagan soft coup, the 2000 GWBush coup, and 911 among other things. We are all potential hostages. They aren’t going to just concede their power without ruthless violent reaction.

  27. October 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    “At one point Kristol said something about disagreeing with internet censorship, which was weird because his Weekly Standard actively participates in Facebook censorship as one of its authorized “fact checkers”.”

    Even weirder- the recent news of the Weekly Standard’s role with Facebook, unless I am mistaken, centred around the rejection of an article from the Center For American Progress.

  28. October 1, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Drew, i think it’s a ranfom event, and I noticed that happened to me it seems when someone else posted at the same time, mine disappeared as theirs showed. I don’t know if that’s exactly what happened, but it looked that way.

    • October 1, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Thanks for the feedback.

  29. October 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Great comment, karlof1! And the article by Stephen Walt from Unz is really good, Realist.

  30. October 1, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I just posted something totally innocuous, it was a post speaking to the merits of econ populism; that post was totally deleted by CN! What gives?!

    I used no curse words, nothing incendiary! The only word I used that could even possibly be considered offensive was “Ziocon” but that’s of course not offensive at all! I did remark that economic populism offends certain liberals who can’t see past identity politics.

    I have no idea why some of my posts are now disappearing from CN!

    • Sifting
      October 1, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      I haven’t visited C N in a while. There seems to be a more liberal bent — particularly the way the comments are rearranged (prioritized). Perhaps, if that is correct, it extends to being particular about what commentators can or cannot post.

  31. October 1, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Populism terrifies certain liberal constituencies who can’t see past the dead end of identity politics, it also of course threatens the profits of the corporate blood suckers on Wall Street.

    Some good ol’ economic populism is exactly what’s needed to get us out of this mess. A mess built on massive under-employment, uncounted unemployment, rampant inequality, and pitiful wages due to the assault on labor unions over the past 40 years. Corporate profits have been through the roof essentially over the last 40 years but the greedheads won’t share a penny! Us workers are forced to triple up on housing, take out massive loans, work 60 hour work weeks and struggle with groceries and healthcare co-pays and deductibles. Enough is enough!

    Moreover, the mantra that must take hold in the heartland and across the nation is that the wars for the military industrial conglomerates, neoliberal warmongers and Ziocons are not our fight!

    • Dave P.
      October 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Good comments.

      “Moreover, the mantra that must take hold in the heartland and across the nation is that the wars for the military industrial conglomerates, neoliberal warmongers and Ziocons are not our fight!”

      Yes, if only somehow heartland can be made aware of that!

  32. jaycee
    October 1, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Somehow it feels predictable that this particular entente will not be subject to diatribes denouncing a so-called Red-Brown alliance.

  33. karlof1
    October 1, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    What is democracy if not populism itself? The greatest attempt at creating an actual democracy within the USA was done via the variety of groups from the midwestern plains states that became known as The Populists of The Populist Party. Some of their energy resurfaced during the post WW1 period’s Populists who crafted legislation aimed at keeping the USA out of war while taming that era’s Banksters and Merchants of Death–indeed, they scared the hell out of them to the point where the term Populist was flipped on its head and is now considered one of those “dirty words”–along with conspiracy theory/ist–used to denigrate and marginalize people with very legitimate grievances.

    The remedy for what ails the USA and the world is a massive dose of Populism that turns out the oligarchs and corporate politicos to usher in an era of genuine democracy and long needed reforms to the USA’s political system and constitution. A government Of The People will not wage war on The People as has been done since Neoliberalism was installed under Carter in 1978–40 years worth of documented failure for The People; 40 years of Corporate Welfare for Predatory Capitalists.

  34. October 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Most interestingly Bush war criminals are torture enthusiasts Brennan and Clapper and Haden all work as experts for the si called Liberal media at CNN and MSNBC.

    Respected journalists Glenn Greenwald And Sy Hersh are no longer invited on liberal media but Greenwald has been invited by Fox News.

    Thomas Frank, once a darling for democrats is now persona non grata because he dared to call out the corporate democrats.

    They don’t even pretend anymore.

  35. Anne Jaclard
    October 1, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Wow, these people do have a lot of nerve. We’re being told we need to “protect democracy” and “institutions” – by who, exactly? By people who have been wrong on every issue for the past two decades. Remember Iraq? Afghanistan? The Bailouts? Austerity? Project Fear? Some might object and say that many of these events are now over 10 years old. Well, it might be easy for neocons and neoliberal elitists to drop one script and pick up another, but millions of people have DIED as a result of these failures. At the same time, anyone questioning these figures are “Russian stooges,” even those who have made the same criticisms for years? No, the issue is that we’ve been right this whole time, they’ve been exposed and can no longer handle it. This bipartisan, globalised establishment is on the way out, and good riddance.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 1, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Anne I like your comment. What I thought of while reading your post was how we on this board need to say the very things you said here to our friends and relatives. Although I am sure you, and the others like myself do this, still you give life to the means of their deception, as you raise some interesting points. I agree these people have been utter failures at everything they propose, and yet they are still in charge. We the people need to ban together, and kick them out… put them in jail. So Anne good comment. Joe

      • anonymous
        October 2, 2018 at 8:20 am

        Joe: You are right about the importance of telling this to our friends. I tried and I did – and have lost most of my “friends” because they think I am crazy. In disgust, I have stopped using FB.

  36. October 1, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Any of the progress we saw since the days of the Civil Rights movement and anti-Vietnam were ripped apart, first by cultural shocks of assassinations of JFK, MLK, other targeted control campaigns, such as COINTELPRO. Then people’s decent livelihoods as the New Deal had brought became dismantled with taxes lowered on the wealthy and corporations, in the Reagan era. After that, globalisation disenfranchised more and more, to the point that families now struggle to survive.

    That these elitists of neolib and neocon ideology can take the stage and pontificate against “populism” from their cushy platforms of think tanks (stink tanks, really) is outrageous. Kristol should replace his word “humility” with “hubris”, which is all he’s ever advocated in his long career of Zionist colonialism, like his father. And Tanden has prospered from her own coattail attachment to the Clintons, one of the most clever con families the US has ever seen. These ideologues need to be mocked, and relentlessly — thank you, Caitlin.

    I hope you have those collected and published, F. G. We need them to circulate.

  37. F. G. Sanford
    October 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Try this one out to “Another Saturday Night” by Sam Cooke.

    Another Troglodyte Ball and the swamp’s on the ticket-
    Both parties working for those deep state swine.
    That DC swamp is now deeper than ever,
    Neocons are doin’ fine.

    It started out two years ago, the wars were gonna end real soon,
    We’d conquer those jihadis, and stop producing bodies,
    But now it seems we changed our tune.

    Here’s another caveman to serve on the bench at the High Court,
    They picked a guy who hates the Bill of Rights,
    How I wish that the swamp could be draining,
    So we could stop these fights.

    Another fella told me, the neocons would be just fine
    No warrants to surveil us, no trials if they jail us,
    He’s a cat named Rosenstein!

    Here, a midterm is near and Bill Kristol is whining
    He says the issues are a bit complex-
    Schumer told us there’s six ways to screw us,
    I guess he meant with sex.

    (Spoken:)
    Another Troglodyte Ball with Mnuchin and Bolton,
    There’s Nikki, Rudy and Pompeo too,
    Dyslexic Perry and DeVos are revolting,
    Kushner ain’t got a clue.

    I remember years ago, when neocons first said “complex”,
    McCain was courting rebels, and working for those cartels,
    And…Al Qaida’s guns were U.S. specs…

    Poor Lindsey is sad since McCain got a tumor,
    The doctors wondered but could not explain.
    How they found it must be just a rumor,
    They thought he had no brain.

    It’s hard on those think tanks, they gotta bet a busted flush,
    They want judicial capture, to bring about the rapture-
    But it seems their nominee’s a lush.

    (Repeat to fade:)
    Another Troglodyte Ball and the deep state is winning,
    The ticket’s rigged, The Constitution’s chucked,
    The deep state swamp is hypocrisy sinning,
    The Founders’ dreams are cucked.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Boy I’d love to take you to the recording studio… you got talent. Also my dad turned me on to Sam Cook. I often thought that Steve Parry with Journey must have loved Cook as well, since I hear a similar style with their voices.

      Our country is so captured by these neocons that it makes me wonder to how we the people could unseat them. Every president we have had, since JFK, seems to yield to these creeps whoever they are, and that’s too bad for us and the world. I wish I had the answer, but at least I have this comment board to keep my head straight.

      Great tunesmanship F.G. I hear McCartney is looking for a new writing partner. Joe

  38. October 1, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I enjoyed the reference to the Pillsbury Doughboy as well. I made me laugh reminding me of the old SNL skit with “Mr. Bill” where the doughboy is trapped inside the oven and someone turns it on. Oh, poor Mr. Bill! And don’t the doughboy also had his companion, the “doughgirl”!

  39. Bob Van Noy
    October 1, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Caitlin on the Neoliberal continuity :

    “the many, many, many, many, many, many many many things they have in common.”

    Caitlin Johnstone knows how to state our political problems quicker than most essayists’s can in several pages of text. Many Thanks. Like Skip Scott and Joe Tedesky, I thank CD for including her here.

    There is much to like in both Caitlin’s writing and in the typically civil responses delivered by the commenters. Interestingly, O Society presents Robert Kagan’s vile form of logic for continuous warfare, as long as he is not a participant. And just after, Realist produces a rejoinder by Stephen M. Walt, so we are able to see the differences in policy.

    The problem as I see it, is that policy is made in the dark by people we never meet and it has a continuity that is never really challenged. So much for our silent democracy, our troops and foreign civilians die but that rarely gets addressed. I encourage all to read O Society’s link and look at the Zippo Lighter’s Logic…

  40. Susan Sunflower
    October 1, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    It’s terrifying … here in the USA, thanks to HRC, more than anybody, “populism” equals racist and likely skin-head sympathies. And this “dangerous” movement is highlighted with every racist / immigrant related incident (violent attacks and peaceful demonstration alike) in Europe … giving that rightwing nationalism “momentum” which may or may not be real (clickbait has that paradoxical effect, akin to the Streisand Effect).

    After the Brexit vote in June there were any number of quite alarmed and excited article warning that it was not some odd-ball one-off phenonmenon (and many many predictions that another vote would be inevitable — it was NEVER supposed to pass, even most its supporters never expected that … it would be a corrective) Much as Democrats — having forgotten 2004 — seem to assume Trump will be defeated (not bothering to fill in the obvious blank — by whom?) and Cllinton is still writting and having published broadsides about the awfulness of Trump.

    There is still hoity-toity disdain for the sans culottes even as our media creates virtual existential threats over gatherings of right-wingers. When I saw Martin Luther King in Los Angeles in 1963, actual American Nazi Party members in fulll uniform and regalia showed up (as they often did) . We laughed at them (or the adults I was with did — I was terrified). We’re still largely avoiding reckoning with racism and bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment, particularly as racists and bigots (and sexists) are declared persona non grata — non-persons — and silenced. Clinton’s “despicables” were about as “undemocratic” as I’ve seen on a national stage before Trump needed to be taken “seriously” by fiat.

    Clinton buddy Carville wrote a book — “We’re right, they’re wrong” which should have been a warning. … people ate it up. Suddenly the democrats were claiming themselves as the “chosen ones” the smart ones, the survivors … I don’t think they have any intention of revising course. Those in charge have millions and they can wait out the next cycle, even the next.

    Many Democrats were elated by Bosnia … finally “successful” post-vietnam interventionism with a human face (humanitarian) … I find this thirst to intervene — wherever there are civilians suffering, I guess — has infected a our nation (even as “war” and our active duty operations receive little attention — moral or otherwise, leaving that old “deep state” with a unitary executive and carte blanche to quietly insert “American influence” … wherever..

    As #metoo (and Black Lives Matter) shows, a lot of that progress we thought we saw was an illusion. — anybody notice or care?

    • Realist
      October 1, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Yeah, great, we helped “liberate” Bosnia and later Kosovo AFTER we made damned sure the country was thoroughly destabilised and splintered after Tito died. Slick Willie had seen how much of a bump in the polls his predecessor had got after suckering Iraq into Kuwait and then invading it. Hey, it distracted from Whitewater, Monica, Paula Jones et al. I hope Trump doesn’t use the ruse of war as a precedent to evade his Stormy Davis accusations. (But how can you respect someone who takes the money and then violates their confidentiality agreements?)

      The American state has gone beyond simply harassing Russia now and has started a genuine war. What else does one call it when Washington instructed South Korea to impound a Russian ship because it “violated” American “sanctions” against North Korea. Russia denies this, but it shouldn’t even bother. It and every other country has an absolute right to trade with whomever it damned well pleases. Isn’t “free trade” one of the pillars upholding American capitalism? It is whenever we do it, despite the dire consequences to our own working citizens.

      Washington is pushing this because it WANTS a naval confrontation and a full-blown hot war with Russia. Some @$$wipe admiral publicly said so yesterday… that Russia should be entirely surrounded and blockaded by the U.S. Navy. On what grounds? WE have been the aggressor in every confrontation. The UN and the ICC should be sanctioning and prosecuting Americans (and Israelis) for war crimes rather than giving them a pass. The whole world is effing nutz, having been made so on orders from the lunatics in Washington. Excuse me, the BIPARTISAN said lunatics. That makes it all good. Just ask the corporate media.

      • Susan Sunflower
        October 1, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        Many Americans believe we have lived in a unipolar world since the Soviet Union fell and that …. the world has never been so prosperous and peaceful or something (or maybe that was just America) … I hear in comments often that being “policeman of the world” falls to us because we’re the biggest and best and have the infrastructure (no matter how bad the results — and the better results of other forces — see various phases in the Afghanistan war) — Very Toad of Toad Hall. When I was a kid my neighbors’ dad voted republican because he was convinced that these stalwart pillars of the community “must” be smarter because they were rich … by the time I finished high school he’d figured out they were mostly very well connected crooks … Now we have two incestuous parties of well-connected crooks…. neoliberalism blurs so many lines … as long as we make a profit.

        The Washington elite want to nip this bipolar or multipolar ambition in the bud … and they will use all the usual alarms and reported atrocities in their arsenal. I am often stuck by how the concept of human nature has become something “red of claw and tooth” with an belief in some sort of determinism driving everyone to the lowest common denominator … From the “Lord of the Flies” to “The Road” and/or “Bladerunner” (or worse).

        Democracy depends on folks “trusting” and “buying into the system” … we’re fucked. I was trying to someone explain the optmism of the post-colonial revolutions and post-revolutionary periods …All they saw were the failures, unable to appreciate the vast energy and optimism of millions in trying to create something new,better, fairer. I had someone tell me that the whole hippie commune model had been “proven” to “always fail” because some onewould play tyrant and it would all get ruined … the idea that such a fate might be avoidable with better governance and communication was brushed away …. see also — seems few expect their marriage to last “forever” anymone

      • Druid
        October 1, 2018 at 6:32 pm

        Totally agree. The Ziocons are behind all of this balderdash!

        • Zhu
          October 7, 2018 at 5:33 am

          Yes, blame the Jews, not yourselves.

  41. mike k
    October 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Democrat vs republican is just a good cop/bad cop routine. Just remember, they are both cops, and really corrupt ones at that. Don’t vote for either.. Drop out of their con game. Don’t be a fool. Beware what you worship.

    • anonymous
      October 2, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Instead of good cop and cop analogy, a better analogy is the “bad cop worse cop” analogy because I don’t see any good here.

    • Zhu
      October 7, 2018 at 5:34 am

      Amrn!

  42. Joe Tedesky
    October 1, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Caitlin is a joy to read. Loved the Pillsbury Doughboy tag.

    Although I wish to see more of us U.S. citizens talking with each other, as opposed to fighting each other, I see her point about the DC bipartisanship. It’s disgusting that the one theme that pulls all of DC politicians & the New York media people together is war. The only argument these hacks make witn each other is when to attack, and when to never pull out, of these god awful wars. So Caitlin once again nails it.

    • christina r garcia
      October 1, 2018 at 11:53 pm

      hi joe,
      We are still alive. my dad not so well. I want to tell all your followers , The VA in Milwaukee is wonderful. My dad is still a staunch trump supporter. Same age, women are broads or sluts, or whatever. He is going to die, and that is good because we do not need him to vote anymore. His friends are trump people. Got mine and screw everyone else. Good thing I grew up in a different era where I do care about my fellow citizens. What is it about old men who care only about themselves? Joe, you are not one of them. but please ,enlighten me , why do guys only care about themselves?

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 2, 2018 at 8:06 am

        Something’s never change, and tina you are one of them. Screw the damn vote, and go hug your dad.

        I hope you are well. Joe

  43. Antiwar7
    October 1, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Spot on. It makes me wretch to be asked to take sides between federal-level Democrats versus Republicans, or to listen to the typical criticisms of Trump.

    Do you prefer the smooth-talking, civilized mass murderer, or the boorish one?

    Neither. No thanks.

    • Antiwar7
      October 1, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      I mean, it makes me retch to be called on to support one group of wretches over another…

  44. Realist
    October 1, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    And here’s a sensible rejoinder as to why “democratic socialists,” libertarians, and “realists” should close ranks and together oppose the @$$holes of Ms. Johnstone’s ire. Should this be the new major fault line in politics?

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50341.htm

  45. October 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Bill Kristol’s PNAC Society of Evil Brother, Robert Kagan is scheming too. Where’s my can of Black Flag?

    https://opensociet.org/2018/09/30/the-pax-americana-utopia-a-liberal-world-order-by-robert-kagan/

    • October 1, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Just a reminder

      Kagan was a top adviser to Hillary Clinton and his blood thirsty wife Victoria was her top aid.

      If that wasn’t evidence enough

    • October 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Evil, evil monkeys!

  46. October 1, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Our political choice here in the U.S. is essentially this:

    “Would you like your immoral regime change wars, endless economic sanctions and economic warfare against the poor, unethical drone murders, illegal invasions & military occupations, and decades of military support for our head-chopping jihadist terrorists buddies— “with” or “without”?—?gender specific bathrooms here at home?”

  47. Jeff Harrison
    October 1, 2018 at 11:25 am

    We are, of course, doomed. Ms Johnstone is correct, there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans at the national level. I had voted for Obama at first hoping for a sharp break from the disastrous approach to life epitomized by Shrub. As Sarah Palin said, “how’s that hopey, changy thing workin’ out for ya”? The answer is, not at all. 2018 isn’t looking good at all as the party is still in the thrall of the Hillary bots and Trump is a standard Republican with a loud mouth.

  48. Limert
    October 1, 2018 at 10:22 am

    The extremists have occupied the «center» of US politicks, while anything that in most other countries passes as mainstream, is labeled «extreme».

  49. Skip Scott
    October 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

    God I just LOVE Caitlin Johnstone! Thanks so much for including her stuff here at CN.

  50. mike k
    October 1, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Once you understand that the chatter from your TV is almost entirely propaganda from the oligarchs who control our government, it becomes meaningless and boring, and you stop listening to it, and seek other honest sources of information.

    • John puma
      October 2, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      “(2???)Extremists unite.”

      It is not ONLY the two, individual extremists you have identified that are pushing the “actual democracy is not democracy” propaganda but also (feverishly) doing so are the “moderate” extremists, persistently portraying themselves as legitimate, media,(i.e. the 0.001%-controlled media outlets, ie WaPo, NYT, LAT, Economist, etc.)

      It is impossible to avoid this recent version of steaming merda, oozing forth 24/7/365.

  51. john wilson
    October 1, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Perhaps this piece should have the title “if voting ever changed anything they would do away with it” Whether its the left, the right or something in between, the MIC, the MSM and the deep state are in charge of everything and all three with a nice helping from Israel. The notion that democracy means the people have a say in who rules them is a myth. The senate, congress and the president Republican and Democrats alike are subservient to the faceless state. The deep state as we like to call it is a dictator without a face. Un-elected, un-known and un-accountable.

    • mike k
      October 1, 2018 at 7:09 am

      Excellent summary of our morass, John. The road to our possible healing does not go through the DC Swamp. We need to construct a bypass around all that ugliness.

  52. Tom Welsh
    October 1, 2018 at 6:11 am

    And of course the video clip is “unavailable”. How ironic.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      October 1, 2018 at 6:44 am

      It is working.

      • TS
        October 3, 2018 at 5:01 pm

        > It is working.

        Not now, it isn’t…

Comments are closed.