11 thoughts on “Good Read”

  1. Wow. Thanks for posting that. At first I thought I wasn’t going to like it, but now I’m thinking it’s a clip-and-save I’ll convert to e-format to digest in small doses on my Kindle. I can’t guarantee where I’ll agree with Codevilla, but his thoughts are more than worth considering.

    I’ve only had a chance to scan that article, but for some reason the first thought that leapt to mind was, an old quote I like, that usually goes “It’s not a class war until we fight back.” I don’t know that anyone notable originated that quote, but I couldn’t help wondering what Karl Marx’s comments on Codevilla’s theories would be.

    Again emphasizing I have only had a chance to scan that article, so could have misread or misinterpreted some things, I bristled a little bit at Codevilla’s statement to the effect that an “elite” is necessary in a complex society; but then thought, that is probably true if you define the elite as, the people who understand how things work, in greater complexity than most other people. (I was an “elite” who got paid a premium for understanding my specialty better than rank-and-file engineers.)

    I may be extrapolating Codevilla too far here, but it seems to me problems start when the elite overstep, and instead of defining and optimizing how things get done, start dictating too much what things should get done – “cultural priorities” if you will. Those are the things that start running up against “culture.”

    If for example you believe Donald Trump represented an alternative “ideology” (as opposed to merely exploiting and expropriating a handful of existing ideologies) then the question of “elitism” enters in the sense of, his administration not having any real idea of how to implement that new ideology; the people with the expertise, in general did not share a commitment to it. (I think I’m being overly kind there, but for argument’s sake, what the hell.)

    1. I, too, was unable to find an original source for “its not a class war unless…” but it has been a staple of the radical left going back at least to the IWW. Recently, it has been used by various Guardian writers and David Sirota. Like with a lot of other stuff, Trump has managed to expropriate the expropriators and energize the right around this issue, probably as a reaction to the surrender on the installment plan approach of the Bush clan and Mittens.

      When both sides think they are in a class war, the danger of escalation into a shooting war increases. Since the Left has long held this belief and Trump is using it as a defensive measure, you can really blame any war that results on the Republican squishes.

  2. “it has been a staple of the radical left going back at least to the IWW.”

    I only encountered it in the past several years, which may be an indicator that Trump has done as much to energize the left as he has the right. Their old terminologies are resurfacing and drifting into the mainstream.

    What I’m thinking about now is, is the “culture war” really a “class war,” renamed, because too many people identify “class war” as “leftist?” In terms of tactics I see no difference at all between the two camps, and it appears to me most talk of de facto “class = culture”, literal war is coming from the right. (Despite both camps using Leninist tactics, the right is understandably particularly offended when their tactics are identified as that.)

    1. “Trump has done as much to energize the left as he has the right.”

      Amen. It was Trump who got AOC elected. A self identified, card carrying Democratic Socialist wouldn’t have had a prayer, even in her district, before Trump took office. Whether or not Trump is technically a fascist, everyone who identifies as a fascist thinks he is, and to many markets fascists make Democratic Socialists look pretty good. With the left and the right, it is almost like they’re in a pissing contest, to see how far forward they can push their radicals, without driving too many people into the opposing camp.

      1. The problem is that self-identified “Fascists” are practically non-existent because actual fascists are really Fabian Socialists who want a planned economy through a Military Dictatorship……..Trump isn’t that at all, and neither are the “Alt-Right” or “White Nationalists”. They’re really just Racist Anarchists whom believe in no Institutions of Government whatsoever……Trump isn’t that either.

        Fascism is a Military Dictatorship with Fabian Socialist economic policy. Truth be told, the Education(Indoctrination) System of this Country has brainwashed 2 Generations of people to believe that Communism is good because it’s really “Democratic Socialism”.

        The writings of actual Fascists like George’s Sorrell, who really is the founding father of modern Fascism, are not taught in school, and it’s by design, because Sorrell and other Fascists were all Students of Marxist Political Theory.

        Of course, the only difference between AOC and Nicholas Maduro (The Maoist f***-up Dictator of Venezuela) is the genatalia.

        When the people of this Country elect a 2nd coming of Pol Pot or Mao Zedong to the White House, it will be under the label of “Democratic Socialism”.

    2. By recent, I was including stuff much newer than the IWW but still pre-Trump so Orange Man Bad doesn’t apply.

  3. Ludwig Von Mises is one of my favorite economic and political philosophers, and I’m very well aware of his relations to the ‘Austro-Fascists’. He also blew up and exposed the anti-semtism of the Soviets too.

    However, we can go back to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and see that the most aggressive of them were Fundamentalist Conservative and Orthodox Jews. Even though Trotsky himself wasn’t, his henchmen and foot-soldiers were indeed so.

    But alas, once the Soviet Union got itself fully constituted by 1920, Vladmir Lenin and Josef Stalin with Trotsky’s help had them whacked and purged. “History” Students are brainwashed to believe that anti-semitism is ‘right-wing’, but the Soviets were ethnically cleansing themsleves of Jews and seeking to eradicate ALL religions in and within their borders more than a decade before the Nazis seized control of Germany, and continued to do so for decades after.

    The Soviets didn’t throw Jews into the ovens of death camps and concentration camps;…….they starved them to death (Holodomor, Russian Famines of the 1920’s through late 1950’s) or sent them to the ice-box gulags of Siberia, Kamchatka Province, and the Arctic Circle

    1. “sent them to the ice-box gulags of Siberia, Kamchatka Province, and the Arctic Circle”

      The Russians were actually pretty equal-opportunity on that score, or so my relatives born in Siberia to deportees tell me.

      I deliberately said “Russians” and not “Soviets” because there hasn’t been the slightest difference between the Czars’ monarchists, the Bolshevik/Stalinist communists, or Putin’s fascists. There is an old saying in Europe that “the musicians change, the instruments change, but somehow the music is always the same.”

      Which informs my opinion that most left/right nonsense is raw bullshit to manipulate us proles. The ultimate team sport. The only thing that changes is which team is more authoritarian at any given moment. But that will change in a couple moments.

      1. I think it was Laura Rose Wilder who observed that, particularly in Europe, it was never a choice between “freedom” and “liberty”, it was almost always a choice between who’s going to have power over everyone. Whether it be fascist or communist or monarchist, they all had the common theme of “collectivist”.

        The United States is a little different, in that while there doesn’t always seem to be much difference between “Left” and “Right” (the difference is mostly on just what the different sides want to control), there’s one oh, so tiny group that’s always jumping up and saying “Hey, don’t forget we’re supposed to be free!”

        Of course, that tiny group more often than not is ignored, in no small part because of their craziness, but also because they are known, and not entirely unjustifiably, as the “legalize pot and don’t worry about the rest” party.

        Even despite it’s impotence, that little group (and in particular, the desire of freedom that the little group represents) makes a whole world of difference!

        ….At least, it sort-of does. Sometimes. Once in a while…

        1. “but also because they are known, and not entirely unjustifiably, as the “legalize pot and don’t worry about the rest” party.”

          I get what you’re saying, and agree, but one of the few things I take pride in from my “activist” lifetime is having advocated for drug legalization 30+ years ago, when doing so got me actual death threats.

          But what I came to realize much later was, we were actually a special class of useful idiots, who were allowed our assumed eccentricities as long as we spent as much or more time advocating for allowing the oligarch class to do as they damn saw fit. There never was any intention of allowing the little guy the same luxury.

          Remember that if you read Lenin or Trotsky from around the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, they were all about individual liberty for the working class — but what materialized couldn’t have been more the opposite. Over the last half-century what we have experience here is the mirror image, except perpetrated by “the right.”

          Beware those who say in effect, “give us just a little more power, and we’ll see that The State withers away.”

    2. Just for the sake of oral history and deserved remembrance:

      All of my European family was deported to Siberia by the Russians in 1941. They were sent in cattle cars, and put on an island at the mouth of a river flowing into the Arctic Ocean. They were expected to die over the arctic winter, but some survived by constructing reed huts and learning to catch geese to eat. No walls or fences were needed because the vastness of Siberia was its own prison.

      Few people know for sure why some people were killed by the Russians while others were deported. Two broad categories of deportees were “intelligentsia” (the Russians emulated the anti-intellectualism of the fascists) like teachers and doctors, but also “exploiters,” meaning loosely anyone in business of any sort, including small landlords. “Peasants” like farm hands and day laborers were generally not deported. As many as 25 percent of the population was deported, and 10 to 15 percent of the population killed outright.

      It is thought my relatives were deported as “intelligentsia” as they qualified in several categories. Jews were also deported or killed outright, more often for being “exploiters” but also as “intelligentsia”. Jews who fell into neither category were usually untouched, and were left behind, where they would later be killed by the Nazis, just for being Jewish. But despite antisemitism having a long history in Russia, it did not seem that they were specifically targeted as “policy.”

      Everyone of my family who was deported is now dead, including people who were young children at the time. All memories now come from people born in Siberia. They were allowed to go home after Khruschev replaced Stalin. An interesting difference in perspective is, that while we Americans who remember the 1950s think of the name “Kruschev” as a dirty word, many former Soviet citizens regard him as both a liberator and a liberal. That is in contrast with Stalin, of course. All things in all countries are relative.

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