1. The Socialist Alternative
Demonstrators at May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand
3. Letter Details FBI Plan for Secretive Anti-Radicalization
Stop Calling Them Conservatives! The New GOP of
Trump & Cruz Is the Party
5. Democracies end when they are too democratic.
This is a Nederlog of Monday, May 2,
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links: Item
1 is about an article by Chris Hedges, that is mostly about the
ideas of Kshama Sawant, who is of the American
Socialist Alternative Party: I agree and I disagree; item
2 is about May Day; item 3 is about the FBI,
that still has a neofascistic plan to let
1. The Socialist
civilians do their intelligence work for them; item 4 is about a so-so article that wrongly insists
that the Republicans are nihilists; and item 5 is
about a good article by a conservative Catholic (!) about Trump and
what he stands for.
first item is by
Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows :
The disintegration of the ruling
political parties, along with the discrediting of the established
political and economic elites, presage radical change. This change may
come from the right. It may result in a frightening proto-fascism. If
it is to come from the left it must be pushed forward by dogged
activists and citizens who are willing to accept that stepping outside
the system will mean surrendering all hope of power for perhaps a
decade. To continue to engage in establishment politics, especially
attempting to work within the Democratic Party, will further empower
corporate capitalism and extinguish what remains of our democracy.
Yes and no: Yes, the main American political
parties are in disarray, and parts of the - often corrupt - practices "of the established political and economic elites"
are discredited, and from the right threatens a kind of neofascism (as
I think is the more correct term), but no: While there is a substantial
part of the American populations whose ideals can be fairly described
as leftist and indeed sometimes as socialist, there is hardly any
rational leftist politics.
And there is hardly any rational leftist
politics because the traditional left has died circa 1995, when Bill
Clinton, rapidly followed by Tony Blair and Wim Kok, denied socialism
as an end of socialist or social democratic parties, and turned pro-capitalist and pro-rich, while still pretending to be willing to
emancipate the poor and the workers, while in effect doing the opposite
(for Clinton destroyed social security).
This is a real problem because Clinton's false and deceptive "Third
Way" (<-Wikipedia) denied many of the plans to emancipate the workers and the poor;
denied any kind of socialism; was strongly pro-capitalist and pro-rich;
and retained from the real left only a desire that everyone would be
"equal" by insisting that they were - on a verbal, politically correct, totally imaginary and false level.
And this is also the problem of the currently existing left: There is
no really leftist political ideology (with a few rare exceptions,
indeed); there is no real political ideal outside capitalism, or even
outside capitalism-with-an- inhuman-face as we are now getting; and most "leftist politics" is about
attributing, assigning or imposing fake verbal "equalities" on
people who are definitely not equal to most (in terms of income, education, intelligence, knowledge or character).
Then there is this:
Willingly entering the political
wilderness requires a vision that is worth sacrificing and fighting to
achieve. It means that some of those who begin the revolution against
corporate capitalism will not live to see its culmination. It will mean
marginalization, harassment, persecution, prison and, if the movement
becomes effective, state violence. History has taught us that. But
given the alternative—the planet’s ecosystem destroyed by the fossil
fuel and the animal agriculture industries, greater pillaging by
corporate oligarchs and the rise of a global security and surveillance
system that takes from us all pretense of liberty—the battle is worth
I mostly agree with this, although I do not
see much of the "vision" - which is the problem of "the left" mentioned
above: it has given up on real alternatives
(of many kinds also: anarchism, socialism, capitalism-with-a-human-face with
strong laws protecting the poor, all of which come in many variants)
and instead is mostly only verbal or limits its radicalism to environmentalism and
acting for sexual equalities of various kinds.
Also, the main reason I mostly agree is that the rich have now
conspired, mostly very successfully, in part thanks to the great help
given to them by the Clintons, the Blairs, the Koks and other "leftist"
professional political careerists, to a kind of super capitalism that only works for the rich and
for the government(s), and that is only interested in one value that
transcends any other value: The greatest profit for the
multi-national corporations, and these corporations also are to exercise their greed
and destruction preferably without any legal restraints or limits, and indeed
these legal restraints and limits also have to be deregulated away, again very much
helped by the Clintons, Blairs, Koks and their kinds of greedy,
dishonest professional political liars and deceivers. 
The rest of the article is mostly given to quotations from Kshama Sawant, who is the socialist
City Council member in Seattle and who works for the Socialist Alternative Party.
I think she may be - somewhat - like a real socialist, but I do not
know enough about her. I select a few bits on which I have comments.
First there is this:
“American is left wing,” she
insisted. “America is angry at the corporate domination of politics.
America is disgusted with the U.S. Congress and the two-party
establishment. America wants social change that will have a
transformative impact on people’s lives and the environment.”
No. "America" is not left wing, nor is it
right wing: it is divided. And none of the things attributed to
"America" in this paragraph is true of America (the continent, the
nation, the republic), simply because each of these things is true of a
group of - ill-defined - "left wingers", that in some respects are
consider- able, but are definitely not "America".
Then there is this:
“If Sanders had decided to run as
an independent, he would have been marginalized by the media
establishment,” she conceded. “There is no question about that. This is
the conundrum we face. But we have to realize that we cannot build an
effective movement with one presidential campaign. As long as we remain
married to the false idea that social change can come through one
presidential campaign, we stymie ourselves. By that logic lesser
evilism continues ad nauseam.”
Again mostly no: She is right about Sanders -
who still is not beaten, and who effected many millions - but she is
mistaken about presidential campaigns and
mistaken about a long haul, presumably campaigning for eight or more
Presidential campaigns may vote in fairly rare persons (like F.D.
Roosevelt, like Abraham Lincoln) who can cause great changes in a few
years; the present presidential campaign threatens with real
possibility of electing a president who is a moron and totally unfit for the presidency; and talking of social
changes that may be achieved by some long haul seems to forget that (i)
there is no widely agreed upon leftist, socialist or social democratic
set of ideals, ideas and ends, and (ii) even if it exists in some small
American socialist party (or parties) then it is not widely shared by
Then there is this:
“A lot of the people who are
voting for Trump are doing so because they are angry at the
establishment,” she said.
Again yes and no, but mostly no: It is not the
anger that is characteristic for those "voting
for Trump", but it is the combination of great
stupidity and almost
complete ignorance that is characteristic for them - which tends to be
those on "the left", because they think everyone is equal.
No, everyone differs from everybody else, and equality-in-law is not
the same (not at all!) as equality-in-fact: The first is a highly
desirable social ideal; the second a thoroughly falsified dream.
But I mostly agree with the last part of the article:
“Europe is a guide,” she said.
“The roots of the European Union were entirely pro-capitalist,
pro-banker and pro-bond holder. It was sold as an experiment in
democracy and equality. That was a sham. Britain is looking at dropping
out of the European Union. The framework of capitalism does not provide
a solution to the refugee crisis. The right wing is offering solutions
and gaining ascendancy in countries such as Sweden, France and Greece.
This is not because people are predisposed to be right wing or
anti-refugee. It comes from the vacuum of a real socialist alternative
to capitalism. This vacuum creates the fodder for the right wing. It is
precisely because of the rise of right-wing movements that we need to
build a genuine left-wing movement. The right wing won’t be countered
by supporting Clinton.”
She is right about the European Union (and
no, you cannot trust any European professional politician: they are
nearly all liars mostly interested in their own riches); right about
refugees; right about there being a "vacuum of a real socialist alternative to capitalism" (bolding added), mostly because
the social democrats nearly all became "neoliberals" around twenty
years ago; and she is right that one reason the right wing soared is
that the left is mostly vacuum + political correctness.
Then again, I think she is partially mistaken about Hillary Clinton: If
the choice is between her and Trump (which is not certain yet),
everybody who is not an evident neofascist should vote Clinton, simply to block
the moronic fool Trump, whose election will probably kill the USA, and transform it into something
Demonstrators at May Day
Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers’ Rights
The second item is by Andrea Germanos on Truthdig, and originally on Common
This starts as follows:
I say. I recall May Day from my youth, in the
1950ies, when my communist father would proudly hang the red flag in
front of our house (as one of the very few Amsterdammers who still did
so), but since then it mostly went down and down, although this year -
it turns out - there was a May Day demonstration in Amsterdam (organized by a trade union) in which
7000 or 9000 people participated. 
Workers on Sunday marked May Day across
the globe with rallies in cities from Paris to Istanbul to Manila.
There is also this:
And in London, Labour Party leader
Jeremy Corbyn attacked the politics of
austerity, criticizing at a rally “a government that is more
interested in tax relief for corporations, and tax relief at the top
end of the scale,” and saying, “We’re here today to defend the national
health service free at the point of service as a human right for all.”
In the U.S., despite the holiday’s
origins in Chicago, many may not even know about the day.
As to the last bit: That is at least in
part explained by a massive campaign of many tens of years in the USA
that was directed against socialism and trade unions.
3. Letter Details FBI Plan for Secretive
The third item is by
Cora Currier and Murtaza Hussain:
This starts as follows:
Of the plans put forward by the federal
government to identify and stop budding terrorists, among the least
understood are the FBI’s “Shared Responsibility Committees.”
The idea of the committees is to enlist
counselors, social workers, religious figures, and other community
members to intervene with people the FBI thinks are in danger of
radicalizing — the sort of alternative to prosecution and jail time
many experts have been clamoring for. But civil liberties groups worry
the committees could become just a ruse to expand the FBI’s
network of informants, and the government has refused to provide
details about the program.
I have written about this several times
already: see here and here.
This item is here mostly to give some more information - and as the
above summary indicates, it sounds to me like a neofascist plan of a
police force that believes it can and should control everyone, also by manipulating them in secret.
In case you doubt(ed) my diagnosis, there is this:
The Intercept has obtained
a letter addressed to potential committee members from the FBI,
outlining how the process would work. While the letter claims that
committees will not be used “as a means to gather intelligence,” it
also makes clear that information from the committees may be shared
widely by the FBI, including with spy agencies and foreign governments,
and that committee members can be subpoenaed for documents or called to
testify in cases against the people they are trying to help. At the
same time, committee members are forbidden even from seeking
advice from outside experts without permission from the FBI.
The letter implies that Shared
Responsibility Committees (or SRCs) would emerge organically, as
“multidisciplinary groups voluntarily formed in local communities — at
the initiative of the group and sometimes with the encouragement of the
FBI.” The FBI would refer “potentially violent extremists” to the SRC,
whose members would design an intervention plan, possibly including
mental health or substance abuse treatment and help with education or
These are the beginnings of a real police
state in the USA: The police demands a presence in all kinds of
citizens' groups in order to see whether these behave themselves as the
government thinks they should.
Here is some more, that shows that the FBI really has all the powers,
and also seems to consider itself as consisting of superhumans, who do
not need any real ties with those they lead and mislead in the interests
of the government:
According to the letter, the FBI “may or
may not” inform the committee of any ongoing investigation, and law
enforcement could also decide to arrest or charge the referred
individual without telling the SRC. If committee members give
information to the FBI, “the FBI may share any information the SRC
provides with other law enforcement agencies, members of the U.S.
intelligence community, and foreign government agencies as needed.”
SRC members, in contrast, must sign
confidentiality agreements, and cannot consult outside experts on
treatment plans. The committee members get no special legal protection,
raising concerns they could be held liable if an individual they are
helping turns violent as feared.
there you are: Even as an assistant of the police, you do not have the
rights the police has; you get no special legal protection; and any
information you find may be shared (in secret, of course) with any "law
enforcement agency", indeed including the secret services of other countries.
Stop Calling Them Conservatives! The New GOP of Trump & Cruz Is the
Party of Nihilism
The fourth item
is by Conor Lynch on AlterNet and originally on Salon:
In a candid and often funny interview currently making the
rounds, the recently retired Speaker of the House John Boehner
let’s everyone know how he truly feels about the state of his own
party, and what he thinks about some of the more extreme
characters that exist within it. Not surprisingly, Boehner’s amusing
assessment of Ted Cruz, whom he called a “miserable son of a bitch” and
“Lucifer in the flesh,” made all of the media headlines.
I did know Boehner's disqualification of
Cruz, that is probably fair if not correct, but I dislike Boehner too
much, while I also think that he is not anymore a real force in the Republican
party, to care to read interviews with him.
There is this about Mike Lofgren:
I agree with Lofgren, and like to point out
that (i) this development in the Republican Party started in the early
1970ies, and that (ii) it was much helped by Bill Clinton's pro-bankers
pro-rich policies that deregulated the banks while
Mike Lofgren, a Republican who worked in
Washington for thirty years as a congressional aide, notably
under current presidential candidate John Kasich, recounts in
his book “The Party is Over” how the GOP went from being a
traditionally conservative party to a radical right party:
By the 2000 election, and
certainly after 9/11, the Republican party was no longer a conservative
party in the traditional sense, as that word has been understood in
Western political culture. Its belief in polarizing language and
tactics, a militant and militarized foreign policy, and a constant
search for moral enemies, foreign and domestic alike, qualifies the
current GOP as a radical right-wing party, not a conservative one.
he also slashed social security, while (iii) this radical right-wing
party was set in movement by Bush Jr. and Cheney, and was much helped
by their "anti- terrorist" campaign of surveilling everyone anywhere,
and by the laws that ended real democracy in the United States: The Patriot
Act and its recent successor under Obama (who is most like a black
Clinton: all talk of "Change!" served his being elected, while Obama
once in office made little real changes, and mostly governed - it seems - for the
rich bankmanagers, who indeed profited very much from his policies).
There is this on the GOP and Gingrich:
The GOP’s degeneration into a
party of extreme nihilists and egotistical showmen can be traced back
to the ’90s, when Newt Gingrich virtually led the party as Speaker of
the House. The former speaker was Ted Cruz’s spiritual predecessor, a
loud, hypocritical, destructive, egomaniacal demagogue who relentlessly
attacked President Clinton—who ended up signing some of Newt’s most
reactionary legislation into law—over petty matters, including his
sexual life. (Of course, Newt was a serial adulterer himself.)
This is correct in so far as it goes, but it
seems the surface of a much deeper and more complicated process that
happened underneath, which may be indicated (but not explained) by the
phrase "since Reagan, the GOP turned more and more rightwards".
But it is incorrect in calling the rightist Republicans that now
dominate the party for some twenty or more years "nihilists": They are
not nihilists ; they have a definite rightist ideology they call
"neoliberalism", that also is behind most of their plans and proposals.
This article ends as follows:
Now, the George Will’s and David
Brooks’ of the Republican party have widely condemned Donald Trump
as a fake conservative, and they’re not wrong. Trump is clearly
not conservative—but neither is the Republican Party. And as
troubling as this may be for Charles Koch and the scribblers
at National Review, Trumpism is the future of the party.
(...) Over the past several decades, the party has become an
increasingly friendly place for the Trumps and Cruzes and Carsons of
the world—the kind of characters who used to make up the John Birch
Society. But no longer are these outlandish characters considered
fringe. And for the sake of John Boehner’s mental well-being,
he is lucky he got out when he did.
I agree that the Republican Party is no
longer conservative in the sense it was a fairly long time. It is now very
rightist (in so far as Trump, Cruz and also Kasich are concerned), and
may be described as "neoconservative", "neoliberal" or - as I maintain
is correct - "neofascist" (or also, indeed: "the kind of
characters who used to make up the John Birch Society") though the last term doesn't cover all Republicans.
And no: this is not nihilism (in any plausible sense): it is -
at the very least - extreme pro-capitalist pro-rich rightism, also with
a definite "neoliberal" ideology.
5. Democracies end when they
are too democratic.
The fifth and last item today
is by Andrew Sullivan
(<- Wikipedia) on New York Magazine:
This starts as follows:
this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being
tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled —
even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school.
The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his
friends are talking about the nature of different political systems,
how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another.
And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny
is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What
did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a
political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle
is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery. And the longer a
democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become.
Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort
of authority would wither; tolerance of any kind of inequality would
come under intense threat; and multiculturalism and sexual freedom
would create a city or a country like “a many-colored cloak decorated
in all hues.”
First about Andrew
Sullivan (<- Wikipedia), whom I only found out about today:
He is a Catholic, a conservative (but see below), an Englishman who
lived longer in the USA than in England, and a homosexual (none of
which has appeal for me: I am an atheist, a social liberal, a Dutchman
and a hetero), but whose politics get described as follows on Wikipedia
(minus note numbers):
Sullivan describes himself as a conservative
and is the author of The Conservative Soul. He has supported a
number of traditional libertarian positions, favouring limited government and opposing interventionist measures such
as affirmative action. However, on a
number of controversial public issues, including same-sex marriage, social security, progressive taxation, anti-discrimination laws, the Affordable Care
Act, the United States government's use of torture, and capital punishment, he has taken
positions not typically shared by conservatives in the United
States. In July 2012, Sullivan said that "the catastrophe of the Bush-Cheney years ... all but
exploded the logic of neoconservatism and its domestic
partner-in-crime, supply-side economics."
This shows that
he has a mind of his own, and while I am definitely neither
a conservative nor a libertarian, I agree with him on the "controversial public issues" about which Sullivan disagrees with
As to Plato, who gets discussed in the above first quotation, I agree
and disagree with Sullivan (who has a doctorate in philosophy, but who
very probably read less of it than I did):
I agree that Plato did argue more or less as summarized, but I also
dislike Plato ever since reading him aged (just) 18: He seemed to me to
be an extremely intelligent man, who also was a very
fine writer, but with most of whose positions I could find very
I still think so (and I read most of Plato's work in the 1970ies), and
indeed I had and have much
more use for Aristotle, Leucyppos, Democritos and Epicuros than for
Plato, but I also agree that this is, in part at least, a matter of personality - and
I am definitely not "a Platonist", while granting that he was
a great philosopher and a great writer.
This indeed is Plato on democracy and tyranny, which is a correct
And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully
as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his
But one should
keep in mind that Plato spoke of far smaller states than there
are at present, and that the Greece he knew was divided in many states,
were mostly cities plus their environment, which numbered from several
thousands of inhabitants to several tenthousands at most.
Here is Sullivan about his personal experiences concerning Trump:
And so, as I chitchatted over cocktails at a
Washington office Christmas party in December, and saw, looming above
our heads, the pulsating, angry televised face of Donald Trump on Fox
News, I couldn’t help but feel a little nausea permeate my stomach. And
as I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw
him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by
simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread. And when he
seemed to condone physical violence as a response to political
disagreement, alarm bells started to ring in my head. Plato had planted
a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger
of late-democratic life.
Mine were a bit similar, but I
did not think of Plato, but instead thought of Orwell, Russell,
Mosca, Mill and some others. Also, I was (and am) less worried about "the intrinsic danger of
late-democratic life" than about the clearly visible
stupidity and ignorance that moves very many - "democratic" - voters
(which I agree may destroy such democracy as currently exists in the
Next, this article is long, interesting and recommended. I will make
some further selections and provide comment, but the article is too
too long to do this well in the context of a Nederlog that also
there is this:
What the 21st century added to this
picture, it’s now blindingly obvious, was media democracy — in a truly
No, I'd say that "media democracy" is a
misleading term. What happened in terms of "democracy" was this: (i) in
the early 2000s most Westerners (at least) got some kind of
personal computer with internet connection, and
realized that everyone now could try to make his or her voice heard,
while many who did so, did so by scolding, discriminations, damnations and other
troll-like behaviors, for they could do it all anonymously; (ii) at the same time,
and in part because of the personal computers (etc.) that most Western
men now had, the paper press mostly collapsed for lack of
advertise- ments, and was mostly bought by a few rich billionaires; while
also (iii) the TV grew more stupid, less factual, and far more ideological than before: there is now no main
media news program that gives most of the important facts in an objective way, while
instead most main media offer colored and partial selections of only those parts of the
news that they would like their audiences to know, and that roughly as told by the
There is more to be said about "democracy", but the above sketched
three kinds of events - personal computers, end of free press, arisal
of propagandistic press - are at least a bit clearer than "media democracy".
There is this, that I also partially disagree with:
And what mainly fuels this is precisely what
the Founders feared about democratic culture: feeling, emotion, and
narcissism, rather than reason, empiricism, and public-spiritedness.
Online debates become personal, emotional, and irresolvable almost as
soon as they begin.
It are not "feeling, emotion, and narcissism"
that are bad (well...except narcissism), but feelings and emotions that
are not founded on any rational convictions, any knowledge of any
science, or any real intelligence that are dangerous: it are stupidity and ignorance that are the main enemies of
reason and rationality, much rather than feeling and emotion.
There is this on fascism that I
partially disagree with:
To call this fascism doesn’t do justice to
fascism. Fascism had, in some measure, an ideology and occasional
coherence that Trump utterly lacks. But his movement is clearly
fascistic in its demonization of foreigners, its hyping of a threat by
a domestic minority (Muslims and Mexicans are the new Jews), its focus
on a single supreme leader of what can only be called a cult, and its
deep belief in violence and coercion in a democracy that has heretofore
relied on debate and persuasion. This is the Weimar aspect of our
I believe Trump is more correctly called a neofascist rather than a
fascist. Second, fascism also is not very coherent. And third and most
important: Trump hasn't yet won the presidency, is campaigning, and
tries, in his own way, to please as many Republican voters as he can,
by saying the things he thinks they like to hear.
But this is correct:
all tyrants, he is utterly lacking in self-control. Sleeping a handful
of hours a night, impulsively tweeting in the early hours, improvising
madly on subjects he knows nothing about, Trump rants and raves as he
surfs an entirely reactive media landscape.
Then there is
this, that forgets one important part of "this dynamic":
who believe that Trump’s ugly, thuggish populism has no chance of
ever making it to the White House seem to me to be missing this
dynamic. Neo-fascist movements do not advance gradually by persuasion;
they first transform the terms of the debate, create a new movement
based on untrammeled emotion, take over existing institutions, and then
ruthlessly exploit events.
The part that
Sullivan forgets is that US education is overall very bad, especially
of the many who tend to vote for Trump, who never had the chance to go
to college or university, and who got "an education" that should
rationally disqualify them from making many judgements, but does not,
alas. So again it
are the stupidity and the ignorance of the many that are dangerous.
And there is this that I consider mostly correct:
elite that has presided over massive and increasing public debt, that
failed to prevent 9/11, that chose a disastrous war in the Middle East,
that allowed financial markets to nearly destroy the global economy,
and that is now so bitterly divided the Congress is effectively moot in
a constitutional democracy: “We Respectables” deserve a comeuppance.
The vital and valid lesson of the Trump phenomenon is that if the
elites cannot govern by compromise, someone outside will eventually try
to govern by popular passion and brute force.
For there is
an elite (or several: economic, militarily, scientifically, politically
etc.), however much people deny it should exist, and most of the political
elite nowadays seems to have been bought by the rich, and this includes
Here is the
end of this article:
I think that is
mostly correct: Trump is a real danger to any genuine democracy, even
if it is a very partial and quite unequal one, as in the United States,
and indeed if he wins the elections, this may very well be "an extinction-level event"
- which I understand in this sense: If Trump does get to be - honestly
or dishonestly - president of the USA, it is likely the USA will become
an extremely authoritarian neofascist state.
is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting
television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class
hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV
pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal
democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event.
It’s long past time we started treating him as such.
And as I said before: This is a quite interesting article, that is
rather long, and
that I recommend you read all of.
Incidentally: There was no column by Chris Hedges on Truthdig the
previous week. I still do not know why - illness? disagreement?
holidays? - but he is back this week, which I like because -
while I disagree with him on quite a few points - he is honest, a
radical and a real leftist.
As to "real leftists": Most "leftists" I have seen since ca. 1980 were not
real leftists - as my communist parents and communist and anarchist
grandparents undoubtedly and convincingly were, which is also one reason I am very certain of this - and indeed were hardly
leftists except in so far as they were politically correct
whose political activities were mostly limited to (i) supporting their
elected leaders, and (ii)
correcting everyone's speech so that the speech would not discriminate
I am not politically correct, and never was, and I am a strong
opponent of false egalitarianism: There are great
differences in individual talents and individual intelligences, and to
try to deny this is anti-civilized, anti-democratic,
and anti-scientific, besides being very dishonest posturing: Just as some are really
taller than others, some are really smarter than others, and some know
really a lot more than others.
Also, I am a strong proponent of legal egalitarianism
(which I am afraid most consumers reject, most probably from a
combination of egoistic greed and lack of political knowledge):
I want society rearranged on the principles that (i) no one earns
more than 20 times as much as the lowest income (in dollars or euros), and on this lowest income one should be
able to live tolerably, and (ii) no one owns owns more
property than equals 1 million (dollars or euros). Both are to be legal
rules, that seek to regulate the boundless greed and boundless egoism of a few, by simply forbidding anyone to excel financially over others by more than twenty times.
This would not make any loss to 97% of the current
Western populations; it would mean considerable gains for most of them;
and it would in one - major - move get rid of all super rich,
capitalists, CEOs, etc. whose enormous wealth is
essentially stolen from the 99% of the poor and non-rich who produced it.
Probably I also am a proponent of some exceptions to rules (i) and
(ii), but only for those with real talents of some kind
(like a large acting ability etc.), and provided these persons do not use
their extra money in politics.
 This paragraph summarizes a lot, but in case you believe in Clinton and Blair, you should realize neither is a socialist in any
real sense, while the Clintons now owe at least $120 million dollars,
and Blair owns at least $80 million pounds. I'd say they got what they
set out to get, by hook or by crook.
This is also to say that I wasn't much interested in May Day from 1971
till 1995 (or later), which is also the time that I was definitely more
interested in science than in politics. (I still am, but less so, mostly because of the great political dangers I write about in the crisis index.)
 For "nihilism" is (according to my Shorter OED) "1. Negative doctrines in religion or morals; total rejection of current religious beliefs or moral principles. 2. Philos. A form of scepticism, involving the denial of all existence."
This is not what the rightist Republicans are, for they normally have (or pretend) strong religion and strong morals.