1. Donald Trump: The
Dress Rehearsal for Fascism
2. What We
Know So Far About the Hillary Clinton
Campaign’s Leaked Emails
Reveals Corporate Demands from the
European Union in the Trade in
This is a Nederlog of Monday, October 17, 2016.
is a crisis log with 3 items and 3 dotted links: Item 1
is about an article by Chris Hedges on Trump; item 2
is about Hillary Clinton's emails; and item 3 is
about the TISA, which is - like the TTP, the TTIP and the CETA - a plan
to introduce neofascism on a
worldwide scale, through legal changes pushed through
in secret by some very few elected extremely corrupt
Also, there was a fourth item, but it disappeared between being listed
and being reviewed.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need
to click/reload twice or more
to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
In any case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. The
Dutch site still is a mess (but wasn't on Oct 15).
I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!)
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that
for many months now.
The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism
The first item today is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Americans are not offered
major-party candidates who have opposing political ideologies or ideas.
We are presented only with manufactured political personalities. We
vote for the candidate who makes us “feel” good about him or her.
Campaigns are entertainment and commercial vehicles to raise billions
in advertising revenue for corporations. The candidate who can provide
the best show gets the most coverage. The personal brand is paramount.
It takes precedence over ideas, truth, integrity and the common good.
This cult of the self, which defines our politics and our culture,
contains the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm,
grandiosity, self-importance, a need for constant stimulation, a
penchant for lying, deception and manipulation, and incapacity for
remorse or guilt. Donald Trump has these characteristics. So does
Yes, I mostly agree, and specifically that
politicians differ from other people in one thing only:
They are far greater liars and deceivers than
most others, and thereby are also considerably closer, on
average at least, to a psychologist's idea of what Hedges (correctly)
calls "the classic traits of psychopaths".
But then again:
(1) I should also add that I did agree with Hedges about this in
1969 and 1970 (when I was 19 and 20, and Hedges 13 and 14, and
totally unknown to me), since when indeed I decided not to vote
anymore for any Dutch politician, simply because I could not
see any who was intelligent, honest and sensible. (And indeed I
haven't, not for 46 years.)
(2) And I should add that if I were an American now (I am not: I am
Dutch) I would vote, and for Clinton, and not because I
like her, I respect her or I admire her (I don't do any of these
things) but because her opponent is an insane neofascist in my
psychologists' very well-informed view.
So while I mostly agree with Hedges, I do so since 1970, and also I
take it that he and I disagree about voting for Clinton in the present
There is some more to follow this, but first to inverted
totalitarianism, which is a concept and a term designed by the
political phillosopher Sheldon Wolin
(<- Wikpedia) who died last year:
Our system of
inverted totalitarianism has within it the seeds of an overt or
classical fascism. The more that political discourse becomes
exclusively bombastic and a form of spectacle, the more that emotional
euphoria is substituted for political thought and the more that
violence is the primary form of social control, the more we move toward
a Christianized fascism.
Yes and no. First on inverted
totalitarianism. One of the (many) good things Chris Hedges did is to
make a series of interviews with Sheldon Wolin in 2014, and one of the
things I did was reviewing these.
Here is a bit I wrote on November 11,
2015 (between two lines - and this is a selection: there is
considerably more there):
First, here are some
links to Sheldon
Wolin, who died recently, but who also made a series
of interesting interviews with Chris Hedges.
The first is here (I link
to my Nederlog) and the rest (there were 8) folllow:
I think these all bear
(re-)reading: It is an interesting series of interviews with an
Next to "inverted totalitarianism". The Wikipedia lemma on "inverted
totalitarianism", which is my main source, starts as follows:
totalitarianism is a term
coined by political philosopher Sheldon Wolin in 2003 to describe the
emerging form of government of the United States. Wolin believes that the
United States is increasingly turning into an illiberal democracy, and uses the term
"inverted totalitarianism" to illustrate similarities and differences
between the United States governmental system and totalitarian regimes such as Nazi
Germany and the Stalinist Soviet
That is not much help. I know
quite well what "totalitarianism" is (here
own take on it, and this is the
Wikipedia's) and indeed it is one of the main reasons I broke with communism (in which
I was educated) aged 20 (in 1970), but how that can be "inverted" (and
still be "totalitarian") is a bit of a riddle.
some more on the meaning of "inverted totalitarianism":
totalitarianism, every natural resource and every living
being is commodified and exploited to collapse as
the citizenry is lulled and manipulated into surrendering their
liberties and their participation in government through excess consumerism
The problem with this is
that the three linked terms in the last quotation are all Marxist or
Leftist, and that they tend to be not well explained. I will give here
an explanation of commodification.
As I understand it, "commodification" comes down to three theses:
(1) everything of human interest has and should have a price, in money;
(2) everything that has a price, embodies some profit;
(3) for the sellers of priced things, all that matters is the profit
The first means that things like freedom, welfare, tolerance,
knowledge, education, truth, love, honesty, fairness, integrity,
religion, and science (and many more) all have their prices,
like toilet paper, washing powder and bread (which seems a gross and
false simplification of most human ends);
means that all things that are sold realize some profit (which is
false, but this may be saved by stipulating that losses are "negative
profits" - which is done by banks, for example); and the third
makes profits the main end of any economy (which again seems a
gross and false simplification, that is mostly of service to the
richest people, who profited the most from all the others).
But then nothing like this
is given in the "inverted totalitarianism" lemma.
What is the sum-up of
this brief investigation of the concept of
I did my best, but I did not fully clarify it. As is (I may
change my opinion later) I think Wolin was right in stressing that the
United States is growing
totalitarian, corporatist, and indeed in some senses fascist - which
was also acknowledged by Wolin, for in the same year that he
published about inverted totalitarianism, he published
about a new kind of fascism that he saw arising in the United States. 
I think now that the concept of "inverted totalitarianism" may be right
to describe the transition from what I call
capitalism-with-a-human-face (that lasted from 1946-1980, roughly) to
capitalism-with-an-inhuman-face (that started around 1980 and is still
continuing), but I guess it is merely true of the transition, and not
of the end, which is simply that the corporations take full power, and
tell everybody what
to do, or else.
Yes, all of that was
quoted from and written in 2015.
And I tend to disagree with Chris Hedges that "Christianized fascism",
as he calls it, is brought closer and closer by a "political discourse [that] becomes exclusively bombastic and
a form of spectacle".
My reason is not that I admire bombast or spectacle; my reason
is that there is a lot of bombast and spectacle in American
politics (since many years, or indeed since many decades) that is not
itself for Christianized fascism, or indeed for Christianity or for
I could say a lot more, but I think I have indicated sufficiently well
why I tend not to believe inverted totalitarianism is the
finally correct analysis:
It seems to me more a concept and its associated ideology that
correspond to a transitional stage, namely that between Keynesianism
(<-Wikipedia), which was fairly humane and ruled from 1946-1980, and
what I will call Friedmanian neofascism ,
that became dominant with Reagan. We will return to this below.
First, a bit more on WikiLeaks (more or less as an aside, it seems):
I can't much object against that. (I dislike
Clinton, and only prefer her to Trump because she is not
insane whereas Trump is - which is an important argument, also
- but I accept politicians play politicians' games, and this seems one
A memo addressed to the Democratic
National Committee under the heading “Our Goals & Strategy” was
part of the trove of John Podesta
emails released this month by WikiLeaks.
“Our hope is that the goal of a
potential HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] campaign and the DNC would be
one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable
to the majority of the electorate. We have outlined three strategies to
obtain our goal …,” it reads.
The memo names Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and
Ben Carson as candidates, or what the memo calls “Pied Piper”
candidates who could push mainstream candidates closer to the positions
embraced by the lunatic right.
Then there is this on fascism:
Fascism, at its core, is an
amorphous and incoherent ideology that perpetuates itself by
celebrating a grotesque hypermasculinity, elements of which are
captured in Trump’s misogyny. It allows disenfranchised people to feel
a sense of power and to have their rage sanctified. It takes a
politically marginalized and depoliticized population and mobilizes it
around a utopian vision of moral renewal and vengeance and an anointed
political savior. It is always militaristic, anti-intellectual and
contemptuous of democracy and replaces culture with nationalist and
patriotic kitsch. It sees those outside the closed circle of the
nation-state or the ethnic or religious group as diseased enemies that
must be physically purged to restore the health of nation.
No, I don't think so, and especially not that
"[f]ascism, at its core, is an amorphous and
Then again, I am quite willing to agree that fascism
(<- this is a list with 21 different definitions of the term
on Wikipedia) is a difficult term to analyze well, while I
admit I also still have not published my own definitions of
fascism and neofascism so far.
I will do so later, with plenty of context as well, but here is
my own definition of fascism (without context):
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with centralized authority and a dictator, that
suppresses the opposition through propaganda, censorship and terror,
that propounds an ethics founded
on discipline, virility, and collectivism, that has a politics that is
totalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-individualist,
anti-equality, and anti-Marxist, that is also authoritarian,
rightwing and nationalistic, and often racist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy, b. A political philosophy or movement based on or
advocating such a social system.
I think this is better than what Chris Hedges
gave (but I agree it is a difficult concept). And now we return
to Sheldon Wolin:
I asked Wolin shortly before he
died in 2015 that if the two major forms of social control he
cited—access to easy and cheap credit and inexpensive, mass-produced
consumer products—were no longer available would we see the rise of a
more classical form of fascism. He said this would indeed become a
In fact Wolin said so already by himself
in 2003, when he warned that the United States was developing towards fascism.
That article was also on
Truthdig, but it disappeared, possibly because Wolin may have retracted
But I think he was correct on that (and the "access to easy and cheap credit"
seems to be lost to many, meanwhile, incidentally).
Then there is this on Bill and Hillary Clinton:
Bill Clinton transformed the
Democratic Party into the Republican Party. He pushed the Republican
Party so far to the right it became insane. Hillary Clinton is Mitt
Romney in drag. She and the Democratic Party embrace policies—endless
war, the security and surveillance state, neoliberalism,
austerity, deregulation, new trade agreements and deindustrialization
—that are embraced by the Republican elites. Clinton in office will
continue the neoliberal assault on the poor and the working poor, and
increasingly the middle class, that has defined the corporate state
since the Reagan administration. She will do so while speaking in the
cloying and hypocritical rhetoric of compassion that masks the cruelty
of corporate capitalism.
I mostly agree - and I add that while this is
(more or less) true for both Clintons, it is doubly true for
Donald Trump: The Clintons may be classified fairly well as pro-rightists
who pose as leftists, but most of Trump's ideas are neofascistic,
and he also doesn't pose as a leftist or a progressive.
Indeed, here is my definition of neofascism :
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
And this is part of Chris Hedges' ending:
The Democratic and Republican
parties may be able to disappear Trump, but they won’t disappear the
phenomena that gave rise to Trump.
agree, and I myself would add that these "phenomena" are mainly a
concerted approach towards neofascism that was started by Thatcher and
Reagan, and that has won most of the political, legal and other
fights since then.
This is a recommended article, but in case you decide to read it all,
it makes sense to keep in mind my definitions of fascism and
neofascism, that I will soon publish in full.
2. What We Know So Far About the Hillary Clinton Campaign’s
The second item is by Amy Goodman and Juan González on Truthdig and
originally on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following introduction:
I did not review Fang's article, but I have
written about Hillary Clinton's ideas that she needs "“both a public and a private position” when crafting laws" and about her notion that "financial
reform “really has to come from the industry itself”": Both are very wrong.
Lee Fang of The Intercept, co-author of
the article “Memo
Shows What Major Donors Like Goldman Sachs Want From Democratic Party,”
reviews what we’ve learned so far from leaks of John Podesta’s emails.
Podesta is chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Last week, WikiLeaks began releasing
thousands of Podesta’s emails, including excerpts of the Democratic
nominee’s paid speeches to Wall Street firms.
Democracy Now! reports:
The emails showed Clinton’s
closed-door remarks were starkly at odds with many of her public
positions. In one speech to a housing trade group in 2013, Clinton
spoke of needing “both a public and a private position” when crafting
laws. In other speeches, Clinton largely absolved Wall Street firms for
the crash of 2008 and said financial reform “really has to come from
the industry itself.” The leaked emails also show Clinton openly
boasted about her support of fracking while secretary of state. In a
speech to Deutsche Bank in 2013, she said, “I’ve promoted fracking in
other places around the world.”
Here is more on Fang and Clinton:
Yes, I agree. But this is not very astouding.
And there is this on Clinton and the media:
Lee Fang: Amy, thank you so much
for having me.
These emails are very interesting. They
provide a window into Clinton and her experiences, certainly her
speeches. I don’t believe that there are any huge bombshells, that this
will change the course of the general election. Maybe if these emails
came out earlier in the year, during the Democratic primary, that could
have maybe changed history. But this won’t change the course of the
That being said, the emails really show,
including the transcripts, that Hillary Clinton is far more
conservative, far more business-friendly, when she’s speaking with
aides, when she’s giving speeches to these Wall Street banks. Also, the
emails show that Clinton’s inner circle is filled with wealthy people,
Wall Street types, Washington insiders, that are kind of part of a—what
you might call a Washington bubble.
I agree again, and also note that Hillary
Clinton'y story about a massive rightist media attack dates back to the
Amy Goodman: Lee Fang, talk about
what the emails show about the Clinton campaign’s relationship with the
media and specific reporters.
Lee Fang: Right. So, this is another
kind of very revealing memo. For many years, the Clinton campaign, both
directly and through its surrogates, has tried to cast the media as,
you know, bitterly opposed to Clinton, that a lot of reporters have a
chip on their shoulder, that they’ve tried to drag down Hillary Clinton
and that there’s this kind of antagonistic relationship. But some of
these leaked and hacked memos reveal that there’s actually a very cozy
relationship between Hillary Clinton and many of the very powerful
players in the media. There were these off-the-record and regular
meetings and drinking sessions and dinners. They were regularly
planting stories with reporters to shape the way that the campaign was
In any case, it seems to me that one can infer from the leaked e-mails
that Clinton is not honest, is pro bankers, and is "far more
conservative, far more business-friendly" then
she admits to her voters.
But I knew that for a long time, and so did many other intelligent
Reveals Corporate Demands from the European Union in the Trade in
The third and last item today is by Deborah James on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
the first time, WikiLeaks
released demands by the EU to lock in a wide list of
services sectors to TISA’s privatization and deregulation provisions,
including public services in developing countries. In the mid-2000s,
when European campaigners leaked similar demands during corporate
efforts to expand the General Agreement on Trade in Services, the EU
was forced to walk back many of those demands. The European pressure on
developing countries was widely condemned by the public, and revealed
the corporate, antidevelopment efforts behind the deal, just as they
were revealed Friday.
federations, including Public Services International (PSI), the
International Union of Food workers (IUF), International
Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), UNI Global Union, and Education
International (EI) as well as European federations including the
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and UNI Europa, for
the first time made united call to suspend the talks, available here [PDF].
Note this is
about the TISA, which is one of the four "agreements" that seek to
impose neofascism virtually
anywhere, by legal changes and deregulations.
The other three are the TTP, the TTIP and the CETA. (And for neofascism
Also, I remark
that one of the very sick, typically fascist, things
that is extremely wrong with these "agreements" is that these
now are secret for some 10 years (namely since "mid-2000s").
This is neofascism which is being introduced in a
neofascist way: Not even parliamentarians are allowed to share
anything they may have read, if they were allowed to
read anything, and if they were, they were not even allowed
to take notes: That is how neofascistic (see here) these "agree- ments" are, and
have been, for 10 years now.
And here is part of my reasons to call the
TISA, the TTP, the TTIP and the CETA all neofascistic plans
that attempt to do the same: Introduce neofascism in a secret
way, and throughout most of the world:
public opposition in Europe to the proposed EU-U.S. Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has put its advance on hold, and the
given the growing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),
corporations and the governments they represent have been hoping to get
the TISA completed before a change in U.S. administration. But this
corporate charade must not be hastened to a conclusion before President
Obama leaves office, without the global public even hearing of it, let
alone debating its pros and cons.
And namely: Because all the
democratic, parliamentary and legal interests, rights and powers that "the global public" have, and got during fights with
the rich that lasted a 100 years, are going to be completely
withdrawn, and are intended to be withdrawn mostly
in secret, and behind their backs.
There is this:
demands also include access to sanitation, sewage, and other
environmental services, which are often administered on a local level;
telecommunications (including broadcasting); retail and distribution
services; shipping; air and maritime transport; energy and mining
services (which are extremely sensitive particularly in Latin America);
and others. In addition, the EU is requesting more commitments on
financial services in nearly every country.
But that is utter baloney: "The EU’s demands" are mostly a riddle, since the
texts of these "agreements" are secrets, and "the EU" (which in
fact is a neofascistic
organization) should not try to make deals: it should refuse
the destruction of the parliamentary,
national, democratic and legal rights Europeans have.
Here are some
of the neofascist plans that are
known (after 10 years of utter secrecy):
the analysis provided by University of Auckland law professor Jane
Kelsey, under the proposed TISA rules, governments “could not restrict
the size of financial institutions;” “no firewalls would be allowed
between insurance, investment banking, [and] retail banking to prevent
use of depositors’ funds for speculative market trades.” The banning of
toxic financial services and products would not be allowed ― including
products developed in the future; severe restrictions would be placed
on the use of capital controls; financial firms would have the right to
intervene in the policy-making processes of other parties’
legislatures, and in many areas, would be allowed to “self-regulate,”
even when these firms have been shown unable to do so.
is complete neofascism:
Absolutely everything is designed to maximalize the profits of
the very rich, and everything that might hamper or hinder
that is radically forbidden by the neofascistic lawyers that
serve the rich.
Here is some proof - that was derived
from the leaks to this neofascistic
time, the Our World is Not For Sale network (OWINFS) argued:
negotiations largely follow the corporate agenda of using ‘trade’
agreements to bind countries to an agenda of extreme liberalization and
deregulation in order to ensure greater corporate profits at the
expense of workers, farmers, consumers and the environment. The
proposed agreement is the direct result of systematic advocacy by
transnational corporations in banking, energy, insurance, telecommuni-
cations, transportation, water, and other services sectors, working
through lobby groups like the US Coalition of Service Industries
(USCSI) and the European Services Forum (ESF).
leaks prove the network’s arguments beyond a shadow of a doubt.
They are neofascists (many of whom also
are elected politicians) who are going to betray all the
rights, all the laws, and all the regulations that were wrested from
the rich during more than a 100 years, and they are doing that also
in secret, and with the help of many politicians
(who are nearly all corrupt liars).
again, here is the neofascism of
the TISA (and the TTP, the TTIP and the CETA):
The TISA is
currently being negotiated among 50 countries (or 23 parties, counting
the EU as one) with the aim of extending the coverage of scope of the
existing General Agreement on allTrade in
Services in the WTO. However, even worse than the opaque talks at the
WTO, the TISA negotiations are being conducted in complete secrecy.
It has all
been "conducted in
complete secrecy" for
10 years now by your very own corrupted politicians, who all are as
honest and as fair as is Hillary Clinton.
If you want to
remove, as a lying political careerist, all the rights, all the laws, and all the
regulations that were wrested from the rich during more than a 100
years, then that is how you do it: In secret, while
spinning lie upon lie upon lie how much you care for "people's rights".
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
"xs4all" (really: the
KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
 I am sorry, but I do not
consider economy a real science (if it were, far more
economists would have predicted the crisis of 2008) and I consider Milton Friedman
(<- Wikipedia) a neofascistic fraud who very much
Pinochet (<- Wikipedia) in Chili.
 Yes, indeed. I have written about this
before, but I cannot find the article now, although I have it somewhere.
 This is from my "On fascism and
neofascism - I" that I have written but still have to publish. It
will be published soon.