1. Defying the Politics
Robert Reich: Don't Panic. Stay Active. Clinton Should
Win. But the Aftermath Will Be
3. Chris Hedges
Fearlessly Tells His Own 'Forbidden'
4. Trump’s Three Enablers
5. Common Dreams
This is a Nederlog of Monday, November 7, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links - and because it is the
day before the American presidential elections, this is a bit special
in containing two
bits by Chris Hedges and two bits by Robert Reich, plus a brief bit
about Common Dreams: Item 1 is about
an item by Chris Hedges on Truthdig (I don't quite agree); item 2 is about an item by Robert Reich
about the elections; item 3 is again
by Chris Hedges on his latest book, which I warmly recommend; item 4 is again by Robert Reich on the
enablers of Trump; while item 5 is
about Common Dreams that badly
needs $24,000 dollars to survive: I very much hope they can be
Also this is one of the longest Nederlogs I wrote this year.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It was OK for two days now, but again didn't work out
in Holland the last days: It keeps being horrible most days.
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. 
In case you visit my
Danish site: It now
works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working. It
did most of the last week so that is something. (But did not work
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.
keep this introduction until I get three successive days
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen
for many months now.
1. Defying the Politics of Fear
The first item today is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
No social or revolutionary movement
succeeds without a core of people who will not betray their vision and
their principles. They are the building blocks of social change. They
are our only hope for a viable socialism. They are willing to spend
their lives as political outcasts. They are willing to endure
repression. They will not sell out the oppressed and the poor. They
know that you stand with all of the oppressed—people of color
in our prisons and marginal communities, the poor, unemployed workers,
our GBLT community, undocumented workers, the mentally ill and the
Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans whom we terrorize and murder—or you
stand with none of the oppressed. They know when you fight for
the oppressed you get treated like the oppressed. They know this is the
cost of the moral life, a life that is not abandoned even if means you
are destined to spend generations wandering in the wilderness, even if
you are destined to fail.
I had an extra-ordinary father, as did
indeed Chris Hedges, as can be seen in item 3
below, but my father was more of a radical than Hedges' father,
for the simple reason that he was a communist for 45 years
(from 1935 till he died in 1980), indeed in spite of the fact that he
could have quite easily made a lot of money like his
older brother did, simply because he was quite intelligent (with an IQ
above 135) .
His older brother had escaped the fate of
my father and grandfather (also a communist), who were arrested in the
Spring of 1941 for resisting the Nazis and who both were convicted, by
collaborating Dutch judges , as "political
terrorists" to concentration camp imprisonment. My grandfather was
murdered in such a camp.
This entailed (among many more
things) that my father was quite poor nearly all his life, and
in fact he fits Chris Hedges' ideal of a real revolutionary quite
well, for that is what he was, all his life from age 23 till 68
(when he died).
But he would probably not have
Chris Hedges on quite a few points and one of these is the arrival of
the (socialist) revolution: My father was a real Marxist
(who was assigned by the Dutch Communist Party as the main man to teach
Marxism in Amsterdam, from 1951 till 1969) and he believed revolutions
do not happen because people desire revolutions, but for
objective economical reasons.
I think I am somewhere inbetween, for I
think a real revolution both "requires" 
real revolutionaries and an economical collapse. The economic
collapse is "necessary" 
for a real revolution, because only this will sufficiently undermine or
shatter the powers of the governments, the rich, and the corporations,
and without such radical weakening a revolution might be started,
but will probably be destroyed before it is effective.
Here is what Chris Hedges thinks about a
Our only chance to overthrow corporate
power comes from those who will not surrender to it, who will hold fast
to the causes of the oppressed no matter what the price, who are
willing to be dismissed and reviled by a bankrupt liberal
establishment, who have found within themselves the courage to say no,
to refuse to cooperate. The most important issue in this election does
not revolve around the personal traits of Hillary Clinton or Donald
Trump. It revolves around the destructive dynamic of unfettered and
unregulated global capitalism, the crimes of imperialism and the
security and surveillance apparatus. These forces are where real power
lies. Trump and Clinton will do nothing to restrict them.
No, not quite. The present
presidential elections in the USA will not lead to a leftist
revolution. (It may lead to a rightist
revolution if Trump wins (!!).) For neither of the two candidates that
make a chance of winning the presidency is leftist, and there is also
at present no revolutionary situation due to a radical economical
Next, here are four of Hedges'
intellectual heroes. First Julian Benda:
reminds us that we can serve two sets of principles. Privilege and
power or justice and truth. The more we make compromises with those who
serve privilege and power the more we diminish the capacity for justice
and truth. Our strength comes from our steadfastness to justice and
truth, a steadfastness that accepts that the corporate forces arrayed
against us may crush us, but that the more we make compromises with
those whose ends are privilege and power the more we diminish our
capacity to effect change.
I agree, and indeed agree with Benda
(since 1970!) that science is far
more important than politics
or literature for getting a true or probable  vision of reality, and without at least a
probable such vision, there is very little chance
any revolution will be successful.
Then there is Karl Popper:
Karl Popper in
“The Open Society and Its Enemies” writes that the question is not how
do you get good people to rule. Popper says this is the wrong question.
Most people attracted to power, he writes, have “rarely been above
average, either morally or intellectually, and often [have been] below
it.” The question is how do we build forces to restrict the despotism
of the powerful.
I agree with all of that (and did not
vote since 1970 (!!) precisely because I saw clearly that the
politicians I was supposed to vote for all were “rarely [..] above average, either morally or
intellectually, and often [..] below it.”). Popper was
also right about building "forces to restrict
the despotism of the powerful", but in fact that
simply has not happened at all.
Then there is Alexis de Tocqueville (whose
"Democracy in America" is a more important book - I think - than
either of the previous two writers produced):
Yes, I agree with that as well - and there is
considerably more on Sheldon Wolin here (these are all
links to Nederlogs I wrote in 2014, all with links to the original
Tocqueville correctly saw that when citizens can no longer
participate in a meaningful way in political life, political populism
is replaced by a cultural populism of sameness, resentment and mindless
patriotism and by a form of anti-politics he called “democratic
despotism.” The language and rituals of democracy are used to mask a
political system based on the unchallenged supremacy of corporate
power, one the political
philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted
Here is Chris Hedges' advice to American
voters for the presidency:
Go into the voting booth on
Tuesday. Do not be afraid. Vote with your conscience. Vote Green. If we
win 5 percent we win. Five percent becomes the building block for the
years ahead. A decade ago Syriza, the ruling party in Greece, was
polling 4 percent.
I totally disagree with this: If
you vote with your conscience (as a leftist, a progressive, a
liberal, or at least not as a racist Republican) you should
vote against Trump, which means that you should vote for Clinton.
Trump is both a neofascist  and a madman, and the very first thing
every sane American should do is to prevent that an insane neofascist
is elected president of the USA.
And you don't win if you win 5 percent and Donald Trump gets to
be the next president. If Trump wins, the neofascists won, and there
probably will be a revolution in the USA, but it will be a
revolution of the rich, by the rich and for the rich - and such
a revolution may cost very many lives: Hitler had the Dachau
concentration camp (<- Wikipedia) within 6 days of his
winning the 1933 elections (and that was the first of many). 
This is from the end of the article:
We may not succeed. So be it. At
least those who come after us, and I speak as a father, will say we
tried. The corporate forces that have us in their death grip will
destroy our lives. They will destroy the lives of my children. They
will destroy the lives of your children. They will destroy the
ecosystem that makes life possible. We owe it to those who come after
us not to be complicit in this evil. We owe it to them to refuse to be
good Germans. I do not, in the end, fight fascists because I will win.
I fight fascists because they are fascists.
Well... Donald Trump is an utterly
insane neofascistic degenerate who may win the elections. If he
predictions are off, and indeed I do not give it more than a 50/50
chance that there will not be a nuclear war in the coming four years.
At least, that is what I think. So I think
that if you are an American you should vote for Clinton, not
because she is any good but because she is not insane.
Robert Reich: Don't Panic. Stay Active. Clinton Should Win. But the
Aftermath Will Be Very Difficult.
The second item is by Don Hazen on AlterNet:
This is an interview by the editor
of AlterNet with Robert Reich:
DH: What do you think is going
RR: The odds are still very heavily in
favor of Hillary Clinton becoming president. My real concern at this
point is Donald Trump's supporters continue to fulminate. Some of them
will feel that the election is illegitimate. Trump will continue to fan
those flames and that will make it even harder for not just Hillary
Clinton to govern, but the entire process of government to move forward.
I agree that Hillary Clinton is likely to
be the next American president. Also, while there may be quite a lot of
nuisance around November 9, my own guess
is that Donald Trump will rather rapidly disappear, if only because he
did not win and
the media will have lost a lot of their interests.
Then there is this:
DH: In one of your columns you
talked about the fact that the Democrats are in denial, and that
everybody wants to get back to business as usual.
RR: It's not just Democrats. I think
that the establishment Republican Party is also in denial. What we'll
see after Tuesday for I think really the next year is an attempt by the
establishment Democratic Party, and the establishment Republican Party
to pretend that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were aberrations.
That they were kind of just perfect storms. To deny that there has been
a fundamental shift in our political culture toward whatever word you
want to use, anti-establishment, or populism, or fed-up politics, this
is big and it's new.
I sort of halfly agree, and my
disagreement is mostly based on the fact that I am certainly not
as sure as Reich is that "there has been a
fundamental shift in our political culture toward whatever word you
want to use, anti-establishment, or populism, or fed-up politics, this
is big and it's new".
My main reason is that I do recall the "Occupy Wall
(<- Wikipedia) movement of 2011: That was quite radical, with quite
a big number of protestants, but it disappeared mostly after it was
And no, I don't think Sanders and
Trump were "aberrations" but that also doesn't mean they were successes
(if Trump gets defeated tomorrow, which I very strongly
There is this in on getting "big money out of politics" (which I
agree is very important):
DH: How do liberals and
progressives reach those people? How do we reach
the Trump supporters?
RR: That's a good question. To me, the
biggest challenge coming up in the future is to get big money out of
politics. We're not going to do that simply by reversing Citizens
My point is that we can't only rely on the
Supreme Court. We've also got to pass laws that constrain big money in
politics, and that requires a very loud coalition of the part of the
anti-establishment left, and the part of the anti-establishment right,
where there is overlap on this issue. I think it's possible when the
dust settles on this immediate election, to create such a coalition.
As to reaching Trump supporters (a
question Reich doesn't really answer): I have mostly given up on them.
Either they are too stupid or too ignorant to
and act reasonably,
or else they are too egoistic
to think rationally and act reasonably.
Also, I do not think it is very
- in the present circumstances, with just two big American parties;
with grossly propagandist
mainstream media; with at most 15% of the
American population somewhat decently educated - to infer that there
are 40% or more of the American voters that just cannot be
reached by rational
As to the Supreme Court: I think it is too
politicized  but I will say no more about it
(except for the last note).
Here is Reich on Hillary Clinton's
I agree. (And also - just as in the case of
Obama - one should keep in mind that she probably will say almost
anything to be elected, and once elected will "completely forget" about
all her promises that she made before she was elected. Besides - again just as in the case of Obama - she probably already
nominated her cabinet, which - just
as in the case of Obama - will come mostly from the big banks that
support her. I may be mistaken, but will be rather amazed if I am.)
DH: Hillary Clinton talks a lot
about her version of a 21st-century New Deal. Would her proposals, for
infrastructure and a new energy system, be enough of a game-changer
with the economy?
RR: No, my suspicion is that what she's
going to try to do, and what the Democratic leadership will try to do,
is make a deal with Republicans to dramatically reduce taxes on
repatriated corporate earnings, profits, stored abroad.
There is this on the incomes of everybody who is not rich in
Most people have not seen
increases in their earnings, relative to what those earnings were 30
years ago. We also have this diabolical problem of labor participation
that is shrinking. Even today, the latest jobs report showed that the
number of people who are of working age and in the labor market
continues to shrink. We're now down to about 62 percent. That bodes ill
for the bottom 60 percent of the population.
Yes indeed, while the incomes of the rich and
the very rich all got up by very great amounts. Indeed here is a
graphic on the growth in incomes of the rich and the non-rich
from 1949 till 2012:
Here is the last bit that I'll quote from this article:
DH: Ok will that will have to be
a topic for another day. Right now, people are panicking about the
prospect of a Trump presidency and Republican Congress.
RR: I completely understand the
panic, because I don't remember a time when we were this close to have
a madman be president. Even if there is a one-in-three chance, or a
one-in-four chance, that is enough to get a lot of people spooked. I
keep telling myself that the American public is basically sensible,
always has been.
I mostly agree (and especially - I am a
psychologist - with Reich's estimate that Trump is "a madman": Yes,
indeed, he really is) but I disagree with Reich's estimate of
American public", and for two important reasons: First, nobody -
outside of the very secretive NSA, to be sure - knows what "the
American public" thinks and wants, and indeed it is also made up of
quite a few different and opposing groups and sub-groups. And second,
if I look at the histories of the American elections and especially at
the support that Reagan and Bush Jr and Trump got, I cannot
myself of any proposition that approximates "the
American public is basically sensible".
To be sure, I think part of "the American public is basically
sensible" - but I do not know how large
that part is, whereas the career
of Trump over the last year, which I explain by a combination of stupidity, ignorance, egoism, and conformism
(indeed in part to avoid
racism), does not make me put the percentage at higher than 50%.
And that is a fact-based estimate.
This is a recommended article.
3. Chris Hedges Fearlessly Tells His Own 'Forbidden' Stories
The third item is by Chris Hedges on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
The following is an excerpt from the
new book Unspeakable: Chris Hedges on the Most Forbidden Topics
in America, by Chris Hedges in conversation with the founder
and former editor in chief of Salon, David Talbot,
published here with permission from Hot Books, an imprint of Skyhorse
As I have meanwhile said quite a few
times: I like Chris Hedges, indeed without agreeing with him on
several important points ,
simply because he writes well, he has a lot of courage, and he is a genuine
radical, and each of these three points is quite rare (for most
journalists do not write well, do not have any provable
courage, and are not at all radicals, whatever they
What made you a
It’s a combination of factors—including my
personality type. I grew up in a literate household, in a farm town of
2,000 people in upstate New York called Schoharie. My mother, when I
was a kid, was a teacher and ended up becoming an English professor. My
father was a World War II army veteran—he had been a cryptographer in
the North Africa, Palestine and Iran—and a Presbyterian minister. They
were very involved in the 1960s in the civil rights movement and the
My father, who left the army largely a
pacifist, hated war and the military. He told me that if the Vietnam
War was still being waged when I was eighteen and I was drafted,
he would go to prison with me. To this day I have images of sitting in
a prison cell with my dad. My father was, finally, a vocal and
early supporter of the gay rights movement. His youngest brother was
gay. He understood the pain of being a gay man in America in the 1950s
and 1960s. The rest of my father’s family disowned my uncle. We were
the only family my uncle and his partner had.
I understood at a young age that you are
not rewarded for virtue. Virtue must be its own reward. I saw that when
you do what is right it is not easy or pleasant. You make enemies.
Indeed, if you take a moral stance and there is no cost, it is probably
not that moral. This was a vital lessen to learn as a boy. It prepared
me for how the world works. I saw that when you stood with the
oppressed you were usually treated like the oppressed. And this
saved me from disillusionment.
And here personality comes into play. I was
born with an innate dislike for authority—my mother says that part of
the reason she agreed to send me to boarding school was because I was
“running the house”—and thrived on conflict. My father did not. He paid
a higher emotional price for defiance.
Clearly, Chris Hedges had a special
father, and so did I. But the differences between these two kinds of
special fathers are large, and so are the differences in the
Hedges and I got (and I am six years older than Hedges): My father was
very poor, very intelligent, and very communist (and had been for over
3 years and 9 months a prisoner in German concentration camps); Hedges'
father was rather rich, probably also very intelligent, a radical, and
I merely mention the differences (which
guaranteed, among other things, that Chris Hedges was much
better educated between 1 and 17 than I was, and indeed than most men
are) but there also is a similarity: He and I were both born with a
strong dislke for authority.
Here is one of the differences between
Chris Hedges and me, though I should add that Hedges was in this
respect rather similar to George Orwell
(<- Wikipedia) (who also was "a scholarship
student", and who won a scholarship for Eton):
Yes, I am quite willing to believe it (and
here is again a reference to an essay by George Orwell, who describes
his scholarship days in "Such, such
were the joys").
Where were you sent to
I was given a scholarship to attend a
boarding school, or pre-prep school, in Deerfield, Massachusetts,
called Eaglebrook when I was 10. I went to Loomis-Chaffee, an exclusive
boarding school—the Rockefellers went there—after Eaglebrook. The year
I graduated from Loomis-Chaffee, John D. Rockefeller III was our
Boarding school made me acutely aware of
class. There were about 180 boys at Eaglebrook, but only about ten
percent were on scholarship. Eaglebrook was a school for the sons of
the uber-rich. I was keenly aware of my “lower” status as a scholarship
student.Such, such were the joys")
Here is a first bit on what makes the rich cohere so well:
C. Wright Mills understood how
elites replicate themselves. The children of the elites are, as Mills
pointed out in The Power Elite, shaped not so much by the
curriculum of exclusive schools but by intimate relationships with
teachers, who often went to the same schools and prep schools, and by
each other. This acculturation takes place through sports teams, school
songs and rituals, shared experiences, brands and religious
observances, usually Episcopalian. These experiences are often the same
experiences of the boys’ fathers and grandfathers. It molds the rich
into a vast extended fraternity that, because of these unique
experiences, are able to communicate to each other in a subtle code.
Yes - I read The Power Elite (and
recommend that you read it, if you didn't, and one reason is that C. Wright
Mills (<- Wikipedia) could really write and had a fine mind) and
I have also read this
in other sources.
Here is some more on the rich:
The rich have disdain for anyone
who does not belong to their inner circle. They believe that their
wealth and privilege is conferred upon them because of their superior
attributes. They define themselves not by what they are in private—in
private they are usually bastards—but by the public persona created for
them by publicity. They see their possessions and power, which in most
cases they inherited, as natural and proper because they believe they
are inherently better than others. Balzac said that behind every great
fortune lies a great crime. He got that right.
I believe that is mostly correct, although I
should point out that (i) there is a considerable sub-group of
who aspire to be rich but who are not quite,
while it is also true that (ii) most people who succeed at anything
incline to attribute their success to their personal qualities
- which tends to be
a mistake. 
And indeed Balzac was right, though the great crime may have been
committed by a grandfather or some further ancestors.
Here is more on the character of the rich:
The refinement of the rich is a
veneer. They can afford good manners because they use others—including
the machinery of state—to carry out their dirty work. They often know
the names of the great authors and artists, but they are culturally and
intellectually bankrupt. They are consumed by gossip, a pathological
yearning for status and obsessed by brands and possessions—mansions,
yachts, cars, gourmet food, clothes, jewelry or vacations at exclusive
resorts. They epitomize the cult of the self and the unchecked hedonism
that defines a consumer society. They talk mostly about money—the money
they made, the money they are making and the money they will make. They
Yes, I quite believe that because (i) I have
a very high IQ, and was an extremely good student in the university,
and know that the vast majority is considerably less
intelligent than I am; because (ii) I have spoken with quite a large
number of professors (most of whom came from well to do families, and
few of whom were remarkably talented themselves); and because (iii) I
have had one very rich friend
through whom I have known some very rich people, and none of
these struck me
as in any way being special (except that they were very rich,
indeed, which was inherited in every case).
Then again, Chris Hedges knows the rich a lot better than I do.
Here is the last bit that I'll quote, and Hedges mentions THE
main difference between the rich and the poor:
The difference was that they,
like most of the working poor, were never given a chance. And that is
what it means to be poor in America. You don’t get a chance while
the rich get chance after chance after chance.
Look at George W. Bush, a man of limited
intelligence and dubious morals. He was a drunk, a cocaine addict, went
AWOL from his National Guard unit, and never really held much of a job
until he was 40. And he ends up as president. Affirmative action is
alive and well, at least for the rich. They know how to take care of
their own. And it does not matter how mediocre they are.
Yes, indeed: THE big difference
between the rich and the poor is that the rich get far more chances
than the poor (and also: are given far more chances than the poor).
But there is another big
difference which Hedges is less aware off, whereas I am quite aware
of it: Rich children get (or at least: can get) a far better
education than I could get, as a child.
I could only start reading the
wanted to read when I was 17, had left school ("because this is
morons only", as I said at 17), and earned money so that I could buy
what I liked: Before that I just did not and could not read what I
to read (and often also had no idea it existed).
In the end, I did get a very
good education, but this was mostly due to the fact that I studied from
17 to 27 on my own (in which time I did in fact learn the most,
and did read extremely much).
In any case: The above quotations are from
Unspeakable: Chris Hedges on the Most Forbidden Topics
in America, which
is a book I recommend without having read more than the above: Chris
Hedges is a fine man, with a fine mind, a fine style, and a fine
4. Trump’s Three Enablers
The fourth item today is by Robert Reich on his site:
This starts as follows:
I agree it is more probable that Trump will
be defeated, but I don't know.
Even if he loses (and I believe he
will), Donald Trump has done incalculable
damage to America – eroding the trust and social cohesion the nation
But he couldn’t have accomplished this
without three sets of enablers. They must he held accountable, too.
The first is the Republican Party.
For years the GOP has nurtured the
xenophobia, racism, fact-free allegations,
and wanton disregard for democratic institutions that Trump has fed on.
Supposing so for the moment, Reich distinguishes three sets of enablers
of Donald Trump, and the first is the GOP.
He is quite right in that, and indeed the GOP took its
extremist stance - the one that consists in part in "xenophobia, racism, fact-free allegations,
and wanton disregard for democratic institutions"
- under Bill Clinton in the 90ies.
Next, there are the mainstream media:
The second set of Trump enablers is the
“Trump is arguably the first bona fide
presidential nominee,” concluded a study by Harvard’s Shorenstein
Media, Politics, and Public Policy.
By mid-March, 2016, the New York
that Trump had received almost $1.9
billion of free attention from media of all types – more than twice
Hillary Clinton received and six times that of Ted Cruz, Trump’s
The explanation for this is easy. Trump
was already a media personality, and his outrageousness generated an
which, in turn, created big profits for the media.
I agree halfly, so to speak: Yes,
the Shorenstein Center is very probably correct, and so is Reich's
explanation that the media supported Trump because doing so "created big profits for the media".
But there is much more wrong with
the mainstream media than simply a strong liking for their own profits:
These days the mainstream media all lie, deceive, and propagandize
as if there is no truth
and there is no morality
(except for conformism
and egoism, and
of course a very vague sort of Protestantism).
And since I believe that there is no
democracy possible without mainstream media that - at the very least -
believe in facts,
in truths, and
in reporting factually and truly, I
think democracy is mostly dead in America, and this is a very
dangerous development (also because the media will keep lying,
both about themselves and about politicians).
There is much more that could and should
be said about "the media", but we move on to Reich's third class of
The third set of Trump enablers is at
the helm of the Democratic Party.
Democrats once represented the working
class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by
fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead
raising big money from corporate and Wall Street executives, and
from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.
While Republicans played the race card
to get the working class to abandon the Democratic Party, the Democrats
simultaneously abandoned the working class – clearing the way for Trump.
Yes, I think that is mostly correct,
though considerably more played a role, notably Bill Clinton's
policies, that included a complete denial that
socialism was possible,
even by the vote, which therefore included a complete denial of social
democracy (and both were picked up and mirrored by the awful degenerate
Tony Blair in England, and by other "social democratic" leaders, like
the horrible Wim Kok).
Here is Reich on Clinton (a millionaire)
and Obama (soon to be a millionaire):
Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements
providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs
getting new ones that paid at least as well.
They stood by as corporations
hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class –
reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that
them, or help workers form unions with a simple up-or-down votes.
Yes indeed - which means for me
either were corrupted (by the promise of millions for themselves and
their families) or morally non-existent, at least in so far as the poor
and the non-rich were concerned.
And here is more that both men did,
knowing full well what they did:
Both Clinton and Obama also
allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large
corporations have grown far larger,
and major industries more concentrated.
The unsurprisng result has been to shift
political and economic power to big corporations
and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. That created an
opening for demagoguery, in the form of Trump.
Donald Trump has poisoned
America, but he didn’t do it alone. He had help from opportunists in
the media, and the Democratic Party.
Yes indeed (for the most part). And this
is a recommended article.
5. Common Dreams
The fifth and last item today is by Common Dreams on Common Dreams:
If you click the above image, you are linked to the Common Dreams site,
where it is explained how much money they need to keep existing.
I like Common Dreams better than any other internet magazine. PLEASE KEEP IT EXISTING!!!
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
My father's older brother (who was not locked up in a concentration
camp) was also quite intelligent, and he became a millionaire two or
three times in his life, and then lost most of the money again through
taking bad risks. I think that was quite possible for my father as
well, except that he was a very strong revolutionary communist, whose
strength of belief owed a lot to 3
years and 9 months of being locked
up as a "political terrorist" in four German concentration camps.
 The Dutch are a heroic people,
according to themselves. In fact, the vast majority of the Dutch collaborated
during WW II; over 1% of the total Dutch population was
arrested "for being of the wrong race", and was murdered in German
concentrations camps; these over a 100.000 people were all arrested
with the help of two "Jews", David Cohen and Abraham Asscher, both of
whom collaborated very much with the German SS, and who were promised
by the SS that they would not be harmed and could keep
riches: They were not harmed by the SS; they kept their great riches;
and did not even have to face a Dutch court after WW II ended, for
totally insane reasons (BUT: they were very rich); and indeed almost
all Dutch judges collaborated with the Nazis, as did all the
the Dutch Supreme Court (except for one who was a Jew: he was
and died before he was murdered, but his wife was duly murdered in
As I said, the Dutch are a very heroic people, according to
According to Karl Marx,
the capitalist system had to collapse, for objective
and necessary reasons, and such a collapse would be the main
reason for the socialist revolution, that also would come necessarily.
I disagree with Marx on the necessities, but I am quite willing to
agree that this is a very intricate question. I tend to agree
that a real economical crisis seems "necessary" to destroy the
government and the corporations, but the necessity I agree to is
non-modal, and much more like: "If a social revolution succeeds, then
an economical collapse is to happen before it".
In fact, no one can be certain that his or her metaphysics is
probable. There are definite truths, which also may be known to
beings, but these seem to be mostly restricted to (i) particular
empirical propositions, like "it rains here now" or (ii) necessary
logical propositions, like "if it rains and it is cold, then it is
cold" and perhaps (iii) some mathematical propositions.
But for the most part, scientific theories require general
and these general assumptions cover far more than we have
and know for certain, and for these reasons (all sketched very
here) no empirical theory can be more than probably true.
 I am saying this not because I want to
offend but because I want to explain,
and my own explanatory definition of neofascism is this:
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 the link in which I argue this is the
following: On Fascism
and Neofascism: Definitions.
Incidentally, Hedges "If we win 5 percent we win" is completely arbitrary
(and only "defended" with a reference to the Greek Syriza). Also, to
the best of my knowledge, Jill Stein was at 1.9% a few days
ago. In any
case, Jill Stein will not win the next elections, and voting
Stein increases the chances that an insane neofascist will
next (and quite possibly last) American president. For more, see below.
know that if there is to be law there has to be some sort of
Court, and I also know that the Supreme Court, that presently seems to
lean far too much to the right, has been accused of leaning too far to
the left before.
But no, I have no respect for the majority of a court that
decides that money somehow equals votes (also with a crazy reference to
the First Amendment); and that effectively decides that the rich cannot
be corrupt. These were not legal decisions at all: they
were out and
out rightist political choices, that were made to help the right.
And while I do not know any good history of the Supreme Court,
while I know that previous Supreme Courts have been claimed to lean too
to the left, I believe that if that was true, at least their opinions
were considerably more legal and legalistic than the opinions
majority of the present Supreme Court.
First, I disagree with Hedges about the conditions for successful
revolutions: I think he is too optimistic about "the left" and not
realistic enough about the need of a genuine economic collapse to make
a successful revolution - and while I also agree this difference goes
back in part to a difference in tastes or values, I believe I am a bit
Second, I disagree with Hedges about faith and about Christianity.
first let me say something about philosophy and myself: In fact, I do not
have an M.A. in philosophy, because I was - illegally - refused
the right to take the examination (which I would have passed extremely
well) because I studied at what was in fact a quasi-Marxist
university (from 1971-1995) in which most students, and especially
in philosophy, pretended to be Marxists. I
knew they were not, because both of my parents were real
Marxists for 45 years or more each; because my grandfather was a real
Marxist; because two of my other grandparents were real
anarchists most of their lives; and because I had been a
Marxist till I was 20, when I gave up on it for very good, rather
deep theoretical reasons (I had, for one example, discovered
myself the difficulty Steedman (<-
Wikipedia) discusses in "Marx after Sraffa"), and indeed I did not
give up the morals of my parents, nor being a radical.
I am, in other words, much more of a philosopher than I am a
psychologist (and indeed would not
have taken an M.A. in psychology if I had not been refused the
take an M.A. in philosophy), and in fact I have been reading philosophy
for over 50 years now.
For these reasons I am both in complete disagreement with Hedges about
his Christianity (although I understand why he is a Christian: His
father was a Christian minister, and his whole family is Christian) and
am rather amazed that he claims not to believe in atheists. (I think
is not very polite if it were addressed to me, for example,
am quite sure I know a lot more about philosophy than Chris
Also, it is not very polite if it were addressed to great
like Bertrand Russell, Frank Ramsey, or Mario Bunge.)
Third, I disagree with Hedges about the present presidential
elections. I think we both more or less agree on both persons
win it: Hillary Clinton has been bought by the rich, as is her husband;
Donald Trump is both a neofascist and - which is quite
important for me, because I am a psychologist - quite insane. I
don't know that we quite agree, but we do agree for a good
But because I think Trump is really insane I think Trump is much
more dangerous than Clinton, and for that reason I think everyone who
can vote in the USA who is not a Trumpian believer should
vote and vote for Clinton. Not because she is any good (she
isn't), but because she is not mad.
In fact, the sub-group of those who aspire to be rich tends to be considerably
larger than the rich. (This is one of the reasons why the
real rich - those in the 1% or less - are supported by at least 10% of
the not really rich, and indeed often by more than 10%.)
As to attributing one's successes to one's to personal
does so, and to a considerably larger extent than is justified.
are two reasons why this is not justified: First, almost all of one's
successes and failures are the result of very many
themes and choices, of which very many did not have
much to do with
one's own choice. And second - as Hedges explains, quite correctly, a
bit further on - the big difference between the rich and the rest is
that the rich not only have vastly more money than the rest, but also
(and besides) are offered far more chances to succeed.