1. The Mafia State
2. Narcissist-in-Chief: The Psychopathology That Explains
Donald Trump's Depravity
3. Trump Almost Certainly Will Violate the Constitution if
He Continues to Own His
4. Austrians Break Far Right’s Winning Streak
5. No, Dr. Dean, Democrats Do Need to Fight It Out
is a Nederlog of Monday, December 5, 2016.
is a crisis
log with 5 items and 5 dotted links and it consists (mostly) of some
further deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president
Item 1 is about a fine article by Chris
Hedges, who outlines that with Trump the mafia state is empowered; item 2 is an excellent article by Alfie Kohn,
who outlines my own theory about Trump's psychopathology (I
completely agree, but it is indeed far from optimistic -
which is realism,
as far as I am concerned, with the madman Trump elected as president); item 3 is about the very probable fact that
Trump will massively break the Emoluments Clause (but the
Republicans have nearly all powers now and may not care); item 4 is about a brief article with Good News (the
right was defeated in Austria, and indeed also
Renzi - a "neoliberal" - was defeated in Italy); and
item 5 is about a good article on the
corruptions of the Democratic Party, that started - monument- ally
also - with Bill Clinton.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It keeps being horrible most days and was so on most days in
But on 2.xii and 3.xii it was correct. I say!
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: This was so-so till 18.xi and was correct since then (most or all days).
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.The Mafia State
1. The Mafia State
The first item today is by Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Systems of governance that are seized by
a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years—Ronald Reagan and
Bill Clinton in the United States—are marked by promises that the
pillage will benefit everyone. The later years—George W. Bush and
Barack Obama—are marked by declarations that things are getting better
even though they are getting worse. The final years—Donald Trump—see
the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy
theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of
looting and corruption.
Yes indeed: This is more or less as I see
it. And I also specifically agree that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama
were scheming self-enrichers who dealt in lies and deceptions
(which I do blame them more for than I blame the
Republican thieves, because they pretended to be honest, and weren't,
There is this on the general background:
I agree with both points.
The rich never have enough. The more
they get, the more they want. It is a disease. CEOs demand and receive
pay that is 200
times what their workers earn.
is state-sponsored extortion. It is a vast, nationally orchestrated
More specifically - and see my On
socialism - I am against anyone earning more
than 20 times the minimum income, where the minimum income is good
enough to lead a decent life. Almost anybody who wants to earn
more than 20 times of that is a greedy egoist who
needs to be legally stopped. (I am willing to make a
few exceptions, namely for geniuses of science and for actors and some
more, though these too should not be allowed to make more than
a few millions.)
In case you disagree: Very few today earn more than $300,000
which means that nearly everyone will profit from the rule I just
announced, indeed except for the greedy and egoistic rich.
And I have said from the beginning that most "neoliberals"
(which itself is a propaganda
term) are in fact neoconservatives, and that most
neoconser- vatives are in favor of economic policies that sound
most like neofascism as I defined it (see : I am quite serious, and this is
my definition): They are pro rich, pro corporations, and pro profit as
the only moral
norm for CEOs.
There is this on mafia capitalism:
Politicians, from Reagan on, were
handsomely rewarded by their funders for delivering their credulous
supporters to the corporate guillotine. The corporate coup created a
mafia capitalism. This mafia capitalism, as economists such as Karl Polanyi
Stiglitz warned, gave birth to a mafia political system. Financial
and political power in the hands of institutions such as Goldman Sachs
and the Clinton Foundation becomes solely about personal gain. The
Obamas in a few weeks will begin to give us a transparent lesson into
how service to the corporate state translates into personal enrichment.
I agree again, though I like to add (indeed
also to the first quotation above) that this rather strongly supports
my distinctions between capitalism-with-a-
human face (Keynesianism
(<-Wikipedia), that ruled from 1945-1980); capitalism-without-a-human-face
that ruled from 1981-2016); and capitalism-with-an-inhuman-face,
that starts with Donald Trump, which is neofascism.
Indeed, one reason for me to stress this is that most leftists
and most "leftists"  did not see or did not
want to see these distinctions are real and important. (But
by now it is too late for these distinctions to apply practically,
alas, so this is just theory.)
There is considerably more that is good that I skip and leave to your
Here is the ending to the article:
What comes next, history has
shown, will not be pleasant. A cruel and morally bankrupt elite, backed
by the organs of state security and law enforcement, will, as the Eupatridae did in sixth-century-B.C. Athens, bankrupt the citizenry
through state-sponsored theft, war, austerity and debt peonage. They
will reduce workers to the status of serfs or slaves. The most benign
dissent will be criminalized and crushed. America’s Snopes-like elites
have no external or internal constraints. They are barbarians. We will
remove them from power or enter a new dark age.
Yes, indeed: That seems a sound
expectation. Will "the USA" survive? If Trump can be stopped
from starting a nuclear war, it probably will, but I do not
know in what form, for I do not know how much Trump will succeed in
2. Narcissist-in-Chief: The
Psychopathology That Explains Donald Trump's Depravity
But since Trump is mad, I mean clinically insane, I put the
chances at 50/50 (which may be optimistic).
This is a recommended article.
And here is an excellent article on the reasons why I -
who is a psychologist M.A. by degrees, though I also have a B.A. in
philosophy - believe Trump is insane :
The second item is by Alfie Kohn on AlterNet and on Kohn's blog:
This is an excellent article that
explains my reasons for holding that Donald Trump is
insane. (And no, I don't know Mr Kohn at all, but he thinks very
similarly about Trump.) I strongly advice you to read it all
and ponder it seriously.
This is from the beginning (after skipping some):
[Trump's] election—along with Republican
control of both Houses of Congress and more than two thirds of state
legislatures—will almost certainly precipitate an assault on civil
rights, civil liberties, environmental protections (including a
reversal of early, tentative steps to deal with global climate change),
consumer protections, reproductive rights, gay rights, workers' rights,
prisoners' rights, humane immigration policies, aid to the poor, gun
control, antimilitarism, support for public education, and on and on.
It will be bad enough for an individual deeply committed to any one of
these issues; for those interested in all of them, it will be difficult
to absorb, let alone summon outrage about and become active in
opposing, a tidal wave of reactionary policies likely to continue on a
daily basis for many years.
I fear that is entirely correct.
Here is part of the analysis of Donald
Trump (and please note that the dotted points are all from
diagnostics of megalomania aka grandiose
Yes indeed: Donald
according to Donald Trump. And this does make his character
quite important, for he may fire nuclear arms when he is angry.
(And then we're all dead.)
Donald Trump has distinguished himself
as someone who is:
Even if you set out to consider different
sorts of deficits, you're pulled back to the psychological issues. It's
not just that he's ignorant or even incurious, it's that he seems
incapable of acknowledging that there's something he doesn't know.
- given to boasting, preening and
swaggering to the point of self-parody;
- not merely thin-skinned and petulant
but vindictive when crossed or even criticized;
- restless, with the attention span of a toddler;
competitive, driven to sort the world into winners and losers and
to regard other people (or countries) primarily as rivals to be bested;
- astonishingly lacking not only in
knowledge but in curiosity;
- given to uttering blatant falsehoods
on a constant basis and apparently unaware of the extent of his
dishonesty, as if the fact that he believes something makes it true; and
- possessed of a sense of absolute
entitlement—so if he wants to kiss an attractive woman, for example, he
should be free to do so—along with a lack of shame, humility, empathy,
or capacity for reflection and self-scrutiny.
There is this on Trump's command of language and his cognitive
Similarly, while his speech
rarely ventures beyond elementary-school vocabulary or grammar, what's
more alarming than his cognitive limitations is his egocentrism. One
careful analysis found that Trump inclines not only to the
monosyllabic but to the megalomaniacal: The single word he uses more
than any other is "I"—and his fourth-favorite word is his own name.
I did not know that, but am quite
willing to believe it, indeed in considerable
part because I am a psychologist who agrees that Trump is a megalomaniac aka a grandiose
You may disagree, but then you probably are not
a psychologist and not a psychiatrist. Here are some references
to people who are, and who said the
same as I do and as Kohn does:
The fact that Trump is basically,
in the words of comic commentator Samantha Bee, "an oddly tinted
compilation of psychiatric symptoms," has hardly been a secret.
Psychobiographies have been published in The
Atlantic and at
book length. In Vanity
Fair, the Washington
Post and the Huffington
Post, clinicians and other observers have specifically focused on
the extent to which he likely suffers from narcissistic personality
disorder. These pieces are worth reading, but it's possible just to
take a quick look at the official criteria
for NPD and come away with the uncanny impression that those who
defined the pathology were profiling Trump.
Precisely - and don't miss (at
least) the "the official criteria
for NPD", which starts as follows (and the
list of points is somewhat simplified):
This is someone with a psychiatric disorder
in all its flagrant, florid particulars. To grasp its seriousness is to
be staggered that someone too disordered and rancid to be a trustee of
your condo association will be running our country.
There is a lot more there, but the
above should be sufficient: Trump eminently succeeds on
all 9 criteria. (And see March
14, 2016 in case you are interested in more.)
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
is a cluster B personality disorder defined as comprising a pervasive
pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), a constant need for
admiration, and a lack of empathy.
Signs and symptoms
In the American Psychiatric
Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), NPD is defined as
comprising a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior),
a constant need for admiration, and a lack of empathy, beginning by
early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by
the presence of at least 5 of the following 9 criteria:
sense of self-importance
with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or
A belief that
he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or
should associate with, other special or high-status people or
A need for
A sense of
A lack of
Envy of others
or a belief that others are envious of him or her
of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes
There is considerably more in the article that I leave to your
interests. It ends as follows:
On his HBO show, John Oliver urged us
to keep reminding ourselves, “A Klan-backed misogynist internet troll
is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address. This is
not normal.” Furthermore, we need to remember that what's abnormal here
isn't just a set of positions and policies but the psychological state
of the person who will be in charge. The clearer our understanding of
that, the better our chances for protecting one another—and our
Yes, indeed - I agree one should try
to understand Trump's psychopathology,
but I do not know how to deal with it until he
is impeached (and megalomania has little chance of being cured
by psychology or psychiatry, though medicines
are supposed to help some).
And this is a strongly
3. Trump Almost Certainly Will Violate the Constitution if
He Continues to Own His Businesses
The third item is by
Richard Tofel on ProPublica:
This starts as follows:
Far from ending with President-elect
Trump’s announcement that he will separate himself from the management
of his business empire, the constitutional debate about the meaning of
the Emoluments Clause — and whether Trump will be violating it — is
likely just beginning.
That’s because the Emoluments Clause
seems to bar Trump’s ownership of his business. It has little
to do with his management of it. Trump’s tweets last
Wednesday said he would be “completely
out of business operations.”
But unless Trump sells or gives his
business to his children before taking office the Emoluments Clause
would almost certainly be violated. Even if he does sell or give it
away, any retained residual interest, or any sale payout based on the
company’s results, would still give him a stake in its fortunes, again
fairly clearly violating the Constitution.
Yes, I think that is correct. Then again,
the Emoluments Clause is rather tricky:
The Emoluments Clause appears in Article
I, Section 9 of the Constitution. It bars any “person holding any
office of profit or trust under” the United States from accepting any
present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any
King, Prince, or foreign state” “without the consent of the Congress.”
Clearly, deciding what the Emoluments
Clause means in a specific case is a complicated legal question. (The opinion
on Obama’s acceptance of the Nobel Prize runs to 13 printed pages.) But
just as clearly, the judges of its meaning with respect to President
Trump will be politicians rather than the Supreme Court.
And at least now most Republican
politicians will support Trump, so for the moment this will not be very
relevant, though it may be in the future.
Here is the ending of this article:
The controversies that swirled around
Nixon and Bill
Clinton established a number of key points. Among them are that the
sole remedy for a violation of the Constitution by a president in
office is impeachment, and that the House of Representatives is the
sole judge of what constitutes an impeachable offense, while the Senate
is the sole judge of whether such an alleged violation warrants removal
from office. (Impeachments are very rare: articles of impeachment have
been voted against only two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Clinton,
both of whom were acquitted by the Senate, while Nixon resigned ahead
of likely impeachment. Fifteen federal judges have also been impeached,
and eight removed, while four resigned.)
The arguments of scholars and lawyers on
the meaning of the Emoluments Clause may influence the public, and
their elected representatives. But if Trump decides not to dispose of
his business, it will be up to Congress to decide whether to do
anything about his apparent violation of the Constitution.
As I said, I do not think the
Emoluments Clause will be very relevant in the immediate beginning of
Trump's government, but it may be quite important
later on, if and when Trump gets impeached.
4. Austrians Break Far Right’s Winning Streak by Electing
Independent, Green Party-Backed President
The fourth item is by Kasia Anderson on Truthdig:
This starts as follows - and is (which is rare
in the crisis series) a bit of Good News:
There is more in the article, but this is all
I quote from it.
Austrian voters have sent a message that
they are unwilling to allow their country to be swept up in the
populist wave that has boosted far-right politicians to powerful
positions in the U.S. and Europe.
On Sunday, one such politician,
45-year-old Freedom Party presidential nominee Norbert Hofer, was
defeated by independent challenger Alexander Van der Bellen in
Austria’s national election.
The 72-year-old Van der Bellen was
backed by the country’s Green Party, of which he is a former leader.
Now he will be Austria’s president. Bloomberg reported that Van der
Bellen bested Hofer by 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent.
Incidentally, there was another bit of Good News, at least in my
The Italian prime minister Renzi was defeated, and will give up
I liked that news, because I have said from the beginning that I did not
the "neoliberal" Renzi.
5. No, Dr. Dean, Democrats Do Need to Fight It Out
The fifth and last item today is by John Atcheson on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows (and is another
fine article that deserves full reading):
While he was
bowing out of the contest to head up the Democratic National Party,
Howard Dean said the election of the next chair should not become a
fight between Hillary supporters and Bernie supporters.
With all due
respect to Dr. Dean, the selection of the next chair is all about
resolving that fight.
Democrats’ fortunes have been declining for three decades now,
precisely because the Party’s neoliberal elite have done everything
they can to stave off the battle.
and in fact I think it is over three decades now, but precise dating is
far less important than correct analysing, and the following is quite
Neoliberalism has done to the Party. What folks haven’t
picked up on yet, is that this commitment to neoliberalism has been
eroding the Party’s prospects for more than three decades. For example,
back in the 60's, half of all potential voters
in the US identified as Democrats. Currently, 29% do. If one
tracks the losses, it appears that the more the Party moved to the
center and beyond, the more the people abandoned the Party.
now control both Houses of Congress, and the Presidency. In fact, since
1980, the nation has had three conservative Republican Presidents and
one middle of the road Democrat, and one who was conservative in deed, if not in language.
And now Trump.
At the state
level, the situation is even more skewed. Republicans control both
legislatures and the governorship in 25 states, while Democrats control all three
institutions in just 6 states. Nebraska, which has a
unicameral, non-partisan legislature, isn’t counted in this total.
Republicans control both
legislative bodies in 32 states while Democrats do in just 13.
I think that
this is a good analysis - and note that we haven't analysed
neoliberalism yet but only traced some of its consequences, which are
that the Republicans now control by far the most powerful positions in
Here is one
other feature of "neoliberalism" (and see note 
on the term):
Neoliberalism has done to the people. The US now ranks about
the same as such luminaries as Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda in measures of
income inequality, and Americans are increasingly trapped in this
pathetic state – income
mobility in the US lags behind most other developed nations.
My own - radical - solution is stated in item
1, but I agree that is for the moment theoretical only: It
is not practical now. (But it is the only way I
can see to break the power of the very few very rich: Forbid legally
- and morally
and ethically -
that anyone can grow more than 20 times as rich as the poorest.
And please note that only about 1% of the very richest will loose
money and power by this proposal, that benefits the 99% a lot, in
Here is a brief but good review of what "neoliberalism"
How did this
happen? Well, there’s a remarkable overlap
between the neoliberals’ dogma – tax cuts are always good;
privatization is better; deregulation is great; and trade agreements
and the free movement of capital are wonderful – and the Republican’s
destructive economic myths -- supply side-job creators, t[r]ickle down
economics, and deregulation. The thing is, these ideas have never worked, but they’ve been harder to kill
than a zombie vampire black cat in a coal mine at midnight.
and the positive theses of "neoliberalism"
- tax cuts, privatizations, deregulations, "trade agreements" (a propaganda
term), and "the free movement of capital" (another propaganda term) - in fact each and all amount to
much more powers and much more money for the very few very rich,
and amount to great financial losses and great losses in power for
"neoliberalism" - see note  - was pushed by both
the Republicans and the Democrats, and the main reason is that both
parties were effectively led by the rich and very rich.
There is this about Bill Clinton, which is wholly correct:
The fact is,
Bill Clinton and his DLC crowd accomplished more for the conservative
cause than Reagan did.
Frank noted in an interview with Mark Carlin recently:
five major achievements as president: NAFTA, the Crime Bill of 1994,
welfare reform, the deregulation of banks and telecoms, and the
balanced budget. All of them -- every single one -- were longstanding
was "a progressive" and "a liberal" in name only. In fact, he
worked mostly for the rich bankers, who indeed did reward him very
well for his services in the first 10 years of the 2000s (for he made
around $120 millions then, "by a few speeches for rich bankers").
Here is the ending of the article (that contains more that is good):
the bottom line, Dr. Dean. If the Democrats continue to embrace
neoliberalism, they will continue to lose. Worse, Trump would
likely be a two-term President with complete control of Congress and
the Supreme Court. Imagine what this would mean for climate
change policy; or the cause of science; or the place that reason,
tolerance, equity and justice have in our society …
Bottom line: in the end, Trump didn’t win – the Democrats lost, and
they lost because they became the Party of the Oligarchy, not the Party
of the people. That has to change.
I think that
is a correct expectation. But I do not
know whether the Democratic Party can be reformed, for the
reason that the rich control it, and they have a lot of money.
Then again, I
agree one has to try. And this is a recommended article.
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months verynow. 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 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.
Also, I am
rather certain that most (not: all) of those who style
themselved as "neoliberals" in fact are neofascists as defined
(even though they probably do not like the term).
And this is
fascism as I
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.
following if you are interested: On Fascism
and Neofascism: Definitions. (This lists 22 definitions of the term
"fascism", and critically
reflects on them.)
I think that there is a great difference between classical leftists
like my parents and grandparents, and postmodern "leftists" of whom I
have met plenty in the University of Amsterdam: The latter "leftists"
are not leftists, and tend to be defined by postmodernism (which denies
there is any truth), political correctness (which does not allow you to
say bad things about bad people) and identity politics (which denies
all individualism and individual attitudes).
I am sorry, but if the "leftists" are "the left" - which I strongly
deny - I am not a "leftist" (though I am a leftist).
 In fact, I like this term, and
I do not like most of the terms that are now adopted by most
psychologists and most psychiatrists: Both professional groups are much
less scientific than they claim to be, and apart from that most
of their terms are ugly, too long and not well-known by anyone who does
not belong to these professional groups. (I also don't,
for the simple reason that I have not earned even one cent
with my - excellent - degrees.)