from October 12, 2018
This is a
Nederlog of Friday,
This is a crisis
log but it is a bit different from how it was until 2013:
I have been
writing about the crisis since September
1, 2008 (in Dutch, but
since 2010 in English) and about
the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and
by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I will
continue with it.
moment and since more than two years
problems with the company that is
supposed to take care that my site is visible 
and with my health, but I am still writing a Nederlog every day and
I shall continue.
2. Crisis Files
five crisis files
that are mostly well worth reading:
A. Selections from October 12, 2018:
1. Jason Stanley on “How Fascism Works”
The items 1 - 5 are today's
selections from the 35 sites that I look at
every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the
link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:
2. Bernie Sanders Delivers Stirring Rebuke of Trump's
3. There Will Be No More Business As Usual
4. Why the left must go beyond electoral politics
5. Economics: Class War by Another Name
Stanley on “How Fascism Works”
This article is by
Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now. It starts with the
In his new book “How
Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them,” Yale professor Jason
Stanley warns about the dangers of normalizing fascist politics,
writing, “What normalization does is transform the morally
extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was
once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have
always been.” We speak with Jason Stanley in New York.
I say: A professor of
philosophy, at Yale, no less, who writes a whole book about fascism. He
is one of the first, but then again I do not think that
normalization is very important to fascism, neofascism,
or indeed to
other political doctrines, and one reason is that this
¨to tolerate what was once
ordinary people as if they are small children, who cannot recognize
what was normal a short time ago.
Incidentally, the definitions of fascism and neofascism are mine,
and have been compiled on the basis of On
Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions, that I wrote in 2016, while they are
inspired by the facts that my father, my mother and my father´s father
were all in the communist resistance against Nazism in Holland between
1940 and 1945, while my father and his
father were arrested in 1941,
and convicted (by collaborating Dutch judges, who were never punished)
as ¨political terrorists¨ to concentration camp imprisonments. My
father survived over 3 years and 9 months of that; my grandfather was
O and as to philosophy: I am the only person who was removed
from the ¨University¨ of Amsterdam very briefly before I could take my
M.A. in it (with a candidacy in philosophy with the very high marks of
an 8+, and while I suffered from a serious chronic disease) because
I was unhappy with the standards of teaching and said so in public and because
I was NOT a Marxist or communist (as
nearly all of the leading
students in the ¨U¨vA were, between 1971 and 1984), and said so in
public. The last fact also led to my being called ¨a fascist¨, ¨a dirty
fascist¨ and ¨a terrorist¨ between 1977 and 1989, at a fundamentally
Back to the article:
We end today’s show with a remarkable new book titled How Fascism
Works: The Politics of Us and Them, which focuses in particular on
current trends under the Trump administration, arguing that the
president is not as much of an anomaly in American history as we often
think. The book’s author, Yale professor Jason Stanley, whose parents
were both Holocaust survivors who came to the U.S. as refugees, shows
instead that, quote, “In its own history, the United States can find a
legacy of the best of liberal democracy as well as the roots of fascist
thought (indeed, Hitler was inspired by the Confederacy and Jim Crow
Laws),” Jason Stanley writes. He also warns of the dangers of
normalizing fascist politics, saying, quote, “What normalization does
is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us
able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this
is the way things have always been.”
I summarized most of the
above already, but I want to say something about normalization
that I learned from my own experiences:
As I described above, I was styled ¨a fascist¨ and ¨a
terrorist¨ by the club of ¨communist¨ (and ¨leftist¨) students who had
been given the power in all Dutch universities in 1971, and I was
styled so because I was not a
¨communist¨ like nearly every
student of philosophy was in the late 1070ies.
This was also quite normal in all Dutch universities -
but both of my parents were (prominent) communists since the 1930ies or
early 1940ies; I had been a communist until I was 20, simply because I
had been raised in a communist family; and I refused to say so in the
¨University¨ of Amsterdam because my father could get very angry
because of his concentration camp experiences.
And in fact I was not a fascist, and not a terrorist,
but a kind of anarchist; I do not think that any of the many
tens or hundreds of students who pretended being ¨communists¨
(that often also included a membership in the Dutch Communust Party)
were real communists, like my
parents were, but they were quite
free to abuse me for being a fascist because I was not ¨a
like them, and they were in the vast majority in the university.
It was fundamentally pretension for the vast majority
of the ¨communist¨ students, and indeed as soon as the Soviet Union
collapsed in 1990-1991 the whole lot followed the example of the
prominent communist students who published a booklet in 1991 (mostly as
members of some faculty in some Dutch university in some pseudoscience)
that essentially claimed they had done nothing wrong and now were
neo-conservatives, and should keep their jobs and status - and they all
did. (Incidentally, the whole history of the ¨U¨vA from 1971 till 1995
is essentially totally denied and hardly treated at all by the current
- very authoritarian - ¨University¨ of Amsterdam.)
Back to the article. Here is Stanley´s first definition of fascism:
SHAIKH: Well, explain what
fascism—define what it means for you.
STANLEY: So, fascism is an
ideology based on power. Liberal democracy is based on liberty and
equality. Liberty and equality require truth, because you need truth to
speak truth to power, and a free—if you’re lied to, you’re not free. No
one thinks the people of North Korea are free. They’ve been lied to.
So, if you’re going to attack liberal democracy and replace it with
power, you need to smash truth. So, fascism is an ideology based on
power and loyalty. It creates—it’s based on hypernationalism, so one
group—loyalty to one group. And one person, the leader, represents that
group. It’s hypermasculine and hyperpatriarchal.
I am sorry (and see my
definition of fascism)
but this is just an extremely schematic
¨definition¨ that is in fact not a proper definition at
Here is a somewhat
Well... I considered no
less than 21 definitions of the term ¨fascism¨ in my On
Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions and while Stanley´s list is
reminiscent of three or four lists in On
Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions it also does not resemble them, so at
best I may consider this a 22nd ¨definition¨, which also is not
proper definition, and wholly misses the fact that fascism
social system for two decades in Italy and for nearly 15 years in
GOODMAN: You talk about
the 10 pillars of fascism. What are they?
STANLEY: The 10 pillars of
fascism are, number one, a mythic past, a great mythic past which the
leader harkens back.
Number two, propaganda.
There’s a certain kind of fascist propaganda where everything is
inverted. The news is the fake news. Anti-corruption is corruption.
anti-intellectualism. As Steve Bannon said, it’s emotion—rage gets
people to the polls. We got elected on “Lock her up!” and “Build the
wall!” Hitler, in Mein Kampf, says you want your propaganda
to appeal to the most—to the least educated people.
Number four, unreality. You
have to smash truth. So, reason gets replaced by conspiracy theories. I
first started writing, got out of my academic shell in 2011, when I
wrote a piece about birtherism, because I saw conspiracy theories
coming, and that’s a deeply concerning sign. Unreality. So, you smash
every—smash truth, so all that remains is loyalty.
Hierarchy. In fascist
politics, the dominant group is better than everyone else. They were
like the loyal—the great people in the past who deserve respect just
for being them.
Victimhood. In fascism, the
dominant group are the greatest victims. The men are the greatest
victims of encroaching feminism. Whites are the greatest victims of
blacks. Germans are the greatest victims of Jews.
Law and order. What are
they victims of? They’re victims of the out group, who are criminals.
What kind of criminals are they? They’re rapists. Sexual anxiety.
Pillar nine is Sodom and
Gomorrah. The real values come from the heartland. The people in the
city are decadent.
And pillar 10 is ”Arbeit
macht frei“—work shall make you free. The out group is lazy.
They’re not just criminals; they’re lazy. And social Darwinism. It’s
all about winning.
In brief, I am not impressed and the ¨definition¨ that Stanley
provided above does not seem proper to me, neither as a
definition, nor in its criterions.
Sanders Delivers Stirring Rebuke of Trump's Authoritarianism
This article is by
Jon Queally on Truthdig and originally on Common Dreams. This is from
near its beginning:
In a speech delivered at
the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Sanders told
the small audience that he wanted to “say a few words about a troubling
trend in global affairs that gets far too little attention,” as he
proceeded to describe a trend that both describes the America under
Trump, but one also seen in nations across the globe.
“There is currently a
struggle of enormous consequence taking place in the United States and
throughout the world,” Sanders declared in his speech. “In it we see
two competing visions. On one hand, we see a growing worldwide movement
toward authoritarianism, oligarchy, and kleptocracy. On the other side,
we see a movement toward strengthening democracy, egalitarianism, and
economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.”
Well... as a matter of
fact, I have seen similar struggles and similar visions since (at
least) the 1860ies. Then there is this:
Sanders continued by
drawing a picture in which an increasingly wealthy and powerful set of
elites—not just in the U.S., but in Europe, Russia, the Middle East,
South America, Asia, and elsewhere—are actively fomenting
anti-democratic angst while butressed by the rise of “demagogues” who,
like Trump domestically, “exploit people’s fears, prejudices and
grievances to gain and hold on to power.”
In response to such forces,
argued Sanders, “Those of us who believe in democracy, who believe that
a government must be accountable to its people and not the other way
around, must understand the scope of this challenge if we are to
confront it effectively.”
And this is nothing new
either. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
In the end, Sanders
observed, “Authoritarians seek power by promoting division and
hatred. We will promote unity and inclusion.”
And, he concluded, “In a
time of exploding wealth and technology, we have the potential to
create a decent life for all people. Our job is to build on our common
humanity and do everything that we can to oppose all of the forces,
whether unaccountable government power or unaccountable corporate
power, who try to divide us up and set us against each other. We know
that those forces work together across borders. We must do the same. “
I am sorry, but I
disagree on (at least) two points.
non-authoritarians are supposed to ¨promote unity and inclusion¨:
No, not for me
(and ¨Unity!¨, ¨Unity!¨,
a very prominent slogan of communists, though this is a side
for I do not want to be ¨united¨ with IQs of 85 and no
scientific knowledge whatsoever who on those two bases now support
And second, if ¨we
the potential to create a decent life for all people¨ that potential lies in the - far -
future, and at present the situation is that there are 7.6
billion persons in the world of which at least some 50% (3.8 billion
persons) are poor to very poor, while 50 years ago there were
billion people of whom some 50% were poor to very poor.
Will Be No More Business As Usual
This article is by Lucian K.
Truscott IV on AlterNet and originally on Salon (and yes, I cut
titles-as -tweets). This is from near its beginning:
There was a time, not so
long ago, when the United States would not have ordered that children
be separated from their families and be held in tents in concentration
camps inside the borders of this country. Gone.
It was only two years ago
that a president of the United States nominated a judge from the D.C.
Circuit Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court who was not an accused
sexual abuser and a drunk. That president, and that Supreme Court
nominee are gone.
There was a time not so
long ago that the Department of Justice voting rights division would
have filed lawsuits challenging state laws like those in North Dakota
and elsewhere that make it difficult, if not actually impossible, for
people to vote. Gone.
Republicans in this country
don’t even bother to pretend anymore that they’re interested in justice
and playing by the rules. They have declared war on women, on workers,
on people of color, on immigrants, on the poor and dispossessed, on
organized labor. They have gone to war against everything that isn’t
white and male and wealthy.
All pretense is gone.
Remember fairness? Gone. Comity? Gone. Compromise? Gone. The rule of
law? Gone. Facts? Gone. Respect for others? Gone. Gone. Decency? Gone.
Agreed upon democratic norms? Gone. All men are created equal? Gone.
No, I am sorry but I
disagree with this - and I know how my communist father
diagnosed Truscott IV: as a ¨petit bourgeois run wild¨. This may not be
quite adequate for Truscott IV, but what he wrote above is
and not reason.
Here is some more:
It’s long past time to call
their bluff. If they’re going to disrespect the Supreme Court with
their flagrant politicization not only of the court, but of the laws
its decisions will affect, then it’s time to show disrespect in return.
No more respect for Supreme Court justices like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh
who took the bench after political campaigns that spurned legal norms.
They should be shunned. Social organizations in Washington D.C. should
leave them off the invitation list. No more Kennedy Center Honors box
seats. No more invitations to art or theater openings. If you see them
on the street, or in the post office, or in a restaurant, confront
them. Tell them they don’t have your respect. Tell them they are
illegitimate justices on an illegitimate court.
This is more of the
same. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
A lot, and this article is
fundamentally hysteric bullshit.
No more business as usual.
No more civility. No more respect. Point a finger of ridicule at them.
Make them stand naked before the world in their corruption and disdain
for norms and the law. Show them the disrespect they deserve. Make
their personal lives a living hell. Take to the streets and protest
their Supreme Court decisions ordered up by the Heritage Foundation and
the Federalist Society. Make it clear we know what they’re doing to
this country and that we aren’t going to stand for it.
Bring a goddamned machete
to the knife fight and slash away. What have we got to lose?
the left must go beyond electoral politics
This article is by
David Talbot on Salon. It starts as follows:
Chris Hedges is an
intellectual bomb-thrower. The kinds of insights he provides into the
troubled state of our democracy cannot be found anywhere else. Like
many of our most important thinkers, he has been relegated to the
margins because of ideas deemed too radical — or true — for public
In "Unspeakable," Hedges
speaks with Salon founder and New York Times bestselling author David
Talbot about the most pressing issues currently facing our nation. If
we are to combat the intellectual and moral decay that have come to
grip American life, we must listen to Chris Hedges and the urgent
message he brings in this book.
This is more or less
adequate. Here is more from the interview:
David Talbot: Let’s
talk about the Obama legacy. Do you share your friend Cornel West’s
view of him — that he was an Uncle Tom who sold out to Wall Street and
the other centers of American power?
Yes. The facts support Cornel’s statement.
do you back that up?
$7.7 trillion bank bailout and nothing for people who lost their homes
— I mean, how is that disputable? Obama did what he was paid to do. He
delivered credulous voters into the hands of Wall Street. [Ed. Note:
According to a Bloomberg Markets analysis, during Obama’s first year in
office, the Federal Reserve committed a staggering $7.77 trillion to
rescuing the financial system, or “more than half the value of
everything produced in the US that year.”] He’s worse than Bush. Bush
was witless. He was a tool of Cheney and the neocons. But Obama is very
intelligent and very cynical. And Obama has not only expanded these
wars, especially with drone strikes that include assassinating US
citizens, but his assault on civil liberties has been worse than under
Yes. I dislike Obama as
well and for the same and similar reasons. Besides, as far as Obama and
the Clintons are concerned, their main aims seem to have been to
multi-millionaires themselves, rather than help the poor or oppressed
in their country.
Here is more - and this
is about Bernie Sanders:
promised to impose much higher taxes on the wealthy and Wall Street
but if we don’t get control of the military spending we’re finished.
We’re being hollowed out from the inside like every other empire. We
have expanded beyond our capacity to sustain ourselves. Our
infrastructure, our public educational system, our social services —
everything is crumbling for a reason, we don’t have any money for it.
It is being consumed by the war machine. And Sanders didn’t touch the
military-industrial-complex. That would have been political suicide.
agree with you on that—by and large, the bloated war state was not part
of Bernie’s campaign rhetoric.
will be no socialism until we dismantle imperialism and dramatically
slash military spending power. Martin Luther King understood that.
I think this is mostly
correct as well. Here is the last bit that I quote from this article:
for Clinton and supporting the Democratic Party will not curb the rise
of American fascism. Trump did not create the phenomena. He responded
The Democrats, and in
particular Hillary and Bill Clinton, are responsible, along with the
rest of the Democratic elites, for our being sacrificed on the altar of
corporate profit. They engendered this rage. They told the same lies as
the Republicans. They fed the same white racism. They exploded our
prison population. They destroyed our welfare system — and 70 percent
of the original recipients were children. They enabled the corporate
coup. They unleashed the predators on Wall Street and in the fossil
fuel industry. They colluded to strip us of our civil liberties. They
backed endless war and fed the obscene profits of the arms industry and
swelled agencies such as Homeland Security. Obama and the Democrats
have authorized the assassination of US citizens. They signed into law
legislation that permits the military to act as a domestic police
force and detain US citizens indefinitely without due process. Obama
and the Democratic Party establishment, working with the Republicans,
turned us into the most watched, photographed and monitored population
in human history. And they are attempting to ram new trade agreements
down our throats.
It pays to sell out the
citizenry. The Clintons have made more than $153 million for paid
speeches alone since 2001. The Democratic Party is awash in corporate
cash. And the Obamas will soon, like the Clintons, be multimillionaires.
I think this is mostly
correct - and as I said above, as far as Obama and the Clintons
are concerned, their main aims seem to have been to become
multi-millionaires themselves, rather than help the poor or oppressed
in their country.
Class War by Another Name
This article is by
Frank Lee on The Off-Guardian. My illustration is a somewhat better
version of the illustration Lee starts with:
The text of this article starts as follows:
I recall an old
anarchist cartoon which was in the form of a pyramid. The top stratum
consisted of Kings and Queens, millionaires, billionaires, high-ranking
politicians, the military, ministers and statesmen and various other
high-falutin’ members of the ruling elite: the adjacent caption read – “We
rule you.” The next tier down, consisted of the Pope, cardinals,
archbishops, priests and other members of the clergy: the caption read
– “We fool you.” Beneath that there were soldiers and militia
and police: the caption read – “We shoot you.” And the
lowest, broader and most populous layer was – us, the ordinary folk,
the caption read: – “we support you”
In fact, the lowest layer
in the capitalist pyramid were the workers who were said to ¨feed all¨
and to ¨work for all¨. But this is a minor correction.
In modern times legitimation
of the ancien regime is a function of a sophisticated propaganda
apparatus which is both ubiquitous and omnipresent. This configuration
consists of academics, politicians, journalists, economists, think
tanks, and so forth, among what is a huge army of other specialists in
psychological warfare and thought control. My choice of economists may
seem arbitrary but in fact it is of crucial importance. Economics, or
political economy as it was called during the first half of the 19th
century, played a pivotal ideological role in the ongoing conflict
A major disagreement I have with Lee is that I do not believe
in classes in the way he seems to do, which amounts to these
assumptions: (1) there are - in the end - just two classes, say
the exploiters and the exploited; (2) everyone belongs to the one
or the other class; and (3) the behavior and choices of classes
can be deduced from the class they are.
It seems to me that the first and the second assumption are mostly
conventions, while the third assumption has been massively
refuted e.g. by WW I, when tens of millions of workers, who should
have opposed the war and prevented it, faught the war for nationalistic
reasons, that were at fundamental variance with what they should have
done based on their class position.
In brief, classes are too much of a simplification - and no: Not
everything depends on economics (however defined).
Here is some more:
Well... the ¨watered down
version of Keynesianism¨ was in considerable part produced by Keynes
himself, and it delivered welfare and freedom in Western Europe. And
the rest - including ¨changes in
the existing status quo and general weltgeist¨ - is just too vague.
Neo-liberalism, as opposed
to 19th century reform liberalism, has been the direct descendent of
the neo-classical school and subsequently the dominant ideological
vehicle for the last 150 years, particularly in the Anglo-American
world. (As an appendage, a watered-down version of Keynesianism was
added on during the post WW2 period 1945-1975).
Such changes in economic,
political and social structures always presuppose and are accompanied
by changes in the existing status quo and general weltgeist. The
post-war boom which lasted from circa 1945-1970 was to founder of the
rocks of the US trade deficit, the costs of the Vietnam war and
Johnson’s Great Society, the oil crisis which in fact was the function
of the dollar’s devaluation, the outflow of gold from the US to Europe,
the industrial catch-up and recovery of Japan and Germany and a
prolonged stagflation of the early 1970s.
Finally, here is a quote from Roger Bootle:
I more or less agree, but
academic economics will continue to exist.
Academic economics has
become a disaster and a disgrace … Not only did most academic
economists fail to see the great implosion of 2008 coming, but they
weren’t even looking in the right direction. And having been surprised
by its arrival they have little to say about its implications…
Although there are shining
exceptions, most academic economists, whilst clinging to the idea that
the subject is relevant and of interest to the wider world, in fact
practice a modern form of medieval scholasticism – of no use to man or
beast. The output of this activity consists of articles entombed in
‘scholarly’ journals usually about questions of startling irrelevance,
badly thought out, and appallingly badly written, littered with jargon,
and liberally dosed with mathematics, destined to be read by no-one
outside of a narrow coterie of specialists, and increasingly not even
end of 2015 that
xs4all.nl is systematically
ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds,
as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between
two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.
claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie.
They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.
just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my
ideas. They have behaved now for 2 years
as if they are the
eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I
from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).
two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been
there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any
other Dutch provider is any better (!!).