Thursday, March 31, 2022

Comes now a "Senior Political Scientist" at the motherfucking RAND Corporation.
I really think that it comes down to the fact that I hate utopians, liberal or "leftist", though I guess I use the scare quotes because I was raised in what I perceived to be the realist, anti-utopian left. Maybe my entire experience was anomalous.
The New Zoo Review
If much of the left is subdued, there seem to be two main reasons. The first stems from its relationship to the Democratic Party since 2016, which has effectively neutralized it as a caucus and activist base. Absent any movement on social reform legislation, progressives have gone along with the quest to link Trump to Putin, to the point that Russophobia increasingly defines the party as such. On this issue, most of the Squad hardly differ from the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. The second is moral sententiousness, underpinned by a powerfully selective memory. Months after the retreat from Afghanistan and theft of its reserves – and during the US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen – this country is not in a position to dispense moral lessons. As an upholder of the principle of national sovereignty, its credibility is nil. And the moral vacuity of its position matters, not because it absolves Russia of wrongdoing in a warm bath of reciprocal turpitude, but because it points to the urgent need to proceed on some other basis if the aim is to find a peaceful solution. Crowd-funding bombs to fuel fighting in Kyiv is not that. Nor are indiscriminate sanctions in pursuit of regime change in Moscow. At a minimum, the US left should summon what modest reserves of independence and strength it has to call on its own government to de-escalate, pursue direct and indirect talks, to trade guarantees of neutrality for a ceasefire and troop withdrawal. A refusal to contemplate any alteration to a post-Cold War order forged in hubris by the victors is not toughness. It is war mongering. 

Anne Applebaum, Atlantic, Nov 15, 2021 

The Bad Guys Are Winning: If the 20th century was the story of slow, uneven progress toward the victory of liberal democracy over other ideologies—communism, fascism, virulent nationalism—the 21st century is, so far, a story of the reverse.

Max Fisher,  NY Times, Nov 16

U.S. Allies Drive Much of World’s Democratic Decline, Data Shows: Washington-aligned countries backslid at nearly double the rate of non-allies, data shows, complicating long-held assumptions about American influence.

That one gave some people a laugh at the time. 

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