Thursday, June 29, 2023

NYT: Supreme Court Strikes Down Race-Based Admissions at Harvard and U.N.C.

In disavowing race as a factor in achieving educational diversity, the court all but ensured that the student population at the campuses of elite institutions will become whiter and more Asian and less Black and Latino.

Again and again

[I]n 1867 Congress passed a law providing relief for “freedmen or destitute colored people in the District of Columbia,” to be distributed under the auspices of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Of particular importance in the late 1860s was the Bureau’s operation of schools for blacks, to the point that black children in the South were often better educated than their white counterparts

The great critical race scholar Derrick Bell, for example, argued that African Americans can advance on issues of race only when whites also benefit. One way to secure this “interest convergence,” he observed, is to ally with lower-class whites "who, except for the disadvantages imposed on blacks because of color, are in the same economic and political boat."  

NYT today: 

College admissions experts anticipate there will be increased pressure on elite schools to end preferential treatment for children of alumni, who are more frequently white and affluent, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision.

And in his concurring opinion, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch criticized Harvard for resisting proposals to eliminate legacy admissions, saying the university’s “preferences for the children of donors alumni, and faculty are no help to applicants who cannot boast of their parents’ good fortune or trip to the alumni tent all their lives,” he wrote.

"The twitter experience." Has Fox News degraded "the Fox experience"?  Has CNN degraded "the CNN experience"? Is that be best way to describe it? 

"And that's an important story because tech platforms are perhaps the most important speech regulators in the world." 

Unwilling or unable to recognize  recognize the difference between Disney World as a place to visit or the place you live: a company town. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

AJ rts his co-author 

In 1927, Piero Sraffa left Italy for good out of fear of the fascists and became a lecturer in Cambridge. That same year, he was invited by Keynes to give a lecture on the corporative state.His concluding remarks are devastating  on liberal's fantasies about a return to normalcy.


The really important question to which the future will give an answer is whether fascism is an abnormal product of the post war psychosis: only suited to the local conditions of Italy or whether it represents a logical and unavoidable outcome of the conditions of modern industrial communities. 
The Italian democratic opposition has, at least in the first period of fascism, taken the former view: and it has been confidently expecting the downfall of fascism, which should have occurred so soon as people came back to their senses. Then, fascism would have passed without leaving any permanent trace, everything would have reverted to the liberal system, and the natural order of things would have been restored exactly where it stood in the good old days. 
But if experience proves that fascism, apart from its superficial and more picturesque aspects has been originated by more permanent and less futile causes, the case is profoundly different. If it really has represented the last line of resistance from which the present social order must fall bade in order to defend itself against the attacks of organized labour, if in fact it is the only method of consolidating the basis of capitalism when it has reached a stage in which it is no longer possible to preserve it without breaking the forms of political democracy—then the developments of fascism will have a much greater interest in so Far as they will perhaps represent an anticipation of the results to which capitalism may ultimately lead in other countries.

DL rts Alice Evans

Tremendous book on cultural change in 1950s/60s Italy!
By @niamhanncullen 

Evans blocked me on her Substack page for a comment I'd already deleted because I'd felt guilty about it. She wants to imagine the best.

Jäger and  Leusder,  aka minimaldamage, Cooper, Bruenig and Gilman: Individualism and community, the family, Europe and the US, Germany and Greece.

This album is such a tragedy for electronic dance music in that every single song on it set the bar so high in 1987 that no one’s surpassed it ever since

Neurodivergent disco is a guaranteed succes[sic]
"Joy Division" "New Order" and autism. Henry Farrell, fan of "My Bloody Valentine" and defender of Truth. The absolute lack of self-awareness. A culture of nostalgia, in an era of engineering and blank violence. 

"Atomization, isolation and the illusion of absolute community. The low buzz and hum—the violence and warmth—of neurological overload."
Seth Edenbaum 

"Behind the chiliasm of modern man, is the megalomania of self-infinitization."
Daniel Bell

I've given up submitting anything, anywhere.

The Court on Tuesday in Moore v. Harper emphatically rejected the independent state legislature theory. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court in a 6-3 decision, and held that state courts have the power to enforce state law, including with regard to elections. He invoked Marbury v. Madison, the 1803 decision that famously recognized the power of courts to review the constitutionality of executive and legislative actions. The Court declared: “We are asked to decide whether the Elections Clause carves out an exception to this basic principle. We hold that it does not. The Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.”

Win for judicial review. I wonder if Ryan Cooper was forced to work on the piece. 

Stop what you're doing and read the extraordinary amici curiae brief Akhil Amar, Vik Amar and Steve Calabresi have just filed in Moore v. Harper. That's the case involving a claim by North Carolina legislators that under the Constitution only the legislature of a state has the power to regulate federal elections--without any interference from state courts or any constraints from state constitutions. The brief from Akhil, Vik and Steve is an intellectual battering ram that demolishes the independent state legislature theory. It is also the punchiest brief filed in a very long time. In its substance and by its candor, the brief sets a new standard for friend of the court. The brief is available at this link.

Zuckerberg knows the history. There's nothing to be puzzled about.

Leusder again, quoting the New Yorker's music critic on Ernst Jünger
We like to think that novelists possess a special ethical strength, yet the morally compromised writer can project a strange kind of honesty—especially when his society is compromised to the same degree.

"We like to think..." No, we don't. 

Fintan O'Toole: Writers are the last people we should look to for moral clarity

For the uncomfortable truth about literature is that morally virtuous people are less likely than morally slippery people to be great writers. Having a clear set of values and sticking to it through trials and tribulations makes for a splendid human being, but seldom for a splendid novel.

My response at the time

No. The ability to face the complexities of the world begins with the acceptance of the possibility of failure. The way to understanding the frailties of others begins with an ability to recognize your own. Most people who consider themselves virtuous haven't been tested, or they're less virtuous than they imagine 

right-thinking, bien pensant, 

Leusder, Jäger et al. are fans of of all variety of fascist adjacent culture but moralize about those who cross a line, unless of course it's the one about which earnest Europeans hold their tongue.

Memories of Taruskin. Moralists' ideas of art. 

And again, both linking back to the same history:

Thug life is barbarism. It needs no written philosophy. It needs no defense. It's not opposed to art. As I've said more than once, maybe not here, if art were about morality, killers wouldn't know how to dance.
A comment that labeled me a "nihilist":

12 years ago on the subway, I watched a man playing the accordion. My first thought was that he knew how to handle a knife. His playing was hard, cold and precise, but it was turned in an instant from jagged to fluid, from points to curves, swooping and stabbing. The music described the violent moral universe that made him. He was trailed by a stoop-shouldered woman with a cup. The expression on her face was heartbreaking. 

Also from Jäger, Habermas replies:

Please allow me a final intellectual historical observation. Professor Parsons has claimed that Max Weber's teaching is a development towards bringing about the end of ideology. Weber is said to have broken the trilemma of historicism. utilitarianism and  Marxism, and to have led the way into the free field of discussion  beyond the European fronts of civil war. I envy our American  colleagues their political traditions which permit such a generous  and (in the best sense of the word) liberal interpretation of Max  Weber. We here in Germany, who are still seeking for alibis,  would only too gladly follow them. But Weber's political sociology  has had a different history here. At the time of the First World War  he outlined a sketch of Caesar-like leader-democracy on the  contemporary basis of a national-state imperialism. This militant  latter-day liberalism had consequences in the Weimar period  which we, and not Weber, must answer for. If we are to judge  Weber here and now, we cannot overlook the fact that Carl Schmitt! was a ‘legitimate pupil’ of Weber’s. Viewed in the light  of the history of influences, the decisionist element in Weber's  sociology did not break the spell of ideology, but strengthened it. 

No fucking shit. 

O'Toole again, on Pinter. All I do is repeats

He goes on to quote, as if from memory, lines fromThe Duchess of Malfi and The White Devil like "What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut/ With diamonds?"; "There's a plumber laying pipes in my guts"; "My soul, like to a ship in a black storm/Is driven I know not whither"; "I have caught/ An everlasting cold. I have lost my voice/Most irrecoverably." And, of course, "Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle; she died young." He adds, "That language made me dizzy." 

These assholes read Brecht as a radical, when he needs to be read as Jünger is, as I read Brecht even as a child.

Reinhard Heydrich on his deathbed reciting the lyrics of his father. 

The world is just a barrel-organ which the Lord God turns Himself.
We all have to dance to the tune which is already on the drum

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Riley at about 29:40
This is a quite striking graph this is from very conservative man Andrew Smithers from a journal, it's a very strange Journal, called American Affairs, which I would say it basically a kind of intellectual justification of Trumpism but because it is it it it sometimes attracts very heterodox and independent-minded thinkers, Smithers being one of them.  
"Investment, Productivity, and the Bonus Culture", by Andrew Smithers in American Affairs

Riley is a little annoying. The "intellectual left" have a problem. The mannerism of Verso. The elite pretending to represent the majority and wondering why the majority don't get off their asses; inventing various solutions; the end justifying the elite. 

Julius Krein, aka "Publius Decius Mus" at the Claremont Review, interviewed, anonymously and later under his own name in the New Yorker.  He changed his mind about Trump. Oops. 

Someone other than me needs to write something about the over-attention to design in the new kids magazines. Nostalgia is a form of utopianism, a fantasy of the past as opposed to the future.. 

Saturday, June 24, 2023


Last December, @juliaioffe  asked me what I thought Prigozhin would do. I said he'd try a coup within six months. (Julia even asked me if I was okay to commit to a timeline on the record). Anyhoo..

I spent most of last night on Twitter and Telegram. A friend tells me Prigozhin's language in this diatribes is untranslatable, rich. A great orator. J's parents lived through the Holodomor, Russian speakers in Kiev.


Kremlin spox Dmitry Peskov:
– charges dropped against Prigozhin, who will leave Russia for Belarus
– Wagner fighters who didn't take part in the uprising will sign contracts with the MOD
– Wagner fighters who did take part not charged
– No word on potential MOD leadership changes

Despite declaring Prigozhin a "traitor" and vowing to "liquidate" Wagner on Saturday morning, Peskov said Putin had asked Lukashenko to mediate in the hope of avoiding any further bloodshed because the Belarusian leader has known Prigozhin for 20 years.

Peskov described the uprising – in which Wagner shot down helicopters, captured a major command post, and marched most of the way to Moscow – as "fairly difficult" and "full of tragic events," but said "there were higher goals of escaping bloodshed and internal confrontation."

Putin will not make any further comment on the issue. The invasion of Ukraine will continue as normal.

No word from Peskov on whether Prigozhin managed to secure Shoigu's resignation – he said only Putin has that authority so Prigozhin and Lukashenko couldn't discuss it.

Closer and closer to a failed state. Even Gazprom has it's own militia. And the videos from Moscow last night were teenagers celebrating the end of high school. It's terrifying. 


There are three distinct groups in Russia: 1/25

1) radicals – a sizeable but extremely loud minority that actively supports war, is engaged, follows the news and in rare cases even goes to the frontlines (15-25%). This is the audience of the milbloggers, Telegram channels and vampires like Solovyov or Skabeeva 2/25

2) dissenters – a sizeable minority that categorically opposes the war. It is banned from Russian-based media and generally depressed (20-25%) 3/25

3) laymen – a passive majority that is completely depoliticized and doesn’t want to have anything in common with politics & war (50-65%) 4/25

"a passive majority that is completely depoliticized and doesn’t want to have anything in common with politics & war" 

Balthazar. related in more ways than one.

A thread by Mateev.
Fact: Wagner troops did have their own command structure and were ready to follow Prigozhin.

Fact: in multiple videos from Rostov-on-Don, people were cheering and greeting Prigozhin's troops.

Fact: the army reacted to Prigozhin's coup... by starting negotiations. Prigozhin was caught on camera talking rather arrogantly to Yunus-bek Yevkurov, deputy minister of defense (!!), along with a high-level MoD officer responsible for the interaction with PMCs.

Fact: some skirmishes between Prigozhinists and the army did happen. Several helicopters were downed. One helicopter crew died.

Fact: instead of court-martialing Prigozhin and the rest of the mutineers, Putin - through Lukashenko, of all people! - offered them amnesty and an escape route.
What to make of this?
The contours of the possible civil war are suddenly brought into sharp relief.
What do the Russian troops consist of at the moment?
1) Akhmat/Kadyrovites, 2) LDNR militias, 3) multiple PMCs other than Wagner (!), 4) local regiments created in each Russian region and financed locally, at least in part (!!)

Furthermore: FSB and other agencies apparently do not have military counterintelligence capable of preventing something like this.

In effect, a free-for-all across the country is totally possible.
Putin said many times that Russia's very existence hangs in the balance - apparently it's true, thanks to his own actions and the system he has built in the last 23 years.

Incredible result for the self-proclaimed "gosudarstennik" [state-minded person] - the state he built is brittle like a porcelain cup.
repeats, October 2022. Grozev and Ragozin, Prigozhin and Arestovych.
Looking forward to nuclear blackmail by the competing warlords of the failed Russian state.

Unlike most realists, Marx does not see art as precious because it reflects reality. On the contrary, it is most relevant to humanity when it is an end in itself. Art is a critique of instrumental reason. John Milton sold Paradise Lost to a publisher for five pounds, but he produced it ‘for the same reason that a silkworm produces silk. It was an activity wholly natural to him.’ In its free, harmonious expression of human powers, art is a prototype of what it is to live well. It is radical not so much because of what it says as because of what it is. It is an image of non-alienated labour in a world in which men and women fail to recognise themselves in what they create.

The aesthete, then, possesses more of the truth than the political left generally imagines. The point is not to substitute art for life, but to convert life into art. Living like a work of art means fully realising one’s capacities – this is Marx’s ethics. It is also the basis of his politics: socialism is whatever set of institutional arrangements would allow this to happen to the greatest extent. If artistic work is a scandal to the status quo, it is not because it champions the proletariat but because to live abundantly in this way isn’t possible under capitalism. Art prefigures a future in which human energies can exist simply for their own delight. Where art was, there shall humanity be.

Self-realisation, however, must be more than individual, which is the reason Marx adds a crucial rider to this humanist case. You must realise your powers reciprocally, through the equal self-expression of others. Or, as The Communist Manifesto puts it, the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. This is the way he converts an essentially aristocratic ethic into communism. Oscar Wilde would do much the same in his essay ‘The Soul of Man under Socialism’, in which layabouts like himself who don’t have to work anticipate a socialist order in which this will be true of everybody. In his belief that the political goal is to get rid of labour rather than make it creative, Wilde is closer to Marx than William Morris is, though Morris was a Marxist and Wilde was not.

There are difficulties with the self-realisation thesis, as there are with any form of ethics. It seems to assume that human powers are positive in themselves, and the only problem is that some of them are being blocked. But the urge to shoot down schoolchildren should be restrained whatever the harm to your creativity. The idea also implies that our various capabilities are in harmony with one another, which is far from true. Like postmodern culture, it errs in seeing diversity as inherently valuable. But why should a life rich in a variety of impulses be more worthwhile than one devoted to a single activity? Emma Raducanu may have led a fuller life if she had played less tennis, but people have good reason to envy her all the same. 


As cash transfers became increasingly popular as a fix to the American welfare state, UBI’s status diminished in the United States, while in Western Europe it gained adherents. The cause for this, the authors argue, was a growing European “left-wing anti-statism and a new post-work sensibility.” Across the continent, large swathes of the Left had come to accept the postindustrial fate of the West, brought about by the increase in free-trade-facilitated international competition, as an unchangeable fact of life. Fordism was apparently bleeding steam, and intellectuals on the order of André Gorz were saying adieu to the working class. The proliferation of European post-work organizations in the late 1970s and early 1980s — the Dutch Council Against the Work Ethic, TUNIX in Germany, as well as French and Italian groups — testified to the Left’s move away from a vision of revolution centered on the industrial working class. In the philosopher George Caffentzis’s words, the excitement surrounding the possibility of a basic income revealed “a failed politics” whose platform presumed that “behind everyone’s back, capitalism [had] ended.”

Of course, UBI’s appeal was premised not on capitalism’s end, but the supremacy of markets. Nowhere was this clearer than in UBI’s surprising discursive turn to the Global South. Jäger and Zamora’s decision to focus on the developing world is both unconventional and welcome. Far from ushering in a postindustrial, post-work, postcapitalist society, in India, Mexico, and Brazil UBI proved itself a useful method for intensifying market relations without actually investing in development. While Julius Nyerere had argued that poor nations could not escape poverty “without industrialization,” the UN, the IMF, and the World Bank pushed poorer nations to adopt transfer payments in lieu of heavy capital investment. In place of an industrial policy to create national independence, transfer payments became the go-to policy in a development scheme that would, ultimately, maintain and reinforce preexisting structures of market exchange. 

Eagleton goes up and down, and ends with an absurd note and a bad joke. He needs to see art as teleology: the avant-garde must be a high point rather than a product of immaturity and desperation, honest without being articulate.

For the second, the Brahmin left, Oxbridge bankers and Oxbridge philosophers, and the servants in the first class carriage.

Here, Bruges is a good example of the European garden. Yes, Europe is a garden. We have built a garden. Everything works. It is the best combination of political freedom, economic prosperity and social cohesion that the humankind has been able to build - the three things together. And here, Bruges is maybe a good representation of beautiful things, intellectual life, wellbeing. 

The rest of the world – and you know this very well, Federica – is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it, but they will not protect the garden by building walls. A nice small garden surrounded by high walls in order to prevent the jungle from coming in is not going to be a solution. Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the garden.  

The gardeners have to go to the jungle. Europeans have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world. Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us, by different ways and means.

[Josep Borrell apologises for controversial 'garden vs jungle' metaphor but defends speech.] 
The myth that Look Back in Anger marked an absolute breach with all that went before has been dispelled over the years. But Soden points out that Coward didn’t merely manage to carry on, he found himself in tune to a surprising degree with the Angry Young Men, the satire boom and the sexually liberated 1960s. He didn’t like postwar England any more than John Osborne did, and he quite liked Look Back in Anger. For his part, Osborne wanted to put on a production of Design for Living, which, like his own play, dramatises a love-hate triangle. Edward Albee got Coward’s work back into print in America and Coward enjoyed Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in which the amount of screaming and hurling of household objects is no greater than at the end of Private Lives. Soden also sees parallels with Orton: the dark sexual undertow and the delight in playing with the conventions of farce.

[Osborne] died just after his 65th birthday, on Christmas Eve 1994, and was buried in his Turnbull & Asser smoking jacket with his old copy of “Hamlet” stuffed in a pocket. (It had every part crossed out except Hamlet’s.) He died a club man, an Anglican, a country gentleman, a collector of teddy bears. Not the world he was born into, or that which his early work seemed to inveigh against, but a vanishing world that Osborne identified as England. Only those who had missed the nostalgia in “Look Back in Anger” saw him as a sellout. As Jimmy Porter says of the remnants of Edwardian England in 1956, “if you’ve no world of your own, it’s rather pleasant to regret the passing of someone else’s.”  


Far from ushering in a postindustrial, post-work, postcapitalist society, in India, Mexico, and Brazil UBI proved itself a useful method for intensifying market relations without actually investing in development.

The book seems less about welfare for markets than welfare for the rich, and restricting the market. The "sovereign consumer" is in the "global north". Like Rodrik's defense of military dictatorship, opposing the creation of a new bourgeoisie in Turkey.  It was left to Milanovic to describe the spread of capitalism to the world. 


The aesthete, then, possesses more of the truth than the political left generally imagines. The point is not to substitute art for life, but to convert life into art.

John Milton was not an "aesthete", and neither were most of the names Eagleton lists that Marx loved and quoted and riffed on. Eagleton's inability to consider the relation of posing to thinking, and his need simply to celebrate adults who never wanted to grow up, Tzara or Benjamin, and we can add Picasso, Duchamp, Wilde, Coward, Osborne, on down the list, all they way to Elvis and Warhol, is just stupid.

Turning life into art is fascism. The desire to turn life into art is born of desperation, and art made out desperation can be very good. Aesthetes are fans, who make art out of fandom, and the become fans of themselves. 

Before the passages quoted above

Marx is one of the sources of what we now call cultural studies: the single work of fiction to which he devoted most space was the bestselling sensationalist novel The Mysteries of Paris by Eugène Sue. He was also one of the first exponents of the historical study of literature. He championed what he called ‘the present splendid brotherhood of fiction writers in England’, among them Dickens, Thackeray, Gaskell and the Brontë sisters, claiming that they revealed more social and political truths than all the moralists and politicians put together; but like his collaborator and financial backer Friedrich Engels he was wary of literary works that had political designs on the reader. He used the term ‘literature’ to cover all writing of high quality, yet he scorned those who confused the kind of truth appropriate to poetry and fiction with other modes of knowledge. To demand a philosophical system from poets and novelists struck him as absurd. Truth for a writer was not abstract and invariable but unique and specific.

Art is a fine-tuned empiricism, "containing at once the object and the subject, the world external to the artist and the artist himself." Marx was a classicist with no interest in fantasy. He would have hated Benjamin, and all the crap that followed.

on Jäger and Zamora, previously

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Tooze at Substack "recommends" Jeremy Ney's American Inequality: Harvard, MIT and "privacy @google". And "Brooklyn" of course

Privacy at google is an oxymoron, and so is equality. 

But Pageboy doesn’t read defiant, strong or joyful. It reads sad: the story of a vulnerable girl thrown into the entertainment business at the age of 10; unprotected by her family; struggling with food; closeted, and reminded by the casual homophobia of Hollywood to stay that way; and subjected to sexual assault and harassment by people who should have been trusted colleagues.

In the memoir, Page says: “At certain points I’ve referred to myself using my previous name and pronouns. This is a choice that felt right to me, occasionally, when talking about my past self, but it’s not an invitation for anyone to do the same.” But talking about Page’s past as though it happened to a boy is nonsensical: Ellen’s experiences are tied to her femaleness, and more than that, her lesbianism.

Not that Page refers to his pre-transition sexuality as “lesbian”: “queer” is preferred, and when the word “lesbian” comes up, it’s marked as something held in contempt, by others if not by Page. At one point, Page calls lesbianism a “repugnant” feature that directors cannot allow on-screen.

Any resistance to compulsory femininity — high heels, tight dresses — is cast by the industry as Page being “difficult”. Roles for women are so sexualised that at one point Page describes Juno as representing “a space beyond the boundary”. This is, remember, a film in which Page’s character is pregnant: you could hardly get a more female role. But because Juno is not “hyperfeminised” — because Page wears tees and jeans for the part — the pressure of gender is lifted, somewhat. 

But 2007 was also the year that trans writer Julia Serano published Whipping Girl, which is probably the most influential text in terms of solidifying gender identity theory. In it, Serano argued that “feminine verbal and aesthetic expression” are “driven by intrinsic and deep-seated inclinations that are likely to be the result of biology”. In other words, regardless of your actual sex, if you don’t act or dress “girly”, you might not be a girl at all. 

As this idea gained intellectual purchase, femininity standards in popular culture were growing ever more exacting. This pressure was even dramatised in Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody’s follow-up movie, Jennifer’s Body, which starred ultimate hottie Megan Fox as a cheerleader succubus, and Amanda Seyfried as her hoodie-wearing, jealousy-gnarled best friend. The space for the kind of girl-character Page played — girls who were not limited to being objects of desire — was shrinking.

But Hollywood was only amplifying messages Page had heard from her family. Page’s mother informs her daughter that she can “do anything a boy can do”, but from Page’s perspective, this is never sincere. There is continual maternal pressure for Page to be more girly, as well as an absolute rejection of the possibility of homosexuality. One of the few vignettes in which Page recalls his mother being happy is when Page requests a shopping trip to buy “girl clothes” as a teenager. (Page enjoys the way the new wardrobe alters her social standing, but not the way the clothes make her feel about herself.) When Page initially comes out as gay, her mother’s reaction is to yell: “That doesn’t exist!” 

Becoming a “transgender guy” doesn’t spare Page from judgement and disgust. (Page still seems wounded by a Jordan Peterson tweet that referred to the surgeon who performed Page’s mastectomy as a “criminal”.) But it does resolve the problem of being a lesbian: Page’s mother, at least, seems better able to accept a trans child than a gay one. “She loves her son endlessly,” writes Page. Transition also makes Page’s body safer — a body that has been repeatedly violated and threatened. Page mentions an “acquaintance” who told her, after she came out for the first time, “I’m going to fuck you to make you realise you aren’t gay.” There’s also a male director who “grooms” her, a male crew member on an early film who forces oral sex on her, and a female crew member on another film who sexually assaults her while presenting it to Page as a consensual relationship. Over and over, Page is informed with violence that her body is not hers.

Again, Hollywood reinforces what began in Page’s childhood. Her adversarial relationship with her body can be seen in her reaction to her stepmother’s cooking. Page hears an “internal voice” saying “no, that can’t go inside you” when she’s confronted with food that scares her: a terror of adulteration, of losing control. Puberty inevitably heightens this. Page describes the age of 11 as “the age I sensed a shift from boy to girl without my consent”. This is, I think, a common sensation for girls: puberty ends an era of uncomplicated, happy embodiment, and launches you into a world where your body appears to invite dangerous attention against your will. Not a shift from boy to girl, but a shift from “person” to “thing”. As Hilary Mantel wrote, some girls want out. They starve themselves, or punish their bodies, and now they have the option to disown their sex entirely. 

"It’s time for some game theory"
In order to maintain free speech, liberalism proposes a norm of reciprocity: it’s in everyone’s interest to defend free speech for their enemies so that their enemies will defend free speech for them.

"Carl Beijer" doesn't know the history of what he's attacking any more than of what he's defending. He thinks politics is about talking to your friends, not about convincing strangers that they should agree with you. He defends the dictatorship of the pure like a moralizing high school student from the American suburbs.  

"Public reason" has become "private reason"  
again, and again
John Quiggin, 2008: "Sunstein argues that the echo chamber effect tends to reinforce existing views and produce a poisonous partisan divide. It seems to me that exactly the opposite is true. "


I always thought Sunstein's point was obvious, especially for any culture founded on individualist liberalism. It's that culture that's given us Facebook and surveillance capitalism and personalized marketing, the virtual store where the displays are changed and items moved to the front to fit your last purchases. Newsfeeds work the same way, reinforcing biases, from narrowcasting to microcasting to the narcissism where the world is reduced to a mirror.

Twitter changed its algorithm years ago, forcing you to choose between replying to a tweet and quoting it, limiting the exposure of either your followers or those of the person you're replying to. Up to that point a reply appeared on both timelines.

Ryan Cooper 

Have you ever argued with a conservative? They won't learn anything no matter what I say or where I say it. Whatever I say is wrong by definition. 

Amia Srinivasan gives the game away
A graduate student once complained to me and my co-convenor that we had not put a content warning on Catharine MacKinnon’s ‘Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State’, even though we had at the start of the course issued a blanket policy that permitted students to skip any class meeting, without explanation – which we had done in recognition that the reading for the seminar was emotionally demanding. Another student, an undergraduate, told me she didn’t want to read MacKinnon’s work because she had heard (from her brother) that MacKinnon was a ‘TERF’ (she is not). A student asked me why I thought it was worthwhile to discuss in a lecture what sort of metaphysics of gender was required to vindicate the identities of trans women as women and trans men as men, given that he (a trans man) already knew that he was a man.

"a blanket policy that permitted students to skip any class meeting, without explanation – which we had done in recognition that the reading for the seminar was emotionally demanding", like a medical student exempted from class because she can't stand the sight of blood.

"...given that he (a trans man) already knew that he was a man", just like Beijer and Cooper and the rest know that they're a leftists. And no one and nothing should ever be allowed to challenge that. 

Srinivasan has a tag.

When it rains in pours. Fraser McDonald, in the same issue of the LRB 

It’s​ not uncommon for a student to come to my office to tell me they’re not happy with their exam mark. ‘Perhaps you just made a mistake?’ one suggested to me last year. 

"Get the fuck out of my office."

The academy is conservative and authoritarian. That's its strength and weakness. It should be hard to get a governmentally recognized license, and it should be easy to say it's not worth it. These idiots dumb down everything. 

At the University of Edinburgh, where I teach, changes pushed through the Senate will allow students to get degrees ‘on aggregate’ (based on work marked to date) but with a greater number of missing course credits than would previously have been permitted. The same is true across the sector. It’s not unusual for students to graduate with missing coursework – the affordance is called ‘special circumstances’. But universities have now turned this occasional act of compassion into a handy workaround to benefit employers. ‘Special circumstances’ are being redefined, it seems, to apply to the university’s crisis rather than the student’s.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active."

Leaders and followers. Hustlers and customers. Who do you blame, the con man or the rube?

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The British boy on the left writes an article about the German man on the right, and it comes out about as you would expect.

Monday, June 19, 2023

A shift of class power to whom?
Finally, if it is abstract and ahistorical to ignore this wider agenda behind the IRA that makes it more than merely the continuation of derisking in another guise, it is abstract and ahistorical also to ignore the remarkable fusion within the Biden administration between economic policy and the national security state. As Grey Anderson points out in a brilliant contribution in Sidecar, it is a sign of the times that the programmatic statement on economic policy of the Biden administration should be made by the National Security Advisor. Meanwhile, the Treasury Secretary gives speeches on economic relations with China, framed by the question of whether the two countries can avoid war. And the connection runs all the way down the hierarchy. Last week Jigar Shah, of the Department of Energy, tweeted out an image of Rosie the Riveter framed by wind turbines, with an appeal for Americans of today to emulate the greatest generation, who in a matter of a few short years turned American from a military non-valeur into the greatest superpower the world has ever seen.
Shah was tweeting the cover article in The New Republic by Bill McKibben, from September 2016 
"A World at War: We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII."
Rosie is drawn like a character out of PRC propaganda, and her face is Asian. It's hard to say if the illustrator was editorializing, or if he's just more familiar with Asian graphics. And Tooze doesn't mention or link to McKibben's piece. 

Streeck's reply to Tooze in the LRB
Adam Tooze’s outpouring is material for a future anatomy of the class rhetoric of faux cosmopolitanism as it flourishes among a soul-searching urban-academic middle class in the post-Brexit moment (LRB, 5 January). Those of us who do not meet the demanding standards of universalist utopianism can find solace in the fact that when it comes to earthly matters, even the inhabitants of the moral high ground have in the past shown a sense of healthy pragmatism, for example by abstaining from calling for Britain to join the European Monetary Union or the Dublin or Schengen agreements, making one suspect that they, too, distinguish between different institutional constructions of Europeanism or globalism, and between different national needs and interests in relation to them.

My comment on Tooze's post

"we have to imagine a shift in the balance of class power". Yes, a massive increase in the power of technocratic leadership. That has nothing to do with democracy, which is why China leads the green transition.

The EU was designed by an elite playing lip service to democracy while feeding itself, liberals believing their own lies while the poor and the periphery suffer. The leaders of the PRC have no interest in democracy but they like stability, and they worry about the people they rule. Honest realism carries a moral weight; idealism and hypocrisy not so much. 

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Tim Sahay replies: "Oh no, we derisked the private production of a public good 😛"

Watching Gabor and Brusseler nodding and smiling at each other. The men are annoying. I assumed Brusseler was a Euro but she's not, and even her American girl upspeak becomes charming; downplaying her own intelligence, but it's there. The women understand each other, and they take bigger steps. The men have no imagination, or they don't want one. Amaranth is an ex-vp of a hedge fund, so of course he'd prefer carrots to sticks. Only masochists want to be beaten. But one way or another we end up with Welfare for Markets

The transcript is here

More comedy
Reuters, 4/29, Mercedes-Benz CEO: "Cutting ties with China is 'unthinkable'"

Branko talks about "capitalism alone", but this is what it means.

Jäger and his ilk have no understanding of democracy. 

"Interesting, but the idea that the US and the UK were somehow more ‘pluralist’ than Wilhelmine Germany before 1914 is pure projected memory born of Cold War soft power politics - just read Du Bois about Berlin vs. New York c. 1895...

They were very different capitalisms, sure, and parts of the old German elite were less taken with liberalism and laissez-faire, but the US got Germany’s full franchise in … 1965"

a reply: "Wilhelmine Germany was basically authoritarian and the UK, US and France were basically democratic. Big difference, no?"

Jäger responds:
"The UK was… democratic before 1914? Germany had a more inclusive suffrage!"

And again, to the same tweet:
"They were more ‘parliamentarian’, yes. But that’s anything but more democratic! The idea of 1914 as a contest of democracies vs. autocracies is one of the wildest ways in which the Anglos have gaslit our sense of history"
Leusder joins in
"It's held that GER was *uniquely* authoritarian, militantly nationalist, chauvinistic, antisemitic. One glance at France, Austria shows this to false. E.g.: Dreyfus Affair would not have happened in GER, and it was there you find the most active women's- and labour movements etc."
The comment aboutDreyfus is a bit much.

As always, Back to Krieger 
This book is not designed to cover a section of history. It is designed rather, to provide answers to a definite set of historical questions arising out of the "German problem." The questions are these: Did the Germans‘ failure to achieve, under their own power, a liberal democracy in the western sense mean simply the triumph of conservatism over generic liberalism in Germany or was a peculiar German attitude toward liberty involved in its defeat? If there was such an attitude, what were its ingredients? And finally, given the ingredients at a special German approach to the problems of political freedom, how did that strange historical development work which kept changing the conditions while leaving the ingredients themselves constant? 
The first of these questions, on which the others hinge, is easily decided. Without minimizing in the slightest the conservative weight of German authoritarian institutions or the bitterness of the liberal opposition to them during the 19th century, an historical view into any period of modern German history must still acknowledge that the external posture of German liberalism has ever been qualified by its distinctive internal structure. The juxtaposition—indeed, even the connection—of one conception of liberty that could be realized only within the authoritarian state and of another that could be realized only in an absolute realm beyond all states is a commonly remarked German phenomenon. It has been traced back to Luther and up to Hitler. My problem is to show what the connection between these two apparently antithetical conceptions has been and how it has grown. 
Jäger retweeted another reply:

"The imperial German model of "planned capitalism" does have a lot of similarities with say modern China, this model would have probably become the default if Germany had won - rather than the kind of deference to the bourgeois and markets which is popular in anglophone society"

And there we go. The future of freedom is Millian, existing only in the context of *benign* authority.

And supporters of that authority will decide when it applies and when it doesn't. Leusder supports Ben Judah and his celebration of a new Europe, while both support a state founded in conquest and separatism. Palestinian citizens of Israel will never have full equality in a Jewish state. That's the point.

I'll always go back and forth between the principled defense of democratic freedom and an ironic appreciation of hard realism, and I'll always hate passivity. It's the difference between Borges and the gauchos. I'm not interested in the philosophy of the CCP

Friday, June 16, 2023

Meduza, The changing face of dead Russian soldiers
Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, journalists at the BBC and Mediazona, working with a team of volunteers, have used open-source data to track the number of Russian soldiers killed in the war. By mid-June 2023, they had counted the names of more than 25,000 Russian combatants known to have died in Ukraine. (For reference, Russia’s Defense Ministry last claimed, nine months ago in September 2022, that only 5,937 Russian soldiers have died, whereas the Ukrainian military claims to have killed more than 200,000 invading troops. Western analysts put Russia’s losses in the tens of thousands.)

This research by the BBC, Mediazona, and their volunteer team paints an evolving picture of the “typical Russian soldier” likeliest to lose his life in combat. In a new report, released in both Russian and English, journalists reached the following conclusions.
  • In the first three months of the full-scale invasion, the “typical Russian combatant killed in action” was a 21-year-old contract soldier.
  • By the spring and summer of 2023, that “typical Russian soldier” is now a 34-year-old former prison inmate of unknown rank.
Up in the Berkshires, CNBC says that Putin says he's willing to negotiate directly with the US.
CNBC rejects the offer. 

The first sentence reports what I saw on the TV, the second is a good enough description of the response.

May 17, Russia Matters, Belfer Center: Why Putin Will Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine

last paragraphs

None of this is to say that we in the West should pressure Ukraine to forgo its goal to liberate all seized territory. But it does mean that we should anticipate a nuclear weapon will be used and develop our possible responses accordingly.

Normalizing Nuclear Weapons

As soon as Russia uses a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the “fallout” will begin and spread. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians will be dead, suffering or dealing with the effects of the nuclear explosion. Hundreds of millions of Europeans will be bracing for war. But 7 billion others around the globe will go about their business, alarmed to be sure, but physically unaffected by a nuclear explosion in Ukraine. This last outcome of a Russian tactical nuclear strike may ultimately be the most dangerous to the international order. The image that many people have of nuclear arms as civilization-ending weapons will be erased. In its place, people will see these weapons as normal and, although tragic, acceptable in war. Just a “bigger bullet.” It is in this dramatically changed context that the United States will have to decide how to respond.

Retired Brigadier General Kevin Ryan is a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He served as U.S. defense attaché to Moscow and deputy director for strategy, plans and policy on the Army Staff. 

Hersh, Partners in Doomsday

I was planning to write this week about the expanding war in Ukraine and the danger it poses for the Biden Administration. I had a lot to say. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has resigned, and her last day in office is June 30. Her departure has triggered near panic inside the State Department about the person many there fear will be chosen to replace her: Victoria Nuland. Nuland’s hawkishness on Russia and antipathy for Vladimir Putin fits perfectly with the views of President Biden. Nuland is now the undersecretary for political affairs and has been described as “running amok,” in the words of a person with direct knowledge of the situation, among the various bureaus of the State Department while Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on the road. If Sherman has a view about her potential successor, and she must, she’s unlikely ever to share it. 

Nuland, and again

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

See also Daniela Gabor's definition of neoliberalism.  Neoliberalism sucks because it opposes the state! Neoliberalism's bad-bad-bad because it's statist! 

How did libertarianism become fascism? How did the Grateful Dead spawn Peter Thiel? 

Why is Farrell's favorite band named "My Bloody Valentine"??
Atomization, isolation and the illusion of absolute community. The low buzz and hum—the violence and warmth—of neurological overload
This has turned into a run of three posts, connected and rambling. The second post is the last link below.

Farrell, June 1st

Quinn Slobodian’s new book, Crack-Up Capitalism is an original and striking analysis of a weird apparent disjuncture. Libertarians and classical liberals famously claim to be opposed to state power. So why do some of them resort to it so readily?
Farrell, June 8th 
Cognitive dissonance. Years of libertarianism sympathy and always a Weberian.
The Intercept article is still up. It shouldn’t be. It isn’t just that the article is demonstrably and terribly wrong. It is that it is demonstrably causing genuine and continued harm and distress to people whose lives have been turned upside down. I’ve seen Twitter fights where Fang in particular tried to defend the piece (mostly through tu quoque rather than actually engaging with criticisms). I haven’t seen any sign that the editors of the Intercept have addressed the pushback to the piece (perhaps I’ve missed it). If I were to guess, I’d suspect that people at the Intercept know that the piece stinks, but feel that it’s awkward to confront it. The Intercept has been a notoriously fractious organization, with people leaving in angry huffs, being forced to leave, newsroom leaks and the like. I can understand why they don’t want more drama. But that doesn’t make it right. It’s an article whose fundamental flaws have caused specific hurt and had wide repercussions for American media and politics. Fixing fuck-ups like this is Journalism Ethics 101.
And there’s a deeper story here about something that has gone badly wrong with one part of the American left, which I used to be reasonably friendly with, and have found increasingly weird and alienating over the last few years (some things I used to think, I don’t think any more; some people I respected, I’ve given up on). One of the key consequences of the Intercept article has been to undermine efforts to understand, let alone push back against, democratic disinformation. I suspect that is an intended consequence. The article’s authors make it clear that they don’t think that government should have any role in making the information environment better. 

Commenter TM: "I have one question: what is 'democratic disinformation'?"

But really what it means to not discriminate on the basis of viewpoint, while this is somewhat debated on the details, but if you are leaving up anti teen anorexia videos then you have to also leave up the pro teen anorexia videos.... If you're leaving up the claims that the Holocaust is real you also leave up the claims that the Holocaust is not real, so there's just this very grim array of consequences from that rule requiring viewpoint neutrality.

"The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms."

The Atlantic: "Social-media companies deny quietly suppressing content, but many users still believe it happens. The result is a lack of trust in the internet."

Zuckerberg on policy: "This process for adjusting this curve is similar to what I described above for proactively identifying harmful content, but is now focused on identifying borderline content instead. We train AI systems to detect borderline content so we can distribute that content less."  

The law banning US government propaganda within the US was repealed in 2013. 

Twitter said 100 accounts with Russian ties were removed for amplifying narratives that undermined faith in NATO and targeted the United States and the European Union.

(Vincent Bevins replies: "I'm sorry but,What?")

In my experience, everyone supports the right to freedom of speech, as long as it’s their own speech or the speech of people they agree with. But most speech falls outside that category. Most people would ask: why support the right of people to say things you hate, or fear or that you regard as dangerous?...

In 1968, when the racist George Wallace, a Democratic governor of Alabama, was running as a third-party candidate for president of the United States, I defended his right to speak at a stadium owned by New York City, after the then mayor had banned him from using that platform. There was, at that time, no one whose speech I despised more than Wallace’s. I considered him, and his candidacy, a credible danger to the fundamental rights I was spending my life trying to protect. Nor was that a unique case. Many speakers whose right to speak I defended during my 34 years at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) expressed views I disagreed with, some of which I thought were bigoted and dangerous.

For me, the answer is strategic. I can never be certain who will have political power. I can never be certain that the only people who get elected will agree with me. I know – because it has happened many times – that people will gain political power who will, if they can, act to punish me or people I agree with, because of our views. So what I need is an insurance policy. I want insurance against the probability that people in power will suppress or punish me for my views. 

 And the obvious, linked in the above but first here.

Most arguments against mass surveillance don't respond fully substantively to claims that you shouldn't worry if you "have nothing to hide".  Defense of personal freedom isn't enough.  What's needed is an argument in defense of the need for citizens in a democratic state to be able to be all kinds of wrong, all kinds of confused, creepy, conflicted, desirous, weepy or hate-filled, so that they may be able to learn to understand and outgrow their childishness. The choice is between a community of adults with a minority of the inveterately childish and criminal or a community of children ruled by moralists and crime lords. 

Slobodian recently and earlier. Variations on authoritarianism and fascist kitsch. 

But if I'm disgusted by these assholes I should repeat what I wrote in the previous post about Trudeau.

Trudeau made no pretense to philosophy; he did what he thought was necessary, arguing from the specifics in a crisis, not generalizations from the library. Theory simplifies the messiness and slop of politics, and more than anything it's used as an excuse, as if it could grant permission: "I was only following orders." Trudeau's quote is famous because it was so blunt it still makes people laugh. He takes full credit, or blame, and shrugs. Schmitt was a fascist, defending violence as a general truth about the world, and taking responsibility for nothing. He was a weakling defending weakness. The passivity is the root of the sleaze. Passivity reinforces itself, and political passivity is a biggest threat to democracy. MacIntyre is a putz.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

A Disquieting Suggestion

Imagine that the natural sciences were to suffer the effects of a catastrophe. A series of environmental disasters are blamed by the general public on the scientists. Widespread riots occur, laboratories are burnt down, physicists are lynched, books and instruments are destroyed. Finally a Know-Nothing political movement takes power and successfully abolishes science teaching in schools and universities, imprisoning and executing the remaining scientists. Later still there is a reaction against this destructive move- ment and enlightened people seek to revive science, although they have largely forgotten what it was. But all that they possess are fragments: a knowledge of experiments detached from any knowledge of the theoretical context which gave them significance; pans of theories unrelated either to the other bits and pieces of theory which they possess or to experiment; instruments whose use has been forgotten; half-chapters from books, single pages from articles, not always fully legible because torn and charred. Nonetheless all these fragments are reembodied in a set of practices which go under the revived names of physics, chemistry and biology. Adults argue with each other about the respective merits of relativity theory, evolutionary theory and phlogiston theory, although they possess only a very panial knowledge of each. Children learn by hean the surviving portions of the periodic table and recite as incantations some of the theorems of Euclid. Nobody, or almost nobody, realizes that what they are doing is not natural science in any proper sense at all. For everything that they do and say conforms to cenain canons of consistency and coherence and those contexts which would be needed to make sense of what they are do- ing have been lost, perhaps irretrievably.

In such a culture men would use expressions such as 'neutrino', 'mass', 'specific gravity', 'atomic weight' in systematic and often interrelated ways which would resemble in lesser or greater degrees the ways in which such expressions had been used in earlier times before scientific knowledge had been so largely lost. But many of the beliefs presupposed by the use of these expressions would have been lost and there would appear to be an element of arbitrariness and even of choice in their application which would appear very surprising to us. What would appear to be rival and competing premises for which no funher argument could be given would abound. Subjectivist theories of science would appear and would be criticized by those who held that the notion of truth embodied in what they took to be science was incompatible with subjectivism.

The universe didn't begin with the word; science didn't begin with the the definition of scientific method; no one will ever ban the chemistry of plaster and concrete, the metallurgy of steel, or the mathematics of the arch. Science, like politics, begins in experience and the mud. The "disquieting suggestion" is the portentous language of a moralizing pedant; it's intellectually backwards and it's stupid, the equivalent to claims for the "science" of economics based on the existence of a God.

I'm back in the Berkshires watching MSNBC proclaim the victory of democracy, the Democratic Party, and the United States, over barbarism, Donald Trump, and Russia.

And a last update to the previous post. Politics is for adults.

Trudeau made no pretense to philosophy; he did what he thought was necessary, arguing from the specifics in a crisis, not generalizations from the library. Theory simplifies the messiness and slop of politics, and more than anything it's used as an excuse, as if it could grant permission: "I was only following orders." Trudeau's quote is famous because it was so blunt it still makes people laugh. He takes full credit, or blame, and shrugs. Schmitt was a fascist, defending violence as a general truth about the world, and taking responsibility for nothing. He was a weakling defending weakness. The passivity is the root of the sleaze. Passivity reinforces itself, and political passivity is a biggest threat to democracy. MacIntyre is a putz.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Neoliberalism is telocratic now. But it always was, depending who was talking and when.
This is all so fucking stupid. Gabor's comments go with Farrell's so I could just as well add them to the later post
Libertarians and classical liberals famously claim to be opposed to state power. So why do some of them resort to it so readily?
pic if twitter dies.

And again. The best response to all of this is in the relation of Arendt and Trudeau.
more on MacIntyre here

Updated again, and again, because I need to dot every fucking i.

"So you want to be a career soldier? Good for you. But remember that the longer you stay in uniform, the less you will really understand about the country you protect." 
A Marine colonel explains democracy to philosophers, who by the nature of their calling refuse to accept what it is.
The full quote is below.
I forget how much I repeat myself. But that's all argument is at this point.

großiga m'pfa habla horem
egiga goramen
higo bloiko russula huju
hollaka hollala
anlogo bung
blago bung blago bung
bosso fataka
ü üü ü
schampa wulla wussa olobo
hej tatta gorem
eschige zunbada
wulubu ssubudu uluwu ssubudu
kusa gauma 


These arguments have only to be stated to be recognized as being widely influential in our society. They have of course their articulate expert spokesmen: Herman Kahn and the Pope, Che Guevara and Milton Friedman are among the authors who have produced variant versions of them. But it is their appearance in newspaper editorials and high-school debates, on radio talk shows and letters to congressmen, in bars, barracks and board-rooms, it is their typicality that makes them important examples here. What salient characteristics do these debates and disagreements share?

A few pages of MacIntyre and it's like reading a very serious 22-year-old going back over his past as a very serious teenager. 

One of those books that make you go "fuck me, I need to reassess everything". Essential.

And it gets worse.

Dunno if anyone's coined this, but the condition of late modernity is "Teloslos" - purposelessness

Rakesh Bhandari replies

Tied back to neoliberalism which can be understood as a critique of the telocratic state. From Raymond Plant, The Neo-liberal State, chap 1: "To use the terminology of Oakeshott, endorsed by Hayek, the state should be seen as nomocratic and not telocratic."


More reason to despise neoliberalism


The idea that the state should just be nomocratic and not telocratic seems absurd in the face of climate change: we have a common goal of a renewable revolution, and the state has a role to play. Neoliberalism obstacle to life. 

Definitions: Nomacracy the is rule of means; telocracy is the rule of ends. 

Absolutely no sense of history. I used to think Bhandari was better.

...What’s more, the graduates were no longer content to let the machinery of business determine the course of their lives. One man told Baltzell that before the program he had been “like a straw floating with the current down the stream” and added: “The stream was the Bell Telephone Company. I don’t think I will ever be that straw again.” 

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix."

If we review Bentham’s contemporaries in search of a figure who might be seen as exemplifying the antithesis of the Benthamic view of life, many names might suggest themselves and might, in one context or another, be appropriate. Rousseau, Burke, Kant himself, Hegel – each of these would have a claim, though each might prove, on closer inspection, to have something at least in common with Bentham. There is, however, a figure – a man who was born less than ten years after Bentham and died less than five years before him – who may provide the requisite antithesis. William Blake, I suggest, both embodies that antithesis and proclaims the imperfection of Bentham’s understanding of happiness. 

Keynesianism was an ideology of mobilization, an intellectual project for winning the war. And there were Keynesians everywhere. German economists, aligned with the Nazi regime, made the same discoveries at the same time. They conducted extensive debates in 1943 and 1944 as to whether there was any upper limit to the debt that might constrain the final mobilization for Hitler’s Endsieg. It was dangerous to be a fiscal conservative in Hitler’s Germany, especially as the end approached. 

MacIntyre is a Thomist
Though unfamiliar to most scientists and the general public, the term expresses a cultural problem that caught my eye. It occurs in an article written by the late Protestant moral theologian Paul Ramsey in 1976 as part of a debate with a Jesuit theologian, Richard McCormick. McCormick argued that it ought to be morally acceptable to use children for nontherapeutic research, that is, for research with no direct benefit to the children themselves and in the absence of any informed consent. Referring to claims about the “necessity” of such research, Ramsey accused McCormick of falling prey to the “research imperative”, the view that the importance of research could overcome moral values.

That was the last time I heard of the phrase for many years, but it informs important arguments about research that have surfaces with increasing force of late. It captures, for instance, the essence of what Joshua Lederberg, a Nobel laureate for his work on genetics and president emeritus of Rockefeller University once remarked to me: “The blood of those who will die if biomedical research is not pursued will be upon the hands of those who don’t do it."

"It’s War Communism in the war on disease. It’s Stalinism for the betterment of the race, and isn't that what Stalinism always was?" 

Trolley Problems and the doctrine of double effect. This time I'll quote the manuscript

The doctrine of double effect originates with Aquinas. We’re back to the authoritarianism of the Church and the research imperative. Utilitarianism doesn’t need to nit-pick about intention; it’s simple enough to say “I chose to kill 3 people to save 10”. But the focus on intention, the inner workings of the killer’s mind, denies full moral existence to those who’ve been killed, and I know of no study asking people to imagine themselves as the fat man and asking if they’re able to intuit a moral difference between being pushed by a man’s hand or by a turnstile with someone’s finger on the switch.

Utilitarianism is the logic of the military. 

So you want to be a career soldier? Good for you. But remember that the longer you stay in uniform, the less you will really understand about the country you protect. Democracy is the antithesis of the military life; it’s chaotic, dishonest, disorganized, and at the same time glorious, exhilarating and free — which you are not.

After a while, if you stay in, you’ll be tempted to say, “Look, you civilians, we’ve got a better way. We’re better organized. We’re patriotic, and we know what it is to sacrifice. Be like us.” And you’ll be dead wrong, son. If you’re a career soldier, you may defend democracy, but you won’t understand it or be part of it. What’s more, you’ll always be a stranger to your own society. That’s the sacrifice you’ll be making.

Democracy is absolutist about form and relativist about truth.

I began to find myself in a dangerous situation as an advocate. I came to believe in the truth of what I was saying. 

And “wealth” itself is an irrational concept. It is an almost mystical process, the setting of ethical values: Arising from the irrational, transforming the irrational to the rational, yet nonetheless it is the irrational that radiates from within the resulting form.

Life is pointless. If the relentless drive for growth and progress—forward motion for its own sake, a mass delusion, a telos in the void—means now that the only option is a mobilized military-Keynesianism, it's a pity. It really is. But that's why the Chinese Communist Party will save the world.

I used Ball and I should have used Schwitters, a better artist, and a comedian, mocking the imperial telocracies of Europe in 1916, and 2023.  I could have used Talking Heads, but I'll use Motörhead.

And now the liberal-woke-capitalist-powers-that-be have restricted the viewing of footage of the battles of Verdun and the Somme, to protects us. And even joking about it sounds like overkill.

16 years old when I went to the war,
To fight for a land fit for heroes,
God on my side, and a gun in my hand,
Chasing my days down to zero,
And I marched and I fought and I bled
And I died & I never did get any older,
But I knew at the time, That a year in the line,
Was a long enough life for a soldier,
We all volunteered,
And we wrote down our names,
And we added two years to our ages,
Eager for life and ahead of the game,
Ready for history's pages,
And we brawled and we fought
And we whored 'til we stood,
Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder,
A thirst for the Hun,
We were food for the gun, and that's
What you are when you're soldiers,
I heard my friend cry,
And he sank to his knees, coughing blood
As he screamed for his mother
And I fell by his side,
And that's how we died,
Clinging like kids to each other,
And I lay in the mud
And the guts and the blood,
And I wept as his body grew colder,
And I called for my mother
And she never came,
Though it wasn't my fault
And I wasn't to blame,
The day not half over
And ten thousand slain, and now
There's nobody remembers our names
And that's how it is for a soldier.