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We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution

Middle East
on 60 Comments

The Egyptian revolution of February 2011 was one of the most joyful political moments of my life and for many others too. It seemed to show the path forward in countless ways, from the liberator role played by social media to the importance of an educated secular global elite to advancing democracy and breaking up tradition; and today the Egyptian revolution is pure mud, and the Egyptian people are in some great measure responsible. Some large portion of that society or its educated classes signed off on the dictatorship of Sisi in order to have stability and tradition. Maybe they are motivated by security, maybe they wish to preserve an unequal distribution of resources.

But theirs must be understood as  a conservative counterrevolutionary and democratic impulse. Those people overlooked massacres and human rights abuses for the sake of preserving an old order, no problem.

The Trump election must be seen in the same light; and it challenges any progressive’s idea of history.

Maybe history is not something that works out toward greater fairness and freedom and a recognition of abuses. Maybe history in our era, by which I mean the story of civilization as far as we can see it, is in fact a neverending compilation of human abuses in which the privileged bulk of the society seeks to consolidate its advantages and concede as little as possible to new claimants.

Let’s say the left is correct in its alarm over the Trump election: it is fascistic and racist, the spasms of the non-urban white segment of society at the eventuality of the U.S. becoming a brown majority nation. The left says that Trump is illegitimate and also reversible. Like the Brexit opponents: they believe that Trump will be undone.

Maybe they are wrong about that. Maybe it won’t be reversed. Maybe we are actually living in an era of counter-revolution, in which liberties and ideals that the vanguard of society jerks forward to assert and establish are thrown in the dust; and security and privilege are prized instead.

I say an era because it seems to be true all around: Brexit threatens to undo the idealism of a unified and human-rights-loving Europe. Putinism undid the openings of Gorbachev. Whatever the freedom fighters promised for Syria—and I was for them as excitedly as the crowds in Tahrir Square—we see a Syria today where large chunks of the society are obviously conservative: they would rather have a dictator still ruling them than religious radicals. And Trump is sure to agree.

The left says that Trumpism isn’t just about jobs and discontent; but it is aimed at the many liberties that the society has struggled to adopt as norms in the last ten years. Gay marriage, transgender rights, the anti-racist progress of the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-incarceration movement. And maybe the left is right. Maybe this election is about a broad and majoritarian segment of our society saying, Enough, we like being on top, and we are not giving up power so easily. This is our society and we want to maintain traditions, and we are saying F. y. to all those changes.

I am on the left because I think those freedoms are things worth struggling for, but maybe history is not progressive. Maybe cultural advances and economic fairness are not the end point. Maybe history is actually deeply conservative, as the story is working out in our lifetimes: And maybe these reactions are going to last a long time in an era of shortages, climate crises and mass migrations.

Conservatism is a deep motivation in human affairs. I think we should not forget the lessons of the 2004 election. John Kerry took on an incompetent numskull who had plunged us into a terrible war and Kerry lost because suburban women wanted strength in their leader. They would sacrifice a lot of young people and Iraqis’ lives for the stability of American suburbs; they didn’t care. Today a great number of property holders in Cairo are thankful that Egypt is a police state, because Syria is not. Some of the Palestinian response to Jewish immigrants in the 30s was not that dissimilar to nativist European responses today (and yes I’m aware about Zionism and colonialism).

The election of Barack Obama was in some ways a revolution, as joyous for many in our country as Tahrir Square. He changed many cultural values in our society, and was working at the biggest at the end of his administration: climate change. Now we have elected a climate change denier who to get people better-paying jobs in the Red States will let industry do whatever it wants and punish immigrants. And few of his voters care if that wrecks the planet. People know and they don’t care.

Progressives believe, or hope, that in the end mankind will be motivated by the better angels of its nature; but the world today is telling us that is not the case. These elections are reminiscent of birds that anticipate a storm. If there are going to be violent and destructive resource battles in a globalized warming overpopulated world, it is hard to see how a liberal human rights agenda prospers. Human beings are too selfish. I watched Obama’s press conference yesterday, and my hero seemed depressed, drawn, discouraged. He only smiled when he was leaving.

The natural ending of these thoughts it that I myself am becoming a conservative. That is not the case, or not yet anyway. I am too engaged on social issues of tremendous unfairness ever to abandon them: the liberation of Palestinians from the Israel lobby and Zionism; and my wife’s work on incarceration. Both these issues are steeped in racist history; so I cannot turn my back on the left, on its analysis or program.

But I conclude that I’m not a humanist. I love liberal ideals but I think given the chance any human beings of whatever color or religion would behave as white Americans did in this election.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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60 Responses

  1. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    November 15, 2016, 2:02 pm

    It is worth analyzing these revolutions/counterevolutions to see why they occurred.

    In Egypt, its true that the overthrow of Mubarak was populist [although there are hints it was a western backed ‘color revolution’]. But there was a fear that the Muslim Brotherhood was going to impose a fundamentalist order in accordance with its orientation. People did come out in the streets in large numbers to protest Morsi. Millions of Christian Copts didn’t want to get repressed like Christians are under ISIS or in Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian coup on the other hand was secular, but Al-Sisi did not arrive with an election. So in a sense it is hard to say what was left and revolutionary and what was reactionary and counterevolutionary. Maybe the counterevolution began even before Al-Sisi, and with Morsi’s party’s own conservatism.

    In the US, Obama could be seen as progressive, but his term came to an end, and there was a chance for Bernie, but we have the DNC leaks showing that the DNC and Clinton sidelined Bernie. So maybe that was the real initiation of counterevolution, not Trump’s victory. Like Al-Sisi, Trump got some support because some of his positions, like not wanting to invade Syria on behalf of Assad’s fundamentalist rebel opponents, were more progressive than Clinton’s. I agree with Trump when he says about the rebels – “I don’t know who these guys are.” Namely, how much of the FSA are fundamentalists and how many are secular like Assad is. So in a way, Clinton was seen as the establishment and hawkish, while Trump was seen as a Hope for Change (like Obama’s own slogans).

    Therefore, to create a mindset where Clinton is “revolutionary” and “Left” and Trump is “counterevolutionary” and “reactionary” could be quite misleading in understanding their policies or the forces in the public that supported them.

    Libya could be the best example of this. Kaddafi decades ago was seen as Left and Revolutionary. Are we to see his overthrow under right wing rebels and NATO forces as “Left” and “revolutionary”?

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      November 15, 2016, 4:03 pm

      In other words, the counter-revolution in Egypt did not begin with Sisi, but with a conservative Islamic party taking the helm after the liberal Arab revolution started in Egypt.

      The “counterrevolution ” in America did not begin with Trump, but rather it began with hawks and neoliberals working in the cabinet of the “revolutionary” Hope and Change president Obama or with the DNC and Hillary working together to successfully destroy Sanders’ “revolutionary” campaign.

    • Keith
      Keith
      November 15, 2016, 5:51 pm

      W. JONES- “In the US, Obama could be seen as progressive….”

      Progressive rhetoric only, his actions were overwhelmingly in favor of war, corporate rule, assassinations, militarism, domestic surveillance and incarceration, expanding the nuclear arsenal he promised to eliminate, neoliberal globalization, etc. That “liberals” should consider Obama “progressive” merely demonstrates how out of touch with reality imperial liberals are.

      • Froggy
        Froggy
        November 17, 2016, 4:01 pm

        Keith :: Prior to Obama winning the 2008 presidential election, a number of Brits remarked that Obama reminded them of Tony Blair.

        Progressive rhetoric only, his actions were overwhelmingly in favor of war, corporate rule, assassinations, militarism, domestic surveillance and incarceration, expanding the nuclear arsenal he promised to eliminate, neoliberal globalization, etc.

        Indeed. Very much like Tony Blair.

        It will be interesting to see what Obama does once he is out of office. Who he hangs out with, and who pays him lavish ‘speaking fees’ and bloated ‘consultancy’ money.

  2. Mooser
    Mooser
    November 15, 2016, 2:12 pm

    “But I conclude that I’m not a humanist. I love liberal ideals but I think given the chance any human beings of whatever color or religion would behave as white Americans did in this election.”

    Gee, if that’s the case, looks like “liberal Zionism” will fit you down to the ground. Why fight your custard?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 20, 2016, 12:09 pm

      Remember when Truman wrote in his diary how disappointed he was that the Zionists had become the uberhunds, the Palestinians, the unterhunds? Everyone likes custard.

  3. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    November 15, 2016, 2:12 pm

    we see a Syria today where large chunks of the society are obviously conservative: they would rather have a dictator still ruling them than religious radicals.

    Is that really so obviously conservative to prefer a secular dictatorship over religious Muslim radicals (who could actually turn out to be dictatorial in power)?

    You know the saying “In Soviet Russia…” (everything is backwards)

    In Soviet Russia, bringing a secular “dictatorship of the proletariat” to Central Asian republics was seen as revolutionary, whereas older forms of society in Central Asia that repressed women and minorities were seen as conservative.

  4. Keith
    Keith
    November 15, 2016, 5:20 pm

    PHIL- “I say an era because it seems to be true all around: Brexit threatens to undo the idealism of a unified and human-rights-loving Europe. Putinism undid the openings of Gorbachev. Whatever the freedom fighters promised for Syria—and I was for them as excitedly as the crowds in Tahrir Square—we see a Syria today where large chunks of the society are obviously conservative: they would rather have a dictator still ruling them than religious radicals. And Trump is sure to agree.”

    You live in a “liberal” fantasy world. Your interpretation of reality is so at odds with actual empirical reality that it is pointless to argue with you. You continue to camouflage the ugly reality of empire with lofty rhetoric, the self-deception of the privileged. Your liberalism is the liberalism of empire. You remain part of the imperial doctrinal system and will likely never change. Unless, of course, your comment was meant as sarcasm and I failed to recognize it as such.

    • gamal
      gamal
      November 15, 2016, 5:55 pm

      “The Egyptian revolution of February 2011 was one of the most joyful political moments of my life and for many others too”

      “and the Egyptian people are in some great measure responsible”

      oh shit we let you down

      as for the rest it hardly merits comment, you waged a 25 year continuous war on Iraq to fracture it you have now partitioned Syria you have intentionally caused a crisis of governance for Iraqis “Sunnis” in particular and now you lawless cowboys are whining because Trump has exposed you,

      “and I was for them as excitedly as the crowds in Tahrir Square—we see a Syria today where large chunks of the society are obviously conservative: they would rather have a dictator still ruling them than religious radicals. And Trump is sure to agree.”

      so you going to overthrow Trump, get out there and revolt? why do you think we owe you shit?

      “religious radicals” idiot.

      “I love liberal ideals but I think given the chance any human beings of whatever color or religion would behave as white Americans did in this election.”

      yes white Americans in the era of Trump need to maintain their “differential”

      everyone sucks, “left” in your fucking dreams

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        November 20, 2016, 1:22 am

        Masr umadunya was a great example of how power actually works. If you overthrow the hated Pharoah you need to have an alternative power structure to run the revolution. Otherwise the Establishment/Deep State will regroup and kill you.

        Morsi said very interesting stuff about Gaza and doing things differently that Zamalek didn’t like.

        Trump is EXACTLY the same as Sisi. The people got to say “Fuck You” and will now be asked to bend over and take several for the 1%.

        Trump’s tax cut. 50% will go to the richest. They will see cuts in tax of 14%. Wallahi al atheem.
        Bluecollar American Fellaheen in their make America great again jallabiyehs will get a tax benefit of 0.8%. Welcome to St Trumpez

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 20, 2016, 12:13 pm

        So, the liberals, or progressives thought they were the deep state? But Hillary & Trump both proved them wrong? And now Trump will fuck his fans, just like Hillary would have? Follow the money, as usual.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 20, 2016, 12:50 pm

        “And now Trump will fuck his fans”

        He is determined to benefit the people who voted for him. That’s why he wants to get rid of Medicare. What do they care about Medicare, or Social Security?

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      November 16, 2016, 12:19 pm

      @k
      . Shocking how agreement works. I can agree with most everything you have written yet doubt there is anything to agree on in regards the’war of ideas on the i/p. But there is agreement” pw and how he views his heroic’liberalism’ with pink coloured lenses

  5. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    November 15, 2016, 6:11 pm

    Putinism undid the openings of Gorbachev.
    —————-

    This is completely wrong.

    The “openings of Gorbachev” were undone not by Putin, but by Yeltsin &co, the “West”, predatory neoliberalism, shock therapy, and the geopolitics of global U.S. military dominance. That led to complete economic and social collapse and the deaths of MILLIONS of Russian. The fact of this colossal crime are virtually unknown int the West. Putin represents a counter-revolution, imperfect of course, against that horrific neoliberal destruction, The Western “conservative” vs. “liberal” dichotomy is simply not appropriate for understanding Russia.

    Phil, unfortunately, appears to have adopted wholesale and utterly uncritically the Establishment propaganda on Russia.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      November 15, 2016, 10:30 pm

      Yeah, it’s strange. What about Yeltsin dispersing his own pro-Gorbachev (or pro-socialist) parliament with tanks?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 20, 2016, 12:16 pm

        U forgot how Victoria Neuland and her loving hubby fit into this picture re the fallout, Ukraine now.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      November 15, 2016, 11:23 pm

      On a personal note I might add: I can walk out of my door–and I’ve done this many times actually–go to the University and talk to bright, young, liberal Russian women, and 90% + will tell me they support Putin. The Trump-Putin analogy is nonsense. The political scene in Russia is simply not comparable to that in the U.S. There is no “liberal” / “conservative” divide here. Putin’s appeal is totally different than Trump’s. Putin is a unifying figure. He’s seen as a strong leader, yes, but statesmanlike, cool-headed, reasonable, pragmatic–and, most importantly, successful.

      There is no “liberal” alternative to Putin politically. The next most popular party is the Communist Party. Putin brings together BOTH “liberal” and “conservative” trends in his policies. He’s a balancer.

      If you really had to come up with a Russian parallel to Trump, it would be Zhirinovsky, not Putin.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        November 16, 2016, 12:43 pm

        Zhirinofsky. Good call.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 18, 2016, 7:25 pm

        Sibiriak,

        I think it’s worth considering the role that the disastrous Maidan “Color Revolution” in Ukraine and the ruination of Yelstin’s era have played in Russians’ mentality about “the West” and “Liberalism”.

        Maybe if the EU did pump Ukraine full of the billions of dollars of investment that Ukraine needs to make its economy EU-like, Russians could at least look at Ukraine’s EU choice as wise and profitable. Russia (and the thus the Russian people) are under major sanctions over the annexation of Crimea and support for DNR, issues that the Russian people agree with Putin on. Add that the to anti-Russian attitudes on display at EuroMaidan like “Kto ne Skache to moskal”, and the Ukrainian events have to play a major role in affecting their whole worldview on the West and on Putin.

      • annie
        annie
        November 18, 2016, 8:02 pm

        Ukraine’s EU choice

        what EU choice? the democratically elected president of Ukraine chose russia. had he not we wouldn’t have orchestrated the revolution — again. i wouldn’t characterize the EU as the ukranian choice.

        Yanukovych rejected a pending EU association agreement, choosing instead to pursue a Russian loan bailout and closer ties with Russia. This led to popular protests and the occupation of Kiev’s Independence Square, a series of events dubbed the “Euromaidan” by young pro-European Union Ukrainians.

        “popular protests” with a little help big shove from their friends — like victoria nuland.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 18, 2016, 7:27 pm

        A difference with Trump unlike Zhirionovsky is that Trump came off in campaigning as someone who wants a wise noninterventionist foreign policy that gets along with other countries like Russia. On foreign policy, Zhirinovsky seems more demagogic and less conciliatory than Putin.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        November 18, 2016, 8:50 pm

        Jones,

        Maybe if the EU did pump Ukraine full of the billions of dollars of investment that Ukraine needs to make its economy EU-like, Russians could at least look at Ukraine’s EU choice as wise and profitable

        While it’s established that the US pumped at least 8 billion into propaganda and subversion into Ukraine for our Nazi-Neocon takeover, not to mention all the military assistance for the civil war we started.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 19, 2016, 12:44 am

        Why does she hold the bag and give out cookies that cost maybe 25 cents herself, instead of having her assistants do it? It must be for publicity, as if she actually wants to be known for handing out cookies on Euromaidan.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        November 19, 2016, 12:48 am

        what EU choice?… i wouldn’t characterize the EU as the ukranian choice.

        It’s an interesting question.

        I doubt that at any moment a majority of Ukrainians had an openly affirmative opinion in favor of the EU Association Agreement. Rather, the balance of Ukrainians surveyed has been one of ambivalence.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 20, 2016, 12:17 pm

        Y speak B4 Trump has taken office; start looking at his appointments, and who was on the list.

    • Maghlawatan
      Maghlawatan
      November 20, 2016, 1:25 am

      Sibiriak the collapse in life expectancy in Russia early 90s is now being repeated in the US rust belt. Americans are drinking themselves to death in their 50s.

      http://scholar.princeton.edu/deaton/publications/rising-morbidity-and-mortality-midlife-among-white-non-hispanic-americans-21st

      The facts of this colossal crime are unknown in the US.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      November 24, 2016, 11:59 am

      Yes, I caught that too. Be hard to miss for anyone not irrevocably bound up in their own analytical framework, facts be damned. From Gorbechov to Putin, skipping the dipsomaniac, asleep at the wheel while the country is looted and half the population drinking itself to death in despair. Echoes of the opioid epidemic and clinical depression in many parts of this country. And the contemporary conservative ‘counterrevolution’ is nonsense. It’s been in full swing since at least ’68, not withstanding the revolutionary advances of some narrow populations. Even there, there is deep dissatisfaction with strategy and results. Not all are happy with the neccessary adherence to deeply conservative values in order to advance gay rights for example.

  6. yourstruly
    yourstruly
    November 15, 2016, 10:00 pm

    Yes, the counter-revolution is intensifying, but aren’t the conservatives always in a counter-revolutionary mode? Except, that is, for the three decades following WW II when labor unions had a say and our government wasn’t entirely corporate owned? As for the Arab Spring, in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria, whether or not these were brought about by CIA covert actions (as per Guatamala and Iran in the early fifties and dozens of nations since), most certainly the extinguishing of those bright shining examples of the human potential was carried out, compliments of western intelligence services, Actually, I can’t think of a single counter-revolution over the past century that wasn’t made in the U.S.A. &/or some other western nation(s).

    Some will say that the masses are too easily fooled by counter-revolutionaries, with Donald Trump’s recent election but the latest example. Which begs the question counter to what revolution. Surely there wasn’t one in the U.S.A. prior to last week’s election, because the regime of Barack Obama, along with that of every president (perhaps with the exception of FDR) who preceded him – at least during my lifetime -at their core have been counter- , not revolutionary. Differences between these regimes have been only in degree and intensity of the elite 0.1% assaults upon the 99% of us commoners. As for the two candidates in last week’s election, the contest between twiddle-de-dee and twiddle-de-dum, since both are counter-revolutionaries, when its counter vs counter – Revolution? No chance!

    So do we give up, throw in the white towel? Certainly not when perpetual war + global warming = doomsday, and by the end of this or the next century. But revolution? Exactly How? To be decided by the people united in pursuit of peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings. There is no other way.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 20, 2016, 12:18 pm

      You forgot JFK’s tending trajectory, before he was killed.

  7. captADKer
    captADKer
    November 16, 2016, 8:58 am

    phil- your concession speech toward support of israel as the one jewish democratic state from river to sea?
    the tribe might someday find re-entry for you after all is forgiven. trust me- that will be a process.

    • eljay
      eljay
      November 16, 2016, 9:15 am

      || captADKer: phil- your concession speech toward support of israel as the one jewish democratic state from river to sea? … ||

      It would be a truly sad thing to see him devolve from an advocate for justice and equality into a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

      • captADKer
        captADKer
        November 16, 2016, 11:56 am

        phil’s post-truthian metamorphosis, by my take, is apparently in progress. but as i said, absolution must be earned beyond “mw scripture” in order to return to our tribe of “immoral ziosupremacists”.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        November 16, 2016, 12:35 pm

        absolution must be earned beyond “mw scripture” in order to return to our tribe of “immoral ziosupremacists”.”

        So what does Phil need to do to be in good standing again? Shall we drop a couple of red-hot rocks in him? Make him all glat again.
        What penance would you assign?

      • eljay
        eljay
        November 16, 2016, 12:51 pm

        || captADKer: phil’s post-truthian metamorphosis, by my take, is apparently in progress. … ||

        If so, that is a truly sad thing.

        || … but as i said, absolution must be earned beyond “mw scripture” in order to return to our tribe of “immoral ziosupremacists”. ||

        I understand: He’s just a couple of summary executions of non-Jews away from being clasped warmly to your Zio-bosom.

  8. annie
    annie
    November 16, 2016, 9:41 am

    The left says that Trumpism isn’t just about jobs and discontent; but it is aimed at the many liberties that the society has struggled to adopt as norms in the last ten years. Gay marriage, transgender rights, the anti-racist progress of the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-incarceration movement. And maybe the left is right. Maybe this election is about a broad and majoritarian segment of our society saying, Enough, we like being on top, and we are not giving up power so easily. This is our society and we want to maintain traditions, and we are saying F. y. to all those changes.

    I am on the left because I think those freedoms are things worth struggling for, but maybe history is not progressive. Maybe cultural advances and economic fairness are not the end point.

    my problem with this “the left says” analysis is it assumes the left speaks in one voice, and it doesn’t. for many many people who consider themselves left and/or progressive hillary clinton is the antithesis of left. for example, if ones idea of left is anti war, anti wall street and anti apartheid — what choice did they have in this election?

    a good portion of the left stayed home during this election. when “the left” keeps moving right (ie: schumer ‘for every working class voter we lose we gain 2 republicans’)– in a two party system, these people are abandoned and have no party.

    so i don’t think you can really make the claim “The left says that Trumpism isn’t just about jobs and discontent”, because huge portions of the left were very discontent with clinton as their candidate.

    “we like being on top, and we are not giving up power so easily…. maintain traditions….F. y. to all those changes” is not “left” or progressive. and it’s also not “majoritarian segment of our society” (clinton, flawed as she is, still won the popular vote).

    face it, there was no “left” choice offered for voters in this election because the dnc has been kicking the crap out of the left for a long long time. and it will keep losing elections until it makes a 180 and starts marching in the other direction > left.

    edit — to quote max ajl (a first for me):

    Economically shattering the county for 40 years, and for 24 years pushing the Republican Party as the evil to be defeated at all costs, created a domestic underclass desperate for an alternative, and alienated the Democratic Party’s core support base. Right-wing populism is the child of the center-right drift of the Democrats. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/11/challenging-semitism-presidency/#sthash.qiou2pLK.dpuf

    they (dnc – establishment dems) have no one to blame but themselves.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 20, 2016, 12:35 pm

      Same goes for the GOP. What we have now? We will see. It’s not even January yet.

  9. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    November 16, 2016, 9:51 am

    “I think given the chance any human beings of whatever color or religion would behave as white Americans did in this election. ”

    Vote for your own dispossession? Really?
    This coup is 100% fantasy. It’s pretty obvious that Trump is a con. The economic story may hang together as far as March. But not longer. there won’t be any payrises. there might be a half a million new jobs.
    Trümp is a loose cannon. He doesn’t do detail. That is fine on TV or in serial marrying women with big t#ts but not in the world of managing countries. The market sees through bullshit pretty quickly. the Trump coalition is fantasy based. Bannon will not be able to design bots to convince the market. The multiplier on antisemitism is pretty close to zero. The whole campaign was a big joke
    There will be healthcare increases and tax cuts for the ultra rich. The chronic systemic problems of the US will intensify.
    Deregulating finance will bring on the Gotterdammerung of Monetarism.
    It will be hard to keep the bullshit going.

    The US isn’t even 250 years old and still believes that a well regulated militia can protect the Constitution from its predators. And it obviously cannot.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      November 20, 2016, 12:42 pm

      The market not only sees though bullshit, it fans it, and then capitalizes on it, speculates on it, redirects it, for the truth is there is no free market at all; that’s the essence of the current system; the stock market always dupes most investors. It is doing it faster, faster. Very few have the capital to play the market in the first place in any significant way. And income gap/asset gap keep growing like Topsy. Not just here, everywhere. A Rothschild told us all in the 19th Century, that U can have your standing army, who controls the money supply, controls all.

  10. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    November 16, 2016, 10:22 am

    Sisi is bullshit. The Egyptian pound was just devalued by 47%. Egypt cannot feed its own people. The economy is a basket case. The rich in Zamalek love a soldier to keep control over the fellaheen and the working class but the economy can’t support their pillage any longer. Egypt will blow up again . The Israeli embassy will be stormed again.

    All the chatter about the end of the liberal age is BS . Conservatives have nothing to offer other than fascism.

  11. RayJosephCormier
    RayJosephCormier
    November 16, 2016, 10:35 am

    I see all of this unfolding from a different perspective and experience than anyone else. Saying that, I also realize that’s True for each and every one of us.

    It’s over 40 years since I quit my position of National Marketing Representative, Mining Division, Dominion Engineering Works Ltd. of Montreal, grew shoulder length hair and beard, put on a back pack and entered the US September 1, 1976 to hitch hike through as many States as possible to discover the Spirit of ’76 and the American Revolution.

    One year later, THE KANSAS CITY TIMES published this Vision of the Future on September 13, 1976. That 1976 FUTURE is unfolding NOW.

    ““He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”…………….He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

    On the 1st part, Donald Trump essentially campaigned on the idea the people are wanting and the Days of the US are numbered if he is not elected President. He used other words and pictures, but the same General Idea he Trumpeted that made him the Future President.

    On the War with Russia part, THE KANSAS CITY TIMES published a 2nd report after the Republicans left town on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976.

    I was probably the only human on earth to notice at the TIME of the 1983 TV movie ‘THE DAY AFTER’ Kansas City was destroyed in a Nuclear Holocaust, the movie pauses at the exact same picture frame THE KANSAS CITY TIMES used in their follow up ALL SOULS DAY report 7 years earlier.

    Only the wilfully blind will not recognize the demonization of Russia-Putin, increasing in the US media, history has shown, is always the necessary prelude to war in dumbing down the population to not question the direction the leaders are leading to that could result in the death of millions of the ordinary people who paid for the well stocked nuclear war bomb shelters for those same leaders. It will be too late by then.

    The 2 original 1976 KANSAS CITY TIMES records can be expanded and read following the link. There are brief video clips from ‘THE DAY AFTER’ and more to compare with the unfolding realities.

    https://ray032.com/2013/09/01/signs-of-the-times/

  12. jon s
    jon s
    November 16, 2016, 11:02 am

    Phil seems to be inventing new political categories:
    a left-conservative?
    a non-humanist progressive?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      November 16, 2016, 12:38 pm

      “Phil seems to be inventing new political categories:”

      The “Israeli left” ought to know about that.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        November 20, 2016, 12:45 pm

        LOL

  13. Keith
    Keith
    November 16, 2016, 1:16 pm

    PHIL- “… Trumpism isn’t just about jobs and discontent; but it is aimed at the many liberties that the society has struggled to adopt as norms in the last ten years. Gay marriage, transgender rights….”

    You are conflating the victory of identity politics over the struggle for more basic human rights like decent jobs, education, clean air and water, freedom from endless war and possible nuclear annihilation, a stable climate and a sustainable economy. Imperial liberalism has replaced real politics with identity politics and is reaping the consequences. A quote and link to a highly relevant article.

    ” Liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics are unwilling to recognize in the politically incorrect catastrophe of Donald Trump’s victory the blowback to the ferocious economic plunder by the neoliberal order, backed by decades of wanton and unchecked military aggressions.

    The neoliberals’ vaunted “internationalism” (more realistically, American neocolonialism) has created a weak domestic economy which to a degree justifies the nationalist call to look homeward and entrench behind the borders of sovereignty—one of Trump’s rallying cries.” (Luciana Bohne) http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/14/panic-in-america-people-in-revolt/

  14. RoHa
    RoHa
    November 17, 2016, 12:06 am

    That is an excellent article, Keith.

    Phil’s idea of being on “the left” seems to be just a matter of supporting fashionable causes, most of which (worthy though many of them are) will have no effect on the overall power and economic structures. Global corporatism will not be affected by gay marriage, the power elite are not greatly concerned about skin colour, apologies to the Aborigines will not reduce profits.

    My idea of the left starts with economic justice.

    The conservative counter-revolution really got under way in the Thatcher- Reagan era, when the Big Money Boys overturned the 1948 welfare state in Britain, and did similar things in other parts of the world. The left failed to respond effectively, and now seem to have given up on socialism entirely. (Took up too many evenings?) I see little sign of a real left anywhere.

    The populism that supports Trump and led to Brexit is not, I think, a real left movement, but it is a rebellion against the power elite and the chattering classes.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      November 17, 2016, 9:03 am

      Even with all the nonsense about “progressive” trendiness and “conservative” reactionaries and suchlike, I still think Phil deserves high credit for closing with:

      I love liberal ideals but I think given the chance any human beings of whatever color or religion would behave as white Americans did in this election

      In fact, I suspect that his clueless cultural left-right, imperial-pwogwessive terminology is just a device .

    • Keith
      Keith
      November 17, 2016, 3:38 pm

      ROHA- “…will have no effect on the overall power and economic structures.”

      This is the point I have been trying to make in regards to the anti-Trump hysteria. The election of Donald Trump will have but limited effect on the distribution of global power. Hopefully, Trump will be less interventionist and less likely to risk a war with Russia. Beyond that, the imperial agenda will be pursued. Things will get worse, not better, but we may live to see it. Perhaps pulling back from aggressively pursuing global hegemony will hasten the collapse/restructuring of the global financial system. We are at the end of an era and entering a transition period. The future looks bleak.

      ROHA- “The conservative counter-revolution really got under way in the Thatcher- Reagan era….”

      I would not refer to the neoliberal class war begun under Reagan & Thatcher as a “conservative” counterrevolution. There is nothing conservative about the elites pushing for this, many of whom prefer the “Liberal” label. In effect, neoliberalism is an attempt to shift the economy from an industrial economy back to a rentier economy prior to a restructuring of the financial system. Our current financial system is a private, debt based financial system which requires the financial system to grow exponentially to avoid technical default. It doesn’t have to be this way but that is the way it is. Until recently, the growth in the real economy was tied in to the growth in the financial system. This is no longer possible, hence, the financialization of the economy. Some sort of restructuring needs to take place soon, probably during Trump’s first and only administration.

      ROHA- “The populism that supports Trump and led to Brexit is not, I think, a real left movement, but it is a rebellion against the power elite and the chattering classes.”

      I agree. I would add that “Left” and “Right” have devolved into labels, the brands two groups of power-seekers attach to themselves. Their “ideologies” reduced to little more than rationalizations justifying the economic agendas of their oligarchic funders. Brexit is a little more complicated insofar as the European Union was a terrible creation which primarily joined a lot of different countries under the rule of the European Central Bank and ultimately the Wall Street led global financial system. Does anyone in the 99% really want to live in Greece?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        November 17, 2016, 7:05 pm

        So you don’t think Trump will raise the scarlet banner high? There’s a disappointment. But I’m sure we can count on George Soros to lead us into a worldwide socialist revolution.

        I agree that these labels “conservative”, “left”, “right”, etc., are inadequate. I used the label partly because Phil did, and partly because Thatcher was leader of the Conservative Party. A lot of the old conservatives didn’t like her or her ideas.

        I’m not sure that what is called “the left” has any economic agenda now. They just want to show they are nice people with all the right, fashionable, ideas.

        Life on a Greek island can be very pleasant, if you are rich.

      • Keith
        Keith
        November 18, 2016, 12:25 am

        ROHA- “But I’m sure we can count on George Soros to lead us into a worldwide socialist revolution.”

        Yes, I can see it now. A financial dictatorship of the proletariat led by a vanguard of the financial elite! What a guy! Currency speculator/philanthropist. Is it fat-cat liberal or liberal fat-cat? A solid blue Democrat, that’s for sure!

      • Keith
        Keith
        November 19, 2016, 11:23 am

        ROHA- “Keith, I think you will enjoy this.”

        The first graph tells us quite a lot doesn’t it? 40 years of neoliberalism and financialization has brought us to our current sorry state. What may not be apparent to some is that the ongoing fattening of the already fat-cats isn’t just about bigger yachts and homes. In capitalism, money is power. The massive upward shift of wealth represents an upward shift of power. People like Sheldon Adelson and George Soros are the new Lords of capitalism who rule by the divine right of capital. In this environment, guys like Soros OWN dozens of NGOs. Trump is hardly a man of the people and what effect his election will have is uncertain. But if we can even get away from these neocon wars that will be good. No doubt he will do a lot of bad things, but at least we may be alive to protest. As for his cabinet choices, what does anyone expect? And how many of these “liberals” would protest if Hillary had won and nominated Michele Flournoy for Secretary of Defense and Victoria Nuland for Secretary of State? The trouble with most of these imperial liberals is that they pay too much attention to what these professional liars say and much too little attention to what these people they support actually do.

  15. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    November 18, 2016, 2:14 pm

    Its “The economy, stupid”, which James Carville had coined as a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H. W. Bush.
    Trump has promised to bring back jobs for the working class, Chomsky said this appeal should not be underestimated since their wages [and jobs] have been in stagnation since the 70’s. Throw in his justified claim that the Afghan and Iraq wars combined costs [taking into account long term injury and compensation claims] are 6 Trillion dollars $6,000,000,000,000 [Linda Bilmes, Kennedy Law School, Harvard University. Enough, he quite rightly said. to rebuild the United States twice over. Oh, and add in that he was going to make the US great again [a little bit of exceptionalism which even Obama believes in] plus the worst possible Democratic candidate a war Goddess and Wall Street Shill [she said, we must confront Russia and China and make them pay a price, and she would ‘obliterate’ Iran] and there you have a potent brew, his win was inevitable.

  16. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    November 18, 2016, 8:25 pm

    On the subject of conservative counter-revolution, I’ve been getting to know Steve Bannon and Breitbart News, ever since Bannon was announced as taking over the Trump campaign in August. This Hollywood Reporter interview of Bannon exposes a lot about his thinking on this counter-revolutionary, throughout the world: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/11/18/steve-bannon-vows-economic-nationalist-movement-white-house-exciting-1930s-greater-reagan-revolution/

  17. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    November 19, 2016, 8:28 pm

    RE: “We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution”

    MY COMMENT: Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but I prefer to see Trumpmania as one last gasp of the ‘Reagan Revolution’.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      November 19, 2016, 10:55 pm

      ” Perhaps I’m deluding myself, but I prefer to see Trumpmania as one last gasp of the ‘Reagan Revolution’.”

      Yes. But when the Reagan revolution faltered, there were the Bush’s to give it a new impetus (and keep us broke) with their Wars on Iraq.

  18. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    November 20, 2016, 1:32 am

    I don’t think it is a counter revolution. It’s a reaction. Proper counter revolutions are coherent.

    Today we have Brexit and Trump, 2 absolute clusterfucks rooted in fantasy.
    For a decent counterrevolution, look at the counter Reformation. It was planned. It was effective. It stuck.

    Trump might get 2 years.
    Brexit will destroy the UK

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      November 26, 2016, 7:02 pm

      Maghl,

      Norway is doing wonderful in many ways without being in the EU. The Antiglobalist Greek Left has wanted to get out for a long time now.

      Have you considered the undemocratic, globalist aspects of the EU that Bandolero wrote about?

      I have trouble understanding why some professed Leftists are EU fans and opposed to an anti-globalist BREXIT.

  19. W.Jones
    W.Jones
    November 26, 2016, 6:49 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB54XxbgI0E
    Chomsky sees Trump as unpredictable, and sees Trump’s relationship with Putin as a major positive in lowering tensions.
    Al Jazeera interviewer keeps trying to get Chomsky to go against Trump and Putin.
    Chomsky says Russia has no expansionist goals we know of WRT Nato countries like the Baltics.
    “THe real treachery of the media was to avoid issues totally in the election”

    Interviewer: “How worried are you about Trump crushing dissent?” Chomsky: “Not very”
    At 15:00, the interviewer goes on a propaganda rant, throwing in lots of talking points.

  20. Stogumber
    Stogumber
    November 28, 2016, 9:32 am

    Imho the article is rubbish. He relies on the idea that one party – the progressives – incarnates all things good and therefore the other party must inevitably incarnate all things bad.
    But conservative and progressive are only momentaneous positions. When a progressive has been successful, he will at all costs defend what he has got, and become conservative insofar.
    And the progressive fear of everything “traditional” makes no sense, because traditions of today are the progresses of our forefathers.

    We could, I suppose, all agree that society is still improvable, even if our ideas about improvement differ. But this must imply the possibility that some earlier improvements were failures and must be re-corrected. On this common ground we can begin the debate about concrete proposals for improvements, without an unnecessary struggle between so-called conservatives and so-called progressives.

  21. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    November 28, 2016, 3:58 pm

    Regarding europe and the europe project: 1. A unified euro seems to have been a mistake. 2 . Europe’s proximity to the messed up economies of eastern Europe and the super duper messed up middle east create pressures that make America’s illegal immigrant problem look like child’s play.

    Regarding the Egyptian revolution – those who saw the progressives of Egypt as being the heir apparent of mubarak’s defeat were deluded by preconceptions and naivete. The obvious heir was revealed to be the Muslim brotherhood, a distinctly nonprogressive political force. There is no way to go from dictatorship to progressive democracy in a poor country like egypt without passing through a phase of a regressive elected Islamic party. This phase can last anywhere from 15 to 125 years. To reject sisi is natural for those who prefer democracy to dictatorship, but please please do not confuse the Muslim brotherhood with anything progressive. The will of the people is NOT inherently progressive and is certainly not progressive in the case of the MB.

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