I have been thinking about giving out this piece of information for a couple of months now. Here is the thing.. like some of you, I have multiple profiles on various social media platforms. They are usually keep them separate from each other- for a number of reasons that will not be discussed at this moment. Also, I don’t like to openly connect accounts on one platform to those on others.
However, I have now come to the realization that more engagement on one of Twitter handles with readers of this blog might be a good idea. IMHO, Twitter is by far the less echo-chambery of major social media sites.. at least as far as N. America is concerned.
So here it my preferred Twitter Handle: PharmaHeretic (@Pharmaheretic).
You might realize that I have had that particular handle for over 6 years now. So feel free to follow that handle to find out what I think and read in-between my posts on this blog.
A few years ago, I wrote a two-part series (link 1 and link 2) about how objective evidence throughout human history has repeatedly shown that the so-called elite (irrespective of their era, ethnicity or country) are never actually clever or competent. As I have said in more than a few of my earlier posts (link 3 and link 4), the elite of any given society are almost always greedy con-men and con-women who just happened to get especially lucky at some time in their lives or were born to lucky con-people. The hold of any particular group of elite on power is, therefore, largely linked to continuation of the underlying circumstances which enabled their rise in the first place. A change in underlying circumstances will always push the existing set of elite out of power- irrespective of how secure their hold on power might seem to be.
Readers might be aware of how WW1 and its immediate aftermath destroyed multiple long-lived monarchies and empires- and the elites who supported them. Or consider the rise and fall of communist party elite in USSR and other eastern European countries during the five decades after WW2. Or consider the still ongoing fall in general power and influence of elite from UK and their WASP-y counterparts from USA since the 1970s. I could give you tons more examples- but you get my point. Many cliques of so-called elites have risen and fallen throughout recorded human history. In almost every single case, former elites were never able to regain their previous status in that society. Even worse, the circumstances surrounding their demise always revealed that they did not possess even a small fraction of the ability, power or control they pretended to possess.
But what does elite exposure and failure caused by changing circumstances have to do with the current hysteria about alleged “russian hacking of the 2016 election” which is sweeping establishment democrats and republicans in USA? As it turns out.. a lot!
In the first two paragraphs of this post, I pointed out that changing circumstances always expose inadequacies of the then reigning set of elites- which ultimately results in them being discredited. However, there is often a gap of some years between the first serious exposure of their utter incompetence and their final fall from power and relevance. So what happens between the first widespread public exposures of their incompetence and their ultimate fall? Well.. a lot. For one, the exposed elites will almost always double and triple down on the attitudes and behaviors which were responsible for their initial rise to power. They do so for two reasons. Firstly, they believe that public shows of resoluteness, unflappability and ‘business as usual’ will somehow enable them to weather the ongoing current crisis of legitimacy. Secondly, many of them are actually incapable of thinking or acting outside the box of limited possibilities which they are familiar with.
The prolonged hysteria about “russian hacking of 2016 election” displayed by establishment democrats and republicans falls into both categories. Firstly, their absurdly hysterical reaction to the obviously manufactured allegation is a fallback to an era where “red baiting” was somewhat successful in discrediting other insurgent politicians. It appears that many of establishment critters actually believe that most people in USA are still mentally stuck in the mid-1950s to mid-1980s era. Secondly, and perhaps even more worryingly, it is very likely that they have been unable to come up with a coherent critique of Trump which does not simultaneously expose the fallacy of their neo-liberal belief system. The increasingly strident and absurd accusations by establishment types about Trump being elected because of “russians hacking the electoral system” are therefore only a symptom of a much larger problem- namely, that they are rapidly losing popular legitimacy.
So let us now talk a bit about what actually happened during the 2016 election that is making all these establishment types throw fits of conniption about “russians hacking the election”.
As many of you remember, WikiLeaks was responsible for posting many thousands of emails from key staffers of the democratic national committee (DNC) and later the personal gmail account of John Podesta. While the sources of both leaks are still not definitively known, many believe that east-european hackers were the sources of one (or possibly) both hacked email archives. Of course, it is also possible that the DNC leak came from an insider who was unhappy with how the DNC was run. In any case, these leaks were extremely embarrassing to the upper ranks of the DNC and many powerful establishment figures in the democratic party. The leaked emails revealed, among other things, that the DNC was colluding with the HRC campaign to rig the democratic primary against Bernie Sanders. They also revealed the contents of some of HRC’s infamous paid speeches and the close links of her campaign with important figures in mainstream media.
These revelations, which were largely ignored and buried by the MSM, found a large audience on social media site like FaceBook and Twitter. Now it is an open question if they actually swung the results of the election to any worthwhile extent. As many of you already know, the contents of those leaked emails were not exactly earth-shattering and simply reinforced the already negative perceptions about HRC among the general population. Then again, she was running against a reality game-show host/celebrity with zero experience in any electoral office and even higher negative ratings than her. My point is that the leaked emails should not have been anything more than an interesting sideshow, and we would have seen them as that if HRC had won the election. But she lost the election to Trump, for a number of reasons which I have talked about in some of my previous posts.
HRC and her surrogates were pushing the line that Trump was being helped by Putin even before the election, they have only doubled and tripled down on that meme after his victory. While we can certainly speculate on the possible reasons behind that decision- two stands out. Firstly, it allows them to transfer the blame of losing the presidential election on a mysterious external force and escape personal culpability and the need for self-reflection. Secondly, it gives them an excuse to continue their attempts to de-legitimize Trump after his electoral victory. It is interesting to note that their actions, to date, do not match their stated beliefs. In other words, I would have expected them to lead an actual insurrection against Trump IF they really believed that he was a treasonous puppet of Putin. But their unwillingness to actually stop Trump from becoming the president strongly suggests that establishment democrats do not actually believe what they are shouting from every rooftop.
On a more personal level, the constant attempts by establishment democrats to blame Putin for the rise and victory of Trump are almost comedic. I mean.. isn’t it funny to watch establishment politicians from the allegedly only superpower ascribe such capability, competence and foresight to the leader of Russia- a country which they, as late as last year, dismissed as a “large gas station with some nuclear weapons”. I find blaming establishment republicans Putin for HRC’s loss in the presidential election oddly similar to illiterate villagers in the middle ages blaming the Devil and witches for bad harvests, plagues and other misfortunes. There is also more than a passing resemblance between nervous children seeing monsters under their beds and establishment democrats seeing the hand of russian hackers in everything from occasional power failures and poorly manged TV broadcast streams.
What do you think? Comments?
These links are NSFW.
Amateur Cuties on Beds: Jan 11, 2017 – Amateur cuties posing on beds.
Doggystyled Cuties: Jan 11, 2017 – Amateur cuties getting it.. doggystyle.
Will make a more intellectually stimulating post tomorrow.
Let me begin by telling you that I first considered writing this particular article a few months ago. However, I decided against doing so at that time because its conclusions would have been seen as controversial- even by the standards of what I usually write about. The social media environment at that time was, also, especially toxic for posts like this one. Since then, things have gotten a bit more normal and the major controversial prediction in the current post is starting to come true.
So what series of events inspired me to consider writing this post in the first place? Well.. there have been many over the years, but one set stand out. Many of you might recall that in 2016, a then largely unknown senator from Vermont known as Bernie Sanders came very close to becoming the democratic party’s candidate for president. Were it not for the democratic party establishment (especially the DNC) rigging the democratic primary in favor of HRC, he would have been the democratic nominee and almost certainly won the 2016 presidential election.
The subsequent mistreatment of Bernie supporters by the democratic party establishment combined with Wikileaks exposing the democratic establishment conspiracy against him almost certainly made enough potential democratic voters stay home (especially in the Midwest) resulting in Trump winning those states and the electoral college in the presidential election. Now many partisan democratic voters, especially of the astroturf type, still maintain that Bernie would have lost against Trump in the general election. While I would like to destroy the many versions of that particular myth, doing so is best left for another day and post.
This post shall instead focus on the identity and motivations of one specific subset of media personalities pushing various versions of that argument. I am talking about black media personalities- both in traditional media as well as “new” media. To be clear- the loudest pushers of this myth have always been white establishment democratic operatives. Having said that, it is also fair to point out that many black media personalities were also very active in pushing this myth- and some are still busy doing so.
It is no secret that some of the most public critics of Bernie Sander’s candidacy were black. Most of you have heard names such as Joy-Ann Reid, Jamelle Bouie and Don Lemon or pseudo-journalists such as Donna Brazile. But perhaps more interesting was the unusual prominence of certain black print journalists and new “media” types such as Yamiche Alcindor, Imani Gandy, Marcus H. Johnson and a number of black bloggers who wrote anti-Bernie sanders hit pieces for a wide variety of online media outlets.
I initially considered the possibility that all of this negative reaction to Bernie’s candidacy by black media personalities was due to latent antisemitism with certain parts of that community. I have heard more than a couple black comedians remark that Bernie reminded them of their (Jewish) landlord. However reading the contents of these increasingly numerous hit pieces made me consider a different possibility- namely that is was due to greed rather than simple antisemitism. Here is why..
Firstly, almost every single black media personality who criticized the Sanders candidacy was also full of effusive praise and unconditional support for HRC. It is well-known that the ‘get-tough-on-crime’ policies of her husband (Bill Clinton) resulted in the single largest increase in rates of incarceration for the black community. His other trademark policies, from ‘welfare reform’ to ‘free trade’ also caused disproportionate damage to the black community. Moreover, all of this occurred during the 1990s- less than 20 years ago. So you can see why all of that praise and support for HRC by black media personalities (who criticized Sanders) sounded so.. odd.
Secondly, the general themes for criticism of Sanders by different black media personalities (at any given time) were almost identical. Even more telling, the shift in themes for such critiques changed almost simultaneously across multiple media platforms. It was as if they were on the same mailing lists. The criticisms leveled against Sanders were also peculiar. They ranged from outright lies and misrepresentations to saying that he only represented the white working class to a lot of academic sounding bullshit talk about ‘intersectionality’. It was almost as if all these black media personalities were parroting talking points written up by people working from a certain office in Brooklyn.
But why were they doing that? Why were so many black media personalities (especially of the ‘new media’ kind) so enthusiastic about supporting a candidate as untrustworthy and reviled as HRC?
Now.. I am sure that a few well-known black media personalities were financially (and otherwise) compensated for their efforts by the HRC campaign. However it appears that the vast majority of ‘new media’ types did not receive any worthwhile financial compensation for their efforts. So why did they do it? What was their motivation? Some of you might think they did so due to group-think or personal stupidity. I think otherwise. While the willingness of people to work for free might seem irrational to most people- it is not so to those who actually believe in neo-liberalism.
Neo-liberal ideology, you see, is like a religion- albeit a secular one. And like all other religions and ideologies, it is a pyramid scheme requiring an endless supply of suckers willing to slave for others so that they may, one day, have the chance to do the same to other newer suckers. Isn’t that why so many white university-educated “millennials” slave away in long and unpaid internships at otherwise profitable corporations? Or consider the number of young, and largely white, people who try their luck in the entertainment industry each year. My point is that actions of black media personalities who dissed Sanders and cheered on HRC during the democratic primary make sense if you assume that they are true believers in the neoliberal way.
Some of you might say.. So what? Aren’t all these black media personalities just doing what their white counterparts have been doing for much longer?
Well.. it is true that black media personalities who shill for rich white oligarchs are just following the footsteps of their white counterparts. Also, I am not suggesting that members of one ethnic group should hold itself to higher standards than those of another ethic group. My critique is that black media personalities who shill for rich white oligarchs are not getting remunerated for their work at rates approaching their white counterparts. Furthermore- white media shills.. I mean media personalities, seem to be far more successful at turning their poorly paid shill gigs into reasonably OK, if mediocre, careers. Black media personalities, on the other hand, can seldom transform their sucking up to the elite into decent careers.
To be clear, this has nothing to do with their relative competence. But it has everything to do with how the democratic establishment sees black people- even those who help them win elections. As far as the democratic establishment is concerned, blacks exist largely to vote for them in elections and thereby make them look better than republicans- at least to themselves. Once the elections are over, they see blacks as a group to be aggressively policed, heavily incarcerated and otherwise ignored. There is a reason that cops legally murder as many black men in states and cities governed by the democratic party as its republican equivalent. That is also why democrats talk a lot suppression of black voters by republicans but do precious little to fix it.
I am guessing that the rise of Obama during the previous eight years might have provided some false hope to aspiring social climbers in the black community. It is likely that many of them believed that towing the establishment neoliberal line would translate into a decent chance at getting the kinds of gigs and careers that their white counterparts used to get. Well.. that is definitely not going to happen now as HRC lost the election. But I think it would not have occurred even if she had won the election as throwing average black supporters under the bus after the elections is second nature to the Clinton family and the democratic party establishment.
What do you think? Comments?
In the previous and third part of this series- I pointed out that the democratic party, in its current form, is highly dependent upon continued support by the professional (and wannabe professional) class. In that post, I also talked about why this particular socio-economic group has such an outsize influence on the actual policy positions of democratic party. To quickly summarize: a number of overlapping factors such as their geographic distribution, co-localization with other groups of reliably democratic voters, importance in fund-raising, filling the lower ranks of their party apparatus etc make them an especially important category of likely voters for establishment democratic candidates. It is worth mentioning that the professional (and wannabe professional) class also benefit and profit from their association with, and their support of, the democratic party.
The level and depth of support by this class of the democratic party does however bring up another seldom asked question- Why are members of the professional (and wannabe professional) class in USA so likely to support, and vote for, establishment democratic candidates? I mean.. why are people in the top 10-20% of the income distribution scale, at least on the national scale, so supportive of a party which still brands itself as pro-working-class? Now some of you will point out that not all people who make a decent income tend vote for democrats.. and that is true. There is however a big difference between people who make a upper-middle class level income for 5-20 years of their life and those who are part of that class.
A working class person with a decent paying job (cop, electrician, tradesman or some other blue-collar type) is not part of the upper-middle class even if they, in some parts of the country, make an almost upper middle-class income for a couple of decades in their life. On the other hand- somebody born in a family where both parents, and frequently close relatives, have post-graduate degrees will almost always end up as part of the professional (and wannabe professional) class. Curiously people born into that class tend to remain part of it even if they are not as financially successful, at least in the short-term, as their parents. So while the kids of a professor, doctor or lawyer might not end up in occupations similar to their parents, they are rather unlikely to end up as electricians or plumbers.
But what does our brief discussion on socio-economic class in USA have to do with future electoral prospects of the democratic party? As you will see in the remainder of this post- a lot!
To better understand what I am going to say next, ask yourself another simple question- What is the idealized self-image of the professional (and wannabe professional) class? Who, and what, do they see themselves as? What do they aspire to become? At the risk of making an over generalized statement, it is fair to say that this particular class sees itself as the truly deserving elite- though most of them would never admit it loudly in public. But why would they think like that? Well.. because it is kinda true. All highly unequal and pyramidal wealth distributions owe their continued existence to the striving of those in the levels immediately below the uppermost level of the social order. To put it another way, it is the professional class who do all the hard work that keeps the status quo going- which benefits the rich elites far more than it benefits them.
And this brings us to peculiar relationship between the professional class and the rich elites. The former, you see, want to become the later. There are however only two pathways for them to realistically achieve that goal. They can either replace them through violent revolution or ingratiate themselves further to the elites. If you have read enough history, it becomes obvious that ingratiation is by far more common than outright replacement- largely because most members of the professional class are clever but spineless creatures who are better at being courtiers than warriors. The professional class therefore spend a lot of effort imitating the moneyed elite. Such mimicry ranges from the fairly harmless copying of their masters tastes in food, drink, dress, mannerisms and leisure activities to the far more insidious process of adopting their worldview as their own.
But why is the false consciousness of the professional (and wannabe professional) class in USA so problematic for the future viability of the democratic party? And why now?
To better answer this question we have to ask ourselves: has the class composition of decision makers and their flunkies in the democratic party (aka the establishment) changed over the decades? As many of you know- the answer to that is a big fucking YES! The democratic party establishment, right upto the early 1990s, represented a far wider range of social classes than in 2016. My point is that, while the party establishment then was just as (or more) corrupt and hierarchical as it is now- it was not the near perfect echo chamber of ideological conformity we see in 2016. But why is having high levels of self-imposed ideological conformity in an organization dangerous for its future? I mean.. didn’t state communism in eastern European countries last for decades under similar levels of self-imposed ideological conformity?
Which brings me to the real reason why extensive support by the professional class is so damaging to the future of the democratic party. Rigid ideological conformity, you see, works pretty well as long as external conditions don’t change too much. Think about using cruise control on a car.. it works great as long as you are driving on a road (and under conditions) similar to the one under which it was turned on. However you cannot keep on using the cruise control setting you turned on a straight and uncrowded stretch of the freeway once you reach its more crowded sections or exit onto a smaller road with different speed limits. And you certainly cannot drive on a snow-covered road like you would do on a dry road in southern California. In other words, keeping yourself on the road requires you to adapt the way you drive according to prevailing road conditions and traffic.
Similarly large human organizations such as political parties have to adjust their mode of functioning and strategies to the prevailing conditions. But how do they “know” about changes in the political and socio-economic climate? In a democracy, elections are supposed to provide such a feedback. But what if they are unable to do so? What if the entire electoral process is so rigged and gerrymandered that most incumbent candidates of either political party keeps on winning “fair and free” elections until the whole underlying system is literally about to collapse? What if a political party is capable of consistently winning elections in certain parts of the country regardless of their policies and performance in office? In case you didn’t realize it- I was talking about the electoral process in USA.
Anyway.. my point, here, is that elections are basically unable to effect any real change in the policy directions of established political parties. Any change in that area (short of the public losing all faith in the system) has therefore to come from people inside the establishment of political parties. We already know that “leaders” and other high-ranking officials in any political party will never change their ways or accept the need for such change. And this brings us to the loyal rank-and-file of political parties. As far as the democratic party is concerned, its loyal rank-and-file = professional (and wannabe professional) class. To put it another way, the loyal rank-and-file of the democratic party is basically a large echo chamber which supports and vigorously defends the interests and worldview of rich elites.
That is why the democratic establishment and its loyal supporters have been able to consistently reelect their repeatedly unsuccessful leadership. That is why they keep on acting as if they were not badly defeated in 2016. That is why they keep on nominating mediocre insider presidential candidates like Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and HRC. That is why all the electoral reverses of the previous eight years had little to no effect on their political strategies. That is also why they are busy blaming everybody but their own strategies and policies for their electoral setbacks. That is also why they are so interested in getting the votes of “moderate” republicans rather than increasing their turnout among the working class.
To make a long story short, establishment democrats will very likely continue on their disastrous trajectory because everybody who has any real say in making that decision believes it to be the only path. Perhaps more troublingly, they will continue to win enough elections in certain populous parts of the party to keep them relevant as a national party and thereby allow them to dismiss (or stifle) emerging internal dissent in the party. Unless some combination of persons and events discredits the current democratic establishment and their flunkies, in the near future, to an extent which makes it impossible for them to be seen as a credible national political party- they have no worthwhile future.
What do you think? Comments?
These links are NSFW.
Spread Amateur Cuties: Dec 31, 2016 – Nubile amateur cuties showing off their.. cookies.
Lounging Amateur Cuties: Dec 31, 2016 – Nubile amateur cuties lounging around the house.
Will post something more intellectual tomorrow.
Some time ago, I came across an interesting Reddit group about the ongoing social, moral and ideological decay inherent to unrestrained capitalism- but more specifically its currently popular neoliberal incarnation. It contains a lot of interesting posts and links to contemporary examples of the commodification and marketing of services and things that no society with a desire to survive should allow to be commodified or marketed. Posts in the group also seem to have a strong focus on the need to break the current socio-economic status quo and create a more equitable and less fucked-up world.
Here is the link: Capitalism in Decay