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Grin and Bear It - Just A Symptom

by Oui Sun Feb 4th, 2018 at 09:14:17 AM EST

No surprise here, an excellent analysis ...

'Trump's presidency is a symptom of our time'

12 October 2017 - 09:10

Twitter rants, alternative facts, fake news: president Donald J. Trump is truly something new. But according to culture scientist Ico Maly, the ideology that drives the Trump administration is not new, not exclusively American, and not going away. Is the New Right the new normal?

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has shocked the world. Nobody saw it coming. Not the media, not the pollsters, not the political analysts, and not the Tilburg University students following the New Media and Politics class taught by Belgian culture scientist Ico Maly. "In the months leading up to the presidential election, I told my students that there was a real chance Trump would win the White House. They laughed and said there was no way that would happen", Maly says.

More below the fold ...

It happened. Trump's presidency, his tweets, alternative facts, fake news, white supremacy, misogyny, the `alt-right', Charlottesville: it took us all by surprise, Maly says, despite being perfectly predictable. "What is happening in the US is not exceptional. Of course Trump's idiosyncratic style is, but the phenomenon as such is an expression of a global phenomenon, a trend that has been building momentum since the fall of the Berlin wall", he explains. "After the Iron Curtain was drawn back in 1989, the complete restructuring of the global economy led to profound inequality. In a crippling globalized economy, we see new far-right movements capitalize on two fundamental ideas: regaining national control, and putting a stop to immigration."

Ico Maly wrote his dissertation on the ideology of the New Flemish Alliance, or the N-VA, a nationalist political party in Belgium. Intimately familiar with the nationalist narrative of the N-VA, Maly did not look at Trump's electoral success with the same astonishment that most of us felt. "I know this story", he explains. "The N-VA tells a very similar one. It's a story that resonates with our times, a story that resonates with certain groups today."

Just to be clear, no reference to anti-Putinism or the Russian alt-right as American politics so easily propagate.

For the first time I read the thoughts of Ico Maly, heard him today in a radio broadcast interview in Holland. He gave the same warning I have written about for a number of years about the populist Geert Wilders and his anti-immigration party, pro-Israel and  preaching Islamophobia. A modern version of Wilders is Thierry Baudet ... a rising star in the Dutch polls. A new normal due to lack of wise opposition. See the carmeleon politics of Dutch PM Mark Rutte.

New Right - generations in an attempt to reverse the Age of Enlightenment ...

The French Origins of "You Will Not Replace Us" | The New Yorker - Dec. 2017 |

Camus has spent most of his career as a critic, novelist, diarist, and travel essayist. The only one of his hundred or so books to be translated into English, "Tricks" (1979), announces itself as "a sexual odyssey--man-to-man," and includes a foreword by Roland Barthes. The book describes polyglot assignations from Milan to the Bronx. Allen Ginsberg said of it, "Camus's world is completely that of a new urban homosexual; at ease in half a dozen countries."

In recent years, though, Camus's name has been associated less with erotica than with a single poignant phrase, le grand remplacement. In 2012, he made this the title of an alarmist book. Native "white" Europeans, he argues, are being reverse-colonized by black and brown immigrants, who are flooding the Continent in what amounts to an extinction-level event. "The great replacement is very simple," he has said. "You have one people, and in the space of a generation you have a different people." The specific identity of the replacement population, he suggests, is of less importance than the act of replacement itself. "Individuals, yes, can join a people, integrate with it, assimilate to it," he writes in the book. "But peoples, civilizations, religions--and especially when these religions are themselves civilizations, types of society, almost States--cannot and cannot even want to . . . blend into other peoples, other civilizations."

Camus believes that all Western countries are faced with varying degrees of "ethnic and civilizational substitution." He points to the increasing prevalence of Spanish, and other foreign languages, in the United States as evidence of the same phenomenon. Although his arguments are scarcely available in translation, they have been picked up by right-wing and white-nationalist circles throughout the English-speaking world. In July, Lauren Southern, the Canadian alt-right Internet personality, posted, on YouTube, a video titled "The Great Replacement"; it has received more than a quarter of a million views.

Not a great insight, but this piece is from a British conservative columnist .... blaming the French for Brexit.

The Enlightenment has failed; Trump's New World Order begins

In recent years, the world has been turned upside-down. Old assumptions and old certainties no longer work. This means that there are no grounds for Western geo-political self-confidence. At the beginning of the Nineties, we were invited to hail the new world order and the end of history. How hollow those phrases sound now. If they are ever recalled to mind, it is with bitter irony.  Forget optimistic slogans: we are now in the era of the unknown unknowns.

Yet none of this is Donald Trump's fault. The President is dramatising the problems, not creating them. He had no hand in the West's failures in the Middle East. He did not create the threats to American jobs and living standards from automation, robotisation and globalisation. He is not responsible for the immigration pressures from the huddled masses in poor countries. He cannot be blamed for the failure of the European single currency, nor for the West's inability to reach a post-Cold War modus vivendi with Russia. Men who regard themselves as much wiser than Mr Trump and who have the academic credentials to prove it, if not necessarily the record of practical successes, ought to scrutinise their own motives. They clearly have an aesthetic objection to a Trump presidency: that is understandable. "What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Washington to be born." Yet it may also be that they are angry with him because he is forcing them to confront their own failure.

About the author: Bruce Anderson is a British political columnist, currently working as a freelancer. Formerly a political editor at The Spectator and contributor to the Daily Mail, he wrote for the The Independent from 2003 to September 2010, and ConservativeHome until 2012.  

Late in life an afterthought ...

Unbelievable ... Jaap De Hoop Scheffer

Speaking of Camus, let us recall the glory years of the GWOT. A columnist published by Salon dot com, having no inkling of the many media in which the president's genius would flourish, wondered, Why is George Bush reading Camus?
I'm not sure what to make of this. It's usually college freshmen who suddenly take up the French existentialist's slim volume, and then usually to impress some literature major with wavy hair. Perhaps it was an act of glasnost: Bush has spent much of his presidency dismissing the French, so now he reads one of the country's literary heroes and goes public about it.

At the time, I confess, I was alarmed by occasional press reports of FBI missions overseas, each claiming another frontier of US jurisdiction. "Declassified" explanations for this domestic agency's "deployment" to Iraq (Abu Graib) and Afghanistan (bin Laden and conspirators) easily dissolved into "Fog of War: rumors, propaganda, and just plain bullshit." The president enthusiastically spoke to Quantico's academy of the creation of "the National Security Service within the FBI." 2005.

I appreciate our Attorney General, Al Gonzales, who has joined us today. General, thank you for being here. I want to thank Ambassador John Negroponte, the Director of the National Intelligence. Thanks for coming, Mr. Director. I appreciate Director Bob Mueller, of the FBI -- doing a fantastic job. Thank you, Bob, for coming. Director Porter Goss of the CIA; Administrator Karen Tandy [GENDER GAP ALERT?!] of the Drug Administration -- the Drug Enforcement Administration -- (Laughter.) Thank you, Karen.

I appreciate the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John Warner of Virginia, joining us today. Senator, thank you for coming. Senator George Allen from Virginia is with us, as well. And I appreciate the Vice Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Curt Weldon, for being with us today. Thank you all for being here. (Applause.)

Some of these persons have retired from the limelight, but their legacy endures --as strangely as axes of evil and alliance define a 'homeland'.
To defend our homeland, we need the best possible intelligence. We face a new kind of enemy. This enemy hides in caves and plots in shadows, and then emerges to strike and kill in cold blood in our cities and communities. Staying a step ahead of this enemy and disrupting their plans is an unprecedented challenge for our intelligence community. We're reforming our intelligence agencies to meet the new threats. We've established a new National Counterterrorism Center where we are bringing together all the available intelligence on terrorist threats. We're sharing intelligence across all levels of government -- the federal level, the state level, and the local level.

We're working with our allies to share information, and to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction. Thanks to the hard work of hundreds in our intelligence community, we have stopped a number of grave threats to the American people. Together with our allies, we uncovered and dismantled Libya's nuclear program. We worked with Pakistan and other nations to shut down the world's most dangerous nuclear trading network. And since September the 11th, our coalition has disrupted a number of al Qaeda terrorist plots, arrested al Qaeda operatives here to case specific U.S. targets, and caught others trying to sneak into our country.
One of the new steps we're taking is the creation of the National Security Service within the FBI, to more completely integrate the Bureau's work with the intelligence community. The purpose of this change is to strengthen the FBI, so it not only investigates terrorist crimes after they happen, but the FBI can be more capable to stop the terrorist acts before they happen. The FBI is in the fight. The FBI has deployed its personnel across the world, in Iraq and Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terror. FBI agents are questioning captured terrorists and uncovering information that will help prevent new attacks on our homeland.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Feb 5th, 2018 at 05:35:36 PM EST
...there is more than one Camus among French writers.

There is Albert, of course, the famous author of "The Stranger" who died in 1960 in a car crash.

Then we have Renaud, who was barely 13 when Albert (no relation) died. Renaud Camus is the one who's been pushing the "Great Replacement" concept since 2010.

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Feb 5th, 2018 at 09:16:49 PM EST
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