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There is an irony here. It used to be a vision of the Left that politics was about freeing people from shackles which had been imposed on them by dint of their birth [...] But for many people on the Left, the dream seems to have been rejected. It is somehow too entangled with the Enlightenment project, too modernist, too "Western." For some reason Western intellectuals, and many non-Western too, have decided that people in the Third World do not want or like freedom or change, that 'authentic' Third World people prefer ancient communal ties and oneness with the earth. They tell them to be what they were born, and stay what they were born, on pain of being accused of inauthenticity and mental colonization.
Equality, the imams and priests solemnly repeat, does not mean sameness. No, to be sure, it doesn't, but it does generally mean sameness of treatment, sameness of laws, sameness of opportunities, sameness of rights. What it does not mean - what it is generally taken to rule out - is instruction from the authorities on what kind of work one can and cannot attempt, what kind of life one can and cannot chose.
These religious authorities and conservative clerics worship a wretchedly cruel unjust vindictive executioner of a God. They worship a God of 10-year-old boys, a God of rapists, of gangs, of pimps.
They worship - despite rhetoric about justice and compassion and agapē - a God who sides with the strong against the weak, a God who cheers for privilege and punishes egalitarianism. They worship a God who is male and who gangs up with other males against women. They worship a thug.
They worship a God who thinks little girls should be married to grown men. They worship a God who looks on in approval when a grown man rapes a child because he is 'married' to her. They worship a God who thinks a woman should receive 80 lashes with a whip because her hair wasn't completely covered. They worship a God who is pleased when three brothers hack their sisters to death with axes because one of them married without their father's permission.
Almost everybody in the campaign, still an extremely small outfit, thought of themselves as a clear-eyed team, as realistic about their prospects as perhaps any in politics. The unspoken agreement among them: not only would Donald Trump not be president, he should probably not be. Conveniently, the former conviction meant nobody had to deal with the latter issue.
Før du gjør narr av "mainstream"-mediene, bør du merke deg at de ikke lenger er mainstream.
Å gi avkall på fakta er å gi avkall på friheten. Hvis ingenting er sant, kan ingen kritisere makten, siden det ikke finnes noen fast grunn å gjøre det fra. Hvis ingenting er sant, er alt blendverk. Den feteste lommeboken betaler for de sterkeste lysene.
...for progressive politics anti-moral transgression has always been a bargain with the devil, because the case for equality is essentially a moral one.
The hysterical liberal call-out produced a breeding ground for an online backlash of irreverent mockery and anti-PC, typified by charismatic figures like Milo [Yiannopoulus]. But after crying wolf throughout these years, calling everyone from saccarine pop stars to Justin Trudeau a 'white supremacist' and everyone who wasn't With Her a sexist, the real wolf eventually arrived, in the form of the openly white nationalist alt-right who hid among an online army of ironic in-jokey trolls. When this happened, nobody knew who to take literally any more, including many of those in the middle of this new online far right themselves. The alt-light figures that became celebrities during this period made their careers exposing the absurdities of online identity politics and the culture of lightly thrown claims of misogyny, racism, ableism, fatphobia, transphobia and so on. However, offline, only one side saw their guy take the office of the US president and only one side has in their midst faux-ironic Sieg Heil saluting, open white segregationists and genuinely hate-filled, occasionally murderous misogynists and racists.
Before the overtly racist alt-right were widely known, the more mainstream alt-light largely flattered it, gave it glowing write-ups in Breitbart and elsewhere, had its spokespeople on their YouTube shows and promoted it on social media. Nevertheles, when Milo's sudden career implosion happened later they didn't return the favor, which I think may be setting a precedent for a future in which the playful trangressive alt-light unwittingly play the useful idiots for those with far more serious political aims. If this dark, anti-Semitic, race-segregationist ideology grows in the coming years, with their vision of the future that would necessitate violence, those who made the right attractive will have to take responsibility for having played their role.
Economic growth has been cited by the World Bank as the "essential ingredient for sustained poverty reduction." But for every $100 of global economic growth that occurred between 1990 and 2001, only 60 cents went to people below the $1-per-day line. In other words, to get the poorest people of the world an extra $1 required a $166 increase in global production and consumption. Someone is profiting from economic growth, but it's not the world's poor.
I worry that [...] pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us - then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls.
The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.
Det er en utbredt misforståelse at Weimar-republikken var spesielt sårbar for nazistenes undergravingsforsøk fordi den var så liberal, eller "for" liberal. Rettsprotokollene forteller en annen historie. Mellom 1923 og 1933 ble det sørtyske naziorganet Der Stürmer trukket for retten 36 ganger. Redaktøren var Julius Streicher, som ble dømt til døden av Nürnberg-tribunalet etter krigen. Tiltalene på 20-tallet gjaldt de groveste former for antisemittisk propaganda, slik som artikler om jødiske ritualmord på barn. Streicher ble idømt fengselsstraff to ganger. Nazistene utnyttet oppmerksomheten maksimalt. Hundrevis av sympatisører fulgte han i triumftog når han skulle inn og sone, og ved løslatelsen gjentok folkefesten seg. Prosessene gjorde Streicher og hatblekka hans landskjente. De ga hans synspunkter større spredning, ikke mindre, slik det var tilsiktet. Der Stürmer nådde opplag på mer enn en halv million. Her fins en leksjon også for vår tids mennesker, og et viktig korrektiv til den fullt forståelige refleksen når majoriteten krever forbud mot ytringer den opplever som avskyelige. Er det virkelig verd det?
Samme mønster så man i Berlin. Goebbels ble i perioder effektivt kneblet. Angriff ble beslaglagt og stanset 16 ganger, i opptil seks ukers varighet. Det hadde liten effekt. Folk ble nysgjerrige på hva som var så farlig med denne mannens meninger, og opplaget begynte å stige. I februar 1928 solgte Angriff 31 000 eksemplarer i uka; I november 1930 var den blitt dagsavis med et opplag på 68 000.
Å demontere et demokrati er åpenbart en mye enklere prosess enn å bygge det.
Once you're on television, you become an expert, with or without expertise, because you are talking to the Gut, and the Gut is a moron, as anyone who's ever tossed a golf club, punched a wall, or kicked a lawn mower knows. The Gut is the roiling repository of dark and ancient fears. It knows what it knows because it knows how it feels. [...] If something feels right, it must be treated with the same respect given something that actually is right. If something is felt deeply, it must carry the same weight as something that is true. If there are two sides to every argument - or, more to the point, if there are people willing to take up two sides to every argument - they both must be right or, at least, equally valid. Dress it up, and the Gut is "common sense," which rarely is common and even more rarely makes sense.
The problem isn't just that you were lied to. The real problem is that we, as a people, have become too lazy to learn what we need to know to make sound public decisions. The problem is that two thirds of us can't find Iraq on a map, and many members of Congress don't know a Shiite from a Sunni. The problem is that the public doesn't know enough or care enough about culture to be outraged when a United States secretary of defense, informed that some of the oldest artifacts of Western civilization are being looted from a Baghdad museum on our watch, says dismissively, 'Stuff happens.' The problem is that most of us don't bother to read newspapers or even watch the news on television. Our own ignorance is our worst enemy.