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What’s at stake in today’s U.S. election?

The rise of Donald Trump is a symptom of middle America’s revolt against the turbocharged ultra liberal domestic policies and the aggressive neocon foreign policies imposed on them by a small neocon elite.

Andrey Fomin

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Submitted by the author, previously published by the Oriental Review.

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election will show that the American political system – as we have known it – will apparently cease to exist. 

Trump is nothing like those Republican pawns who, along with the puppets of the Democratic party, have spent the last 40 years erecting the facade of American democracy.  It really looks like he is ready to make good on the threat he made even prior to the Republican National Convention – to send millions of his supporters into the streets.

Today Trump represents an entirely new party made up of half of the American electorate, and they are ready for action.  And whatever the eventual political structure of this new model, this is what is shaping America’s present reality.  Moreover, this does not seem like such a unique situation.  It rather appears to be the final chapter of some ancient story, in which the convoluted plot lines finally take shape and find resolution.

The circumstances are increasingly reminiscent of 1860, when Lincoln’s election so enraged the South that those states began agitating for secession.  Trump is today symbolic of a very real American tradition that during the Civil War (1860-1865) ran headlong into American revolutionary liberalism for the first time.

Right up until World War I traditional American conservatism wore the guise of “isolationism.”  Prior to World War II it was known as “non-interventionism.”  Afterward, that movement attempted to use Senator Joseph McCarthy to battle the left-liberal stranglehold.  And in the 1960s it became the primary target of the “countercultural revolution.”

Its last bastion was Richard Nixon, whose fall was the result of an unprecedented attack from the left-liberal press in 1974.  And this is perhaps the example against which we should compare the present-day Trump and his current fight.

And by the way, the crimes of Hillary Clinton, who has failed to protect state secrets and has repeatedly been caught lying under oath, clearly outweigh the notorious Watergate scandal that led to Nixon’s forced resignation under threat of impeachment.  But the liberal American media remains silent, as if nothing has happened.

By all indications it is clear that we are standing before a truly epochal moment.  But before turning to the future that might await us, let’s take a quick glance at the history of conflict between revolutionary liberalism and traditional white conservatism in the US.

Immediately after World War II, an attack on two fronts was launched by the party of “expansionism” (we’ll call it that). 

The Soviet Union and Communism were designated the number one enemy. 

Enemy number two (with less hype) was traditional American conservatism. The war against traditional “Americanism” was waged by several intellectual fringe groups simultaneously.

The country’s cultural and intellectual life was under the absolute control of a group known as the “New York Intellectuals.” Literary criticism as well as all other aspects of the nation’s literary life was in the hands of this small group of literary curators who had emerged from the milieu of a Trotskyist-communist magazine known as the Partisan Review (PR). No one could become a professional writer in the America of the 1950s and 1960s without being carefully screened by this sect.

The foundational tenets of American political philosophy and sociology were composed by militants from the Frankfurt School, which had been established during the interwar period in Weimar Germany and which moved to the US after the National Socialists took power. Here, retraining their sights from communist to liberal, they set out to design a “theory of totalitarianism” in addition to their concept of an “authoritarian personality” – both hostile to “democracy.”

The “New York Intellectuals” and representatives of the Frankfurt School became friends, and Hannah Arendt, for example, was an authoritative representative of both sects. 

This is where future neocons (Norman Podhoretz, Eliot A. Cohen, and Irving Kristol) gained their experience.  The former leader of the Trotskyist Fourth International and godfather of the neocons, Max Shachtman, held a place of honor in the “family of intellectuals.”

The anthropological school of Franz Boas and Freudianism reigned over the worlds of psychology and sociology at that time.  The Boasian approach in psychology argued that genetic, national, and racial differences between individuals were of no importance (thus the concepts of “national culture” and “national community” were meaningless).

Psychoanalysis also became fashionable, which primarily aimed to supplant traditional church institutions and become a type of quasi-religion for the middle class.

The common denominator linking all these movements was anti-fascism.  Did something look fishy in this?  But the problem was that the traditional values of the nation, state, and family were all labeled “fascist.”  From this standpoint, any white Christian man aware of his cultural and national identity was potentially a “fascist.”

Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology at California State University, analysed in detail the seizure of America’s cultural, political, and mental landscape by these “liberal sects” in his brilliant book The Culture of Critique, writing:

“The New York Intellectuals, for example, developed ties with elite universities, particularly Harvard, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and the University of California-Berkeley, while psychoanalysis and anthropology became well entrenched throughout academia.

The moral and intellectual elite established by these movements dominated intellectual discourse during a critical period after World War II and leading into the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.”

It was precisely this intellectual milieu that spawned the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.

Riding the wave of these sentiments, the new Immigration and Nationality Act was passed in 1965, encouraging this phenomenon and facilitating the integration of immigrants into US society. The architects of the law wanted to use the celebrated melting pot to “dilute” the “potentially fascist” descendants of European immigrants by making use of new ethno-cultural elements.

The 1960s revolution opened the door to the American political establishment to representatives from both wings of the expansionist “party” – the neo-liberals and the neo-conservatives.

Besieged by the left-liberal press in 1974, Richard Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment.  In the same year the US Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik Amendment (drafted by Richard Perle), which emerged as a symbol of the country’s “new political agenda” – economic war against the Soviet Union using sanctions and boycotts.

At that same time the “hippie generation” was joining the Democratic Party on the coattails of Senator George McGovern’s campaign.  And that was when Bill Clinton’s smiling countenance first emerged on the US political horizon.

And the future neo-conservatives (at that time still disciples of the Democratic hawk Henry “Scoop” Jackson) began to slowly edge in the direction of the Republicans.

«If there is any doubt about the power of your ideas, just look at the number of members of the Center that have been appointed to posts in this administration – especially in the Department of Defense- to dispel that doubt» – Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, September 5, 2002

In 1976, Mr. Rumsfeld and his fellow neoconservatives resurrected the Committee on the Present Danger, an inter-party club for political hawks whose goal became the launch of an all-out propaganda war against the USSR.

Former Trotskyists and followers of Max Shachtman (Kristol, Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick) and advisers to Senator Henry Jackson (Paul Wolfowitz, Perle, Elliott Abrams, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith) joined Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and other “Christian” politicians with the intention of launching a “campaign to transform the world.”

This is where the neocons’  “non partisan ideology” originated.  And eventually today’s “inalterable US government” hatched from this egg.

American politics began to acquire its current shape during the Reagan era. 

In economics this was seen in the policy of neoliberalism (politics waged in the interests of big financial capital) and in foreign policy in a strategy consisting of “holy war against the forces of evil.” 

The Nixon-Kissinger tradition of foreign policy (which viewed the Soviet Union and China as a normal countries with which it is essential to find common ground) was entirely abandoned.

The collapse of the USSR was a sign of the onset of the final phase of the “neocon revolution.”  At that point their protégé, Francis Fukuyama, announced the “end of history.”

As the years passed, the influence of the neo-conservatives (in politics) and neoliberals (in economics) only expanded.  Through all manner of committees, foundations, “think tanks,” etc., the students of Milton Friedman and Leo Strauss (from the departments of economics and political science at the University of Chicago) penetrated ever more deeply into the inner workings of the Washington power machine. 

The apotheosis of this expansion was the presidency of George W. Bush, during which the neocons, having seized the primary instruments of power in the White House, were able to plunge the country into the folly of a war in the Middle East.

By the end of the Bush presidency this clique was the object of universal hatred throughout the US.  That’s why the middle-ground, innocuous figure of Barack Obama, a Democrat, was able to move into the White House for the next eight years. 

The neocons stepped down from their central rostrums of power and returned to their “influential committees.” 

It is likely that the current election was intended to facilitate the triumphant return of the neoconservative-neoliberal paradigm all wrapped up in “new packaging.”  For various reasons, the decision was made to assign this role to Hillary Clinton.  But it seems that at the most critical moment the flimsy packaging ripped open …

What happened?  Why is this clique’s triumphant return to power erupting in massive scandal this time around? 

Probably because we are living in an era during which much that was mysterious is suddenly becoming clear. 

Probably because Trump’s “silent majority” suddenly saw before them someone they had been waiting for for a long time – a man ready to defend their interests.

Perhaps also it is because the middle class is choking on its growing exasperation with the “elite caste” occupying its native country. 

And it finally became clear to the sober-minded American patriots in law enforcement that the return to power of the people responsible for the current global chaos could be a big threat to the US and rest of the world.  Because, in the end, everyone has children and no one wants a new world war.

How will this new conservative revolt against the elite end?  Will Trump manage to “drain the swamp of Washington, DC” as he has promised, or will he end up as the system’s next victim?  Very soon we can finally get an answer to these questions.

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Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”

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Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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OPEC Plus: Putin’s move to control energy market with Saudi partnership (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 150.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss OPEC Plus and the growing partnership between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which aims to reshape the energy market, and cement Russia’s leadership role in global oil and gas supply.

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Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ WILL survive

The Express UK reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ will not only survive, but grow, regardless of geopolitical turmoil and internal Saudi scandal…as the energy interests between both nations bind them together.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin’s Russia have a “long-term relationship” which is strategically beneficial to both of them, and which underlines their position as the world’s most influential oil producers, alongside the United States, an industry expert has said.

Following concerns about too much oil flooding the market, Saudi Arabia on Sunday performed an abrupt u-turn by deciding to reduce production by half a million barrels a day from December.

This put the Middle Eastern country at odds with Russia, which said it was no clear whether the market would be oversupplied next year, with market analysts predicting the country’s oil producing companies likely to BOOST proaction by 300,000 barrels per day.

But IHS Markit vice chairman Daniel Yergin said the decision was unlikely to jeopardise the relationship between the two allies.

The Saudis have faced significant international criticism in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr Yergin made it clear that Moscow and Riyadh would continue to be closely aligned irrespective of external factors.

He explained: “I think it’s intended to be a long-term relationship and it started off about oil prices but you see it taking on other dimensions, for instance, Saudi investment in Russian LNG (liquefied natural gas) and Russian investment in Saudi Arabia.

“I think this is a strategic relationship because it’s useful to both countries.”

Saudi Arabia and Russia are close, especially as a result of their pact in late 2016, along with other OPEC and non-OPEC producers, to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day in order to prevent prices dropping too far – but oil markets have changed since then, largely as a result.

The US criticised OPEC, which Saudi Arabia is the nominal leader of, after prices rose.

Markets have fluctuated in recent weeks as a result of fears over a possible drop in supply, as a result of US sanctions on Iran, and an oversupply, as a result of increased production by Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, which have seen prices fall by about 20 percent since early October.

Saudi Arabia has pumped 10.7 million barrels per day in October, while the figure for Russiaand the US was 11.4 million barrels in each case.

Mr Yergin said: “It’s the big three, it’s Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, this is a different configuration in the oil market than the traditional OPEC-non-OPEC one and so the world is having to adjust.”

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley told CNBC: “The OPEC-plus agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia and coalition is a lot stronger than people speculate.

“I think Russia doesn’t have the ability to turn on and off big fields which can happen in the Middle East.

“But I fully expect there to be coordination to try to keep the oil price within a certain fairway.”

Markets rallied by two percent on Monday off the back of the , which it justified by citing uncertain global oil growth and associated oil demand next year.

It also suggested  granted on US sanctions imposed on Iran which have been granted to several countries including China and Japan was a reason not to fear a decline in supply.

Also talking to CNBC, Russia’s Oil Minister Alexander Novak indicated a difference of opinion between Russia and the Saudis, saying it was too soon to cut production, highlighting a lot of volatility in the oil market.

He added: “If such a decision is necessary for the market and all the countries are in agreement, I think that Russia will undoubtedly play a part in this.

“But it’s early to talk about this now, we need to look at this question very carefully.”

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