Whoever or whatever it was — or remains — if it was evil, we should collectively appreciate its import, ameliorate its damage, if comparatively recent, and pack it away not to be repeated if the semblance of the same may be prevented or damped.
As lies are told to hide something or to get something, those who counsel the excising of history — erasure of the past, in essence — would seem most of all ashamed of themselves and sensitive to their own hidden predilections for control and conquest. Only the pulling down of the despot’s statue at the time of the revolution proves liberating and signal of liberation. Yanking old generals off their pedestals? That’s something else.
Of course, everyone enjoys the money! So better here in America — or with an American, albeit not a very good one as stood beside American ideals and rule of law — than elsewhere and someone else. I’ve been shrugging away these themes for a while for being too large for any one person to address and seek to ameliorate. Those involved are the wealthy of the world, and no matter how they made their money, they’re powerful. 😦
Narcissistic leaders want to create, sustain, and leave for prosperity their own great image; they also want to remain in power without price, and for that, some, as dictators do, become as if forces of nature, heartless, unstoppable, ruthless.
Associated with the Conversation
We had been chatyping about DJT, the inferential references to corruption, money laundering, and Russian connections came to mind, so one look-see on the web and a five minutes later I had a starting overview on that subject, which is here listed below (with additions).
True take: free-wheeling American real estate business rides on ambition, caveat emptor, and wealth with the freedom of the seller’s not having to look too closely at The Money, which is in the end and for everyone involved and beyond . . . just money — but oh such a lot of money!
Call corruption the “Cancer of States” and consider that behind “dirty money”, however laundered, lays not only the wreckage of families, government, and lives but an intense leveraging of business and political power. The term “too big to fail” comes to mind, for the measurement of occult wealth, i.e., the contribution of illegal (at worst) and questionable (at best) “fund raising” seems to me an issue avoided by power itself, not that the subject has gone unnoticed.
The informal economy, also known as the underground economy or the black market, makes up a significant portion of the overall economy. It is estimated to be as much as 36 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of developing nations and 13 percent of developed countries’ GDP.1 However, as an article by Economist Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria in The Regional Economist points out, measuring the informal economy is quite difficult.
For probably all the right ambitious, emotional, and practical reasons, most may shrug off the little bit of grease and leaning — the gifts, the open arms, the warm handshakes; the aggressive marketing or “salesmanship” that nudges with a little bit of caution — that gets business done while facilitating access to new opportunities and relationships — but with too much of the same, the bodies, destroyed businesses and careers, and ruined lives show up visibly everywhere, and that little bit of smarmy activity becomes a tangled and suffocating web.
The matter of observing and measuring atrocious, ruthless, and vicious business behavior and its behavioral, economic, and social effects on societies not accustomed to their own dumb and hapless enslavement through malicious handling would seem another matter, and most certainly a matter of keen interest to economists, ethicists, and the public at large. With that in mind, one might suggest that Moscow’s “Mafia State” and Trump’s egregious approach to those apparently not fit to shine his shoes has set off for general rule the presence of some global and criminal or near-criminal nobility far above the constitutions, interests, and laws of states and their constituencies.
While the Russian mafia is a favorite antagonist of Hollywood screenwriters, it is thought to be all-but-defunct in reality. After all, when was the last time anybody in the U.S. heard about major Russian mafia activity?
The criminal underworld is thriving like never before in Europe. The individuals and groups are not random; they are highly organized, well-funded and responsible for rising levels of cyberterrorism, money laundering and murder. Fortune Magazinelists the Solntsevskaya Bratva, alternately known as the Russian mafia, as the largest organized crime group in the world and it ranks above both the Japanese Yakuza and the Mexican Sinaloa cartel in terms of overall revenue. More interesting than its current standing is how it achieved its status. From a culture that encouraged crime to a government that aided and abetted it, the Russian Federation has become a hotbed for a growing criminal underworld.
Absolute Power x Close Associates & Family v Democracy, Open Competition, and Merit.
Would that real life were that simple, but for the Palestinians, most of them, real life remains too medieval and beset with corruption and greed. Credit the KGB for blocking the advance of western liberalism — and democracy and rule of law — over their captive or dead bodies, courtesy of a now Ageing Arab World and the habits and machinations of an equally ageing Old Kremlin.
I’ve been dulled by the sheer stupidity of repeated political cant and conversation, but this time with the Middle East Conflict (MEC) have at least both background (“Palestinian KGB”) and perhaps insight to offer in the cause not only of quelling medieval and tribal misery but also for cheerleading the arrival of a different and modern New World. Take as signal — and convenient juxtaposition — Russian KGB/FSB President Vladimir Putin’s apparent decision to draw back Russian forces brought to Ukraine’s border after having turned military “exercise” into an ambiguous and deadly enough threat not only to Ukraine but to an ordered world that has been working in the region of history after WWII. Putin’s will and ample leverage well demonstrated the power of the medieval outlook, but it may have run into a kind of thug’s “so what?” had invasion and war ensued (and quite cautious here, I’m following the retreat as observed in the Open Source).
Symbolically, Russia’s election to retrieve its forces following its “demonstration” may and should be it — the beginning of the end of the end 🙂 — for the more obvious play of the once barbaric, brutal, and feudal world, at least as regards the leadership and trajectory of states.
One hopes that with Israel’s most recent separation of deluded and violent parties — the “eternally” fist-shaking Israeli (“Nationalist”) and Palestinian (“Revolutionary”) forces will have reached their nadir in shared stupidity as the Palestinians prove captive to and exploited by their own leaders. As for those Israeli Nationalists, not only God but State Planners as well have set their boundaries, and all that is wanted should be just a little bit of insight by both into the causes of “East-West Conflict” where both have been made to stand in place while going nowhere in time.
I don’t know if the groups and leaderships attending what the SPLC might refer to as “Neo-Confederate” and “Neo-Nazi” are authentically homegrown perennials or stylish annuals that keep seeding themselves from year to year, but it has occurred to me that world always moves on around its hotheads, especially the archaic and romantic who may wish to hold on to what they believe they once had. So from the awesome conversation with the world at my desktop, here’s a note on all of that.
From the Awesome Conversation
I would think the Southern Far White Right in part the great-great grandchildren of settlers and the last of the pioneers, invariably white and looking for their place in the developing New World and who bore with them from one generation to the next the legends of the settling of the west. Farms, ranches, railroads, trading posts, towns, cities, dirt tracks, and highways. Where are they now? Ill-educated, some; overrun, for sure, and no longer the law and the outlaw with a few Mexicans around for decoration. They’re working for their hires; the children of slaves are bosses (some, I’m sure); John Wayne’s a foggy memory; Denzel’s more the memory for America’s middle aged; Bond’s partner is a black woman . . . .
The cities may be cool or mildly restive with all while the rural lanes, whether real or just winding through the heart, may be still what they were and now surrounded by an alien colorful all-inclusive all-tolerated multi-gendered multicultural powerful hypermodern New American political and lifestyle culture.
Bureaucracy, law, and technology may support American domestic security, but it sure can’t solve cultural issues involving birthrights and expectations about how the world should work. It’s understandable that we would have some disappointed-struggling sons of old white sons for whom official favor might seem (by themselves) deserved.
Who would stop history?
The processes attending conquest and the establishment of sovereignty across geopolitical space and time give way, inevitably, to periods of Administration either, Genghis style, for sustained plunder or, alas, for The Good, i.e., for renewed husbandry, shepherding, and stewardship of all that may be valued in peace. These days, bloody expansions needs must give way to community care, development, and trade, mere avarice proving insufficient for the defense of sustained new wealth.
My correspondent accused me of holding hackneyed views in relation to what I’ve labeled the “Far White Right”, a term invented for Donald John Trump’s not-so-colorful base. Members of the FWR, I was told, were also highly educated and wealthy and enamored of the American Dream, so I was told. My response –>
If “They both believe in and live the American dream”, wherefore the racial angst and want of (renewed) privilege?
Wherefore the want of racially-based political ascendance and dominance?
I’m inclined to publish my own words, but, as always would be interested in seeing what a true political topology looks like for those now deeply resenting the darker hues along with Jews.
Here’s the thing about race and white boys and black boys and girls and all the shades and stances between –>
As a species . . . .
Hitchhikers thumbs, cars, old shoes, planes, ships, and trains and legions of defenders, traders, and raiders — we sure do “get around” and have gotten around, and there’s nothing to undo it.
The mentalities of criminals and extremists seems always archaic, self-adoring, and self-aggrandizing as if humiliation and mortification somewhere near has compelled repair and some former perceived noble state of affairs may be found forward with an heroic defiance of the future.
Inspiration for this relay: I had said, “We were doing just fine with North-South peace and firecracker sales and southern rock” when the meaning of the Confederate flag was revived as a symbol of southern bigotry and secession (and slavery). My conversational partner said, “That works if you’re a privileged WHITE MALE! If you’re a Black Male it’s FUCKED!”
From the Awesome Conversation
That’s only if the Black Male thinks he’s Fucked.
Let me show you something about North and South —
Black and White?
History walks slowly, and while slavery may have been done after Lincoln’s handling of the matter and segregation finished by the Great Society and LBJ, it’s understood that some evil currents and ruthless bigots hold out a long time even while time grinds them down.
With black and white bigots still at play in OUR country and some foreign agent provocateur interested in watching the United States of America come apart — and possibly just some dumb people, political simpletons, really, swallowing intellectual poison, the Confederate Flag laid to rest for war — it was created to clarify who was who in General Lee’s engagements — and made into a generalized American symbol of a rebellious spirit — has been re-contextualized BACKWARD as a living symbol of hate.
What the hell are we doing back with the mentalities of the 1930s and the 1950s?
A little more that might be associated with the now thankfully passed “Trumpian Detour”:
A fellow said to me last week that he took up law because there was no money or point to having taken a degree in philosophy.
He was wrong.
Are the humanities the “icing on the cake” of civilization — or the yeast that gives rise to civilization?
If you are American — or modern as opposed to feudal or medieval — you are part of a great western experiment and experience that has for its foundation Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman history, both beautiful in parts and in some horrendous (the signals of the end may be read in the inhumanity of Caligula and Elagabalus).
E Pluribus Unum
However arrived or stanced, we may all agree on our commitment to our Constitutional mission and the reshaping of so many fears and passions in the face of changing demographics and the presence of advancing and revolutionary communication and other technologies.
We have been witness to at least two NATO states marching forward into the past — Hungary and Turkey — and we should wonder why WE should have wanted to do that ourselves.
Well, that was a bit Hyde Park, wasn’t it?
Here’s a glimpse into how I believe we got here and became so temporarily given to an autocratic/authoritarian and medieval old nutty soul.
It takes a little patience to get the Moscow-in-America story and what it portended — or still portends — for authentic dignity, freedom, and security in America as well as a compassionate and working politics that adds to our national — and natural — political cohesion and coherence.
In consideration of present and future generations, a little intellectual exploration into the greater and more accurate image of our working democracy might be worth it.
Nonetheless, some general American ignorance has brought us to this pass where some on the Far White Right (predominantly) believe their nation under assault by mysterious communist-globalist-socialist forces while scrimmages within Far Out Left circles believe the nation reverted to the 1930s and “race war” is on the way.
If you believe and can speak it with good conscience.
Americans don’t need “Us v Them” here.
Americans need a “We” and an “Us”.
We Americans have a lot of data, ideas, and impressions within us when we wake and coming at us through media, especially online, throughout the day, and it may be important to consider not only the sources of our news but their integrity and our individual preparation as receivers of it.
Do we really believe our neighbors might turn into Nazis?
Do we really believe in “Globalists”?
Might we admit that for competitor “superpowers” and others, democracy proves unattractive and America is only a prize to be plundered (“by any means necessary”)?
Might we from time to time review what is in our hearts and lay that against not only what we read but HOW we read?
Do we read to feel good about ourselves and how we prefer to see the world?
Do we read for something called “truth”?
Had President Trump proven a better character throughout his life and proven a dispassionate fighter in defense of America and one more deeply engaged in issues than the promotion of his own image, I’d have chosen a different tack for this election eve. However, my own concern for the nation has to do with an apparent abandonment of “the aisle” and keen, knowledgeable, and moderate approach to domestic and foreign policy certain of America’s political ethics, ideals, instructions, tenets, and values.
Those who have normalized their own extremes would be wise to reconsider the validity of their fears and put in place a demand for ever clear, accurate, complete — plus valid and reliable — information about everything — and if certain of their own certainty (and belligerent about it) reconsider their own methods in research, reasoning, and rhetoric.
Fascists viewed the purging of leftists from Spain as the political reaction that was required in order to re-establish the monarchy in place of the Second Republic. The Francoist Repression was motivated by the right-wing notion of a limpieza social, a cleansing of society. This meant the killing of people viewed as enemies of the state began immediately upon the Nationalists’ capture of a place.:98 Ideologically, the Roman Catholic Church legitimized the killing by the Civil Guard (national police) and the Falange as the defense of Christendom.:88–9
Inspiration for the post: a tirade against the specter of Democratic Socialist America in the fashion of the Soviet Communist sphere of influence and the detritus of the irresponsible authoritarian mafia states left behind for western conscience and vision to address.
” . . . who despite enjoying the benefits and protections of a free society . . . ” (would vote the Democratic ticket).
Life has its hooks, ladders, and chutes, of course, and will never be perfect for everyone, but the numbers represent some systematic decimation of a modern — not 1950s white bread — culture. Are those of the middle class and of the privileged supposed to completely turn away from the social epidemiology swirling around the apparently Lost of America?
We should know who is in the mix — and why — and get that unholy street stew separated and channeled in some helpful way.
If Americans hadn’t “social conscience”, there would be no laws involving environment, health, labor, housing, or much else that has brought and held the nation together as a unified polity. Politicians on the Left / Far Left have walked down their own streets and asked about the same questions for the same reasons. Now it would seem up to radically responsible moderates to steal that flame to produce an overall healthier state, not an environment fit to elite, rapacious, and ruthless personalities.
Some Red-Green elements that have flowed down from the Soviet Era machinery have infected America’s Democratic Party with the familiar Far Left cocktail of anti-capitalist, radical, and anti-Semitic (anti-Zionist) cant that in effect poisons their own projects before they can progress. The social conscience of the Democratic Party as stamped by Presidents Roosevelt in the 1930s and Johnson in the 1960s appears well under attack by the vanguard of a bullying old White Right political culture that really doesn’t care to address the misery it has learned to overlook.
Far be it, however, for BackChannels to overlook Hollywood’s role in the glamorizing and promoting of the very scourges that have both enriched the world’s mafia and — with dollars cleaned and spiffy — spilled back into working communities — here: read about Vancouver’s pleasant (not really) influx of wealth — as to make economic retreat and the decoupling from evil virtually impossible.