Orbán’s political takeover – buttressed by a German industrial lobby that relies on cheap labour in Hungarian plants – has largely been bankrolled by cash plundered from the European Union that he rails so fervently against. A 2019 New York Times investigation found that Orbán uses billions of euros in EU subsidies as a patronage fund that enriches his allies, protects his political interests and punishes his rivals. “The ideology is a ruse. The money is where the action is,” said Lane Scheppele.
Method #1: detect and amplify any present national, racial, or religious suspicion into self-righteous anger and resentment — and crank it up;
Method #2: develop and deploy appropriate agitprop and agent provocateur — and for the Devil’s sake, don’t worry about anything having to do with ethics, ideals, principles, or values: in fact, dispense with the possession of conscience altogether and reduce all complexities — also, all cultural richness and intercultural relations to two essential dimensions: will and survival.
Method #3: Prepare the violence to come: arm convinced militia and move the same toward perceiving slights or promoting provocations, for either will serve the dual purposes necessary for the inhabiting of a renewed medieval world governed by feudal arrangements in support of “absolute power” (to be shared between political criminals and similar life forms).
Method #4: In hybrid, highbrow, and lowest manner, infiltrate target organizations and states for purpose of abetting their destabilization, perpetuating disinformation, and for ultimately exploiting legitimate business and labor for gain leveraged by bribery or extortion / reward for cooperation and threat for independence in either thought or action.
Centrist leaders across Europe hope the fallout from the “Ibiza scandal” will be felt beyond Austria in the European parliament elections this week, in which populist, nationalist and far-right parties have been forecast to make gains.
Strache’s apparent eagerness to embrace corruption is in stark contrast to the “drain the swamp” rhetoric populists routinely deploy in their attempts to portray politics as a battle by decent ordinary people against a venal elite. The FPÖ is a key member of an alliance of European nationalist parties led by Matteo Salvini of Italy’s League.
BackChannels has embedded with many posts the key word or phrase, “medieval v modern”, and that has worked for the editor, but what has emerged in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and elsewhere also could be called a “Reactionary Conservatism” that fits with the anti-democratic and piratical renewal of feudal absolute power. Where such has succeeded, so far, the same has devolved into patently criminal cronyism.
The Holocaust may be unique in this overlooked way: it was an event so damning of the character of our species that it has been and may remain visited universally over time. The experience of it has given over to the memory of it. Each soul that visits The Holocaust, and there are many ways now, will experience and respond to it differently.
Compiled by the Polish American Librarians Association, a new list of recommended reading emphasizes books that effectively examine inflammatory questions that may never be fully answered or understood but continue to be asked: Did Poles collaborate with the Germans? Why did Poland have the largest Jewish population of any country in Europe? Why did the West disbelieve information about the death camps that was gathered by the Resistance? Why didn’t more Jews resist? Why was Poland the only country in which the death penalty was imposed for Christians harboring Jews? Why was the response of the Catholic Church so meek? Why, by far, are there more Polish names on the roll at Yad Vashem of Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews than any other nationality?
In the way of professional journalism, much condensed and simplified, every editor and reporter must ask about his story: “Is it clear? Is it accurate? Is it complete?”
All authoritarian / autocratic / dictatorial governments diminish the power of the press because . . . they are keeping secrets and intend not to share the reality of their political space with their subjugated populations.
He can’t share anything having to do with his circles of criminal enterprise. Instead, he has to tell the people fairy tales in a loud voice.
However, and in defense of secrets keeping and to criticize popular democratic self-determination — or perhaps point out the limits of the same — the British governing class got a strong lesson when it allowed nationalist forces, induced by Moscow-backed Islamic Terrorism and Migration — I “read” Syria as a deliberate underhanded assault on Europe — to make an issue of integration with the European Union, which has been Great Britain’s nearest and greater market and trading partner. Some part of the voting public had had no idea about where its state really was. Instead, they were focused on the degrading of British life by jihadists and needy migrants coming out of the middle east. They chose to lower the portcullis in an attempt to insulate themselves from what they believed was happening in Europe and happening to them because of a unified Europe. They’re now on the cusp of paying for their misjudgment.
The whole liberal world order appears to be falling apart – nothing is as it once was. When Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and started the bloody conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, many considered him to be the major cause of global destabilisation. Nobody could have known that just a few years later the US President, of all people, would seriously challenge the current international order. Donald Trump questions free trade just like he questions the Western set of values or NATO. This has massive consequences – not just for us Europeans.
Politico (“Munich Insecurity Conference”), caught a comment on Turkey that seems to BackChannels positively surreal given the distance President Erdogan has created between the potential of a democratic Turkey and the reality of an Islamist sultanate:
“We will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries,” he said, in an apparent reference to Turkey’s plan to buy the Russian S-400 missile defense system. “We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”
Pence may have been taking sideways aim at Nord Stream 2, a perhaps more delicate matter than the selling of Russian defense missiles to a “NATO alley” for the purpose, one might suppose, of defending itself from the seller.
The blog has also associated America’s deep and frequently extreme political polarization with “Active Measures” and related “hybrid” and “information” warfare designed by the dictatorships running Moscow and Tehran against the will of their people. It seems surreal that a French President would now stand before the American Congress and underscore those points while a populist American President stands some to the side and between as regards accommodating, so far, aggression in Ukraine and an unspeakable horror show for humanity in Syria, which has been strengthened also for Iranian and Russian forces as well as their proxies and “little white men” (same as those “little green” ones who literally walked into Crimea).
Best Solution – Digital Data and Artificial Intelligence
Screenshot: Sophia AI on the cover of an Indian edition of Cosmopolitan.
BackChannels heartily endorses fair and free trade, global cooperation that is constructive for all — no zero-sum games or negotiations — and, of course, due attention to the psychological and social ramifications of exchange involving Big Data and. God bless Sophia and her engineers, the revolutions to come in artificial intelligence.
I was drawn away from the desktop during this morning’s speech, but am very glad here to have returned to a recording of it (thank you Fox 10 Phoenix for fair use and fine editing) and spent the afternoon with it.
I think it safe to say that America LOVES French President Macron. At the end of this clip, I seen no one sitting in protest. I don’t know if that’s a rare occasion (another remark made about this event and one best left unremarked), but I’m going to be feeling it — feeling its goodness — for a while).
Setting aside the Israeli story a moment, points of leverage may have involved the “Turkish Stream” energy project, a piece of “realpolitik”, and an appeal to the narcissistic concept of cultural leadership and state in which the “Great Leader” is the embodiment of the living state concept _and entitled_ to aggrandizement and glory without limit (or, clinically, “unlimited narcissistic supply). Putin’s vision appears to me to be that of the medieval world sustained with raw power put in place of democracy.
The look of the mode — big palaces, nepotism on a royal scale, confusion in relation to the boundaries of person and state (and the state’s treasury) — marks the medieval mind and related revanche.
Men like Putin, Assad, Khamenei, Erdogan, Orban may consider true popular democratic government as impeding their own authority, sovereignty, and will. While the term “autocrat” sounds quite bureaucratic, similar concepts — caliph, emperor, king, sultan — fit these guys.
Because we know of the “Moscow Apartment Bombings” and that Russia has been arming the Taliban in Afghanistan — and there’s more back there with Zawahiri and others — it may not be too far fetched to suggest that Moscow has manipulated terrorism to induce in struck targets a predictable patriotic new nationalism and that “the terrorists” — ISIS or PKK — now provide a platform for conflict, all against all, and without end. Where Putin has held sway, he has turned back history’s clock.
Our President Trump has had no issues bearing and wearing the mantle of authority, but it would be facile to say he hasn’t had some issues with the “Estates” of a matured democracy. In that regard, he may fit the world to which Putin has wished to return the world.
Where women enjoy security beneath the umbrella of reasonable and sound laws, it should not make a difference how one or the other choose to bring attention to political or social issues that concern them.
Free to work; free to bare the breast (at times); free to choose: free.
The hidden principle and cultural value behind this discussion is “modesty”. In civil and day-to-day life, most may agree that modesty is a virtue.
Keep your clothes on.
However, in the liberal western democracies that adjust themselves with thought and thoughtfulness, there’s been ample room for peaceful civil disobedience and protest. It’s in that context that a passionate defense of persons against wrongdoing my be interpreted. Perhaps where attention is needed — perhaps we should discuss FEMEN’s causes more than its methods — attention is gotten.
The Eugene Delacroix painting is famous and here somewhat between camps because she is “Liberty” herself leading the charge against tyranny.
Eugene Delacroix, “Le 28 Juillet. La Liberté guidant le peuple.” Source: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives via artsy.net