The True Terror of a Trump Presidency

We are literally negative dozens of days into the Trump administration and people are blaming everything from arrests to pipelines on him. Yes, he’s appointing all sorts of — in the liberal parlance currently in fashion — “dumpster fires” to his cabinet, probably, and for some of us life will get marginally worse and for others of us marginally better. That’s usually how a change in president and party at the same time goes. As it goes for citizens of the empire, so it goes for the rest of the non-US-aligned world but usually to far more horrific results.

In my last post I had a lot of fun saying I hoped Vladimir Putin literally changed the votes in the recent election so that the putrid Hillary Clinton would lose. Of course, he didn’t. He probably didn’t truly even exert much more influence than RT America, the Russian state-owned news channel targeted to the US audience, ever did. It’s likely negligible.

In recent days Facebook has been alight in outrage over “fake news.” To an extent, I agreed, because I thought they meant bullshit like “meme” propagators who over-distill complex issues into typically very stupid, factually incorrect gotchas. Think “Being Conservative” or “Occupy Democrats” Facebook groups. But while this was the original thrust in some quarters, I was wrong. There are segments of the commentariat calling for broad sections of the web to be censured as literal Russian propaganda.

So, in their hands they hold a list of this Lying Press, and on it is basically every good Left site, some libertarian sites, and a smattering of Nazi sites. Now they’re not explicitly saying it’s all the same but… well, they’ll leave the same reader/voter they consider to have been easily duped by Russian agents to decide that. The same people who would hit “Share” on a probably pretty good MTV clip about why “reverse-racism” isn’t a thing are now equating Black Agenda Report with Daily Stormer. I’m not exaggerating. And amusingly, they seem to be real mad about a website called HangTheBankers. Huh. Wonder why.

This jingo scum must know that the United States government and its many MANY intelligence agencies run all manner of news and “information” outlets, both openly and secretly and the gray areas between. But you don’t have to go far or analyze too deeply to realize, as Arthur Silber did today, that, well — what in the fuck is Voice of America if not propaganda aimed at the enemies of Washington?

Here’s the danger, the real in-your-face in-practice Actually Existing Fascism. Not some swastikas drawn by people who…. well, sure seem to have been paid to inflate hate-crime statistics. But US liberals, those nasty little fucks who think they’re the very end of philosophical history despite adhering to no discernibly coherent set of moral rules, all the while claiming to oppose fascism simultaneously propagate anti-Russian (you absolutely can read “Soviet” in there) allegations in the form of the silencing of critics. See, where these snakes will slither their scaly way out of any Serious talk of fascism is that they’re not calling on the government to ban these websites. Why, they’d never! That would violate their Voltairian notions of absolute free-speech rights. No, they simply want a market-based, voluntary rejection/ nullification/ dealgorithmization/ disappearance — in the active sense, as in, when they made people disappear in US-backed South American dirty wars — of every news site that ever criticized Hillary Clinton. Yup.

This includes Wikileaks, naturally, even though Silber noted in his recent piece

I assume it must be distant history since it appears that everyone, and most particularly those who mercilessly attacked Wikileaks several years ago, has failed to grasp that the views of Wikileaks have been reversed in this latest episode. We can therefore conclude with full confidence that neither the liberals nor the conservatives hold their positions vis-a-vis Wikileaks on the basis of any kind of principle. How old-fashioned and quaint such a concern would be. Can a principle fix your broken leg? No. Will a principle buy you dinner? Of course not. Will a principle help the candidate you prefer get elected? No siree.

The List also more disturbingly for me includes Antiwar.com, where I worked for ten years and still consider my former coworkers dear friends. Before there even was a Trump on the horizon, before there was even a fucking Dubya in the running, there was Antiwar.com opposing the war in the Balkans. Yes, that venerable website has been spitting at all the wars and other murderous thieving intrigues perpetrated by this Death State since, potentially, some of the interns who cobbled together The List were even fucking born. But it was itself born to oppose the Clintons, and for that it is verboten.

On a lighter note, please enjoy this spoof of The List by roasty, who makes his own list of Fed-paid actual fake-news sites to “watch out” for. He plucks from the original perhaps the most telling line: “Support them by subscribing, if you can!”

I always thought the goofy 80s movie about a Soviet invasion of the US, Red Dawn, appealed more to Republican types but it looks these days like it may be saved more on the liberal’s Netflix queue. That, and wide-open McCarthyism. The most threatening part of a Trump presidency may not be the man himself, but the newly, nakedly revealed fascism of his opposition. If they can’t be the Left, then nobody can.

UPDATE:

tldr version

If Putin Did Rig the US Election: Good

6ddc93b8-ebda-49f4-a1e9-5b8d878f9ae9-1394-000002d18293cd32_tmpFirst, liberals laughed at the idea that the election could be rigged. And since this is a woke blog yes of course every election is a sham meant to allow the plebs to let off steam while the real decisions are made far above the pay grade of mere mortals. But some embraced the idea that certain, eh, corrections were necessary to achieve the correct result. One commentator on my Facebook, during the dying embers of the Bernie battle after Clinton was anointed, said yes, this is what Our Party does — they assure results that will give us the most electable nominee. Of course, her personal, professional, lettered, Brooklyned self naturally thought Julia Caesar more electable than someone who was obviously warm and passionate and approachable and likeable as a human being in exactly the same way people said about George W. Bush — despite the fact that she was contradicted by actual fucking polls! (I remind the reader that George W. Bush was elected our 43rd president.) Then during the final phases of the debate cycle, I literally saw a comment from a professional-type asshole using ten-dollar words celebrating this ruling-class rigging, in praise of the Electoral College, and its role in protecting us from barbarians like Donald Trump — and thank goodness for that!

Now, well, it turned out that absolutely none of that was true and we now have Donald Trump, whom the Atlantic-readers told us could not win because thankfully the election is rigged in the proper way, as our president-elect. And after scrolling through Facebook these last couple days, I must admit that I couldn’t be happier.

Sure, some of the less sophisticated liberals are just howling at the moon, crying for the end of this barbarism called the Electoral College, because a vote of 50%+1 is actually so much more democratic and just. But some of the more erudite sore loser-ass bitches are actually calling for the EC to “do its job” and vote for Clinton as president. This is not what the Founders intended! bemoaned one writer friend. You’re right, they intended to protect their vast landholdings and literal ownership of this country and its ruling institutions and a good percentage of its inhabitants. They literally couldn’t imagine a future in which a homosexual travel writer would call on their ghosts to install a woman who actually turned the shores of Tripoli into a haven for headchopping pirates as president. I mean she’s VERY rich and like Thomas Jefferson also devastated Haiti through predatory economic policies but otherwise I think they’d probably disapprove and maybe go for the schmuck in the gold tower.

In any other setting we’d call this a tantrum, and a pretty incoherent one at that. Wahh, the EC was meant to prevent elections of bad men we don’t like, now let’s get rid of it and/or appeal to it to not do the job we just got finished saying is critical to the survival of democracy in a polity of crazies. Sure all of this comes from different actual people in my feed but it truly, honestly! to me illustrates the utter intellectual bankruptcy of liberalism as a political identity, the complete fraudulence of its claim on logical superiority.

Earlier today people were passing around a link to Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein’s attempt to collect millions of dollars to “ensure the integrity of elections” — basically, it’s a recount. And as if people weren’t already tapped dry despite this fabulous Obama recovery, they’re being asked to fund it themselves — and five million dollars has been collected! Maybe this is to appease those cosmopolitan Clintonites who might want to grab her pussy in new and terrifying ways. But it certainly does seem like even the great green hope is not only actually lesser-eviling us, she’s buying into the Cold War Russophobia. Coming back in from that Moscow cold. And fuck that.

President Putin himself has smarmily ridiculed, in most satisfying fashion, the very idea that Russia could sway a United States election.

“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people? Is America some kind of banana republic? America is a great power. If I’m wrong, correct me.”

Now I do want to remind you that the alleged rig was done via hacking, liberation and dissemination of actual, true information about the clownishly disingenuous, war criminal Hillary Clinton. Nobody serious is actually talking about the direct hacking by Russia of the actual voting machines, just of unjust influence via enlightenment upon the lowly scum we allow into a small, usually meaningless part of our political process.

But I just want to say this loud and clear right now. If Vladimir Putin and Russia had anything at all to do with the successful rigging — the actual hacking of the vote tallies — of the elections of this rotten, disgusting country, nothing short of tripping over a big currency war-devalued sack of rubles would make me happier. Nothing. If for once someone hit back at the United States successfully, I as an anti-imperialist must only cheer, and that’s even if it were just in a vindictive, destructive fashion. But if Putin were worried, as many were, that Clinton would go to war with Russia starting in Syria, then Russians AND AMERICANS owe a huge debt of gratitude to this great leader of men. He has not only kicked the empire in the nuts, he has potentially saved his people, and us, from a disastrous conflict. Not to mention the crossfire that would certainly be primarily borne by the tortured citizens of the Middle East.

Vladimir Putin, my hero. Thank you for being better than the Electoral College ever could. Instead of disenfranchising yokels, you did it to the banks, the arms manufacturers, the tech and media conglomerates, the real-estate speculators. I don’t know what a Trump presidency will truly bring, but in this moment, right here in the afterglow of this amazing display of lulz such as to make Anonymous jealous, I thank and appreciate you.

Comrade.

The Empire Isn’t a Thing, It’s a Concept

In my daily falling-down-the-rabbit-hole-style perusing of the internet, I randomly rediscovered this great article by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) on the worst of 9/11 conspiracy theory. It’s an excellent take on how the focus on bizarrely minute details are harmful distractions from the world’s actual conspiracies, which unfold in front of us all the time. It notes the impossibility of such a conspiracy in specifics — yes, high-grade steel melts! — and through proven examples of official incompetence. Great stuff! But what if — it suddenly occurred to me — some hypothetical reader were to cite it as evidence of the ineptness of the empire? It’d be incredibly, almost purposely dumb, right?

Motivated by this Jeremy Scahill tweet, Kevin Dooley pointed out the flaws in the argument that the ruling classes just go around the world screwing up their foreign policy and are therefore stupid (and hypocritical!), causing “problems with their right hand that they try (and often fail) to solve with their left.”

Now, if one were to cite the very real failures of specific military or bureaucratic operations as evidence that the entire system of rule is fatally self-contradictory, one might be missing the point. Let’s say we weren’t to summarily dismiss the “Sideshow Bob stepping on a rake forever” example as illustrative of imperial action. Should the rake be seen as representing the individual operations of the empire, which can sometimes or even often be said to have failed? No, the rake has to be meant as the overall goals of the empire, or what even is the analysis? Humans fuck up? Tell me more.

When the rake hits face, is the face America/The West? No. It’s whoever is killed and impoverished. Oops! Bush fucked up Iraq! That rake really smacked him right in his smug face, huh, retired in his luxurious ranch sitting on millions of dollars. Or… maybe the face is the Iraqi people, over a million of whom didn’t even live to see Bush’s “fuck up”? Keep in mind that even when Bob smoothly sidesteps the rake and snatches it up in his hands in a single motion — a foreign policy objective was successfully completed — what the face actually must represent is still smashed.

Because “foreign policy” is evil and hurts people, in case that needs further explication.

This dissection does seem labored. Maybe we should just dismiss the rake-face angle as too goofy to engage.

One example I can see my hypothetical know-it-all picking out of Cockburn’s piece is the WMD controversy. They couldn’t even work out planting Saddam’s WMDs! Some all-knowing conspiracy, guys. Well sure, there were far too many people that would have to be involved in such a plot to actually carry it out. Better to realize that hey, they literally did not even need to find the WMD to “get away with” the invasion, as we have seen. So why even bother trying to manufacture it? As Cockburn showed, this is all a distraction from the real, successful, open conspiracy to destroy Iraq for power and profit.

We might as well say the subprime/foreclosure crisis was a disaster for the Fed, regulatory agencies, and the big banks. They created a bubble! Oops for sure man.

Fuckups don’t call into question the fundamental function of the system, which is to protect those at the top at literally all — every single ever — costs. I say function and not purpose because the system doesn’t require a purposeful unifying conspiracy, just like humanity didn’t need to be created by God. We’re here, you’ll have to work back from that. We don’t have an alternate reality. Humans exist. The upper classes rule.

“The Empire” isn’t a hivemind or even necessarily a purposeful entity, it’s shorthand for a concept, for what happens naturally in the system we have. That the various ruling factions don’t necessarily even directly communicate or aren’t privy to all the details of the system doesn’t change the true fact that the benefits accrue to them.

The “Ineptitude, Sloth, Distraction & Resentment” Cockburn cited are not a fault in the system, as behold — there it is, functioning, funneling the wealth created by the labor and ingenuity of the world’s billions ever-upward into the hands of criminal scum. We have the system we have, and we just have to gaze upon it to see it doesn’t require flawless execution to function as it does. To err is human, so error is obviously built into any human system.

This is why we can look at all the terrible “disasters” in recent foreign policy and yet see that there is no danger that military funding will be cut, that war contracting will be reduced, that war finance will take a hit, that weapons manufacturers will lose business, that politics itself will be delegitimized in the eyes of the vast majority of imperial subjects.

I know this seems like a silly strawman, and maybe it is. Nobody intelligent would actually imply that anti-imperialists think the empire is a perfect conspiracy with a staff of millions. In any event, it’s useful to talk through it even just for our own edification. Keep those analytical skills sharp! Just don’t poke your eye out.