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It’s not too interesting to say that Donald Trump is a nationalist and aspiring despot who is manipulating bourgeois resentment, nativism, and ignorance to feed his power lust. It’s uninteresting because it is obviously true. It’s so true that stating it sounds more like an observation than a criticism.
I just heard Trump speak live. It was an awesome experience, like an interwar séance of once-powerful dictators who inspired multitudes, drove countries into the ground, and died grim deaths.
His speech at FreedomFest lasted a full hour, and I consider myself fortunate for having heard it. It was a magnificent exposure to an ideology that is very much present in American life, though hardly acknowledged. It lives mostly hidden in dark corners, and we don’t even have a name for it. You bump into it at neighborhood barbecues, at Thanksgiving dinner when Uncle Harry has the floor, at the hardware store when two old friends in line to checkout mutter about the state of the country.
The ideology is a 21st century version of right fascism — one of the most politically successful ideological strains of 20th century politics. Though hardly anyone talks about it today, we really should. It is still real. It exists. It is distinct. It is not going away. Trump has tapped into it, absorbing unto his own political ambitions every conceivable bourgeois resentment: race, class, sex, religion, economic. You would have to be hopelessly ignorant of modern history not to see the outlines and where they end up.
For now, Trump seems more like comedy than reality. I want to laugh about what he said, like reading a comic-book version of Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler. And truly I did laugh, as when he denounced the existence of tech support in India that serves American companies (“how can it be cheaper to call people there than here?” — as if he still thinks that long-distance charges apply).
Let’s hope this laughter doesn’t turn to tears.
As an aside, I mean no criticism of FreedomFest’s organizer Mark Skousen in allowing Trump to speak at this largely libertarian gathering. Mark invited every Republican candidate to address the 2,200-plus crowd. Only two accepted. Moreover, Mark is a very savvy businessman himself, and this conference operates on a for-profit basis. He does not have the luxury of giving the microphone to only people who pass the libertarian litmus test. His goal is to put on display the ideas that matter in our time and assess them by the standards of true liberty.
In my view, it was a brilliant decision to let him speak. Lovers of freedom need to confront the views of a man with views like this. What’s more, of all the speeches I heard at FreedomFest, I learned more from this one than any other. I heard, for the first time in my life, what a modern iteration of a consistently statist but non-leftist outlook on politics sounds and feels like in our own time. And I watched as most of the audience undulated between delight and disgust — with perhaps only 10% actually cheering his descent into vituperative anti-intellectualism. That was gratifying.
As of this writing, Trump is leading in the polls in the Republican field. He is hated by the media, which is a plus for the hoi polloi in the GOP. He says things he should not, which is also a plus for his supporters. He is brilliant at making belligerent noises rather than having worked out policy plans. He knows that real people don’t care about the details; they only want a strongman who shares their values. He makes fun of the intellectuals, of course, as all populists must do. Along with this penchant, Trump encourages a kind of nihilistic throwing out of rationality in favor of a trust in his own genius. And people respond, as we can see.
So, what does Trump actually believe? He does have a philosophy, though it takes a bit of insight and historical understanding to discern it. Of course race baiting is essential to the ideology, and there was plenty of that. When a Hispanic man asked a question, Trump interrupted him and asked if he had been sent by the Mexican government. He took it a step further, dividing blacks from Hispanics by inviting a black man to the microphone to tell how his own son was killed by an illegal immigrant.
Because Trump is the only one who speaks this way, he can count on support from the darkest elements of American life. He doesn’t need to actually advocate racial homogeneity, call for a whites-only sign to be hung at immigration control, or push for expulsion or extermination of undesirables. Because such views are verboten, he has the field alone, and he can count on the support of those who think that way by making the right noises.
Trump also tosses little bones to the Christian Right, enough to allow them to believe that he represents their interests. Yes, it’s implausible and hilarious. But the crowd who looks for this is easily won with winks and nudges, and those he did give. At the speech I heard, he railed against ISIS and its war against Christians, pointing out further than he is a Presbyterian and thus personally affected every time ISIS beheads a Christian. This entire section of his speech was structured to rally the nationalist Christian strain that was the bulwark of support for the last four Republican presidents.
But as much as racialist and religious resentment is part of his rhetorical apparatus, it is not his core. His core is about business, his own business and his acumen thereof. He is living proof that being a successful capitalist is no predictor of one’s appreciation for an actual free market (stealing not trading is more his style). It only implies a love of money and a longing for the power that comes with it. Trump has both.
What do capitalists on his level do? They beat the competition. What does he believe he should do as president? Beat the competition, which means other countries, which means wage a trade war. If you listen to him, you would suppose that the U.S. is in some sort of massive, epochal struggle for supremacy with China, India, Malaysia, and, pretty much everyone else in the world.
It takes a bit to figure out what the heck he could mean. He speaks of the United States as if it were one thing, one single firm. A business. “We” are in competition with “them,” as if the U.S. were IBM competing against Samsung, Apple, or Dell. “We” are not 300 million people pursuing unique dreams and ideas, with special tastes or interests, cooperating with people around the world to build prosperity. “We” are doing one thing, and that is being part of one business.
In effect, he believes that he is running to be the CEO of the country — not just of the government (as Ross Perot once believed) but of the entire country. In this capacity, he believes that he will make deals with other countries that cause the U.S. to come out on top, whatever that could mean. He conjures up visions of himself or one of his associates sitting across the table from some Indian or Chinese leader and making wild demands that they will buy such and such amount of product else “we” won’t buy their product.
Yes, it’s bizarre. As Nick Gillespie said, he has a tenuous grasp on reality. Trade theory from hundreds of years plays no role in his thinking at all. To him, America is a homogenous unit, no different from his own business enterprise. With his run for president, he is really making a takeover bid, not just for another company to own but for an entire country to manage from the top down, under his proven and brilliant record of business negotiation, acquisition, and management.
You see why the whole speech came across as bizarre? It was. And yet, maybe it was not. In the 18th century, there is a trade theory called mercantilism that posited something similar: ship the goods out and keep the money in. It builds up industrial cartels that live at the expense of the consumer. In the 19th century, this penchant for industrial protectionism and mercantilism became guild socialism, which mutated later into fascism and then into Nazism. You can read Mises to find out more on how this works.
What’s distinct about Trumpism, and the tradition of thought it represents, is that it is non-leftist in its cultural and political outlook and yet still totalitarian in the sense that it seeks total control of society and economy and places no limits on state power. The left has long waged war on bourgeois institutions like family, church, and property. In contrast, right fascism has made its peace with all three. It (very wisely) seeks political strategies that call on the organic matter of the social structure and inspire masses of people to rally around the nation as a personified ideal in history, under the leadership of a great and highly accomplished man.
Trump believes himself to be that man.
He sounds fresh, exciting, even thrilling, like a man with a plan and a complete disregard for the existing establishment and all its weakness and corruption. This is how strongmen take over countries. They say some true things, boldly, and conjure up visions of national greatness under their leadership. They’ve got the flags, the music, the hype, the hysteria, the resources, and they work to extract that thing in many people that seeks heroes and momentous struggles in which they can prove their greatness.
Think of Commodus (161-192 AD) in his war against the corrupt Roman senate. His ascension to power came with the promise of renewed Rome. What he brought was inflation, stagnation, and suffering. Historians have usually dated the fall of Rome from his leadership. Or, if you prefer pop culture, think of Bane, the would-be dictator of Gotham in Batman, who promises an end to democratic corruption, weakness, and loss of civic pride. He sought a revolution against the prevailing elites in order to gain total power unto himself.
These people are all the same. They are populists. Oh how they love the people, and how they hate the establishment. They defy all civic conventions. Their ideology is somewhat organic to the nation, not a wacky import like socialism. They promise greatness. They have an obsession with the problem of trade and mercantilist belligerence as the only solution. They have zero conception of the social order as a complex and extended ordering of individual plans, one that functions through freedom and individual rights.
This is a dark history and I seriously doubt that Trump himself is aware of it. Instead, he just makes it up as he goes along, speaking from his gut. This penchant has always served him well. It cannot serve a whole nation well. Indeed, the very prospect is terrifying, and not just for the immigrant groups and imports he has chosen to scapegoat for all the country’s problems. It’s a disaster in waiting for everyone.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus was the ultimate Passover lamb, his sacrifice of shed blood cleanses me from my sins and puts me in right standing and covenant with God. I believe that He gave his life freely because He loved me. Given that, how could the Jewish people be responsible for His death or be considered “Christ killers.” As I celebrate Easter and the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection I cannot imagine wanting to hurt the members of my local Jewish community.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus was the ultimate Passover lamb, his sacrifice of shed blood cleanses me from my sins and puts me in right standing and covenant with God. I believe that He gave his life freely because He loved me. Given that, how could the Jewish people be responsible for His death or be considered “Christ killers.” As I celebrate Easter and the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection I cannot imagine wanting to hurt the members of my local Jewish community. Instead, I am challenged by Jesus’ words in 1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us, and we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” I want to walk out my Christianity by showing everyone I come in contact with how much God loves them through my actions. My prayer is that I will be an example of Christian faith that is far different from the Christianity experienced by Jews for centuries.
I am truly confused with most everyone and most everything
I have been on FC for some four years now, been involved in politics since the early 90's, ran for office in the mid 90's through the late 90's and been debating big government sine the late 70's.
I have been fighting big government for most of my life and thought people were ready for less government and I repeat thought people were ready for less government but I only see a small percentage really seem to want less government. What most people seem to want is less government in areas they do not like and more government in areas they think they like.
So why am I confused? In big part is because people refuse to learn the truth and an example which is not political but a good point. Yesterday was talking to one of my tenants, she was talking about what he husband said as alchemy, a picture within a picture and then she said she tried to correct him, that is was about witchcraft and he would argue with her. Well I had to laugh but in a nice way, Alchemy or alchymy (1768) as it was spelled is really more about a process of chemistry to get gold out of metal and today I learn it is about that and other forms of mixing metals to get something else. But it has NOTHING to do with witchcraft or magic as so many people want to claim it does.
Think about this for a while, as things are today, if it is virtually impossible to get rid of a law once it is enacted and Republicans want to pass more laws on morals and democrats want to pass more laws on the economy, at what point to we have a strict blended fascist/socialist country? Why do I use the word strict? because America now ranks 20th in liberties, that is there are 20 countries with more freedom than we have but people refuse to even think about that, they make excuses without even thinking about it as to why we are still number ONE!
Ever hear the phrases "Constitution Null and Void Where Prohibited By Law" or "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, Permit Required"? Well that is where America is right now and I will hear people fight other people to have the liberty they have, why would you or how could you do that and not expect someone then to fight you for your liberties? As the old saying goes, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
People will refuse to even look at the socialistic moves made against America when it is some tradition they have been taught to believe in when it is shown to them that the intent was to corrupt the minds of the American people.
So, yes I am confused and this is the way I see it: people do not want freedom, they want to take the freedom from others so they can feel free themselves but what they are really saying is they want to have POWER over someone else.
So I am asking, please show me I am wrong or please show me there are more out here that want liberty and believe our Constitution could fix most every problem we are seeing today. And any person who is honest with themselves knows, we will never see a perfect world.
If you consider a quality candidate like Rand Paul you might actually have to know stuff. We can't have that.
In a nearly unprecedented move, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed a candidate in the 2016 presidential race during an early morning press conference August 14. Netanyahu said that he respected long standing protocol (of not endorsing a candidate), but that enough was enough and he had to take political action of his own.
“I have been long suffering and patient with the Obama administration. For six years I have been dumbfounded at the level of incompetency, naivety, and rudeness that Obama and his administration exhibit on an almost daily basis. He (Obama) has shown nothing but contempt for Israel and the Israeli people, and shown support and given aid to our enemies. Obama broke protocol first when he sent his thugs over here to try and unseat me. I am not doing this for myself, but for the sake of Israel and the U.S. When facing a bully, there comes a point where you have to hit back, and hit hard.
“After serious consideration and looking over a very deep and qualified field of potential candidates, I have decided to give my support, my personal endorsement if you will, to Senator Ted Cruz. Ted has been a stalwart supporter of Israel and our people. He is one of the few leaders in the U.S. government with the intestinal fortitude to call terrorism ‘terrorism,’ and directly address the threat of radical Islam and a nuclear Iran. Ted has proven to be fearless in fighting against the odds when he must, something I as the leader of a tiny nation surrounded by enemies can relate to.
“Over the last two years Ted and I have been in regular contact, we have worked closely together on policy. To say the least he (Cruz) has been an unwavering ally; and what’s more he’s been a true friend. I would ask the American people, and the freedom loving members of the world community to join me in supporting Ted Cruz as the next U.S. President.”
It’s not surprising that the liberal media didn’t report this unprecedented announcement. This would make President Obama look bad, and the American lapdog media can’t do that.
Will this endorsement from Netanyahu will carry a lot of weight with conservative voters – and will it be enough to overcome Donald Trump’s early momentum and win the GOP nomination?
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch. ( Reality )
North Korea has gone dark. Man! You can take that many ways. Force and cannibalism anyone? Crazy weak minded dictators who can be bought and sold by many. Used by a larger power for a trigger event? Never know do we? There is nothing wrong with asking, what if?
“For whoever is in the shade of wisdom is in the shade of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to its possessor.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
The Internet is on fire with stories about the rocking of the world economy. With global markets in a financial meltdown, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,000 points at the opening bell Monday. Feeling the effects of the crisis, Israeli investors are bracing for their own losses as the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange saw its worst earnings in four years over the weekend.
China’s devaluation of its currency, the yuan, has signaled to international investors that the country is no more a financial powerhouse. In a global economy, however, all these events are, of course, connected.
Taken together, four recent and upcoming events make a compelling case for imminent and dramatic messianic advancement. The four events are the end of the Shmittah year on September 13, the shaking of the world economies last week, numerical hints that abound in Bible Codes and the final Blood Moon of the current tetrad on September 23.
In the name of Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, the former Chief Rabbi of the Old City of Jerusalem, author Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf told Breaking Israel News that, since the end of Biblical prophecy, God speaks to us in headlines. Apisdorf said the same idea, that God speaks through historical events, is echoed by Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, an important 20th century rabbi, Talmudic scholar, and Jewish philosopher.
Where do we find hints of God’s Hand in recent economic news? As previously reported by Breaking Israel News, there is a well established pattern of connection between the end of a Shmittah cycle and a downturn in the US economy. This has happened at or near the end of the last seven Shmittah cycles.
End Times author Rabbi Pinchas Winston spoke about this connection with Breaking Israel News. “Why should the end of a Shmittah cycle affect the economies of the world? Even today, when the keeping of Shmittah is rabbinical in nature, it still transmits a Torah message, and that is that God runs the world and provides everything in Creation with its livelihood,” he explained.
“The fact that billions of people do not believe this or think about it does not change the fact, and what better time to make the point than as the Shmittah year comes to an end? It has occurred over the millennia with uncanny consistency, and one need look back only a few decades to see how true this is, and to know that bracing oneself for financial upheaval this September is a word to the wise and financially prudent.”
In July 2015, Jeff Berwick, a Canadian entrepreneur and financial analyst, released a video about the connection between the Shmittah and Jubilee cycles and the global economy. On Friday, he wrote an article questioning whether the Shmittah effect began a few weeks early.
Three weeks ahead of the end of the Shmittah cycle, Wall Street just experienced a very difficult week, the worst in years. The Dow fell more than 1,000 points. Some say it’s just a normal market correction. End of Days blogger Tomer Devorah has a different way of understanding the numbers.
In the system of gematria, where every Hebrew letter has a numerical value, the numerical value of the word Mashiach (Messiah) is 358. On Thursday, August 20, the US stock market fell 358 points. The next day, Friday, August 21, the US stock market fell another 530 points. Together, 530 and 358 equals 888.
This is significant because the number 8 represents God, who is above nature. As Tomer Devorah writes “The number 8 is also connected to the revelation of Mashiach (messiah)!” She explains that the number 7 is associated with completeness in nature – the seven days of Creation, the seven days of the week, the seven colors of the rainbow, etc. The number 8 is above nature. The Messianic era is also represented by the number 8 because, during that time, our souls will transcend nature and will experience a higher level of understanding God.
Hello everyone. Looking for prayers. My wife is having a biopsy today. They found some clusters that could cancer during her mammograms. We would appreciate any prayers you can send us. Thank you.
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