Posts tagged "Politics"
Forget about the Southern strategy, blue versus red, swing states and swing voters – all of those political clichés are quaint relics of a less threatening era that is no part of our past, or soon will be. The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving. That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world.

Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital,

Enter the Golden Dawn, BNP, Marine Le Pen and Pat Buchanan.

I think that the population issue needs to be viewed through a lens of technology and productivity, the number of hours that are needed to do various things.

George Friedman on Europe’s population decline

He seems to think that population decline might actually mean more stability, as there will be enough jobs for enough workers. I’ve heard similar things coming from Germany on this point. The last thing any country wants is youth unemployment like we see in Spain today, though that could be the reality in the United States (especially counting the underemployed). 

I know that weeds shall grow in it
Faster than men can burn;
And though they scatter now and go,
In some far century, sad and slow,
I have a vision, and I know

The heathen shall return.
They shall not come with warships,
They shall not waste with brands,
But books be all their eating,
And ink be on their hands.

Not with the humour of hunters
Or savage skill in war,
But ordering all things with dead words,
Strings shall they make of beasts and birds,
And wheels of wind and star.

They shall come mild as monkish clerks,
With many a scroll and pen;
And backward shall ye turn and gaze,
Desiring one of Alfred’s days,
When pagans still were men.

G.K. Chesterton
By its very nature, the realm of politics is expansive, demeaning, and imperial. Exacerbated by the intolerance and inhumanity of ideologies, politics in the western world replaced the culture and theology as fundamental ways of thinking.
Politics and the New Dark Age

Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things; it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

Democracy in America

It was a sad moment for me as I discovered  we were culturally moving from a celebration of the late 80s. 1989 seemed to be the perfect year-Christmas Vacation came out, the Berlin Wall fell and Francis Fukuyama’s famous (or infamous) article “The End of History” appeared. But the early 90s weren’t so bad. H.W. Bush was still President, an American aristocrat if there ever was one. Politics was still a good ‘ol boys game. The Cold War was over and we whipped Saddam without a hitch. Frasier began to air. Seinfeld still had a lot of life left in it (its 1989 debut was unremarkable). The Internet was conceived, like the Gulf War and Ross Perot-a sign of the instability to come. But for now, the world was still an American one, where we could live in our illusions. If only those times were back again…

That’s how I know he can be beaten. Because he’s a fanatic. And the fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt.
Smiley in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
I think that there is often times the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally.
President Barack Obama

Danish TV Host Mocks Obama for His Rhetoric

Thomas Buch-Andersen, host of the Danish TV show Detektor, mocked President Obama’s political rhetoric in a recent episode. “Obama used a metaphor from boxing to explain Denmark’s role in the world,” says Buch-Andersen, introducing the segment.

He then roles the tape. “That’s fairly typical of the way that Danes have punched above their weight in international affairs,” President Obama says at a press availability in the Oval Office with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark.

"It’s nice to be praised," Buch-Andersen remarks. "We punch harder than our weight class would suggest. But how much should we read into his words? According to Obama, are we doing any better than, say, the Norwegians?"

The TV host again turns to the tape, this time showing President Obama in the Oval Office with Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg. “I’ve said this before, but I want to repeat: Norway punches above its weight,” Obama says.

Back to Buch-Andersen. “Hmm. So Norway packs a punch too. But what about the Netherlands? Here, their head of government, Mark Rutte, visits Obama.”

The tape roles yet again. “We have no stronger ally than the Netherlands,” says Obama. “They consistently punch above their weight.”

The TV host continues, pointing to the similar rhetoric Obama used when Ireland’s head of state came to town, and then the Philippines. 

Buch-Andersen wonders aloud, “Maybe the copy key got stuck on the presidential speechwriter’s keyboard.”