YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

June 16, 2017

Populist “momentum”

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:57 pm
momentum1

Ministry127

Rereading Lawrence Goodwyn’s THE POPULIST MOMENT (1978), a must-read for graduate students in US history. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/us/lawrence-goodwyn-historian-of-populism-dies-at-85.html?_r=0.

I now may understand why the New Left veterans support what is obviously a petit bourgeois movement, devoid of working class identity, but nailing “finance capital.” There is a belief that “cultural” factors such as a loss of deference can lead to more searching critiques of society that could lead to transformational politics. This belief in momentum explains why Daniel Greenfield and other conservatives call social democrats “radicals.”

Goodwyn uses the phrase “cultural radicals” to characterize the Populists and Greenbackers. That aligns him with the cultural anthropology that has taken over economic determinism that characterized the writing of massive progressive histories of American history and that was foreshadowed by the Wilsonian progressives Charles and Mary Beard during the Jazz Age (The Rise of American Civilization,1927). https://clarespark.com/2009/12/12/switching-the-enlightenment-corporatist-liberalism-and-the-revision-of-american-history/.

Competition and individualism bad, cooperation and collectivism good.

Hence we can understand why New Left intellectuals would support “race” and “gender” black power or girl power collectivist movements, rejecting individual differences among the groups that the New Left academics support.

It is true that populism was the most radical movement in US history. But if my intuition is correct, the leftward momentum theory would explain the generational support for the Democratic Party that we can observe today.

We are all populists now, claiming the mantle of “the people.”

mobpopulism

Transl. from Japanese on WatchingAmerica.com

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September 20, 2018

The “Townies” versus the “Gownies”: a guest blog by Tom Gelsthorpe

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 2:11 pm

Studentprotest Yale
For many years, I’ve felt the class war in America is not really between rich and poor, white and non-white, native vs. foreign born, or various religious factions. It’s the townies vs. the gownies.

“Townies” are people whose jobs and hobbies can be described with simple words that everyone understands: plumbers who hunt, nurses who garden, shopkeepers who make furniture.

“Gownies” are educated in abstruse skills from financial management, to the law, to medical research, to political consulting. Media personalities, a key cohort of gownies, are sometimes described as “symbol manipulators.” Gownies might do stuff on their day off that an ordinary adult can pronounce — say, tennis or golf — but their lifestyles are complex and mysterious to outsiders. They go to restaurants with foreign names, and order overpriced concoctions that people like me cannot pronounce.

Just so you know, I’m a townie. For over 30 years as a career farmer, I never got all the dirt out from underneath my fingernails. Gownies who can’t find the dipstick in their foreign cars look down their noses on me.

Plenty of townies are well-read and versatile, but tend not to be overly impressed by credentials. “What can you do?” is a more important question than, “Where did you go to school?”

The current President (as of 2017)is a townie. One reason for the bottomless hatred by the preppies at CNN and by limousine liberals, is for Trump’s apostasy. He did receive a degree from an Ivy League school (Wharton) but he’s still a tough kid from Queens who grew up in the construction business. You want some concrete poured on schedule? Call The Donald.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden are all gownies. Hence the pathetic photo ops of them pretending to be reg’lar folks, in contrast to their heartfelt contempt for bitter clingers, deplorables, and most recently, the dregs of society. If any one of these three slides into a ditch on a snowy road, they have to call a townie to pull them out, but they can only hide their disdain long enough to get the car running again.

Postscript by Clare Spark: For a historical view of the antagonism between town and gown see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_and_gown. It has a photo of an Australian social democratic attempt to merge town and gown. The picture on this guest blog is of a Yale University student protest.

September 2, 2018

Why classical liberals should resist Jordan B. Peterson

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 2:03 pm

Owing to popular demand, am making this my home page again.

YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

Jordan B. PetersonPeterson’s big book, Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018) has garnered furious debates between conservatives and liberals, ironically because Peterson makes no secret that he is a moderate man, confessing near the end of the book, that, although he is privy to many (unspecified) left-wing views, his antagonism to political correctness (particularly feminism) remains intact, and is noticed by his trendy enemies who view him as hyper-male. And, as a moderate, he does not see either ambiguity nor ambivalence.

I recommend that you read this review by a young, Roman Catholic postmodernist who concentrates on Peterson’s misuse of philosophers with whom he is familiar. https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/05/14/book-review-jordan-petersons-12-rules-for-life/. (Sam Rocha is a young Canadian professor of educational studies, a postmodernist who knows a lot about Heidegger and his misuse by Dr. Peterson).

My comments will focus rather on different aspects of Peterson’s ideology, namely his views on “truth

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September 1, 2018

Heroism As Sacrifice: thoughts on the death of John McCain and bipartisanship

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 8:38 pm
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Although (moderate) Fox coverage has focused on McCain’s death as a military man who stood up to outrageous torture as an American prisoner in the Viet Nam war, and as a symbol for a positive image for America, I will probe a bit deeper, emphasizing the underlying message of the moderate men: that of compromise, for moderates emphasize sacrifice no matter how achieved, sacrificing principle or self- or national interest or one’s life, if necessary. to achieve “balance” (as defined by Progressives).

No one sensible person would be opposed to “compromise” as such: see https://clarespark.com/2010/11/06/moderate-men-falling-down/ and https://clarespark.com/2015/04/07/who-are-the-moderate-men/. More controversial perhaps is the focus on “unity,” espoused by Big Government moderates, even as I and others have denounced mindless “unity”–derived from medieval Christian unity imposed from above on warring tribes. Unity is what you get from compromise and, hence, bipartisanship (also an emphasis on the Fox coverage on the endless week of encomiums by Democrats; it is part of Fox’s “fair and balanced” DNA).

It is sad for me to view New Left aspirations for a fairer, more equitable world degenerating into unworthy alliances with pseudo-moderate Progressives. The apotheosis of John McCain’s notion of “balance” is a testament to that ever-swampy “middle ground.”

August 29, 2018

Why classical liberals should resist Jordan B. Peterson

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 10:20 pm

Jordan B. PetersonPeterson’s big book, Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018) has garnered furious debates between conservatives and liberals, ironically because Peterson makes no secret that he is a moderate man, confessing near the end of the book, that, although he is privy to many (unspecified) left-wing views, his antagonism to political correctness (particularly feminism) remains intact, and is noticed by his trendy enemies who view him as hyper-male. And, as a moderate, he does not see either ambiguity nor ambivalence.

I recommend that you read this review by a young, Roman Catholic postmodernist who concentrates on Peterson’s misuse of philosophers with whom he is familiar. https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/05/14/book-review-jordan-petersons-12-rules-for-life/. (Sam Rocha is a young Canadian professor of educational studies, a postmodernist who knows a lot about Heidegger and his misuse by Dr. Peterson).

My comments will focus rather on different aspects of Peterson’s ideology, namely his views on “truth” and “responsibility.” As a classical liberal and secular Jew I resented the focus on a single “truth” (in Dr. Peterson’s book, the veracity of Christian truth, although Peterson both praises and laments the lifelong suffering taken for granted by Buddhists). Closely related to the notion of a single truth believed by religious people, is the conception of “context,” which tends to vitiate the belief in a single truth. For example: the view that slavery was inevitable was more and more discontinued after The Declaration of Independence.

Also related to context is Peterson’s emphatic belief in “taking responsibility” for one’s actions (i.e., failures to take his “rules” seriously). (Perhaps he is talking about himself).

Dr. Peterson’s focus on family relationships (including pets) as well as his rejection of political correctness partly explains his popularity among conservatives, but I wish that they would pay more attention to the real historic oppression suffered by certain groups (women, blacks, Latino farm workers, Jews, etc.) Wishing away these historic difficulties will not alleviate unnecessary suffering, no matter how skilled we are in communication.

August 17, 2018

H.G. Wells as moderate man

H.G. Wells Getty Images I had not read any of H. G. Wells’ fiction; but I did slog through his massive compendium of earth’s history (The Outline of History) but without the footnotes prominent in prior editions), though he was never a trained historian. He was not strictly a member of the counter-culture, for he was all in for science and technology (industrial progress), which would ostensibly culminate in the only slaves being machines, and liberating the (enslaved) masses from the rule of money (i.e., Jewish power). Here is Wikipedia’s sympathetic partial summary of his 1200 page much corrected work, initially completed in one year, in reaction to the horrifying mass death inflicted, Wells wrote, by (aristocratic) Great Powers. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Outline_of_History.

Wells started his synoptic book in 1919 (during a year of upheaval), but this edition was completed after WW2. However, Wells shockingly omitted the Nazi murder of European Jewry, a disaster not in Wells’s comprehensive chronology nor was it mentioned in Wikipedia, perhaps because such events did not jibe with the Wells assault on cultural and racial superiority, lauded by Wiki and affirming the moderate men. (His preference for male heroes and anti-heroes such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon (predecessors to “insane” Hitler?) was mentioned by Wiki.

Since I have focused many blogs on multiculturalism, antisemitism and the waywardness of 18th Century Protestant theologian J.G. von Herder’s influence, which culminated in “cultural anthropology,” race, “roots” environmentalism national character: result, antisemitism and Christian Socialism (one 19th Century precedent of Fabian Socialism, also omitted by Wikipedia).
Nor did Wiki see that American greatness contradicted by a Wellsian emphasis on globalism and its constantly reiterated wish for “peace.” Toward the end of peace was his obvious preference for the Muslim and Buddhist religions. His Christian Socialism was also hinted as he regarded Jesus as a revolutionary who opposed the rich.

Surprisingly, and unlike the popular books by the anti-imperialist, somewhat Wilsonian Charles and Mary Beard (1927), Wells expressed positive views of American promise (like Marx who lauded the American Civil War as a bourgeois revolution), but Wells did attack Stalinism, omitting however, antisemitism in Marx (who also railed against the rule of money as “the universal pimp.”)

So what are left with? Wells was a precursor of the counter-culture, notwithstanding his enthusiasm for machines who would presumably release the masses from toil. But first, the masses would take charge of the machines. And, being a Fabian Socialist, Wells was apparently the father of the Peace Studies movement, the father of other moderate men (the “socially responsible capitalists” of the Democratic Party) and of left-leaning Pacifica radio.

H.G. Wells as moderate man

I had not read any of H. G. Wells’ fiction; but I did slog through his massive compendium of earth’s history (The Outline of History) but without the footnotes prominent in prior editions), though he was never a trained historian. He was not strictly a member of the counter-culture, for he was all for science and technology (industrial progress), which would ostensibly culminate in the only slaves being machines, and liberating the (enslaved) masses from the rule of money (i.e., Jewish power).
Here is Wikipedia’s sympathetic summary of his 1200 page culminating work, initially completed in one year, in reaction to the horrifying mass death inflicted by aristocratic Great Powers. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Outline_of_History.

Wells started his synoptic book in 1919 (during a year of upheaval), but this edition was completed after WW2. However, Wells shockingly omitted the Nazi murder of European Jewry, a disaster not in Wells’s comprehensive chronology nor was it mentioned in Wikipedia, perhaps because such events did not jibe with the Wells assault on cultural and racial superiority, lauded by Wiki and affirming the moderate men. (His preference for male heroes and anti-heroes such as Alexander the Great, Napoleon (predecessors to “insane” Hitler?) was mentioned by Wiki.

Since I have focused many blogs on multiculturalism, antisemitism and the waywardness of 18th Century Protestant theologian J.G. von Herder’s influence, which culminated in “cultural anthropology,” race, “roots,” environmentalism, and national character: result, antisemitism and Christian Socialism (one 19th Century precedent of Fabian Socialism, also omitted by Wikipedia).
Nor did Wiki see that American greatness contradicted by a Wellsian emphasis on globalism and its constantly reiterated wish for “peace.” Toward the end of peace was his obvious preference for the Muslim and Buddhist religions. His Christian Socialism was also hinted as he regarded Jesus as a revolutionary who opposed the rich.

Surprisingly, and unlike the popular volumes by the anti-imperialist, somewhat Wilsonian, Charles and Mary Beard (1927), Wells expressed positive views of American promise (Wells,like Marx,lauded the American Civil War as a bourgeois revolution), but Wells did attack Stalinism, omitting however, antisemitism in Marx (who also railed against the rule of money as “the universal pimp.”)

So what are left with? Wells was a precursor of the counter-culture, notwithstanding his enthusiasm for machines which would presumably release the masses from toil. And, being a Fabian Socialist, Wells was apparently the father of the Peace Studies movement, the father of other moderate men (the “socially responsible capitalists” of the Democratic Party) and of left-leaning Pacifica radio.

July 13, 2018

Aldous Huxley’s affinity to conservative values

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 8:21 pm
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robot_mainReread Huxley’s famous dystopian novel Brave New World (1932) with a Forward (1946) describing himself as “an anarchist,” (i.e., a counter-cultural mystic) but I was surprised to see how many of this “humanist and pacifist” writer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley) shared attitudes linking him to segments of conservative ideology: for instance, his opposition to “COMMUNITY,IDENTITY, STABILITY”* as well as to abortion, promiscuity, Marx and (strangely) Freud. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World).

[Wikipedia is incorrect to represent Huxley as “anti-family” for he stresses throughout lifelong attachments benefitting children through the characters of the “Savage” and his monstrous mother Linda.]

*On this website, I have dissected the notions of “community” as hostile to individual differences, while challenging the notion of “multiculturalism” (and “identity politics” as promoting groupthink, but Huxley’s notion of “stability” needs teasing out: as an “anarchist” with more than a touch of romantic primitivism, Huxley would be opposed to conservative or to liberal notions of wildness or lack of balance (i.e., “instability.”) This is contradicted by his Indian tribe’s tight (stable) attachments, including their rejection of progressive industrial society. (On relativism/primitivism, see https://clarespark.com/2014/03/13/what-is-cultural-relativism/.)
<img BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition

June 15, 2018

Wilsonian “democracy” is alive and well, maybe

I don’t blame my FB friends (or others) for blurring the boundary between factions of “the Left.” Rereading the Beards’ popular volumes (no footnotes!) on THE RISE OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (1927), I can’t tell if the authors are “moderate”/“Wilsonian democrats” as they claim, or revolutionary socialists, for they did get their works published and may have been slipping their more heartfelt convictions through censorship in the book market. Nevertheless, in their enthusiasm for labor unions, anti-imperialism, and secularism, I see the Beards as close to today’s social justice democrats. (Although the Beards did not live to see the climate change debates, as sort of Jeffersonian agrarians, they were anti-machine (industrialism), like today’s counter-culture, opposed to the standardization of technology (mass media!) and the concomitant creation of a national market–not a local one) Indeed, I wonder if the Beards proclivity for collectivist discourses stems from the notion that standardization affects human beings to the point where we are all the same?

But what this blog is about is the resemblance of the Beards’ work and the current Democratic Party (and even the “progressive” faction in the Republican Party), especially since the emphases conferred by the New Left that picked up steam in the 1960s (emphasizing “race,” “gender,” and “ecology,” over class struggle as the outcome of the civil rights, feminist, and environmental movements).

For instance,1. identity politics (class, race, and gender determine political allegiance/leanings), 2. anti-capitalism/anti-imperialism, 3. animus toward “the idle rich”/the Gilded Age/ initially brought by crypto-Jew Alexander Hamilton (a.k.a. “the money power”), 4. class struggle between <em>soi-disant aristocrats (industrialists) vs. farmers and laborers, 5. white supremacy/racism (“Anglo-Saxons” are imperialists, 6. diversity/inclusion as a form of reparations for ongoing domination), 7. Poorly masked antisemitism and secularism, 8. Labor unions 9. Union achieved through a balance of power, compassion/love, and compromise. (For the latter see https://clarespark.com/2010/11/06/moderate-men-falling-down/ and much else on my website). The “moderate men” on both “Left” and “Right,” are appalled by the current polarization, as if we had never been divided since Columbus set foot on the soil of the Western Hemisphere.

Are we not ever looking for UNITY? (See https://clarespark.com/2013/10/26/krauthammer-fox-news-channel-and-the-search-for-unity/.)

May 29, 2018

“Come together”…. divisions and continuities in progressivism/Democratic Party

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:09 pm
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cowboy with lassoo.american history https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSM5MpKSnqE. (The Beatles: Come Together) This blog is about the confusion bequeathed by “progressives” to partisan politics; namely the labeling of “Left” beliefs to both social democrats AND to revolutionary socialists. This is impossible because social democrats co-opted many of the demands of socialism/communism while defanging the threat of transformed property relations. Both conservatives and liberals perpetuate this confusion, prefigured by those (sort of) Jeffersonian/Wilsonian democrats Charles and Mary Beard in their popular two volumes on The Rise of American Civilization (1927):

1. In their ambivalent discussion of the antebellum South, the Beards found it good because of the aristocratic flavor to Southern civilization, but the South was bad because of slavery. (The Democratic Party is still elitist, favoring the administrative state and the “money power” while simultaneously deploring, as moderates, its excesses.)[Update, 6/4/18: I was wrong about the Beards favoring the South. As Jeffersonian agrarians they admired farmers and labor (the latter in their fights for free land), but viewed expansionists as imperialists (especially in Volume 2, see below, item #3. OTOH, the Beards loathed the Northern capitalist class, as much as any socialists.]

2. The American Revolution against Britain was good because of the participation of farmers and workers (who later escaped to the West), and with the support of Edmund Burke (in his Whig phase but bad because it trashed British capitalists and (moderate)statesmen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLGzRXY5Bw. (Revolution: Beatles)

3. Frontiersmen/farmers and hunters were good insofar as they were lower-class escapees from class domination (thus the image of the cowboy symbolizing US history), but bad as expansionists and imperialists (in both Volumes 1 and 2).

The Constitution was all bad, because this coup d’état was put over the (more local?) Articles of Confederation and elevated the class conscious Federalists. Charles Beard had already trashed Alexander Hamilton in his 1913 publication An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. Current liberals prefer “the living Constitution,” spurning “originalist interpretations.”

Further similarities between Beards and current liberals: Beards are decidedly secular, thus despising Puritans as domineering and, as Protestants, fostering (forbidden) individualism; collectivist discourses, identity politics as Mary Beard (a feminist) plugged women back into US history; family values (of Jefferson and his expansionist followers); white male supremacy, Woodrow Wilson-style globalism (in Volume 2). The Beards deemed abolitionists “haters.” Whereas, all you need is love. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oHeeEot35M (The Beatles)

These links are available to interested readers: :https://clarespark.com/2013/08/05/evil-puritans/; https://clarespark.com/2018/01/20/white-supremacy/; https://clarespark.com/2011/08/01/alexander-hamiltons-rational-voice-of-the-people/

Moral chaos of womanhood: the Harvey Weinstein scandal and LOLITA

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 4:14 pm

Consistently clicked. Its mixed-message to women is resonating.

YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

[Update 7/16/18: Conservative Shelby Steele has extended the “innocence” meme to apply to “White Guilt” over slavery and similar crimes against black people: he argues that “innocence” is recaptured for white people through such stratagems as reparations (multiculturalism and “diversity.”)]

The Harvey Weinstein scandal and LOLITA are connected in my mind for both cast reflections on the confusing rearing of the middle class female who supposed to be innocent and knowing at the very same time.

We are supposed to please men by not growing up. Hence Humbert Humbert’s obsession with “nymphets.”

Nabokov ostensibly wrote a parody and a novel about the act of writing (that makes him a postmodernist linking Kafka-esque nihilism and trendy modernism). But I noticed that Humbert Humbert viewed young actresses with disdain (as whorish), which made me think that Harvey Weinstein’s proclivity for undeveloped actresses had literary precedents.

Perfectly nice girls are supposed to be…

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