YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

October 17, 2016

Is there a liberal consensus?

Women's Strike for Peace, NYC 1969. Getty Images

Women’s Strike for Peace, NYC 1969. Getty Images

I was taught that the correct answer on the PhD oral exams was to claim “yes”; that since WW2, there was agreement regarding the welfare state of the New Deal, including its turn toward emphasizing social relationships as the sine qua non of a healthy society. See https://clarespark.com/2013/08/01/power-relationships-identity/ or https://clarespark.com/2010/01/13/three-moderates-judt-posner-ware/.

Classical liberals were invisible, as were the Stalinist underpinnings of this “liberal” line. So when I read historian James B. Gilbert’s summary of postwar political history, Another Chance: Postwar America 1945-68 (Knopf, 1981) eventually I got the message of postwar liberalism/social democracy. Yes, there was majority agreement that conservatives were all crazed McCarthy-ite reactionaries (similar to the conservative Catholic Church); that we missed the boat by not “negotiating” with the willing Soviet Union; and that the 60s movements were necessary, but inadequate to solve the vexed question of (white male supremacy). Hence we need a real revolution (this explains the title, Another Chance…. ).

Although the claim that structural reform was necessary to realize the aims of peaceniks, women, and blacks, was saved until the very last chapters, in retrospect, I could see that Professor Gilbert’s popular book (un-footnoted) was typical of the New Left generation. Gilbert, formerly a full professor at the liberal University of Maryland, now emeritus, like so many other (unconscious?) Stalinists following the tumultuous 1960s, may not have even seen that he was following the lead of the Popular Front against Fascism. https://clarespark.com/2015/04/17/the-ongoing-appeal-of-the-leftist-dominated-popular-front-against-fascism/.

I finally understand the message of Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1962). http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/26/the-revolt-against-the-masses-and-the-roots-of-modern-liberalism.html.

Revolt Against Masses, Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Revolt Against Masses, Hulton Archive/Getty Images


October 9, 2016

The Man of the Crowd must be a rapist

1934 image, Wikipedia

1934 image, Wikipedia

Donald J Trump now stands convicted of sexual assault and, almost as horrid, bad taste. https://clarespark.com/2014/12/18/rape-culture/.

Ask any “moderate” Republicans (i.e., closet social democrats), and they will tell you that they knew it all along. For many pundits (even on “fair and balanced” Fox), one “quasi-apology” is not enough, for the man’s essence must be rotten to the core, just like the “white working class” that he ostensibly represents in all its embarrassing  “misogyny.” (Even Charles Krauthammer, Chris Wallace, and Hillary Clinton share this liberal opinion, though they don’t mention class interest, as I have.)

Who knew that Fox’s female anchors and featured players were such prudes, given their come-hither long eyelashes, heavy make-up, above-the-knee dresses/exposed thighs, high heels, (where possible) cleavage, and (usually) long, princess hair?

Why, one would suspect that these strong women are ardent defenders of the female sex, hence feminists, more interested in “character” and “judgment” than in policy (especially national security). If so, this would line up the Fox ladies with the most bigoted patriarchal types, accepting the stereotype that the “lower orders” (i.e., Trump supporters) are criminal by nature. https://clarespark.com/2009/08/24/the-people-is-an-ass-or-a-herd/.

trump supporters, Meme.com

trump supporters, Meme.com

October 4, 2016

Trump’s taxes and Clinton’s “sacrifice”

Photo by Thanh-Nguen from Les Mirages

Photo by Thanh-Nguen from Les Mirages

The media (including “fair and balanced” Fox) are raising a stink about Trump’s taxes as “revealed” by the New York Times on October 1, 2016. It is a misapplication of “family values” to the public sphere. I can’t believe that Hillary Clinton is constantly flouting the law, ostensibly in “the public interest” and getting away with this conflation of (appropriate) “sacrifice” and civil society (the latter of which now has gone the collectivist way of all flesh, celebrating the “oceanic feeling” of unity with the cosmos).

Who would deny that there is a measure of “sacrifice” entailed in having children? Both genders are trapped in the supposedly feminized sentimental culture that displaced economic considerations (the study of political economy,) since the antebellum period of the 19th century that I wrote about here: https://clarespark.com/2015/11/07/the-change-of-heart-explanation-for-dr-ben-carsons-redemption/,  https://clarespark.com/2009/08/24/the-people-is-an-ass-or-a-herd/, and https://clarespark.com/2009/10/10/ralph-bunche-and-the-jewish-problem/.

Intellectuals in both North and South underwent this transformation from 18th century empiricism, science, and humanism to the self-sacrifice and group-think inherent in reactive sentimental culture, just as the notion of culture has been deployed to curb moral but all-too  “revolutionary” sentiments grounded in economics, human nature, and the laws passed by the revolutionary bourgeoisie.

But it confirms everything I have written about the “moderate” male anti-capitalism of pseudo-progressives. (https://clarespark.com/2009/09/19/populism-progressivism-and-corporatist-liberalism-in-the-nation-1919/.)

Despite her ardent “feminism,” is Hillary Clinton turning out to be just one of the boys?

The Conjurer by H. Bosch

The Conjurer by H. Bosch

October 1, 2016

Pseudo-feminism and the Alicia Machado flap

Alicia Machado as depicted on HuffPo

Alicia Machado as depicted on HuffPo

[Ersatz “feminists” are prolonging this fight  on the grounds that Hillary was just “protecting her marriage.” So I ask, “what marriage”?]

This blog is about the political debate following Hillary Clinton’s criticism of Donald Trump’s alleged sexism at the tail end of the first debate. What is at stake here?

It is the mark of the upwardly mobile female to profess “feminism” while ignoring the facts of material existence. Many television figures, while promoting “inclusion,” ignore the controversies that have emerged since the second wave of feminism lapped at the shores in the late 1960s and 1970s. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism.

For instance, it is not clear that the claims of liberal feminists that men and women are biologically “equal,” stand up to scrutiny. One need not be a George Gilder-style biological determinist (see Sexual Suicide, published in 1973 as a critique of abandoned and abandoning women) to note that women who combine the roles of mother and breadwinner (i.e., who seek a career outside the home), may experience role conflict, apart from socialization in “sexist” institutions, as many feminists claim. Are such conflicts built into our female “nature,” or are they a symptom of the incomplete transition from home-bound Mom to female leader (e.g., in the media, military, or in politics and academe)?

Or take the pseudo-feminist outrage that Trump insulted Alicia Machado by allegedly calling her “Miss Piggy”. Do not these same defenders of science lecture us about obesity and the importance of exercise and nutrition? When Michelle Obama emphasizes such issues, do liberals carry on about her sexism and “fat-shaming?” (For a liberal feminist treatment of “fat-shaming see https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-reaction-to-trumps-fat-shaming-reinforces-toxic-ideas-about-fatness/2016/09/30/800fba0c-872b-11e6-92c2-14b64f3d453f_story.html?utm_term=.192c7341b412.)

(For another controversy within the dominant social democracy, see the fuss over (materialist) “male science” versus mystical “female science.” Feminist science, it is said by our betters, would prioritize Green politics as the sane corrective to bizarre male empiricism. The “posthumanist” Donna Haraways of the world are in the same bag as the female defenders of equality in all things.

Fabrizio Terranova still of Donna Haraway film

Fabrizio Terranova still of Donna Haraway film

Speaking of Hillary Clinton’s rumor mongering, how do we know when we are not fascists?

Who owns the facts?

September 25, 2016

“Temperament” laced with “love”

Jungian archetype for Great Mother

Jungian archetype for Great Mother

See this first (https://clarespark.com/2012/05/15/progressive-uplift-vs-new-left-nihilism/. It quotes an anticommunist work from the progressive period devoted to uplifting recent immigrants, to self-control, i.e., “moderation” in all things for both rulers and the ruled.)

“Calm down!”

One of the tenets of this year’s presidential campaign has been that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the sane (centrist) alternative to wild man Donald J. Trump, the man of the crowd. This blog is about the deployment of the word “sanity” as against Madam Secretary’s “crazy,” “unpredictable” and “narcissistic” opponent.

The all-embracing Great Mother is played off against the Bad Father, a phony– even as he has managed to get the votes of the mob (in all its destructiveness and cries of “off with their heads”—the Jacobin Red Queen).  And yet, if there is another cop shooting of an “African-American,” liberals can rejoice that they have yet another opportunity to let their hair down by embracing primitivism in a black mob. (It is almost as satisfying as tap dancing.) Thus, the story out of Charlotte North Carolina elbows out the objectively more menacing terrorists in NYC, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

As I write this, really existing fascism goes unnoticed as ever so diverse progressivism/multiculturalism is rehabilitated by calling it the sane alternative to the madness of industrial society.

Let a thousand flowers bloom! http://meixianqiu.com/selected-works/let-a-thousand-flowers-bloom/.

Maoist slogan

Maoist slogan

September 10, 2016

Is “America” racist?

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:07 pm
Tags: , , , ,
Clinton at LGBT event 9-10-16

Clinton at LGBT event 9-10-16

In the tumult of the 2016 campaign, three events stand out:

  1. The Colin Kaepernick scandal, in which K’s refusal to stand during the national anthem, threatens further to rouse the (already) “hot-tempered” black population; and
  2. Ex-President Bill Clinton’s accusation that to claim that America would be “great” again is an obvious Trumpian sop to (poor white) Southerners who value their (dubious) superiority on the racial “totem pole.” (Recall that “the first black president” implicitly hitched onto the black power movement, as did his wife, as did Barack Obama, the real first black president., though Black Lives Matter might dispute this genealogy; see http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/08/opinions/bill-clinton-black-lives-matter-protesters-opinion-garza/ ); and
  3. Mrs. Clinton’s characterization of half of Trump’s base as “a basket of deplorables” after all, she is an (aristocratic) centrist who would never stoop so low.

Sadly, supposedly Republican-leaning media (i.e., Fox News Channel) cannot address the ideologies represented by these widely publicized events, for the moderate men don’t dig deeply enough into dominant discourses, that are always collectivist.

That is, “America” is a single individual, disgraceful or exemplary, depending on “point of view.” (See https://clarespark.com/2014/07/20/national-character-does-it-exist/).  To those devoted to the welfare state, “America” overcame its racist pass by devotion to “those less fortunate than we,” as Eleanor Roosevelt said. Centrists such as the Clintons are social democrats, with a whiff of fascism in their preoccupation with “race” over “class.”

Even Ashley Montagu, that progressive anthropologist, despite his obvious flaws, emphasized the socially constructed notion of “race,” focusing on social conditions over hereditary notions of mental and moral character (“race”); see https://clarespark.com/2016/08/13/there-and-not-there-progressives-make-us-crazy-2/.

There is an obvious choice on how we envision “the American Past, a.k.a., the “American Heritage.” We can focus on the novelty in the 18th C. of The Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution (especially the Amendments), or we can vent our adolescent wrath on westward expansion and its many crimes.

The “New Left” (unlike many of their elders in the Old Left) chose the latter path, and we are muddled in that confusion.

The Clintons and Colin Kaepernick belong in that “basket.”

ABC News photo

ABC News photo

September 5, 2016

Labor Day kvetch 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 5:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


This is what people are not talking about on Labor Day 2016. (For a related blog, see https://clarespark.com/2015/07/11/jobs-jobs-and-less-jobs/.)

  1. The notion that there was once an international Labor Day, celebrated on May 1, not the first Monday in September.
  2. The coalescence of the words “hard” and “work” (hardwork), also known as “the dignity of labor.”
  3. The disappearance of “the labor movement.”
  4. The Democrat Party as the party of Big Government and tamed unionized Big Labor.
  5. Worker health and safety.
  6. Anything having to do with “class” as an objective category to be looked at as either an expression of repressive class domination or as a more fluid category allowing penetration by the upwardly mobile ex-worker.
  7. Women’s work in the home as hard, skilled, often exhausting labor. (Gender differences are objective, not socially constructed).
  8. “Race” as a socially constructed category; i.e., apart from obvious physical differences between groups, the (racist) notion that mental and moral characteristics are inherited and predictable. This all-encompassing notion of “race” wipes away attention to different material (social) conditions that shape opportunities for advancement.
  9. Psychological warfare on behalf of social relationships over the dissenting individual.
  10. The idea that togetherness (or my neologism, “groupiness”) is the natural condition of humanity, which is ostensibly “unity;” (i.e., only bad politicians are divisive).

But they are talking about

ABC News photo

ABC News photo

  1. The presidential campaign of 2016, especially recent poll numbers and debate prep, and the fecklessness of Trump.
  2. (Waning?) NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand up during the (now sacred?) national anthem as an expression of free speech, hence constitutionally protected.
  3. Colin K’s pig-police socks.
  4. The black “community.”
  5. Apple’s upcoming release of the latest I-phone, watch, and play stations.

August 27, 2016

“Trump can’t win”

Viking gods tattoos

Viking gods tattoos

There are people who understand the ins and outs of “politics.” Don’t expect me to match the expertise of those glued to the ever changing map of party politics. On the other hand, since I started to focus on the big picture (such as the uneven transition from pre-capitalist societies to more developed ones, or the rise of fascism and/or progressivism in the interwar period and even before that), certain patterns became evident. This blog is about the issues in the 2016 political campaign that may be too obvious for the more attentive and practiced in “political” analysis.

In no particular order:

Race and racism. While in graduate school, I occasionally confronted liberal/red faculty with the (insulting?) question: Where is structural racism in current institutions? By the time I got up the nerve to ask, the faculty apparently knew to ignore me with silence and changing the subject. (The pro-union faculty should have mentioned at least the inner city treatment of minority children, but sectarianism precluded such an obvious answer, apparent to me now but not then, despite the UCLA History Department’s public emphasis on unequal treatment: they were all in for criticizing “white supremacy,” but mostly silent about any unsavory aspect of “the labor movement.”)

So it is hardly surprising that attacking the Democrat stranglehold on “the minority vote” should meet with resistance on the part of liberals. This last week was topped off by “trading insults” by cable news (including an indignant Fox), as if the Democrat Party was not threatened by the move of Republicans to court black and brown votes in the working class. Forget the ideology of progressivism that has sought to uplift individuals and discourses  in order to pacify and co-opt ex-slaves and immigrant masses, hence the shock that Trump would correctly label the Democrat candidate in impolite lingo.

Multiculturalism. Which brings me to the all too obvious fact that both political parties indulge in collectivist discourses built on an imaginary national unity in diversity: e pluribus unum. What has happened to the dissenting individual in this mish-mash of ideologies, indulged in by “moderates” of all stripes?

patriotic tattoo/pinterest

patriotic tattoo/pinterest

The moderate men. My proudest achievement in the study of modern history was the subject of quiet repression by the ever so “fair and balanced” moderates (who would never undermine what passes for “democracy.”) Enter Fox News Channel, the “moderate” answer to media monopoly by progressives. For Fox, “fair and balanced” seems to mean gaining the maximum number of eyeballs, while seemingly not taking sides. Since the guiding men of Fox cannot be too explicit in their bogus theory of balance (what has happened to the Enlightenment project of investigating and possibly clarifying disputed facts? Oh, I remember now, the French Revolution/science inevitably lead to communism (https://clarespark.com/2010/11/06/moderate-men-falling-down/).

Though more conservatives inhabit Fox than in the competition (network television, CNN, MSNBC) Fox must not be too obviously one-sided. I have been watching their election coverage with the eyes of a skeptical historian,  and wonder if their “moderate” alternative is to allege that Trump has only the slimmest chance of winning the Presidency.

I expect this trend (at alt-Fox) to intensify between now and November 8, 2016 unless Trump should take the lead decisively.



August 19, 2016

What _____ “Community”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:20 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

communityThis blog is about 1. What the establishment means by “community”; and 2. How the New Left generation erased “class” in favor of “race” (a deviation from early 1930s’ Communist ideology and practice).

All the trendy movements since the late 1960s have collaborated in the New Left project: feminism (i.e.,“the woman’s movement” privileges gender above all, hence the tears rolling down the cheeks of many Democrats as Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination); Greens; rock ‘n roll (primitivism); and all the cultural nationalisms approved by “ethnic” minorities.

For instance, here I mentioned that the black masses/underclass have been left behind by their upwardly mobile families and friends (https://clarespark.com/2016/07/09/understanding-black-lives-matter/), but I didn’t mention the erasure of class consciousness in the so-called “black community”  (https://clarespark.com/2014/11/27/what-black-community/). Such a dramatic change from “class” to “race” didn’t happen overnight; rather it happened as multiculturalism’s took hold in the late 1960s under the tutelage of such as Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan and the white liberal establishment (and all social democrats), aided and abetted by the aging [Stalinist] generation suffering from a failure of nerve, supporting such nonsense as “white supremacy.”

Such a move blended well with New Left anti-war movements and student strikes. But their predecessors in the radical movement of the 1930s, would have condemned organicism (the blessed union of Man and Nature) and “race” as bogus terms, rejected by liberal and radical anthropologists alike as excrescences of far right nationalism (i.e., fascism). Above all, the few true red radicals among them focused on the lack of “community” in any sense, for there was a structural class conflict, impeding any community of interests.

Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal class collaborationist programs were termed “social fascism” until the Popular Front against fascism was instituted after 1935. The Reds partook of the post-Enlightenment innovation of “dialectical materialism” by which they meant that the enlightened working class would take the vanguard of social change; history was inexorably moving toward working class rule. The “mechanical materialism” of the big bad bourgeoisie was a ruse, but their technology would provide for all in the new dispensation.

Neither political party in the US will talk about this history. The “far Left” is now occupied almost solely by social democrats, arguably the most proto-fascist movement in world history.

“Welcome to the future” as the television commercial promises. “Race” and “ethnicity” have been rehabilitated.

Differ two.com. image

Differ two.com. image

August 13, 2016

There and not there: progressives make us crazy (2)

As seen in review of play "Double Bind."

As seen in review of play “Double Bind.”

(For the first one in this series, see https://clarespark.com/2014/09/08/why-progressive-social-psychologists-make-us-crazy/.)

I have been rereading old books of mine to see if I could still recommend them; the horror show today is by Ashley Montagu (born Israel Ehrenberg, 1901-1999), a very long book republished in paperback by Oxford University Press in 1974: Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, and dedicated to the three Mississippi martyrs on behalf of civil rights for Negroes (“James Chaney, Andy Schwerner, and Mickey Goodman”—in that order, and with nicknames reserved for the two white guys).

This is how this particular progressive, super-prolix author puts us in double binds.

  1. (In no particular order) The hip reader of physical anthropology praises both competition and cooperation (“altruism”—an inborn trait, over the taught horrors of Social Darwinism—a capitalist deviation from the ideal).
  2. We are both shaped by particular [unique/incomparable] societies and individuals free to choose a better path, i.e., the collectivist progressive way.
  3. “Race” is out, while “ethnicity” is in no way a racist term. (This is a wild distortion of Huxley and Haddon’s We Europeans (1935) where they discard both race and ethnicity, preferring the ancient reference to “ethnos” as any particular population.)
  4. Hybrid vigor improves what has been mistakenly called “pure” races. (This may be an indirect way of being a racist, while posing as an anti-racist: some 19th C. crypto-racists played this game.)

Along the way, the lordly Montagu describes the unenlightened lower orders as “wild” and “coarse.”

For a detailed account of how the pseudo-science of social relations (sometimes known as cultural anthropology) prevailed over the wild and coarse pursuit of truth, see https://clarespark.com/2011/03/27/progressive-mind-managers-ca-1941-42/, and most of this website.

The only way to resolve the double bind is to retreat into mysticism over anything so banal as materialism.


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