YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

June 4, 2016

Multiculturalism: the missing term in the Trump ‘fiasco’

Branco cartoon in Conservative Daily News

Branco cartoon in Conservative Daily News

Time will tell if Donald J. Trump has damaged his campaign by referring to the American judge presiding over his Trump University fraud case as “Mexican.” Such prestigious Fox commentators as Charles Krauthammer have clucked over this [horrendous gaffe] without mentioning that the hyphenated Americans are primarily identified through their “ethnicity” or “race.”

Such are the wages of the phony version of assimilation known as “multiculturalism,” now hegemonic in the world thanks to the triumph of Wilsonian internationalism—the enemy of nationalism, but thanks to the Left and even “moderate conservatives”, now de rigueur in all the hip universities as a weapon against “white supremacy.” See https://clarespark.com/2011/03/28/index-to-multiculturalism-blogs/.

(Only a few internet folk nail “multiculturalism”: such as Robert Spencer and various writers for Gatestone Institute, but alas, even these learnèd writers fail to mark the contrast between the “rootless cosmopolitan” [see Stalin on Jews] and the [preferred] “rooted cosmopolitan” celebrated by German Romantics reacting to the dreaded [materialist] Enlightenment.)

Krauthammer and others on Fox might have looked into the associations of Judge Gonzalo Curiel with Hillary Clinton and her supporters in the Democratic Party, but then CK originally worked for the Carter administration (but experienced disillusion with the LBJ’s war on poverty during the 1980s). He has made his reputation as a “board certified psychiatrist”… “open to empirical evidence” but not as a footnoting, archive-sleuthing historian or political scientist.

See this apparently researched article for contrast with CK’s rejection of Trump’s alleged bigotry. http://spectator.org/rigged-the-trial-of-trump-university/. I don’t agree entirely with this article, for the so-called Left will say that it is understandable that Latino and Latina lawyers should band together on the grounds that they are “oppressed” and “marginalized.” Forget that many aspire to be hired guns on behalf of Big Government.

Such are wages of multiculturalism, which emphasizes race/ethnicity and gender, but not “class.”

Many a conservative, along with much of the Left, don’t want any workers in their clubs. So much for national unity and/or Milton Friedman.

were-different-were-the-same

May 28, 2016

Are Americans wild-eyed radicals and killers?

Daniel Boone, 1779, with red cap

Daniel Boone, 1779, with red cap

These past few weeks, I have been immersing myself in English history as written by two political historians for a popular audience (the brief books were given me by my dissertation advisor, the super-organized and detail-oriented Alexander Saxton): R. W. Harris (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-rw-harris-1103491.html) and John W. Derry. (The latter was the more obviously social democratic).

What fascinated me most was the following: both historians had apparently mastered every intricate detail of English politics from the Glorious Revolution (1688) onward, but it was Derry who was the most obviously social democratic, seemingly welcoming the gradual movement toward greater social participation, but it is Harris’s take on the American Revolution that is relevant this Memorial Day weekend.

I was flummoxed by the Harris account of the separation from the “mother country.” It seems that my prior intuitions about [Tory] versions of U.S. history are correct. Forget the heroism of George Washington and the American patriots who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and suffered through that portentous war. Americans should have moderated their views and stayed with mercantilist [Mom]. The only reasons England lost that war was its weakness regarding France and related conflicts, plus the difficulties in shipping soldiers over the Atlantic.

And Americans (especially frontiersmen and other hoi polloi) were crazy radicals (https://clarespark.com/2014/02/07/herman-melville-on-the-materialist-solitary-backwoodsman/ and https://clarespark.com/2014/01/08/the-frontiersmansettler-as-all-purpose-scapegoat/), none more so than the wandering, irreligious, impudent supporter of the American and French Revolutions, Tom Paine. whereas Edmund Burke, Paine’s Irish-born Whig/Tory antagonist, comes out as the true humanitarian (https://clarespark.com/2014/09/13/melville-edmund-burke-and-literary-cubism/) . Moreover, Harris advances the view that the bankrupting of France caused the French Revolution.

I hadn’t heard that one before, though UCLA’ history, art history, and English departments had a lot to say about the [mob-driven?] French Revolution during its Bicentennial year of 1989, though one leftist English professor waxed eloquent on “the crisis of the sacrificial,” which brings me back to Memorial Day weekend when such as our President bandies the word “sacrifice” about, perhaps indirectly alluding to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while forgetting that the descendants of [wild-eyed radicals plus immigrants] in all classes took an awful beating from Japanese imperialists in the Pacific theater during the second world war.

HD Wallpapers

HD Wallpapers

It took me many years of reading histories to realize that fears of “the Bomb” (i.e., science and technology) were at the heart of the Green movement and other social democratic innovations. (https://clarespark.com/2009/09/20/jungians-on-the-loose-part-one/, especially statements of Jung, Broughton, and Henry A. Murray).

May 17, 2016

Real or Fake?

demonicpossessionMy friends on Facebook were asked by me recently to give their impressions regarding the comparative power of “professional politicians” versus “the media.” Though most agreed with me that the mass media were more responsible for defining reality, one person said that they were all in the same class, moving back and forth between worlds: persons such as Ben Rhodes and George Stephanopoulos.

My own view is a bit more complicated. We talk about “the media” without considering that “mass media” are inseparable from religion. For instance, if we are taught that this world is an illusion (to be corrected after we have “passed” from this vale of tears to our just reward in heaven, or passed from evil capitalism to perfect communism); that our apparent sharp political divisions are a ruse; that “materialism” caused the uproarious mob-driven French Revolution (sharply contrasted with the divinely inspired and decorous American War for Independence), then we may agree that unity is both desirable and a realistic goal, if only we listened to our betters—mostly those pundits/authority figures who divide the “real” from the “fake.”

In my last blog, I figured out that, beneath all the “political history” written by the moderate men (the Centrists of both Left and Right), was a common antipathy toward the too rapid development of “technology,” culminating in nailing our catastrophic domination of Nature/women. (https://clarespark.com/2016/05/14/the-difference-between-communists-and-social-democrats/)

Were we in touch with our “real” (demonic) natures instead of imposing “puritanical” (female) values bequeathed by the Victorian culture machine, we would accept “natural” hierarchies, so that the hubris/mob-engendered apocalypse could be forestalled and we could be liberated from the evidence of the senses. (See https://clarespark.com/2009/08/24/the-people-is-an-ass-or-a-herd/). John Locke is old hat, but not his polar opposite, Robert Filmer.

We are all Tories now, “spiritualized” and unable to tell the real from the fake.

samueljohnson

May 14, 2016

The difference between communists and social democrats

technology dominating nature; painting by Bansky

technology dominating nature; painting by Bansky

I have just finished reading Isaac Deutscher’s much criticized biography of Josef Stalin. Although it has been criticized as an attempt to rehabilitate the Soviet dictator, I learned (or reviewed) a lot about Stalinism, especially as viewed by a Marxist-Leninist. (For a long but comprehensive essay in opposition to Deutscher see (https://www.marxists.org/archive/shachtma/1950/09/deutscher-stalin.htm. I don’t agree with Schactman here; Deutscher’s notion of Stalin’s revolution from above was in response to the failure of communist revolution in the West. )

I am writing this blog because it is often difficult for conservatives unfamiliar with the USSR and generally down on progressivism, to tell the difference between different factions of “the Left” and the mass media won’t touch this subject, lest they reveal their own covert (?) “moderation” that places themselves in the sane middle, while their opponents are nuts.

Thus Bernie Sanders can pass himself off as a “democratic socialist” and run with the progressives, while implicitly denying that he is any kind of “extremist.”

No person educated in the basics of Marxism or Leninism would fall for this charade. I should not have to say this again, but Big Government is an elitist ploy by former laissez-faire capitalists to adapt to Red “proletarian internationalism” by a sharp move to the [populist] Left. See the explicit program of such as The Nation editor Oswald Garrison Villard in 1919, while Europe was in revolutionary turmoil. (https://clarespark.com/2012/07/19/communist-ideas-go-mainstream/, and https://clarespark.com/2009/09/19/populism-progressivism-and-corporatist-liberalism-in-the-nation-1919/.)

The communists of the 1930s were largely Stalinists, believing that capitalism was oppressive and would inevitably be overthrown by the (conscious) industrial working class, led by the USSR. They were underground, professed to be pro-technology, anti-racist and anti-capitalist (but not always anti-American), and were deeply shocked by Krushchev’s “revelations” of Red hanky-panky during the Stalin era (which Deutscher pooh-poohs as an attempt to elevate Stalin’s successors).

ecofeminism

All that changed with the turn toward agrarian nostalgia in the Maoist New Left, which elevated peasant revolts and was anti-imperialist. It is thus no accident that today’s Red/Pink Greens have seized upon the ostensibly bourgeois assault upon “Nature” as the centerpiece of their ‘revolutionary’ program, a program that Sanders (like Obama) endorses, for their anti-urban sentiments allege that the big, bad bourgeoisie were out to dominate Nature, and that “Nature” hath decreed that our species should be “rooted”.

Image by Hannah Yata

Image by Hannah Yata

Nothing worse than a “rootless” cosmopolitan; and here their “multicultural” argot agrees with post-WW2 Stalin about to embark upon a second Holocaust. The only point where today’s social democracies agree with communism (Russian style) is in their ever more obvious anti-Semitism.

May 12, 2016

“The Good Wife” series finale

[Update 5/18/16: yesterday a pundit praised Hillary for “standing by her man.” I hadn’t thought of “Alicia” as a stand-in for Hillary before, but it is plausible.]goodwife4

SPOILER ALERT. Preparing the audience for the finishing of a seven-season show, widely touted as “the best written show on television,” series creators Robert and Michelle King, explained to the viewers that the series was “about” the search for “power” by its star “Alicia Florrick” (played by Julianna Margulies), and, that power corrupts! (Lord Acton!) Hence the slap by the “betrayed” “Diane” (played by Christine Baranski).

You could have fooled me.

I had written about the series before, emphasizing what I don’t like about the law: https://clarespark.com/2014/03/24/the-good-wife-and-bad-timing/ at a point when the interlocking triangles were the main focus, as Alicia struggles with loyalty to the stability that makes her two children feel safe, versus sexual desire. To the dismay of the fans, the writers killed off her lover Will Gardner (played by Josh Charles), but another boyfriend emerged recently, another of the bad boys to whom Alicia seems addicted.

Her father never appears in the series, though a bohemian mother does, along with a gay brother. Freud is so passé.

Hannah_Wilke_So_Help_Me_Hannah

The late Hannah Wilke with gun

So far, the Democratic playbook seems intact, as one would never know that Chicago is notoriously corrupt, and controlled by Democrats. Instead, we are immersed in the often amusing shenanigans of millionaire lawyers and wacky judges with nary but one Republican in the cast; for “Diane” proposes marriage to a firearms expert and a staunch conservative, ostensibly because of attraction to “guns” (ironically, gun laws are strictly enforced in Chicago, notwithstanding the notorious high death rate from illegal guns among the black population). Indeed, Alicia’s “betrayal” consists of an action that appears to break up this unlikely marriage between a staunch liberal feminist and her right-wing partner, hence “the slap” that supposedly echoes with a slap I can’t remember from season one. And now Alicia walks off into an unknowable future, as the strong, but ostensibly sold out feminist that we have admired (?) for seven seasons. Strong, but, we are told, corrupted by upward mobility.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/09/the-great-marriage-behind-the-good-wife.html. Odd that the writers, so happily married and creative, ended their acclaimed series on a sour note. Perhaps the Jewish wife “called the shots” yet again.

 writers Michelle and Robert  King as shown in Hollywood Reporter

writers Michelle and Robert King as shown in Hollywood Reporter

May 6, 2016

The “women’s vote”

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 8:14 pm
Tags: , , , ,

funnypissedIn his news conference today, POTUS took care to mention “the women’s vote” as (sure to be Trump’s downfall). This blog is about the leading key issue for all women: control over their reproductive functions.

Although both political parties idealize the nuclear and extended families (Dems: we must” act together” to “invest” in big government programs that create jobs such as rebuilding infrastructure; Republicans/conservatives: only the patriarchal family can solve inner city crime and poverty), the factions differ drastically on the “emotional” issue of abortion and contraception.

anti-suffrage postcard

anti-suffrage postcard

Statist liberals have captured the women’s vote because 1. The mass media have promoted “hyper-sexuality” (in the eyes of the Right); and 2. Young, unmarried women and teens are not about to give up sex for abstinence and other forms of “Victorian” prudery. Nor are many married women, no matter how religious in other spheres, about to remain prisoners of infants and pre-school kids indefinitely; 3. The chipping away at Roe v. Wade through the outlawing of late term abortion is obvious to many; and 4. The legalization of embryonic stem-cell research during the Bush 43 administration aroused opposition.

As a mother and grandmother, I don’t find these pro-choice positions irrational, i.e., emotional. As long as influential social conservatives deny the separation of church and state*, the women’s vote will go to the pluralists who may see a broader scope for women in the world: see https://clarespark.com/2013/09/26/cultural-pluralism-vs-multiculturalism/ and https://clarespark.com/2013/05/02/teen-age-sex/.

Will votes for women forever remain an empty gesture in favor of equal opportunity?

*Many conservatives deny that they want a theocracy, but why is it political suicide for a Republican candidate to adopt the pro-choice position?

anti-suffrage postcard 1906

anti-suffrage postcard 1906

 

April 29, 2016

The Woman Card

Valside.com image

Valside.com image

In this, the weirdest and most inflammatory and polarizing election season that I can remember, Donald J. Trump is calling his likely Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton, a player of the “Woman Card,” who would not even be in the running were she not a Woman, capitalizing on the novelty of being the first woman President. Hillary supporters are predictably indignant, predicting disaster for such sentiments.

This blog tries to explore the current condition of women, married and unmarried. I take it for granted that my readers know that I am a feminist who is socially liberal (e.g., pro-choice, but who does not entirely dismiss the pro-life argument). See https://clarespark.com/2016/04/01/70s-feminism-and-its-bizarre-legacy/.

Women who are married to an adequately earning mate, have never had it so good, but those who are forced to work outside the home (either ideologically, or because of inadequate income) are in the same position as working males, either laborers or professionals. Because they are competing with men (and are subject to the same dangers to life and limb) such workers probably don’t have the leisure time or energy to evaluate the campaigns of competing parties or candidates, not to speak of the arguments about the “proper” roles and capacities of mothers/workers. (See https://clarespark.com/2012/10/03/the-sexual-revolution-2/.) I suspect that this group is fed up with male domination and would be happy to see at least one “strong” woman be the Leader, presumably one attuned to their needs, spoken and unspoken.

But whether married or unmarried, women are likely to be the only family members who take care of the elderly. It is strange to me that few politicians or journalists address this shock to the middle-aged women who thought that their “traditional” female duties would be over after the nest is emptied. I find it odd that even the relatively few “geriatric” physicians (including psychiatrists) are not addressing this source of stress, though television is full of ads for (invariably female) home care assistants.

Georgia ad

Georgia ad

Hillary Clinton (nor any Republican or Democrat either) is addressing The Woman Question, except to defend or attack “abortion rights” (and equal pay).  Instead Mrs. Clinton is subsuming the volatile abortion issue into “women’s health,” while Carly Fiorina attacks Planned Parenthood for cutting up “babies”.

I continue to join other feminists in asking the ever more salient question, “Is there life after birth”? (https://clarespark.com/2015/10/10/is-there-life-after-birth-states-rights-and-controlling-our-children/).

April 17, 2016

House of Cards and cynical Democrats

Claire and Frank go to Moscow, season 3 House of Cards, Netflix

Claire and Frank go to Moscow, season 3 House of Cards, Netflix

I have just binge-watched House of Cards seasons three and four, set during the presidency of upwardly mobile, cynical and manipulative poor white trash Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey co-starring with Robin Wright as his teammate Claire—- a former “Dallas debutante” with a preternatural understanding of how “the system” really works. Both Spacey and Wright are actually from humble backgrounds, and perhaps retain much of their repressed rage/nihilism).

I also saw the much-preferred UK original on PBS, so long ago that I remember most of it only vaguely, but who could forget the shocking murder of the young journalist? (At least my polled Facebook friends liked that version, nearly all finding the US adaptation boring at best; I disagree, all long series are uneven, but the writing is often compelling).

Ian Richardson as PBS villain (1990)

Ian Richardson as PBS villain (1990)

So I am in the uncomfortable position of questioning my own taste for television series, which turn out to be relatively highbrow compared to the “lowbrow” network offerings. (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/is-i-house-of-cards-i-really-a-hit/284035/)

What frightens me most about House of Cards (I have now seen all versions, entirely), is my own naiveté as a historian and reader of texts. I have often called attention to our limited access to relevant documents as we attempt to interpret and present the past and present, but I didn’t factor in silent, underhanded deeds and interactions that confront the reader/viewer with unmitigated evil. There is enough nastiness in my own life history to temper my disbelief that such behavior could exist. Frankly, I don’t know how the writers got so much of our political situation down with conviction, for in spite of my “realism” about what to expect from other people, I could never imagine such degrees of immorality, even from “Big Government.”

What is most surprising is that the actors and writers are associated with the Democratic Party (presented as rife with corruption, including mayhem), or perhaps they lean left, like many artists confronting the philistine bourgeoisie/modernity in either political party. There is a punkish, oppositional sensibility at play in the writing and acting, though one wonders if life offers more than an Artaudian scream or Brechtian ruthlessness.

Although the plot line is said to be “implausible” I find the series, like Billions (a Showtime offering that has completed its first season), to have ripped the mask off our elites, with enough ambiguity to satisfy any educated, fearless student of human nature.

No wonder I am attracted to the writing of Herman Melville, who ventured on the dark side more than most of his nineteenth century “optimistic” contemporaries, with attention to his life and art only made possible after the horrors of World War Two. And no wonder that the trashing of his masterpiece Pierre, or the Ambiguities (1852) had to be denounced in 1947 by FDR-allied psychologist Henry A. Murray, whose lies I have reluctantly exposed on this website.  (https://clarespark.com/2011/06/12/call-me-isabel-a-reflection-on-lying/).

Call me Isabel.

April 10, 2016

“New York values” (as heard by Iowans?)

new-york-valuesAlthough I have been writing about the subtler forms of antisemitism for years now, it has come as a shock (perhaps) that I suggest that Senator Ted Cruz may have been playing to Midwestern misconceptions about “Jewish” illegitimate power in NYC during this presidential campaign.

This blog does not pretend to know what the (ostentatiously) pro-Israel Cruz “really” meant by his slur, and perhaps I am typically an “oversensitive” Jew in imputing to the Senator views that he does not (consciously) hold. (Perhaps he was thinking of urban crowding in seeking agrarian votes.) But in many subsequent statements, Cruz has claimed to refer to “liberal Democratsor to “pro-abortion” and “gay marriage” elements or to those who inhabit finance (“money”) and “media.” (On the “pro-abortion slur see https://clarespark.com/2016/04/01/70s-feminism-and-its-bizarre-legacy/.)

Some opponents to my suspicions have pointed to Cruz’s pro-Israel stance as proof that he can’t also harbor antisemitic sentiments, and indeed some journalists have promoted “the new antisemitism” to emphasize the overlapping of antisemitic and pro-“Palestinian” sentiments. (For more on this, see https://clarespark.com/2015/01/15/antisemitism-vs-anti-zionism-is-there-a-difference/.)

Have we all forgotten that liberals are supposed by elements of “the Right” to be masked “commie Jews” and traitors, such as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? (See https://clarespark.com/2015/04/24/multiculturalism-vs-yid-red-spies-which-agitates-the-right/.) Or that “Wall Street” (in the imagination of populists in general) is held to be generically “Jewish.” Or that “gay marriage” presupposes feminization of one or both partners, and indeed, its passage in NY State was a struggle that was narrowly won? Or that “pro-abortion” views are very close to the blood libel, a long standing accusation leveled against Jews by medieval Christians?

For my umpteen blogs on “the Jewish question” see https://clarespark.com/2012/09/29/index-to-blogs-on-antisemitism/. I will be adding this one to the list, which I commend highly as the product of all my research since 1986 when I was first alerted to the pervasiveness of this so-called “prejudice,” which is more accurately understood as a theory of history.

Saudi cartoon 2008

Saudi cartoon 2008

April 1, 2016

’70s feminism and its bizarre legacy

MegynKellyI have written so frequently about the “second wave” of feminism that I didn’t think another blog was merited. But this week, the media attention to Donald Trump’s alleged gaffes, supposedly indicative of his vile sexism and aggressiveness in “the war on women” made me change my mind about a feminist blog that would reveal the base media distortions directed against advocates for female equality.

First, the flap against abortion. One extreme conservative smear consists of the proposition that pro-choice feminists are “pro-abortion.” To be sure, there exist women who use legal abortions as a form of birth control, but I have never known a case where agonizing ‘soul-searching’, extreme youth, or poverty did not accompany the termination of a pregnancy. (https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states.)

As for Trump’s gaffe, he was plainly reacting to the necessity to conform to the rule of law. Of course, he should have refused to discuss the subject, since it was obviously a Chris Matthews trap. Indeed, the subject had never come up in the Republican debates (except for Planned Parenthood), since it is assumed that all Republicans would be “pro-life” (though I have long insisted that Republicans might better focus on the feminist question “Is there life after birth”? See https://clarespark.com/2015/10/10/is-there-life-after-birth-states-rights-and-controlling-our-children/. A more interesting question would have been regarding Trump’s view of embryonic stem cell research. See http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics5.aspx.)

Second, the class basis of ‘70s feminism. As I have stressed over and over, the “second wave” of feminism came out of the civil rights/antiwar movement, and its chief publicists appealed to middle class educated women, resentful of male put-downs, relegating them to secretaries at the beck and call of “movement heavies.” Or, alternatively, ‘70s feminism may be seen as a revolt against domesticity (Betty Friedan was the chief instigator on this front.)

What Friedan failed to recognize was that, since John Locke’s idea of the tabula rasa and the Industrial Revolution that removed the paterfamilias from the home, domesticity gave women unprecedented influence in the home/child-rearing and also in the Progressive movement that was striving “to make the whole world home-like.” To displaced patriarchs, this was an outrageous turn of events that one might surmise helped fuel the opposition to votes for women, who already seemed to have too much power, especially in their uncanny sexual power (too reminiscent, perhaps of Mother).

Although some lesbian feminists had a different agenda, liberal heterosexual feminists mostly failed to focus on such crucial issues as the co-option of feminist demands that failed to challenge “the beauty myth”, deficiencies in women’s health, and the dumbing down of American culture owing to the growing power of mass media (including Fox News Channel), which were all too eager to promote hyper-sexuality, blondes, cosmetics, plastic surgery, fashion fetishes (such as stiletto heels), and role reversal where the dominatrices ruled.

Third, the uplifting conception of “victimology.” Enter the second Trump scandal of the week: the Michelle Fields affair. Independents, libertarians, and conservatives alone seem to be objecting to current widespread practice in the schools to enforce “safe zones” where allegedly bullying (white) males must be isolated, reformed, and punished. (Other victim groups usually get off the hook; such is the power of academic social justice warriors.)

Predictably, the glamourous female journalists (who don’t self-identify as “feminists”) promoted by Fox News Channel and mainstream television outlets generally fail to question or probe the negative aspects of 70s feminism. Why should they?

angryfeminist

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