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Forecast

Let`s make America great again

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 50 views / 6 comments

GEOMETR.IT  capx.co

President Donald Trump’s winning campaign spent more on red hats and mugs that say “Make America Great Again” than on pollsters, consultants and all the other expenses that usually fuel a presidential race. Those hats sold well, and so did the message. Americans thirst to taste greatness again, after a decade-long slump in incomes at home and failed foreign policies abroad.

In The Price of Prosperity I lay out the five factors that bring down great nations, forces that undid the Habsburgs, the Ottomans, the Venetians, and the Romans. Trump must tackle all of them – and he confronts tougher odds than he ever faced on the golf course or in his casinos. But tough odds are not impossible odds.

Work Ethic

When Trump shows up for work in the Oval Office, he will encounter worrisome statistics showing that 95 million Americans are out of the workforce. Even as the economy recovered from the Great Recession, the labour participation rate continued to slip.

One in six able-bodied men aged 25-54 choose to stay at home, possibly playing video games, rather than reporting for a job. History shows that when a rich nation shatters, people don’t go hungry. They just stop waking up early.

The US also has a disability crisis. Jobs are safer than ever before, especially since many factories have shut down. And yet 10 million collect disability payments from the government. Trump must inspire hard work, and also adopt policies to encourage it. I have proposed signing bonuses to induce the unemployed back into the workforce.

Falling Birthrates

To make America great again Trump may have to make America mate again. When countries grow rich, people have fewer babies. The US birthrate has been dropping to the lowest level on record. This trend shows up throughout history, from Victorian England back to Ancient Rome.

So what? Don’t fewer babies mean less whining, crying, and spitting up? Yes, but with older people living ever longer, it also means fewer young workers to serve as neurosurgeons in hospitals or as manicurists in salons. Without young people entering the workforce, the U.S. must rely on immigrants, which brings cultural challenges.

Globalised Trade

Nations cannot grow and stay rich without trading.  If a country does not trade, it grows stale and fetid, like North Korea, a place whose slogan should be “one country, one leader, one haircut”.

But there is a downside to trading.  It shakes the customs and character of a country.  Moreover, weak companies get stomped into bankruptcy by foreign competitors, throwing employees out of work.

Mr Trump has targeted Mexico and China for unfair trading. I suggest he follow the example of President Reagan, who managed to promote free trade while picking some strategic battles to pry open foreign markets.

Rising Debt and Bureaucracy

President Obama racked up nearly as much debt in his eight years in office as all prior presidents combined. But it is not his problem any more. It is Mr. Trump’s.

As nations grow rich, they inflate their debts and hire more bureaucrats. Each American is now stuck with $61,000 in government debt. Meanwhile, the bureaucrats end up writing excessive regulations that further bind the economy.

Here is an example. Hair stylists in the state of Arizona must take 1,600 hours of classroom instruction. A policeman only takes 600. Apparently, it’s almost three times as dangerous to handle a blow-dryer than a Glock.

Building Patriotism Amid Multiculturalism 

The US Mint in Washington engraves American coins with the motto e pluribus unum (“out of many, one”). In the past few decades, our schools have exalted the pluribus but have disparaged the unum. A school in Brooklyn cancelled the annual Thanksgiving Day celebration for fear that immigrant students might be offended (the Thanksgiving Pilgrims were immigrants!). The student council at the University of California, Irvine voted to ban the American flag from campus, because it purportedly represents imperialism and colonialism. The movement spread through Instagram and Snapchat.

I would urge Mr. Trump to require all immigrants and all native-born students seeking a loan from the government to get their passport stamped at historical landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial.

For America to survive, much less find greatness, Mr Trump must stimulate work outside of Washington, while curtailing the work of bureaucrats within the city. He must inspire young people to care more about whether their nation holds together, and less about Instagram, Snapchat and all the other social media that Mr Trump dominated in order to win the presidency.

https://capx.co

GEOMETR.IT

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Дональд Трамп. Инаугурационная Речь Президента США

Команда Трампа — КТО ЭТИ ЛЮДИ ?

ИМПЕРИЯ ТРАМПА И ИНТЕРЕСЫ АМЕРИКИ

Дональд Трамп и Владимир Путин в ИНТЕРВЬЮ Ларри Кингу, CNN

ЧТО ТРАМП СДЕЛАЕТ С УКРАИНОЙ ?

Пришли Брекзит и Трамп. Всей Европе-АБЗАЦ !

Deutschland. Das Jahr der Nationalisten

Trump’s main enemy is expectations

Trump is different from European nationalists

Przemówienie Trumpa było znakomite

Trump’s main enemy is expectations

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 37 views / 4 comments

GEOMETR.IT   capx.co

Tim Montgomerie spent much of the past year in the United States covering one of the most extraordinary presidential elections in history. This is the second in a three-part series, summarising what he learned.

The weaknesses of the mainstream American media have reached a critical, democracy-endangering stage

The mainstream media plays a vital role in democracy. It educates the public about what politicians are doing (and not doing). And almost as importantly, it educates politicians about what is happening in the country they seek to serve, and what they might be missing.

At the same time, the tendency of media organisations based in New York and Los Angeles – both bastions of liberal leftism – to employ like-minded people has accelerated. Hard data about the ideological composition of newsrooms is difficult to come by, but research during the recent campaign by the Center for Public Integrity found that 96 per cent of political donations by journalists were to the Clinton campaign.

The executive editor of The New York Times recently admitted that “we don’t get religion”. Not getting religion in one of the most religious nations on earth is not a minor journalistic failing. And what about not getting people with guns, or people who work in coalmining, or veterans who’ve served in the military?

Some newsrooms have been so busy recruiting more women and ethnic minorities – very correctly – that they have forgotten other forms of diversity which ensure that groupthink doesn’t compromise editorial decisions.

The result is the equivalent, if we were to put it into a British context, of an editorial conference full of Remainers: they can try their best to reflect the views of the rest of the nation, but it won’t be easy or complete.

On top of which, such journalists often choose to think the worst of people they don’t naturally agree with, or even mix with. This is one reason why wanting your country to govern itself – the dominant motivation of Leavers in the UK – is regularly and disproportionately portrayed as racist or xenophobic.

An environment is created where large numbers of voters stop trusting the media and choose instead to read fringe alternatives: the Age of Breitbart.

Tillerson’s Trump-like relationship with the truth probably won’t do him much harm – just as Mrs Clinton’s endless attacks on Mr Trump’s Pinocchio-isms made little difference during the campaign. While Trump’s PolitiFact score is much worse than Mrs Clinton’s was, voters’ expectations about political truthiness are not high. Not high at all. Only 1 per cent of Americans think members of Congress have “very high” standards of honesty and ethics. In fact, they come just below car salespeople, insurance traders and advertising practitioners in a Gallup league table.

I should add at this point that this lack of faith is unfair (as the figures here show) but as I wrote on this site in December 2015, Mr Trump’s supporters weren’t unaware of his “little lies”. They were more interested, however, in what they saw as his “big truths” – big truths like the years of high immigration flows from Mexico, the existence of unfair competition from China and the real-world inexperience of the politicians who had been running Washington.

Trump’s critics can keep throwing the “pants on fire” attack at him. But it’s not going to get them very far – especially if they are politicians themselves.

Trump’s critics might dispute this observation – and, indeed, the argument I made in my previous point. Mr Trump did, after all, lose the popular vote in last November’s election, and he begins his presidency with lower favourability ratings than any incomer of modern times. At 40 per cent, he is the only president-elect (of the last seven for which numbers are available) who finds less than half of Americans positively disposed towards him.

Nonetheless, I’d argue that a dominant theme of network TV – that Mr Trump is set to misuse the presidency by profiting financially from it – is likely to be politically unproductive for his critics. Night after night, there are justified attacks on his failure to adequately separate his administration from his business interests.

But my experience of attending more Trump rallies than I care to remember is that people believed his personal wealth was a huge asset – not just because it was a sign of accomplishment, but because it meant he could not be bought by the special interests which are perceived to “buy” so many other politicians.

Trump is not Reagan – but the new Cabinet does reflect the conservative movement that took off in the 1980s

Yesterday I noted a number of ways in which Donald Trump was not a conventional Republican – especially on deficit reduction and free trade.

The striking feature of his nominees for his Cabinet, however, is how ideologically right-wing they are. The man tipped for Labor Secretary is a sceptic on the minimum wage.  The environmental nominee is a climate sceptic. The Treasury candidate is a low-taxer. The energy secretary was a big deregulator when governor of Texas. The congressman tapped for health is the most studious opponent of socialised medicine. The ex-general chosen to run the Pentagon takes hawkish lines towards Moscow and Tehran.

I could go on – but the point is that while it is true that Trump is very un-Reagan in his dark clouds rhetoric (although we shouldn’t forget the positive power of the Reaganesque “Make America Great Again”), and has not got the experience of governing or of involvement in the conservative movement that the post-war period’s most popular Republican president had, he is benefiting from seeds sown during that extraordinary 1980s period.

Reagan, like Thatcher, had to staff his government with many people who had not grown up with exposure to conservative books, think-tank reports and right-wing TV. But the people and donors inspired by his two-term presidency have produced a different generation – who are set to sit around Mr Trump’s top table.

This partly reflects the huge influence of Trump’s Vice-President, Mike Pence. Pence is a conservative movement man and Trump, untrusted by many conservatives, picked him because of a need to reassure that movement. Working with other products of the Reagan era, notably Speaker Paul Ryan and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, the administration almost inevitably has to be staffed by people who learnt their politics a long time before the new regime began to reshape things.

Trump’s main enemy is expectations

Relatively few Americans, as noted above, have a favourable view of Mr Trump – and attendance at his inauguration today may be only half of the nearly two million who attended Barack Obama’s first signing-in.

So the 45th President isn’t facing a “yuuge” expectations problem – but he shouldn’t forget the anger out there about jobs and the political class.

Many blue-collar Democrats voted for Trump in desperation, deserting their party and ignoring the unions that were begging them to vote for Hillary. They don’t want that risk to have been for nothing.

Meanwhile, many conservatives are exhausted by politicians who promise to deliver change but don’t. And Mr Trump’s great opportunity – having Republicans in charge of the Senate and House of Representatives – could become a great problem if he and the leaderships of those two chambers fail to translate this dominance into action.

If their legislative accomplishments are limited by the time of 2018’s mid-terms, a “shellacking” could be in store. Mr Trump may, unusually, be taking his first two days of being president off, but he shouldn’t dilly-dally. Congressional time will be eaten up by scrutiny of Cabinet nominees, his looming choice for the vacancy on the Supreme Court and efforts to repeal Obama-era statutes. He’ll be surprised at how little time there may be for new laws.

Tags: Forecast, record numbers of protesters ,  Donald Trump’s inauguration,  peaceful, extreme elements plotting,  isolated violence, analysis.

https://capx.co

GEOMETR.IT

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Инаугурация Дональда Трампа- 2. ПРЯМОЕ ВКЛЮЧЕНИЕ

Инаугурация Дональда Трампа- 1. ПРЯМОЕ ВКЛЮЧЕНИЕ

Инаугурация Дональда Трампа. ПРОТЕСТ — ПРЯМОЕ ВКЛЮЧЕНИЕ

КРЕЩЕНИЕ ГОСПОДНЕ В РУССКОМ ИЕРУСАЛИМЕ

Сара Вагенкнехт поддержала Дональда Трампа

Итак, наступает I год ЭРЫ ТРАМПА — 2017 !

Inauguracja Trumpa krok po kroku

Trump’s «First 100 Days» Plan

ДАВОС. ЯИЧКО УПАЛО И РАЗБИЛОСЬ. Запах тухлый

Trump. What America wanted to hear

Trump und Europa: Partner oder Gegner?

Trump is different from European nationalists

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 29 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT   theconversation.com

When comparing Europe and America, we frequently overlook differences that hide inside similarities.

There is no doubt that President-elect Donald Trump is surfing the same wave as European authoritarian nationalists like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, France’s Marine Le Pen, Turkey’s Recep Erdoğan, Austria’s Norbert Hofer or Poland’s Jarosław Kaczyński.

The parallels are many. Yet, during this apparent moment of political convergence, the U.S. is diverging from Europe in one fundamental aspect. While Trump might resemble these European nationalists, he has tied himself to a Republican Party that is quite distinct from the parties they lead.

Authoritarian nationalism in Poland

Consider the case of Poland, where I am currently living and writing. Over the past year, the situation here has steadily deteriorated.

As recently as 2014, many were saying that Poland had entered a golden age, with greater wealth, stability and international prominence than ever. But in 2015, it all came crashing down with the election of the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS).

Since then, Poland has been censured by the European Union’s Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and transformed from the EU’s exemplar of success to one of its biggest headaches. The formerly booming economy has slowed. The country’s credit rating has been downgraded. And the Warsaw stock market’s capitalization has declined by US$50 billion.

This authoritarian, nationalist movement is led by Jarosław Kaczyński. Kaczyński rules Poland with near absolute authority even though he is technically only an ordinary member of Parliament. He has installed a president and prime minister who are loyal to him, thus making the official offices of state subordinated to the leader of the ruling party – much as it was during the communist era.

Throughout most of 2016, the government openly defied unfavorable rulings from the constitutional court, a conflict that ended only when PiS installed its own obedient chief justice. New regulations restricting the media provoked a filibuster attempt by the opposition beginning in late December. The main opposition parties occupied the parliamentary dais, but PiS responded by holding a meeting of its caucus in another room and passing the legislation it wanted. Faced with threats of arrest, the opposition abandoned their protest on Jan. 12.

Members of Civic Platform end their occupation of parliament on Jan. 12, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The state-owned media has become an unabashed propaganda outlet, with a bias not seen since the fall of communism. For example, on Jan. 15 the main TV station aired a “documentary” arguing that the recent parliamentary protests were a failed coup attempt with the goal of overthrowing democracy in Poland on behalf of unspecified foreign interests.

According to a recent IPSOS survey, only 25 percent of Poles believe that the state-owned media is trustworthy, and nearly all of them describe themselves as PiS supporters. An independent media still exists, but companies with state contracts are being pressured to pull advertising from media that oppose Kaczyński, and not sell opposition periodicals in their stores.

A massive and ill-planned educational “reform” has been pushed through. The main upshot will be the firing of thousands of teachers, setting the stage for an ideological purge of the profession. That’s necessary, because starting next fall students will be subjected to a new mandatory curriculum that emphasizes “patriotic education.”

PiS uses the slogan “Dobre Zmiany,” which means “Good Changes,” to encompass the move away from the norms of constitutional rule of law, pluralism and liberal democracy.

The same hatreds, the same promises

A comparison of the rhetoric of Kaczyński and Trump shows that they both come from the same ideological framework.

For example, on Jan. 10, Kaczyński was confronted with a loud protest during one of his speeches. Pointing to his opponents, he said “the day will come when Poland will once and for all free itself from all that, from the sickness that we see here. And no shouts, no screams, no sirens will change that. Poland will be victorious against its enemies, against the traitors.”

Both Trump and Kaczyński have appealed to explicit xenophobia. Both promise to return “greatness” to their country, even as their isolationism and extremism distance them from former allies. Both evoke memories of a lost era of job security and prosperity for industrial workers, and claim that they can bring those good days back. Most of all, both cultivate a worldview based on an existential struggle between themselves and a mysterious, conspiratorial network of enemies.

Even the path to power for both Trump and Kaczyński has been similar. Neither represents a majority, but both took advantage of constitutional quirks to transform extraordinarily tight electoral results into a victory.

In Poland, parties that get fewer than 5 percent of the vote get no seats in Parliament. Their votes are distributed proportionately among the larger parties. Because the left splintered into multiple parties, none of them got more than 5 percent and PiS’s 38 percent of the votes translated to 51 percent of the parliamentary delegates. As in America, a couple hundred thousand Polish votes cast differently would have led to a totally different outcome. Since the elections, PiS’s support has remained in the low to mid-30’s. That should give us some pause before we attribute either victory to profound cultural or sociological shifts.

Despite Trump’s unconcealed fondness for Russia, which is not usually an asset in Poland, the PiS government applauded his electoral victory. Kaczyński despises Putin and was happy to welcome U.S. troops to Poland on Jan. 12, yet his ideological affinity with Trump seems to be more important.

An essential difference

Despite all these similarities, there is an essential difference between the two leaders. Kaczyński, like his European counterparts on the far right, is genuinely hostile to capitalism.

On the European side of the Atlantic, “liberalism” has long been understood to encompass both free market economics and liberal constitutional democracy. PiS wants to expand the welfare state, lower the retirement age, outlaw commerce on Sundays and holidays and undertake a massive state-financed construction program.

The party’s hostile relation to the business community has sent the Polish stock market and the value of the złoty to record lows. For Kaczyński, national freedom is what matters. Individual freedoms, including economic ones, are subordinate. As a result, most Polish businesspeople stand alongside civil rights activists in common opposition to the wave of far-right victories.

The contrast with the U.S. could not be more dramatic. Trump has named oligarchs, libertarians and Ayn Rand enthusiasts like Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson to cabinet positions.

The ability of the Republicans to bring together business interests with antiliberal populism is an impressive bit of ideological sleight of hand. If that stew can be kept in one pot, Trump will likely remain a formidable force, able to draw upon broad populist anger and vast financial resources. But it is hard to see how Trump will hold all that together.

The base that elected him is more closely aligned to their European counterparts than to the Republican leadership. This difference is crucial. Trump and Kaczyński are similar, but the latter is at the head of a coherent and committed movement, while the former is trying to ride two horses that won’t be going in the same direction for very long.

Perhaps the economic elites of the U.S. will make a compromise akin to that made by their peers in the 1930s, when business leaders in Germany reluctantly accepted fascist centralization and state control as the cost of maintaining their wealth and power. Most of Europe’s business elites today haven’t yet made this bargain, perhaps because they remember the consequences of that earlier deal with the devil. The decisions of their American peers will play a vital role in determining what happens over the next few years.

https://theconversation.com

GEOMETR.IT

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Инаугурация Дональда Трампа- 2. ПРЯМОЕ ВКЛЮЧЕНИЕ

Инаугурация Дональда Трампа- 1. ПРЯМОЕ ВКЛЮЧЕНИЕ

Инаугурация Дональда Трампа. ПРОТЕСТ — ПРЯМОЕ ВКЛЮЧЕНИЕ

КРЕЩЕНИЕ ГОСПОДНЕ В РУССКОМ ИЕРУСАЛИМЕ

Сара Вагенкнехт поддержала Дональда Трампа

Итак, наступает I год ЭРЫ ТРАМПА — 2017 !

Inauguracja Trumpa krok po kroku

Trump’s «First 100 Days» Plan

ДАВОС. ЯИЧКО УПАЛО И РАЗБИЛОСЬ. Запах тухлый

Trump. What America wanted to hear

Trump und Europa: Partner oder Gegner?

Trump’s «First 100 Days» Plan

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 41 views / 7 comments

GEOMETR.IT

YOUTUBE.COM

In what Trump billed as a “Contract with the American Voter,” the first-time candidate vowed to within the first 100 days of office to take six majors steps — including putting term limits on members of Congress. “It is a contract between myself and the American voter and begins with restoring honesty, accountability and change to Washington,” Trump said. As part of the contract, Trump wants to impose the term limits through a Constitutional amendment and have a 5 year-ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service. And he wants to impose a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government

“I am not a politician,” Trump also said Saturday. “But when I saw the trouble our country was in, I felt I had to act.”

Trump also said that if elected his administration would try to undo an emerging deal in which AT&T will buy Time Warner, which would create a major media conglomerate.

With Election Day now just 17 days away and Trump trailing Clinton in essentially every poll, the GOP nominee is working to assure voters that he is as capable and knowledgeable about policy as he is about rough-and-tumble electoral politics.

«Trump will use the historic setting of Gettysburg where the country was saved,” a senior campaign source told Fox News before the speech. “He will lay out a concise program that he will commit to execute from the first day in office.”

Gettysburg is where Republican President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address in November 1863 in an attempt to unify Americans amid the Civil War.

Clinton has had a clear policy advantage over Trump since Day One of the 2016 White House race, considering she is a former first lady, New York senator and secretary of state.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has argued that Clinton, in her 30 years in politics, has failed to solve any major domestic or foreign issues for the United States.

On Saturday, Trump again suggested Clinton lied to the FBI and Justice Department in their investigations into her use of a private server system as secretary of state because she said during the probes 36 times that she couldn’t recall what she had done.

Trump is making several stops this weekend in Pennsylvania, one of a handful of battleground states that he must win to become president.

However, Trump appears in the past few days to be cutting into Clinton’s lead, in part with his repeated message that the liberal media has rigged the election.

“The media refuses to talk about the three new national polls that have me in first place,” Trump tweeted overnight. “Biggest crowds ever — watch what happens!”

Donald Trump delivered on his plan to use historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as the setting for a closing argument in his Republican presidential campaign — but not before lashing out again at familiar targets including rival Hillary Clinton, a “rigged” America and female accusers whom he branded ”liars.”

Trump vowed after the election to sue the nearly one dozen women who have recently gone to the media with allegations about his sexual misconduct, a situation that Trump says has rigged the election against him.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign — total fabrication,” Trump told the crowd. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

GEOMETR.IT

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Как праздновали КРЕЩЕНИЕ ГОСПОДНЕ В РУССКОМ ИЕРУСАЛИМЕ

КРЕЩЕНИЕ ГОСПОДНЕ. ИКОНЫ

… как символ БЕСПОЛЕЗНОСТИ НАТО

Скарамуччи, Трамп и Хрущев в один голос гудят: Жыть будем лучче, жыть будем веселей, товарищи !

ДОНАЛЬД, ЗАЧЕМ ТЕБЕ НУЖЕН РЕЙКЬЯВИК ?

Инаугурация Трампа. Илиада 2017. ЧТО ВО ЧРЕВЕ троянской кобылы?

Jakim prezydentem będzie Donald Trump?

Trump. Alles halb so wild

Donald Trump und Antiamerikanismus

Securing the Presidential Inauguration

Trumpphobia how dangerous it is

Trump. What America wanted to hear

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 31 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT  capx.co

The first in a series of three pieces from Tim Montgomerie on what he learnt from spending much of the last year in the United States covering one of the most extraordinary of presidential elections. In each piece he’ll offer five thoughts.

1 We shouldn’t have been as surprised about the election outcome as most of us were

My posting to America started in November 2015 and the last task I completed before jetting across the Atlantic was a global survey of attitudes to economic policy for the Legatum Institute. It found that Americans were less optimistic about the future than any of the other six nationalities that YouGov polled – those others being from Britain, Germany, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Thailand. So much for America being the land where dreams come true!

That Legatum finding chimed with the answer to the regular polling question on whether voters think their country is on the right track. Two-thirds of Americans are now consistently concluding they’re collectively heading in the wrong direction.

It’s hardly surprising. This, after all, has been a country that has invested huge resources in overseas wars that went badly, that has seen its great Wall Street banking institutions precipitate a global economic crash and its political institutions in Washington become gridlocked and hyperpartisan, while gun crime, the offshoring of jobs, and the decline of national infrastructure all seem to be getting worse.

When Donald Trump promised to Make America Great Again and gave a massive boost to manufacturers of baseball caps at the same time, he was speaking to a nation in the grip of fears that decline was becoming inevitable.

Despondency has worsened over the last eight years, partly because Obama was more about hype than hope. He promised to “heal this nation” and “repair this world” but the percentage saying that America is not great anymore or has never been great is 75 per cent. It’s China and Russia that are resurgent.

If you see the election in this context and in the context of despondency with the political class, in particular, the Democrats were taking a huge gamble in nominating a candidate who had been at the heart of the DC Beltway for a quarter of a century and whose fingerprints were all over the immigration, trade and financial policies that voters are blaming for many of their ills.

2 Mr Trump knew that a new message of security, rather than the familiar Republican message of freedom, was necessary

Mr Trump, with his casino businesses and colourful private life, was expected to turn off large numbers of the Republicans’ evangelical voters, but they largely stayed loyal because of his unwavering promise to appoint judicial conservatives to the powerful Supreme Court.

Republican voters also liked his opposition to the Iraq war – revealing themselves to be as intervention-weary as Democrats.

But it was on the economy that Trump’s willingness to tear up conservative orthodoxies was most controversial and electorally resonant. Up until his ascendancy the GOP leadership was in favour of free trade, hawkish on borrowing and often ready to side with corporate rather than main street America on the level of immigration.

Trump understood that Republican voters tended to be as unhappy about their entitlements being cut as any other US voter and he also understood that they blamed lost manufacturing jobs on China, Mexico and immigration.

It would be an exaggeration, however, to say that Mr Trump is burying the Reaganite free markets era. The era of big government never ended – despite claims to the contrary. The size of the US public sector is only about 2 per cent smaller than those in the EU if you add in spending on private healthcare. Congress has signed off five times as many budget deficits as surpluses since 1945 and then there’s protectionism.

Tot up the export subsidies, bail out funds, public procurement privileges for domestic firms, import bans and other interventions that boost and protect a country’s native industries, and Credit Suisse calculates that America is twice as protectionist as Europe. Trump hardly uses the word “freedom” because like David Cameron and Theresa May, both much more likely to promise “security” to voters, we live in an age when a majority of people do not feel unfree but do want protecting from economic and other uncertainties.

3 Overall, Donald Trump was not the game-changer and performed less well than other Republicans

For some of you, this statement will be not just uncontroversial but bleedingly obvious. However, it isn’t so obvious now that Mr Trump won the election against all expectations.  On the day after that victory, Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives and until then a persistent critic of Mr Obama, described the result as “the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime.” Ryan continued: “Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected with—he connected in ways with people no one else did. He turned politics on its head.”

It’s important that such hyperbole is challenged. Mr Trump clearly understood many things that his opponents and fellow Republicans did not – and he was especially adept at using his huge celebrity status and a calculated willingness to say controversial things to get more free media from the TV networks than any of his rivals combined.

But, as is Tweeted by Democrats on an almost hourly basis, he lost the popular vote to Mrs Clinton by three million or so votes AND what isn’t Tweeted so much by the Left is that Congressional Republicans beat Congressional Democrats in the national popular vote by about two million.

Although the electoral landscapes are different and comparisons of the presidential and congressional tallies is somewhat simplistic, we are looking at a five million vote gap between what Trump achieved and what more conventional Republicans achieved. Furthermore, with one or two exceptions, nearly all Republican Senate candidates got bigger wins in key states than Trump.

Yes, Mr Trump did take the party into new electoral territory, like Michigan, with his protectionism; but Mr Trump’s victory in a state like Wisconsin owed much to that Republican Governor’s job creating and union-neutralising reforms. In Ohio, a reforming governor and a brilliant multi-district ground campaign by Senator Rob Portman were the key facts.

Mr Trump would like people to think it was all him. It wasn’t. People voted for him despite his crashing through so many codes of civilised behaviour and not because of how he conducted himself.

4 Democrats should not rely upon America becoming less white and less religious for victory

Democrats are still hoping that demography will ensure they are soon returned to the White House and that they also start winning back state legislatures, governors’ mansions and US Senate and House races. Their hope is that as trends continue to make America less white, less religious and better educated (all trends that are usually also associated with moving leftwards), they will ensure their current plight of having fewer elected representatives than at any time for a century will begin to be reversed.

Elsewhere on CapX

The Republicans and Mr Trump certainly can’t afford any complacency. The GOP has only won more than 50 per cent of the national vote in one of the last seven presidential elections. It won the popular vote in 2004 largely because of Karl Rove’s decision to hold referendums on gay marriage in swing states. These referendums were enough to turn out Right-of-centre, socially conservative “values voters” in huge numbers and saw George W Bush re-elected.

But in what is only a dozen years since then, public attitudes to same-sex relations are being transformed and it wouldn’t work again today. Have we also reached high water mark for Trump’s tactical dependence for victory on white, poorer, less educated workers? Is population change going to overwhelm what might be a one-time-only-trick? Not necessarily.

The challenge for the Trump administration is to find policies that will also appeal to insecure African and Hispanic Americans and there’s also every likelihood that technology’s coming impact on white-collar jobs might swell the world-go-away sentiment in the electorate.

5 And the Democrats have a bigger problem – the Left is on the march

Given the whole Trump phenomenon, we can be forgiven for having paid less attention to growing indications that the same radicalisation of the Left seen in most advanced countries is also underway in America. It is evident in the Black Lives Matter movement that has legitimate complaints about incidents of police racism, but the launching of a more general war on the police has led to cities such as Chicago see law and order erode and murder rates shoot up.

The American Left is also adopting positions on environmentalism and energy that will put the Democrats on the wrong side of working-class, manufacturing voters who blame associated regulations and costs for pricing them out of jobs. And, in what should be called “illiberal liberalism”, we are seeing younger, Left-of-centre Americans beginning to insist that full recognition of rights for gay and transgender people is not enough – and that more socially conservative people be pushed outside of public life if they still hold traditional views.

The attacks on free speech on university campuses are spreading beyond them and this is not helping the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects. A leading candidate for the Democratic National Committee sits very much on the Left of his party and a slate of Bernie Sanders-supporting candidates have just swept internal party elections in California. There is every possibility that Trump is encouraging Democrats not to get even but just to get very mad.

https://capx.co

GEOMETR.IT

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Как праздновали КРЕЩЕНИЕ ГОСПОДНЕ В РУССКОМ ИЕРУСАЛИМЕ

КРЕЩЕНИЕ ГОСПОДНЕ. ИКОНЫ

… как символ БЕСПОЛЕЗНОСТИ НАТО

Скарамуччи, Трамп и Хрущев в один голос гудят: Жыть будем лучче, жыть будем веселей, товарищи !

ДОНАЛЬД, ЗАЧЕМ ТЕБЕ НУЖЕН РЕЙКЬЯВИК ?

Инаугурация Трампа. Илиада 2017. ЧТО ВО ЧРЕВЕ троянской кобылы?

1. Jakim prezydentem będzie Donald Trump?

Trump. Alles halb so wild

Donald Trump und Antiamerikanismus

Securing the Presidential Inauguration

Trumpphobia how dangerous it is

Securing the Presidential Inauguration

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 20 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT

Forecast

Despite expectations that record numbers of protesters will gather in Washington during Donald Trump’s inauguration, turnout is likely to be much lower.

Protests will be spread out over a large area and staggered across several days, blunting their disruptive potential.

Though most protesters will be peaceful, extreme elements plotting more disruptive direct actions — combined with the high level of political tension — will increase the chance of isolated violence.

Analysis

Hundreds of thousands of protesters representing 28 groups have begun to descend on Washington as Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 presidential inauguration draws near. The National Park Service, which oversees much of the inaugural festivities, estimates that as many as a record 350,000 demonstrators could take to the streets. But as is often the case with such estimates, the actual number of protesters is likely to be much smaller.

This inauguration will provide an opportunity for most demonstrators to channel their energy toward a single cause — opposing Trump. In some locations, they may be protesting near pro-Trump groups. This could increase the drama, but a significant police presence is likely to forestall significant violence.

Most of the groups planning demonstrations are associated with established protest or political movements with wide-ranging aims, such as Black Lives Matter and opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Bernie Sanders supporters and advocates for women’s rights are also expected to turn out en masse. Despite the peaceful intent of most of those groups, agitators could use the opportunity to incite violence despite the massive security presence in the city. And hanging over the entire event is the threat of terrorism.

https://www.stratfor.com

 

GEOMETR.IT

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Америка. ПОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ ЗАМОРОЧКИ будут продвигать БИЗНЕС-КЛОУНЫ

Что стало с бандеровцами после хрущевской амнистии?

Германия возвращается К ИДЕОЛОГИИ РЕЙХА ?

… как символ БЕСПОЛЕЗНОСТИ НАТО

МЕЛАНИЯ ТРАМП и кризис либерального сознания. Ни хрена себе!..

Chrystia Freeland and her Ukraine

Chrystia Freeland. Die Hoffnungsvolle

Konflikt na Ukrainie a diaspora ukraińska w Kanadzie -1

 

Trumpphobia how dangerous it is

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · Ukraine · USA · World 11 views / 7 comments

GEOMETR.IT  ecfr.eu

To find out about the strength of the transatlantic alliance, this representative ECFR/ Dalia study provides further insights into the expectations and concerns of Americans and Europeans regarding President Trump.

Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on January 20, 2017. Many observers expect relations between the United States and Europe to come under pressure, given Trump’s intent to secure a better deal from US allies. But according to a study by the ECFR in cooperation with Dalia Research, a vast majority of Americans (73%) see Europe as a valuable ally, despite Trump’s rhetoric. Europeans, who have traditionally depended to a greater extent than Americans on the transatlantic alliance, now take a less favourable view of their counterpart, with 67% seeing the US as valuable. Despite differences, this suggest that the transatlantic partnership is sees as important by a majority of the people. 

Do Europeans and Americans Value Transatlantic Partnership?

Results from a census-representative survey of 11,283 people across the EU and 1,052 people across the US conducted in December 2016 by Dalia Research in partnership with European Council on Foreign Relations 

To find out about the strength of the transatlantic alliance, the representative ECFR/Dalia study provides further insights into the expectations and concerns of Americans and Europeans regarding President Donald J. Trump and his administration. In November and December 2016 Dalia Research interviewed a total of 1.052 US-citizens and 11.283 Europeans across all 28 EU Member States.

Europeans and Americans differ in their perception of soon-to-be ex-president Barack Obama’s impact on their relationship, and the potential impact of a Trump presidency. Obama has significantly improved European’s perceptions of relations between them and the United States: 56% believe things have gotten better, compared to 40% of Americans. A majority in Europe fears negative ramifications for their relationship with the US during the upcoming Trump presidency. More than half of Europeans (55%) expect relations to get worse, whereas only 40% of the American public think so.

perceptions of International Relations Under Trump 

«Under President Donald Trump, do you think relations between the United States and Europe …?»

Perceptions of International Relations Under Trump

«Under President Donald Trump, do you think relations between the United States and Europe …?»Perceptions of International Relations Under Trump

«Under President Donald Trump, do you think relations between the United States and Europe …?»

Europeans and Americans do agree, however, on the foreign policy issues where they expect Trump to do the wrong thing. Asked about 14 policy issues, both transatlantic sides converge around four: Social equality (EU: 39% US: 33%), climate change (EU: 33% US: 29%), global poverty (EU: 33% US: 30%) and the protection of human rights (EU: 32% US: 27%).

Negative Expectations of Trump’s 

Foreign Policy

«For which of the following foreign policy areas, if any, do you expect US President Donald Trump to do the WRONG thing?»

Europeans and Americans also largely agree on the areas where Trump might do the right thing. They expect these areas to be addressing terrorism (43% of Americans, 33% of Europeans), the fight against ISIS (41% of Americans, 33% of Europeans) and the global economy (33% of Americans, 20% of Europeans).

Positive Expectations of Trump’s 

Foreign Policy

«For which of the following foreign policy areas, if any, do you expect US President Donald Trump to do the RIGHT thing?»

Americans and Europeans expect the most likely negative impact of Trump in diplomatic relations to be with China, and the most likely positive impact to be relations with Russia: 35% of Americans and 31% of Europeans think Trump will do the wrong thing in regards to China. 39% of Americans and 35% of Europeans think Trump will do the right thing in regards to Russia. 

Negative Expectations of Trump’s 

Diplomacy

«For which of the following international relations, if any, do you expect US President Donald Trump to do the WRONG thing? Relations with…»

Positive Expectations of Trump’s 

Diplomacy

«For which of the following international relations, if any, do you expect US President Donald Trump to do the RIGHT thing? Relations with…»

This transatlantic survey reveals a surprising consensus on the assessment of what to expect from the Trump presidency. The transatlantic agenda will remain full with a number of issues to solve to mitigate expected tensions in the US-EU relations.

The survey is part of the Rethink: Europe project, an initiative of ECFR, supported by Stiftung Mercator, offering spaces to think through and discuss Europe’s strategic challenges. The questions were part of Dalia’s «EuroPulse» Omnibus survey, which takes place four times per year..

http://www.ecfr.eu

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

Америка. ПОЛИТИЧЕСКИЕ ЗАМОРОЧКИ будут продвигать БИЗНЕС-КЛОУНЫ

Что стало с бандеровцами после хрущевской амнистии?

Германия возвращается К ИДЕОЛОГИИ РЕЙХА ?

… как символ БЕСПОЛЕЗНОСТИ НАТО

МЕЛАНИЯ ТРАМП и кризис либерального сознания. Ни хрена себе!..

Chrystia Freeland and her Ukraine

Chrystia Freeland. Die Hoffnungsvolle

Konflikt na Ukrainie a diaspora ukraińska w Kanadzie -1

2. Austria. Racism, Nationalism, Elections or a taste of borsch -solyanka

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · World 30 views / 4 comments

GEOMETR.IT  fuchs.uti.at

Nationalism and New Racism

Through ideologies, humans, groups and classes try to persuade, influence, reify, hide, distort, promote, legitimate, deceive, misrepresent, or justify dominative interests. Karl Marx (1867: section 1.4) saw capitalism’s structure as inherently fetishistic: The commodity form hides the social character of capitalism behind things. Fetishism is not just an economic phenomenon, but can in class societies be found in peculiar ways in the realms of politics and ideology. Ideology tries to naturalise domination by hiding its social and historical character and dissimulating attention from the power relations underlying heteronomous societies.

An example is the construction of an ideology that claims that “we” national citizens are all together facing society’s problems (unemployment, poverty, crime, precariousness, crises, lack of adequate housing, welfare, education, health care, etc.), that “we” have these problems because of foreign influences, and can as a nation fight these dark forces. The ideological trick in such arguments is to disguise that “we” are not a unitary subject in a class society, but have different positions and capacities in power relations. Nationalism is a particular form of ideology.

It was Rosa Luxemburg (1976) who first used Marx’s notion of fetishism as a political concept to question the fetishistic character of the nation and nationalism. She argues that nationalist ideology “ignores completely the fundamental theory of modern socialism – the theory of social classes” (135). Nationalism is a “misty veil” that “conceals in every case a definite .

Historical content” (135). “In a class society, ‘the nation’ as a homogeneous socio-political entity does not exist. Rather, there exist within each nation, classes with antagonistic interests and ‘rights’” (135). Nationalism is an ideology that in a particular manner veils and distracts attention from society’s class relations and the role they play in society’s problems.

Some common elements of Marxist theories and understandings of nationalism are the following ones 1 (compare: Balibar/Wallerstein 1991; Hall 1993; Hobsbawm 1992; Luxemburg 1976; Özkirimli 2010):

Ideology: Nationalism is an ideology that constructs an Us/Them difference, in which the in-group is conceived as a unitary, homogeneous collective defined either by common claims to biology, genealogy, kinship and family (“race”) or by claims to a common culture (commonality of language, communication, upbringing, moral values, traditions, customs, law, religion, emotions, experiences, identity, means of communication), a common state/political system/constitution or a common economy. Nationalism as ideology makes claims to territorial power for organising a national economic and a national political system. Nationalism constructs/invents/fabricates the nation and fictive national identity. Nationalist identity stresses fixity and homogeneity, whereas in reality all societies are complex, hybrid and diverse.

Dialectic of racism/xenophobia and nationalism: Racism/xenophobia and nationalism are inherently linked. Xenophobia is an ideological construction of the out-group that is not part of the illusionary national collective.

Political fetishism: Nationalism, xenophobia and racism are a form of political fetishism that ideologically distracts from how society’s class antagonisms bring about social problems. The distraction from and veiling of class are often achieved by the construction of scapegoats and by steering hatred against them.

Forms of nationalism: Nationalism, xenophobia and racism can be directed against an inner enemy (migrants, minorities) or an outer enemy (other nations, foreign groups). One can draw a distinction between sociological and institutional racism/nationalism and between inclusive (exploitative) and exclusive (exterminatory) racism/nationalism. Furthermore there are biological and cultural forms of racism/nationalism.

Militarism: Nationalism is associated with internal militarism (repression and law-and-order politics directed against immigrants and minorities) and external militarism (imperialist warfare).

Whereas nationalism constitutes an inward-oriented ideology constructing the identity of an invented political and cultural collective, racism and xenophobia define the outside of this collective, those who are considered not to be part of the nation, the nation’s outsiders, foreign elements, or enemies. Racism is “a supplement internal to nationalism” (Balibar/Wallerstein 1991: 54). “Racism is constantly emerging out of nationalism. […] And nationalism emerges out of racism” (Balibar/ Wallerstein 1991: 53). Classical nationalism often constructed the outsider in biological terms as a “race”, whereas today it has become more common to define the outsider in cultural and political terms. Whereas some observers therefore like to distinguish between racism and xenophobia, Étienne Balibar has coined the notion of the new racism to describe ideological continuities and parallels:

The new racism is a racism of the era of ‘decolonization’ […] [It] fits into the framework of ‘racism without races’ […] It is a racism whose dominant theme is not biological heredity but the insurmountability of cultural differences, a racism which, at first sight, does not postulate the superiority of certain groups or peoples in relation to others but ‘only’ the harmfulness of abolishing frontiers, the incompatibility of life-styles and traditions; in short, it is what P. A. Taguieff has rightly called a differentialist racism (Balibar/Wallerstein 1991: 21). 

Pierre-André Taguieff, to whom Balibar refers, argues that racism is ideologically naturalising differences, “either by scientistic biologization or by ethnicization or ‘culturalist’ fixing“ (Taguieff 2001: 200). He distinguishes between two basic types of racism. Racism type 1 biologises differences and argues that one postulated “race” is superior to another and that such differences are natural and eternal. Racism type 2 culturalises and celebrates differences.

It concludes that specific cultures should therefore not mix. “Naturalization is therefore either biologizing or culturalist” (207). Both versions draw comparable political conclusions that include the erection and defence closure of borders, ending migration, and the opposition to multiculturalism: “Irreducible, incomparable, and unassimilable, the human types that differ (the reasons for difference are infinite), moreover, may not communicate with each other, neither de facto nor de jure. The impossibility of a human community beyond the enclosures is the ultimate conclusion of the thesis of incommunicability. Hence the violent denunciations of ‘cosmopolitanism’ or ‘globalism’, processes and ideals that are supposed to destroy singular and closed communities, and, more profoundly and less distinctly, their ‘identity’.” (204). Taguieff ’s key insight, on which Balibar builds, is that there are biologistic and culturalist versions of racism.

Banks and Gingrich (2006: 2) use the term neo-nationalism for the “re-emergence of nationalism under different global and transnational conditions”. Parliamentary neo-nationalists in Europe tend to be opposed to immigration and the EU and to argue for differentialist racism. They embrace strong leadership and cultural populism. Much “neo-nationalist rhetoric is sufficiently pragmatic to accept that blood-based homogeneity can never define the boundaries of the national, let alone the state, and seeks instead to generate an argument based upon historical association. […] ‘cultural fundamentalism’ […] has often come to replace race in the discourse of neo-nationalists. […] [Neo-nationalism is] an essentialist and seclusive reaction against the current phase of globalisation […] [that] primarily relates to ‘culture’” (Banks/Gingrich 2006: 9, 15, 17).

Ajanovic, Mayer and Sauer (2015, 2016)’s analysis of right-wing extremist discourses in Austria confirms the existence of a neo-racism that takes on a cultural form. Such ideological discourses tend in Austria to have a strong anti-Muslim orientation. A negative difference between Austrians and Muslims is proclaimed. Muslims and immigrants are said to cause social problems and cultural decline.

The authors document ideological arguments for keeping social spaces (schools, religious space, public space, kindergartens, transportation, work places, local spaces, etc.) free from what is perceived as foreign influences. Political ethno-pluralism is the political conclusion drawn from such discourses: The implication of this ideology is Austria should close its borders for migrants, oppose a multicultural society, and that, if at all, only assimilated migrants are acceptable.

Immanuel Wallerstein argues that racism and sexism are necessary elements of capitalism. Racism and xenophobia are in capitalism strategies to “minimize the costs of production” and to “minimize the costs of political disruption (hence minimize – not eliminate, because one cannot eliminate – the protests of the labour force)” (Balibar/Wallerstein 1991: 33). Sexism would invent houseworkers and assert they are “not ‘working’, merely ‘keeping house’” (35). Housework not just reproduced labour-power, but is also an “indirect subsidy to the employers of the wage labourers in these households” (34). The connection of sexism and (new) racism in capitalism is that they are both anti-universalist ideologies that legitimate low- and no-wage labour and discrimination.

Given the concepts of ideology and nationalist ideology, we can next have a short look at how the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) has made and advanced a particular form of Austrian nationalism that has turned it measured in election results into Europe’s most successful far-right parliamentary party.

http://fuchs.uti.at

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

Евросоюз ждет своя БЕЛОВЕЖСКАЯ ПУЩА ?

О президенте Трампе. Что ДЕНЬ ГРЯДУЩИЙ нам готовит?

В последний путь. БУДУЩЕЕ ЗАПАДА КОНЧИЛОСЬ ВЧЕРА

1 — Иван Шмелев. Рождество в Москве

Рождество 2016. С НАМИ БОГ. God Is With Us.

Austrian Nationalism: Mia san Mia

США. Как «исключительная страна» провела САМЫЕ ХРЕНОВЫЕ ВЫБОРЫ

The Nationalist Movement in Poland: Comparative Perspective -3

Orędzie o stanie Unii 2016 r. -2

1. Austria. Racism, Nationalism, Elections or a taste of borsch -solyanka

in Conflicts · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · World 45 views / 7 comments

GEOMETR.IT   fuchs.uti.at

Abstract

The 2016 Austrian presidential election saw a run-off between the Green party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen and the Freedom Party of Austria’s (FPÖ) far-right candidate Norbert Hofer. This paper asks: How did voters of Hofer express their support on Facebook? It presents the results of a qualitative ideology analysis of 6755 comments about the presidential election posted on the Facebook pages of FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache and FPÖ candidate Hofer. The results reveal insights into the contemporary political role of the online leadership ideology, online nationalism, new racism online, the friend/enemy-scheme online, and online militancy. Right-wing extremism 2.0 is a complex problem that stands in the context of contemporary crises and demagoguery.

Bei der österreichischen Bundespräsidentschaftswahl 2016 kam es zu einer Stichwahl zwischen dem grünen Kandidaten Alexander Van der Bellen und dem FPÖ-Kandidaten Norbert Hofer. Dieser Artikel fragt: Wie haben die Wähler/innen Hofers ihre Unterstützung auf Facebook ausgedrückt? Der Aufsatz präsentiert die Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Ideologieanalyse von 6755 Kommentaren, die auf den Facebookseiten von FPÖ-Chef Heinz-Christian Strache und FPÖ-Kandidat Hofer gepostet wurden. Die Forschungsergebnisse verdeutlichen, welche politische Rolle die Führerideologie, Nationalismus, neuer Rassismus, das Freund/Feind-Schema und Militanz im Onlinebereich spielen. Rechtsextremismus 2.0 ist ein komplexes Problem, das im Kontext von heutigen Krisen und Demagogie zu betrachten ist. 

  1. Introduction

Norbert Hofer was the Freedom Party of Austria’s (FPÖ) candidate in the 2016 Austrian presidential election. In the first round, he achieved 35.05 % of the cast votes and became the strongest candidate. The second round took place on May 23 and saw a run-off between Hofer and Alexander Van der Bellen. Hofer’s share of the vote was 49.64 %. Van der Bellen, who was the Austrian Green Party’s leader from 1997 until 2008, won with a voting share of 50.35 % in the second round and a lead of just a bit more than 30,000 votes. The Austrian presidential election received lots of international interest and people were asking themselves how it was possible that a far-right candidate achieved almost half of the vote. The FPÖ filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court of Austria that resulted in a re-run of the run-off.

This paper asks: How did voters of Hofer express their support on Facebook? It applies critical discourse analysis to data collected from postings on two public Facebook pages (Norbert Hofer, Heinz-Christian Strache). The analysis situates Hofer supporters’ ideological discourse in Austria’s political context and history.

Section 2 engages with theoretical foundations by discussing the notion of ideology. Section 3 focuses on the theoretical clarification of nationalist and new racist ideology. Section 4 provides an overview of the Freedom Party’s ideology. Section 5 explains the methodology. Section 6 presents the analysis and interpretation. Section 7 draws some conclusions.

  1. Theoretical Foundations: What is Ideology?

This work studies online nationalism and online xenophobia. It is a contribution to empirical ideology critique. An underlying theoretical question that arises in this context is how one should best understand the notion of ideology. There are different traditions of how to define and study ideology. Approaches include for example Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism, Lukács’s theory of reification, Gramsci’s theory of hegemony, the Frankfurt School, Hallian Cultural Studies, various forms and schools of Critical Discourse Analysis, Foucauldian discourse analysis, Althusserian ideology theory, etc. (Eagleton 1991; Rehmann 2013; Žižek 1994). These theories do not have a consensus on what ideology is and how it should be defined. Two major schools in the critical study of ideology go back to Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukács.

Whereas Gramsci’s approach can be characterised as ideology theory, the one by Lukács can be seen as ideology critique (Fuchs 2015: chapter 3). Gramsci understands ideology as worldviews, the “superstructure of a particular structure” (Gramsci 1988: 199) and a “conception of the world” (Gramsci 1988: 343). Lukács based on Marx’s theory of commodity fetishism sees ideology as reified thought emerging in reified societies. He therefore argues that the “emergence and diffusion of ideologies appears as the general characteristic of class societies” (Lukács 1986: 405).

Terry Eagleton (1991: chapter 1) discerns various understandings of ideology by identifying six theoretical approaches:

1) Ideology as the “production of ideas, beliefs and values in social life” (28) (= ideology as culture) (28);

2) Ideas and beliefs of “a specific, socially significant group or class” (29) (= ideology as worldview);

3) The “promotion and legitimation of the interests” of a group “in the face of opposing interests” (29);

4) The “promotion and legitimation of sectoral interests” in the “activities of a dominant social power” (29) (= ideology as dominant worldviews);

5) “[I]deas and beliefs which help to legitimate the interests of a ruling group or class specifically by distortion and dissimulation” (30);

6) “[F]alse or deceptive beliefs […] arising not from the interests of a dominant class but from the material structure of society as a whole” (30).

Especially Marx, Lukács and the Frankfurt School have influenced the theoretical concept of ideology used in this paper and the Marxian theory approach that underlies it (Fuchs 2015, 2016b, c). The notion of ideology employed relates to Eagleton’s fifth and sixth meanings of ideology. By ideology, I understand thoughts, practices, ideas, words, concepts, phrases, sentences, texts, belief systems, meanings, representations, artefacts, institutions, systems or combinations thereof that represent and justify one group’s or individual’s power, domination or exploitation of other groups or individuals by misrepresenting, one-dimensionally presenting or distorting reality in symbolic representations (Fuchs 2015).

Ideology is not simply an abstract structure, but has a concrete, lived reality: Ideological workers produce and reproduce ideologies (Fuchs 2015: chapter 3). Marx characterises the producers of ideology as “the thinkers of the [ruling] class”, its “active, conceptive ideologists”, who based on a division of labour within the ruling class “make the formation of the illusions of the class about itself their chief source of livelihood”

The definition taken in the theory approach underlying this work implies moral realism and socialist praxis: Humans can analyse and understand the world’s reality and complex problems’ real causes. Ideology critique is the deconstruction of falsehood, of knowledge that is presented as truth, but is deceptive. Socialist moral realism implies that dominative and exploitative societies negate humans’ general interests.

They therefore should from a political point of view be abolished and replaced by a societal formation that benefits all economically, socially, politically and culturally. Such a society of the commons is a socialist society. Eagleton’s fifth and sixth meanings of ideology are based on a dialectical contradiction of class societies and socialism. These are critical-political understandings that imply political praxis and the transcendence of class, capitalism and domination.

Not everyone agrees with such a definition of ideology. Theories of ideology generally disagree. For Louis Althusser (2005), ideology is an “organic part of every social totality” (232). “Ideology is a system (with its own logic and rigour) of representations (images, myths, ideas or concepts, depending on the case) endowed with a historical existence and role within a given society” (231). Althusserian ideology theory has been influential.

The second problem is associated with the first: Social struggle becomes in a structuralist approach a struggle between ideologies. It is not seen as a power relation between humans, in which they actively produce and reproduce discourses and ideologies. Not ideologies struggle with each other, but humans, human groups and classes struggle against each other with various means, including the means of communication, and with specific capacities to mobilise power.

Such resources in ideological and other struggles have specific distributions that enable various degrees of power. Hall’s approach is a relativistic determinism, in which ideological struggles and alternative interpretations emerge with necessity. He therefore speaks of ideology as a “site of struggle” (between competing definitions) (70) and of significations as “controversial and conflicting” .

http://fuchs.uti.at

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

Евросоюз ждет своя БЕЛОВЕЖСКАЯ ПУЩА ?

О президенте Трампе. Что ДЕНЬ ГРЯДУЩИЙ нам готовит?

В последний путь. БУДУЩЕЕ ЗАПАДА КОНЧИЛОСЬ ВЧЕРА

1 — Иван Шмелев. Рождество в Москве

Рождество 2016. С НАМИ БОГ. God Is With Us.

Austrian Nationalism: Mia san Mia

США. Как «исключительная страна» провела САМЫЕ ХРЕНОВЫЕ ВЫБОРЫ

The Nationalist Movement in Poland: Comparative Perspective -3

Orędzie o stanie Unii 2016 r. -2

3. Austrian Nationalism: Mia san Mia

in Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · World 50 views / 8 comments

GEOMETR.IT  blogs.lse.ac.uk

The EU as Political Fetish Object

The interaction of these eight factors has over the decades again and again resulted in electoral successes of the FPÖ. Economic and political crises in Europe and the world do not determine the strength of far-right movements, but have in political history often been important contexts of its popularity and support.

The political and economic crisis of Europe is certainly one important context of the rise of the far-right in Europe. Right-wingers manage to not just present immigrants, but also the European Union as a scapegoat for social problems that have to do with the development of capitalism.

The EU is predominantly an economic union that has failed to advance European-wide social policies. It has democratic deficits. It has simply watched the refugee crisis and has not found a humane solution, which has spurred the dangerous rise of nationalism and racism all over Europe.

The Troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have under Germany’s leadership enacted draconian austerity measures on Greece that overrule the democratic will of the Greek people.

But in this situation, it is the wrong conclusion to argue for breaking up the European Union or for a Lexit. Doing so turns one into a strange bedfellow of far-right forces that want to strengthen nationalism and racism. The EU is not the cause of specific political and social problem. It is not an immutable thing, but a political arrangement that regulates European capitalism and European societies and has flexible political power relations determined by electorates.

The EU has become a peculiar object of political fetishism: Right-wing pro-EU forces argue it is the harbinger of economic growth and jobs. Right-wing anti-EU advocates see the EU as destroying jobs and fostering crime, terrorism and mass migration.

Left-wing anti-EU forces see the EU as inherently neoliberal, racist and undemocratic. They in a surprising manner seem to revive Stalin’s concept of socialism in one country, albeit in the context of a highly global world. Slavoj Žižek stresses in this context that “socialist nationalism is not the right way to fight the threat of national socialism”. Left-wing pro-EU forces argue that the EU secures peace as well as the protection of the rights of workers, consumers and users.

Political fetishism naturalises and reifies political phenomena by treating them as fixed, immutable, unchangeable, and thing-like entities. The EU’s policies are the outcome of the relationship of political forces in Europe.

If EU citizens support neoliberal and right-wing governments in the majority of the member countries and the European Parliament, then the outcome will be right-wing policies not just at the national, but also the European level. The key question about the European Union is if we want to have transnational political institutions or confine politics and citizenship to the nation state.

global resistanceIf progressive forces come to power in a large enough number of member states, then even under the current structures of the European Union (that are imperfect and in need of democratic reforms), it is possible to bring about a rapid turn against neoliberalism, austerity, the financial destruction of Greece by fiscal policies and austerity targets, racist refugee politics, etc.

Political fetishism overlooks that humans can alter the form and content of policies by changing the balance of the forces in power. The key struggle to be fought in all countries and at the European and global level is one for the strengthening of the political left, for a social Europe and a social world. Political fetishism projects social problems into specific policies and thereby overlooks that the underlying issues have to do with the development of capitalism and that the balance of political forces is changeable.

The Alternative:A Social Europe and a New Socialism

The flourishing of the far-right always has to do with the weakness of left-wing forces. If the left fails, is weak, or becomes bourgeoisified, then it becomes easier for the far-right to present itself as the political representative of ordinary citizens who are not part of the economic or political elite.

In Europe, political bourgeoisification includes the fact that social democracy has surrendered to capitalism and neoliberalism. Social democracy is in urgent need of a renewal. We need to reinvent democratic socialism in the 21st century.

True internationalism can today not mean to revert back to the politics of the nation state, but can only be the struggle for the simultaneous strengthening of socialism at the national, transnational and global level. Only a network of left-wing governments supported by strong grassroots movements could make a true difference in a world, in which the economic and political systems are highly interdependent and networked.

The result of the commodification of the economy and the Haiderisation of politics has been a sustained economic and political crisis of the world system. The FPÖ in Austria is one of the far-right’s cell forms. What Ruth Wodak terms the Haiderisation of Europe and the world can only be stopped by the creation of a social Europe and a social world.

Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the Euro Crisis in the Press blog nor of the London School of Economics.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk

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