Watch the whole of modern political confusion expose itself in a micro-tremor:
Locke’s commitment both to voluntary religion and voluntary, contractual government are mutually reinforcing. Just as people join and remain in religious communities by their consent, so they enter and sustain political communities. “Men being, as has been said, by Nature all free, equal, and independent,” Locke writes in the Second Treatise, “no one can be put out of this estate and subjected to the political power of another without his own consent.” If the members of a faith community believe their church is failing to uphold its spiritual responsibilities, they have a right to leave — without fear of reprisal. Likewise for a political society: If its members believe the political authority is failing to safeguard their natural rights — their “lives, liberty, and estates” — it forfeits the right to govern.
“Likewise”? Yet one leaves a church, but replaces a government. The fall from liberty into democracy takes only a single false step. With a little more consistency, the case for Exit-based control of government would have been solidly made centuries ago (intrinsically secure against all Rousseauistic perversion). Still, it’s not too late to do that now.
It’s getting difficult to set any kind of limit to where this stuff could lead. Whatever counts as a ‘realistic’ socio-political forecast today, it’s been pushed out vastly further than seemed imaginable only a year ago.
Eli Lake on the Flynn flip:
In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. [Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Representative Devin] Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. “First it’s Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus,” he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.
If there’s not much more to this than there looks, it’s hard to see it as anything but an unforced invitation to the hyenas. Or, turned around the other way, if Trump turns out to be anything like as incompetent as his opponents predict, he’s toast.
Steve Bannon’s world:
… And so I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism.
The entire profile is exceptionally interesting. The explicit call-out of contemporary Russian (Hyperborean) Eurasianism is especially note-worthy, since it distances Bannon from the ideological core of the Alt-Right.
ADDED: More here.
When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won’t do.
(No one’s listening, but historians will.)
The final words (already implicit) are also good: “Angela Merkel and Donald Trump may be temperamental opposites. They are also functional allies.”
I like to pride myself on having a very low opinion of people, but even I’m sometimes surprised by how idiotic they are …
(Empirical-realist, and punchy.)
Silicon Valley leans dismally leftwards, but at least it’s unprincipled:
President-elect Donald Trump’s views on a range of issues, from immigration to climate change, alienated many left-leaning tech employees in Silicon Valley, but none more so than those working at Alphabet. […] During the presidential campaign, 33 employees at the tech giant donated $20,000 to Trump, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That was a tiny fraction of the 1,400 employees who donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, for a total of $1.6 million. […] And it wasn’t just political donations. […] The revolving door between the Obama administration and the company swung hard and frequently during the past eight years: 22 former White House officials left the administration to work for Alphabet, according to research from the Campaign for Accountability. […] … Despite this rocky history, both sides are now trying to find common ground as the inauguration approaches. Alphabet CEO Larry Page recently joined other tech leaders at a meeting with the incoming president. Meanwhile, Schmidt has been very visible at Trump Tower, visiting at least twice. …
(Internal hyperlinks are all inane, so I’ve ignored them.)
An instant Twitter-format classic, by David Hines, on the Leftist political violence to come. Storified here.
Among the critical points:
Righties tell themselves that *of course* they’d win a war against Lefties. Tactical Deathbeast vs. Pajama Boy? No contest. … Why, Righties have thought about what an effective domestic insurrection would look like. Righties have written books and manifestos! … It’s horseshit. … The truth: Left is a lot more organized & prepared for violence than Right is, and has the advantage of a mainstream more supportive of it.
ADDED: Spandrell’s take.
If this is a realistic left re-emerging, bring it on (it’s a feast of insight and sharp sentences). The conclusion in particular, if a little repetitive, is radically sound:
Under such [impending] conditions, the future of progressive and future-oriented mass politics of the left is very uncertain. […] In a world set on objectifying everybody and every living thing in the name of profit, the erasure of the political by capital is the real threat. The transformation of the political into business raises the risk of the elimination of the very possibility of politics. […] Whether civilisation can give rise at all to any form of political life is the problem of the 21st century.
Depoliticization is the only thing the right should be serious about doing.