My Stuff

Coming Soon:

Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."

Total Pageviews

Tuesday, December 7, 2021


Here is the link.   The 2024 election will almost certainly be the last one I see, assuming I live that long. I may just hang on long enough to witness the end of anything resembling democracy in America. In the aftermath, I wonder whether Joe Biden will spend his time reading biographies of Neville Chamberlain.


David Zimmerman said...

Rachel Maddow interviewed the author last night.... Chilling.

Another Anonymous said...

May the omicron variant find its proper target.

Tom Hickey said...

My two cents.

The The US is ancient in comparison with constitutional endurance examined historically. See Lifespan of Written Constitutions by Thomas Ginsburg, Zachary Elkins, and James Melton.

The US Constitution is an 18c. document based on then contemporary conditions, which, of course, no longer apply. In particular, it is based on the then prevalent notion of natural law and the universality of human nature. These are philosophical assumptions forming the basis of an ideology designed to substitute for religion, and they are indeed quasi-religious and the US has treated them as such.

But there is scant evidence if any to back them up from what we now know about facts. For example, Graeber & Wengrow show that the assumptions of the 18th c. philosophers about history are actually just-so stories. Of course, this applies to John Locke in particular.

America is not going away anymore than Rome went away after the collapse of the republic. But it won't be the same and at this point all that seems certain is that a moment of the historical dialectic is coming to a close and a new moment is dawning.

Minerva's own has not yet taken wing on this so it anyone's guess about what the coming era will look like, even if one is able to dissociate from one's preferences and other cognitive bias. And although Marx departed from Hegel's idealism, he adopted the historical method in social matters rather than a naturalistic methodology based on the success of Newton, etc., in the natural sciences that was based on discovery of immutable laws of nature, universally applicable for all time.

By and large, the American intellectual establishment has not and is stuck in naturalistic assumptions in social fields. Western 118th c. liberalism is an ideology that can be viewed as secular religion. This rigidity results in internal contradictions leading to systemic breakdown and change when faced with emergent challenges arising from changing circumstances.

So I view what is happening simply as progression in time based on the unfolding of a historical dialectic. I am going on 83 and have lived though a moment of the historical dialectic that began post WWII. I was acutely aware that my life was very different from that that of my parents, which was conditioned by WWI, the Great Depression, and then WWII. Now the era through which I lived is closing. The coming generations will live through the era that is now being born.

In all eras there are pros and cons, opportunity and challenges. The same will be the case for the coming era. Let's not be overcome with nostalgia. On the positive side, Marx's predictions about capitalism and its internal contradictions may be coming to fruition. This capitalism is an 18th c. artifact after all, and therefore, it is certainly not the end of history.

Tom Hickey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

Forgot the link in the comment I deleted.

Peter Radford points out that economics as theory influences business as practice in a way that is similar to political theory influencing politics. Mistakes in economic theory have led to business disasters like the current supply chain mess that is disrupting production and contributing to rising inflation. Similarly, mistakes in political theory can be traced to political disasters developing.

Peter Radford, Domain Shift

I would say that both are relevant to a Marxian point of view today as a source of internal contradiction.

SrVidaBuena said...

I couldn’t get through the article. Seemed like mostly claims advanced with very little in the way of solid ‘grounds’ mostly innuendo and speculation. But this is what passes for journalism these days - preaching to the choir, who need little in the way of convincing. Hardly surprising the fellow was on Maddow - and I don’t think it I’d take that as a sign of strength for his so-called ‘argument’ after her 5 years of journalistic malpractice on ‘russia-gate’. But there could be something to it; I’m no more a fan of guilt by association here than I am with, say, Greenwalkd/Tucker Carlson. Arguements, I thought, are supposed to stand or fall on their own merits, not who is making them.

In any case I tend to think Tom Hickey has it about right up above. Worry is mostly misspent imagination. Though without worry and fretting, what would the internet be?

james wilson said...

Intended to second TH's comment.

Quoting Raymond Geuss:

"[Bernard] Williams used to say that the United Staes was the most eighteenth-century country in the world; it was, he thought, politically, socially, and culturally caught in a kind of time-warp, an apparently eternal present that was actually represented by some point in time in the 1790s. . .
". . . I recall Williams making this claim in a series of lectures at Princeton in the 1980s--and the audible intake of breat among the members of the audience. I suppose that he was not being gratuitously offensive but was trying to make a constructive political intervention aimed at warning those of them who were susceptible to using their theoretical imagination at all that the exceptional conjunction of geography and history that had permitted the unparalleled prosperity prticularly of the period between 1945 and 1975 would provide only a brief respite from history. Presumably, Williams saw that, by the mid-1980s, the layers of insulation were wearing sufficiently thin for him to propose to his audience that it might be advisable to prepare for the changes that were inevitably coming, even if this required them to think what was for them almost unthinkable."

If that was Williams' intention, he failed, didn't he?

Tom Hickey said...

If that was Williams' intention, he failed, didn't he?

As I said, 18th c. Anglo-American liberalism is a quasi-religion.

I have in the past mentioned that, in my view, the currently running moment in historical dialectic is characterized in (large) part by the conflict between liberalism and traditionalism, both internationally and domestically.

Being more specific, "liberalism" means here 18th c. Anglo-American liberalism as a dominant aspect of a cultural tradition. This tradition was formulated and established as substitute for 18c religion in the way that Deism was. Both were modeled on natural science, the success of which was establishing it as a pillar of Western civilization along with the Judaeo-Christian tradition culminating in the UK and US a Protestantism, Greek thought, and Roman law and organization.

"Traditionalist" means religious traditionalist but also includes other cultural ideologies. The liberal push by the US, which emerged as dominant post WWII, did not sit well with traditional cultures based on ideologies, religious and other, both domestically and internationally. We are seeing this dynamic playing out today, within the US and UK among religious fundamentalists and secular liberals, for example, e.g, the abortion "war."

It is also playing out internationally with other religious fundamentalists and opposing ideologies like Marxism coupled with Confucianism in China. In addition, fascism and other forms of authoritarianism are rising again. Conflict among traditional ideologies is rampant in India, too, where various religious factions are at each other's throats, as well as between India and Pakistan. And then, of course, there is the Middle East and the attendant GWOT.

There is a lot of rigidity involved on all sides, so conflict supersedes compromise and cooperating toward common purpose. For a lot of people this is a zero-sum game. Made-up minds strongly resist being changed by rational argument or even untoward consequences including war. So conflict is in the air, which would be expected at the transition point between moments in the historical dialectic.

Another Anonymous said...

Tom Hickey,

You state:

“There is a lot of rigidity involved on all sides, so conflict supersedes compromise and cooperating toward common purpose. For a lot of people this is a zero-sum game. Made-up minds strongly resist being changed by rational argument or even untoward consequences including war. So conflict is in the air, which would be expected at the transition point between moments in the historical dialectic.”

I may be misinterpreting you, but it sounds like you are attributing the consequence that “conflict supersedes compromise” and that minds are resistant to “rational argument or even untoward consequences including war” as uniquely characteristic to 18th c. Anglo-American liberalism, and its counterpart, religious traditionalism, as if there are replicable alternatives forms of political organization which are both more amenable to rational argument and avoidance of conflict which supersedes compromise. But are these flaws noy uniquely characteristic of the two forms of government you discuss, but rather of human nature, per se. Does not the history of conquest and conflict by the Roman empire; the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan; the conquering armies of Islam which conquered North Africa; etc., etc. demonstrate this? Your write as if there is some ideal alternative government which could overcome these flaws of human nature, and that we who put our faith in the pseudo religion of 18 c. Anglo-American liberalism are just too unimaginative to figure it out. And what advice would you give to President Biden as to how to confront Putin, certainly not a proponent of 18 c. Anglo-American liberalism, to avoid the invasion of the Ukraine which Putin is threatening and avoid setting off a war with the disastrous loss of life it would cause?

Michael Llenos said...

I guess it might be like Star Wars Episode III, but no Star Destroyers. And no Emperor to unite the universe. There is only one problem with Republicans usurping democracy. They are not socialists. You need socialism to support a fascist regime. So the transition could destroy itself from the inside out. Or could cause a second Civil War. Plus, anybody could retake the country by reviving the dole--which is why Augustus kept the dole in Imperial Rome. I can't imagine the Republicans giving mass compensation to the masses. Probably not going to happen.

aaall said...

"I wonder whether Joe Biden will spend his time reading biographies of Neville Chamberlain."

Not cool or apt! Green Lanternism is one of the potential downsides of a presidential system and isn't really useful in our present situation Thanks to the Wisdom of the Founders who Built Better Then They Knew and demographic/social shifts they couldn't have foreseen we all (including Biden) are in thrall to a Dollar Store Harley Quinn wannabe and a rich old coot who fancies himself another Bobby Byrd. Biden got dealt a really bad hand in a system where the last really good hand was in 1964 - for two years (and even then they couldn't fix Taft-Hartley). I AM comforted by my not having any offspring and the likelihood this is my last decade.

SVB, it was obvious in the fall of 2020 what Trump was up to. When otherwise inexplicable changes are made in the organs of state security and former SecDefs and still loyal flag officers write letters and make speeches, one just knows a coup is in the works. Presently, the theory of Legislative Supremacy combined with the gerrymandering of state legislatures is up front sedition. How's the weather in St. Petersburg?

Howard said...

The DNC just has to hire Iago as chair. Trump and McConnel are no match. They are flimsy lightweights

Ed Barreras said...

SrVidaBuena writes that the article seems like innuendo and speculation, but it’s hard to imagine what he could mean by this (all the more because he admits that he didn’t actually read it). The article largely gives a rundown of how the former POTUS, aided by a sizable contingent of his party, took concrete steps to steal a legitimate election. This is factual, full-stop. Nothing speculative; no innuendo. And it isn’t fear-mongering, unless you happen to think a POTUS, aided by a sizable contingent of his party, taking concrete steps to steal a legitimate election is no big deal and nothing to fret over. The author of the article concludes that “[Trump] is preparing in plain view to do it again, and his position is growing stronger” — which is also true — and that “Republican acolytes have identified the weak points in our electoral apparatus and are methodically exploiting them” — which, again, is true and readily apparent to people who aren’t reading Greenwald.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Another Anonymous

My point is that history is not only cyclical but it is also dialectical in its development, that is, different cultural ideologies that themselves shift over time come into conflict with each other. Historically, these issues have been decided by some views predominating after the dust settle, perhaps to rise again subsequently. Most thought that fascism was dead and buried after WWII, while now it is making a comeback.

The view on which 18c. liberalism is based doesn't acknowledge this historicity, but rather holds that human nature is essentially rational, universal and constant. The way forward therefore is to remove obstacles to this natural tendency of events. In economics, it manifests as the assumption that free markets are inherently fair if government doesn't interfere with them. Free markets will spontaneously self-organize society to produce the optimal socio-economic outcome for all, capitalism being the sine qua non and driver of liberal democracy. In politics it is the assumption that removing non-liberal governments will result the citizens—who naturally desire to be like Brits or Americans—adopting Anglo-American style liberalism as their preference.

Experience shows that these are gratuitous assumptions. But liberal ideologues, not being rational, cannot recognize this. This is entirely consistent with history and the notion that 18c. Anglo-American liberalism is different is chimerical, although many Brits and Americans are hypnotized by their cultural tradition embedded in the dominant narratives.

That is to say, the notion of linear progress toward an end of history in global liberalism replicating the US and UK is a 19c Western pseudo-scientific one that is deeply embedded in the prevailing cultural narrative.

But history has a way of challenging unfounded ideas. Since humans are time-bound, so are human ideologies. Since humans are not omniscient, human ideologies are only partial and cannot be comprehensive. Owing these limitations, along with the fact that ideologies are incompatible, history is the story of conflict and uncertainty. If anything can be called the human condition this would be it.

Tom Hickey said...

And what advice would you give to President Biden as to how to confront Putin, certainly not a proponent of 18 c. Anglo-American liberalism, to avoid the invasion of the Ukraine which Putin is threatening and avoid setting off a war with the disastrous loss of life it would cause?

We differ on this point. In my view, the US has moved toward Russia's border in violation of the verbal promise made to Gorbachev to the point that Putin said recently that the situation is now at the point of the Cuban missile crisis and if the US and NATO refuse to respect the Russia's security concerns, which at this point have become existential, then the consequences will be on them and in the event of war, continental US will be targeted with missiles against which the US has no defense. This is not just about Ukraine or even Europe.

This is all a bit complicated and impossible to deal with in a comment or two, but if one only reads US and UK media one will be hopelessly uniformed about this, as well as the rest of world affairs — economics, geopolitics, geostrategy, etc. Understanding this involves approaching the world as a complex adaptive system.

But constant warring is the history of Europe, is it not. Nothing new to see hear.

Your write as if there is some ideal alternative government which could overcome these flaws of human nature

Of course, there is an ideal outcome, but the problem is that it is ideal, that is, exists only in the realm of the possible. Plato proposed one, for instance. While it is possible to realize ideals, it is virtually impossible for humans to do so, especially at scale, because of their limitations. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't argue for rational solutions rather than settle for irrational ones, as happens much of the time. And there is no sense in being disappointed when irrational solutions are forthcoming, since that is apparently all that humans are capable of, given the prevailing level of collective consciousness at the time as evidenced in behavior.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day as the day that will live in infamy. But history shows it was entirely predictable. In fact, some US military leaders at the time explicitly warned of it based on the predicament in which the US had put Japan leaving Japan no choice other than capitulation. This is where the US is now with Russia and close with China. This is by choice. On one hand it is not irrational in terms of objectives, but in the larger scheme of things it is extremely so, risking WWIII and nuclear winter.

Another Anonymous said...

Tom Hickey,

Your description of the cause of Pearl Harbor, as far a I am concerned, discredits you as an objective observer of history, including the confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union over Ukraine.

Pear Harbor arose by virtue of the justifiable sanctions which the U.S. had placed on Japan by virtue of its belligerent and aggressive invasion of China, the mass bombing of Shanghai, and the invasion of Southeast Asia and the Korean peninsula. I find your total distortion of the causes which led up to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor (the same tactic, btw, which the Japanese had used during the Russo-Japanese conflict by its sneak attack on Port Arthur) particularly repugnant on this 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Do you also make excuses for the Nazi invasion of Poland?

LFC said...

When it comes to geopolitics (for lack of a better shorthand word), the situation in 1941 is quite different from that today, for a number of reasons.

It's true though that the U.S. made Japan face a difficult choice and that the latter's decision to attack Pearl Harbor was made in the context of bad options, from Japan's standpoint at the time. Of course it could have decided not to attack Manchuria in '31 and China in '37, but once those decisions were made, and esp. once Hitler invaded the USSR in June '41, Japan and the U.S. were on a collision course. The reason is that the U.S. feared that Japan wd invade the USSR from its east, helping Germany in its effort to defeat the USSR (at that time, of course, a de facto ally of the U.S. and Britain). So the U.S. became determined to curb Japan's power and it put on the embargo. There is a succinct (and, afaict, accurate) summary of the historiograpy in Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (a book I have a lot of disagreements with, but when he's just narrating and explaining events it's sometimes quite good).

Another Anonymous said...


Your and Tom Hickey’s rationalizations for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor are akin to the rapist’s blaming the victim for wearing a seductive dress. Japan’s decisions, whatever their rationale – the need for oil and other resources which it lacked – were its decisions, and did not justify the rape of Shanghai, or any of its other aggressive, expansionist policies. The U.S. embargo to both punish Japan for those aggressive actions and contain Japan’s expansionist policies was fully justified, and to rationalize Japan’s sneak attack as its only option to respond to the U.S. embargo is so much academic malarkey.

aaall said...

AA, while the Japanese attack was understandable, it was also as short-sighted and stupid (as Yamamato seems to have understood) as Japan's other actions to establish their CPS. That it succeeded as well as it did was a leadership failure in Pearl and the Philippines (looking at you Doug). It was downhill for them after June 1942.

TH, you are conflating 18th century notions of liberalism with 19th century Social Darwinism and 20th century libertarianism. Recall Adam Smith's evergreen observation:

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

Unlike Ayn Rand, Smith understood the limits of an unfettered market.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Another Anonymous

I made no value judgment on the US-Japan, just saying that the US put Japan in a position of going to war or capitulating. This is a matter of history not conjecture. It was very rational considering Japanese objectives to take out the US fleet at Pearl and some on the US side warned of it. FDR was criticizing later for not taking precautions against it, and some have speculated that it was actually a setup to get a reluctant US public on board for a war.

BTW, I was serving as a naval officer in the mid-Sixties and one day at Pearl, I was rather amazed to see three Japanese subs docked and flying the flag of rising sun within view of the remains of the USS Arizona. I thought, how times change.

Do you also make excuses for the Nazi invasion of Poland

In a way. The rise of Hitler was the result of flawed peace agreement at Versailles after WWI. The logical progression to the rise of Hitler is rather obvious in hindsight. In fact, some have argue a parallel with the rise of DJT and point out analogously that Hitler's first putsch was a failure. But was Hitler's attack on Poland any worse that the conduct of the Western imperial powers toward their colonies?

Again, it's a matter of perspective and valuation. Hitler wanted land (Lebensraum) and he didn't do much that other conquerors did before him. Seeing Hitler as a bête noir is a value judgment. Similarly with many others, notably Genghis Khan. This is just the way history rolls. I watch pictures on YouTube of animals life in Africa. It is very brutal. This is about individuals and small groups obtaining food. Human history is quite similar in terms of economic interests and the scale of killing is far larger and more wanton.

History is written by the victors and the victors always represent themselves as justified, while opponents are demonized. That is all rationalization that is a veneer over the stark reality of what happens when animals interact in terms of individual and group interests, human being being animals, highly developed but animals nevertheless. Their behavior betrays this in spite of the stories they tell.

Value judgments aside, there are generally reasons behind what happens historically. The problem is not that humans are irrational as much as that human rationality is bounded and in the larger scheme of things, what appears rational is actually irrational. This is quite evident with respect to the the micro and macro levels and the fallacy of composition.

That is, what is rational at the micro level is irrational at the macro level. Personal thrift is beneficial individually, but if everyone saves, then effective demand becomes deficient with respect to supply, sales of goods drop, inventories build, firms cut back, unemployment rises and recessions sets in.

Political decision making suffers from similar limitations. Particularly striking is how ideals are often used to justify behavior based on economic interests and power relationships (dominance and submission).

LFC said...


We've been down this road before, as I recall.

I never said it was Japan's only option.

The U.S. embargo was not aimed primarily at "punishing" (your word) Japan for its expansionist policies. Rather, it was aimed at curbing Japanese power so that Japan would not be able to attack the USSR from the east. At least, that is Mearsheimer's view, and he cites reputable scholarship in support. (As with almost everything else, there are doubtless varying interpretations in the literature.)

But I do think (some) Americans have a tendency to think that b/c the Axis powers were engaged in aggression, WW 2 was fought to "punish" aggression. No, it was fought for reasons of survival as independent countries (in, say, Britain's case), to preserve empire (Britain again), or for perceived self-interest (U.S.). One need not be a dyed-in-the-wool realist to think this. Woodrow Wilson believed his own rhetoric about making the world safe for democracy, but FDR was much more, so to speak, down to earth when it came to the reasons for his decisions, the high-flown declarations of the Atlantic Charter notwithstanding.

The good news from yr standpoint is that I have other things to do this evening and this will likely be my last comment on this.

aaall said...

May be of interest:

Another Anonymous said...


I am not sure what you mean by “understandable.” I can understand what motivated Japan to act as if did, just as I can understand what supposedly motivated Rittenhouse to take an AR-15 weapon to a protest purportedly to protect property. But understanding a motivation, and concluding from that understanding that the conduct was justified are two different things. Japan, as a nation, made the decision after the Meiji Restoration that it wanted to be a world power on the par with the U.S., Great Britain and Russia. Unfortunately, it did not have the natural resources to fuel such an ambition, and therefore it made the decision to invade China, Southeast Asia and Korea in order to obtain them. But it was Japan’s decision to seek to become a world power, a decision it did not have to make if it could not do so without invading other countries and killing its people. Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor 80 years ago today, however ill-advised, was the result of its decision to become a world power, and no academic rationalization can justify it.

LFC said...

P.s. To be clear, I am not saying that opposition to fascist dictatorships and aggression had nothing to do w/ why WW2 was fought (at least on the Anglo-American, French etc side). What I am saying is that these (laudable) reasons would have been insufficient had there not been concrete motives of self-interest rooted in perceived and/or actual geopolitical conditions (or realities, if you prefer that word). A world war that results in the death of some 60 million people and the devastation of two continents is not only or simply an ideological struggle of (highly imperfect) good versus evil. I have no problem with seeing it to some degree that way as part of the story, provided one immediately adds that geopolitical considerations were integral to the whole thing. And the USSR, btw, was absolutely crucial to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Between the day that Hitler invaded the USSR (June 22, 1941) and D-Day (June 6, 1944), "93 percent of German military casualties, 4.2 million missing, wounded, or killed, were inflicted by Soviet forces." (Menand, The Free World, p. 3, citing D. Reynolds, From World War to Cold War)

LFC said...


It's not a question of justification, but of explanation. I never used the word "justification." Ok, really done here now.

Anonymous said...

"But it was [the USA's] decision to seek to become a world power, a decision it did not have to make if it could not do so without invading other countries and killing its people."

I think I detect a pattern here. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Tom Hickey said...

TH, you are conflating 18th century notions of liberalism with 19th century Social Darwinism and 20th century libertarianism.

I said that cultural traditions change over time. My point was that the US Constitution, you know, the law of the land, is an 18th c. document. Since it was composed and ratified in the late 1700s it obviously is that. As such, it is antiquated.

Of course, things change over time. That is point I am making regarding historicism as opposed to naturalism in social matters. As result, the type of liberal views that are embedded in the foundational document of the US are well, 18c.

The world has moved on. Modernism is winding down and the intellectual climate is moving into Post Modernism. This is not to claim that everyone is. Some in the world are still living in terms of medievalism. It is the confluences of these forces that in part underlies the conflict of the moment globally as well as domestically. It's complicated.

SrVidaBuena said...

It’s not hard to see why ‘legacy’ media is dying when this is the kind of work that qualifies as analysis. It’s mainly a venue for folks like this as well as the aforementioned Maddow, the NYT, New Republic (Fox and maybe the National Review on the right) and other oversimplified vendors of contentious and provocative ideas to spill thousands of words effectively ‘wink-winking’ to the each other about the latest perceived ‘end of the world as we know it’.

I was disappointed to get to the end of the article without seeing the obligatory “we must [rise up, fight back, etc]” refrain, but at least I got the familiar “democracy is on trial” trope. Now I have no idea what kind of a threat to the free world Trump represents. I’m pretty sure Barton Gellman doesn’t know much more than me. The idea that a Trump-controlled Republican Party could beat the democrats is sad enough (like a local high school team beating the Super Bowl champs); what’s more worrying is what passes for the left has little more to offer than hand-wringing. Never fear though, I’m sure if Trump is successful with his mustache-twisting plot, Gellman and company will fire off a series of the most sternly worded tweets anyone has ever seen. Where are the pussy hats when we need them?

Tom Hickey said...

@ Another Anonymous

I am not opposing your right to moral judgment. I make moral judgments, too, and they are important to me. I tend to associate with those who hold the same values.

But I recognize that in terms of history as concatenated facts, reports of moral judgment made by individuals are simply more facts, and none are privileged over others as being "right." It's just a record of what people thought.

But even the "facts" of history can be unclear, since reporting is colored by cognitive-affective bias. What is taught about history in one culture differs greatly from comparable teaching in others. This is true even within a culture, as I am well aware having gone to Catholic schools.

And of course we are witnessing this in an environment of alternative facts. In the US there are at least two worlds politically made up of opposing "facts" justified by different evidence.

Another Anonymous said...

“But even the "facts" of history can be unclear, since reporting is colored by cognitive-affective bias. What is taught about history in one culture differs greatly from comparable teaching in others. This is true even within a culture, as I am well aware having gone to Catholic schools.”

More sophistry in defense of your belief of total historical moral relativism. Yes, there are facts, and there are also falsehoods posing as facts. There is little dispute about what Hitler did to launch WWII, staging a supposed attack by Poles on Germans living in Poland in order to justify his unjustified invasion of Poland, and proceeding from there via his blitzkrieg to conquer country after country, killing and torturing as he went. And you want to argue, well, he had his reasons, which were no worse than those of many other autocrats who preceded him. Well, these facts are not “unclear,” and his methods and conduct were far worse than many who preceded him. And your advocacy of historical moral relativism distorts the truth.

TheDudeDiogenes said...

Set aside the issue of Trump subverting the election. What about Pape's work on political violence? I am deeply worried that 2022, nevermind, 2024, will feature widespread political violence.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Another Anonymous

We hold different views of historical methodology and philosophy of history. We will have to agree to disagree.

David Palmeter said...

I'm a little late in this commentary, but I'll chime in briefly anyway on one point: US entry into WWII as a response to aggression. The US responded when it was the victim of aggression: Pearl Harbor and Hitler's subsequent declaration of war. But when France (to whom it can be said we owe our independence) was attacked, we did not respond militarily in its defense. After the fall of France, when Britain stood alone against Hitler and London was being bombed, we did nothing for more than two years. True, FDR did all that he could during those years (e.g. Lend-Lease) but the country as a whole, and therefore Congressional majorities, were essentially isolationist until we were attacked. We tut-tut-tutted Nazism, but we did not respond to evil until we too were its victim. Instead, we sent the St. Louis back.

Islander said...

I'm afraid SrVidaBuena is right and the article is just another rambling sermon to the choir. Reading more of this kind of shit sure gets hysterical juices flowing again in the minds of those who have been greedily consuming the political theatrics of late, but does not help those who find both parties disgusting. The lesser evil is evil nevertheless. Then, what to do?

LFC said...

@ D. Palmeter

I'd say the "country as a whole" was not isolationist. There were interventionists, isolationists (Lindbergh/America First), and probably a large number of people too preoccupied w their own affairs to have much of an opinion. But the fact that FDR could not bring the U.S. in as a formal, full combatant before Pearl Harbor shows among other things that a majority was wary of what it saw as potentially getting into another crusade a la Wilson. One shd keep in mind that there's not all that much time betw 1917-18 and 1940-41, and many people certainly remembered WW 1, which the U.S. entered late of course, but there were a substantial number of U.S. casualties.

So Hitler's invasion of the USSR was a strategic mistake by him, as it turned out, on multiple levels. Not only did it lead to Stalingrad; it set off a train of events that brought the U.S. fully into the war by prompting U.S. concern about Japan's possible invasion of the USSR from the east, which in turn led to the U.S. embargo on Japan, which made the Pearl Harbor attack more likely than it otherwise wd have been. (Then Hitler compounded his errors by declaring war on the U.S. a day or two after Pearl Harbor, though there's little doubt the U.S. and Germany wd shortly have been at war regardless of the timing of the formal declarations. But by immediately declaring war on the U.S., Hitler lost himself a little time he might have otherwise had while Congress debated whether to declare war on Germany, and he also, probably more significantly, helped unite U.S. public opinion.)

Another Anonymous said...

David Palmeter,

You are correct that the United States did not immediately come to the defense of France and Great Britain. You acknowledge that U.S. support of its two allies would have been sooner if FDR had had his way. But, as you know, he was facing strong opposition from isolationists, like Lindbergh and Joseph Kennedy, and under our system of government (which Tom Hickey denigrates as old-fashioned 18 c. Anglo-Saxon liberalism), the Executive cannot declare war on its own (at least, that was the way it was in 1939). And although FDR knew of the existence of the concentration camps, and of the annihilation of Jews and others being perpetrated by the Third Reich, he chose not to take any military action to save them.

So, in the scheme of things, there is plenty of blame and hypocrisy to go around. At the same time, however, on the scale of such acts of misfeasance and malfeasance, what the U.S. did, and failed to do, does not compare in evil and nefariousness to what the Nazis and the Japanese did – and such differences matter. What I object to is the perspective of historical moral relativism, which elides these differences and asserts that all nations and their leaders act in their own self-interest, that they all have their reasons; and we should try to better understand those reasons, and not cast moral judgments, because they are all morally equivalent. They are not morally equivalent, and to suggest that they are is dangerous, especially if such a perspective is being taught in our institutions of higher learning.

LFC said...

Correction: Hitler's declaration of war vs the U.S. came 4 days after Pearl Harbor (still, pretty quick).

Jerry Brown said...

I read this because you said it was a must read thing to do. But I am not as worried as the author is. Trump was actually still the President of the United States on January 6, 2021 and was unable to carry out a coup from that position of power. Thankfully.
If he is still around in 2024 , and actually runs for election, he will not be the commander in chief of the armed forces. Or the guy who appointed the Attorney General. Or the head of the multiplicity of federal agencies that are under the executive branch of the federal government. He tried to subvert the election of 2020 and failed- while having all of those advantages.
So I am not quite as worried as the author is. Still there is some deep disconnect between what I think is true and what that former fireman he talks about thinks is true. And I am not sure there is a bridge between that. And that is worrisome.

LFC said...

Actually the notion that all countries or governments act abroad in their self-interest (as they perceive it) comes close to being tautological or very non-controversial (since perceived self-interest can include a desire to uphold certain principles). But the idea that international affairs is not a realm where morality has much of a role to play is not exactly the same as saying that all countries are "morally equivalent," though the two notions are connected.

I've recently finished the opening chapter of Menand's The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War, in which he focuses on George Kennan and Hans Morgenthau and 'realism' (or classical realism as some wd call it), and while the treatment is short and overlooks some things, it's not bad esp considering this subject is not Menand's field. Anyway, at the end of that chapter he notes that both Kennan and Morgenthau expressed disapproval of the Nuremburg trials. Kennan thought the U.S. (in Menand's words) did not have the moral standing to judge German behavior, while Morgenthau wrote that WW 2 was "a war for survival," not "the punitive war of a morally united humanity for the purpose of making eternal justice prevail." (quoted on p. 33 of Menand).

The outlooks of both men evolved or changed in some respects, though they might not have acknowledged that. For example, Morgenthau's very public opposition to the Vietnam War took on moral overtones. Kennan's concern about nuclear weapons became v. intense and passionate toward the end of his career; he had earlier opposed U.S. development of the H-bomb. (This is the same Kennan whose Memoirs, according to Menand, makes only one mention of the Holocaust, where "he says that it was not America's business." (p. 33))

Jerry Brown said...

On the other hand, it seems that while many of the people on our side are very bright- they might just start arguing amongst themselves about who started World War 2 rather than doing anything constructive if there was another attempt at a coup.

Tom Hickey said...

Just posted at Geopolitika. A day late maybe but still relevant.


Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

I second Jerry Brown's observations. The recent rash of republican states changing their election laws to allow legislators to overturn the popular vote indicates to me that the attempted coup will start with the midterms. I am apparently in a minority that thinks the midterms may well bring significant republican losses. Republicans seem to agree with me as they have established systems that allow them to win contests when they have lost the popular vote.

The advantages that come with controlling executive branch powers are significant, but will the DoJ/FBI be prepared to deploy election monitoring teams, nationalize a state's National Guard to ensure no voter intimidation by militias and secure ballots and voting machines, etc.

I think the only two question we should be discussing are: how to win senate and house seats in FL, GA, TX (among others), and how to prevent red state legislators from using their new powers to overturn the popular vote. It seems to me that the dominant disposition of commenters here is that the 2022 and 2024 elections are already lost.

james wilson said...

Christopher, What assumptions are you making when you say, “I think the only two questions we should be discussing are: . . .?

LFC said...


I just read that Shane Quinn piece quickly. I have some disagreements. To take just one example, the conclusion suggests that war betw US and Japan would have occurred even if there had been no war in Europe. I suppose that is possible, but this does clash with the view that FDR was esp worried by the prospect of a Japanese invasion of the USSR from the east after Hitler invaded it from its west in June 1941. I don't know the historiography well, and I suppose it's possible that the conflict of interests in Asia wd have been enough on its own to lead to war btw US and Japan. Hard to say, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

For those who know American history better than I do, was there during the 1930s and early 1940s a war party, or several war parties with different foci, i.e., different proposed enemies, propagandising in the US? There certainly have been and seem to be war parties, operating as factions within the Democratic and Republican parties nowadays. Or am I wrong about this too?

LFC said...

There wasn't what I would call a war party exactly, but there was certainly organized sentiment for actively intervening to help Britain and France and formally to enter WW 2 in Europe (well before Pearl Harbor), just as there was organized sentiment to stay out (notably the America First movement, as it was called). Both sides engaged in public persuasion and what could be called propaganda, using that term in the broadest sense.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, LFC. Would it be wrong to see the America First movement as a place where one would come upon pro-Germans who might not want to come out too publicly in support of the Nazis?

LFC said...

Btw that Quinn piece points up, though the author doesn't say this, one significant difference (among several) betw the 1930s and now. Countries had put up high tariffs, reinforcing some govts' sense that they had to seize territory if they wanted resources, rather than trade. That's oversimplified, but you get the pt. The higher degree of economic interconnection now shd work, at least in theory, against the prospect of a major armed conflict that wd likely entail the severing or at least reduction of trade and other economic ties. For one ex, one reason Putin may not invade (the rest of) Ukraine is that he knows it cd jeopardize that pipeline, Nordstream.

LFC said...


Well yes I suppose, but some members of the America First mvt, such as its best-known leader Charles Lindbergh (the aviator), publicly said admiring things about Hitler and the Nazi regime, so some of them were not shy about that. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, his wife, wrote a book called _The Wave of the Future_, iirc, praising the European dictatorships, a book that she later repudiated.) Scott Berg's bio of Lindbergh, while long and not without its flaws, might be one painless point of entry into the history of the America First mvt.

LFC said...

P.s. the America First mvt pretty much disappeared after the U.S. formally entered WW 2.

LFC said...

P.p.s. Philip Roth wrote a novel about Lindbergh and all this but someone will have to look it up bc I'm too lazy and busy rt now. I think I know the title but I might get it slightly wrong so I won't give it. Shd be easy to find.

Tom Hickey said...


Hard to say, perhaps

Agree. Difficult to prove a hypothetical.

aaall said...

Anon, we did have this:

(sort of a Rally 1.0)

AA, by "understandable" I just mean that certain decisions make others likely or, in some cases, inevitable. I'll agree that it would be nice if we were the species you seem to want us to be, but we're not.

Of course, had China not scrapped its navy and had scrapped the eight legged essay back in the Ming Dynasty, matters would have been different. Perhaps not better but different.

(There's a reason the band named itself "Tang Dynasty." I'm surprised Graeber and Wengrow used Cixi as an example instead of Wu Zhao.)

TH, our 18th century liberal "foundational documents" are the Declaration, the Ordinance of 1787, and the Preamble with a few items like the "no religious test" as well as the post hoc Federalist apologia. Those have mostly stood the test of time.

Most of the hard wired parts of the constitution are kludges worked out in a Philadelphia summer at a time when there was no air conditioning. The Electoral College was a last minute decision when time was up and something was needed.

The 1787 Constitution was failing by the 1850s and the Reconstruction Amendments can be considered as a second founding.

Ed Barreras said...

Regarding Jerry Brown’s observations: It seems to me we should entertains the obverse scenario. That is, if Trump was unable to pull off a coup as president, what makes us think Biden, as president, would be able to forfend against one? The issue, of course, is that elections are primarily state-run matters, and so holding the levers of federal power, while important, is probably not sufficient to stop the kind of power grab that seems in the works. Trump failed at his coup because of the fortitude of a few key state-level actors, many of them conservative Republicans. Well, now the Trump Wing is stripping those state actors of their power (remember Brad Raffensberger, teh GA Sec. of State who refused to bow to Trump’s demands— yeah, he’s out of the equation now) for the purpose of reverse engineering a means by which the coup can be pulled off next time.

What is more, as Gellman points out, 4 of 5 SCOTUS justices have already signaled their belief that state legislatures hold absolute power when it comes to elections and their certification (that includes Alito, who served as a bulwark against the coup last time). It is all to easy to imagine how this ends very badly.

We have seen the President of the United States openly try to steal back an election he lost, with plenty of help from his party. We are witnessing the state-level GOP changing laws in ways that are manifestly designed to make such a theft easier to pull off in the future. We have witnessed the capacity for political violence among the rank-and-file on the right; and moreover that violence, while initially condemned, now seems to be excused and even celebrated among the party leadership. It honestly boggles the mind how anyone can think all this adds up to nothing more than innuendo and speculation (*unwarranted* speculation, presumably). It’s as if people had their political ideology formulated in the 1980s and never developed the capacity to think beyond it — and it doesn’t help that many trendy commentators on the “civil libertarian” Left (like Greenwald) have decided to use this moment in history to endlessly rail against the threat of authoritarianism emanating from the liberal Democrats!

Christopher Mulvaney,

I don’t know where you get the optimism about the Democrats’ chances in ‘22. I think most people are taking a wait-and-see approach, while acknowledging that from here the situation looks grim. Much will depend on the economic recovery and the pandemic, needless to say. I hope you’re right.

SrVidaBuena said...

I’m not convinced that the authoritarian left doesn’t pose some threat to democracy, perhaps less, than the mouth-breathing right at the moment. The democrats have become people who like to push others around just as much as the republicans these days. It could well be that Trump presents some kind of ‘threat’ to ‘democracy’ leaving the specifics undefined for the moment. The endless rehearsing of doomsday scenarios from what passes for the left bears more resemblance to catastrophic thinking than reasoned analysis. Even that description may be charitable - it’s more like heavy breathing and pearl-clutching. I have yet to see anyone suggest what is to be done. He’s one: the democrats could decide to be effective for a change, i.e. not suck. Rejection of views by Greenwald and others just smacks of high school and the cool kids marginalizing those who aren’t in the club, rather than engagement with the points they raise.

Whatever the threat from Trump, it will take a lot more than what I’ve seen so far to justify Neville Chamberlain analogies. For comparison see the latest episode of Rogan with Matt Taibbi.

Islander said...

There have been enough clues by now (for those, of course, who are willing to pay attention) that the American left through its state arm, the Democratic Party, does pose a significant threat to democracy. What this blog's author and most verbose commenters focus on is machinations with the voting machinery (particularly from a legal perspective), but democracy also requires political discourse free from censorship, otherwise you get Modi's or Putin's democracy, and we all have seen what happens to numerous individuals who run afoul of woke ideology...

Ed Barreras said...

With all due respect, SrVida, your post above seems almost entirely devoid of substance, and very unhelpful. The Democrats have “become people who like to push others around just as much as the Republicans these days” — What is this even supposed to mean? And what does it have to do with the issue at hand, namely the possible death our system of having elections decide political leadership (you know, the bedrock of democracy)? I despise the Democrats for all kinds of reasons, but in this regard, the two parties are not the same. Not even close. Honestly this kind of bothsidesism is exasperating.

Catastrophic thinking — heavy breathing — pearl-clutching. Those are nice buzzwords. But again, what do you even mean? What I’m talking about are very *specific* actions being taken by a pro-Trump party at the state level. Tell me, what, in your opinion, are we to think of the fact that Republican state legislature in GA recently removed Secretary of State Raffensperger as head of the board that oversees state election laws, while also granting themselves new powers to intervene in managing elections (and thus stripping power from local officials, like those, for example, in largely Black Fulton County) — all this despite the fact that three audits revealed no widespread voter fraud in the last election? Do you consider this to be just business-as-usual? Are you that naive? Or perhaps you weren’t even aware of its going on, given how the media you’re drawn to seems not to want to emphasize it. I could point to similar shenanigans happens in Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin.

Also, your railing against the ineffectiveness of Democrats is largely beside to the point, since it’s something everyone seems to agree on, and anyway it has no bearing on whether what you call “catastrophising pearl-clutching” is actually warranted? (And isn’t the Gellman article largely focused on the myopia of the Democrats?)

It’s ironic that you raise the specter of high school popularity contests while also extolling Joe Rogan, one of the most popular figures in the new media, who was recently granted a 9 figure deal but Spotify. And for what it’s worth, I have listened to more of Rogan and Taibbi than is worth the time; i know what they’re about. Since you have nothing specific to offer in this regard, please know that I won’t be watching.

aaall said...

Islander: "There have been enough clues by now (for those, of course, who are willing to pay attention) that the American left through its state arm, the Democratic Party..."

Dude, I hope this doesn't get you fired or worse but your post reflects an appalling ignorance of American culture, language, and politics. Just curious - assuming you still have your head - what country are you posting from?

SrVidaBuena said...

Think of what it says about institutions and a population that they can be so easily taken over, or so seems to be the fear, by a third rate game show host and his minions. It’s hard to see what any number of articles (and I’ve seen a dozen headlines in the last few months) along the lines of the above link can do if the situation is that dire. Do these people get paid by the word? Whatever these publications may have been 20, 30, or 40 years ago they’re little more than red meat for the democratic base now, largely unreadable, unserious, but then look at the broader culture. I couldn’t care less what anyone does or doesn’t read; but that fewer and fewer people even seem interested in seeking out anything but orthodox pieties must represent some kind of concern. I don’t care to be a part of anyone’s tribe. But I’m also not ruling out people just because they lack the appropriate DNC or Ivy League imprimatur. And that’s about all any of the legacy media have left. All I can guess is that most of those writers have never worked a day in the real world.

Islander said...

Honestly, this is the best feature of this blog - it didn't used to be when I started reading it back in 2013, but it surely is now - this frequent bunch of learned (and no doubt useful) idiots who hilariously jump to conclusions without realizing that they don't really have all the necessary information. Like AA recently, when he jumped to antisemitism from a haiku. And then another of the bunch demanded I reveal whether I was a Jew or not (like it matters). And then it turned out that the supposedly antisemitic haiku was written by an actual Jew, and the woman who posted his poetry online was also a Jew. Bummer! No matter, our benighted knight of Zionism immediately sprung to action to convince the poor woman to take the poetry down. With such defenders of truth, no wonder millions on the left have believed the Russian hoax.

Of course, aaall posed his ridiculous conjecture about my whereabouts as a question, but he evidently has no doubt that I'm "appallingly ignorance of American culture, language, and politics." Which just cracks me up! Aren't we in the blog of a self-professed anarchist and philosopher? Speaking of philosophy, how about the principle of charity, you, dude? Speaking of anarchism, what if I espouse a theory of the state that does not align with the bourgeois platitudes that you were spoon-fed in school?

You are so stuck in the silly American dichotomy of the bourgeois left vs the bourgeois right that you can't even entertain a possibility of a way out...

DDA said...

here's something smart about some of this

R McD said...

Also the piece by jan-werner muller, also in nyt online

Jerry Brown said...

There is one area where I can understand the former fireman and some of his grievances.
Probably almost 20 years ago I also had applied for a job in my city's fire department when they had announced they were hiring. There were supposedly three criteria involved with being hired for the job. One was a multiple-choice exam which was sort of like an SAT exam that a decent sixth grade student would easily pass, and I am sure I aced. Another was an incredibly difficult test of physical ability and endurance (for male applicants only) which I would not pass now but did so then. And then finally an interview in front of about six city officials of some sort.

The only non-objective test was the interview. And that was the only test that they assigned a score to and therefore ranked you in the order which you might be hired. And to that score was added a variety of different bonus points based on things like if you were a veteran, where you resided, and what race you were. I must not have interviewed so well or got enough of the bonus points and was considerably down on their list.

So they basically hired whoever they really wanted to hire. Assuming you were not a complete moron and were in very good physical shape. So I can understand why the fireman in the article would have been pissed off about his difficulties in getting a municipal job as a fire fighter. I was pissed off about it also and I didn't really need the job in the first place. Especially since that physical test was just so grueling and happened to be scheduled on the day of the yearly Brown family golf tournament, which I had to miss. But I wouldn't have won that either.

aaall said...

OK, Islander, help us out:

"...that the American left through its state arm, the Democratic Party,..."


"...we all have seen what happens to numerous individuals who run afoul of woke ideology..."

Indeed! What happens is that they get six figure deals on Substack.

aaall said...

Jerry, some things are a family affair. A friend of mine got an union apprenticeship because his girlfriend's best friend"s father was on the board. Back in the day, a GF's in law was high up in the LA county FD. During a conversation he suggested in a very positive way that I apply.

Anonymous said...

I think your remark about those who run afoul of wokeness--"What happens is that they get six figure deals on Substack"--is unworthy of you. One needn't go along with what islander says to recognize/acknowledge that quite a lot of good people have been victimised by the rush to judgement on the part, as I see it, of institutional administrators who are frightened to offend a vigorous part of their customer base.

LFC said...


I don't have time rt now to properly read the Corey Robin piece, but he really likes that Skowronek book. I've seen him draw on it a lot.

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

Ed Barreras,

I do not think this is a normal election cycle. Trump’s election was abnormal, the 2018 midterms were absolutely abnormal, and the 2020 general election, and its sequelae, was pretty unique. So I don’t think conventional wisdom applies now. Things are too volatile
Think about the situation from the perspective of a newly hired campaign manager. Assume we are talking about a Senate race in a southern state. What issues can your candidate exploit? 1) a SCOTUS decision overthrowing Roe or significantly undermining it, 2) pandemic management that lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths, 3) endangering children by forbidding students to wear masks, not requiring faculty and staff to be vaccinated, 4) the incumbent supported the attempt to disallow certification of electoral results certified by your state's election officials, and last but not least, 5) he/she participated in the planning of the 1/6 attempted coup. If you're working in Texas, you have the collapse of the power grid and can use it as a failure of republican support for privatization. If it’s Georgia, we have the ongoing voter suppression controversy along with Trump attempts to corrupt the general election results.

I consider this an embarrassment of riches. It doesn't mean a win is inevitable, but I'm not much of a leftist if I don't subject conventional wisdom to a critique, and then inform my actions with that understanding.

LFC said...

Gellman interviewed today on NPR and PBS (NewsHour).

aaall said...

Anon, your "quite a lot" is doing way too much work. "Wokeness," like CRT and before that "political correctness," is part of the Movement Conservative (now morphing into National Conservative) propaganda line that the "left controls the culture" and therefore we are justified in seizing political power by any means necessary. I'm sure any resemblance to NSDAP tactics is a coincidence.

Back in the 1980s/90s Gingrich used this shtick to demonize "liberal." Just curious, how about sharing your sources about this "wokeness" of which you speak?

Another Anonymous said...

As was John Mchorter, the author of the newly released Woke Racism, with an interesting, and critical, take on the BLM movement.

Another Anonymous said...

That should have been "McWhorter"

aaall said...

There are X Conservatives and conservative Xs. There is a difference.

This is another view:

LFC said...


I listened to the NewsHour on the radio (as is possible where I live), but then (as I usu. do not do), I went online and watched a couple of the interviews, including the one with McWhorter.

I sort of chuckled when J. Brown, the interviewer, said that McWhorter calls himself a liberal, b/c I always thought of him as a conservative. But I assume McWhorter means "liberal" in the political-philosophy sense of the word, say, not the contemporary U.S. politics sense of the word. (Or maybe the European sense of the word, whatever.) Of course anyone can call himself or herself or themselves whatever they want.

I was going to say more but have decided not to.

LFC said...

Btw the Gellman interview on Fresh Air was longer than the NewsHour one, and he offered some constructive suggestions on what might be done, which are presumably also in his article. Anyway here's the transcript of that:

LFC said...

@ AA

Of possible interest to you, and some others here also:

S. Seligman, A Second Reckoning: Race, Injustice, and the Last Hanging in Annapolis

Anonymous said...

Sources? I'll just go along with what I quite regularly encounter on Leiter reports--Leiter is, you'll know, quite a fan of this site. I know some view him with disfavor. But that's the awful nature of the conversation over ths sort of stuff--it seems to disallow reasonable exploration of differences into something bordering on religious warfare (including out of place snidery). I guess the following points to divisions which have a bearing on the anxieties which prompted this thread:

So also does this:

Another Anonymous said...


Thank your for Seligman recommendation.

I do want to say, the scope of your reading interests is very impressive.

LFC said...

Have not read the Seligman book, to be clear. Just ran across the description (to describe why wd get too circuitous).

Anonymous said...

Let's go Brandon.

This joke administration's days are very much numbered. There will be a red tidal wave.

aaall said...

Anon, my reference was to "woke" as a political tactic (and grift) in the United States. The papers you reference are orthogonal and grinding a different (and irrelevant) ideological ax.

Prof. Leiter's posts are mostly concerned with academic issues and are usually, whether one agrees or not with each instance, fair takes. This post today is a excellent example:

If you want to understand how the right has weaponized CRT and Woke, you need to cast your net far more widely. It's unpleasant but necessary. Rod Dreher is a true believer while folks like Rufo, Sullivan, Weiss, Greenwald, Weiss, etc. are mostly grifters (google University of Austin).

Anonymous said...

The right didn't have to weaponize any of that nonsense, the left did it to themselves - it's insanity and regular Americans want no part of it.

"Biden Boom!"