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Trenz Pruca’s Observations: Rumination on the Long Generation.

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If when I was five years old and shook the hand and listened to the stories of someone who was the age that I am now, he would have been born during the Civil War. If he in turn, when he was five, shook the hand of another old man and listened to his stories, he might have learned that that man when he was young had shaken the hand of someone who knew Shakespeare at the height of his theatrical career. Two handshakes by old men represent a chain of history from Donald Trump to William Shakespeare.

Hmm——This may evidence that, as a species, we may have been devolving faster than we realize.

Recently, my partner told me that when she was young her Grandmother, when she was young and growing up near Balmoral Castle in Scotland, used to see Queen Victoria and Prince Albert traveling in their carriage to the local church to attend Sunday services.

This is a long generation.

 

Tuckahoe Joe’s Blog of the Week: Procopius on Top.

Periodically, I like to peruse a site called, “The Fold of the Bards,” (http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/index.html) a blog dedicated primarily to translations of ancient Celtic poetry. It sometimes also contains bits of prose commentary on historical events often written by those who actually lived during the time the events occurred or shortly thereafter. The following, by Procopius, contains a brief history of the departure of the Romans from Britain in the Fifth Century written about one hundred years after the events described. It is interesting, and fascinating to me at least, in that it departs from the often laconic and unsatisfying descriptions found in most history books — namely one form or another of the statement, “The Romans left Britain in 410AD after 400 years of occupation.” It leaves so many questions, “Do you mean a few bureaucrats packed up their documents and left.” Why did the population decline so radically immediately after departure? Did they just get up and leave? Why? Was there a sudden and vast die off? From what? Did they just suddenly choose to migrate? Why they were not under serious military attack? And so on.

Here Procopius informs us that during the vast turmoil in the Roman Empire throughout the reign of the last Emperor of the West, Honorius, in the fifth century AD, armed bands, tribes and the like saw an opportunity for profit by taking over (plundering?)  resource-rich and valuable sections of the Empire. After all, the Roman Empire had been organized and always was a profit-making enterprise for the benefit first of the Romans themselves and then of those they chose to make citizens. They acted like corporations do today. They did not know or suspect the Empire was ending. They were not prescient. Like today’s corporations, they saw short term profit and did not recognize, appreciate or care whether or not a great historical era was ending.

It seems reasonable that the “corporate” leaders of 5th Century Britain saw the apparently far more valuable lands of Brittany and Galicia free for the taking and assembled their bands and their people and set off from dismal fog-shrouded Britain to conquer them. Sort of like a modern company moving their head office, administration and production to someplace that would increase short-term returns to their management and investors.

On Britain
From Procopius’ De Bellis
c. 540ts CE

[Years 408-450] And the island of Britain revolted from the Romans, and the soldiers there chose as their king Constantinus, a man of no mean station. And he straightway gathered a fleet of ships and a formidable army and invaded both Spain and Gaul with a great force, thinking to enslave these countries. But Honorius was holding ships in readiness and waiting to see what would happen in Libya, in order that, if those sent by Attalus were repulsed, he might himself sail for Libya and keep some portion of his own kingdom, while if matters there should go against him, he might reach Theodosius and remain with him. For Arcadius had already died long before, and his son Theodosius, still a very young child, held the power of the East. But while Honorius was thus anxiously awaiting the outcome of these events and tossed amid the billows of uncertain fortune, it so chanced that some wonderful pieces of good fortune befell him. For God is accustomed to succour those who are neither clever nor able to devise anything of themselves, and to lend them assistance, if they be not wicked, when they are in the last extremity of despair ; such a thing, indeed, befell this emperor. For it was suddenly reported from Libya that the commanders of Attalus had been destroyed, and that a host of ships was at hand from Byzantium with a very great number of soldiers who had come to assist him, though he had not expected them, and that Alaric, having quarreled with Attalus, had stripped him of the emperor’s garb and was now keeping him under guard in the position of a private citizen. And afterwards Alaric died of disease, and the army of the Visigoths under the leadership of Adaulphus proceeded into Gaul, and Constantinus, defeated in [411 a.d. ] battle, died with his sons. However the Romans never succeeded in recovering Britain, but it remained from that time on under tyrants. And the Goths, after making the crossing of the Ister, at first occupied Pannonia, but afterwards, since the emperor gave them the right, they inhabited the country of Thrace. And after spending no great time there they conquered the West. But this will be told in the narrative concerning the Goths.

Daily Factoid: Etymological Origins Of Ethnic Slurs.

While rummaging through the internet I came across the following article regarding the origins of ethnic slurs. Out of the many that appear in the article, I have chosen to include below only the ethnic slur that refers to Southern Italians specifically. I did so because I am of Sicilian heritage and have experienced the de-humanizing impact of that specific ethnic slur. I expect many of those who read the article have had a similar reaction to the slurs that were applied to their ethnic background as I have had to mine.

Etymological Origins Of Ethnic Slurs
David Tormsen November 27, 2015

Human beings like to divide themselves into different categories, a process that began with family units and tribes and eventually worked its way up to nationalities, races, ethnicities, and vaguely defined civilization groups. Another aspect of humanity is its natural tendency toward creativity. It was perhaps unavoidable that we’d spend so much time and effort coming up with nasty words to call each other.

Here Tomsen discusses the derivation of common several ethnic slurs including the following:

‘Wop’
This term, used chiefly in the United States to refer to people of Italian descent, has a number of false etymologies being bandied about on the Internet claiming that it derives from “Without Papers” or “Without Passport.” Supposedly, immigration officials at Ellis Island used stamps, chalk, or placards to designate those arrivals lacking sufficient documents as “WOP.” However, the association with immigration documents makes little sense, as the term has been recorded since 1908, while immigration papers weren’t required until 1918.

“Wop” actually derived from the Sicilian and Neapolitan slang term guappo, which means “thug” or “gangster.” Guappo may have come from the Spanish adjective guapo (“bold”) during the period of Spanish rule over Southern Italy. The Spanish term was itself derived from the Latin vappa, meaning “sour wine,” which the Romans used to describe a worthless person or loser. Southern Italian immigrants to the US used guappo among themselves, and it only acquired an offensive meaning when it was picked up by other Americans and mutated into “wop.”

By the 1890s, it was being applied to Italians in general as well as restaurants (“wop-house”), spaghetti (“wop-special”), and Italy (“Wopland”). It may have been popularized throughout the English-speaking world by early talkie films and was in wide use in English-language newspapers during World War II.

BOOK REPORT, SORT OF:

Hitler's Birthday celebration DH April 1935

 

I have just finished reading, Hitler in Los Angeles by Steven J. Ross. It tells the history of a small group of people in Southern California who infiltrated the Nazi and fascist groups in Los Angeles just prior to WWII. At that time, the government and the public were more focused on a perceived communist threat than that of the Nazi/Fascist anti-Semitic totalitarian groups active then. What I found most interesting was how much of what occurred then appears to be occurring again now.

Here are some examples:

“…[T]hat January (1940), Clayton Ingalls, husband of famed aviatrix and Nazi spy Laura Ingalls, had sent George Deatherage the blueprint for a fascist military organization and the names and addresses of hundreds of coup leaders and sub-leaders scattered across the Country….Ingalls planned to equip each cell with weapons obtained through the National Rifle Association in Washington D.C. After the government takeover, citizens who refused to surrender peacefully — most likely Jews and Communists — would be shot on site.”

“To prepare for “Der Tag” (The Day), Brockhacker began recruiting men within the police and National Guard, and army and navy soldiers stationed in Los Angeles. That fall, The Bund’s national headquarters ordered all OD units to train in the use of firearms but cautioned that practices must be camouflaged and hidden from American eyes. Bundists were told that any citizen who joined the National Rifle Association could purchase new guns from them for $14 or used pistols for $7.50.”

“What made groups such as America First especially dangerous is that many of their most prominent supporters were not Nazi or fascist extremists but widely admired Americans and anti-semites, such as Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, U.S. Olympic head Avery Brundage and U.S. Senators Burton Wheeler and Gerald Nye.”

We should not forget what happened then as well as remember that He Who is Not My President used to sleep with a copy of Mein Kampf at his bedside and may still do so.

Comment to My Post “Is TREASON A REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN STRATEGY.”

treason

 

Recently, I reprinted my blog post “ Is Treason a Republican Campaign Strategy” on Daily Kos (Here). One of the comments by someone who signs himself to the Daily Kos posting as “democratos ,” I found interesting and informative so I thought it would be a good idea to repost it here.

 

Trumped up charges of treason

Ubu Prez claims that Bob Woodward is a traitor for having written Fear. The head of a tyrannical regime further claims that all those who did not applaud him at the 2018 state-of-the-union likewise were traitors. Why are none of them traitors?

Why haven’t I been arrested (or disappeared) for defaming Ubu Prez? No doubt, as Lawrence O’Donnell said, Trump et al betrayed the US, but their disloyalty or policies that harm the United States are not treason.

Why? Because James Madison has my back. Mr. Madison assures me that I am not a “traitor” for claiming that the Head-of-State is one in common usage.

But not in law. The price paid for that extension of free speech? — A charge of treason cannot be among High Crimes chargeable against Ubu Prez. Do not test this uniquely American protection against their Heads-of-State when visiting Russia, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey.

Despite what “common sense” seems to dictate, and despite what Merriam-Webster purports to show, treason under US law is a charge rarely brought and one rarely sought, because of its remarkable non-conformity to facile expectations.

One late18th century traitor narrowed the scope of treason in order to broaden all Americans’ freedom of speech. Specifically, no one can be charged with treason for calling or depicting the Head of State a traitor.

James Madison and his fellow traitors against the Crown succeeded in evading treason charges and saved their collective necks from hanging separately, as Franklin quipped they had to do. Of course, seven years of revolutionary war were required to win their traitors’ bet, called the Declaration of Independence.

So important to Madison was restricting grounds for treason, he put the only statute approved, before Congress existed, into the body of the Constitution, Article 3, section 3:

Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have the power to declare the Punishment of Treason…[Then follow two specifications: a finding of guilt does not apply to innocent family members, and an individual’s guilt expires with that person’s death. There can be no “inherited” guilt.]

Notice that Congress alone cannot abolish or alter the statute; that would require an amendment to the Constitution. Yes, Madison wanted his statute to stand. And it has.

The exact wording appears again as US Code 18:2381 along with penalties, cases settled and interpretations made by SCOTUS over more than 200 years. The last cases tried arose from acts committed during WW2.

What the words in the statute mean, of course, are themselves not “common sense” or dictionary commonplaces, but defined by Court interpretations. In particular…’war’ is warfare declared by Congress; ‘enemies’ are nations against which Congress has declared war. The last declared war was WW2.

There is nothing unusual here; all law has to be clarified. As the need arises, terms in statutes are defined and clarified in use in a legal context, not a “commonsense” context of dictionaries and wishful ignorance.

1. Michael Flynn’s judge suggested he might be guilty of treason. He’s not.

The bar for “treason” is really, really high.

By Dylan Matthews vox.com Dec 18, 2018.

2. Stop Saying Trump Committed ‘Treason.’ You’re Playing Into His Hands.

The president may be selling out America to Russia, but liberals are playing with fire in using the t-word to describe it.

— Jay Michaelson. Daily Beast. 17 July 2018.

3. Accusing Trump of Treason Will Only Help Him

The facts are coming. There’s no need to leap beyond them.

— Fred Kaplan. Slate. 18 July 2018.

4. Five Myths about Treason

MYTH NO. 1 Disloyalty or policies that harm the United States are treason.

MYTH NO. 2 Aiding Russia is treason against the United States.

— Carlton F.W. Larson*. Washington Post. 17 February 2017.

*Carlton F.W. Larson is a professor of law at the University of California at Davis and is writing a book about treason and the American Revolution.

How federal statute on treason received its current form

Chief Justice Marshall ruled on the Constitution’s treason statute in the case of alleged treason against Aaron Burr in 1807. He was acquitted on 1 September 1807:

Trying to escape to Spanish territory, Burr was arrested and returned for trial to Richmond, Virginia, the site of the nearest federal court that could hear a trial for treason.

Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Marshall presided in his capacity as circuit judge for Virginia. (At that time, circuit courts had original jurisdiction to try treason cases; the Supreme Court has never had that power.)

Marshall acquitted Burr on the ground that acts of treason against the United States by definition require the existence of a state of war (Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution).

— Aaron Burr. Britannica (site)

Earlier alleged treason was The Whiskey Rebellion 1791-94. Of course, it was not a rebellion against the State, but a localized domestic uprising specifically against a federal excise tax. Washington pardoned two “traitors”.

Those cases have no relevance to today since Justice Marshall in 1807 reaffirmed Madison’s strict limitation of treason being a charge applicable only during a war declared by Congress.

Now, embodied as US Code 18:2381, the treason statute as interpreted by Marshall and written by Madison remains just as firm as it did 211 years ago.

What the founders intended and what the laws mean are not identical

No question that the Federalist documents put forward the founders’ intentions concerning the “meaning” of the foundation document itself. Once made law, their commentary no longer defines the document approved in 1791.

They could not and did not imagine that they could foresee every requirement for clarification, nor every possible legitimate extension, or every past interpretation inconsistent with democratic principles.

Being able to read their intended interpretations remains invaluable. But, their interpretations are not definitive. Here, strict constructionism breaks down.

Once a law gets enacted, what it means gets defined only in legal use. Courts exist, crucially, to interpret law, which includes specifying what it means based on past and present decisions.

The treason statute, US Code 18:2381, grows out of but is not identical to Article 3, section 3 of the Constitution. The Constitution has been augmented by interpretations, most famously and definitively by John Marshall in 1807.

Other cases of treason have been tried and these too are referenced in US Code 18:2381. This is the go-to place for what “treason” means in US federal law…not the important opinions in the Federalist’s public explanations.

This is how, in particular, Scalia and Thomas misunderstand the very laws they have interpreted by a process the founders themselves repudiate so-called “strict construction”. Nothing but wishful thinking on parade.

What is the Green New Deal: Specifics not Tactical Framing.

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I bet most people out there do not know the specifics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y. hereinafter AOC), “Green New Deal.” The reason they do not know is that they get most (if not all) their information about is from the Media. The Media, however, whether left-leaning or right generally dispenses its information about political proposals not by exposing the public to the specifics of the plans itself but by limiting its discussion to the feasibility of the acceptance of the proposals by the political decision makers. The Media insiders call this “Tactical Framing.” The reason for this, I guess, is because the conflict over a political issue they believe is more “newsworthy” that the actual proposals themselves.

In an effort to remedy that particular general media bias, I include a link to AOC’s website containing the proposed resolution itself. AOC Green New Deal.

For those to whom reading and parsing out the intricacies of legislation is an understandable mystery, the following is a brief description of its contents.*

First and foremost it does not adopt the so-called “Green New Deal” into law. It merely creates a Congressional  Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in the House that would be charged to hold hearings, study and produce a draft plan to implement the Green New Deal by January 1, 2020, and finalized legislation to be submitted no later than March 1, 2020. This is a common and often used tactic of all legislative bodies to study and develop legislation on complex subjects.

The proposal also lays out the specific issues and goals of the plan and legislation. They would include:

  1. developing a plan for the United States to shift to all renewable energy within a decade.
  2.  creating a national, energy-efficient “smart” grid.
  3.  “upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort, and safety.”
  4.  reduceing emissions from manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, as well as decarbonizing, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure
  5.  “funding massive investment” in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases but does not set out how to accomplish that. I assume it would be something the Select Committee would study and propose in legislation.
  6.  laying out a national jobs program including a “training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a national “job guarantee program” to “assure every person who wants one, a living wage job.”

 

As far as I can tell none of this is particularly new or surprising, nor can the feasibility or cost of any element be determined until the committee has completed its work and produced a plan that could be reviewed by the nation as a whole as well as The Congress.

Finally, I think it would be beneficial that those who support an initiative like the Green New Deal to remind the Media whenever they can that you would appreciate more specifics and less tactical framing. It would be helpful in our social media discussions of subjects like these we include the specifics whenever possible and not just whether we support or oppose them.

 

 

  • Below is the specific language of the Green New Deal Proposal legislation setting out the specifics of what the Proposed select committee is directed to study and on which it is to propose Legislation”

 

6) SCOPE OF THE PLAN FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL AND THE DRAFT LEGISLATION.—

(A) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall be developed with the objective of reaching the following outcomes within the target window of 10 years from the start of execution of the Plan:
Dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources;
building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort, and safety;
eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries, including by investing in local-scale agriculture in communities across the country;
eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure, and upgrading water infrastructure to ensure universal access to clean water;
funding massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases;
making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely greenhouse gas neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.

(B) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that a national, industrial, economic mobilization of this scope and scale is a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation. In furtherance of the foregoing, the Plan (and the draft legislation) shall:

provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one;
diversify local and regional economies, with a particular focus on communities where the fossil fuel industry holds significant control over the labor market, to ensure workers have the necessary tools, opportunities, and economic assistance to succeed during the energy transition;
require strong enforcement of labor, workplace safety, and wage standards that recognize the rights of workers to organize and unionize free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment, and creation of meaningful, quality, career employment;
ensure a ‘just transition’ for all workers, low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm including by ensuring that local implementation of the transition is led from the community level and by prioritizing solutions that end the harms faced by front-line communities from climate change and environmental pollution;
protect and enforce sovereign rights and land rights of tribal nations;
mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, deindustrialized or other marginalized communities in such a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level);
include additional measures such as basic income programs, universal health care programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor market flexibility, and entrepreneurism; and
deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment.

(C) The Plan for a Green New Deal (and the draft legislation) shall recognize that innovative public and other financing structures are a crucial component in achieving and furthering the goals and guidelines relating to social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership set forth in paragraphs (2)(A)(i) and (6)(B). The Plan (and the draft legislation) shall, accordingly, ensure that the majority of financing of the Plan shall be accomplished by the federal government, using a combination of the Federal Reserve, a new public bank or system of regional and specialized public banks, public venture funds and such other vehicles or structures that the select committee deems appropriate, in order to ensure that interest and other investment returns generated from public investments made in connection with the Plan will be returned to the treasury, reduce taxpayer burden and allow for more investment.

Melinda Cooper on Top:

 

That conservative parties’ policies redistribute wealth and power upward while distracting their mass base by focusing them on internal or external enemies has long been the point of Toryism—since before the Gordon Riots, in fact. And now Tucker Carlson is surprised that there is gambling going on, and is just asking questions? Does he want us to take him seriously?: Eric Levitz: Why Tucker Carlson Plays a Critic of Capitalism On TV: “Melinda Cooper… explains:

Writing at the end of the 1970s, the Chicago school neoliberal Gary Becker remarked that the “family in the Western world has been radically altered—some claim almost destroyed—by events of the last three decades.” … Becker believed that such dramatic changes in the structure of the family had more to do with the expansion of the welfare state in the post-war era than with feminism per se… a consequence rather than an instigator of these dynamics…. Becker’s abiding concern with the destructive effects of public spending on the family represents a key element of his microeconomics… that is consistently overlooked…

…Thus the bedrock logic of the alliance between social conservatives and reactionary capitalists was this: One valued “small government” because it (supposedly) enabled the patriarchal family (and/or racial hierarchy), while the other valued the family because it enabled “small government.” Social conservatives have paid a price for hopping into bed with the worshippers of mammon. But social conservatives were always the junior partners in the GOP coalition. And when the dual objectives of rolling back the New Deal bargain—and reviving cultural traditionalism—came into conflict, the former took priority. As a result, the logic of social conservatives’ alliance with capital has fallen apart… Thanks to a combination of global supply chains, corporate consolidation, and network effects, capital has been fleeing rural counties and concentrating in big cities—taking many conservatives’ kids along with it… Capital has paired its literal abandonment of culturally conservative areas (and concomitant undermining of family formation in such places) with more superficial slights. As upper-middle-class millennials have become an immensely valuable consumer block, corporate brands have begun advertising their “wokeness.” Television commercials now regularly sing the praises of social liberalism, feminism, and ethnic diversity…
#noted #orangehairedbaboons

Another Snag from Brad DeLong: CULTURAL MARXISM>

 
Brad DeLong (https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/01/eg-ben-alpers-_a-far-right-anti-semitic-conspiracy-theory-becomes-a-mainstream-irritable-gesturehttpss-usihorg2.html#comment-6a00e551f080038834022ad3866887200c) directly takes on the attempts to rehabilitate the anti-Semitic canard of “Cultural Marxism” by some contemporary. conservative pundits

Where did David Brooks learn to use the term “cultural Marxism”? From Alexander Zubatov and his attempt to rehabilitate it from its anti-Semitic not just connotation but denotation. How does Zubatov do this? By taking Russell Blackford out of context: Zubatov claims that Blackford’s bottom line is “in other words, [cultural Marxism] has perfectly respectable uses outside the dark, dank silos of the far right”. Blackford’s actual bottom line is that the modern

The conception of cultural Marxism is too blunt an intellectual instrument to be useful for analyzing current trends. At its worst, it mixes wild conspiracy theorizing with self-righteous moralism… Right-wing culture warriors will go on employing the expression ‘cultural Marxism’… attaching it to dubious, sometimes paranoid, theories of cultural history… Outside of historical scholarship, and discussions of the history and current state of Western Marxism, we need to be careful…. Those of us who do not accept the narrative of a grand, semi-conspiratorial movement aimed at producing moral degeneracy should probably avoid using the term ‘cultural Marxism’…

Why does Zubatov misuse Blackford? In the hope that he will pick up readers like Brooks, who will take his representations of what Blackford says to be accurate. Why does Brooks take Zubatov’s representations of what Blackford says as accurate? Because Brooks is too lazy to do his homework: Ben Alpers: A Far-Right Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory Becomes a Mainstream Irritable Gesture: “At the heart of this largely rote piece of Brooksian pablum is a claim that deserves a closer look. ‘The younger militants’, writes Brooks, ‘tend to have been influenced by the cultural Marxism that is now the lingua franca in the elite academy’. This is interesting both for what Brooks appears to be trying to say and, more immediately, how he has decided to say it… Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik… murdered sixty-nine people… William Lind… associated with both the Free Congress Foundation and Lyndon LaRouche… Lind’s conception of Cultural Marxism was explicitly anti-Semitic…. Over the course of these years, the idea of Cultural Marxism spread across the American far right… [with] a big boost from Andrew Breitbart…. Why would a columnist like David Brooks, who is himself Jewish in background (if, perhaps, no longer in faith) and who has tried to build his brand identity by peddling in respectability and civility, adopt the term?…

…Brooks… defended his use… Alexander Zubatov entitled “Just Because Anti-Semites Talk About ‘Cultural Marxism’ Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Real”… For Zubatov, it wasn’t so much the Frankfurt School, but rather György Lukács, Louis Althusser, Herbert Marcuse, Edward Said, Judith Butler, Stuart Hall, and, above all, Antonio Gramsci who are at fault… Zubatov… maintains that Cultural Marxism is “a coherent program” and accuses it of many of the same things that Lind does:

It is a short step from the Marxist and cultural Marxist premise that ideas are, at their core, expressions of power to rampant, divisive identity politics and the routine judging of people and their cultural contributions based on their race, gender, sexuality, and religion… Public shaming, forced resignations and all manner of institutional and corporate policy dictated by enraged Twitter mobs, the sexual McCarthyism of #MeToo’s excesses, and the incessant, resounding, comically misdirected and increasingly hollow cries of “racist,” “sexist,” “misogynist,” “homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” “transphobe” and more that have yet to be invented to demonize all those with whom the brittle hordes partaking in such calumnies happen to disagree.

Zubatov prominently cites the English philosopher Russell Blackford… But in the very piece Zubatov cites, Blackford concludes that the phrase is so marked by its connection to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that it is, in practice, largely unusable:

In everyday contexts, those of us who do not accept the narrative of a grand, semi-conspiratorial movement aimed at producing moral degeneracy should probably avoid using the term “cultural Marxism.”… Like other controversial expressions with complex histories (“political correctness” is another that comes to mind), “cultural Marxism” is a term that needs careful unpacking.

Of course, Zubatov, much less Brooks, is not very interested in carefully unpacking anything. Zubatov and Brooks are attached to a pejorative which they’d prefer to be uncoupled from the anti-Semitism to which it has been usually attached…. “Cultural Marxism” is a toxic expression that entered our national discourse as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. It ought to be avoided on that basis alone, especially given the more general mainstreaming of anti-Semitism…

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