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Tony Grist

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Notes On Contemporary Politics [Dec. 11th, 2016|12:04 pm]
Tony Grist
1. I have it on what seems to be the best authority that the Russians had nothing to do with hacking the US election but- what the hell- people will believe what they want to believe.

2. Funny how  "fake news" is always what the other side puts out.

3. The word "fascist" should be struck from the political lectionary. Fascism was a political movement of the inter-war years.  Calling  a modern politician a fascist is just another way of living in the past and avoiding engagement with what's really going on.

5. Boris Johnson said some truthful things about Saudi Arabia and was dumped on by his boss- which tells you all you need to know about the bred-in-the-bone wickedness of government.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2016-12-11 02:42 pm (UTC)
The CIA seem to be disagreeing with you on the first one.

You're right about fascist- I'll stick to Nazi- I know what they did to my family and I know what some of the present lot will do to me if they get the chance.

I've no sympathy for that arse Johnson- a man who really needs to learn how senior diplomats function (Trump, anyone?) but I take your point!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-11 03:27 pm (UTC)
And you, of all people, believe the CIA?

People seem to prefer Fascist to Nazi. I suppose its more euphonious.

Johnson is frightful but he was speaking the truth on this occasion.
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2016-12-11 04:25 pm (UTC)
No- just observing that they seem to think something is going on (we don't often agree, I have to say).

I think we had home grown Fascists here but never any home grown Nazis so that may be it.

I totally agree with what he said, but I'm not a senior diplomat! :oS
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2016-12-11 05:08 pm (UTC)
I totally agreed with what Boris said, but I also agree with Theresa May that he shouldn't have said it. As our Foreign Secretary, he is supposed to say only what he's been told to say. He is simply a mouthpiece for government policy. If he wants to be able to give his personal opinion, he should have the decency to resign from his post.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-11 05:28 pm (UTC)
I notice that Boris is now eating crow, schmoozing with the Saudis and doing the business they expect of him. Apparently he was misreported or taken out of context and it's all the fault of the media...
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2016-12-12 08:08 am (UTC)
I think the preference for Fascist over Nazi is that you don't fall foul of Godwin's Law, partly; and more generally that it doesn't necessarily imply anti-Semitism as a founding plank of its ideology, just a nation-based form of authoritarian demagoguery.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2016-12-12 08:15 am (UTC)
I agree that words can lose their potency if overused, but I think the 1970s and '80s were the heyday of calling everyone and everything vaguely right of centre "fascist". Like an overprescribed antibiotic the word's potency gradually decreased; and now, when we have someone in the White House who really seems to fit the description, it has lost its power to stigmatise. Still, if I don't blame people for using it. If it salutes like a duck, etc. And presumably the idea is partly to shock people from a complacent "it couldn't happen here" state of mind.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-12 09:59 am (UTC)
The rise of Trump- and his European equivalents- has taken us by surprise and knocked us a bit silly. We're still struggling to find the language to describe what's going on.
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[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2016-12-11 03:16 pm (UTC)
"Fascist" is a term that gets used pretty much inflationary these days. The word slowly loses the fright that it causes to people 'cause they attribute nearly everything as that that doesn't have an unconditionary pro-humans base and that doesn't run on the assumption that all people are good by heart.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-11 03:33 pm (UTC)
We need to develop a new political vocabulary. The old terms- left, right, conservative, socialist, fascist, Marxist- no longer apply.
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[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2016-12-11 04:40 pm (UTC)
I don't think that's the point, they still suit pretty well.
But, what I think needs to be reconsidered: That politically "left" always equals "politics made for the people". That's not right. On the left side, what is considered deeply as "left" these days in mainstream understanding, it's just another class of corrupted elite that learn and teach at their universities, NGOs and advocate groups whatever they want, even if it doesn't suit real circumstances anymore.
You don't have the classic movement of the workers anymore in their place that works for the interests of those and for the interests of the poor which have no lobby.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-12-11 05:23 pm (UTC)
The old parties of the left were rooted in an organised, industrial working class that no longer exists.
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[User Picture]From: matrixmann
2016-12-11 06:18 pm (UTC)
But the poor, the sick and the rejected still remain.
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