961 Comments

Trumpism is fascism, and fascism is the political manifestation of psychopathology...specifically, the driving need to dominate and control, coupled with a total lack of conscience. This cluster of characterological traits can develop as a result of chronic and massive failures of empathy on the part of caregivers in the first three years of life.

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Amphetamines produce those symptoms, were invented in Germany in the 30s, and were used heavily by the Nazi storm troopers. And the Nazi regime was fascism on speed, complete with the burnout... And Trump's skinhead fans are generally speed freaks as well. The food news is that so many were arrested after the Jan 6th insurrection, and they have had a chance to see the consequences. when they aren't jacked up.

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Interesting. Trump and his staffers may snort Adderall.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/trump-white-house-drugs-speed-xanax-1234979503/

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I think we all kinda' knew that, yeah?

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2Peter from what I am told by someone who participated in a college course on Facism, Hitler and his leaders were using methamphetamines, which explains a lot. Take 1 psychotic lonely personality, add testosterone and a couple portions of speed to produce 1 toxic stew. A simple but destructive recipe.

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Captagon has been found in contemporary terrorist groups as well. I heard it was found on the bodies of Hamas fighters. Not sure about how valid that is, but it wouldn’t be surprising. It gets the empathy right outta there.

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Yes- Trump is a psychopath

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Great point, Madeline! This is the very same thing I've been trying to point out and warn about in education from the very young on up, for 35 years now. It's the emotional intelligence damage, resulting in personnel deep wounds and often the emotional diseases that grow from them: sexism (the primary superiority/inferiority caste system structure, racism, and all "other-isms" enforced by control and violence. I focused on how the Far and Religious Right learned this before we did, and started their takeover even under Reagan's administration militarily toned education attack: "A Nation at Risk". We were, from their autocratic and emotional/culturally abusive standardized education overly imbalanced to STEM "testing", actually damaging the human minds and hearts of almost all the children we were 'processing' through that model. It resulted in deep learning damage, turning the innate and necessary social-animal emphasis on human connection and empathy to thrive/learn together, to competitive machining the human education/upbringing for the surest short-term result for profiteers. What we are actually all "paying for' is the resulting deficits of understanding of how to problem-solve in individual lives in an increasing disconnected, transactional and calloused society/neo-liberal world. I saw this more than 30 years ago, and warned at that time, specifically that it was a "underlying value system implicit control" that would literally result, "in a character as characterless and venal as Donald Trump, as a national leader." I wrote that in 1989, using the biggest "famous bufoon" that I could use as an example. Sadly, I truly thought I was exaggerating. It is why I went on to found The Transformative Education Forum (tef-global.org). It is the heart that we damage first and can then be manipulated in hate, anger, fear against others, the most affectively by insatiable greed's control, but for all humanity's and even planetary loss.

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I agree, June...when adults damage a child's good feeling about him/herself, then stuff him or her with what THEY want the child to believe, we deform their capacity to care about themselves and others. A child's first "teachers" are the parents. They unconsciously and sometimes consciously send messages to the child based on how they treat him or her. Those messages can enhance or corrode s child's sense of self-esteem. The educational system takes over from there and can do ill or good depending on the belief systems of the adults in charge.

I was a preschool and elementary school teacher until I was 35 and I think it's one of the most important professions, but the least valued and the least compensated. Thank you for telling me about the transformative education forum that you found it ♥️😊

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For many Americans “fascist “ is a dirty word, worse than “communist” and “socialist” but I doubt the definition of any of these is clear. Donald calls his enemies all of these because they are hated labels. It really doesn’t matter what the word means if it is a despised label.

If we need to define the word as the name calling continues we are already in a losing situation. The voters that matter will not likely follow the debate on who really fits the word.

What I have seen is that if we say Donald is senile, he will pickup that word and say Biden is senile. It’s a tactic. “Trump crime family” leads to “Biden crime family.” “Trump is a threat to democracy” leads to “Biden is a threat to democracy”

It’s like the playground. “I am rubber you are glue. What you call me bounces off and sticks to you.”

We need to do more than use labels and phrases. They have the response that muddies the waters for the uniformed. need visuals short and frightening examples.

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Very important point, DK. Thank you!

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Well stated. My fundamental concern is purposeful ignorance magnified by disinformation. Party labels have become quaintly archaic in the “firehouse” of garbage folk consume…and as the old techie saying goes…”garbage in, garbage out”, or even older, “you are what you eat”!

Folks who refuse to face established fact are pathological…the late, great Bob Dole was often quoted, “you can have your own opinion, but not your own facts.” (Mic drop)…

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Madeline, i 100% agree with you on the definition of psychopathology. My only addition would be that, it actually affects a good majority of all politicians, not just republicans.

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Miami-democrats are right wing Republicans. Dino.

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As a card carrying member of the Democratic Party, as a Miamian, a member of the local Executive Committee, that's bullshit. As a matter of fact, Democrats out register Republicans in Miami Dade County. The mayor of Miami Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava is a Democrat.

It is true that we have a lot of people who live here who support a dictatorship ala Fulgencio Batista, Francisco Franco, Rafael Trujillo, Juan Peron, et al and see Trump as a caudillo. Those who are citizens, register as Republicans.

Can't tell you how many people who live here have an abuelo named Adolfo, Francisco or Jose Antonio (named for José Antonio Primo de Rivera, Spanish Fascist) in honor of their heroes.

In 2020 Trump lost Miami Dade, but won the state by 3.2%. It is true that Democrats underperformed in 2020 and 2022. This year, we have abortion and marijuana on the ballot. Some Republicans are flipping. https://rvat.org/

Register Democrats--save Florida and the world.

https://www.fieldteam6.org/all-volunteer-ops

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Yes, vote, and remind them of this: El tramposo dice que te quire ayudar y como todos los tramposos lo que quire es robar.

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Read STRONGMEN:Mussolini to the Present by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

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Trump is a fake "strongman." He is a liar, a scapegoat-er, and a flip-flopper. He also despises women and thinks that their most important concerns should be up to the states to resolve.

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I just had a conversation with a MAGA man yesterday. He told me that trump is a strong leader, a DEVOUT Christian, a good businessman who knows how to make money. So kinda the same old story but this time devout Christian is added which I wasn’t hearing in 2016. He is concerned that social security won’t be there for him but he’s fallen for the GOP scheme of making us invest our ss in the stock market. My impression was a man that is disappointed in where he is in life and sees the trump illusion as what he wants to be.

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True and so sad. We seek false security when we enclose ourselves in mental bubbles.When someone tries to pierce the bubble s/he is perceived as a threat. Reinforce their beliefs and you own them.

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Victor read the book

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I get her substack mailings. She is great.

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The system Trump is building looks a lot like Animal Farm. The MAGAs look like the horse, his plan to hire loyalists within the admin reminds me of the dogs and I think we all know who the pigs are...

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And the sheep!

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One would hope your literary reference is not lost on today’s consumers.

But, I applaud your use!

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Please don’t insult the pigs. 🐖

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Orwellian pigs belong to a special category of beings. The sheep, it seems, are all the same.

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Professor Reich: i'm currently reading a book that details the last months (mostly day-by-day) before hitler siezed control of 1920s germany, which was a functioning, abeit imperfect, democracy (quite like america today, actually). although the author never mentions modern america in the book, he doesn't need to because this is parallels what we are experiencing first-hand. truly the stuff of nightmares.

for those interested, the book is takeover: hilter's final rise to power by timothy w ryback (amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0593537424/grrlscientist-20/ )

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We just watched the new six part series on Netflix that shows the why and how Hitler got power in the first few episodes. It is frightening how similar Trump is to Hitler.

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Hi, I think I saw that on PBS a couple of years ago. Very eerie how much alike those and these times are.

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Wasnt there a National Geographic series?

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Name of series?

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Perhaps this explains our infatuation with Zionist and Israel.  As I see it Israelis are closest to the Nazi than any other group.

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Mehrdad, someone once asserted: "Whatever you defeat, you become."

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Of course the Islamist would pipe in with that b.s. DAESH, HAMAS, or Hezbollah.

Doesn't matter that you have a 1400 year old war of extermination against the Jews, does it, playing the victim,as you aggress and wipe out or subdue the infidel is the leitmotif of Islam.

At least the Saudi's don't hide it, they have a sword in their flag.

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And I thought this thread was about the MAGA cult and their flirtation with "alternative facts"

With your mindset, you will fit just at home with the MAGA cult.

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I calls i as I sees it. You injected Israel into the conversation, .

I am what I am, an independent minded person. I am able to admit that a broken clock is correct twice a day, once a day if on a 24 hr clock as I am

And while I am a progressive in most things, I will not eat the whole pizza or pie. And I am not an ideological purist either. So know I don't fit just at home with MAGAts anymore than I fit at home with Leftists.

But I do know that I will crawl over broken glass to vote for Biden, just to keep Trump out of office, even if sends 2,000 lb bombs to israel. Those that won't are voting for Trump

How's them bean Yahya.?

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You got one thing correct, you are who you are and your comment{S] here has been a good indication of that.

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And that is your problem not mine, because I don't give a shit what you may or may not think. Your problem, not mine.

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I believe Hitler took full control in 1934.

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Thank you for sharing.

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deletedJun 8
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i agree -- trump himself is rather stupid, but he is the front man for a much larger nazi conspiracy -- but in this book, hitler does not look like a brilliant or politically astute man, either. he rather bumbles along, a petulant toddler, really, screwing up frequently, but LEARNING FROM HIS MISTAKES, unlike the government and other authorities of the time, who refuse to look at what's happening in front of their very eyes.

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"Bad Faith" is a documentary that can be rented from Prime video for one dollar. I recommend it because it shows the history of the Christian National movement since before Reagan that has led to them wanting to destroy democracy. It was an eye opener for me. Hartman recommended it in his report yesterday and called it brilliant. Now I need to find Robert Reich's video on fascism. I learn so much from the substacks and the participants in the comments.

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Trump is really pretty simple to understand. He just wants to be KIng. But the people using him want so much more and they are the scary ones. https://newrepublic.com/article/167499/new-apostolic-reformation-mastriano-christian Feel free to reply and add any new names you come across.

If Trump succeeds in becoming King, the Christian Nationalists (really the New Apostolic Reformation which is actually more than Christian nationalism) will get rid of him at their first convenient opportunity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Apostolic_Reformation.

You know some of these folks already. https://hartmannreport.com/p/america-is-under-assault-by-a-cancerous-ceb (Leonard Leo, https://newrepublic.com/article/167499/new-apostolic-reformation-mastriano-christian

And for those still involved with religion, regardless of faith, there's this:

https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/what-christians-need-to-know-about-the-new-apostolic-reformation.html

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Thank you for sharing.

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"Bad Faith" is free right now on Tubi with no commercials. Everyone needs to watch this documentary.

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Thank you!

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Fortunately the Constitution is very specific about Treason:

"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."

That's it.

What you likely mean is Sedition. "Sedition is inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority to destroy or overthrow it."

But I'm not sure that only the FBI can be the investigating agency....the US has many law authority agencies capable of investigating and arresting although the FBI is primary as it is an arm of the Justice Department.

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Trump is trying to place key people in places of authority to stop any Justice investigation if he gets in office

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Jun 8·edited Jun 8

Yes, but so much more. He wants to essentially nullify the Legislative branch....and the judicial. Within the Executive branch he would be all powerful with the ability to hire and fire with no oversight. In other words, Trump wants to run the US as a business. The model is his business which has no board of directors. Within the Trump Organization Trump is KING. That's the model he will use to remake the US.

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And, of course, the king has control of the treasury

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He reminds me of King George III. And his business model is about as successful .

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Did you know George 3 suffered from a disease that made people think he was "Mad' ?? Not dementia. And he peed purple.

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So what is the definition of war nowadays? It seems that there’s a propaganda war going here. We used to think of war as using deadly weapons.

I suppose it must be declared to be a war.

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deletedJun 8
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From today's WP

https://wapo.st/4e7oSAl

Trump plans to claim sweeping powers to cancel federal spending

Trump really doesn't need Putin. If the voters here elect him in November, much as Napoleon did, Trump will crown himself King

Of course that presents other problems/issues but Trump is pretty easy to read.

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I voted for <Trumpism is more dangerous to America> because his victory would allow Putin & Xi free reign to use their superior supersonic missile technology against Europe, Taiwan, us and the rest of the world. Trump's rabid MAGA supporters will unleash terror on Americans worse than the KKK did. And, Putin's drone-supplying Ayatollah pal, and his minions, will unleash the Armageddon fight Evangelicals want against Bibi & his ultra-orthodox bloc

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What you describe is not improbable, hopefully sanity will prevail…but I would offer these few observations:

* Nature is a self correcting system

* humans are best understood as the latest in a constantly changing hierarchy of predator and prey. We are the current “alpha.” Collectively…

Since we, the human race, seem intent on damaging the essential life systems of Gaia, we should expect a correction which may be one more mass extinction

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Yep, there's no upside to a 2nd Trump presidency......except possibly Christian Nationalists. These folks are already at work preparing to the day after. Once Trump is elected he will swamp the Executive branch with True Believers of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) whose job it will be to convert America to a Christian Nation. You may know some of these people already. Leonard Leo, Mike Flynn, Marsha Blackburn, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Tim Scott....a very long list.

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Az, The problem is that Russia has not been declared an enemy. You can declare an enemy without a war. Witness Al Qaeda, DAESH, ISK.

There is a difference in definition between Treason and Sedition, though they both be inspired by the same actor (source).

Trump committed, commits, Treason for Putin, for transactional reasons.

His followers commit sedition, out of loyalty to Trump, who commits Treason for Putin.

All roads lead to Putin, but the intermediary is Trump. Even though the MAGAt crowd are Putin partisans.

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https://edition.cnn.com/2022/10/11/politics/steele-dossier-fbi-durham-danchenko/index.html

Much of the Trump Putin sniveling started with this lie.

Putins contempt for NATO was due in large part to the 2014 coup that overthrew Ukrainian democracy in favor of a Victoria Nuland appointed turd. The United States military got its ass handed to it in Afghanistan by the Taliban. Both Sargent Billy and the United States are great at starting things they can’t finish.

But if they would admit when they lied or were wrong that would be a good idea.

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.-- . .-.. .-.. ..--..

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Jun 9·edited Jun 9

I expect that Melania is tfg’s day to day handler, and she answers to someone near Putin.

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I agree with you. There could be a blitzkrieg of an insurrection this time, so fast it will make our heads spin.

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That's assuming that he doesn't win. Which, terrifyingly, he might, given those who can't bring themselves to vote Democrat because they "don't like" the present leader or have preferences stronger than the need to keep Trump out. The same people who "didn't like" Hilary Clinton and gave us Trump the first time.

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Yes- if you notice the non committed don’t want to talk politics in casual conversation - I always point out that staying at home and not voting is a vote for Trump - that usually scares them .

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I watched Stephanie Rhule, on the 11th hour last night, I never watched it before, but caught it and it was a round table of average persons, demographcally split by generation, gender and race.

There was the young black guy, made great points, but got hung up on race and white inustice to blacks. His points were valid, but not his conclusion that blacks were justified in sitting out the election. Nobody,not even Stephanie raised the issue, that not voting was in fact a vote for Trump.

Maybe not voting doesn't count in blue and red states, but in swing states and here are only five this election, AZ, NV, MI, PA, WI AZ has 10 electoral Votes, NV 6, MI 15, WI 11, PA 19.

The election is going to be decided in MI, PA, WI, three states that have a Muslim Population in the 100,000's who have threatened to sit out the election, and MI and PA have black populations over 20%, and many also threaten to sit out the election, to give Biden the fingr and punish the Democrats.

But they are only punishing themselves, if Trump wins, then there will be no chance in 2028 to undo the damage that they did, and when the hammer of Thor, wielded by Trump and his white christian nationalists come down on these people, it will be too late to have their regrets.

I am sure there were millions of Germans who regretted voting for Hitler in his referendum. He was not elected as Chancellor but appointed by Bismark, but was confirmed by a referendum.

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Billy, you’re a liar and you deserve to lose. The reason Trump is going to win is because you’re delusional. The 50 lying snakes at the FBI that swore that hunters laptop was a Russian hoax crapped on this country’s credibility. The j6 hearings where no one can say exactly how many agents were in the crowd. Were they instigating the violence. The DOJ has brought no charges against Trump in 3 plus years. Either Garland and Biden have failed to prosecute the most heinous crime in our history (except for that nastiness in Dallas) or they both know if you start peeling that onion, even you will be crying.

The trials have been a sham. The one I have always wanted to see was Georgia and somehow the left crapped their pants on that one. Every goddamn one of them comes up in the election year? Thats the most banana republic thing ever.

You guys can clutch your pearls. It’s going to be painful. But if we get to2028 and don’t live in post apocalypse caves, maybe just for a second ask yourself, In the face of the new Hitler, how did you nominate a genocide loving, geriatric moron like Biden and only a heart beat away is Kamala Harris. I don’t know how you can be so stupid and indignant at the same time.

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Jun 9·edited Jun 9

Not "Bismark", actually Bismarck, but by von Hindenburg.

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REcent report in The NY Times that many new American citizens, former migrants themselves, plan to vote for Trumpty , as they think he will be border tight. They cite folk pouring over the border since Biden's Presidency, only now slowing down. This is so dangerous. Many are from Catholic, conservative social backgrounds, coming to the US and dragging us backwards. What a joy..

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Among those Vicki, is Mayra Flores, herself an illegal immigrant, now a Congress critter for 18th US District, She is about as far right as you can get and she isn't alone. It seems that the worst of the anti immigrant crowd are 1st and 2nd generation immigrants be hey Ms Flores, Nimrata Halley or Vivak Ramaswamy.

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Sally, I don't like or trust the Clinton's but no way could I have voted for Trump.

In fact 2016 is the first time I registered to vote since 1968, just because of Trump. My mind was made up when he came down the escalator and opened his filthy mouth.

Unfortunately I am not voting for. I am voting against and it is not the lesser of two evils. I don't consider Hillary or Biden evil either. I have issues with both, but I have a bigger issue with Trump. I pegged him for what he is, and what harm he will do, the moment he opened his mouth. And I knew nothing about his history in New York., New Jersey or business.

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William, I agree. I was turned off by Trump from his "Apprentice" days; I couldn't watch him for more than five minutes. I like your view of the regular democrats you've named, but I urge you to take a more thorough look at Biden before you dismiss him as the candidate you're only voting for in order to defeat his evil opponent. Biden has done a spectacular job as president, and he also carries an understandable disrespect for public relations, in which he fails at every turn..

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Upon reading all your posts, was wondering if I have an alter ego out there 😉

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deletedJun 8
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Trumpism is indeed fascism. He may be too ignorant to realize that because of his greedy reptilian pea brain. (Sorry to all peas out there).

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And you might consider apologizing to the reptiles, too.

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To a lesser extent, perhaps. Mea culpa, reptiles!

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They're owned too. No one can save America, unless...... Biden can be a dictator first, before the election. Trump can't be allowed to control our military. And like you said, Trump isn't smart enough to pull this off by himself. Some accessories are obvious, but others are devious. I'd say your definition "trumps" Klaire's.

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How long can we let this go on? Come on USA get it together!

It’s such a shame that we can’t enjoy such heartfelt moments which President Biden currently delivers in his speech last week. Without being overshadowed by this felon who appears unstoppable!

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Az: YES! TREASON! I wish more of us would pull that word out of its hiding place!

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It’s called Project 2025 written by the folks at The Heritage Foundation.

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I think I just read that the CEO of that org announced he will be retiring but first they are looking for a replacement. The right wing keeps the young inflow, just like they did with the Supreme Court. The Dems need to be mentoring and preparing more young people. They have not kept up and now we have a very old presidential candidate!

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I recognized trump as a fascist from 2017. But them I am old. In 1939 I was 6 years old when WW2 officially began. I asked my father what fascism meant and he told me. How rich men liked it because it made them more money. And certain types of people were bullied and killed because they were different. During the nearly 6 years of war I learned more and more about fascism. But also about propaganda, the partner of spreading fascism.

IF ONLY, the different systems of government were taught in schools. Children aren't as stupid as adults think they are. By the age of 18 everyone should know: True Democracy only existed in Athens Greece for a very short time 2000 years ago. It only works in very small groups. What we have is a representative democracy. But even representative democracies only work for those who care. It's up to you to vote for the candidate who shares your view of how the country should be governed. Even then, you should stay in contact, if you disagree ask why a certain vote was made

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Unfortunately with social media being owned by the candidate himself spewing lie after lie to the public. - the truth about Trumps fascism isn’t getting out -

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Yes. And we need to be rid of FOX "news". Propaganda machines.

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This is my thinking also. How about a national Civics exam before voting? Certainly before running for office. Yes. Representative Democracies only work for those who care.

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Democracy does not work for donkeys. They do not like the burden, but what can you do about it; all humans are the same---except when a man shows up with a carrot in hand.

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Or before being graduated from high school...

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Yes, Fay ; Democracy requires participation.

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Thank you Laurie.

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Jun 8·edited Jun 8

I read that certain countries require or mandate that citizens vote. Australia, for example. There are fines for not voting!? I'm not sure that would be a panacea. It depends on who the candidates are. Hopefully. There would be good choices.

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Mandating voting is not enough. Putting government education in schools is not enough. People need critical thinking skills. In this red state, the GOP are always putting ballot candy into the election statements for bills. The recent one will be that non-citizens cannot vote. That’s already the law! But they want to put it in so people will be fooled into voting their way.

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Midwest : yes; that is like them telling voters that "We'll allow you to breathe", after supporting a clean air bill.

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Amen, Fay. Complete agreement.

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He’a deranged narcissist.

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Sociopathic narcissist

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Keep in mind that the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is that the former is born, and cannot be healed. The latter is made by circumstances and can be healed.

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I have read that some studies show that the sociopath’s brain is smaller in the frontal lobe. (I’m not a doctor or researcher.). If that is the case, though, it would seem that sociopathy can’t be healed.

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Fascism has been demonstrated and others on this site have described it well. Trump himself is a threat to be sure. But Trump is also a mouth of rhetoric and ignorance. He is led by his ego and quest for power. But he is also limited by his ignorance. I am more concerned about the mealy-mouthed elected officials who follow his path, and those behind him who appear to have both the zeal for power and the intelligence to pursue it. Those who follow in his steps. Trump himself has a limited trajectory. He has unleashed a cadre who will be more devastating to our democracy. We deceive ourselves if we focus too narrowly on Trump himself.

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Bingo.

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trump has teased that one of his children will rule after him. Just like a monarchy.

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Nancy E., thank you for saying all that.

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Jun 8·edited Jun 8

You all hate Trump, so vote Democrat, all of you. Please don't p*** about voting for third parties because you don't like the current Democrat leader. That's how you (and we, the rest of the world) got Trump last time. We don't want him again in his second and far more terrifying incarnation. We don't have a vote. We depend on you to vote Democrat.

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And tell all your kids and grand kids. They may not be paying attention.

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On the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, how depressing the United States of American is contemplating another Hitler as a leader. Whatever happened to our moral compass of life, liberty and freedom? Why did so many men loose their lives on the beaches of Normandy only to have a corrupt Republican Party stand behind a mad-man? Did my father fight in World War II for nothing?

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four feet, your father is what is right with our country! Never doubt that true Americans who value life, liberty and freedom are so very grateful for your father and all of the other military men and women who laid down their lives for the very liberties and freedoms we have today. He did not fight for nothing. Your father, to me, is a true hero!

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There’s a lot of uneducated people in America with degrees

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founding

No, either your father or my father fought for nothing ! They gave us the chance to become THE designated world power with national prosperity and world cooperation for many decades. But now we are down to a few elderly men and women in wheel chairs on a barren windswept field, filled with crosses in France. Hard to compete with Taylor Swift or Beyoncé or even Donald Trump. But we remember, children of the late 1930s and 40s who are still around.

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Joan, G. et al.: I like this vicinity of Reich's chatroom. Most above are speaking my heart. Agree, agree, agree.

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founding

You know he's a fascist at heart because he's started calling Biden a fascist. Projection once again.

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Vote BLUE 💙 or we're screwed 😭 😭

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It’s more dangerous because it is in the heartland of democracy that has been the defender of democracy globally. Trump. Is. A. Loser.

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Geoff - The U.S. was the defender of democracy during World War II. Since then, it has been busy - bipartisan wise - building its own empire, not of territories but of economic and political dominance that empowers U.S. government to 'persuade'/lean on so-called free countries and impinge on their sovereignty. The excuses have varied. Re: Vietnam, it was to save it from the 'yellow hordes from the north' and arresting an inevitable 'domino effect'. More recently, the excuse has been 'regime change'. In fact, U.S. intervention (via the use of the IMF) in Russia under Yeltsin in the 1990s demonstrated that what the U.S. was really about was to destroy economic competitors. This policy was confirmed less than two years ago when the U.S. decided to destroy the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea; that was industrial sabotage against 'friends' and 'allies'; it violated their sovereignty.

However, I agree that Trump is a loser. But he's the logal extension of U.S. post-war policy. He's just more honest about it. He hasn't got the brains to formulate a self-serving national ideology. His is simply self-serving in a crass form.

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There have been cracks and some (quite a few) failures, but if I had to pin my hopes on any democracy it would have been the USA until around 10 years ago. The trickle down theory has failed the vast majority of citizens, but I had thought the democratic institutions strong enough to fix it. I was wrong.

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Geoff - The point I'm making is that a country or city-state can be both democratic and imperial. Gandhi noted that British democracy was a wonderful thing - in Britain - but its empire building had as its aim to maintain enlightened despotism in India. Going back in time, Athens had a democracy of free men, and was one of the world's centres of philosophy and high culture, but engaged in empire building and massacre, also.

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Gunnar, you are Sisyphus, rolling the stone of human nature up a hill.

Empire-Democracy. Empire-autocracy.

The American "Empire" (as you call it) is benevolent, and not oppressive, it is flawed (beyond question or doubt) but it swims in the sea of justice and the rule of law.Laws cobbled together by those who are ruled. At least until the Federalist Society had it's judges appointed to the bench by Trump, and until Trump wins (god forbid) election and the Heritage Foundations Project 2025, and Trumps Project 47, are implemented on Jan 20th 2025, then Katy bar the gates, because all hell is going to be unleashed on the U.S.A, then the world

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William - There is no such thing as 'human nature' - unless you think that Sigmund Freud outlined it in his psychoanalytic theory. Even then, the ways human express 'human nature' are numerous and highly divergent. In itself, 'human nature' has no predictive value.

You claim that the American empire is benevolent. Well, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. Beating Hirohito and Hitler were benevolent goals; helping depose the elected Prime Minister of Fiji in 1987 wasn't - it was a coup d'Etat and a breach of the rule of law. Likewise, the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea two years ago was an act of industrial terrorism - it was a breach of international law.

America's dilemma is not just about Donald Trump. One problem is that U.S. judges are political appointees. I appreciate that there are reasons for this, but we can now see why it might be a disadvantage.

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I am not going to get bogged down in a side bar about Human Nature, needless to say I disagree.

I do not disagree with your other complaints, but again it is wrong to lump them under empire..

Nations act in their own perceived benefit. I myself bitch about Exxon using it's money muscle to isolate Venezuela because it had the temerity to believe that it's oil belonged to Venezuela. Then there are the Banana Wars, the Ovethrow of Mossadegh MI 6 and the CIA), Coca cola funding right wing death squads in Honduras, Dubya invasion of Iraq, his fathers invasion of Panama to arrest a CIA bagman.

I have a longer list than you, but the list is not about empire, that is a wornout Marxist trope. It is all about shareholder value, return on investment, executive salaries and bonuses.

Chase swamp gas if you like I will keep my eye on the target, not illusions like "empire".

I live in the real world of America in 2024, and there are only two choices, a right wing theocratic dictatorship under Trump or a flawed and faulty democratic Republic.

There is no choice.

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And don't forget Chile

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Very well put and understood.

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OK Gunnar, you have painted a picture of the pimples on the ass of the U.S.A., Now what is your solution, and what are the unintended results of your solution. Or do people think that far ahead, content with pointing fingers, calling names and venting their spleen, but nary a solution.

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Fair question, William! - Well, one solution is to take back the power of the masters of the universe and their corporations. One step toward this would be to stop private election campaign contributions and introduce state-subsidised contributions instead. Another would be limit private access to Congress men/women. On a grander scale, maybe there should be a public conversation about the role of the U.S. in the international domain. This would involve a reassessment of the use of international influence. It would include a debate about so-called 'rule-based' versus international international order - see https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law/article/choice-before-us-international-law-or-a-rulesbased-international-order/7BEDE2312FDF9D6225E16988FD18BAF0

All this ought to lead to a conversation about the role of taxation and the role of government. Most of us would say that, as a matter of principle, most of our tax money should benefit us in various way. (Some libertarians would disagree, but then most libertarians are young, able-bodied and inexperienced, or they stand to inherit). These days government regard tax money as 'theirs', not ours. The solution is somewhere in-between, but the conversation must establish the cut-off point. I am mindful of Social Contract theory, and the need to re-visit it - see https://www.worldhistory.org/Social_Contract/

All this would be a good start.

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Deep-seated racism has been and remains a very big stumbling block. You say that there is no such thing as "human nature; do you imply that the human mind is a tabula rasa?

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Victor - Absolutely not! We are born with different levels of intelligence, for a start. We are also born with different emotional reactions - phlegmatism; reactivity of the nervous system (Hans Eysenck), etc. We are even born with different micro-behaviours, inherited from one of our parents.

As for racism: it's learned behaviour - learned from family and wider culture or sub-culture. The most vivid personal example of this was during my brief stay in Darlington in northeast England in 1980. I was attending an informal party of young white and Black English people and was struck by how well they got on. Complete integration. Absolutely no sign of racial tension!

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Yes, racism is learned behavior, a tendency towards tribalism, on the other hand, appears to be innate. So, it seems, is status-seeking.

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I agree with you Gunnar, I really do, but I live in reality, not the world of what if's, wanna be's, my druthers, and the reality is that we have the best government money can be, literally. You don't get elected,much less re elected without serious financial backing, unless you live in a racial cultural enclave . and even then they have to fight it out in the primary, which means money for propaganda, and people are a sucker for propaganda, even in Scandinavia, brand power, they believe in brands, you can sell them anything if it is shown on TV,. It is a people problem, there is little in the way of critical thinking and perception among the general public, few have time, and those that do lack the facility.

To proceed to achieve your goals, you require a majority in the House of Representatives and a 60 votes out of 100 in the Senate. Lot of luck Gunnar.

What do they say about wishes. If they were horses beggars would ride.

Realistically changes like you propose are monumental and drastic, they can only be achieved via deceit, manipulation or surreptitiously. grdually one increment at a time, because the real powers that be, the corporations and billionaires like Musk, Peter Thiel, Jaime Dimon, keep a watchful, very watchful eye on political developments

The only way to achieve your and my goal is by a radical sweep of all elective offices by genuine progressives, and that is a tall,tall order.

Meanwhile I live in the real world, and the real world presents to choices, one between an outright pervert, a rapist, a thief, a grifter, a traitor named Trump and a bumbling, imperfect but well meaning man named Joe Biden.

There are no other choices Gunnar., so who will it be?

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William - I was asked about my solutions, so I listed a few. Of course they are idealistic, and you are free to call them unrealistic if you want. Democracy was idealistic and 'unrealistic', too, once upon a time. Still, it's good to have goals to work towards. Signposts. Reminders.

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What are those solutions? If you listed them I don't see them.

Here is the situation. Only problems have solutions. For some things there are no solutions, human nature, like the need to breed, are only solved through drastic and lasting measures like sterilization and old age. and even then old age is not a solution, and the need to breed is a biological imperative, motivated by a thing called orgasm, which in turn is motivated by hormones.

There are difficulties, difficulties have no solution, attempts to solve a difficulty only exacerbates the situation, makes it worse.

Inequality is not a problem, it is a difficulty, any attempt to solve the problem fails, and only leads to greater problems. The Bolsheviks tried to solve the problem, supposedly, by using drastic measures to eliminate the middle class and dissenters, but they didn't get rid of inequality, they only removed the rungs out of the ladder, the middle class, leaving only the top rung and the bottom rung.

In the USA they tried to solve the problem of inequality via affirmative action, but that only exacerbated the situation as there was a violent and vehement reaction and in their zeal the attempt elevated some personalities who had no business being elevated as they lacked the qualifications and ability to do the job, Clarence Thomas comes to mind.

All you can do with a difficulty is to ameliorate it's affects.

You can't solve a difficulty.

Racism is a difficulty, not a problem, because it has no solution, even if the whole world was brown, there would still be racism, brown eyes vs blue eyes.

The genocide of Tutsi's in Rwanda by Hutu's was a race war,yet both were black, they differed in stature, shape of head and nose.s, Tutsis being described as tall with thin noses and a lofty bearing, as opposed to Hutus, who were short, stocky, and flat-nosed. The Tutsis were sometimes even described as 'false negroes', as Europeans with black skin.

Shall we discuss the middle east, we can't do so without discussing religion.

To start with not all Arabs are Muslim, but 99.99% are, Arab is not a race,it is an ethnic identity based on one's native tongue. Jew is not a race either, it is an identity based on tradition,not a religion.

There are white, yellow, black Arabs, There are Muslim and Jew (Druze) Arabs.

Kurds are not Arab.

There are orthodox Jews, secular Jews, atheist Jews and even Christian Jews (Jews for Jesus), but no Muslim Jews,unless they are converts or descendants of same like Metin Kaplan.

So Jew is an ethnicity not defined by Race or Religion

Arab is not an ethnicity defined by race or religion

Christianity is not an ethnicity defined by race or religion

Hindu is not an ethnicity defined by race or religion

Same with Buddhism, or any other identity.

So we are left with the worlds greatest destabilizers, Religion.

Religion knows no ethnicity, it is trans national, trans ethnic.

An example, there are three Slavic nations in the Balkans, all cousins, all Slavs, but they differ by religion, Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox, actually four

Bosnia Muslim, Kosovo Muslim, Croatia Roman Catholic, Serbia Orthodox all enemies of each other yet all are Slavs. Rome called them Illyrians, Constantine was one.

We now get down to the problem of religion. It is not a problem because their is no solution, unless there is a great awakening and mankind realizes that religion doesn't solve it's problems and provides security, but causes them.

Back to the mid east, the conflict between Muslim and Jew is 1400 years old, it started with Muhammad beheading the entire Jewish tribe of Quaryza in Medina because he wanted their wealth, it is in the Quran.

And became a holy war, in the hadith of al Bukhari, verse (sahih) 129/1296, book 56, hadith 139, where it says "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem) (copy and pasted from the HAMAS covenant)

The day of Judgement is the end times, when the Mehdi/Mahdi will appear and all of the world becomes Muslim. it is , when Allah will decide how people will spend their afterlife. Yawm ad-Din , day of judgement will not come until all the Jews are obliterated.

Therefore there is no chance of peace between Muslim and Jew, thus not a problem that can be solved. On top of which Jews are occupying what Muslims believe to be sacred Islamic soil, especially the Dome of the Rock.

Russian aggression is a problem, however and there is a solution, Putin dies, and the oligarchs which are his power base and henchmen, along with him.

Still it will require a massive overhaul of the Russian mentality, for them subservience to authority, serfdom and slavery is part of their cultural inheritance from Jenghis Khan, through the Tsars, through the Bolsheviks to Putin.

The Russian ethos and legacy is Imperialism, conquest, obliteration of ethnic identities. Well not with Stalin, he incorporated the various ethnicities into the Soviet Union, so long as they served him and his purpose.

Putin is trying to do the same, with the exception of Ukraine, perhaps the Baltic states as well, there is in genocidal mode.

Muslim Chechnya rebelled because they felt that their ethic identity as Muslims was under attack by Orthodox Russia, Putin found a solution to that problem, by recognizing the leadership of the most ruthless Muslim thug as president, now he has a Muslim satrap.

There along discourse.

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Biden ain't bumbling; he just walks like an 81-year-old man with pain in his body. He had only two years when he could get something done, and did he ever get something done!!!! Get with his record and stop complaining about him!

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Sandra B - Well, Biden installed Janet Yellen; in an age of neoliberalism, this was no mean feat but not much commented on here in Britain. In this sense, Biden is well-meaning. However, when it comes to Israel's genocide in the Gaza Strip, he seems to have a blind spot.

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I'm not complaining about him Sandra just being honest in my opinion with a Trump lover, cheese lighten up a bit don't be so defense. I'm 85, had a cancerous tumor removed in my brain, size of a tangerine, 7 years ago, and ten bouts of radiation afterwards, Result I stutter in speech and typing, and my sense of balance is shot.I would fall on my ass if there wasn't furniture and walls to grab.

Lighten up. I will crawl over broken glass to vote for Biden.

Cheese wiz.

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"that has been the defender of democracy globally"

Seems like you have drank that Koolaid they have been feeding us since birth.

But I could not agree more about tRUMP.

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Just because there is a vote does not mean there is a democracy, and there is no democracy in any Islamic country, not with gender apartheid, an official religion, official punishment and death of gays, not with killing of unbelievers., and second class status for Christians and Jews (if you can find any in the countries), Most have no Jews.

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For centuries Jews found safe refuge in Muslim Egypt and Muslim Palestine--then the Christian crusaders came. You probably know that Hitler regarded himself as a Germanic crusader.

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And lets not forget that currently Iran is home to the largest Jewish community in Middle East outside of Israel.

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This is news to me. Can you elaborate? Are they held as hostages (to deter Israel)?

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Well, then perhaps you need to reconsider where you get your News at. Jews have lived in Iran for centuries and they have their own representative in their Parliament. You may also want to google 'Iranian Schindler' to learn who Iran saved Jews during WWII.

Of course, none of these will be beneficial to the Zionist/AIPAC propaganda.

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No disagreement with this view regarding the Islamic countries, of which just about nearly all their dictators are in power courtesy of the USA.

But as you put it, they don't pretend to be a democracy unlike the Zionist Israel which arguably has murdered far more than all those dictators combined.

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Mehrdad - Re: your second paragraph: Yes, with the possible exception of Suharto of Indonesia - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suharto

It's well to remember that Suharto had the full support of the U.S. president at the time.

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Good point, Gunnar, but keep in mind that this was before the downfall of Communism.

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Victor - Suharto presided over the mass killings of non-Communists, as well as Communists: ethnic Chinese, irreligious people and trade unionists, for example. Also, many people took the opportunity to murder neighbours they disliked for non-poltical reasons. The real figure, according to people who visited Indonesia at the time, may have been 2-2-1/2 million.

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Oh how wrong you are. Zionists' haven't murdered more people than all Islamic dictators combined. Just the body count of people beheaded after Frida prayers in front of mosques exceeds the body count of people killed in combat by the IDF, then you have to talk about the ongoing massacres in Iran by the Ayatollahs and Republican Guard, or Saddam, how about DAESH,ISK, Hezbollah, the list goes on.

What is your problem with the Jews having their own state". There is one Jewish ethnostate in the UN and 57 Muslim ethnostates.? 193 states in the UN, the Jews are really underrepresented, I would say that they sit alone in a hostile environmen, literally and fighting for their lives.

There would not be the present trouble had not the Arabs attempted a genocide of the Jews on Nov 1948, again in 1956, again in 1967, again in 1993, and like the insane people they are, they haven't learned a lesson and keep coming back again and again, and promising to do so forever until the land is Judein Frei, as Yaha Sinwar said, they are a nation of martyrs, well not him, but the idiots he get to die for him.

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We know that at least 37000 have been murdered just in last 8 months by the IOF.

So, if you want to put the records of the Zionist OCCUPIERS against all Islamic dictators, be my guest, you might as well add the Nazi record so your team look even better.

I am not defending those dictators which are in place because of the US backing, I am condemning those dictators AND the genocidal Zionist all together.

With that I have nothing else to say to you as you are obviously OK with genocide.

Free Palestine from the River to the Sea and Free USA from the Atlantic to the Pacific from the Zionist/AIPAC cancer.

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Killed as collateral damage, we killed more French our allies in WWII, 20,000 alone in the invasion of Normandy.

Quite different than the brutal up front and personal Rape and murder of women, infants, toddlers, elderly and disabled by the terrorists of Islamic Jihad and HAMAS, wouldn't you say.

And while at, how about complaining about the full on genocide of Ukrainians by Putin. Ah but that doesn't bother you, only Arab deaths county.

What is happening in Gaza is not Genocide, Genocide is the intentiona obliteration of a people or group, accoding to the UN Convention on prevention of Genocide, there is no such intention on the part of Israel, at least not published, However Israel has a right to defend itself against people who seek to genocide the state, yes Israel has been threatened with genocide since 1948, HAMAS has it in their covenant, Islam has it in their sacred text, Muhammad started it when he beheaded the entire Jewish tribe (60 ,six at a time in the Market Place of Medina, which is a sacred Islamic city.

While there is a real genocide going on in Ukraine people like you are silent.

Hypocrite.

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founding

We can study the history of fascism in Europe. We can see the evil and destruction. Trump on the other hand was just getting started during his first and only term as president. We can only imagine how it would have developed had he gained a second term. What we have learned from this experience is that a great number of people in and around our government at the time were really bad actors who came out of the closet when they saw the opportunity. In my opinion Trump himself is not capable of following a plan or of any consistent behaviour. He does provide an enviornmeent that allows evil to thrive. He is a loathsome and dangerous narcissist. But I doubt he could even provide a definition of Fascism.

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Trump doesn’t need to know what fascism means - he’s has plenty of very evil People behind him guiding and instructing him just like Hitler did.

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Starting with the two Stephens: Bannon and Miller.

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Trump would not have to define fascism because he’s everybody’s favorite useful idiot.

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Rob - You write, “Trump on the other hand was just getting started during his first and only term as president”.

Not sure what you are referring to. He didn’t start any new wars. He broke the self-imposed U.S. embargo on talking to North Korea. He broke new ground. He didn’t get very far, but then we don’t know what happened behind the scenes. Trump was up against a Washington Consensus that predated his administration by decades - a consensus that enjoyed blaming North Korea for being ‘isolated’ and ‘insular’ when in fact it was the U.S. that had isolated and embargoed it.

Yes, Trump tried to push the envelope against the Consitution, but never got very far. My impression as a non-American is that the Consitution and its defenders were robust. Yes, I am aware that Trump threatens to bend the Consitution if he is granted a second term. I don’t see how he will be able to do any of this. Please enlighten me. I would suggest that there is a lot of moral panic behind your sentence, in response to Trump’s empty appeals to his supporters and undecided voters. Unlike Hitler, he will have no military force to back his ambitions.

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founding

Gunnar, I am not sure how to enlighten you. You have equal access to the same information I do. (I live in London). You seem to have come to a different conclusion. You are free to do that in a democracy and you can freely communicate you opinions. I don't think that would be the case in a fascist state. And that is where Trump would take the USA.

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Rob, I'm with you.

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Rob - Yes, Trump might do that - if allowed to do it. But American checks and balances appear to be robust because they are defended by so many at all levels of society and government. Trump needs careful supervision; he needs people and institutions to say 'No!' The U.S. has one big advantage over Britain: a written constitution. Even so, when Boris Johnson tried to prorogue Parliament, he found himself confronted by our legal system and was put back in his box. As long as people and institutions are prepared to stand up and say, "No!" there is little danger of a coup d'Etat either in Britain or the U.S.

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I think you are naive Gunnar, making friends with Kim Jong Un will only lead to him invading South Korea. All he wants is permission. As I see it your opinion is that assent to aggressors is a virtue, and defense is a vice. Peace at any price. Is that correct. I don't know how else to take your comments Gunnar.

You come off as being the defender of autocratic aggressor nations and leaders. Correct me if I am wrong.

If America is neo imperialist, then it is benign compared to Russia and China. How about the Imperialism of small states, like the imperialism of Serbia. Or the imperialism of Islam. A religion can be and is imperialist. Christianity and Islam are imperialists, or haven't you thought of that.

My bitch with US neo Imperialism is that it is in service to international corporations and financial instiutions, not for the welfare and safety of America. It showed it head in Venezuela when Chavez had the temerity to actually think that Venezuelan oil belonged to Venezuela and not Exxon Mobil, who then mobilized it's power and used the USA, the State Department and the CIA to overthrow Chavez and his government and drive Venezuela into the arms of Iran and Russia. Just like they did with Fidel Castro.

There is a problem in America, not with Americans per se, but with the millionaires, billionaires and corporations that have accumulated so much money, that they have the power to influence policy not only to protect their wealth but to acquire more.

Yet with all of those defects and problems, there are still 100,000 or more people from all over the world lining up to get into the USA.

Meanwhile Norway, Denmark and Sweden are dealing with a problem, that was stopped at Poitiers by Charles Martelin 732 and at the gates of Vienna by John III Sobieski in 1683 an undemocratic, homophobic, gender apartheid, triumphalist and excursionist ideology that if successful will wipe out what remains of freedom, democracy and equality.

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Thank you for your long and thoughtful response, William.

You write, "As I see it your opinion is that assent to aggressors is a virtue, and defense is a vice. Peace at any price. Is that correct". - On the whole, this is incorrect. A couple of years before I was born, my country-of-origin was invaded and occupied by the Nazi war machine. I wouldn't like to see this happen again, either to Norway or any other country in the world. The fact that you seem to think so, simply demonstrates your under-estimation of my political philosophy.

Having said this, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, John Kennedy said, "I'd rather my children be red than dead" [quote from "Once upon a Secret: My Affair with John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath", by Mimi Alford, p. 94]. - This, too, is part of my political philosophy.

You mention "the imperialism of Islam". - That's an interesting comment from a person who is American (I presume) - a citizen of the country that has meddled in the Middle East for decades. There is an informal dictum in life (and in politics) that every action gives rise to a reaction. I'm not defending the "imperialism of Islam" but then maybe the U.S. and some of its allies need to reassess its role in the Middle East? I should remind you that back in the day Islam in Spain was enlightened, and that it was the Catholic Church that began introducing anti-semitic rules and regulations. This was probably one reason that Baruch Spinoza's parents decided to leave Spain and settle in Holland.

I absolutely agree with your three paragraphs that start with "My bitch with US neo Imperialism ...". In particular, I agree that the problem is not with Americans per se; it is the politico-financial system that is the problem, and the source of many international problems.

You correctly identify "truimphalist ideology" as a problem. When the Soviet Union was dissolved, the West believed THEY caused it. They didn't - it was the idealist Gorbachev who done it! Furthermore, Gorbachev outlined a plan to transform Europe into a peaceful place. However, the West read Fukuyama's triumphalist and contageous book, "The End of History and the Last Man" (1992), and in our triumph we advanced NATO to borders of Russia. Today, in Ukraine, we reap the consequences. Every action provokes a reaction. Like Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vladimir Putin has been thrown into crisis mode. But whereas Kennedy and Khrushchev were willing to negotiate, the West has refused Putin's repeated pre-invasion invitations to negotiate. That's an important difference.

Nothing I have said is to be construed as a defence of Putin's repressive domestic policies. However, it is as well to remember that when Putin first came to power, he was keen to see Russia become an integral part of Europe - he even suggested Russian membership of the EU. NATO and the EU were confused and uncertain, but it didn't take long for them to recover its Cold War bias and ignore Putin's invitations - as it had ignored Gorbachev's conciliatory invitations 10 years earlier. Could it be, then, that it was the West that erred - that we had made NATO a fetish, a goal in its own right, rather than an instrument whose life-span should have been permitted to ebb away?

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founding

Gunnar and William, When I wrote my short comment on DJT and fascism, I had no idea it would evolve into a full-blown debate. I stick by my original points. Gunner, nothing you have said has changed my mind. I assume you feel the same way. I lean towards William’s argument and wonder what the West should have negotiated with Putin about Gunner. Putin seemed to be saying, “Give me the rest of Ukraine (The part I didn’t take when I invaded in 2014. or I will invade you again.” That seems to be a difficult starting point for a negotiation.

I don't know what to do now. I stated my point of view in response to Robert’s invitation to comment. I have no interest in winning an argument, so it is unlikely we will meet again on this subject. If I am tempted to comment on another subject, I will be on the lookout for your difference of opinion. Life would be so boring if we all agreed on everything.

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Rob - You may be reluctant to comment further on this subject, and you may be correct in saying we are too far apart politically to reach a consensus. But I think it's worth a try!

As I understand recent Ukrainian history, in late February 2014, there was a coup d'Etat in Kiev, and a new government had itself installed. The coup didn't arise from the peaceful 'colour revolution' of late-2013-January 2014, but came about when masked men dressed in black highjacked the peaceful demonstration and fought and killed police officers in their dozens. Eventually, these masked men prevailed, and a hyper-nationalist dominated government was formed. When counter-demonstrations errupted in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, instead of sending negotiators, the new government sent the Ukrainian army eastward to crush the protesters. As fighting began, Putin decided that the new government in Kiev might send air borne troops to Crimea to oust the Russian navy which was renting the premisses. To avoid this possibility, Putin's special forces took control of Crimea and a plebicite and annexation followed. About two months later, as the armed defenders of the Donbass began to lose ground to the Ukrainian army, Putin secretly intervened militarily; this was in April, I think, as far as we know.

So, the conflict in Ukraine began as a civil war and with the Russian annexation of Crimea. And yes, Putin installed a new military leadership in the Donbass and ensured that the 'rebels' held the front line against the Ukrainian army.

Putin had nurtured another concern - a broader strategic one - namely the presence of NATO on Russia's borders. He suggested negotiations; the West simply didn't react. And this eventually led to Putin's invasion of Ukraine. We blame him; he probably felt that in order to protect Russia's southern flank, he had no real choice - just as Kennedy felt he had no choice at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

That's really all I have to say about it. Each one of us can decide whether (1) NATO should have responded to Putin's invitations to talk; and/or whether (2) Putin acted responsibly or whether the invasion was an excuse to confront the West on his own ground. Our judgement involves the question whether there is such a thing as 'territories of interest', or not. I think it is fair to say that NATO's intransigence played a role in Putin's decision to invade. This doesn't let him off the moral hook.

As for Putin's motives as they developed following 2014, I can't be sure; I can only guess. He had been accused of arranging the destruction of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014. No evidence supports this. Worse, no logic supports it, either. Putin lacked a motive, but no-one in NATO cared to ask "Cui bono?" (Who benefits?) - Why would Putin destroy a passenger plane which he he would immediately be blamed for - and for which NATO might use as a reason to directly involve itself in the conflict in Ukraine? This would be the last thing Putin would want to risk; he has always been afraid of NATO.

Who destroyed flight MH17? To ask this question is to ask, "Who had a motive?" If Putin didn't have it, who else? I think a faction within the Ukrainian government had a motive: to bring NATO into the conflict with the Donbass population. That's all I can say. I don't expect you to accept it. I'm not even sure that I firmly believe it. But ... cui bono?

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founding

Gratias Autem Habeo nullum responsum

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In many ways, neither was Hitler. He couldn't be bothered with the minutiae of day to day governance, and that is where so many of his 'henchmen' came into the picture.

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Jun 8·edited Jun 8

Trump should be fined and sentenced to a jail term for his felony conviction.

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No discussion of Trumpism or fascism would be complete without an explanation of the enablers who form the inner circle of the cult and those who become the followers. We need to understand what kinds of personalities gravitate to authoritarian rulers and what socio-economic or cultural dynamics would leave them vulnerable to the con-men who prey on their vulnerability.

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Yes. And once understood what can we do about them? It is said to be a cult mentality. How do we re-educate them? Persuade them to change their minds? Propaganda?

I think FOX "news" should go. Ignorance breeds ignorance. It is as if they take delight in our misery. Schadenfreude.

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Madeline, I wish my "like" button would work. It seems to be turned off. You and others today are right to raise our awareness of the followers.

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Robert Reich - You persist in drawing a parallel between Trumpism and (neo) fascism. That's fine with me. But I'm puzzled. You write well on America's economic system and the dominance of your American 'masters of the universe' and robber barons. My label for it is neoliberalism, whilst most Americans refer to the system as Reaganomics and Globalisation. Globalisation includes the use of so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor%E2%80%93state_dispute_settlement - within all recent international trade agreements. Britain seems to have embraced the system, also - see https://www.fieldfisher.com/en/insights/the-uk-and-isds-latest-developments

This system - neoliberalism - is just as (neo) fascist as Trumpism. The awful thing is that since Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party has adopted a 'soft' version of neoliberalism.

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Gunnar You are absolutely correct. But trump derangement syndrome requires calling Trump a fascist. As you know, and anyone who doesn’t let msm dictate thought, actual fascism is merely the corporate takeover of government. Whether we pretend it’s still a democracy I will defer to you or others. But as you point out, Clinton and in my opinion Reagan started this process. To blame one party more than the other is part of the brew. Get the very stupid arguing about abortion guns pronouns fascism and corporate greed will launder money from the middle to the top. All the concentration camps, and genocide are merely an extension of the distraction.

Meanwhile Israel is in full 1939 mode.

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So says the AI bot.

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Billy! Am I a bot? Or are you a bloviating turd. Remember when Clinton paid for the Steele dossier? The feds knew it was a lie in 2017 but let jag offs like you accuse a sitting president of collusion with Russia. Eight years later you still lie about it but also can’t understand why Trump gains in popularity every day. Good grief you’re not too bright.

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Chuck, keep it kind.

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.-- . .-.. .-.. ..--.. And yes a bot, you exposed yourself.

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William - You write, "So says the AI bot".

This is the sort of reply that a person sends when he is bereft of any intelligent answer. It's a sign of intellectual short-circuit. It suggests that Chuck is absolutely correct and you're lost for words.

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Guunar. I have spent some time evaluating your arguments

Here is what I have deciphered.

Empire bad

USA is Empire

Russia victim defending itself from Empire

USA bad, Russia good.

All the rest, all of the other arguments and claims are superfluous and a distraction.

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All you've managed to do is to simplify in ways that simple minds do. You've managed to extrapolate beyond the data given. I will try once more. Never let it be said that I'm not patient with you!

Nowhere have I said that Empire is totally bad, and nowhere have I said that "Russia is good". Nor have I ever meant to imply it. I've simply stated that the U.S. is building an empire and this entails being able to lean heavily on other nation states by economic and trade means and 'persuade' them to agree to things that other governments regret feeling compelled to do. I don't think this is good either for the other countries or for America's international reputation. So, the Vietnam War wasn't good for your country's reputation, nor was the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline good for you country's international reputation, especially not among your NATO allies.

Yes, Russia is one of the victims. That doesn't make Russia good. But it doesn't make Russia nearly as bad as the U.S. mainstream media propaganda tell you it is.

Palestine is another victim. Most of the international community are desperately trying to persuade the U.S. government under Joe Biden that supporting genocidal war by proxy is a bad idea. The international community is trying to rescue the U.S. power elite from itself. But we are not an empire; we don't have the clout to persuade the Biden administration to desist. And if Donald Trump wins in November, we won't have the clout to persuade him, either. It is what it is. It would be great if there were an Empire able to persuade the U.S. government - that would be a good empire, William.

With you, I'm up against it! You even deny that the U.S. (and Norway) was behind the destruction of Nord Stream. If you face facts with pollyannish denial, what can I do? What can anyone do? Ignorance is pure bliss.

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What you have said, leads solidly to the conclusions I have drawn from your own statements. One doesn't have to say a thing directly

As regards Trump, it is obvious and known that he is Putin's puppet, from his efforts to get Vlad to approve a Trump hotel in Moscow, to asking him to provide Hillary's emails, to his private conference in Helsinki, where they evicted and forbade journalists and all translators save Putin's from the room.

Trump doesn't require persuading when it comes to Putin and other dictators, he is part of their club.

I do not amend or repudiate my assessments of your position, they are a reduction of your many, many words.

Russia is a victim, that alone gives you away. A genocidal aggressor is a victim, What he did to Chechnya to install his satrap is what he is doing to Ukraine and you call him a victim.

You expose yourself.

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Isn't all this just a matter of where the $$ come from? Republicans traditionally get theirs from business/wall Street etc.. while Democrats sought theirs more from the workers. Clinton just said hell, we can do that and began imitating Repubs by talking to Wall Street. Its been a mess ever since.

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Terry - No, neoliberalism goes beyond money and flirting with autocracy; it seeks the complete dominance of government that aims to structure society in the interest of money - and to infuse this ideology at the grassroots.

The most thorough analysis on this topic is "The New Way of the World: On Neliberal Society", by Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, especially chapter 9: "Manufacturing the neoliberal subject" (pp. 255-299). It is a good book, well translated from the French, but written almost like a text book. I'd definitely recommend it; however, if you'd prefer something easier to read, I'd suggest "The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competetion", by William Davies. Or "The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy", by Noreena Hertz. Or "The Austerity State", edited by Stephen MacBride and Bryan Evans. There is also a book by Edward Luce called "The Retreat of Western Liberalism". This is in many ways an excellent book but Luce doesn't name neoliberalism as the culprit - except once, on p. 196!

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The logic of competition: it is efficiency vs. human rights. As Prof. Reich points out, the key issue is who benefits and by what means.

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Your wrong Terry, neo liberalism is taking government out of business. Putting government in Business is the classic definition of fascism. That is what Mussolini meant and did when he coined the term. His Chamber of Deputies was comprised of CEO's and Representatives from Italian corporations.

Lenin even said of the Soviet Union, it is State Capitalism, it was a combine of seven trusts organized along resource lines.

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Thanks for the references. Neo liberalism is a political philosophy, am I correct?

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Neo-liberalism is a power philosophy created in 1938 (Lippmann, Hayak, Mises, later Friedman, etc) that saw politics as a vehicle to assure free-markets AND influence social issues. So, it's both political and economic -- but economic at its core.

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Free markets, John, by neo liberal definition, are those devoid of government regulations, so it's use of politics is to rid the market of government regulations, that is why a major cause of Republicans is to dismantle the administrative state.

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Correct. But to "rid the market of government regulation" you must have CONTROL of government policy, as the 1938 Lippman meeting concluded. Hence, neo-liberals use control of politics as a vehicle to establish de-regulated policies. Neo-liberals successfully lobbied Jimmy Carter (and Congress) to dramatically reduce Cap Gains tax rates in the late 1970s. This was followed by Reagan-Thatcher going "all-in" on neo-liberal policies in the 1980s, which dramatically reduced govt regulation while also reducing net tax rates on ultra-high incomes. Since 1980, these neo-liberal policies have redistributed HALF of middle-class wealth into the top 10%, and mostly the top 1%, and mostly again into the top 0.1%. At current rate of wealth redistribution, by 2050 the U.S. will become a kind of serfdom, with over 50% of national wealth held by the top 2% families and trusts.

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How does it compare to monarchism?

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Terry - I'm not an expert on monarchism. I'd say that absolute monarchism allows for the active interference and regulation by the monarch in his country's economic affairs, whereas a constitutional monarch is supposed to sit back and allow the elected government get on with it.

However, there are hybrid 'systems'. You may be aware that Prince Charles of Britain often wrote letters to Ministers of the Crown, making suggestions, even urging them to take certain steps. We also know that his mother effected a considerable number of changes in various laws - changes that benefitted the Queen and her family. - See for example https://theconversation.com/the-queens-gambit-new-evidence-shows-how-her-majesty-wields-influence-on-legislation-154818 and https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/culture/a36608416/queen-law-exemptions/

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Biden has renounced "neoliberalism," because it is incompatible with democracy. What replaces it must be of concern to us, because it can easily slide into crony capitalism and oligarchy.

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Gunnar: To help educate you The 14 Characteristics of Fascism. Tick them off, they are all Trumpism. chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.bremertonschools.org/cms/lib/WA01001541/Centricity/Domain/222/Fourteen%20Defining%20Characteristics%20of%20Fascism%20slides.pdf

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Are you sure you know what neo Liberalism is:?

Neoliberalism is a policy model that encompasses both politics and economics. It favors private enterprise and seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the government to the private sector. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/neoliberalism.asp

That means no government control, no regulations, Reagan ism on steroids. R R in his many writings preaches against neo Liberalism.

Define, please, A SOFT VERSION of NEOLIBERALISM.

Thank you

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Same thing. The hallmarks of fascism are highly centralized authority, rigid social and economic regimentation, and ruthless suppression of dissent. Look familiar? The American business oligarchs who are backing Trump are mirror images of the German businessmen who supported Hitler.

I'm amazed that all the disaffected people who are ready to vote for Trump can't figure out who's been screwing them for the last 40+ years. It isn't black, brown, Asian, gay, or LGTBQ people. It's the fascist super-rich.

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I am English and I live in France, and I cannot help remembering the French Revolution when the poor executed the King and the rich landowners who kept all the wealth and let the poor suffer. The billionaires are the modern super rich who are likely to be turned on if Law and Order is overturned by the Fascists who are behind Trump.

Worst of all is the owner of X who can spread lies freely - stop looking at X.

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It's the indifference to their suffering that can make the poor rise up and revolt against the economic elites in any generation.

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That's how it looks to me as well, Gerry. It's interesting to me that the Koch brothers, by accounts that I've read, were raised by a Hitler loving nanny. Their parents wanted them to have "a strict upbringing." to my mind that translates as, no tenderness for those babies or little boys. They turned out to be emotionally ruthless even in relationship to members of their own family.

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