The post is one that was featured in my Reader section of WordPress.
The article apparently was a response/feedback to this article
… if you actually want to achieve a different outcome then it is necessary to acknowledge this aspect of human nature and work with it, rather than against it. And in the case of Donald Trump, this will necessarily involve America’s elites actually having to to atone for their manifold failures, which are responsible for giving us President Trump in the first place.
If Trump won the election by Trump-Russia collusion-interference central to obstruction of justice and etc that is utilized to paralyze DC central to the top-down or otherwise ‘democracy’ interpretation of ‘disability to execute the duties of the Presidency’ to evoke the 25th Amendment cupped with Trump’s campaign centrally taking a contrarian position of the path trend to argue changing direction of the path trend under ‘mental illness-defect aka feeble-minded’ also under the 25th Amendment to either impeach or remove Trump making Vice President Pence President, they have absolutely no reason to reform, overhaul, or otherwise reevaluate their conclusions.
I broadly agree with Andrew Sullivan’s assessment of Donald Trump’s presidency thus far (i.e. that it has been a disaster characterised by one self-inflicted crisis after another), while Sullivan’s account of the last week also paints an accurate portrait of a man completely out of his depth…
Sullivan then goes on to ponder why it is that Trump’s devoted base shows no real sign of re-evaluating or revoking their support for the president, and comes up with an interesting analogy…
Take a closer look at Sullivan’s central argument, it states that it is Trump supporters who need to reexamine their processes and conclusions rather than ‘the political class and their surrounding professional experts’.
Lets look at Sullivan’s writings:
…That’s why the GOP leadership, even as their agenda evaporates, are leery of taking Trump on. His hold on their own voters is tighter than theirs is.
… That’s why I have a hard time figuring out how this ends, even though it must end. Even if the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s investigation hits some pay dirt, I can see Trump surviving if he cannot be proven to be directly implicated.
… In some ways, I think the best analogy for Trump is O.J. Simpson. Even if we all know he’s guilty as sin, even if his own supporters see the flimflam behind the claptrap, even if the evidence is staring us in the face, he’ll never lose his core support.
(Bold emphasis mine)
As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic…
…As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. There is no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.
… And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment.
… Part of American democracy’s stability is owed to the fact that the Founding Fathers had read their Plato. To guard our democracy from the tyranny of the majority and the passions of the mob, they constructed large, hefty barriers between the popular will and the exercise of power. Voting rights were tightly circumscribed. The president and vice-president were not to be popularly elected but selected by an Electoral College, whose representatives were selected by the various states, often through state legislatures.
… In Eric Hoffer’s classic 1951 tract, The True Believer, he sketches the dynamics of a genuine mass movement. He was thinking of the upheavals in Europe in the first half of the century, but the book remains sobering, especially now. Hoffer’s core insight was to locate the source of all truly mass movements in a collective sense of acute frustration. Not despair, or revolt, or resignation — but frustration simmering with rage. Mass movements, he notes (as did Tocqueville centuries before him), rarely arise when oppression or misery is at its worst (say, 2009); they tend to appear when the worst is behind us but the future seems not so much better (say, 2016). It is when a recovery finally gathers speed and some improvement is tangible but not yet widespread that the anger begins to rise. After the suffering of recession or unemployment, and despite hard work with stagnant or dwindling pay, the future stretches ahead with relief just out of reach. When those who helped create the last recession face no consequences but renewed fabulous wealth, the anger reaches a crescendo.
“It is usually those whose poverty is relatively recent, the ‘new poor,’ who throb with the ferment of frustration,” Hoffer argues…
But the most powerful engine for such a movement — the thing that gets it off the ground, shapes and solidifies and entrenches it — is always the evocation of hatred. It is, as Hoffer put it, “the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying elements.”…
(Bold emphasis mine except ‘In Eric Hoffer’s’)
This article is a response to the above, but my focus is Sullivan’s response at the bottom.
Instead, in my own subjective way, I attempted to construct a narrative that showed remarkable echoes of Plato’s theoretical themes in our own predicament, especially his acute understanding of democracy as an interplay of psychology and culture.
… In fact, we have a massive debt built, since the 1980s, on the premise that popular entitlements, popular tax cuts, and initially popular wars can be extended beyond any fiscal reason. To see the trees of corporate influence rather than the forest of democratic demands seems to me to be a diversion from the core problem we currently face.
…Reactionism is not the same thing as conservatism. It’s far more potent a brew. Reactionary thought begins, usually, with acute despair at the present moment and a memory of a previous golden age. It then posits a moment in the past when everything went to hell and proposes to turn things back to what they once were. It is not simply a conservative preference for things as they are, with a few nudges back, but a passionate loathing of the status quo and a desire to return to the past in one emotionally cathartic revolt. If conservatives are pessimistic, reactionaries are apocalyptic. If conservatives value elites, reactionaries seethe with contempt for them. If conservatives believe in institutions, reactionaries want to blow them up. If conservatives tend to resist too radical a change, reactionaries want a revolution…
What are this generation’s reactionaries reacting to? They’re reacting, as they have always done, to modernity…
… It is also one thing to be vigilant about the power of the administrative state and to attempt to reform and modernize it; it is quite another to favor its abolition. The more complex modern society has become, the more expertise is needed to govern it — and where else is that expertise going to come from if not a professional elite?
… Reaction can be clarifying if it helps us better understand the huge challenges we now face. But reaction by itself cannot help us manage the world we live in today — which is the only place that matters. You start with where you are, not where you were or where you want to be.
… Our job, like everyone before us, is to keep our nerve and make the best of it.
First, Sullivan’s central argument looks like the perverted interpretation that Monarchies of Plato’s time sent Plato fleeing for his life when he refused to rubber stamp the Monarch as a ‘philosopher king’ referenced in Plato’s Republic. It reminds me of the old adage that may also be a proverb ‘intellectuals are ideal for solving intellectual problems but not solving real life problems’.
Second, Sullivan focuses on the worst aspects of groups that support Trump. I’m ultimately amazed that Sullivan didn’t add Spencer’s outfit or its seeming subsidiary of the Daily Stormer to particularly double-down on the racism, xenophobia, sexist, and etc central to referencing Hoffer’s piece. Every movement has such opportunists.
Third, Classes are impacted by economic policies regardless of the demographics of that class.
Fourth, nowhere is Responsibility to Protect and its mandate support provided is provided to the established government unless an alternative established government is created such as North-South Korea and Vietnam making supporting against the established government particularly under false pretenses or acquiring a UN Resolution under false pretenses a war-crime and/or premeditated war-crime. The irony is that they could impeach Trump in his Syrian strikes particularly given the false pretenses, but I doubt it under the basis to do so also places DNC and RNC leadership under the chopping block particularly by international law as a Presidential Pardon W. Bush acquired by Obama’s Presidency for crimes committed in the pursuit of the war on terror is rendered null and void. HW Bush, W. Bush, B Clinton, and Obama have also violated RTP, and this doesn’t even take into account McCain, Graham, Kerry, H Clinton, and etc’s role in violating RTP.
Lets take it even a step further:
1). Agricultural-Consumerist-Service economies are an economic model that dates to 1492 and prior. The economic model’s very nature is a capital exchange economy predominantly towards the top that is dependent on governmental fiefdoms, public-private partnerships, and public-private mergers and the historical foundations of Oligarchy, Kleptocracy, and Plutocracy who through extended rule becomes an Aristocracy.
2). Agricultural-Consumerist-Service economies are not dependent on prioritizing capital structure, and they are adamantly opposed to tariffs that require a large working or impoverished caste or otherwise indentured servitude or slavery or otherwise human capital and resources.
3). Neglecting Capital Structure leads to scarce capital creation pricing most out of capital accumulation markets by sheer supply-demand.
You might say that Plato’s focus on philosopher kings who are centrally opposed to absolutes as arguing from a position of authority was Plato’s concern of the historical transition towards ‘Aristocracy’.
Here’s a website to a think-tank that at the very least examines some of the issues surrounding the 2016 election cycle.
I’ve taken the liberty of providing the ‘under-performing regions’ image with the 2016 election based on counties.
‘The more things change the more they stay the same’ comes to mind…