#politics Feed

No, the Trump administration is not very competent at achieving its stated goals. But that does not mean that the Trump administration is not doing enormous harm under the radar by simply being its chaos-monkey essence. The smart David Leonhart tries to advise people how to deal with this: David Leonhardt: Trump Tries to Destroy the West: "[Trump's] behavior requires a response that’s as serious as the threat...

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Tyrannies: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

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The twentieth century’s tyrannies were more brutal and more barbaric than those of any previous age. And—astonishingly—they had much of their origins in economic discontents and economic ideologies. People killed each other in large numbers over, largely, questions of how the economy should be organized. Such questions had not been a major source of massacre in previous centuries.

Twentieth-Century governments and their soldiers have killed perhaps forty million people in war: either soldiers (most of them unlucky enough to have been drafted into the mass armies of the twentieth century) or civilians killed in the course of what could be called military operations.

But wars have caused only about a fifth of this century’s violent death toll.

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There are two ways this could go—extending "whiteness" or permanent Republican minority status. In the past, "whiteness" has always been expanded so that it includes a vast majority of the American population—and so now we have people named Mark Krikorian denouncing the threat of a Hispanic wave that will pollute America: Kevin Drum: White Party, Brown Party: "I don’t think that our political system will literally become the White Party vs. the Brown Party, but it’s already closer to this than any of us would like to admit. What’s worse, it’s all but impossible to imagine how Republicans can turn things around in their party. They’re keenly aware of the need to address their demographic challenges, but the short-term pain of reaching out to non-whites is simply too great for them to ever take the plunge. Democrats aren’t in quite such a tough spot, but their issues with the white working class are pretty well known, and don’t look likely to turn around anytime soon either.

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The Circa-1870 Disjunction Between Production and Distribution: A Possible Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

Il Quarto Stato

Do I have space for this in the ms.? Or do I need to go into kill-my-darlings mode?


3.1: The ca.-1870 Disjunction Between Production and Distribution

In the world as it stood in 1870 there was seen to be a huge disjunction between the growing effective economic power of the human race and the proper distribution of this potential wealth to create a prosperous and happy society. That science, technology, and organization could wreak miracles had become commonplaces. Best friends Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels probably put it best in 1848:

The business class, during… scarce 100 years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to [hu]man[ity], machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?…

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This is as true now as it was half a century ago when Galbraith first began saying it: John Kenneth Galbraith (1963): Wealth and Poverty: "The modern conservative... not even especially modern... is engaged... in one of man’s oldest, best financed, most applauded, and, on the whole, least successful exercises in moral philosophy. That is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness...

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The Dire Poverty of the Globe in 1870: An Outtake from "Slouching Towards Utopia?: An Economic History of the Long 20th Century"

I see no way to justify including this in the ms. But should any of it go in? Or does it just belong in some other intellectual project?


The Dire Absolute Poverty of the Globe in 1870

J. Bradford DeLong

U.C. Berkeley, NBER, and WCEG

7,137 words https://www.icloud.com/pages/0-ZwSIf-ES3dfIBtF_dW_DBmQ

 

John Ball (1381):

When Adam delved and Eve span,/
Who was then the gentleman?

From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free.

And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty…

You need to understand three things to grasp the state of the world economy in 1870: that the drive to make love is one of the very strongest of all human drives, that living standards were what we would regard as very low for the bulk of humanity in the long trek between the invention of agriculture and 1870, and that the rate of technological progress back before 1870 was glacial, at best.

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How Far Will Byron York Go to Defend Donald Trump?

Byron York is useful to Donald Trump for always giving the un- but semi-plausible defense of Trump on which those who want to see or profit from Trump's attempt to remake America into a neo-fascist country succeed around which they can coordinate their day-to-day attempts to strengthen Trump. Byron York will be useful to future historians as a marker of where those who wanted to see Trump succeed in his projects were thinking they could draw the line without losing all credibility. The current line, as of July 17, 2018, is that the investigation is a witch hunt because it has not yet proven that Trump personally colluded with Putin's attempts to disrupt the election: Byron York: Why Trump doesn't admit Russian election interference: "There have always been two parts to the Trump-Russia probe: the what-Russia-did part... and the get-Trump part...

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A Britain led by Theresa May or Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbin will not "rediscover its own way... the Britih re most resilient, most inventive, and happiest when they feel in control of their own future". That is simply wrong. And if it were right, May and Johnson and Corbin are not Churchill or Lloyd-George or even Salisbury: Robert Skidelsky: The British History of Brexit: "I am unpersuaded by the Remain argument that leaving the EU would be economically catastrophic for Britain...

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How much of the forthcoming announcement of an upward bump in GDP growth in the second quarter is due to people battening down the hatches for Trump's trade war, and will be reversed over the course of the next year? That is what we are all trying to estimate right now: Paul Krugman: Trump, Tariffs, Tofu and Tax Cuts: "More than half of America’s soybean exports typically go to China, but Chinese tariffs will shift much of that demand to Brazil, and countries that normally get their soybeans from Brazil have raced to replace them with U.S. beans. The perverse result is that the prospect of tariffs has temporarily led to a remarkably large surge in U.S. exports...

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John Maynard Keynes (1926): Trotsky on England: Weekend Reading

Preview of John Maynard Keynes 1926 Trotsky On England Weekend Reading

John Maynard Keynes (1926): Trotsky On England: "A CONTEMPORARY reviewing this book says: 'He stammers out platitudes in the voice of a phonograph with a scratched record'...

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Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: Weekend Reading

Preview of Joseph Goebbels 1932 Those Damned Nazis Weekend Reading

Joseph Goebbels (1932): Those Damned Nazis!: "Why Are We Nationalists? We are nationalists because we see the nation as the only way to bring all the forces of the nation together to preserve and improve our existence and the conditions under which we live...

...The nation is the organic union of a people to protect its life. To be national is to affirm this union in word and deed. To be national has nothing to do with a form of government or a symbol. It is an affirmation of things, not forms. Forms can change, their content remains. If form and content agree, then the nationalist affirms both. If they conflict, the nationalist fights for the content and against the form. One may not put the symbol above the content. If that happens, the battle is on the wrong field and one’s strength is lost in formalism. The real aim of nationalism, the nation, is lost.

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Cedarbrook Notes

Cedarbrook Notes

American religion, at least white Protestant and Catholic religion, is overwhelmingly a self-righteousness multiplier...

Becky Henderson to me: "You need to read moar Stiglitz on environmental degradation and nature capital...

The principal use of “neoliberalism” as a word is to erase the difference between the Mussolini-love of Ludwig von Mises and center-left technocratic economists who want to get the incidence of policies right. Why? So you can then have more freedom to propose policies that do not make technocratic sense......

We Should Not Call It "Populism": "Now is the time for the second hobbyhorse I promised myself I would ride at this conference...

Is there a good biography of George Stigler? Beatrice Cherrier says that Stigler’s autobiography is still the best......

On My Grand Counterfactuals: The most interesting question is not “do you know?” But “does Dora Costa know?”, which is very close to “is it knowable”?...

The late Rudi Dornbusch liked to say that: "German ordoliberalism was something an economist could recognize if there was a benevolent Kindlebergian hegemon stabilizing the global system.” But if not, not...

Keynes, Polanyi, Foucault, Again: Cedarbrook Notes: "... >...As a product of Harvard’s undergraduate Social Studies program, I realized around 30 that I had been perfectly prepared to understand reality and act in western Europe between, say, 1860 and 1950...

Angus Deaton: "Judea Pearl knows a lot that Jim Heckman does not. And vice versa...”

Needed: A Better Karl Polanyi: I wondered coming up here whether this conference would turn into Karl Polanyi bingo. I am now confident that it will. Indeed, it has. As someone who thinks the master social theorists for the mid-21st century are likely to be Foucault, Keynes, Polanyi, this is not unwelcome...

Convergence Weighting by People Divergence Weighting by Nations: Yes, the world as a whole has become more equal over the past generation. This is overwhelmingly because two very large countries—India and China—have harvested a great deal of the low-hanging fruit of development because of better policies...

Big Questions for Left Opposition Social Scientists: Occupy had zero impact on austerity budgets. Mont Pelerin was not important because they gathered by a lake, sang “kumbaya”, and felt a sense of solidarity. We should not pretend defeats were victories. What can we do? I think there are three levels that we ought to be operating on—all, right now, understanding the world rather than trying to change it: understanding policies, understanding mobilizations, and understanding utopia...

I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: We—at least my fraction of economists—plead “not guilty” to the indictment: The Minsky tradition had the financial sector nailed.... Paul Krugman... spearheading the analysis of how great the risks posed by the zero lower bound were.... Economists had been tracking decreasing competition, increasing financialization, and rising income inequality.... The problem, as Simon Wren-Lewis of Oxford likes to say, is not that the economists did not know what was going on in real time, but rather that they were not listened to...

Don't Like My Neoliberal Party Card? I Have Others!: Don't like the others? I have my neoliberal party card...


Cedarbrook Notes

#cedarbrooknotes
#shouldread
#highlighted
#cedarbrook
#politicaleconomy
#polanyi

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I, on Behalf of the Economists Thinking Correct Economic Thought, Plead Not Guilty: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: We—at least my fraction of economists—plead “not guilty” to the indictment:

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We Should Not Call It "Populism": Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: Now is the time for the second hobbyhorse I promised myself I would ride at this conference: "populism". I think in his new book, The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era ((New York: Oxford University Press: 9780190866280) https://books.google.com/books?isbn=9780190866280), Barry Eichengreen gives away the arcanum imperii: “I define populism as a political movement with anti-elite, authoritarian, and nativist tendencies...” and “charismatic leaders with anti-establishment, authoritarian, and nationalist tendencies, from Benito Mussolini to Ioannis Metaxas...” The American Populists of the late 19th Century were a political movement that sought egalitarian economic policies: breakup of the trusts, regulation of railroad rates, the free coinage of silver. There is a word for a pro-plutocrat political movement fueled on ethnic and national animosity toward others, especially rootless cosmopolites. That word ain’t “populism”.

We should use “fascism” where it applies. If we do not, we will not have rectified names. If names are not rectified, thought will not be clear. If thought is not clear, governance will not be just. If governance is not just, the people will not prosper.

We should use the word "fascism". It is appropriate.

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2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: The principal use of “neoliberalism” as a word is to erase the difference between the Mussolini-love of Ludwig von Mises and center-left technocratic economists who want to get the incidence of policies right. Why? So you can then have more freedom to propose policies that do not make technocratic sense...


Needed: A Better Karl Polanyi: Cedarbrook Notes

2018-03-12_Brad_DeLong_Party_Card_pages

Cedar Brook Notes: I have two hobbyhorses I promised I would ride at this conference:

First hobbyhorse: I wondered coming up here whether this conference would turn into Karl Polanyi bingo. I am now confident that it will. Indeed, it has. As someone who thinks the master social theorists for the mid-21st century are likely to be Foucault, Keynes, Polanyi, this is not unwelcome. And this opens an opportunity for us here to actually do something constructive: Polanyi writes horribly. I want to beg for someone here to rewrite Polanyi well—to do for Karl Polanyi what Charlie Kindleberger did for Hyman Minsky, in the sense of explaining what Polanyi meant and applying it to cases. And someone needs to raise the money and run the celebration of the 75 anniversary of The Great Transformation...


We Know Little About the Origins of High Patriarchy and the Extinction of Most Y-Chromosome Lineages ca. 5000 Years Ago, But...

Arjuna_and_krishna_in_their_chariot_-_Google_Search

Comment of the Day: Interesting from Graydon. But I do not see textiles as the problem. Yes, in the Odyssey Penelope, Kalypso, the 50 maidservants of Alkinous, Kirke, and the nymphs who are called Naiads are all spoken of as at their looms. Yes, the mother of Nausikaa, the 50 maidservants of Alkinous (again), Penelope (again), and the maidservants of Odysseus are all spoken of as at their spindles. Yes, in the Iliad Khryseis, Helen, Andromakhe, "a woman" are all spoken of as at their looms. yes, Andromakhe (again), "the fair spinster", and Kritheis are all spoken of as at their spindles. Textile work is (or does not have to be) not drudgery—it is (or can be) a very social activity, for to an experienced seamstress or spinner of weaver the cognitive load of the task is not large enough to discourage conversation.

Instead, I blame the Yamnaya: the Aryans, the Indo-Europeans, the Masters of the sword, the wheel, and the bow, who spread fire and sword and the chariot and the steed from Gibraltar and Cape Finisterre to the Deccan and even to the upper reaches of the Yellow River: Graydon: Feminism in the Long 20th Century: An In-Take from "Slouching Towards Utopia: The Economic History of the Long 20th Century": "If you look at the DNA information and compare it to historical timelines, patriarchy comes in after a period of clan-based warfare that wipes out most Y-chromosome lineages and does nothing to the diversity of X-chromosome lineages...

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J. Bradford DeLong (2008): Trade and Distribution: A Multisector Stolper-Samuelson Finger Exercise

Il Quarto Stato

An argument that I think is true—and important—but that I have never been able to get anybody else to pay attention to. Maybe I have just made an algebra mistake, and people are silent because they would feel embarrassed if they pointed that out. But I do not think so:

J. Bradford DeLong (2008): Trade and Distribution: A Multisector Stolper-Samuelson Finger Exercise: One of the basic building blocks of the political economy of international trade is the Stolper-Samuelson result: the shift from no trade to free trade is good for the owners of the abundant factor of production, but bad for the owners of the scarce factor of production. This accounts for why support for free trade tends to be stronger in democratic than in authoritarian regimes. The scarce factor of production tends to be, well, scarce. Hence not many potential voters own a lot of it. Hence the political support for trade protection in any system of government that gives weight to broad, as opposed to strong, preferences will tend to produce trade liberalization.

In the United States, and to some degree in western Europe, things are widely thought to be different—or so the argument goes, The relatively abundant factors of production are things like capital, organization, and technology, which have concentrated ownership. The scarce factor of production is labor. Hence free trade tends to be politically unpopular because it is not in the interest of the majority of potential voters.

This argument of an inconsistency between free trade and the well-being of the majority of potential voters rests substantially on the two-factor example of the Stolper-Samuelson result. It does not fare too well when we generalize to a situation in which there are a number of different factors—even if the ownership of the abundant factors of production is very concentrated indeed....

For λ very close to one, the critical φ* is also close to one. Trade among countries with small differences in relative proportions of the trade-relevant factors of production is good only for households that hold a greater than proportionate share of the initially abundant factor... households for which φ > 1. But as λ moves away from 1 things change. Efficiency and productivity gains grow faster than do the income redistributions from changing factor prices. Even households where the share of ownership of the initially-abundant factor is significantly less than proportionate can benefit. In the limit as N becomes large, the condition on φ for free trade to benefit the household becomes: φ* > ln(λ)/(λ−1)... Read MOAR


#delongpapers
#politicaleconomy
#globalization
#free trade

I Never Knew That George Washington Had Saved the Life of Citizen Edmond-Charles Genêt from Robespierre....

stacks and stacks of books

Conor Cruise O'Brien's book about Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution suffers from the same flaw as the dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park and as Ronald Syme's superb The Roman Revolution: all take DNA from some place else and use it to fill in the gaps. In the case of The Roman Revolution, Ronald Syme takes Mussolini and uses him to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of the man born Gaius Octavius Thurinus who became Augustus. In the case of Jurassic Park, they use frog DNA to fill out the dinosaur double helixes. In the case of The Long Affair, Conor Cruise O'Brien uses Kerensky, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin to complete his picture of the French Revolution and of Lafayette, Danton, Hebert, and Robespierre. This method produces a great book to read (or movie to watch). But it is not really history wie es eigentlich gewesen.

My view is that Jefferson believed in the French Revolution not because he wanted the Tree of Liberty to be watered by blood or because he wanted to see the U.S. Congress tamed by the New York or Philadelphia mob, but because he knew he was losing to Adams and Hamilton in the struggle over the future of America, knew that he desperately needed reinforcements, and hence the French Revolution had to succeed in order to provide them. The Long Affair, however, remains a great book—but not quite great history as much as a meditation on "revolutionary excesses" and motivated reasoning: Conor Cruise O'Brien (1996): The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800 (Chicago: University of Chicago: 0226616533) (https://books.google.com/books?id=ABKA2MDozAQC: "Genêt, although recalled at Washington's request, remained in America, under Washington's protection...

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From Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 16 June 1792

Thomas Jefferson (1792): To Lafayette, 16 June 1792: "Philadelphia June 16. 1792. Behold you then, my dear friend, at the head of a great army, establishing the liberties of your country against a foreign enemy. May heaven favor your cause, and make you the channel thro’ which it may pour it’s favors...

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Jefferson, Adams, Malone, and the French Revolution: Weekend Reading

https://www.icloud.com/keynote/0Uxk8rt4DCJ1QcuwjVSsxI2yg | http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/07/jefferson-adams-malone-and-the-french-revolution-weekend-reading.html

Thomas Jefferson was a great man and a small man. We know the great man well. Biographers like Dumas Malone however, try hard to keep us from knowing the small man: the one who was too approving of the Jacobins and the Terror; the funder of the first Journalistic Slime Machine; the owner of the sex-slave Sally Hemings:

Dumas Malone (1962): Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty (New York: Little, Brown), pp. 45 ff.: "Early in the year, Jefferson, writing a private letter to William Short [TJ to Short, Jan 3, 1793; Ford, VI, 153-7], now at The Hague...

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Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 3 January 1793: Weekend Reading

Thomas Jefferson: To William Short, 3 January 1793: "Philadelphia Jan. 3. 1793. Dear Sir...

...My last private letter to you was of Oct. 16. since which I have recieved your No. 103. 107. 108. 109. 110. 112. 113. and 114. and yesterday your private one of Sep. 15. came to hand.

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America the Loser: Project Syndicate

Il Quarto Stato

Project Syndicate: America the Loser: The American century ended on November 8, 2016. On that day, the United States ceased to be the world’s leading superpower–the flawed but ultimately well-meaning guarantor of peace, prosperity, and human rights around the world. America’s days of Kindlebergian hegemony are now behind it. The credibility that has been lost to the Trumpists–abetted by Russia and the US Electoral College–can never be regained... Read MOAR


Edward Bellamy: How I Came to Write Looking Backward: Weekend Reading

Rivera: Detroit Industry

Edward Bellamy (1889): How I Came to Write _Looking Backward: "I accept more readily the invitation to tell in _The Nationalist how I came to write Looking Backward for the reason that it will afford an opportunity to clear up certain points on which inquiries have been frequently addressed to me...

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Not since Henry VIII Tudor Have We Seen the Like!

Clowns (ICP)

Disappointment, surprise, bluster, promises he cannot keep, illogic, threats, a promise to destroy the company...

President Donald Trump writes:

(1) Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse-be patient! #MAGA

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Voices from the Past: Trump vs. America's Founders: No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate

Constitutional convention Google Search

No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate: At the start of the American experiment, Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton and James Madison pulled no punches: admitting that the historical record strongly suggested that a democracy, a republic—indeed, any form of government that gave substantial political voice to those outside an aristocracy of counsellors or advisors to a monarch—was a really bad idea: "It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the... state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.... The [unflattering] portraits... sketched of republican government were too just copies of the originals..."

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Trump May Not Be the Least Balanced Person in the Trump Administration: Kevin Hassett Monday Smackdown

Clowns (ICP)

This, from CEA Chair Kevin Hassett in 2010 has always seemed to me at if not over the edge of mental illness.

There are many tells. The reliance on a "brilliant review" by a UND law professor and on an Oxford philosopher with no particle physicists even named is one. The raising of "military action" as a response is a second. The plea for following his preferred course of action even though he does not understand the issues because "how can we know that things we do not understand will not kill us?" is a third.

Grandiosity and unmooring from rational inquiry to an extent that, it seemed and seems to me, might well clear the clinical diagnosis bar...

In its entirety:

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Eliana Johnson and Annie Karni: Nielsen becomes face of Trump’s border separations: "Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months, and he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another. According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment—at least this chapter of American history would come to a close..."

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Let Me Distract Myself By Thinking About Something Less Depressing than Trump. Let Me Think About... L. Cornelius Sulla!

Battle of the colline gate Google Search

(Late) Weekend Reading: The opening of Cicero’s Pro Roscio Amerino, According to Stephen Saylors Roman Blood. I would pay serious money for a Saylor translation of the whole thing, with stage directions and audience catcalls. Just saying:

Cicero stepped forward to the podium, cleared his throat and coughed. A wave of skepticism ran through the crowd. A botched opening was a bad sign. At the accuser’s bench Gaius Erucius made a great show of smacking his lips and staring up at the sky.

Cicero cleared his throat and began again. His voice was unsteady and slightly hoarse:

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(Late) Monday Smackdown: No, Ron Unz Does Not Tell It Straight. Why do You Ask?

Smackdown

Why would anybody claim that Holocaust denier David Irving was the defendant rather than the plaintiff in Irving v. Penguin Books and Lipstadt? I mean, that's what the case is called. And the plaintiff's name does come first. And why would anybody claim that David Irving lost his "fine central London home" because "Jewish movie producers and corporate executives" funded a lawsuit and he had been "forced to defend himself without benefit of legal counsel"?

Ron Unz has long been my poster child for the point that being mentally quick does not mean that you are smart, or intelligent, or wise. Turning your smartness to find reasons not to mark your beliefs to market but rather to justify prejudices you got from God-knows-where is no way to go through life, son.

Here is where Unz picks up and propagates the false neo-Nazi line that Holocaust denier David Irving was not the plaintiff but the defendant in Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt: Ron Unz: The Remarkable Historiography of David Irving: "Irving is an individual of uncommonly strong scholarly integrity....is unwillingness to dissemble or pay lip-service to various widely-worshiped cultural totems eventually provoked an outpouring of vilification by a swarm of ideological fanatics drawn from a particular ethnic persuasion...

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(Early) Monday (Self?) Smackdown: Baiae and LA as Causes of Republican Downfall? Seriously?

Roman republic orgy Google Search

The scary thing is that I do not know whether Tom Holland:

  1. did not notice that Niall Ferguson was misinterpreting his work...
  2. does not care that Niall Ferguson was misinterpreting his work on the grounds that "all publicity is good publicity", or whether...
  3. I am misinterpreting Tom Holland's work, and Holland really does agree with Ferguson—that it was the orgies of Baiae rather than, in Lucan's phrase, because "Caesar could brook no superior and Pompey could brook no rival...", and, as Plutarch put it, the right-wing decision to break the norms by which political clashes "though neither trifling nor raised for trifling objects, were settled by mutual concessions, the nobles yielding from fear of the multitude, and the people out of respect for the senate..."

A Twitter thread:

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The Damnation of the Professional Republican Policy Intellectuals

Inferno

I have long known that the thoughtful and pulls-no-punches Amitabh Chandra has no tolerance for fuzzy thinking from Do-Gooder Democrats. He is one of those who holds that not even a simulacrum of utopia is open to us here, as we muck about in the Sewer of Romulus here in this Fallen Sublunary Sphere. ”There are always trade-offs“, he says. “Deal with it“, he says. But here he leans to the other side, and, well, snaps: Amitabh Chandra: "GOP thinktanks https://twitter.com/amitabhchandra2/status/1007261629547982849 are the biggest milksops. From healthcare policy to environmental policy, from national security policy to fiscal policy, they have tacitly endorsed a mountain of anti-market + anti-growth + anti-America policies so as not to not upset their political masters...

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The big problem China will face in a decade is this: an aging near-absolute monarch who does not dare dismount is itself a huge source of instability.

The problem is worse than the standard historical pattern that imperial succession has never delivered more than five good emperors in a row. The problem is the aging of an emperor. Before modern medicine one could hope that the time of chaos between when the grip on the reins of the old emperor loosened and the grip of the new emperor tightened would be short. But in the age of modern medicine that is certainly not the way to bet.

Thus monarchy looks no more attractive than demagoguery today.

We can help to build or restore or remember our “republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government“. An autocracy faced with the succession and the dotage problems does not have this option. Once they abandon collective aristocratic leadership in order to manage the succession problem, I see little possibility of a solution.

And this brings me to Martin Wolf. China's current trajectory is not designed to generate durable political stability: Martin Wolf: How the west should judge the claim sof a rising China: “Chinese political stability is fragile...

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After the Next Nuclear Fire...: Hoisted from 2007

Nuclear explosion Google Search

Hoisted from the Archives: Rather more urgent than I thought it would be 27 months ago: After the Next Nuclear Fire...: In the early 1980s the U.S. NSA—or perhaps it was the Defense Department—loved to play games with Russian air defense. They would send probe planes in from the Pacific to fly over Siberia. And they would watch and listen: Where were the gaps in Russian sensor coverage? How far could U.S. planes penetrate before being spotted? What were Russian command-and-control procedures to intercept intruders? And so on, and so forth.

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David Watkins, I think, nails it: a lot of right-wingers project either what they are doing or what they wish they could do onto the left. They do not understand that we are, in fact, different from them: David Watkins: "Today in: 'every accusation a confession'... Scott Lemieux: "Did Niall 'try to ratfuck students with the temerity to disagree with me' Ferguson churn out a rote 'campus PC is the biggest threat to free speech in America' column? I think you know the answer!... https://t.co/mP1OFXkm1G


America’s Founders vs. Trump: Now Live at Project Syndicate

Signing of the Constitution by Louis S Glanzman Teaching American History

Project Syndicate: America’s Founders vs. Trump: In the early years of the American republic, James Madison warned his fellow countrymen that their chosen system of governance would only survive if they adhered to the principles of representation and kept factionalism in check. In the era of Donald Trump, it would seem that these two conditions are no longer being met...


Yes, Stanford Has a Serious Intellectual Quality Problem Here: Why Do You Ask?

Yes, Stanford has a very serious quality control problem with its Hoover Institution: Brian Contreras, Ada Statler, and Courtney Douglas: Leaked emails show Hoover academic conspiring with College Republicans to conduct ‘opposition research’ on student: "Emails between the Hoover Institution’s Niall Ferguson and well-known Republican student activists John Rice-Cameron ’20 and Max Minshull ’20 reveal coordination on 'opposition research' against progressive activist Michael Ocon ’20...

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