“End Their Politics”: Antifa and the Rejection of Liberal Democratic Values

contentBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the Antifa movement and its implications for free speech on our college and university campuses.  Yesterday, I shared a videotape from one such protest at GW near the law school a few months ago.  My concern is with those faculty members who legitimize the anti-speech foundation for this movement. Yet, the violence at Berkeley has exposed this movement for what it is.  This week Nancy Pelosi did criticize Antifa but then later qualified that criticism.  She said:

“Look, people are out there heiling Hitler and then you have a group that is antifa — anti-fascist; they’ve been there forever — some people may have infiltrated them. We’ll see. But that is not an equivalence, in my view.”

I fail to see why there is a need to draw distinctions.  Antifa is premised on the view that some speech is unworthy to be protected and that preventing people from hearing unworthy views is an act of “community self-defense.”  As the column discusses, the distinction between Antifa and its opposing fascists is rather difficult to discern in terms of the effort to intimidate or assault those with opposing views.  The threat of Antifa is summed up by the description of one of its most influential academic voices.  Dartmouth Professor Mark Bray says that the movement has no interest in co-existence with opposing views and seeks not simply to oppose them but to “end their politics.”

Here is the column:

The University of California in Berkeley was again the scene of violence recently, as protesters claimed license to silence those with whom they disagree. Their fight against “fascism” took the form of not just stopping a speech, but assaulting those who came to hear it.

For those of us at universities and colleges, these counter-demonstrators, and in particular the masked antifa protesters, are a troubling and growing presence on our campuses. They have been assaulting people and blocking speeches for years with relatively little condemnation. They flourish in an environment where any criticism is denounced as being reflective of racist or fascist sentiments.mark Bray However, as the latest violence in Berkeley vividly demonstrates, there is no distinction between these protesters and the fascists they claim to be resisting. They are all fascists in their use of fear and violence to silence others. What is particularly chilling is how some academics have given this anti-speech mob legitimacy through pseudo-philosophical rationalizations.

 

At Berkeley and other universities, protesters have held up signs saying “F–k Free Speech” and have threatened to beat up anyone taking their pictures, including journalists. They seem blissfully ignorant of the contradiction in using fascistic tactics as anti-fascist protesters. After all, a leading definition of fascism is “a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.”

CNN recently interviewed antifa protesters who insist that violence is simply the language that their opponents understand. Leftist organizer Scott Crow endorsed illegal actions and said that antifa activists cover their faces to “avoid the ramifications of law enforcement.” Such violent logic is supported by some professors.

Last week, Clemson University Professor Bart Knijnenburg went on Facebook to call Trump supporters and Republicans “racist scum.” He added, “I admire anyone who stands up against white supremacy, violent or nonviolent. This needs to stop, by any means necessary. #PunchNazis.” He is not alone. Trinity College Professor Johnny Williams, who teaches classes on race, posted attacks on bigots and called on people to “let them f—–g die.”

These voices go beyond the troubling number of academics supporting speech codes and the curtailment of free speech. These are scholars who have embraced the antithesis of the life and values of academia. They justify violence to silence those who are deemed unworthy to be heard. Dartmouth Professor Mark Bray, the author of a book entitled “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” is one of the chief enablers of these protesters. Bray defines antifa as “politics or an activity of social revolutionary self defense. It’s a pan-left radical politics uniting communists, socialists, anarchists and various different radical leftists together for the shared purpose of combating the far right.”

Bray speaks positively of the effort to supplant traditional views of free speech: “At the heart of the anti-fascist outlook is a rejection of the classical liberal phrase… that says I disapprove of what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” He defines anti-fascists as “illiberal” who reject the notion that far right views deserve to “coexist” with opposing views.

Bray says that the protesters do not “see fascism or white supremacy as a view with which they disagree as a difference of opinion.” Their goal is not co-existence but “to end their politics.” Bray and other academics are liberating students from the confines of what they deem the false “allegiance to liberal democracy.” Once freed of the values of free speech and democratic values, violence becomes merely politics by other means.

When pushed, Bray’s rationalization for the antifa movement rapidly descends into intellectual gibberish: “There is a certain political lens that — agree or disagree with the lens — there is an element of continuity in terms of the types of groups targeted. I don’t know of any Democratic Party events that have been ‘no platformed,’ or shut down by anti-fascists. So there is a political lens, people will quibble about what the lens is, who designs the lens, but I don’t think the slippery slope is actually, in practice, nearly as much of a concern as people imagine it would be.”

There does not have to be a “lens.” Indeed, that it is the principle of the “liberal democracy” so casually cast aside by Bray and his braying followers. While Bray insists that he is not in favor of violent protests or even free speech, he insists that there is a duty to stop those who threaten the existence of others and the antifa protests are a form of “community self defense.”

Ironically, Bray and others have come to use the intellectual freedom of our universities to advance the most anti-intellectual movement in our history. They are destroying the very academic institutions that have protected their extreme views. Just as the father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, said that “physicists have known sin,” the antifa movement is the sin of academia in abandoning our core values.

130px-Mao_Zedong_portraitThese protesters believe that history shows the dangers of free speech and the need to deny it to those who would misuse it. It is a familiar sentiment that “all the experience… accumulated through several decades teaches us… to deprive the reactionaries of the right to speak and let the people alone have that right.” Those were the words of another early anti-fascist, China’s Communist Party leader Mao Zedong.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

194 thoughts on ““End Their Politics”: Antifa and the Rejection of Liberal Democratic Values

  1. “Two leading anti-Trump resistance groups, Refuse Fascism and the Workers World Party, are siding with the gulag-filled Stalinist hermit state of North Korea that has threatened to incinerate the American homeland with nuclear weapons, evidence suggests.

    Both of these extreme-left organizations have organized demonstrations against the Trump administration that have turned violent, including those around Inauguration Day. Both groups are also part of the violent “Antifa” coalition of leftist groups that portray themselves as anti-fascist but embrace fascistic tactics like beating up political adversaries to intimidate them into silence.

    Both groups are also spouting pro-North Korean propaganda talking points, and in at least one case, copying and pasting official North Korean statements into communiques.

    Last month, masked Antifa thugs in Berkeley, California, called for the destruction of the United States. “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all!” the large gathering of black bloc-attired protesters chanted at a conservative “No to Marxism” rally. The same weekend Antifa worked with San Francisco officials to prevent the innocuous conservative group Patriot Prayer from holding a small rally at a federal park. As this writer previously observed, thanks to Antifa, the Left now has the power to dictate what is and is not acceptable speech in California and many parts of the country.”

  2. Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Professor Turley highlights yet again how intolerance and oppression is permeating supposed bastions of free speech In this post he notes how some academics promote oppression of contrary thought and speech.

    Of concern is that we now see more and more of this in NZ. For example the oppression of a pro-life group by the Auckland University Students Union. BTW Adam is pro-choice, but is also in favour of free speech and thought. Unlike Auckland University Students it would seem.

  3. Having gone to college in the late 60’s and early 70’s I can easily see the parallels. Legitimate non-violent protest groups got infiltrated and sometimes co-opted by radicals who felt that violence was a viable means to their ends. And plenty of academics joined the party in support. The real distinction today is that social media makes the communication of events and the propagation of “safe” hate speech so much easier. Just hide behind an IP address. Frankly, the thing that really alarms me is the spread of hate speech and the open advocacy of violence by the President of the United States. With that kind of role model what can we expect from the masses?

  4. Dr. Turley writes,
    “I fail to see why there is a need to draw distinctions. Antifa is premised on the view that some speech is unworthy to be protected and that preventing people from hearing unworthy views is an act of “community self-defense.” As the column discusses, the distinction between Antifa and its opposing fascists is rather difficult to discern in terms of the effort to intimidate or assault those with opposing views. ”

    This is an excellent point – I’ve usually heard the blurring of the distinction between the two in terms of the size and power of a centralized government which (as it turns out) is the aim of both factions – but if that aim is the form then Turley points out the matter: to silence free speech/opposing views.

    Great point Dr. Turley!

    • Jacques says Turley has “an excellent point.” Jacque is wrong and so is Turley. Nobody opposed Bolshevism more staunchly than the anarchists of the English-speaking countries did–not even the capitalists opposed it so well as English-speaking anarchists did. Anarchists do not seek any type of government at all–least of all a centralized government.

      Meanwhile, Turley’s chop logic would make fascists out of anarchists because the anarchists fought The Pinkerton fascists. Lumping Antifa in with Maoism and Maoism in with Fascism is a prima facie violation of Godwin’s Law on the original post, no less.

      Turley is the sin of academia wallowing in its core value of synchronic amnesia.

      • Without commenting on Jacques opinion, where did Turley say the anarchists didn’t oppose Bolshevism? Maybe I missed that point. Can you quote it?

        I think you are being overly aggressive in your attack on Turley. For the most part he was talking about today except for “the sin of academia in abandoning our core values.” which happened earlier. Today the anarchists and Antifa socialists are rioting together to prevent free speech and yes that leads us to some of the comments of Mao Zedung.

        • Allan, I concede that my objection to Turley’s argument is aggressive. And here’s why: Talking about “today” while simultaneously ignoring and alluding to “history” is the academic sin of synchronic amnesia. Recall Richard Pryor’s comedy routines about “The Church of What’s Happening Now.” There’s always a history. And when we get that history wrong, we’re doomed to repeat it.

          If one wishes to defeat Antifa, then one must first learn who the members of Antifa really are. They are not Mao Zedong. They are not The Red Army. And they are not Fascists–no matter how much Turley wants to label them as such. The members of Antifa in our country are English-speaking anarchists who could easily trace their historical origin back to The Swing Riots and The Luddite Rebellion during the heyday of the clearances, the inclosures, the British Agricultural Revolution and the first wave of The Industrial Revolution.

          As such the members of Antifa are opposed to the Nation-state, the military and the law–much the same as most other anarchists. Socialists are in favor of the Nation-state and the military. However, Socialists are split on the issue of the law–with Communist’s favoring the egregiously tyrannical dictatorship of the proletariat. Antifa couldn’t pull that one off if they had all of Soros’ money. Nor will they ever seek that goal.

          Lumping disparate groups together under a common pejoration undermines the government’s ability to respond to threats in a focused, disciplined and targeted manner, because it seriously impairs the correct perception of the threats we are facing. When the government over-reacts in an indiscriminant manner, the credibility of the government suffers. That’s bad news for everyone.

          • “who the members of Antifa really are. They are not Mao Zedong.”

            Diane, They are not Mao Zedong et. al. They have learned what he had to say along with his tactics, and they have built upon that.

            “they are not Fascists” They certainly are. The meaning behind the word fascist is nebulous and is frequently defined on an ideological basis, but the one major definition agreed upon by most is authoritarian. Turley is absolutely correct and you are wrong.

            “The members of Antifa in our country are English-speaking anarchists “ The core is more likely socialist and communist. Ask the members and look at the groups affiliated with Antifa and that protest with them. You will find socialist, communist and anarchists groups demonstrating together.

            Take note that the actual predominant ideology of an individual Antifa demonstration is based upon those that show up and they can be different at different times and places. Apparent leaders of the movement have stated that they will silence those people they disagree with using any means at their disposal including violence.

            Let me quote from a left side of the isle publication, Vox.

            “antifa” (short for “anti-fascist”) — a loose network of left-wing activists who physically resist people they consider fascists. These are often the scruffy, bandana-clad people who show up at alt-right rallies or speaking events in order to shut them down before they happen, and they openly embrace violence as a justifiable means to that end.”

            “Antifa is not a monolithic organization … Adherents are mostly socialists, anarchists, and communists”

        • Jacque, yes I do think Antifa would be a blip under any conceivable circumstances or conditions. Even so, your hypothesis is, at the moment, untestable; and I suspect that it might remain indefinitely untestable.

          • My point to you is that current american antifa is not actually anarchist – did you read the critique by actual anarchists? Your theory that antifa is the equivalent of ‘English speaking anarchists that opposed bolshevism’ is not only untestable – as you say – but false. Bolshevism? Look, I never mentioned ‘bolshevism’ btw – but I did mention a powerful centralized government – and antifa was quite happy to do nothing under a very powerful *leftist* force for such centralized power: Obama. I take it that my hypothesis has indeed been tested and rings true – thus I could easily predict that if Sanders had won they’d be pacified happily playing video games in their parents basements.

            If you want another example of an actual leftist anarchist then here you go:

            Thanks,

  5. Should Anti-trust Laws Be Used to Break Up the Social Media Giants?
    Google, Facebook and the rest wield more power than most governments.

    The secular Left and the proponents of Islamic blasphemy laws have a new issue on which they are making common cause: the quest to destroy the freedom of speech, the cornerstone of our democracy. After Charlottesville, the Left sees its chance to crush all dissent, and given its alliance with Islamic supremacists, this means the implementation in the West of prohibitions on criticism of Islam, including counterterror analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terrorists. This anti-free speech initiative, if it succeeds, will destroy free society, which cannot exist if one is unable to speak out against the tyrant.

    The Left is trying to use Charlottesville as its Reichstag Fire moment to try to crush all dissent. CNN gave the Southern Poverty Law Center’s spurious “hate group” list wide play, and an effort has begun to deny all platforms to those “hate groups,” without any regard for the fact that the SPLC includes legitimate organizations that dissent from the Leftist agenda (including the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Jihad Watch) on the list along with the KKK and neo-Nazis, in an attempt to defame and destroy the legitimate groups.

    Spearheading anti-free speech efforts on the Islamic side is a little-known organization that comprises most of the Muslim governments around the world today: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is made up of fifty-six member nations plus the Palestinian Authority and constitutes the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. The OIC has been working for years to try to compel the West to restrict the freedom of speech, and particularly the freedom to criticize Islam.

    Essentially, they want to impose a key principle of Sharia — which forbids blasphemy against Allah, Muhammad, and Islam — on the entire non-Muslim world. They are advancing this initiative by trying to compel the West to criminalize “incitement to religious hatred,” which essentially means criticism of Islam; no international body has ever objected to criticism of Judaism, Christianity, or any other religion.

    Aiding this OIC initiative has been the popularization of the term “Islamophobia.” Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former imam, writes that “this loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” Islamic groups tied to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, most notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have for years been wielding this term like a club to smear anyone who speaks honestly about the jihad threat; by doing so, they have intimidated many into silence.

    The SPLC has eagerly taken up this term as a key element of its censorship strategy, publishing lists of key “Islamophobes” (including David Horowitz and me) that have grown so absurd that they even include a reformist Muslim, Maajid Nawaz. Nawaz and his associates are themselves not above using similar tactics, but his presence on the SPLC’s list does highlight its absurdity.

    The anti-free speech initiative is also proceeding even aside from the SPLC’s hate group list. Canadian psychologist and social critic Jordan Peterson recently had his Google account revoked, without explanation, and then restored without explanation. “Maybe it was just an error,” Peterson told Tucker Carlson, “but the fact that things have been happening in such a strange way politically brings up the specter of censorship.”

    And Google has been engaging in censorship. The establishment media in the West completely ignored the story, but Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported several weeks ago that “Google’s first page results for searches of terms such as ‘jihad’, ‘shariah’ and ‘taqiyya’ now return mostly reputable explanations of the Islamic concepts. Taqiyya, which describes the circumstances under which a Muslim can conceal their belief in the face of persecution, is the sole term to feature a questionable website on the first page of results.”

    “Reputable” according to whom? “Questionable” according to whom? Google is bowing to pressure from Muslims such as Texas imam Omar Suleiman, who is mentioned in the Anadolu story as the driving force behind this initiative, without considering whether those who are demanding that the search results be skewed in a particular direction might have an ulterior motive. Could it be that those who are pressuring Google want to conceal certain truths about Islam that they would prefer that non-Muslims not know?

    This is a real possibility, but of course Google executives would have to study Islam themselves in order to determine whether or not these Muslims who are pressuring them are misleading them, and that’s not going to happen. Still, they could have done a bit more due diligence, and made some efforts to determine whether those being tarred as “hate groups” really deserved the label, whether the Southern Poverty Law Center was really a reliable and objective arbiter of which groups were and weren’t “hate groups,” and whether the information that Google was suppressing was really inaccurate. Instead, Google seems to have swallowed uncritically everything Omar Suleiman and the others said, and applied it as policy.

    Meanwhile, Facebook’s Vice President Joel Kaplan traveled to Pakistan in July to assure the Pakistani government that it would remove “anti-Islam” material. That endeavor had already started before Kaplan’s trip. In mid-February, traffic to Jihad Watch from Facebook dropped suddenly by 90% and has never recovered. We do not post any hateful or provocative material and neither incite nor approve of violence, but Facebook is acting as judge, jury and executioner in all this. There is no appeal and no recourse.

    A high-placed source in the tech industry told me: “Countries like Pakistan basically tell Facebook and Google that they either comply or the government will arrest all their employees in the country and make it illegal to use their produce. So, FB and Google are faced with either leaving the country or complying. Google famously refused to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies and withdrew from China at great cost to Google. Facebook is obviously less principled. By the way, this is a growing phenomenon with more and more countries moving to censor US tech companies (plus there’s been a recent vigorous campaign from the left demanding censorship in the US). They won’t cave to domestic pressures, because it makes no business sense. They will cave to foreign pressure in foreign countries, because it makes business sense.”

    In his interview of Jordan Peterson, Carlson asked what governments should do with companies such as Google that are more powerful than the government itself. Peterson answered: “I’m not sure the government knows what to do.” Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said in July: “Facebook is regulating more human speech than any government does now or ever has.”

    So what is to be done? In other industries the government has used anti-trust laws when free markets are threatened. Here the free marketplace of ideas is threatened. Should the anti-trust laws be invoked to break up Google and Facebook?

    Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267758/should-anti-trust-laws-be-used-break-social-media-robert-spencer

  6. There was a generation — the snowflake generation — who were taught equality of outcome. They really do not understand that equality of opportunity leads to unequal outcomes because, although everyone should be treated as equal before the law, every individual is different. As unique as a snowflake. One of a kind.

    They are the generation who values “feels” over facts. They would ban hate speech (as is being done on the internet). They would ban Fake News. Conspiracy Theory — a term invented to trivialize dissent from the Official Government version.
    The thing is that what is Fake or Hate or conspiracy is very subjective. No speech or publication should be censored. Laughed at, perhaps if truly fake. Or wondering what they are accomplishing with public hate of a group. Or investigating (just for grins) a bunch of conspiracy theories.

    ANTIFA. How can we allow MASKED hooligans to disrupt free speech. Should HOODED KKK be allowed to forcibly disrupt a Democrat rally?

    Solution? No Masks? No Masks if armed? Being masked while committing violence is a hate crime?

    Hey Legal Eagles, how should the law be written?

  7. Until bigotry comes to have government sanctioned political power as was the case in 1933 Germany, these so called “anti-fascists” have nothing and no one to protest by denying individual persons’ freedom of speech. For now, all that can be said for these enraged malcontents and the cowardly among them who do not want their identities revealed is that for them everyone on the right is far right. If that is not alarming enough, then add to it the concern that their outcry of “white supremacy” is but a means to an end. The end being to renounce prosperous people and thwart their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  8. “the antifa movement is the sin of academia in abandoning our core values.”

    The ‘core values’ of academe consist of arguments promoting the maintenance and extension of conditions congenial to the work lives of those employed in academe. The antics of antifa are no threat to that, except insofar as they diminish the standing of academe with politicians who provide swag. Academics and college administrators are quite insensitive to public opinion; contemptuous of it, in fact.

  9. There is no substantive distinction between the common-and-garden portside and antifa.

    Elected officials and labor meatheads have to deal with ordinary people with ordinary problems a great deal, so tend to be less sectarian than rank-and-file progtrash, all else being equal. The general run of professional-managerial types who make up the left do not and often live suspended in foetid waters filled with the like-minded. The typical university administrator encounters no Republicans on campus other than perhaps the comptroller or the athletic director. They live an work in the odd status-signaling matrix of contemporary academe.

    Faculty, administration, and lawyers are adept at gamesmanship verbal and otherwise which allows them to be nefarious when pretending to be conscientious. The antifa are emotionally troubled and less canny, so use different methods. They’re actually symbiotic, though, inasmuch as the misbehaviors of the antifa and like types (which are almost never seriously sanctioned) provide the excuses for the administrative class to do what it wants to do anyway.

    • DSS, once again you force me to agree with you. The members of Antifa are not college professors. Even Prof. Bray concedes that he has never actually participated in any Antifa counter-protest. It makes me wonder why university administrators would invite the current controversy between right-wing speakers versus Antifa menacing. Where’s the featherbedding angle on that one?

  10. i wish we had actual investigative reporting. From a handful of individuals and small groups of investigative journalists we now know that the CIA has infiltrated academia. They have been shown to easily co-opt lefty “intellectuals” in our universities and they run our think tanks. FOIA requests also show that the govt. has infiltrated many groups in our society, both right and left. One old joke was there wouldn’t even be a community party (in the 50’s) without the dues of members from the FBI!

    This movement has USGinc. and other types of dirty money written all over it. While there are always idiots ready to join with totalitarian movements which hurt others, these groups seemed to have sprung up really fast, as if they were ready made (and I’m certain they were). I notice that they have a very selective target and that they worship the white supremacists in power (such as Jamie Dimon and luminaria in the Democratic party), only attacking a rather small group of people who may be white supremacists but don’t hold power in society.

    This govt. seems determined to create a police state. These people, many of whom are paid to do what they do by this very govt. are essential for enabling the police state. That is their real purpose. If we want to oppose them effectively, we need to expose who they really are and what they are actually trying to do. We must not fall for divide and conquer.

    Then, because there are always people in any nation’s population who want to fee powerful by joining in authoritarian groups, we do need to come out full force in exposing their hypocrisy, cruelty and lack of intellectual ability. We need to show people who will listen, that the loss of free speech has devastating consequences for our entire society. We need to stand up for our Constitution– that means standing up for the rights of our fellow citizens to speak freely, especially when we find their opinions an anathema.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Jill, always appreciated. I have not thought extensively about this, but I am still troubled by the disappearance of the police at Charlottesville. Seems to me Antifa is a simple problem. Show up with a stick and whap someone at a demonstration, you get arrested, no style points for outfits. But–you have to be there to arrest someone. This silly group has been quietly empowered. I would like to know where the order came from for the police to stand down. I am thinking we will know soon, and that is why some Democrats are trying to separate themselves from this coming truth.

      Someone needs to start a new protest group (or two, one on the left side of nuts, one on the right side…) with equally silly garb so we can monitor and document how they are handled. Might be telling. Problem is that would need to manage it offline, otherwise it’s totally transparent. Guess we should do pre-Revolutionary War messengers kind of thing.

      • slohrss29,

        Thanks and same to you. There have been several stand down orders. The immediate call has come from local authorities but I’m willing to bet it come from much further up the food chain. There is evidence of Soros founding and then there’s the ads in craiglist by a company whose name I can’t recall at this time.

        We do know the police will attack groups which threaten the power structure of this govt. (see Occupy and the Water Protectors). They even have Congress poised to declare wikileaks a hostile non state intelligence agency. This govt. moves with all vengeance when they want to, yet here, they most often stand down. That is strange and needs investigation.

        • ” There have been several stand down orders. The immediate call has come from local authorities but I’m willing to bet it come from much further up the food chain. There is evidence of Soros founding …”

          I think you are correct Jill. Funding of $5 Billion dollars through Soros networks over some 25 years plus a lot of other personal donations to candidates. If the authorities wanted to prevent violence one would think they would have adequately separated the groups.

        • Jill, wikileaks is a hostile non-state actor. Are we sure that Soros plays ball for the CIA? What if the members of Antifa are more like the Marinus van der Lubbe[s] of our day and age?

          • Diane,

            Wikileaks is not a hostile non-state actor. They are a journalist organization. Like other organizations involved in investigative reporting they will embarrass the powerful, which they have done! Embarrassing the powerful isn’t a hostile act> It’s an act of courage to speak the truth about the powerful.

            I don’t know if Soros plays ball for the CIA. Do you have information regarding this?

            I don’t see how you mean the group and the individual are alike. Would you help me understand how you see them as alike?

            • Jill, The Russian Federation bought and paid for the Snowden fiasco. Julian Assange is most likely a paid agent of The Kremlin.

              I seriously doubt that Soros plays ball for the CIA. Therefore, the burden of proof lies on your side of the argument–not mine.

              It is remotely conceivable–not especially likely–but remotely conceivable that one or more of the members of Antifa might do something on the scale of a Reichstag Fire that could lead to something or other along the lines of an Enabling Act. That would be bad news for all concerned–including especially Antifa.

              • Jill, on second thought, I gave your concerns over an emerging police-state short shrift. Snowden’s theft of state secrets did reveal a government program that was tantamount to warrantless wire-tapping–even if Hayden calls it by another name. That The Russian Federation was probably behind Snowden’s theft of state secrets does not absolve our government of having spied on Americans. By the same token, however, Snowden’s exposure of our government’s secret surveillance of the people does not absolve Snowden, Assange, nor their probable Kremlin paymaster’s of the theft of state secrets.

                What to do? Attack on both fronts at the same time.

              • “Julian Assange is most likely a paid agent of The Kremlin.”

                Diane, I would like to hear the best proof you have. Without proof such an opinion is simply an uneducated opinion that is meaningless and does nothing, but add noise.

                  • Diane, I guess that means you have no proof or you would have presented it with a citation, not just a vague citation without the proof.

                    There is proof to the contrary. Go read the books in the Library of Congress

                    • What proof does Jill have that the USGinc. is behind Antifa? If Soros is behind Antifa, and if USGinc. is also behind Antifa, then Jill must suspect Soros of playing ball for USGinc. Now go read John R. Schindler at Observer.

                    • Diane, I used to have vinyl records that when scratched would repeat themselves over and over again. I never considered a record much of an intellect.

                      My question was not of Jill rather of you, but you seem to have some real problems.

                    • Diane, thank you for an interesting article. This individual has theories though not proof of “Julian Assange is most likely a paid agent of The Kremlin.” His op-ed was mostly conjecture. It would have been better for you to have quoted the sentence(s) you thought most valuable, but I thank you anyway for at least providing a singular article instead of this man’s life work.

                      However, this op-ed makes me wonder, if Julian Assange is an agent of the Kremlin and Bradley/ Chelsea Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to the Kremlin, why did Obama pardon Manning? Theories are theories, and evidence is evidence. Proof requires a lot more. I can see where he is heading with what he would like to prove. My assumption is that you like his conclusions so you weigh his theories as evidence and his evidence as proof even though there is no proof to the link you believe exists. I would be careful in placing his theories into the realm of evidence.

                    • Allan, Schindler was an NSA counterintelligence officer. If he gave proof, then he’d be thrown in jail. You can dismiss his theories as editorial opinions, if you like. But your persistent demands for proof are spurious. Kessler has no “proof” for Soros funding Antifa–merely an editorial opinion on the “theory.” Do you recognize the difference between “proof” versus confirmation bias, Allan?

                    • Diane – you have yet to show that Soros does not fund Antifa. I have been staying out of this funding thread because it is a twisted one. Still, you have no proof that Soros does not directly or indirectly fund Antifa.

                    • Schindler was an NSA counterintelligence officer.

                      NSA has two functions: providing communications security (e.g. code-making) and intelligence collection through monitoring electronic communications and code-breaking. I don’t think they employ field agents, much less ‘counter-intelligence’ agents.

                    • “Allan, Schindler was an NSA counterintelligence officer. If he gave proof, then he’d be thrown in jail.”

                      Diane, In other words like I have been indirectly saying for a long time you have no proof. But, then, since you don’t know what the proof is how do you know it would be illegal for him to provide the proof? You don’t. In other words your idea of what proof is is what you believe you wish the proof to be. That is a logic problem absent the big words.

                      “Kessler has no “proof” for Soros funding Antifa.”

                      Who said Kessler had proof? Kessler gave an interesting picture of Antifa through his eyes that I believe is about as good a picture as anyone has presented. Do you just make things up? Apparently so.

                      “ Do you recognize the difference between “proof” versus confirmation bias, Allan?”

                      Apparently I do and you don’t.

                    • “I don’t think they employ field agents, much less ‘counter-intelligence’ agents.”

                      Neither do I, but I permitted Diane to give him whatever title she wished.

              • Diane,

                Do you have evidence that you would produce that shows: “The Russian Federation bought and paid for the Snowden fiasco. Julian Assange is most likely a paid agent of The Kremlin.”?

                I said I didn’t know if Soros works with the CIA. That wasn’t my argument so I don’t see why I should offer proof of it.

                Thank you for explaining what you meant on the other matter. I also thank you for re-examining some parts of what I was trying to say. I appreciate that. Since I haven’t seen any evidence that Assange works for the Kremlin, and further, even USGinc. acknowledges that everything wikileaks prints has been accurate, I’m not certain why we should attack Assange. It’s the work of any good journalist to expose wrongdoing of the powerful.

                • Jill – wikilieaks claims journalistic cover because it revealed stuff to several newspapers at the same time. They really, IMHO, are not journalists. They are a collector of secrets from others that they then decide when and where to expose for maximum damage.

                • “I said I didn’t know if Soros works with the CIA. That wasn’t my argument so I don’t see why I should offer proof of it.”

                  In the real and normal world you wouldn’t need proof because you asked for information and you weren’t providing it. However in an upside down world all the answers are provided with false citations that lack the answer.

                  • Allan, Julian Assange arranged for Edward Snowden’s asylum in The Russian Federation. That’s all the proof you need, Allan. No go read John R. Schindler at Observer.

                    • Diane, your mind selectively seems to require only a very low level of proof, but I am interested in one thing, How did Julian Assange arrange for Edward Snowden’s assylum in the Russian Federation? After that you can provide a more substantial proof.

                      Do you recognize the distinction between proof and opinion?

                • Jill, you said “there is evidence of Soros funding.” You also said “this movement [Antifa] has evidence of USGinc and other types of dirty money written all over it.” You put two and two together, Jill. Then you asked me to prove the contrary, whilst disavowing only that you know if the sum of two and two is four. Since you’re so keen on believing evidence presented by journalists, go read the links I provided you and Allan.

                  • Diane, you said that Jill said “there is evidence of Soros funding ”

                    I did a word search for the quote and I couldn’t find it. Did you copy what she said or did you create this statement? Don’t get angry. I am not accusing you of anything, just trying to find the original quote.

                    • Allan, Jill’s reply to slohrss29 on Sept. !, 2017 at 10:51 am on this page of this thread 23 replies before this one contains the sentence you failed to read exactly as I quoted it.

                    • Allan, read the links I gave to Jill. Schindler claims that Antifa has been allowed to thrive because the government has not yet infiltrated Antifa the way the government infiltrated the KKK during the days of Cointellpro–that last one is a point that Paul Schulte has made in the past. FTR, I disagree with Schindler on the supposed necessity for infiltrating Antifa. Simple law enforcement ought to get the job done. But if Schindler’s correct, then Jill’s presumption that Antifa has USGinc. money written all over it is wrong.

                    • “Allan, Jill’s reply to slohrss29 on Sept. !, 2017 at 10:51 am on this page of this thread 23 replies before this one contains the sentence you failed to read exactly as I quoted it.”

                      Actually Diane, you didn’t quote it, you recopied it without her spelling error.

                      “There is evidence of Soros founding” (funding)

                      You made an accusation that I “failed to read exactly as I quoted it.”, but the fact of the matter is that you failed in that quote. I didn’t accuse you of misquoting her rather asked for clarification as to why I couldn’t find the statment. You on the other hand immeidately made your accusation that I failed.

                      You really have to contain your frustration. It is getting the best of you.

                    • “Allan, read the links I gave to Jill. Schindler claims… ”

                      Diane, this response of yours is such a hodgepodge of ideas that I won’t even try to respond. If you want to make a point you have to construct the response line so it easily makes sense, is accurate and is self explanatory. It doesn’t appear that you have done an adequate job.

                    • Allan, your speed reading habit is making you look like a dolt. I did not accuse you of quoting Jill. I said the statement of Jill’s that you requested of me was exactly as I quoted it. Now you’re shamelessly equivocating over the distinction between quoting and recopying. Well . . . At least you noticed that I corrected Jill’s spelling. Stop speed reading, Zippy.

                    • Listen Zippy, read the links I gave to Jill. Stop speed reading, Allan. Things won’t seem like such a hodgepodge if only you’d read more carefully.

                    • Boy, Diane is your stupidity index is climbing.

                      Where does the following statement enter the discussion? Start using “” so we can keep you on the straight and narrow.

                      “Allan, your speed reading habit is making you look like a dolt. I did not accuse you of quoting Jill.”

                      I initially told you I couldn’t find your quote of Jill. That was because you didn’t quote Jill. Instead you copied what she said, but didn’t copy her error in spelling the word “funding”. All that was needed was to find out where the statement was.

                      I never said that you accused me of quoting Jill.

                      Your brain seems to have had a blender applied and everything seems to be mixed up. I initially didn’t even accuse you of anything and then when the error was found I repeated the quote so there could be an understanding over what had occurred, but you made the discussion into the Battle of the Bulge. Maybe in this world of equality you are taking too much testosterone.

                      Then you accuse me of not reading carefully when I am the one to discover that you misquoted Jill when you spelled the word “funding” correctly instead of the way Jill spelled it. That is a sign of carefull reading. You should have picked that up yourself, but you didn’t.

                • Jill, your demand for proof is flagrant hypocrisy. Prove that USGinc. funds Antifa. Prove that Soros funds Antifa. Then reread those twain “proofs” as “proof” that Soros plays ball for USGinc. While your at it, you may discover something about the inner workings of your very own mind, Jill.

    • @ Jill

      “This govt. seems determined to create a police state.”

      This sounds like wild conspiracy theory. You claim that investigative journalists (who?) and FOIA requests (which?) demonstrate that the CIA and “the govt.” has infiltrated academia and many groups, providing no evidence other than a sixty year old joke.

      For the record, I hope law enforcement (not the CIA) is infiltrating the so-called antifascists, just as they should be doing with any other criminal enterprise.

      • Jay,

        Here’s a start for you: go to muck rock for some FOIA requests. Go to wikileaks for other info. A book you could read is: The Cultural Cold War, the CIA and the world of arts and letters. You could look up the NDAA. You might want to know that the Patriot Act was given to Congress at about 3 a.m. and they were told to sign it. It wasn’t the same bill they had been working on. The executive branch handed it out. You may want to look into Holman square in Chicago and read about the plans by DHS to have snipers kill people in occupy-peaceful people protesting as is their right. You can get transcripts about police military tactics against the protesters at DAPL at Unicorn Riot. These are all FOIA requests. Do the reading then see what you think.

        • The Right Wing needs a violent Antifa to justify the police state they are working toward. I would be surprised if Soros had anything to do with Antifa. I would not be surprised is many of the violent members of the Antifa were paid by the Right Wing.

          One only needs to look back at the Occupy movement and how they were all taken down and rounded up on the same day across the country, they were getting traction and the county was waking up, THE COUNTRY CAN NOT BE ALLOWED TO WAKE UP!!!!!! The country needs to be kept afraid of something – and lefties and progressives need to be crushed.

          Thanks Jill

    • antiFA is hardly new. We’ve seen them around Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco for decades. Just the name antiFA is new. The names change but same old anarchist ideologies, same old anarchist tactics.

  11. As I noted yesterday these people are hardcore Marxist-Leninist they are getting very close to killing someone. The Dems and the last administration have emboldened these people with the phony “White privileged and White supremacist” buzz words. Take a look at the mug shots of those arrested recently, none are students and many have previous arrests, that’s why many wear masks. Doing nothing as law enforcement has been doing thus far puts everyone at risk of injury. Find those funding them, the leaders who call for violence against our citizens and arrest and prosecute.

  12. The law has to be enforced in order for the people to respect, observe and abide by the law. Menacing, heckling, disturbing the public peace and provocation by insulting words and verbal, criminal threats are all violations of existing criminal statutes that can and should lead to arrests, indictments, criminal trials, jury verdicts, sentences and incarceration. That is the permissible approach to Antifa.

    Declaring Antifa to be a terrorist organization the members of which can be arrested without warrants, detained without being charged, subject to extraordinary rendition, subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, deprived of legal counsel and tried before military tribunals would be an over-reaction that could easily cause the government to lose both the consent of the governed and its own legitimacy.

    Even the most cursory glance at The Counter-Terrorism Manual of The U. S. Army will reveal that provoking an indiscriminate over-reaction from the stronger power is one of the goals at which terrorist organizations typically aim. Whence, even if it were true that Antifa is a terrorist organization, then the government’s response should be sufficiently focused and disciplined as to maintain the consent of the governed and the government’s own legitimacy. For the people will not respect, observe, nor abide by the law when the government abuses it through indiscriminant over-reaction.

    Prosecute Antifa under existing criminal statutes. Don’t criminalize politics for the sake of saving politics from those who seek to end politics.

    • For the people will not respect, observe, nor abide by the law when the government abuses it through indiscriminant over-reaction.

      Absolutely true. But it does not address what is leading to the potential government over-reaction; The government’s capricious enforcement of existing laws. Frederic Bastiat’s The Law clearly identifies this affect on society:

      It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

      What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

      In the first place, it erases from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

      No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

      The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it.
      http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

      We are living in a new age of salutary neglect. But instead of conditioning the people towards equality and the rights of man, this neglect is conditioning the people towards the very same totalitarian regime we fought against for independence.

      • Olly, I’m sorely tempted to agree with Bastiat. However, I suspect that you and I might disagree over the system of legalized plunder at issue. For instance, I presume that you might identify the so-called entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as evidence of legalized plunder. Feel free to presume my disagreement with that. Meanwhile, I’m not entirely sure exactly what I would describe as legalized plunder. I’ll need some time to think about it.

        In the meantime, here’s something that does not qualify as legalized plunder; but it bothers me, nonetheless.

        The U. S. Department of Defense spent a great deal of taxpayer money researching, developing and implementing the containerization of ports, the intermodal transportation system and the bar-code scanner technology that enhanced our country’s ability to project military power in two hemispheres at the same time. It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand in about ten years. It further led to the emergence of big-box retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy. A fair amount of the products for sale at those stores are imported from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. More job losses in America ensued.

        It seems to me as though the American taxpayers funded the technology that allowed their jobs to be shipped over seas. That The Pentagon had excellent military reasons for developing those technologies in no way justifies the social damage done through the great restructuring of the U. S. economy that followed from those technologies.

        P. S. I not sure if it is you, Olly, or Bastiat who seems to be implying that The British Empire was a totalitarian regime. But it does read more like something a Frenchman would write.

        • Sorry Olly, more post-script. I am also uncertain what the people can do to force their government to enforce the law in an even-handed, equitable manner. Elections don’t seem to be doing the trick; and that leaves only the hard way–rebellion, insurrection, revolt. Given the current divisions amongst the people, I doubt the hard road would work much better than elections do. Plus, the government will surely declare the people to be terrorists should we go down that hard road. Don’t forget the nuclear weapons, Olly. Hobbes war of all against all is supposed to be fought with sticks and stones.

            • Unfortunately Diane you are wrong. It was your logic that was a logic chopper. You complained or were bothered above that the use of more efficient technology caused the loss of jobs. (“It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand”)

              • Allan you wouldn’t know a logical argument if it bit you on your hind quarters. The complaint I lodged is that the federal government created said efficient technology with taxpayer dollars. Private enterprise had precious little to do with the research and development at issue. But private enterprise was quick and happy to reap the rewards of that federal government spending. And they’ve been making the big bucks off it ever since. Meanwhile, The Waltons want to eliminate the estate tax. Likewise, big-box retailers whipsaw local governments for tax breaks and infrastructure giveaways every day now.

                Now go get a book on logic and look up the phrase reduction ad absurdum. Your rhetorical question to me is an example of that fallacy.

                • Diane, it appears whenever you lack the skill to debate you start to rely upon insults. You apparently keep doubling down on the insults because you recognize how poorly written your responses are. You use big words and phrases, but they appear to hinder your message which never seems to read the way you think it does.

                  I was not concerned with who spent the money in my comment. I was concerned with your conclusion “It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand” that was not well thought out for that conclusion was in response to an improved technology. Who paid for the technology is another issue.

                  We can discuss federal R&D with the resultant use of it in private industry if you wish, but that was not what my comment was about. You have choked this reply with a lot of stuff that has nothing to with your conclusion regarding your premise that I commented on.

                  Your understanding of logic fallacies is extremely low unless your comments about the fallacy were merely a battering ram and not meant to be true or taken seriously

                  You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

                  Get a grip on yourself. Your present attitude of substituting insult for logic is not becomming to you.

                  If the government were to have discovered the backhoe, your logic above tells us that you believe private industry should use people with teaspoons to dig holes.

                  • Allan, you wouldn’t know an insult if you bit one on its hind quarters. Given that we’re wrangling with one another on the internet, you ought to have presumed that I do not advocate digging a hole to China using nothing but teaspoons. Unfortunately, you’re so eager to put words into other people’s mouths that you don’t stop to think that reductio ad absurdum is a well-known logical fallacy.

                    If you truly think that big words and phrases hinder the message that you seek read into them, then you’re finally on the road to self-discovery. Congratulations Allan.

                    • “Allan, you wouldn’t know an insult if you bit one on its hind quarters. “

                      Diane, Here you go again. Well, … are you able to start a discussion without the use of insult? Too frustrated? Trump got you down? (that’s a Ronald Reagan ‘well’.)

                      Containers “led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand” That was your complaint to a technological advance. Note how I copy your words, not “put words into other people’s mouths” as you accuse me of. You really have a hard time when your skill cannot keep up with the faulty ideas you profess.

                      “If you truly think that big words and phrases hinder the message “

                      No. Both big and small words are good, but using big words as a substitute for good argument is not a very smart thing to do. If you reply see if you can hold off the insult until at least the second sentence.

                    • Allan you routinely belittle and disparage the intelligence, the logic and the thought of posters on this blog. You do so primarily because you disagree with them; but also because you don’t read what people write in the context in which it was written. For instance, you’ve ignored Olly’s post about salutary neglect and legalized plunder to which my comment replied. You’re a picture-blind dot seer, Allan. If you can’t take a healthy dose of your own medicine, then stop dishing it out to other people–you delicate flower, you..

                      P. S. Your rhetorical question about digging holes with teaspoons did in fact attempt to put words in my mouth that I had not written on the page. It is also an instance of reductio ad absurdum and, therefore, fallacious. Whence your skills with logic are in arrears, Allan.

                    • “Allan you routinely belittle and disparage the intelligence, the logic and the thought of posters on this blog.”

                      Not routinely, only to those that make racist comments about others who are dead or dumb comments to another that add nothing, but subtract from the dialogue. Then there is you who I didn’t insult and even commended for honesty on one occasion. Unfortunately only one occasion. You got frustrated and started using insult instead of your brain. Yes, I responded in kind. That is generally what I do. I also copy in quotation marks of what other people say so don’t get mad at me, get mad at yourself for posting things that in retrospect you don’t feel comfortable with.

                      “ For instance, you’ve ignored Olly’s post about salutary neglect and legalized plunder to which my comment replied. “

                      I replied to your comment which I didn’t believe made economic sense and instead of explaining yourself or God forbid retracting an errant statement you pushed on with absurd accusations so I answered, “Unfortunately Diane you are wrong. It was your logic that was a logic chopper. You complained or were bothered above that the use of more efficient technology caused the loss of jobs. (“It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand”)” Now you are doing more of the same, placing one erroneous or insulting statement on top of another using those statements to patch your problem of failing to permit logic to lead your thinking.

                      “you delicate flower, you..”

                      Thank you for the compliment. Yes, I am a delicate flower and you are an herbicide.

                      “P. S. Your rhetorical question about digging holes with teaspoons “ was absolutely true and on point. Get over it Diane. Your use of big words is a poor substitute for logic.

                    • Allan, pay close attention. The following argument is an instance of reductio ad absurdum that I give you as an instructive example roughly parallel to your jibe about digging holes with teaspoons:

                      Destructive innovation in a free market is like the weather. No one is to blame for the weather. Therefore no one is to blame for destructive innovation in a free market. In fact, free markets are morally blameless and ethically faultless. As such, the sum total of human economic behaviors might as well go ahead on and become characterized by moral imbecility–say, building killer robots to police Antifa, for instance.

                    • “Destructive innovation in a free market is like the weather. No one is to blame for the weather. Therefore no one is to blame for destructive innovation in a free market. “

                      No Diane. This is a terrible analogy. When the car replaced the horse and buggy we knew who and what was to blame.You don’t seem to have a full understanding of what destructive innovation is. Yes, I know you knew the name of the Nobel Prize winning Schumpeter and a few other bits and pieces, but you don’t seem comfortable with a discussion that requires the rigor of fact and something more than superficial knowledge.

                      “ free markets are morally blameless and ethically faultless. “

                      Free markets are not persons and don’t concern themselves with blame and ethics. Therefore, your conclusion, if it were in a classroom, would be nothing more than a ridiculous example of pedagogy.

                    • Allan, you did not pay attention. I specifically told you that the argument to which you now object was an example of reductio ad absurdum on a par with your jibe about digging holes with teaspoons.

                      It is now you, Allan, who are the broken record. Stop speed reading.

                    • “Allan, you did not pay attention. I specifically told you that the argument to which you now object was an example of reductio ad absurdum on a par with your jibe about digging holes with teaspoons”

                      Diane, above I explained to you what a terrible analogy you made and how your claim fails to make sense. You are decompensating fast. You did indeed tell me, but you say a lot and much of that is garbage mixed with a few big words to demonstrate your intellect.

                      Start quoting my words and then commenting. That is a much better way of demonstrating competence. Making things up doesn’t suit you.

                    • Allan, the analogy was to your use of the well-known logical fallacy of reductio ad absurdum–not the particulars of the statement about digging holes with teaspoons.

                      Now I’m not sure that you’re just pretending to be dense. It suddenly seems quite possible that you might actually be thick as a brick, Allan.

                    • Allan, the analogy was to your use of the well-known logical fallacy of reductio ad absurdum–”

                      Your problem is that you have been reduced to being absurd.

                      The nature of the question at hand is elucidated by the following quote. Deal with the quote and explain your logic.

                      “I was concerned with your conclusion “It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand” that was not well thought out for that conclusion was in response to an improved technology. Who paid for the technology is another issue.”

                      You saw a specific labor saving technique as something to complain about while indicating it was a bad thing.

                      The problem is there was no fallacy. You said what you said and it was ridiculous.

                    • Allan, your use of reductio ad absurdum involved an appeal to the extremes (a.k.a. a straw man fallacy).
                      The conclusion of your straw-man fallacy’s appeal to the extremes, that Diane wants people to dig holes with teaspoons, is, in fact, an egregious instance of putting words into Diane’s mouth that Diane did not say. And you know it. And you don’t care about knowingly committing a logical fallacy. And that undermines your credibility, Allan.

                      The analogy I gave you was supposed to get you to see how fallacious it is to put words in another person’s mouth that that other person had not said. Instead, you readily confirmed the supposed truth of the conclusion in the analogous fallacy: Namely, that markets are morally imbecilic, because they are not persons any more than the weather is a person. The fact that you now approve of the analogous straw-man appeal to the extremes effectively demonstrates your complete and total misunderstanding of the original argument about the containerization of ports et el.

                      Go find a market that has no persons in it, Allan. If needs be, use a teaspoon to tunnel your way down to that depopulated market. Don’t be surprised if you find more than nine-hundred thousand former longshoremen at the bottom of that abyss, you moral imbecile, you.

                    • Insult after insult, but you can’t justify this: between the __ __ was taken exactly from my last reply. My comments on the rest and to your sewer mouth follow

                      —The nature of the question at hand is elucidated by the following quote. Deal with the quote and explain your logic.
                      “I was concerned with your conclusion “It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand” that was not well thought out for that conclusion was in response to an improved technology. Who paid for the technology is another issue.”

                      You saw a specific labor saving technique as something to complain about while indicating it was a bad thing.

                      The problem is there was no fallacy. You said what you said and it was ridiculous.__

                      Your argument led to the above. No one put words in your mouth. Instead of insults why not accept that you worded things badly and that destructive innovation in the case of containerization was good for the country.

                      You want to control the way markets function so you spend a lot of time repeating what has been said over and over again. Markets react to the environment and don’t have emotions. Humans have emotions and humans can change the market place. Governments run by humans can attempt to control marketplaces and in that attempt they can destroy economies. Take Venezuela for example.

                      In the meantime you are using a teaspoon to dig yourself out of a hole that you make deeper everytime you open your mouth.

                      “ you moral imbecile, you.”

                      You have a mouth like a sewer. You have to have been a pedagogue that is used to bossing little children around.

          • slohrss29, I still don’t know exactly what Olly is getting at–except that he’s definitely getting at something big. Consequently, I do not yet know whether I agree or disagree with whatever Olly might be getting at.

      • Sorry again, Olly. You seem to be suggesting that the neglect of the law is salutary either for The U. S. government or for the government of The United Kingdom–or for a U. S. government that increasingly resembles The British Empire. Perhaps that last guess is what you have in mind. Otherwise, I would have to guess that you’re alluding to the so-called New World Order of a Globalist/Corporatist secret government.
        Honestly, Olly, I’m not sure what you intend by “salutary neglect . . . conditioning the people towards [a] . . . totalitarian regime.”

        In any case, I’m worried about people losing faith and trust in the government we have. I further think that our government will be to blame for our loss of faith and trust in our government. And I have no idea whatsoever what to do about it except to beg and plead for a legitimate government worthy of our consent.

        • “In any case, I’m worried about people losing faith and trust in the government we have. I further think that our government will be to blame for our loss of faith and trust in our government. And I have no idea whatsoever what to do about it except to beg and plead for a legitimate government worthy of our consent.”

          I think alot of us have lost faith in the government. We see that with Trump being an outsider. If he was not such a polarizing figure (alot of it not his fault, but surely a lot is–whether of his design or not) it would be a more clear exercise to illustrate how he has been marginalized on both sides of the isle, e.g., most recently by John McCain. He is a threat to the deeply employed state, and will remain such. But I am also surprised at the low level of reasoning of the left on this blog, a nasty combination of self identified righteousness coupled with a visceral, low level intelligence, and poor critical thinking skills make for real discussion on the matter very difficult, and these people end up being the “useful idiots.” But then, we have the nefarious sheriff of this blog who works to maintain the animosity of the left and right–just question the big picture and the quality of the argument degrades proportionally. Sooooooo. It just seems to me with years and years of people employed by a continually deepening base of government, and whose job it has been for quite a long time now to understand the population at a level that most of us are unaware of, that we will be effectively controlled until the whole debt-generated structure finally acts as the final force against itself that will be the catalyst for change, and not in a way any of us would like. Or maybe I’m just paranoid delusional. That would be much easier to deal with.

          • “I think alot of us have lost faith in the government.”

            slorhrss29, If so many people didn’t lose faith in the government I don’t believe an outsider would have won the primary or the election.

            • Allan said, “If so many people didn’t lose faith in the government, I don’t believe an outsider [Trump] would have won the primary or the election.”

              If the restructuring of the U. S. economy from 1970 to 2000 had not led to such devastating job eliminations as to cause a great many people to lose faith in our government, then Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” might have fallen on a greater number of deaf ears.

              P. S. No representation without taxation.

              • Diane, I think what you say above is reasonable though I for one can’t decide what in particular you mean by restructuring. With time economies require destructive innovation and restructuring or they eventually go down the tubes.

                Your PS is anl enigma to me in the context of the discussion.

                • Allan, the term restructuring refers to the shift away from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The Technology at issue in my reply to Olly is, in fact, an example of Shumpeter’s creative destruction because the order of operations was correct: first, create new technology; second, the new technology renders the old technology obsolete–what Shumpeter calls destruction.

                  Allan, what you now read as an enigma is a predictable result of studiously ignoring both Olly’s and slohrss29’s comments. Go back to my reference to The Walton family’s drive to eliminate the inheritance tax and see if you can solve the riddle, Allan.

                  • “ in fact, an example of Shumpeter’s creative destruction … –what Shumpeter calls destruction.”

                    Diane, The term is destructive innovation I have no complaints with destructive innovation rather your errant complaint about what sometimes results from destructive innovation.

                    “see if you can solve the riddle, Allan.” Those aren’t riddles, They are the written expressed confusion that you so frequently demonstrate.

                    • Allan, it cannot be possible for any human being actually to be as thick-headed as you are pretending to be.

                      The containerization of ports, the intermodal transportation system and the bar-code scanner technologies created by the Pentagon using taxpayer dollars were key causal factors in the growth of Walmart’s business. That’s public goods [military spending] leading to private wealth [the Walton family fortune] . Ergo, the will of The Walton family to eliminate the inheritance tax is the desire for “representation without taxation,” or, as Olly might out it, salutary neglect making the law an instrument of plunder.

                      Stop skimming the blog like an Evelyn Wood speed reader, Allan.

                    • “Allan, it cannot be possible for any human being actually to be as thick-headed as you are pretending to be.”

                      So says Diane, the fair maiden in distress due to her stubbornness and poor understanding of the subject matter at hand.

                      I didn’t discuss Walmart’s business or inheritance taxes. I discussed your linkage of containerization to your horror that it eliminated jobs. Of course it eliminated jobs. That is what it was intended to do.

                      Below is a copy of two of my earlier statements so we don’t lose sight of what was actually said.

                      #1 “Diane, in order to maintain employment are you suggesting that we get rid of backhoes and let construction workers dig holes with a teaspoon? 🙂 ”

                      #2 “Unfortunately Diane you are wrong. It was your logic that was a logic chopper. You complained or were bothered above that the use of more efficient technology caused the loss of jobs.”

                      (“It also led to the reduction of longshoremen from more than a million to less than one-hundred thousand”)

                      The last statement that is now under investigation was yours.

          • slohrss29, I’m guessing–hoping–that the nefarious sheriff of this blog is our host, Prof. Turley. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          • slohrss, I suspect that the position you’ve articulated may be in the same ballpark as Olly’s Libertarian limited-government position. Unless I’m wrong about Olly’s position.

            Given that significant numbers of people have lost faith and trust in our government, a certain amount of rational paranoia would seem to be a predictable, even understandable, outcome.

            I am not yet ready to abandon hope. The military/industrial/media complex is only one part of our problem–not the whole of it. We do not yet live in an Orwellian police-state. We still have the franchise. I might be willing to vote for a compromise position which would reduce the burden of both entitlement programs and military spending depending upon the details. But there would have to be equity and parity in the burden sharing. No representation without taxation. That’s my new motto. You figure out what I mean by it. And I’ll gladly entertain whatever you might mean by it.

            • “We do not yet live in an Orwellian police-state. ”

              If the Antifa conglomerate of communists, socialists and anarchists are **permitted** to have their way an Orwelian police-state will be here soon enough.

              • Phantasm, Allan. Antifa is both incapable of, and uninterested in, becoming a state, at all, let alone a police state. But there’s a remote chance that an indiscriminate over-reaction to Antifa might conceivably lead to a police-state.

                • Diane, we are permitting Antifa lunacy to thrive though perhaps there is a recent slight shift in thought.

                  “Antifa is both incapable of, and uninterested in, becoming a state”

                  Where did I say anything about Antifa becoming a state? Don’t get so frustrated that you go nutso on us. We are seeing local governments not protecting freedom of speech, statues being illegally removed, people being beaten while the police don’t act in a fashion that should be expected of them.

                  I just saw the play 1984 and the crazy violence of that police state reminded me very much of the crazy violence we are seeing today.

                  Neither over reactions nor underreactions are good. For decades there has been an underreaction.

                  • Allan, I’m glad to read that you do not think that Antifa aspires toward political control of The State. I’m also glad to read that you agree with me that a police-state would be an indiscriminate over-reaction to Antifa.

                    In light of those recent admissions, plus the historical observation that Fascists and Fascism have traditionally aspired toward political control of The State, are you now willing to rethink your equation of Antifa with Fascists and Fascism? Or is that still asking too much of you, Allan?

                    • “Allan, I’m glad to read that you do not think that Antifa aspires toward political control of The State.”

                      Diane, are you daft? You haven’t read what I wrote. You better start quoting exactly what the other one said and then respond to it for you have gone off the wall. Antifa’s violence leads towards a degree of political control especially since they are said to have said that they wish to shut down the speech of others.

                      ” I’m also glad to read that you agree with me that a police-state would be an indiscriminate over-reaction to Antifa.”

                      I don’t believe in police states though maybe you do. I believe in the police doing their job and if Antifa could be proven to be a terrorist organization then the organization be placed on the terrorism list. The violence and intimidation seen from many of those under Antifa’s flag is exactly the means used by terrrorists.

                      “In light of those recent admissions”

                      What admissions? Are you in charge of the reeducation camps noted in the novel “1984” Diane, get a grip on yourself. You seem to be losing all perspective.

                    • Allan asked, “Where did [Allan] say anything about Antifa becoming a State?”

                      Allan now denies that Allan does not think that Antifa does not aspire to the political control of The State.

                      Allan asserts what Allan denies. Allan denies what Allan asserts. And yet, Allan claims to be logical.

                    • “Allan asked, “Where did [Allan] say anything about Antifa becoming a State?”

                      Allan now denies ”

                      Tell us Diane, where did Allan say anything about Antifa becoming a State? You are looking more and more foolish.

        • If you read the FOIA requested data that has come in from Judicial Watch (emails, government records, etc.) you will find that both the Obama administration and HIllary have done a lot to cause “our loss of faith and trust in our government”. I don’t absolve GWB nor Bill Clinton, but the first two have been outrageous.

          • Allan, on the odd chance that you do not want nor expect your beloved Constitutional republic to become the end result of something other than a political process, would you now be willing to concede that simple enforcement of the law in keeping with the vaunted rule of law would not yet be anything other than a political process? Or would you expect the rest of us to believe the the law and the rule of law are somehow something, almost anything, other than the end result of a political process?

            • “Allan, on the odd chance that you do not want nor expect your beloved Constitutional republic to”

              I note a bit of sarcasm in your statement. Is it because you don’t like this Constitutional Republic?

              This is a rather broad question without specific context so I will simply say that I believe in the Constitution and I believe in this Republic. We have an unusual situation in America that offers considerable individual freedom though as government grows individual freedom is abridged. Our form of government requires morality and some understanding of the law. On both points I find many people on this blog lacking.

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