by Jurg Muller-Muralt
Lying is part of the human condition. But democracy is in peril when politicians make lying into a “business principle.” Lying is a second nature for Trump. Trump lies strategically and doesn’t have a bad conscience. For Trump, the borders between true and false have largely disappeared. Liars and bullshitters undermine trust in language and calculable communication.
The Republican Party Is Going Down with Trump
by Joan Walsch, The Nation, 9/26/2019
The president has so thoroughly annexed the GOP that it’s going to be hard for its leaders to cut their losses—even as he flails.
Donald Trump is, eventually, going down. He has committed an impeachable abuse of power in demanding that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky investigate the family of Democratic political rival Joe Biden, and it looks like he tied that request to the release of military aid already authorized by Congress. All day Wednesday, Republicans clung to the talking point that there was no “quid pro quo”—even though immediately after Zelensky mentioned needing new defense support from the United States, Trump asked him for the “favor” of investigating Biden (having earlier complained that the support his administration has provided to Ukraine was not “reciprocal,” which is English for “quid pro quo”).
On Thursday morning, the initial whistle-blower complaint about Trump’s pressure on Zelensky was released…
And notice what Trump did in his otherwise incoherent Wednesday press conference: Quite coherently, he implicated his vice president, Mike Pence, in the Ukraine mess. “I think you should ask for VP Pence’s conversation because he had a couple of conversations also.” Ouch. Message to Republicans: Don’t think impeachment gets you out of this. The whistle-blower’s complaint also reveals that Trump told Pence to cancel a trip to Zelensky’s inauguration. Trump is right about one thing: Pence is complicit in his corruption here.
I’ve often observed that Trump talks and acts like a Mafia boss. After reading the transcript of Trump’s July call with Zelensky, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff called it “a classic Mafia-style shakedown.” But that’s also Trump’s approach to his own party. I’ve always welcomed Never Trumpers to the resistance; we need them to revive democracy, so we can go back to arguing about tax rates and the virtues of single-payer health care. But the Vichy GOP is a different story. I mean, I’d welcome them too—but I don’t expect them. They are afraid, of Trump as well as his voters. They will not leave him easily, because he won’t let them.
I have never been more anxious to be proven wrong.
by Ingar Solty, September 2019, http://www.rosalux.de, 4pp
Authoritarian Capitalism: Is the world transitioning to a post-democratic market system?
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, 2019
Capitalism changes with its organic crises and the way the state manages these crises. From the Long Depression (1873–1896) arose organized capitalism set in a world of inter-imperialist rivalries, from the Great Depression (1929–1939) emerged Fordism, and from Fordist capitalism’s great crisis (1967–1979) emerged globalized financial market capitalism. And in 2007 globalized financial market capitalism, sometimes described as “neoliberalism”, entered into the fourth organic crisis in the history of capitalism. The question is: is this crisis over? And, if so, has a new capitalism already arisen out of the crisis of global financial market capitalism?