Social anthropologist and award-winning author
Janine Wedel delivers a groundbreaking work that
redefines corruption as the violation of public trust:
entirely legal, flourishing in a system that has become utterly unaccountable, and increasingly infiltrating our lives. A chilling look at the stealthy, new
Whether you’re trying to correct your credit rating or figure out
who’s bankrolling your congressman, the system can get to you but you cannot get to it. Technology, now steeped in a “do-gooder” ethos, is actually an encroaching threat to privacy and often a way for players to “perform” checklist accountability, while evading the real thing.
goes far beyond the usual targets of K Street wizards and money’s corrupting effect on politics. While purporting to serve the public interest, a variety of organizations today do anything but: “Nonprofits” choose innocuous names even as
they channel the secret influence of billionaires and their “grassroots” organizations. Think tanks, once sober-minded, often
now act as bullhorns for the powerful. Banks, unbowed, remain
free to “innovate” us into the next financial disaster.
Players at the apex of this new world—former top government officials and heads of state; retired generals; and star economists, academics, and physicians—use these organizations, laundering influence to serve private agendas, and exploit their prestige as if it were a commodity.
Wedel, author of Shadow Elite and other books and a George Mason University Professor, ties together these and other strands using the tools of anthropology and decades of experience documenting informal power both in Eastern Europe and the West. Topics include:
Billionaires Planting Fake Grassroots Groups • The Shadow Surveillance State • The Perils of the “Sharing Economy” • Tech Utopians Urging Privatization • Tyranny of the Metric: When Data Replaces Human Insight • Why Anti-Corruption Efforts Have Gone Awry • The Dark Arts of Shadow Lobbyists • Think Tanks as Accessories to Power • Prestige for Hire — Even Former Presidents • Collapse of Institutional Trust • Scholars Paid to Whitewash Misdeeds • Retired Generals Now “Serving” the Defense Industry • The Old-Media Collapse: News Dictated by “Likes” and “Retweets”
A groundbreaking book that reveals the patterns and practices of a new and more sophisticated style of corruption that has infiltrated every level of society
What has enraged protestors worldwide, sparking fury across the political spectrum? In Unaccountable, award–winning author Janine Wedel exposes the culprit as only an anthropologist can.
Wedel charts a fast–evolving system of power and influence that is utterly unaccountable to those it is supposed to serve. As average citizens languish, one thing flourishes: a new, insidious form of corruption practiced by players cutting across boundaries and plying influence with unprecedented ease. The hallmark of this alarming "new corruption" is the violation of public trust.
Wedel takes us far beyond the usual targets: money's corrupting effect on politics, K Street wizards, bad–apple politicians who take bribes. While all those are important, the new corruption's sweep is broader and its practitioners, even when they are named, can't be shamed. They believe they can self–police, because their motives are pure and their integrity beyond questioning.
In this new world, academics, physicians, retired generals, even former heads of state exploit their prestige as if it were a commodity, some turning themselves into one–man brands. Think tanks, once the source of sober–minded studies, often now act as bullhorns for the powerful. Wall Street, unbowed by the 2008 crash, remains free to "innovate" us into the next financial disaster after fighting a stealth regulatory battle. "Nonprofits" choose innocuous names even as they channel the secret influence of billionaires and "grassroots" organizations are run from the top.
Technology, once hoped–for as a liberating force, is an encroaching threat to privacy and often a way for players to evade accountability: the system can get to you, but you cannot get to it. All the while, technology has helped decimate the ranks of the very profession that might hold the elite to account: journalism. Now, what you read is often dictated by "Likes" and "Retweets," and "truthiness" has supplanted facts.
Wedel ties together these and other strands using the tools of anthropology and her decades of experience documenting informal power-in both Eastern Europe and the West. Unaccountable is a truly original and, yes, chilling look at the new stealth corruption that increasingly dictates our lives
The Soros obsession: Why far-right conspiracy theories prevail
A government billboard is seen displaying George Soros in Hungary
Shadow governments and Nazi collaboration
In the United States, Soros is alleged to be behind the reinvigorated anti-fascist movement (also known as Antifa), the 2008 economic collapse, anarchist demonstrators, Black Lives Matter and a host of left-wing protests.
According to Reid Ross, this rhetoric became prevalent among the far right during the era of the Tea Party, the ultra-conservative movement that sprung up in the wake of Barack Obama's 2008 election.
In 2010, the once popular right-wing Fox News commentator Glenn Beck aired a now infamous series deeming Soros as "the puppet master" pulling the strings behind global political developments.
Pushing the conspiracy that Soros was complicit in the Holocaust, Beck said he had bankrolled civil society and liberal organisations as part of a plot to "form a shadow government, using humanitarian aid as a cover".
Paradoxically, Beck, who was a vocal supporter of the Tea Party, also painted a complicated and grim picture of Soros as pushing for communism and violent left-wing protests.
The commentator accused Soros of complicity in the Holocaust, Nazi sympathies, pro-Stalin sentiments and funding the "training" of anarchists.
"He's waged a war against capitalism," Beck, who later left Fox in 2011, scowled in the first segment's closing remarks.
"This is a man who wants the world to be one global society without borders or individual governments. One global society and one global gatekeeper."
Referring to that period, Reid Ross said: "It caught speed, like many conspiracy theories, during the Tea Party because that was really a far-right driven anti-federal government, anti-liberal movement."
He added: "The conspiracy theories worked their way out from radicalisation of the Tea Party through the Obama administration and into Trump's presidential campaign and then to the opposition to Antifa."
Debunked but widespread
More recently, with the rise of the alt-right - a loosely knit coalition of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis - claims about Soros were given new life.
Alex Jones, the host of the pro-Trump conspiracy website InfoWars, has aimed his ire at Soros on several occasions.
With more than 750,000 average daily views, the online platform has said that Soros has attempted to manufacture a civil war in the US and orchestrated the European refugee influx to undermine the sovereignty of European countries.[Soros conspiracies] have a core that has survived for years and years, and that core is anti-Semitism.
SHANE BURLEY, AUTHOR OF FASCISM TODAY
In November 2016, InfoWars broadcast a segment titled Why George Soros Wants to See the World Burn, in which Jones accused Soros of aligning with Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.
In August 2017, when a far-right protester allegedly killed an anti-racist activist by ploughing his car into a crowd during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, right-wing websites quickly spread a rumour that the assailant was supported by Soros.
Last week, Roseanne Barr, the star of the TV show Roseanne, included Soros in a Twitter outburst that led to ABC Entertainment pulling the plug on her sitcom.
In addition to comparing an African American, Obama-era official to an ape, Barr, who is Jewish, recycled Beck's allegations, accusing Soros of turning in fellow Jews "to be murdered in German concentration camps".
Although fact-checking websites such as Snopes have debunked many of these theories time and again, they remain prevalent.
Brooke Binkowski, a reporter at Snopes, described Soros as "the platonic idea of what anti-Semites think Jews are", explaining that they are part of an "artificial push to normalise" conspiracy theories by recirculating them online in the US and elsewhere.
"The pattern I'm seeing is that someone pushes a [false] story about Soros, then a swarm of bots and paid trolls start picking it up and spreading it [on social media] ... and then it's pushed back into the news cycle," she told Al Jazeera.
Shane Burley, author of Fascism Today, argued that Soros conspiracy theories have proven "durable" in the face of years of fact-checking and debunking because "they have a core that has survived for years and years, and that core is anti-Semitism".
"This conspiracy theory mixes their suspicion of the left and of big banks," Burley told Al Jazeera.
"Because he is kind of liberal, George Soros touches on both [for the far right]."
Explaining that "their narrative" positions "the left as part of the establishment", Burley concluded: "They need anything right now that says that resistance to them is organic and isn't part of the establishment."
Roseanne Barr, George Soros and the far right’s latest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory
Roseanne’s vicious Twitter lies about George Soros are the tip of an ugly, Nazi-flavored conspiracy iceberg
JUNE 13, 2018 5:00PM (UTC)
If George Soros did not exist, it would be necessary for the far right to invent him. Just as God needs Satan, Stalin needed Trotsky and Batman needs the Joker, modern reactionaries and nationalists need Soros.
The billionaire investor, philanthropist and liberal political donor is the ultimate villain in right-wing circles, and anyone who has heard the ravings of right-wing conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, Dinesh D’Souza or Glenn Beck understands the central role that Soros plays in their paranoid worldview.
Soros, who is both Jewish and one of the wealthiest men in the world, helps reactionaries and nationalists make sense of a chaotic and confusing world. The billionaire is, as Jacek Kucharczyk of Poland’s Institute of Public Affairs told the Guardian earlier this year, “the perfect figure for explaining to hardcore voters why the world is the way it is.” The conspiracy theories that surround Soros, who is portrayed as the “puppet master” behind a “globalist” plot to create a New World Order, provide simple and emotionally satisfying answers to those who are desperate for them.
What, for instance, is behind the globalization that has been such a major factor in our rapidly changing world? According to right-wing nationalists, it is not the impersonal forces of free market capitalism and the shrinking of the world inevitably caused by technological innovation (i.e., the “global village”) but a secret cabal of globalists — led by Soros — who are plotting world domination.
To achieve this domination, these powerful conspirators seek to divide and conquer. Thus anything seen as remotely controversial or disruptive is often attributed to Soros and his octopus-like network of globalists, whether it’s NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, Parkland students fighting for gun control, "antifa" protesters, progressive activists protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville (indeed, one Republican congressman suggested that the white supremacists themselves may have been provocateurs funded by Soros), or LGBT activists promoting transgender rights.
The list of Soros conspiracy theories is endless. According to the conspiracists, Soros is both a Nazi and a Communist (no contradiction here) who is behind every progressive and social justice movement in existence. He also owns voting machines in more than a dozen states (to rig elections), is in “complete control” of the NFL (and is using it to incite a race war) and his life’s mission is to “destroy the United States,” just to name a few of the greatest hits.
Two weeks ago, of course, disgraced comedian Roseanne Barr promoted another popular and long-debunked conspiracy theory about Soros on Twitter (which the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted), claiming that he “is a Nazi who turned in his fellow Jews to be murdered in German concentration camps and stole their wealth.” What makes this especially egregious is the fact that Soros was a Jewish survivor of the Nazi occupation of Hungary, during which he was just 13 years old. (This week, long after the damage was done, Barr finally got around to apologizing for the false accusation.)
There is a profound irony in this particular claim, as the entire “globalist” New World Order conspiracy is essentially a rehashed version of the Jewish world conspiracy that dominated reactionary thinking in the early 20th century (and ultimately led to genocide). While the explicit anti-Semitism has been expunged, it's never far below the surface: If one simply replaces “globalists” with “Jews,” the parallels become obvious.
The key thing to understand about reactionaries is that they are fundamentally hostile to the modern world and the idea of progress, and in the Jewish world-conspiracy — propagated by the infamous forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” — Jews were the embodiment of modernity and the apparent degeneracy and corruption that came with it.
In his book “Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” late historian Norman Cohn documented the rise of modern anti-Semitism and the Jewish world-conspiracy, explaining that in 19th-century Europe, Jews “came to be seen as symbolic of the modern world by those who most detested that world. . . . In industry and commerce, politics and journalism, Jews became identified with everything that was most wholeheartedly modern.” As a result, he notes, “it was possible to see in ‘the Jews’ the supreme incarnation of modernity, even while continuing to see them as uncanny, semi-demonic beings.”
This association of Jews with modernity and progressivism provided reactionaries with a convincing explanation for why the world was evolving as it was, while also satisfying the deep-seated anti-Semitism of the traditional elites. “It was above all the landed aristocracy and the clergy who saw in ‘the Jews’ a symbol of all that most threatened their world,” Cohn writes, “and not only their material interests but the values that gave meaning to their lives. These people were only too happy to believe that such alarming changes must spring not from any defects in the old order, nor from impersonal historic processes, but from the machinations of a handful of devils in human form.”
JackRiddler » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:03 pm wrote:.
There are something like 1,500 overt billionaires and no doubt hundreds of covert ones. The latter include drug lords and religious overlords and just assholes who did a better job of hiding or undervaluing their assets than the ones on the Fortune list. There is some arbitrariness in the category, since it depends on variable asset valuations, prices of equities held, etc. One can control a very large corporation and all of its assets through a small fraction of its stock, for example, and "your" wealth is just the stock valuation.
There must be several hundred old-family fortunes that still control billions as a coordinated mass but have it distributed among various foundations, holding companies, banks, and family branches. There are thousands of other fortunes within range of the billions. The top 10,000 of these people don't all know each other personally or belong to a single secret society (many do belong to a small number thereof, no doubt), but within the set of groups on the planet numbering 10,000 they are without a doubt among the best-networked, and they tend to be highly aware of their capitalist interests (personally and as a class) and of how to pursue them within the overall system.
Just six billionaires together hold more net wealth than half the planet; three of them together hold more net wealth than half the U.S. population. All of them by definition got where they are through criminal enterprises that either are or should be highly illegal (or through the criminality of their grandparents). Hundreds of them are overtly politically active, and do things like run foundations or PACs, or media corporations, or whole wings or think-tanks at universities, invariably seeking (the minority) either some insane personal vision that they must impose upon the world for its own good, or, (the majority) simply doing everything they can to change the legal and social environment so as to allow themselves even greater accumulation and greater leeway to commit greater crimes against you and everyone else.
All of them are on a level where desiring greater accumulation is a mental illness. Again by definition. If you're Bezos and you want more for Bezos, you're a sick, sick, sick motherfucker. And like Bezos, the story of the fortune making nowadays is always going to be some totally arbitrary joke. Very few have accomplished anything truly half-impressive, like Musk or the Google boys. The rest of the non-inheritors just horned in on some good monopoly position or found the leverage point in a coming industry, and wanted it real bad, got lucky, right asshole, right place, right time, then kept throwing around the weight, capturing the regulation and the legislation and winning the legal cases, squashing competitors regardless of mousetrap quality, suckering the masses or more often forcibly extracting the hell-rent (in all senses of the term) out of them.
Of the overtly political ones, a large number hold more wealth and/or exercise or have exercised more overt political influence and have done far more to shape society (almost always negatively and always-always for their own interest) than Soros, and you can name a bunch of them: Gates, Bezos, Bloomberg, Murdoch, the Kochs, the Google boys, the Waltons, Adelson, the Prince-DeVos family, Peterson, Thiel, Schwarzman, Zuckerberg... AND of course the very old money families (by American standards) tied into the spook complex even before there was a CIA like the Rockefellers (now so poor, ha ha ha since there are like 50-100 family shareholders actively involved in the complex) and the Morgans, etc. etc. etc., and that's just the Americans, never mind Saudis-Latin Americans-Asians.
All this is recognizing and really only beginning to outline a CLASS that has vast power, arises and holds power as a CLASS, and reaches negatively into all of our lives.
And remember, we're just talking about billionaires, identifiable super-rich individuals, as opposed to the far larger entities of which they are a part and product, and that dwarf them in size and power, the multinational corporations and banks, the more or less tight cartels that own and control mass media, energy, IT, arms/security/intel, FIRE, pharm and health, food and retail.
The focus on Soros to the exclusion of all the rest really is a sickness, and it happens a) because he's so identifiably Jewish and b) in the monkey-level political comprehension of many standard-issue Republicans as well as right-wing Nazi assholes like Alex Jones et al., he counts as a "liberal," which is synonymous with leftist, Marxist, communist, socialist, globalist, and atheist, and often also synonymous with Muslim or pro-Muslim, pro-immigrant/Latino, "anti-white racist," Democrat, Obama donor, etc.
And out of all of these billionaire scum, at least out of the overtly politically active ones with recognizable names, he's basically the only one of whom you can say both - "liberal" and Jewish - and still remember his name (there are presumably others who would fit), especially since the majority don't talk no open-society liberation rhetoric, but are either extreme right or extreme "center" neoliberal "philanthropists. There are even more of them who are explicitly on the transhumanist wave than conventionally "liberal" with any kind of social movement leanings.
So it's stuck, and once it's stuck, there's a small industry that is going to blow him up into a beast who c) fills the need for One Zionist World Mastermind Child-Eating Gun-Taking Well-Poisoning Tradition-Trampling Family-Destroying Hater of Real America [Real Hungary, Real Russia, Real Egypt, Etc.], the Desecrator of Christ and Raper of Your Precious White Grandmama. Since that's a position that needs occupying in this particular variant of monkey mind. (Sorry, monkeys, that's not really y'all, I know.) And once that happens, that's it, he's the go-to.
The "c" is the most important thing to understand here, there is a position within a particular ideological matrix, a trope that needs to be filled so that it can operate at a higher efficiency. Soros fills that.
And it becomes impossible to even discuss the motherfucker for what he actually is and has done (presumably also part of the time allowing use of his orgs as CIA fronts participating in far broader attempts to destabilize Eastern European and other societies). Just in case you feel like profiling him out of the other 30 or 50 who operate (overtly) on his level or higher, anything about him that you can report that might be real is always going to be mixed up or at least associated with all the extra shit he isn't, but that fulfills this important, Nazi-boosting function.
Also, he can write, or used to - some of his analysis is very interesting, some of it is capitalism-critical and even amounts to "stop me before I kill again." So that makes him even more suited to the role. (Another one of these fuckers who thinks he did you a favor when he showed just how corrupt the system is by spectacularly stealing a few billion for himself, legally, etc.)
Antisemitism and the (modern) critique of capitalism
The Nazi ideologue Rosenberg (1938) formulated the modern essence of antisemitism succinctly when he portrayed it as an attack on Communism, Bolshevism, and Jewish capitalism, a capitalism not of productive labour and industry, but of parasites - money and finance, speculators and bankers.
There is of course a difference between the antisemitism that culminated in Auschwitz and the antisemitism of the post-1945 world. However, whether antisemitism persists because or despite of Auschwitz is, ultimately, an idle question. The notions ‘despite’ and ‘because’ give credence to Auschwitz as a factory of death that is assumed to have destroyed antisemitism. Furthermore, and connected, antisemitism is viewed as a phenomenon of the past, that merely casts its shadow on the present but has itself no real existence. In this way, overt expressions of antisemitism are deemed ugly merely as pathological aberrations of an otherwise civilized world. In this context the critique of antisemitism is either belittled as an expression of ‘European guilt’ or rejected as an expression of bad faith: a camouflage for insulating Israel from criticism (Keaney, 2007).
The paper argues that modern antisemitism is the ‘rumour about Jews’ as personification of hated forms of capitalism.
...The projection of the Jew as the external enemy within, as communist, financier, speculator, and banker remains potent to this day. For example, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, assessed the root causes of Malaysia’s financial collapse in 1997 by stating: ‘I say openly, these people are racists. They are not happy to see us prosper. They say we grow too fast, they plan to make us poor. We are not making enemies with other people but others are making enemies with us’.1 What is meant by ‘we’ and who are ‘they’? Mahathir Mohamad’s denunciation of capitalism as ‘Jewish capitalism’ does indeed appear, as the Financial Times (October 23 2003) suggested, to have taken its cue from The International Jew, a book commissioned by Henry Ford in the 1920s. In its structure, the conception of ‘speculators’ as the external enemy within bent on destroying relations of the national harmony of interest, belongs to modern anti-Semitism. It summons the idea of finance and speculators as merchants of greed and, counterposed to this, espouses the idea of an otherwise ‘healthy’, ‘industrious’ and peaceful national community that arises from the ‘soil’, furnishes the homeland with indestructible force and permanence, and is united by characteristics of race and the bond of blood.
Then there is Pat Buchanan’s (2002) defence of supposed American values and virtues that he sees to be in crisis because of the nefarious effects of ‘critical theory’ for which he holds ‘those trouble making Communist Jews’ responsible.2 Intelligence based on reason and critical judgment appears here as a powerfully destructive force that is ascribed to the intelligence of ‘Jews’. Lyotard (1993, p. 159) portrays this rumour about Jews well: for the antisemites ‘[t]he Jews … have no roots in a nature...They claim to have their roots in a book’. Antisemitism projects the Other as rootless. Instead of being rooted in the supposed values of the nation, its soil and tradition, the Jew is possessed of an intelligence cunning that is destructive of tradition and organic social matter. The Jew seems to come from no-where. ‘Anti-Semitism is the rumour about Jews’ (Adorno, 1951, p.141). They are seen to stand behind phenomena. The power ascribed to this rootless Other, is of an immensely powerful, intangible, international conspiracy (cf. Postone, 1986). It cannot be defined concretely; it is an abstract, invisible power, which hides in such contradictory phenomena as communism and capitalism.
Then there is the anti-imperialist left. As one of its more critical and distinctive thinkers, Perry Anderson (2001, p. 15) argued: ‘entrenched in business, government and media, American Zionism has since the sixties acquired a firm grip on the levers of public opinion and official policy towards Israel, that has weakened only on the rarest of occasions’. The Jews, then, have not only conquered Palestine but they have also taken control of America, or as James Petras (2004, p. 210) sees it, the current effort of ‘US empire building’ is shaped by ‘Zionist empire builders’. For Anderson, Israel is a Jewish state, its nationalist triumphs are Jewish triumphs, and its economy is a Jewish economy – and its state a ‘rentier state’ that is kept by the US as its imperialist bridgehead in the Middle East.
...Islamic fundamentalism can be seen as a reaction against the ‘heavy artillery’ of global capital to create a world after its own image. Against this, it espouses the quest for authenticity, seeking to preserve through the purification of imagined ancestral conditions and traditions existing social structures, repeating with deadly and deafening force the ‘paradigmatic Fascist gesture, [the Arab fundamentalists] want ‘capitalism without capitalism’ (Zizek, 2002, p. 131). The fight against ‘westoxication’, as Khomeini called the ideas of liberalism, democracy and socialism, indicates that Islamist antisemitism is unlikely to be assuaged by an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. It is more likely to be inflamed. At base, it is the depiction of Israel as an imperialist bridgehead of ‘Jewish’ capitalist counterinsurgency that fuels the hatred of Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state. The attribute ‘Jewish’ does not refer to concrete human beings, be it Ariel Sharon or Karl Marx, Albert Einstein or Emma Goldman, Rosa Luxemburg or Leon Trotsky, Michael Neumann or Esther Rosenberg. It disregards social distinctions, be they of class, gender, ethnicity, etc., and instead assumes everybody to be of the same national issue, whether they are anarchists, communists, refusniks, capitalists or workers, conservatives, religious fanatics, war mongers, peace-lovers, beggars, or just plain and boring. Instead of recognising contradictions, distinctions, antagonisms, struggles and conflicts, it projects those abstract, reason-defying, imagined ‘qualities’ upon which antisemitism rests onto a nationalised people, displacing the critique of existing social relations to totalitarian conceptions of the national friend and national foe. Within this relationship, reason is suspended and thought is led to the equally irrational belief that the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
...What is the relationship between Nazism’s anti-capitalist ideological projection and the rational calculation of economic resources that proposes mass murder as a ‘solution’ to capitalist profitability? Nazi anti-Semitism is different from the anti-Semitism of the old Christian world. This does not mean that it did not exploit Christian anti-Semitism. Christian anti-Semitism constructed the ‘Jew’ as an abstract social power: The ‘Jew’ stands accused as the assassin of Jesus and is thus persecuted as the son of a murderer. In modern anti-Semitism, the Jew was chosen because of the ‘religious horror the latter has always inspired’ (Sartre, 1976, p.68). In the Christian world, the projected category of the ‘Jew’ was also a social-economic construct by virtue of being forced to fill the vital economic function of trafficking in money. Thus, the economic curse that this social role entailed, reinforced the religious curse.
Modern anti-Semitism uses and exploits these historical constructions and transforms them: The Jew stands accused and is persecuted for following unproductive activities. His image is that of an intellectual and banker. ‘Bankers and intellectuals, money and mind, the exponents of circulation, form the impossible ideal of those who have been maimed by domination, an image used by domination to perpetuate itself’ (Horkheimer and Adorno, 1989, p.172). The biologically defined possession of land and tradition is counterposed to the possession of universal, abstract phenomena. The terms ‘abstract, rationalist, intellectual...take a pejorative sense; it could not be otherwise, since the anti-Semite lays claim to a concrete and irrational possession of the values of the nation’ (Sartre, 1976, p.109). The abstract values themselves are biologized, the abstract is identified as ‘Jew’. Both, thus, the ‘concrete’ and the ‘abstract’ are biologized: one through the possession of land (the concrete as rooted in nature, blood and tradition) and the other through the possession of ‘poison’ (the abstract as the rootless power of intelligence and money). The myth of national unity is counterposed to the myth of the Jew. Jewry is seen to stand behind the urban world of crime, prostitution, and vulgar, materialist culture. Tradition is counterposed to reasoning, intelligence, and self-reflection; and the nationalist conception of community, economy and labour is counterposed to the abstract forces of international finance and communism (cf. Postone, 1986). The Volksgenossen [Race/National Comrades] are thus equal in blindness. ‘Anti-Semitic behaviour is generated in situations where blinded men robbed of their subjectivity are set loose as subjects’ (Horkheimer and Adorno, 1989, p.171). While reason subsists in and through the critique of social relations, the Volksgenosse has only faith in the efficiently unleashed terror that robs the alleged personifications of capitalism of everything they have, cloth, shoes, teeth, hair, skin, life. The collection of gold-teeth from those murdered, the collection of hair from those to be killed, and the overseeing of the slave labour of those allowed to walk on their knees for no more than another day, only requires effective organization.
Nazism’s denunciation of capitalism as ‘Jewish capitalism’ allowed thus the relentless development capitalist enterprise while seemingly rejecting capitalism as a system of finance, money-grabbing speculation, accumulation of parasitic wealth, as a rootless, mobile, intangible annihilator of space through time, undermining concrete enterprise on the altar of money, etc. The critique of capitalism as ‘Jewish capitalism’ argues that capitalism is in fact nothing more than an unproductive money-making system – a rentier economy that lives off and in doing so, undermines the presumed national community of creative, industrious individuals, subordinating them to the rootless and therefore ruthless forces of global money, or as Mahathir Mohamad had it, ‘they are not happy to see us prosper’.
For the antisemites, then, the world appears to be divided between money capital and concrete nature. The concrete is conceived as immediate, direct, matter for use, and rooted in industry and productive activity. Money, on the other hand, is not only conceived as the root of all evil, it is also judged as rootless and of existing not only independently from industrial capital but, also, over and against the industrial endeavour of the nation: all enterprise is seen to be perverted in the name of money’s continued destructive quest for self-expansion. In this way, money and financial capital are identified with capitalism while industry is perceived as constituting the concrete and creative enterprise of a national community. Between capitalism as monetary accumulation and national community as industrial enterprise, it is money that calls the shots. In this view, industry and enterprise are ‘made’ capitalist by money: money penetrates all expressions of industry and thus perverts and disintegrates community in the name of finance capital’s abstract values.
The author of the bill, Knesset Member Avi Dichter of the Likud Party, opened the session by saying that
“the Nationality Law is the insurance policy we will leave behind for future generations.
The State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
Hungary passes anti-immigrant 'Stop Soros' law
This week, Hungary passed what the government dubbed the "Stop Soros" law, named after Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros. The new law, drafted by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, creates a new category of crime, called "promoting and supporting illegal migration"—essentially, banning individuals and organizations from providing any kind of assistance to undocumented immigrants. This is so broadly worded that, in theory, the government could arrest someone who provides food to an undocumented migrant on the street or attends a political rally in favor of their rights. (Vox)
Jerky » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:11 am wrote:Roseanne Barr has issued a sincere, heartfelt and public apology to George Soros. It's on Twitter, and I believe it's genuine.
Despite all she's said and done, I have to believe that Roseanne is sufficiently intelligent, empathic and sensitive to be salvageable, if the right people are able to help her differentiate between slightly biased versus downright bugshit crazy information sources.
Vladimir Putin Mentions George Soros, MAGA World Swoons
Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters at a joint press conference with President Donald Trump today that his government did not interfere with the 2016 general election in the United States and name-dropped billionaire philanthropist George Soros during his denial, thrilling right-wing conspiracy theorists.
When a reporter asked Trump whether he believed Putin, who denies attempting to interfere in American elections, or American intelligence agencies who unanimously agree that Russia did attempt to interfere, Trump responded, in a roundabout way, that he was more inclined to believe Putin.
Putin added to Trump’s response, saying, “The Concord company is being accused of interference but this company does not institute the Russia state, does not represent the Russia state, and I brought several examples before. You have a lot of individuals in the United States—take George Soros, for instance, with multi-billion capitals—but it doesn’t make his position, his posture, the posture of the United States.”
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones took to Infowars shortly after the press conference to excitedly present a video of Putin’s statement
As I wrote in June, Soros is a longtime donor to progressive causes, and thus the focal point of right-wing (and increasingly anti-Semitic) conspiracy theories:
Though a GOP donor in the 1980s and 1990s, Soros has been the right’s most feared opponent since he spent more than $25 million to defeat George W. Bush in 2004, leading one conservative website to call him “a prolocutor in the congregation of Moloch.” Disgraced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert even alleged that Soros’s fortune came from financing drug cartels overseas. Since then, Soros has spent billions on (largely progressive) causes from Ebola prevention to opposing torture and protecting LGBTQ rights abroad, and has donated to Democratic Party causes like Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
No wonder, then, that Soros has been linked by the right to virtually every liberal cause imaginable in an attempt to argue that any organic protest or outcry on the left is really the work of one sinister, shadowy (foreign) billionaire. Even Republicans have been victims of allegations of “scandalous” ties to Soros. A GOP candidate in North Carolina was the target of an attack ad alleging that he’d received “$80,000 in George Soros-backed campaign contributions” (he didn’t).
It’s worth noting that Soros is a controversial figure in right-wing circles abroad as well:
Soros has long opposed the autocratic regimes of Eastern Europe and American conservative politics, well before the two converged around Islamophobia and isolationism in recent years. As the two begin to look more and more alike, opposition to Soros has become a key bridge point. Domestically and internationally, particularly in Russia and his native Hungary, article headlines including phrases like “ties to George Soros” are signposts to believers that a cause, a website, a candidate, or a protest movement is inherently suspicious.
The Russian government has attempted to stop Soros’s fundraising and nonprofit activities in the country. In 2015, the Russian government banned two branches of Soros’s charity network — the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Open Society Institute (OSI) — from operating in the country, stating, “It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state.”
Putin’s reference to George Soros was a dog whistle to far-right anti-Semites
Austin Ruse Loves Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Who Crushes Dissent While Defending ‘Christian Civilization’
By Peter Montgomery | August 3, 2018 1:37 pm
Austin Ruse speaks at 2015 conference on sexual orientation and gender identity in international law
Austin Ruse, the leader of a U.S. Religious Right group that fights LGBTQ rights and access to abortion at the United Nations, devoted his article in this week’s “Friday Fax” to gushing praise for Hungary’s strongman president Viktor Orbán, who was been actively dismantling democratic checks and balances and silencing his critics in media and civil society.
Ruse, who has a track record of embracing the world’s most repressive regimes as long as they support his culture war on behalf of “traditional” views on sexuality and family, praised Orbán’s July 29 speech in Romania as part of Orbán’s “ongoing efforts to repel what he sees as an Islamic invasion of what used to be a Christian continent.”
In that speech, Orbán said that Europe, “once a great civilization,” is in decline because it has rejected its Christian foundation. And he took aim at philanthropist George Soros, whose pro-democracy civil society groups were forced to leave the country this year in the face of a “hate campaign.” Last year, Brian Brown, who heads the International Organization for the Family, bragged about working with Orbán to resist the work of Soros-affiliated groups.
In this week’s newsletter, Ruse expressed glee that “Orbán has once more caused European and some American elites to reach for their antacids”:He took dead aim at George Soros’s vision of an open society, one that is at odds with Christianity. “In Christian Europe, there was honor in work, man had dignity, men and women were equal, the family was the basis of the nation, the nation was the basis of Europe, and states guaranteed security. In today’s open-society Europe there are no borders; European people can be readily replaced with immigrants; the family has been transformed into an optional, fluid form of cohabitation; the nation, national identity, and national pride are seen as negative and obsolete notions; and the state no longer guarantees security in Europe,“ he said.
Ruse was delighted at Orbán’s declaration that “every country has the right to defend the traditional family model and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father.” And he praised the speech as “nothing short of a call to political arms for center-right Europeans to rise up and take over the European Parliament in the coming elections.”
Ruse is far from the only Orbán fan among the Religious Right. Last year’s World Congress of Families global summit was held in Budapest, and WCF leaders praised the country’s “defense of family, life, and Christianity.” In contrast, Freedom House has called Hungary under Orbán the “least democratic country” in the European Union.
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