[-empyre-] Trumpulism

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Mar 15 14:28:11 AEDT 2017


Hi Simon, a few comments interspersed below -


Dear <<empyreans>>,

Outside of (reacting with moral disgust or nausea) a reactive opposition, 
what can be done to form and inform an active (political) nonopposition to 
political powers which claim the right to be considered nonpolitical? and 
which in so claiming are claimants to a constituency of the politically 
exhausted (the Left)?

*/the opposition is already there on all sorts of grassroots levels; while 
the press understandably concentrates on larger-scale mass-movements, 
there are practices on a local leve that receive (local) attention - 
student protests, local marches, sanctuary discussions and legislation, 
and so forth; it's happening on the level of TAZ (temporary autonomous 
zones) in a way I haven't seen before./*

Nietzsche had it that god died of pity; do we now try and raise her with 
disgust?

A journalist commented on the Trumpulist derogation of news media that it 
is part of a general strategy of delegitimation: unlike Europe, the US has 
no experience of the fabrication of popular truths to support political 
regimes.

*/This just isn't true; during the Vietnam war tne 'Pentagon' was 
consistently lying, not only about actions, but also about body counts, 
etc.; Fire in the Lake, I believe, has covered that in depth. We've had 
our share of fake news all the way along - even the onslaught years ago by 
the tobacco lobby.../*

Too readily to accept we live in a posttruth world is to accept also that 
the delegitimation of news media is to some degree justified, that they 
have justified this to some degree themselves--and even doing so in the 
smallest degree, because of pluralist leanings, sociohistoricocultural 
relativism, or economic realism, is a quiescence, if not acquiescence. In 
other words, Trumpulist declarations of the falsity of fake news, even if 
they are not believed, serve just as well, since they raise it as 
plausibly possible: it is not us lying to you, but the others, the ones 
cynically declaring for truth, who are the true liars. After all, we, the 
winners, have nothing to gain, have nothing more to prove and have to 
prove nothing more: the burden of proof is with the losers and the liars 
in the media. And after all, Trump has no need for them--he has his own 
media.

*/Absolutely, and this is the core of the problem; if Trump says X and 
news says non-X, then both are seen as critique-in-opposition. A great 
deal of this, I believe, has to do with the dismantling of the K-12 school 
system in the U.S. which has resulted in literall most of the country 
getting their daily news from right-wing radio, Rush Limbaugh at the top 
of the heap. This is a complicated situation, but for most rural or 
small-town Americans, the main news sources for the past thirty years have 
been Fox and right-wing Net, yes, but in the car, the home, the story, 
it's been a constant barrage from the extreme far right. I've noted how 
Limbaugh among others has grow increasingly out-and-out racist and 
strident, beginning with Obama. This is daily, this proceeds without 
contradiction, this hammers home like Father Coughlin did in the 30s./*

Best,
Simon

Thanks!, Alan


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