Monday, September 26, 2022

Brief Snarky Notes on UK Politics

They could let the Scots run the UK. They seem to know what they're doing.

No? Is there no-one the country might rally behind? Anyone? Leaders of vision and courage are now needed - are there any who might emerge?

The problems of the UK are the problems of modern democracy writ large. The US founders, classical republicans all, expected that the country would elect wise far-seeing statesmen to lead the USA. Instead the country was dominated by mechanics and shopkeepers, and the demagoguery was beyond belief. It elected the slaving, genocidal Andrew Jackson, who left the USA in a shambles for generations.

They didn't know. They couldn't know. But we do know. What now?

The Party of Rape

There is a feminist theory that the oppression of women is the model for all other forms of oppression. If men are willing to abuse women they are intimate with, even to turn intimacy into abuse, goes the theory, who will they not abuse?

And so, in the United States. A 10-year-old rape victim sought and was granted an abortion. And what is the response of the reactionary right wing in the United States? To blame the doctors who diagnosed her and who aborted the pregnancy. To blame her. To object that her rapist ought not have been in the United States. Anything but accept the responsibility for putting that girl in a horrible position or acknowledge that there are men who rape children and that this has been done before and will be done again. The girl and her doctors have come in for enormous harassment, while the antiabortion Republicans did not trouble itself to find out anything about her rapist.

And this is what the Republican Party is now fighting for: the right to abuse the victims of rape and the women who defend them, while ignoring their rapists. And, indeed, if they will fight for that, what form of oppression will they shun?

Kaiju Democracy

“But I sometimes wonder whether in this respect a democracy is not uncomfortably similar to one of those prehistoric monsters with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin: he lies there in his comfortable primeval mud and pays little attention to his environment; he is slow to wrath—in fact, you practically have to whack his tail off to make him aware that his interests are being disturbed; but, once he grasps this, he lays about him with such blind determination that he not only destroys his adversary but largely wrecks his native habitat.” - George F Kennan

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Notes for a review: Hitler’s American Model

Whitman, James Q. Hitler’s American Model The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2018.

These are notes for a review I never finished and don't want to spend the time to write.

  • The Nazis regarded the racism of the USA as, rather than something reprehensible, something encouraging and they hoped for its triumph. They modeled the infamous Nurmeberg Laws on US race law.
  • Nazi antisemitic policy was at first aimed at immigration, getting Jews to what we would now call “self deport.”
  • Whitman was interviewed over at Truthout; you can get a sense of his thesis reading the article, “Racist US Laws Provided Inspiration to the Nazis: An Interview With James Q. Whitman.”
“ have a common law system like that of America is to have a system in which the traditions of the law do indeed have little power to ride herd on the demands of the politicians, and when the politics is bad, the law can be very bad indeed.” – James Q. Whitman