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Samizdata quote of the day – what a debate in Oxford tells us about the continuing rise of populism

And (Winston Marshall) pointed to some glaring hypocrisies within the elite class. Like the fact they simultaneously berate the populists while taking tens if not hundreds of millions in funding from global corporations, big pharma, and big tech. Like the fact they talk endlessly about the deeply troubling events of January 6th while simultaneously ignoring the violence of radical left activists and Antifa in places like Portland, Oregon.

Like the fact they warn endlessly about the anti-democratic ethos of populism while simultaneously using overly restrictive ‘hate laws’, their links with big tech and expanded taboos to denounce free speech elites don’t like as ‘hate’, ‘misinformation’, and ‘disinformation’.

Like the fact they routinely criticise Donald Trump for refusing to accept the outcome of the election in 2020 —an outcome he should have respected—while simultaneously ignoring how elite Democrats did the same thing in 2016, describing the election as “hijacked”, how the establishment in Britain refused to accept the legitimacy of the Brexit vote, and how elites in Brussels routinely force voters back to the ballot box to vote again at referendums when they delivered the ‘wrong’ result the first time around.

Matt Goodwin

12 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – what a debate in Oxford tells us about the continuing rise of populism

  • Paul Marks

    There was extensive violence and destruction from-the-left in Washington D.C. for MONTHS before January 6th 2021 – but the Corporate Media pretended (as it pretended in the case of other cities) that the violence and destruction from-the-left was “mostly peaceful protests”.

    The corporate media, and the Corporations generally, have made a decision to support-the-left 0 even on obvious lies such as “George Floyd was murdered” or “the 2020 American Presidential Election was honest and fair” – may their decision support the left turn to ashes in their mouth and choke them.

    If it being a “Populist” to denounce obviously rigged elections, and to denounce the general Corporate State (including its Police State – the thugs of the FBI and the institutionally corrupt “Justice” system), then it is time to be a “Populist”.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the original Populist – Tiberius Gracchus. Unlike his younger brother, Tiberius Gracchus did NOT want endless benefits and services for a mob of citizens in Rome – Tiberius Gracchus held that many citizens has lost their farms due to being forced into the army for years (and sometimes due to attacks by thugs employed by certain people), and due to illegal actions by various politically connected wealthy individuals who (he argued) were holding some (some – NOT all the land they held) land illegally – land that should (again his argument – I am not claiming this) be granted to families who had been independent farmers (not members of a “mob” in Rome) a few years before his time. Those Romans who had lent money to the government during the various wars should be repaid (Tiberius Gracchus argued) and their repayment (in gold and silver) would mean that the land they had been granted (whilst waiting for payment) should be returned by them – even if this land was much more valuable than the loans they had made to the state (after all they would have back the money, the gold and silver, they had lent the state). The land going NOT to the state – but to families now in Rome who, only a generation or so before, had been independent farmers – the economic and political (and military) foundation of the Republic.

    Vast estates worked by slaves, and a mob of unemployed citizens in Rome itself was, Tiberius Gracchus argued, a deadly threat to the Republic.

    Now Tiberius Gracchus may have been wrong in his legal arguments – but the matter needs serious examination, not just “he is a Populist – have him murdered”.

    As Tiberius Gracchus wished to return to a situation that had existed only a generation before his time – it might (might – possibly) be more accurate to describe him as a reactionary (no bad thing to be) rather than a leftist.

    In modern America ordinary families can not compete with the vast Corporations as ordinary “Mom and Pop” enterprises have to pay much higher tax rates than the vast Corporations do (the Milton Friedman argument that the Corporations do not really have an independent existence is mistaken as most shares are NOT owned by individuals and Corporate managers clearly do NOT act in the interests of “Aunt Agatha” style individual shareholders – indeed despise such ordinary shareholder as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, “climate deniers” and-so-on) – and by the vast Corporations getting Credit Money (forbidden under Roman Law) on more favourable terms than ordinary people can get the Credit Money – hence a massive “Cantillon Effect” concentrating wealth.

    Finally on the national debt…..

    As long ago as 1935 the Supreme Court decided (admittedly by only 5 to 4) that the government debt was NOT in gold (contrary to what every legal contract and other legal documents said) and that the government could “pay” this debt in paper.

    Fair enough then, everyone who has lent the American government money since the 1933 disguised default and the corrupt Supreme Court judgements of 1935, has known this. It is true that foreign governments were still paid in gold – but that stopped in 1971, so foreign governments have had 53 years to get it through their heads that the U.S. Dollar is based on NOTHING. That the U.S. Dollar is NOTHING – it is VOID.

    So pay the 35 Trillion Dollar fiat money debt – in fiat money, today.

    “You mean via the banking system creating more Credit Money” – no, no need to allow the bankers to “wet their beak”, have the government, the U.S. Treasury, create this “money” itself and use it to pay the fiat money debt in fiat money.

    “But the Dollar will be worthless” – the Dollar is already a farce, this would just be formally admitting that it is a farce.

    It is going to happen, the Dollar will collapse (taking the corrupt Corporate State with it) regardless of whether a “Populist” is elected or not.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the idea of the Western “elite” (the enemies of ordinary people – who they sneer at as “Populists”) to replace the fiat U.S. Dollar with a fiat international currency.

    What part of “a fiat currency, whether national or international, is based on nothing – it is nothing, it is void” do they not understand?

    Their Cantillon Effect wealth and political power is going to go.

  • lucklucky

    Populism = ideas that the person that uses the populist designation don’t like but “common people” like.
    Democratic= ideas that the person that uses the populism designation and “common people” both like.

  • Steven R

    Maybe the people just don’t want what our betters are selling, regardless of how it’s packaged.

  • Discovered Joys

    The Elites ‘still don’t get it’ because that would acknowledge that they were/are in error. Arguably the figureheads of the old Elite (and they are mostly old themselves) have lived a life of plenty and their habitual success is foundational to their worldview. They are not likely (and may not be able) to change now.

    At the tail end of the Elite cycle (see Cliodynamics) a dogged refusal of ‘populism’ only shortens the period of chaos before the next Elite take over power. Let them keep digging.

  • Paul Marks

    The international establishment even condemn the elected President of Argentina, who is doing his best to roll back the state, as a “Populist”.

    When I said (via Twitter – now X) to a Guardian newspaper employee that President Milei was a libertarian – I was told he was not a supporter of liberty as President Milei was against abortion. So now holding an opinion that almost everyone held before the 1960s makes someone a “Populist” – including, for example, Pope Francis (very much at the other end of the political spectrum to President Milei – yet on the same page as him on this matter) and the vast numbers of Muslims in the world – why is the Guardian not guilty of “Islamophobia” when it attacks people who are opposed to abortion, or opposed to “Trans Rights” for children.

    One does not have to go back to before the 1960s to find a time when essentially everyone was against “Trans Rights” for children – almost everyone condemned this evil, till only a couple of years ago.

    For example, I knew the 2020 American Presidential Election was going to be rigged when I watched Mr Joseph “Joe 10% for the Big Guy” Biden, in a televised “Town Hall” support “Trans Rights” for eight year old children.

    Hardly anyone, even in these evil days, supports such terrible evil – “Trans Rights” for eight year old children. Mr Biden’s masters would only have had him say this (and these were plainly pre scripted remarks) if how people actually voted in 2020 did not matter – because they (the establishment) were going to rig the election with endless fake mail-in ballots and other such tactics.

  • Stonyground

    “Maybe the people just don’t want what our betters are selling…”

    This from a thread about a government mandate to inflict electric vans on businesses.

    “Work vehicles aka White Vans/Trannies etc. are the workhorse of the maintenance/building/plumbing/painting/landscaping business- these vehicles are expected to run for at least 10years with an average of 150,000 miles on the clock and have a re-sale value. The Government mandated replacements will never carry the same payload, never be ready for use 24/7/365 and more importantly, never be worth the hassle especially regarding insurance and re-sale. But, what the hell, not one Government or Opposition politico has ever worked in a business where hard work, long hours are a requirement, so making life as difficult for others is just oh so easy and pleasing to them.”

  • Paul Marks

    I do not agree with Winston Marshall that President Trump should have “accepted the results of the 2020 election” – if you accept the results of an obviously rigged election you are giving the establishment the green light to do it again, more fake mail-in ballots, more electronic election machines, and-so-on. After all the British government, whilst publicly pretending that the 2020 American Presidential election was straight, brought in an Act of Parliament whose obvious purpose was to prevent American style election rigging taking over the United Kingdom – especially on what call “postal ballots” (the Act was expressly designed to reduce the chance of a mass tidal wave of fake mail-in ballots – the practice in some States of the United States).

    I also note that Nancy Pelosi spent much of her speech attacking “ethno-nationalism” – this is in contradiction not only for her support for Israel (an ethno-nationalist state – that is what Zionism is), but also for her support for Ukraine – the point of the war with Moscow being that Ukraine wants to be an ethno-nationalist state, it does not want to be a de facto part of the multi-national (non ethno-nationalist) Russian state – the war is about Ukrainian ethno-nationalism (and I am NOT saying that is a bad thing).

    By the way Russia being a multi ethnic state goes all the way back to Ivan the Terrible – and not to his legendary cruelty but rather, oddly enough, an act of MERCY. When Ivan captured Kazan it was expected that the Tartars would be exterminated or driven out (which is what a Western ruler, of that period, would have done) – but, for whatever reason or reasons (or perhaps on a mad whim) Ivan decided NOT to exterminate the Tartars – at that moment the idea of Russia as a multi ethnic state held together NOT by ethnic loyalty, but by loyalty (instead) to a strong leader (or ruler) was born.

    A monarchy (and let us face the truth – Russia is still a monarchy, although a disguised one) can be a multi ethnic state (people not being loyal to their common ethno-national culture – but, rather, loyal to the King or Emperor) – it is a democracy that, arguably, needs a “demos” (a people – an ethic group, with a basic common culture and so on).

    One of the reasons that American statemen and thinkers (before the United States, or its ruling establishment, went insane in the 1960s) stressed the “Melting Pot”, assimilation – the need for both native born and immigrants to accept a common culture and principles, was an understanding that a democracy needs a demos – a people (not many different peoples), with a common basic culture.

    Although far from perfect (there were many faults) up to a few years (or decades) ago such places as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were still basically American cities – it would not really be honest to make that claim about them now. On the other hand Moscow, St Petersburg, Vladivostok… (in spite of Russia being a multi ethnic state for centuries) are still clearly Russian cities.

    Mr Biden, or whoever, writes the words Mr Biden tries to read, is filled with hatred for Americans and American culture – every statement he reads out (or tries to read out) shows this – and this is common to the modern American ruling establishment (including Mrs Pelosi).

    As I mentioned above – the American elite, indeed the elite of many Western nations, appear to have gone insane – they are filled with hatred for their own people, and a desire to destroy them and their culture. This hatred is not a good thing – and Popularism is a logical response to it.

  • Paul Marks

    Stonyground – when talking about vans you, or rather the person you are quoting, assumes that “politicians” make policy – this is an idea that I have had to refute many times here. I can assure you that most (not all – but most) policy is not made by politicians in the United Kingdom (or, I suspect, Western countries generally).

    The politicians may not even know what the policy concerning vans is – and even they do know, they may not have much choice about the matter. The Western system has become rather Hegelian – policy (not always – but often) emerges from the officials and experts Then the political “leadership” are “briefed” and “trained” in relation to policy.

    “Not one government or opposition politico has worked in….” it would make no difference if they were all ex van drivers, the “politicos” do not tend to decide these things, not in the United Kingdom or (I suspect) other Western countries.

    This Hegelian (rule by bureaucracy – rule buy the “experts”) system is one reason for the rise of Populism – people are sick of hearing endlessly about “democracy” whilst having no real say about most policy.

    By the way – the Citizens Assemblies pushed by the left (the Greens and so on) are a con – these groups are also “trained” or “educated” by officials and “experts” – the conclusions of their deliberations are predetermined.

  • Paul Marks

    Noam Chomsky was half correct when he declared that the education system and the media “manufacture consent” for various policies – they do (or they try to), but Professor Chomsky assumed that the policies were those of the right, when they are actually those of the left.

    And this was true even back in the 1960s. Both in the United States and the United Kingdom. Professor Chomsky failed to see that the establishment (which he thought was his enemy) actually shared a lot of his assumptions and agenda – and was a lot closer to him (even 50 or 60 years ago) than to sort of people who contribute to Samizdata.

    Clue – real dissenters (dissidents) do not tend get to be Professors at elite universities and get endless fawning media coverage.

  • Martin

    I also note that Nancy Pelosi spent much of her speech attacking “ethno-nationalism” – this is in contradiction not only for her support for Israel (an ethno-nationalist state – that is what Zionism is), but also for her support for Ukraine – the point of the war with Moscow being that Ukraine wants to be an ethno-nationalist state,

    Many such cases of oikophobes who hate nationalists from their own countries while having unusually strong support for ethnonationalism in faraway places.

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