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Neoliberalism or Fascism? Trump, Globalization and Global Cosmopolitanism

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Recently, I came across a quote from Steve Bannon, Breitbart manchild prodigy and Trump transition overseer, from a few years ago: 
“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” 
In this post, I want to share some thoughts about the unique historical relationship between neoliberalism and fascism and how this quote relates to that history. There has been a great deal of talk within the left about whether a Trump presidency will be fascist, neoliberal, or something else. The tl;dr is that I think we will see a hybrid of the two. Fascism has often been used to support the neoliberal project, and vice versa. Here are a few points and some conclusions for moving forward: 
1. Neoliberalism has appeared in many forms throughout the world. The experience of it in the Global North (the US, Europe and other industrialized countries) is often different from the Global South (a catch-all term for deve…

Scientia Potentia Est: "Anti-Science" and political discourse in the 2016 presidential election

I'm not a fan of Jill Stein. When I look at people like Caroline Lucas of the UK Green party or Maggie Chapman with Scottish Greens, I see competent leaders who can speak intelligently about public policy issues without resorting to generalized, populist language. And I don't really have a positive opinion about the viability as the Green Party as an alternative to the two-party system in the US at a national level. We're more or less beyond the tipping point for the climate at this point and hoping against all odds to vote the right person into office every four years isn't an effective strategy.
Stein's wavering stance on vaccines have been a flop, for sure - a mumble jumble of OTT populist conspiracy language with an amateurish understanding of the precautionary principle and a social scientist's questioning of why/how people form dissenting opinions about science and public policy. It's not how a successful Green Party leader should talk and I really hop…

On BernieBros

TW: Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Julian Assange/AnonUK

There's often a naivety that movements for social justice are inherently full of good people. They aren't. Activist movements often reproduce the same inequalities that they purport to challenge and nowhere is that more visible right now than the rise of the Berniebro.

It was inevitable that the Sanders "revolution" (while things have changed since the 80s, Bookchin's analysis of Bernie Sanders is still essential reading), in addition to mirroring some of the best aspects of radical left social movements, would also emulate their darker side. Manarchists, brocialists and brogressives existed long before Bernie announced his campaign and they will continue to exist long after. MBBs are almost always middle class, white, cishetero men who are interested in social justice and liberation, but only to the point where it does not challenge their privileged status. For pretty much every social movement, dealing wi…

Europe

I don’t really have anything poignant to say about the Brussels attacks, I think Varoufakis explained it succinctly in various interviews after Paris and people should revisit that. And people should pay attention to reports from NGOs, volunteers and locals on Greek islands about the transformation of refugee camps into detention centers as the result of an EU deportation deal with the Turkish state. Daesh’s aim is to use terror to undermine the system of open borders between European countries (and thereby destroy Europe). If that wasn't obvious before, it should be by now. But at the same time, Fortress Europe is destroying itself. And then there are the grim economic growth forecasts for European countries in the coming decades and a growing likelihood that Euro-style social infrastructure will crumble. As the mythomoteur of Europe continues to unravel in response to pressure from vast numbers of migrants from resource depleted and war ravaged former colonies who demand the ri…

8 reasons why Obama is NOT a climate hero

I don't want to hear a single pip ever again from liberals about how Obama/the Democrats are committed to tackling climate change.

1.The USG has pledged to spend $750 million per year to a Green Climate Fund to pay for adaptation and mitigation costs to nations in the Global South. In comparison, the amount of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy was estimated around $67 billion. Obama’s speech may have conceded that the US must take responsibility for its disproportionate contribution to the climate crisis. But US negotiators have been pushing for developing countries to contribute to this fund, which is ridiculous.

2.Just now, it is being reported that at least 270 people are dead and 1.8 million displaced in South India as the result of the worst flooding there in over a century. A UN report recently announced that one person is displaced every SECOND due to climate change and more than 28 million have been displaced since 2008. Climate justice cannot be achieved without opening th…

6 things to keep in mind when looking at the Clean Power Plan and prospects of real leadership from the White House at COP21

1) There is, there has always been, and there will always be a huge gap between what the science requires and what the state can deliver when it comes to climate change. The climate isn’t going to wait for the US progressive movement to get its shit together. Yet so many greens in this country act like this is the case. As has been said before, Nature doesn’t do bailouts. 2) The 2007 IPCC report representing scientific consensus on climate change prescribed that emissions must peak in 2015 (this year) and decline dramatically thereafter in order to avoid catastrophic climate change (above around 2.4 degrees C, which is still a death sentence for many island nations). These estimates were conservative and more recent research has shown things are moving much more quickly than the IPCC had previously predicted. Nor have emissions peaked. They've increased. This is in spite of the 15% reduction in emissions from US power plants that has already happened, amounting to just under half …

Vanuatu

Half of the island of Vanuatu is now homeless in the wake of Cyclone Pam, with 90% of structures reported as damaged and many towns and villages without safe drinking water. You can't attribute a single weather event to climate change, but you can point out the quandary of having to rebuild a country (probably through loans from the Asian Development Bank and other international financial institutions, loans that will drive the country further into debt and make future development and resettlement difficult) that will almost certainly be underwater in a few decades.

In 2012/3, the House and the Senate voted to allocate $60 billion in aid towards relief and redevelopment in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. But at the end of last year, the House took major steps to block Obama's commitment of a paltry $3 billion to the UN climate fund.  All of the top 10 countries most at risk to climate change impacts are in the Global South (Vanuatu and other small island states aren't i…