Did you know Hunter S. Thompson succinctly predicted Trumpism -the “ethic of total retaliation”
Posted: 11 November 2017 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Guess it takes an outsider to clearly see the party everyone else is engaged in.
Yesterday I came along a fascinating and eye-opening article.
An article that should have been making the rounds two years ago.

This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism.
His Name Was Hunter S. Thompson.

In Hell’s Angels, the gonzo journalist wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.” Sound familiar?
By Susan McWilliams DECEMBER 15, 2016
https://www.thenation.com/article/this-political-theorist-predicted-the-rise-of-trumpism-his-name-was-hunter-s-thompson/

“He came in on his Harley,” Trump said of Walker, “but he doesn’t look like a motorcycle guy.”

“The motorcycle guys,” he added, “like Trump.”

It has been 50 years since Hunter S. Thompson published the definitive book on motorcycle guys:
Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
It grew out of a piece first published in The Nation one year earlier.

My grandfather, Carey McWilliams, editor of the magazine from 1955 to 1975, commissioned the piece from Thompson—
it was the gonzo journalist’s first big break, and the beginning of a friendship between the two men that would last until my grandfather died in 1980.
Because of that family connection, I had long known that Hell’s Angels was a political book.
Even so, I was surprised, when I finally picked it up a few years ago, by how prophetic Thompson is and how eerily he anticipates 21st-century American politics.
This year, when people asked me what I thought of the election, I kept telling them to read Hell’s Angels. ...

... After following the motorcycle guys around for months, Thompson concluded that the most striking thing about them was not their hedonism
but their “ethic of total retaliation” against a technologically advanced and economically changing America in which they felt they’d been counted out and left behind.
Thompson saw the appeal of that retaliatory ethic. He claimed that a small part of every human being longs to burn it all down,
especially when faced with great and impersonal powers that seem hostile to your very existence.
In the United States, a place of ever greater and more impersonal powers, the ethic of total retaliation was likely to catch on.

What made that outcome almost certain,
Thompson thought, was the obliviousness of Berkeley, California, types who, from the safety of their cocktail parties,
imagined that they understood and represented the downtrodden.

The Berkeley types, Thompson thought, were not going to realize how presumptuous they had been until
the downtrodden broke into one of those cocktail parties and embarked on a campaign of rape, pillage, and slaughter.

For Thompson, the Angels weren’t important because they heralded a new movement of cultural hedonism,
but because they were the advance guard for a new kind of right-wing politics.
As Thompson presciently wrote in the Nation piece he later expanded on in Hell’s Angels,
that kind of politics is “nearly impossible to deal with” using reason or empathy or awareness-raising or any of the other favorite tools of the left.
...

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Posted: 11 November 2017 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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LOL There’s no limit to the media’s stupidity.

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Posted: 11 November 2017 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Beltane - 11 November 2017 01:37 PM

LOL There’s no limit to the media’s stupidity.

I bet the irony of you uttering that piece of stupidity in that quote escapes you.  blank stare

Beltane, ever got anything constructive to add?    smirk

“ethic of total retaliation” seems as succinct and spot-on a description of the Alt-right as anyone’s made.

Got a better description, explanation, of what you-all are all about?  smile

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Posted: 12 November 2017 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Beltane - 11 November 2017 01:37 PM

LOL There’s no limit to the media’s stupidity.

No limit to people’s stupidity either.

First the oligarchs import foreigners from all over to work in their factories.

Then the oligarchs, started exporting those factories and jobs for greater profits.  Too much is never enough.
Then they continued relieving themselves of responsibility for all externality, specially taxes, and such things health insurance for their workers,
retirement benefits, etc., etc.  Profits über alles was new corporate imperative. 

The oligarch demanded merger after merger until they became more powerful than governments set up to care for the welfare of people.
Our new nation, the Corporation of Amerika.  And we let it happen.

Now the oligarchs continue teaching their former little white masters, who are now out of work, because they weren’t profitable enough,
to hate the imported workers and their families - because they are here and our factories are elsewhere in the world.

Never seeming to recognize who’s actually doing what, to whom. 
Instead like lemmings they take the bait and run off into all sorts of empty distractions to help the time go by.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Beltane, I just had occasion to go through that articled again

CLASSCULTURAL CRITICISM AND ANALYSISNATION HISTORY
This Political Theorist Predicted the Rise of Trumpism.

In Hell’s Angels, the gonzo journalist wrote about left-behind people motivated only by “an ethic of total retaliation.” Sound familiar?

By Susan McWilliams ~ December 15, 2016 !~ The Nation.com

It inspired me to come back here and revisit your one-liner.

Someone who had anything of value to add to; or detract from; or merely underline and repeat about the article,
would do so based on the article itself.  For instance, I shared specific paragraphs to outline the discussion.

Why not have the integrity to get specific, quote what you don’t like and why?
That is how a constructive conversation would unfold. Why have we all trashed all that?

Why are we all past that.  Battle lines are drawn, no-one escapes the raging torrent.

Thompson would want us to see this:
These are men and women who know that, by all intellectual and economic standards, they cannot win the game.
So whether it be out of self-protection or an overcompensation for their own profound sense of shame, they lash out at politicians, judges, scientists, teachers,
Wall Street, universities, the media, legislatures—even at elections. They are not interested in contemplating serious reforms to the system;
they are either too pessimistic or too disappointed to believe that is possible. So the best they can do is adopt a position of total irreverence:
to show they hate the players and the game.

Understood in those terms, the idea that Trumpism is “populist” seems misplaced. Populism is a belief in the right of ordinary people,
rather than political insiders, to rule.

Trumpism, by contrast, operates on the presumption that ordinary people aren’t going to get any chance to rule no matter what they do,
so they might as well piss off the political insiders using the only tool left available to them: the vote. ...

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Posted: 13 November 2017 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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To begin with, Thompson was a good writer but definitely not a political theorist or even a smart person, he was a clown who got famous by doing ‘journalism” that wasn’t actually journalism all while out of his mind on drugs.

Second, the outlaw biker subculture has been studied extensively. They weren’t left-behinds retaliating against a changing world, they were saying FU to boring, middle class postwar society. If anything bikers played a major role in changing American culture in the 60s - possibly as much as the hippies did. Hells Angels had long hair and beards before hippies even existed, they experimented with drugs before hippies, they broke sexual mores before hippies. They were high testosterone party animals who liked living on the edge - which was anathema at that time. Some modern bikers might be left-behinds but not the ones Thompson wrote about. So the theory that Thompson predicted anything is total bullshit; there is no connection between modern politics and biker history. The author of the piece seems to have a personal connection to Thompson and gives him too much credit.

Finally, the idea of “total retaliation” is too scatterbrained. The reality is simple—mainstream Americans have been hearing how terrible we are from the democratic party for decades. We’ve been getting nothing but deadlock from republicans. That’s why Trump won.

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Posted: 13 November 2017 11:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Beltane - 13 November 2017 10:17 PM

To begin with, Thompson was a good writer but definitely not a political theorist or even a smart person, he was a clown who got famous by doing ‘journalism” that wasn’t actually journalism all while out of his mind on drugs.

Second, the outlaw biker subculture has been studied extensively. They weren’t left-behinds retaliating against a changing world, they were saying FU to boring, middle class postwar society. If anything bikers played a major role in changing American culture in the 60s - possibly as much as the hippies did. Hells Angels had long hair and beards before hippies even existed, they experimented with drugs before hippies, they broke sexual mores before hippies. They were high testosterone party animals who liked living on the edge - which was anathema at that time. Some modern bikers might be left-behinds but not the ones Thompson wrote about. So the theory that Thompson predicted anything is total bullshit; there is no connection between modern politics and biker history. The author of the piece seems to have a personal connection to Thompson and gives him too much credit.

Finally, the idea of “total retaliation” is too scatterbrained. The reality is simple—mainstream Americans have been hearing how terrible we are from the democratic party for decades. We’ve been getting nothing but deadlock from republicans. That’s why Trump won.

I don’t dispute most of what you said there, except the part where Thompson wasn’t capable of making astute observations.
Beltane, that’s a cheap tactic of avoidance dismissing the concept as “the politics of total retaliation” as “too scatterbrained.”

Look at the Tea Party.  Look at trump.  Here’s what another political observer wink , with the help of trump himself - has to say.

A look at trumps assault on the norms governing how our leaders engage with us and in turn how that effects the way we engage with one another.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZAPwfrtAFY
5:20 - delegitimizing the Media  
6:20 - Whataboutism - moral equivalency
8:50 - Trolling - 10:08 President bragging on being “most superior troll”
12:20 - How low can trump go - The “figure it out yourself” president.
“I didn’t stand by anything” - lordie and that was elected president !?
14:50 - the moral, intellectual coward Congressman Paul Gosar

I’m sharing it because an awful lot of it made frightening sense and I was curious your opinion.

What about the crazy things he said during his Asia trip, jesus christ it was moronic,

so what are we doing here, Beltane, what’s the plan ???

[ Edited: 13 November 2017 11:09 PM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 14 November 2017 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Ah Beltane the sound of silence, nothing ever gets learned.

Oh incidentally,

The Lost Boys
The young men of the alt-right could define American politics for a generation.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/brotherhood-of-losers/544158/

The sudden emergence of the so-called alt-right from the dark recesses of the internet into the American mainstream was at first more baffling than shocking.
The young people sharing strange, coded frog memes and declaring their commitment to white identity politics on obscure websites remained in the realm of the unserious—
or at least the unknowable and weird.

Then, last November, The Atlantic published footage of a prominent alt-right provocateur,
Richard Spencer, raising a glass to Donald Trump’s election at a conference in Washington, D.C. “Hail Trump!” he shouted,
and in response, audience members saluted in unmistakably Nazi style.

The incident made waves—here were young men behaving, in public, like fascists.
But Spencer laughed it off, claiming that the gestures were “ironic.” The methods and meaning of the alt-right were as yet elusive.

It wasn’t until the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that the alt-right took on a form that most Americans could finally grasp as a real,
and unambiguous, political movement.

A disciplined, torch-lit procession snaked through a college town,
with white men shouting explicitly white-nationalist slogans in chorus. A true believer drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters
and was charged with killing a woman named Heather Heyer.
Could it be that these “ironic” young men had meant what they were saying all along? ...

Is this the future of Amerika you dream of Beltane?  Just curious.

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Posted: 14 November 2017 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 13 November 2017 11:07 PM
Beltane - 13 November 2017 10:17 PM

To begin with, Thompson was a good writer but definitely not a political theorist or even a smart person, he was a clown who got famous by doing ‘journalism” that wasn’t actually journalism all while out of his mind on drugs.

Second, the outlaw biker subculture has been studied extensively. They weren’t left-behinds retaliating against a changing world, they were saying FU to boring, middle class postwar society. If anything bikers played a major role in changing American culture in the 60s - possibly as much as the hippies did. Hells Angels had long hair and beards before hippies even existed, they experimented with drugs before hippies, they broke sexual mores before hippies. They were high testosterone party animals who liked living on the edge - which was anathema at that time. Some modern bikers might be left-behinds but not the ones Thompson wrote about. So the theory that Thompson predicted anything is total bullshit; there is no connection between modern politics and biker history. The author of the piece seems to have a personal connection to Thompson and gives him too much credit.

Finally, the idea of “total retaliation” is too scatterbrained. The reality is simple—mainstream Americans have been hearing how terrible we are from the democratic party for decades. We’ve been getting nothing but deadlock from republicans. That’s why Trump won.

I don’t dispute most of what you said there, except the part where Thompson wasn’t capable of making astute observations.
Beltane, that’s a cheap tactic of avoidance dismissing the concept as “the politics of total retaliation” as “too scatterbrained.”

Look at the Tea Party.  Look at trump.  Here’s what another political observer wink , with the help of trump himself - has to say.

A look at trumps assault on the norms governing how our leaders engage with us and in turn how that effects the way we engage with one another.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZAPwfrtAFY
5:20 - delegitimizing the Media  
6:20 - Whataboutism - moral equivalency
8:50 - Trolling - 10:08 President bragging on being “most superior troll”
12:20 - How low can trump go - The “figure it out yourself” president.
“I didn’t stand by anything” - lordie and that was elected president !?
14:50 - the moral, intellectual coward Congressman Paul Gosar

I’m sharing it because an awful lot of it made frightening sense and I was curious your opinion.

What about the crazy things he said during his Asia trip, jesus christ it was moronic,

so what are we doing here, Beltane, what’s the plan ???

Whatever.

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Posted: 14 November 2017 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 14 November 2017 06:08 PM

Ah Beltane the sound of silence, nothing ever gets learned.

Oh incidentally,

The Lost Boys
The young men of the alt-right could define American politics for a generation.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/12/brotherhood-of-losers/544158/

The sudden emergence of the so-called alt-right from the dark recesses of the internet into the American mainstream was at first more baffling than shocking.
The young people sharing strange, coded frog memes and declaring their commitment to white identity politics on obscure websites remained in the realm of the unserious—
or at least the unknowable and weird.

Then, last November, The Atlantic published footage of a prominent alt-right provocateur,
Richard Spencer, raising a glass to Donald Trump’s election at a conference in Washington, D.C. “Hail Trump!” he shouted,
and in response, audience members saluted in unmistakably Nazi style.

The incident made waves—here were young men behaving, in public, like fascists.
But Spencer laughed it off, claiming that the gestures were “ironic.” The methods and meaning of the alt-right were as yet elusive.

It wasn’t until the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that the alt-right took on a form that most Americans could finally grasp as a real,
and unambiguous, political movement.

A disciplined, torch-lit procession snaked through a college town,
with white men shouting explicitly white-nationalist slogans in chorus. A true believer drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counterprotesters
and was charged with killing a woman named Heather Heyer.
Could it be that these “ironic” young men had meant what they were saying all along? ...

Is this the future of Amerika you dream of Beltane?  Just curious.

Very unlikely the altright will be the future of America, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

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Posted: 15 November 2017 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Lord of the Flies - sounds pretty hideous to me.

Guess I’d have to watch more cartoons to appreciate the attraction.
Guess it’s something that can’t be explained by its proponents and is only felt in their pissed off petty bellies.

Thank for nothing, yet again beltrane.  smirk

At least Hunter could stand up and explain his thoughts.  blank stare

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