2017: Old Year’s Night & a Year of Absit Omen

Welcome to 2017.

It’s my sincerest hope that we don’t have to look back and divide history into ante-Trump and post-Trump timelines. Emoluments clause notwithstanding, that’s the world we’re about to enter. A fast food CEO will be secretary of labor with plans to remove the advances won by organized labor. Sounds familiar. The people who refuse to listen to evidence both in the environment and the financial markets are going to be back in charge. Surely, the markets and environment will handle that well.

Foreign affairs will be business run, which may be appropriate when the FBI becomes partisan, the CIA tries to point out outside influences, and the Commander in Chief trusts foreign governments instead of his own. This may look peculiar to some, but it looks a lot like Stage 4 of fascist ascendancy actually, with “state functionaries” competing for favorable status:

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Robert O. Paxton, The Five Stages of Fascism, 1998.

There’s also conspicuous banana republic number of generals receiving cabinet appointments, as if destined to be line with certain predictions (ie. Robert Paxton). At all of this, ironically, the Germans seem the most upset. Ask yourself: what possible recent experience could be influencing their thoughts?

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“the class struggle in [the country] created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero’s part.” – a famous German
This is all absit omen, btw. I hope 2017 will be a good year, I sincerely do. But I’m not placing bets that way. Appropriate to New Year’s, I’ve seen too many of Rod Serling’s morality plays for that.

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“Hope springs eternal in the human breast, Man never is, but always to be blessed.” – Alexander Pope
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