Last month, Penguin published a new edition of “Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. A quote on the back cover says that the book “helped make the world we live in today.” And what a hellish world that is. Fascist movements are on the rise globally as the gap between rich and poor grows wider and wider. But this may be just the home for someone like Solzhenitsyn, who from 1978 until his death in 2008 called for a patriarchal ethno-state in what was once the USSR and is presently Russia. Even Henry Kissinger admitted Solzhenitsyn was “to the right of the Czar.” In 2017, Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News recommended the book to its readers in a list of “seven conservative classics every American should read.” A year later, we have a new edition of this “conservative classic” with a forward by Jordan Peterson. The far right has seized on Solzhenitsyn in this period. But why?Solzhenitsyn’s audience todayAs explained in Part 1 of this series, Peterson and Solzhenitsyn hold similar views, but there’s more to the story than ideological affinity. To understand the impact a new edition of “Gulag Archipelago” could have today, it’s necessary to know who listens to Jordan Peterson and, by extension, who will listen to Solzhenitsyn. Despite the scorn heaped on him by the mainstream press, Peterson has developed a huge audience using the same communication channels that other far-right forces have organized through in the last decade.To briefly give a sense of the numbers: Peterson’s last two appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience, a popular right-wing podcast, have each garnered over 4 million views; his Twitter account has nearly a million followers; and his YouTube channel, where he uploads his bigoted lectures, has 1.6 million subscribers. It’s these numbers that propelled Peterson’s recent book, “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos,” to the top of Amazon’s best sellers list when it was first published in January 2018. Almost a year later, it remains number three on the list.So who are these millions? As Peterson himself admitted, 91 percent are men. Other commentators have pointed out that a majority are young and white. This should come as no surprise, given that the author built his career advocating for enforced monogamy and attacking the concept that white privilege exists.But it’s also clear that Peterson is deliberately targeting these young white men. “12 Rules for Life” very consciously presents itself as a self-help book for this group. To what end?Jordan Peterson, fascist recruiterDespite efforts by the liberal media to blame Trump’s election on the alleged backwardness of the white working class, the truth is that Trump was elected by the white middle class, who constituted his largest voting bloc. Historically, it has always been the case that fascism grows out of the middle class in periods of crisis.This, however, does not mean that the middle class can only be fascist. As Leon Trotsky assessed in the 1930s, the middle class is contradictory, one that aspires to be in the ranks of the bourgeoisie but is always at risk of being pushed into the ranks of the proletariat by the forces of capitalism.Depending on a number of factors, its political views during a crisis can waver — sometimes toward fascism and sometimes toward socialism. For this reason, the right-wing can’t take for granted that the middle class will remain on its side. And in this period, they have reason to worry.A recent survey showed that the majority of young people today prefer socialism to capitalism. For good reason. Studies have shown that downward mobility is nearly universal for young people. They make less money than their parents, work multiple jobs and have more debt. Capitalism isn’t working for them. This is particularly true for Black and Brown young people, but in this period it has also become increasingly true for young white people, for whom whiteness is less and less the guarantor of safety and comfort that it once seemed to be in the U.S.Jordan Peterson’s objective, then, is to pull elements of this oscillating middle class rightward. Young people are targeted because they face a dead end and are desperate for a way out of the crisis. Of this group, white men are a prime target because the ruling class has age-old tools for luring them into acting against their own interests.Those tools are patriarchy and white supremacy.Below a veneer of individual rights and liberty (most likely sponsored by the Koch brothers), Peterson is, in essence, trying to sell young, white middle-class men the narrative that they are miserable because their rightful place in the social order has been taken by people who are “biologically inferior” to them, who happen to be Black and Brown, and women who should be in the home, not the workplace. Since it was first conjured up, white supremacy has always functioned as a tool to divide the working class by convincing white workers that they have more in common with their white bosses than they do with their fellow Black and Brown workers. Patriarchy, while serving many functions under capitalism, has also played a role in dividing the working class by enabling misogynistic behavior.While neither patriarchy nor white supremacy actually addresses the economic impoverishment with which capitalism threatens the ranks of the middle class, the strength of this hatred in poisoning the mind should not be underestimated in a society organized on the basis of white supremacy and patriarchy.The only way to disprove this ideological poison, and to pull the middle class away from these illusions, is a strong socialist movement of the working class and oppressed.The far right knows this, especially today when fascist forces are being smashed in the streets by communists, socialists and anarchists. And so they turn to Solzhenitsyn to bolster their claims. They roll out “Gulag Archipelago” — a book written by a man who refused to say one good word about socialism, who painted a picture of unrelenting horror and cruelty in the Soviet Union, and who apologized for Nazi collaborators — in order to eliminate socialism as a possibility within the minds of young people and create the illusion that the only solution to the crisis is the path laid out by Peterson. But Peterson and the far right are bound to fail. The only “antidote to chaos” is socialism.The first two parts of this series can be found here: Part 1 & Part 2FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Imagine a hungover baseball team handing out Reese’s and KitKats to kids. What a time.In any case, the Nationals championship celly is probably still going strong, considering the start of the MLB season has been delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When they do start playing games again, Washington will have to defend its crown without star third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is now on the west coast as a member of the Angels.Man, imagine being the guy having to tell Max Scherzer he’s been kicked out of a bar. So, what better way than to celebrate that with a drink? Or, several? Or, a lot more than several?In a Bleacher Report AMA, Nats lefty Patrick Corbin revealed that the team partied so hard, they were kicked out of the hotel bar, and then … just kept celebrating until the turn of the next morning.”We definitely celebrated,” Corbin said responding to a B/R user. “We got kicked out of the hotel bar, so we found another bar that we were at until 7 a.m. That was a blast.”The next day was Halloween. We chartered back in the morning to D.C. and got to hand out candy to the kids, but we were all in rough shape.”MORE: This dad’s reaction to his son mashing a dinger is sure to warm your heart Natitude meets Natty Light.The Nationals pulled off a near-miracle in 2019, winning the World Series after being down 3-2 heading back to Houston for the final two games of the Fall Classic. The entire Washington run of the 2019 postseason was adorned with miracles and impossibilites that were proven to be possible.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law ProgramWith many farmers in Ohio unable to plant before the Final Planting Date for crop insurance, questions are arising about planting and harvesting cover crops on those prevented planting acres. USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) rules allow operators to plant cover crops on prevented planting acres and to hay, graze, or cut the cover crops for silage after the posted “harvest date.” In previous years, the harvest date for cover crops was Nov. 1. If an operator harvested the cover crop before that date, the prevented plant payment would be reduced from 100% to 35%.The RMA has changed the harvest date for 2019, however. In response to reduced livestock feed supplies that will result from the loss of planted acres this year, the RMA has moved up the cover crop harvest date to September 1. An operator who plants a cover crop after the Final Planting Date and then cuts the crop for forage on or after Sept. 1 can still receive 100% of the prevented plant payment, even if the operator sells the forage and regardless of whether the operator planted the cover crop during or after the Late Planting Period. The Final Planting Date in Ohio was June 5 for corn and June 20 for soybeans; the Late Planting Period ended on June 20 for corn and runs until July 15 for soybeans. Note, too, that a cover crop that was in the ground before the Final Planting Date but was not terminated because the operator couldn’t plant the intended corn or soybean crop can also be harvested for forage on or after Sept. 1.The RMA’s chart below illustrates payment scenarios for cover crops planted and harvested on prevented planting acres. Other requirements for cover crops While the cover crop harvest date seems pretty straightforward, don’t be fooled — crop insurance provisions can be tricky. Farmers planning to put out cover crops on prevented plant acres should work closely with their crop insurance agents to ensure that all policy provisions and documentation requirements are met.An initial requirement is that the cover crop planted must meet the definition of an “acceptable cover crop” for crop insurance purposes. The RMA considers an acceptable cover crop as one that is recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement and planted at the recommended seeding rate. OSU agricultural experts can help provide guidance on acceptable cover crops.Operators should also be aware that many seed licenses, particularly for bio-engineered seeds, restrict the use of the seed to grain production only. In those situations, planting the seed for a cover crop or harvesting it for silage would violate the seed licensing contract and create a liability situation for the operator.Additionally, note that crop insurance provisions prohibit harvesting the cover crop for grain or seed, and an operator who does so will lose all of the prevented plant payment. The cover crop harvest can also impact other provisions, such as the farm’s Actual Production History (APH) yields. These and other provisions highlight the importance of a close working arrangement with the crop insurance agent in order to comply with RMA’s cover crop provisions.
Notre Dame will have a quarterback competition this off-season between redshirt sophomore Malik Zaire and incumbent Everett Golson. Both players played well in the program’s Music City Bowl win over LSU, and each candidate brings a different skill set to the table. In order to play a high-profile position such as quarterback at Notre Dame, one needs to have an abundance of self-confidence. If his Twitter this morning is any indication, Zaire is very confident in his own abilities.Never apologize for being confident in yourself.— Malik Zaire (@LuckyLefty8) March 5, 2015If you think you should have my spot. Play me for it. -KD— Malik Zaire (@LuckyLefty8) March 5, 2015The second tweet is a quote from NBA superstar Kevin Durant in regards to criticism that he was unworthy of a starting spot in this year’s All-Star game after missing time due to injury. Zaire seems ready to bring it on the field, and he should be a formidable competitor for Golson at the very least.
COLUMBIA, SC – OCTOBER 29: Head coach Will Muschamp of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts after a call during their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 29, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has really stirred the pot when it comes to satellite football camps and the SEC, sparking constant debate through the early months of 2016. So when head coaches of the SEC gathered for spring meetings Tuesday, it should come as no surprise it was once again a hot topic. But it was more than just Nick Saban banging on his podium during a heated rant – South Carolina’s Will Muschamp got in on the fun, too. So when the topic of Michigan camping in Florida was brought up by media members, Muschamp felt the perfect way to respond was to take a jab at Michigan, the state. 3HL 1045 The Zone and CoachingSearch.com’s Chris Vannini were on the scene and share these quotes on Twitter.Muschamp on Michigan, “It’s only nice about 3 months a year up there.” pic.twitter.com/DQslHfIOhz— #3HL (@3HL1045) May 31, 2016Will Muschamp on Harbaugh spring trip: “Have you ever been in Michigan in March? I’d go to Florida, too.”— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) April 4, 2016Shots fired. This won’t be the last we hear on the topic.[Diehard Sport]
Twitter/@PickSixPreviewsWhen Steve Spurrier resigned as South Carolina’s head coach midseason last year, there were many who believed that at some point, in some form, he’d head back to his alma mater – Florida – to finish up his career. It turns out they were right.Steve Spurrier will serve as an ambassador and consultant for Florida athletics, per UF release.— David Ubben (@davidubben) July 29, 2016Spurrier, who played quarterback for the Gators from 1963-1966, won a Heisman Trophy and later coached the program for 12 seasons, is headed back to Gainesville. Florida has announced that Spurrier will be an Ambassador and a Consultant for the Florida athletic department. Here’s more from AD Jeremy Foley, via Florida’s official website:“It’s a great day for the Gator Nation to be able to welcome Coach Spurrier back home,” Foley said. “He has served as a tremendous ambassador to the University and the athletic department for 50-plus years and it’s only fitting that at this point in his career, he is back in Gainesville. Being a Gator has always meant so much to Coach Spurrier, but it means just as much to us have him come home.”Spurrier began his college head coaching career at Duke, posting a 20-13-1 record from 1987-1989. After coaching the Gators for 12 seasons, during which he won a national title, he tried his hand in the NFL, coaching the Washington Redskins for two seasons. He later returned to the college ranks in 2005, spending 11 years as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Spurrier retired from coaching after six games this past season.Last month, Florida announced that it would be naming its football field in Spurrier’s honor.In 26 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Spurrier posted a 228-89-2 record with one national title – in 1996. His teams finished ranked in the top ten of the AP Poll 13 times.
Imagine, as Christopher Buckley (son of William F.) did in his clever book, Boomsday, a plan to make the government solvent by offering incentives for people to kill themselves at age 70 and younger. Instead of calling it suicide, it would euphemistically be known as “Voluntary Transitioning.” Now we have Ezekiel Emanuel, Ari and Rahm’s brother, making quite a splash with his article “Why I Hope to Die at 75” in the Atlantic. While he doesn’t plan on suicide, he will stop receiving medical treatment. He says people deteriorate, and are less productive and creative. So why stay around so long? The former White House aid’s article makes Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet’s piece on Casey Research last December all the more interesting. She pointed out that Mr. Emanuel has written plenty about “The Complete Lives System” which: makes crystal clear that physicians must not focus on the individual patient. Instead, medical care should be allocated based on the patient’s usefulness to the “collective good.” If you’re too old, or too young, or your ailment is too complicated, society is better off letting you die rather than paying a doctor to heal you. One tenet of the Complete Lives system is that medical care for people under age 15 and over age 45 should be attenuated. “Attenuate” means to ration. Emanuel believes that the very young and the elderly are less valuable to society than those in the middle of the age curve. Mr. Emanuel is likely trying to start a trend and maybe even plant the idea for legislation to stop caring for people at 75—all for the good of the country, of course. Besides ghoulish, it’s a bit ironic, given the unwillingness of Americans to grow up. It’s telling that Obamacare covers children up to 26, as if the mid-20s is the new teenager. There was no such thing as a teenager before 1941; there were children and there were adults, explains Diana West in her book The Death of the Grown-Up. Now, turning 13 brings on the wonderful, entitled world of being a teen instead of taking a small step toward adulthood, and according to West “due to the permanent hold our culture has placed on the maturation process, that’s where they’re likely to find most adults.” For instance, it turns out more adults watch the Cartoon Network than CNN. And while CNN is a low bar, remembering that my old boss, the CEO of a bank, would constantly watch SpongeBob SquarePants, I can believe this. Ms. West writes that the previous generation was “one not yet under the influence of a youth culture of licentious boys (sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll) and petulant girls (women’s lib), shaped [by] that most basic human instinct—survival. Elevated by a maturing belief in duty, honor, loyalty, and forbearance, the instinct to survive wasn’t just a self-concern; it was, it turned out, the saving grace of civilization.” So what’s happened? Why the societal breakdown? We’ve had Republicans and we’ve had Democrats in charge. It doesn’t matter. It’s inflation and democracy. Both shorten people’s time horizons. As a nation, we live for the moment because our money is constantly degraded and our politicians steal from us continuously. In his masterful examination of the Thomas Mann short story Disorder and Early Sorrow, professor Paul Cantor observes, “Mann is as acute in portraying the psychological effects of inflation as he is in portraying the economic, social and political effects.” Mann shows “inflation fundamentally changes the way people think, forcing them to live for the moment.” With everyone’s time horizons shortened during the Weimar hyperinflation, hard work and prudent investing are believed foolish. In Death and Early Sorrow, the older generation lost its authority and youth dominated. The children acted like adults and the adults acted like children. “The young are more adaptable to changing conditions, while the old are set in their ways,” writes Cantor, “Hence the young cope better with inflation.” Mann saw inflation change the dynamic between generations in society. With “the young [having] a huge advantage over the old,” Cantor explains. “Not having experienced economic stability, the youth of Germany are more able to go with the inflationary flow.” Mann’s principal character, Professor Cornelius, has a servant, young Xaver, who is the perfect inflationary child. Xaver, Mann described, “utterly lacks a sense of duty and can as little be trained to the performance of the daily round and common task as some kinds of dog can be taught to jump over a stick.” Xaver has no feeling for the past and lacks the discipline so prized in Germany. Cantor points out that the elderly “become increasingly irrelevant” in an inflationary environment. It’s well known that inflation especially punishes those on fixed incomes. “Mann fills in our sense of the psychological disruptions that accompany the economic ravages of inflation,” writes Cantor. “More than any other factor, inflation discredits the authority of the older generation and turns power over to youth.” With prices soaring, youthful vices look like wisdom; the conservatism and prudence of the elderly are made to look silly. In his epic Democracy: The God That Failed, Hans-Hermann Hoppe explained that democracy increases societal time preference and with democratic rule “contrary to conventional wisdom, the decivilizing forces inherent in any form of government are systematically strengthened.” The private ownership of government (monarchy) is much more long-term oriented. Rulers may pass on a nation’s wealth to their heirs. In a democracy, politicians can only use government resources. A president has every incentive to maximize current income at the expense of capital value. A president being a temporary caretaker, explains Hoppe, “will use up as much of the government resources as quickly as possible, for what he does not consume now, he may never be able to consume.” And since in a democracy anyone can be president or in government, “public resistance against government power is systematically weakened,” Hoppe writes. “While expropriation and taxation before may have appeared clearly oppressive and evil to the public, they seem much less so, mankind being what it is, once anyone may freely enter the ranks of those who are at the receiving end.” Ever oppressive government and increased taxation make saving for the future look futile. One might as well live for today if what you save will only be confiscated by government. As democracy dictates that the haves take care of the have-nots, “there will be less productive activity, self-reliance and future-orientation, and more consumption, parasitism, dependency and shortsightedness,” Professor Hoppe writes. What democracy and government have done is to retard the natural tendency of humanity to build an expanding stock of capital and durable consumer goods. Man, instead of becoming increasingly more farsighted and providing for ever more distant goals, is tending toward decivilization. As Hoppe describes, “formerly provident providers will be turned into drunks or daydreamers, adults into children, civilized men into barbarians, and producers into criminals.” When someone so powerful as Emanuel, leading by example, advocates for the elderly to get out of the way, society has indeed devolved. Too much money and too much government have turned civilized people into barbaric children.