And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Zizek on Russia (Translated)

Slavoj Zizek, "For Putin, freedom means that everyone knows their place"
Russia joins the battle of the great powers. The left didn't see this coming. To win, Europe should work with the Third World.

After the Russian attack on Ukraine, I was once again ashamed of being a Slovenian citizen. The Slovenian government immediately announced that it was ready to take in thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russian occupation. Okay, but when Afghanistan was conquered by the Taliban, the same government announced that Slovenia was not willing to take any refugees from there. The justification was that instead of fleeing, people should stay and fight the Taliban with arms.

A few months ago, when thousands of refugees from Asia tried to reach Poland via Belarus, the Slovenian government offered Poland military aid, claiming that Europe was under attack there. So there are obviously two types of refugees: “our” (European), ie “real refugees”, and those from the third world who do not deserve our hospitality.

The Slovenian government published a tweet on February 25, making this distinction clear: “The refugees from Ukraine come from an environment that is culturally, religiously and historically completely different from the environment from which the refugees from Afghanistan come .” After the outcry this tweet caused, it was soon retracted — but the genie of the obscene truth left the bottle for a brief moment.

China will want to solve the Taiwan issue

I mention this not for moral reasons, but because I believe that such a "defense of Europe" will be disastrous for Western Europe in the ongoing global struggle for geopolitical influence. Our media is currently focused on the conflict between the “liberal” sphere of the West and the “Eurasian” sphere of Russia, with each side accusing the other of posing a threat: the West is fomenting “color revolutions” in the East and encircling Russia with NATO -extension one; Russia is brutally trying to reestablish its control over all former Soviet territory, and no one knows where it will stop.

Russia has already made it clear that it will not stand idly by as Bosnia and Herzegovina moves closer to NATO (which likely means that it will support the secession of the Serbian part of Bosnia). All of this is part of a larger geopolitical game – just think of the Russian military presence in Syria that saved the Assad regime. What the West largely ignores is the third, much larger group of countries that are mostly just watching the conflict: the Third World, from Latin America to the Middle East, from Africa to Southeast Asia - even China is unwilling to fully support Russia, although it has its own plans. On February 25, in a message to Kim Jong Un, Xi Jinping stated that China is willing to cooperate with the Korean side, to further develop China-North Korea relations in friendship and cooperation "in a new situation" - a cryptic reference to the war in Ukraine. There are fears that China will use the "new situation" to "liberate" Taiwan.

Nobody really expected a total invasion of Ukraine

Therefore it is not enough to repeat things that are obvious to us. It is true that even the language used by Putin gives it all away. On February 25, 2022, Putin called on the Ukrainian military to seize power in their country and overthrow President Zelensky, saying it was “easier for us to make a deal with the Ukrainian military” than with “this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis” (of the Ukrainian government) who “took the entire Ukrainian people hostage”.

It is also notable how Russia immediately militarizes any countermeasure: when Western states considered the possibility of excluding Russia from the SWIFT system, Russia replied that this would be tantamount to an act of war – as if Russia had not already started a large-scale actual war . Another chilling case: "To all those considering outside interference, if you do so, you will face consequences that will be greater than any in history," Putin said on February 24, 2022, when he announced the military intervention in Ukraine.

Let's try to take this statement seriously: "Foreign interference" can mean many things, including sending defense military equipment to Ukraine; "Consequences greater than any you have faced in history"? European countries have endured two world wars with millions of dead, so a "major" consequence can only be nuclear destruction. It is this (not just rhetorical) radicalization that should concern us: most of us expected Russia to occupy only the two Russian separatist-controlled “republics” or, in the extreme case, the entire Donbass region. Nobody really expected a total invasion of Ukraine.

Putin says he had no choice

However, those who support Russia, or at least have some “understanding” of its actions, are a group of odd bedfellows. Perhaps the saddest part of the story is that quite a few on the liberal left took the crisis for a bluff, knowing both sides could not afford all-out war. The message from the liberal left was: "Keep calm, don't lose your nerve and nothing will happen."

Unfortunately, we have to admit that Biden was right when he said 10 days ago that Putin made a decision to invade. After the Russian aggression, some “leftists” (I can’t use the word without quotation marks here) blame it on the West – the story is well known: NATO slowly strangled and destabilized Russia, encircling it militarily, fomenting revolutions and ignoring them altogether legitimate fears of Russia. Just remember that Russia has been attacked twice from the West in the last century...

There is, of course, some truth to that. But using this narrative to justify the war is like justifying Hitler by blaming the unjust Treaty of Versailles, which devastated the German economy. And it also means that the great powers have the right to control their own spheres of influence and sacrifice the autonomy of small nations on the altar of global stability.

Putin has repeatedly claimed that he was forced to intervene militarily because there was no other choice. In its own way, that is true, but we must raise the key question here: military intervention only appears as Putin's only choice ("There is no alternative") if we consider his global vision of politics as a great power struggle for defense and expansion accept in advance their sphere of influence.

The question is: Who rules the world?

And what about Putin's accusations that Ukraine is fascist? (It's a bit odd to call Zelensky, a Jew who lost many of his family ancestors in the Holocaust, a neo-Nazi...) We'd better turn the question around and put it to Putin himself: everyone who has illusions about Putin , should note that he promoted to the rank of official philosopher Ivan Ilyin, a Russian political theologian who, after being expelled from the Soviet Union on the famous “Philosopher's Ship” in the early 1920s, opposed Bolshevism and Western liberalism espoused its own version of Russian fascism: the state as an organic community ruled by a paternal monarch.

For Ilyin, the social system is like a body in which each of us has our place, and freedom means knowing our place. Accordingly, for Ilyin, democracy is a ritual: “We vote only to affirm our collective support for our leader. The leader is not legitimized by our votes or elected by our votes.” Isn't that the way Russian elections have actually been conducted over the past few decades? No wonder Ilyin's works are now being reprinted en masse in Russia and distributed free of charge to state apparatchiks and conscripts.

Aleksander Dugin, Putin's court philosopher, follows in Ilyin's footsteps and adds only a postmodern variant of historicist relativism: “Postmodernism shows that any so-called truth is a matter of belief. So we believe in what we do, we believe in what we say. And that is the only way to define the truth. So we have our special Russian truth that you have to accept. If the United States does not want to start a war, you should realize that the United States is no longer the sole ruler. And [with] the situation in Syria and Ukraine, Russia is saying, 'No, you're not the boss anymore.' That is the question of who rules the world. Only a war can really decide that.”

Putin acts as a copy of Western imperialist expansionism

The question that immediately arises here is: What about the people of Syria and Ukraine? Can they also choose their truth/beliefs or are they just a playground for the big "bosses" and their struggle? The notion that every “life form” has its own truth is what endears Putin to the new populist right. No wonder his military intervention in ... So when Putin speaks of “denazification,” we should remember that it is the same Putin who is Marine le Pen in France , which supported Lega in Italy and other neo-fascist movements.

But all this is not surprising: forget about the “Russian truth”, this is just a convenient myth to justify one's power. Putin is now acting as a belated copy of Western imperialist expansionism. So, to really counter it, we should build bridges to third world countries, many of which have long lists of perfectly legitimate grievances against Western colonization and exploitation. It is not enough to “defend Europe”: our real task is to convince third world countries that we can offer them a better choice than Russia or China in the face of our global problems. And the only way to achieve this is to transforming ourselves far beyond politically correct post-colonialism and ruthlessly eradicating forms of neo-colonialism, even when masquerading as humanitarian aid. If we don't, we will only wonder why people in the third world don't see that while defending Europe we are also fighting for their freedom. They don't see it because we don't actually do it. Are we ready to do it? I doubt it.

Peter Jungblut, "Author Slavoj Žižek: "Forget the Russian truth"" (Translated)
The Slovenian thinker and essayist points to Putin's enthusiasm for far-right philosophers, for whom "truths" are only a "matter of faith." The West must do much more to support the poorer countries.

Do Russian Putin supporters now have their "own" truth, which they manipulate at will? In a longer article for the "Berliner Zeitung", Slavoj Žižek (72), who teaches German studies and philosophy in Ljubljana, London and New York, refers to the Kremlin's "court philosopher", the influential political scientist and right-wing extremist thinker Alexander Geljewitsch Dugin (60). He is convinced that the truth is only a "question of faith". Dugin said, "So we believe in what we do, we believe in what we say. And that's the only way to define the truth. So we have our particular Russian truth that you have to accept."

"Right-wing monarchist" is popular in the Kremlin

According to Žižek, it is fitting that Putin elevated the monarchist thinker Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin (1883 - 1954) to the rank of an "official philosopher", i.e. a man who "represented his own version of Russian fascism: the state as an organic community led by a paternal monarch". In this respect, Putin's accusation that "fascists" are at the helm in Ukraine is directed against himself, especially since he has supported Marine le Pen in France, the Lega in Italy and other neo-fascist movements: "The idea that every 'form of life' has its own truth is what makes Putin so popular with the new populist right."

In any case, it is noteworthy that Russia immediately "militarizes" any countermeasure and described the exclusion from the SWIFT system as an "act of war": "Forget the 'Russian truth', this is only a convenient myth to justify one's own power."

"We should build bridges to the Third World"

At the same time, Žižek appealed to the West to rely much more on the support of the poorer countries in the South in order to win the struggle against Russian neo-imperialism. So far, these nations have only been "observers" in the current Ukraine conflict: "So in order to really oppose it, we should build bridges to the countries of the Third World, many of which have a long list of completely justified complaints against Western colonization and exploitation."

The "only way to achieve this" is to "change ourselves far beyond politically correct postcolonialism and ruthlessly eradicate forms of neocolonialism."

Incidentally, as a Slovenian, Žižek was ashamed that his country was prepared to "take in thousands of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian occupation" but was much more reluctant to host refugees from Afghanistan: "The justification was that instead of fleeing, people should stay there and fight the Taliban with weapons."

Friday, February 25, 2022


Mar Padilla, "Hegel is very much alive: Just ask Slavoj Žižek, Judith Butler or Byung-Chul Han"
For a long time the late 18th-century German philosopher was considered a ‘dead dog,’ yet his influence over popular contemporary thinkers remains evident

They all go out of style, but some of them make comebacks. The philosopher who placed the notion of relation and contradiction at the center of reality, who reflected about human beings and gave them a prominent place in history, who spoke of blood and liberty – for a long time, this thinker was considered a “dead dog.” Yet if we read Slavoj Žižek, Judith Butler and Byung-Chul Han, some of the 21st century’s most widely followed thinkers, one thing seems certain: Hegel’s legacy is very much alive.

In popular culture, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel represents the dark thinker whom Monty Python proclaimed as the best defense in their old gag about the soccer game between German philosophers and Greek philosophers. Now, more than 250 years after his birth, Hegel has inspired new books based on his philosophy and fresh print runs of his work. Even Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently quoted him to illustrate the moral duty of getting vaccinated against coronavirus: “Freedom is the recognition of necessity.”

Two of the last books by Slavoj Žižek are Hegel in a Wired Brain and Less Than Nothing: Hegel And The Shadow Of Dialectical Materialism. In a telephone conversation, Žižek reflected on that Hegelian view of history as a path of heartbreak. “Hegel does not talk to us about the future – that would be Karl Marx – but instead wants us to notice the processes of history and the act of constantly rewriting it,” he warns. In that sense, Hegel’s lesson for today’s world would be not to trust our own vision of the future. “We need to be more skeptical, instead of considering ourselves great makers of history.”

Byung-Chul Han: ‘The smartphone is a tool of domination. It acts like a rosary

With post-humanism on the horizon, Žižek warns that the real game changer of our time is not surveillance capitalism (which focuses on personal data as a commodity to be used for profit) but potential new forms of domination through the brain-machine interface, whose goal is to make our thinking processes transparent. This new technological ability, still incipient but very real, “is horrible because it poses a threat to metaphors, poetry and the very idea of language. What’s at stake is our basic form of freedom which is human thought.”

Desire and power

In every one of her books, from the latest The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind to her first, Gender Trouble, thinker Judith Butler uses Hegelian concepts such as the need for recognition, mediation or the right to citizenship. Butler, who earned a PhD with a thesis on Hegel and the concept of desire, published an article in The Institute of Art and Ideas in 2019 titled “Hegel for our times,” underscoring the current relevance of the notion of interdependence, a very Hegelian concept. “It is in the course of encountering another that I stand a chance to become self-conscious,” reads the article.

Meanwhile the thinker Byung-Chul Han, who studied philosophy at Freiburg University, seems to take a less transformative view of Hegel. In his book The Agony of Eros, he equated Hegel’s notion of absolute with love, and warned that in a narcissistic world where all social interaction is mediated by technology, we run the risk of entirely eradicating the notion of the Other. And one of his latest books is What is Power?, whose main thesis is that certain forms of power dialectics can take place from a place of concord, as is the case with surveillance capitalism.

Populism and conspiracy theories

Germán Cano, who teaches philosophy at Madrid’s Complutense University, believes there has been a return to Hegel’s work because of the need to think about the whole, to think about the structure of what’s real, to get some relevant perspective in these times of populism and conspiracy theories based on the logic of finding a scapegoat. To Cano, the problem is that we live in increasingly atomized societies without a robust public sphere, which makes it difficult for us to understand one another as a society.

Hegel was the first to uncover the workings of ideas posing as natural facts of life, notes Ricardo Espinoza Lolas, a professor of history of philosophy at the Catholic University of Valparaíso, in Chile. Hegel offers us tools to “perforate the given, mediate the immediate and build a new sociohistorical fabric” made of the feminist, anti-racist and anti-colonialist movements, among others.

Wearing Hegel glasses can help us see further, but they don’t work for everyone. In her work Let’s spit on Hegel, the Italian activist Carla Lonzi underscored that feminism was the first social movement to interrupt the masculine monologue that had been so carefully cultivated in Western philosophy. Yet the very Hegelian concept of transformation lies at the heart of feminism. “Through thinkers who are indebted to Hegel, such as Butler, we are introduced to the idea that each person is simultaneously singular and plural,” notes Francesca Recchia Luciani, who teaches history of philosophy at Bari University. Recchia says we are undergoing a profound change, a conflict between an old world and a new world, a dialectical duel that seeks to overcome the patriarchal paradigm that refuses to give space or a voice to a majority of people.

A revolutionary beer drinker

Hegel lived through the French Revolution and he grasped that the idea of conflict in history is painfully real. Up until 1800 Hegel did not want to be a philosopher but a revolutionary, and this crossroads represents a critical moment in his work, explains José María Ripalda, a professor of history of modern philosophy at Spain’s distance university UNED, in his work El joven Hegel. Ensayos y esbozos (or, Young Hegel. Essays and sketches).

Hegel was something of a poet, and he also liked beer and women. He had a child and paid for the latter’s upkeep throughout his life as a good scholar of ethics. Besides an icon of philosophy, Hegel was also a man, just like Beethoven exclaimed about Napoleon: “So he is no more than a common mortal!” His wife Marie von Tucher described him as one of those people who expect nothing and hope for nothing. But not everyone loved him: Schopenhauer said that Hegel’s work would remain as “a monument to German stupidity.”

In any event, Hegel is a light that refuses to go out. The historian Wilhelm Dilthey said Hegel was one of those men who have never been young and who still have a hidden fire in old age.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Zizek on Ukraine (Translated)

Slavoj Zizek, "'Goodbye Lenin' in Ukraine: accept it, leftists, Putin is a conservative nationalist"
All of us who witness the sad comedy of the rape of a sovereign country must be aware that only true castration prevents rape.

At a press conference on February 7, 2022, Putin noted that the Ukrainian government did not like the Minsk Agreements and then added: "Whether you like it or not, it's your duty, my beauty." The saying has well-known sexual connotations: Putin seemed to be quoting 'Sleeping Beauty in a Coffin', from Soviet-era punk rock group Red Mould: "Sleeping beauty in a coffin, I crawled and fucked her. Whether I like it or not, my beauty sleeps." Although the Kremlin press representative claimed that Putin was referring to an ancient folkloric expression, the reference to Ukraine as the object of necrophilia and rape is clear.

As early as 2002, Putin responded to a Western journalist's question thus: "If you want to become a complete Islamic radical and you are ready to undergo circumcision, then I invite you to Moscow. We are a multi-confessional country. We have specialists in this question [circumcision]. I will recommend that they carry out the operation in such a way that afterwards nothing else grows," a rather vulgar threat of castration. No wonder Putin and Trump were comrades in vulgarities. At least politicians like Putin and Trump openly say what they want to say and avoid hypocrisy; however, in this case, I am wholeheartedly on the side of hypocrisy: form (hypocrisy) is never just a form, it is part of the content, so that, when the form is abandoned, the content itself is brutalized.

Russia says it doesn't want to rape Ukraine, but makes it clear that if it doesn't get their consent to have sex, it will.

We can continue here: the US, protector of Ukraine, warns that war can break out at any time while the president of Ukraine, expected victim of the Russian attack, warns against war hysteria and calls for calm. Russia, which is ready to rape Ukraine, claims it does not want to do so, but between the lines makes it clear that, if it does not obtain Ukraine's consent to have sex, it is ready to commit rape (remember Putin's vulgar response), and accuses Ukraine of provoking it to commit rape. The US, which wants to protect Ukraine from being raped, sounds alarm bells about the imminent threat of rape so that it can assert itself as the protector of post-Soviet nations (this protection can only remind us of a local mobster who offers shops and restaurants in his domain protection against theft, with a veiled threat that, if they refuse their protection, something can happen to them.) Ukraine, the target of the rape threat, tries to remain calm, nervous also by American alarms, aware that the uproar over rape may push Russia to commit rape.

What's really behind the conflict

So what's behind the conflict with all its unpredictable dangers? What if this conflict is so dangerous not because it reflects the growing strength of the two former superpowers but, on the contrary, because it shows that they are not able to accept the fact that they are no longer true global powers? When, at the height of the Cold War, Mao Ze Dong said that the US is, with all its weapons, a paper tiger, he forgot to add that paper tigers might be more dangerous than real, self-confident tigers. The fiasco of the withdrawal from Afghanistan was only the latest in a series of blows to American supremacy, and Russia's effort to rebuild the Soviet empire is nothing more than a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that Russia is now a weak state in decline. As with real rapists, a rape signals the impotence of the aggressor.

This impotence is palpable now that the act of rape has begun with the first direct penetration of the Russian Army into Ukraine; first, if we discount the obscene role of the Wagner group, a private military company whose contractors have been involved in several conflicts, including operations in the Syrian civil war, Crimea, Central Africa or the Republika Srpska in Bosnia. This group of anonymous mercenaries, a firearms unit of the Russian Ministry of Defense used in denied conflicts, has been operating in Donbas for years, organizing 'spontaneous' resistance against Ukraine (as they already did in Crimea).

Now that tensions erupted, the Russian Duma made a direct appeal to Putin to recognize the Russian-controlled separatist states of Donetsk and Luhansk. Putin first said that he would not immediately recognize the so-called republics, so it seemed that when he recognized the two entities as independent republics, he was only reacting to popular pressure from below, following the rules described (and practiced) for decades by Stalin. In the mid-1920s, Stalin proposed to promulgate the decision to simply proclaim the government of the RSFSR, also the government of the other five republics (Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia): "If the present decision is confirmed by the Central Committee of the RCP, it will not be made public, but will be communicated to the Central Committees of the Republics for circulation among the Soviet organs, the Central Executive Committees or the Congresses of the Soviets of these Republics before the convening of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, where the desire of these republics shall be declared."

The interaction of the higher authority (CC) with its base is not only thus abolished, but the higher authority simply imposes its will; to add insult to injury, it is put back on stage as its opposite: the Central Committee decides what the rank and file will ask the higher authority to promulgate as if it were its own wish. Let us recall the most conspicuous case of such a reorganization since 1939, when the three Baltic states freely requested to join the Soviet Union, which granted them their wish. What Stalin did in the early 1930s was simply a return to pre-revolutionary tsarist foreign and national policy (for example, the Russian colonization of Siberia and Muslim Asia was no longer condemned as an imperialist expansion, but was celebrated as the introduction of progressive policies).
What Stalin did in the early 1930s was simply a return to Tsarist foreign and national policy
Now, when, similarly, at the public recognition ceremony of Donetsk and Luhansk all senior officials were asked to declare whether they agreed with that, one of them (Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Foreign Intelligence) went too far and said that he supports their integration into Russia. Putin immediately interrupted him because the question now was not about integration but about independence: the minister acted too soon, without following the script.

The End of Leninism

Although in January 2022, the Communist Party of Russia proposed the motion to appeal to President Vladimir Putin in order to consider recognition of the two regions (Putin, playing a patient legalist, rejected the appeal), it is crucial to note that the ongoing invasion of the Donbas is the final rejection of the Leninist tradition in Russia. . The last time Lenin made western headlines was during the 2014 Ukrainian uprising that toppled pro-Russian President Yanukovych: in tv reports about mass protests in Kiev, we saw again and again the scene of angry protesters tearing down statues of Lenin.

These furious attacks were understandable to the extent that Lenin's statues functioned as a symbol of Soviet oppression, and Putin's Russia is perceived as a continuation of the Soviet policy of subjecting non-Russian nations to Russian domination. Nonetheless, there was a profound irony in seeing Ukrainians tear down Lenin's statues as a sign of their willingness to assert their national sovereignty: the golden age of Ukraine's national identity was not Tsarist Russia (where Ukrainian self-assertion as a nation was thwarted), it was in the first decade of the Soviet Union that they established their full national identity. Read wikipedia's passage about Ukraine in the 1920s:
"Under the aegis of the Policy of Ukrainianization followed by the National Communist Leadership of Mykola Skrypnyk, the Soviet leadership encouraged a national policy of revival in literature and the arts. Ukrainian culture and language enjoyed a renaissance, as Ukrainianization became a local implementation of the Soviet policy of 'korenization' [literally, indigenization]. The Bolsheviks also pledged to introduce universal benefits of health care, education and social security, as well as the right to work and housing. Women's rights were greatly increased through new laws designed to eliminate the inequalities of centuries. Most of these policies were drastically reversed in the early 1930s, after Joseph Stalin gradually consolidated power to become the 'de facto' leader of the Communist Party."
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, according to Putin, it was up to the Bolsheviks to redress Russia.

This 'indigenization' followed the principles formulated by Lenin in rather unequivocal terms in 'The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Self-Determination' (1916): "The proletariat cannot but fight against the forced retention of oppressed nations within the limits of a given state, and this is exactly what the struggle for the right to self-determination means. . The proletariat must demand the right of political secession for the colonies and for the nations that 'their' nation oppresses. Unless he does this, proletarian internationalism will remain a meaningless phrase; mutual trust and class solidarity between the workers of oppressive and oppressed nations will be impossible."

Lenin remained faithful to this position until the end: in his last struggle against Stalin's project of a centralized Soviet Union, he again defended the unconditional right of small nations to secession (in this case, Georgia was at stake), insisting on the full sovereignty of the national entities that made up the Soviet state. No wonder that, on September 27, 1922, in a letter to members of the Politburo, Stalin openly accused Lenin of 'national liberalism'. And Putin's foreign policy is a clear continuation of this Tsarist-Stalinist line: after the Russian Revolution of 1917, according to Putin, it was up to the Bolsheviks to offend Russia: "Governing with your ideas as a guide is right, but that is only the case when that idea leads to the right results, not as happened with Vladimir Ilyich. In the end, that idea led to the ruin of the Soviet Union. There were a lot of these ideas, like providing autonomy to regions, etc. They placed an atomic bomb under the building called Russia that would then explode."

No wonder we can revisit Stalin's portraits during military parades and celebrations in today's Russia.

In short, Lenin is guilty of taking seriously the autonomy of the various nations that made up the Russian empire, of questioning Russian hegemony. No wonder we can re-see The Portraits of Stalin during the military parades and public celebrations in Russia today, while Lenin is erased; in a large opinion group a couple of years ago, Stalin was voted the third greatest Russian of all time, while Lenin appeared nowhere. Stalin is not celebrated as a communist, but as the restorer of Russia's greatness after Lenin's unpatriotic 'deviation'.

No wonder that on a Monday in February 2022, when announcing the military intervention in the Donbas region, Putin repeated his old claim that Lenin, who came to power after the fall of the Romanov royal family, was the "author and creator" of Ukraine: "Let's start with the fact that modern Ukraine was created entirely by Russia, more precisely, by Bolshevik Communist Russia. This process began almost immediately after the Revolution of 1917." Can things be made clearer? All those leftists who still have a tender heart for Russia (after all, Russia is the successor to the Soviet Union, Western democracies are a forgery, and Putin opposes US imperialism...) should fully accept the brutal fact that Putin is a conservative nationalist.

Russia is not only returning to the old Cold War with its set of firm rules. Something much crazier is happening: not a cold war, but a hot peace, a peace that amounts to a permanent hybrid war in which military intervention is declared a humanitarian peacekeeping mission against genocide: "The State Duma expresses its unequivocal and consolidated support for appropriate measures taken for humanitarian purposes."

So to conclude with Lenin's question: what to do? All of us who come from countries that have to witness the sad comedy of rape must be aware that only true castration prevents rape. So, we should recommend that the international community carry out in Russia (and, to some extent, in the US) a castrating operation, ignoring and marginalizing them as much as possible, making sure that afterwards nothing else will grow of their global authority

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

On Elementary Code Switching for Party Comrades

Honk, Honk!

Zizekian Apocalypse Now...

from Wiki:
An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from of/from: ἀπό and cover: κάλυψις, literally meaning "from cover") is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious concepts an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides a "vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities

Sunday, February 20, 2022

A French Comparison of British vs. American Capitalism of the 18-19th Century

Charles Laboulaye, "Dictionary of Arts and Manufactures" [source]
Laboulaye rejects the "statism" of Louis Blanc as well as the "anti-statism" of the Anglophile economists, and shows that the role of the state is precisely to encourage progress, by fostering technological development and education. He clearly differentiates the British from the American model:
"The creation of large companies must be avoided; the British-style industrial expansion which leads to pauperization and demoralization must be stopped. . .. In England, the country which, to this day, is still the most affected by the feudal era, where the descendants of the Normans have become large landowners ... and have permitted the building of British industry in a most aristocratic fashion ... industry is found to be organized on the model of ever-divisible territorial property, on the model of its fully aristocratic political society, totally feudal.

"In the United States of America ... the organization of industry is totally democratic. The worker only works today, so to speak, in the hope of being his own master tomorrow, and the industrial enterprises grow in number more than in size. In the two countries, the industrial organization is the faithful image of the political laws; it is aristocratic in the first, democratic in the second .... The feeling that one's elevation in society is impossible has indeed largely contributed to the revolution of 1848, the laboring classes always hearing talk about the increase in bankers' wealth, in that of rich speculators, and amidst the crisis of industry, never seeing one of their own ranks rise into property through labor and innovation. Those are the unhappy seeds planted in times of demoralization, which have produced the false ideas that today pose the greatest dangers to the country. Oh, if we could get all the theoreticians to look at the beautiful American industrial scene! ... Either the plain, dumb desire for improvement will lead us into communism ... or it will surely lead us into a frightening equality of misery, through the degradation of everything and everyone; or we shall see an industrial democratic power with a broad base, gifted with an immense energy for productive work, well-being becoming the ensured reward of talent. ... [This] will bring about growth in the wealth of the nation, to undreamed-of proportions."
Laboulaye lists several prescriptions for reaching that goal, including the following:
"Credit. The only country with the goal of putting credit at the disposal of any capability that will make it bear fruit, is America. Thus have we seen that country, in a few years, realize undreamed-of progress . . .. Of course, the goal was sometimes missed ... and that nearly always happened when credit was turned into an instrument of speculation, instead of a means of fostering labor."

Saturday, February 19, 2022

More on Populism

Joseph Paul Forgas, "The Tribal Threat to Liberal Democracy"
Over the last few years we have witnessed the alarming growth of both left-wing and right-wing populist movements in both the developed world and countries with fragile democratic traditions. Although pundits and political scientists continue to debate the precise definition of “populism,” it is accepted that the term can be broadly applied to any movement that pits “the people” against “the elites.” In dividing society up into groups, and in dismissing the sovereignty of the individual, populism is an atavistic re-emergence of the age-old psychology of tribalism. As such, it presents just one of the many historical challenges to the values of the Enlightenment.

As an erstwhile refugee myself from communist tyranny, I probably have a more deep-seated personal interest in these developments than many of my academic colleagues. I was 22 when I left Hungary, and remember vividly the oppressive atmosphere of authoritarianism, suspicion, self-censorship, lies, and fear that was an inescapable part of living in a monolithic political culture.

The “party” controlled everything, and as an individual, one had absolutely nowhere to turn for support. If you got in trouble because of your views, you could lose your job, be prohibited from studying, be blacklisted. You wouldn’t be allowed to travel, and even your family members would suffer. People were afraid to speak in public places, Marxism and Russian were compulsory subjects, and open discussion was unimaginable. Throughout my subsequent academic career in Australia, Britain, Germany, and the US, I never ceased to be amazed by the varieties of Marxists I came across who persevered with their utopistic ideology despite all the evidence that these visions were utterly fanciful.

As a social psychologist, I continue to be fascinated by how easily people can persuade themselves to follow close-minded and authoritarian political movements. What are the psychological mechanisms that promote such unquestioning tribal loyalty? The recent rise of both left-wing (BLM, cancel culture) and right-wing (Trump, Orbán, Proud Boys) populist movements served as a timely reminder that human thinking has been shaped by the tribal imperatives of our paleolithic heritage.

In understanding populism, it helps to look at such variables as economic inequality, threatened group identities, and out-of-touch elites. All of these factors can and do contribute to populist resentment, but ultimately, any explanation of the phenomenon also requires a psychological understanding of how people mentally represent their political realities.

The idea that human psychology shapes political systems is not new, it is an idea that originated with Plato, and has been elaborated upon by philosophers for centuries. Applying psychology to politics is important because economic, social, or racial deprivation are not in themselves sufficient for populism to flourish. Humans mostly lived in abysmal conditions throughout history, yet populist revolts were relatively rare. It is also essential to understand how psychological narratives can turn dissatisfaction and resentment into potent political forces.

Democracy and populism make very different assumptions about human nature. Whereas democracy is a fundamentally individualist credo and implies a human ability for rational decision-making, populism is collectivist ideology that subordinates the individual to the group. Populist narratives call for a struggle between the favoured “ingroup” and its enemies, and although the people who fill the “oppressed” and “oppressor” groups change, the underlying superstructure tends to stay the same.

Both left-wing and right-wing populist movements share similar psychological strategies, display the same tyrannical tendencies, although differing in the content of their narratives. Right-wing populism typically invokes nativist narratives, emphasizing the importance of order, structure, predictability, and conservatism. Left-wing populists focus on economic, ethnic and racial inequality. Liberal democracy has so far withstood the collectivist challenges posed by romanticism, fascism, and communism—but its current fragility gives cause for concern.

Why populism is attractive

In essence, populism appeals to the tribal mentality of the paleolithic, when maintaining group cohesion was the key requirement for survival. In our ancestral environments, individuals who did not cooperate with others, or who were ostracised from their tribe would typically fail to reproduce and fail to survive. Such pressures ensured that effective group cooperation shaped the human brain over many thousands of generations, in contrast to individualist Enlightenment values, which have only emerged in the last few hundred years. It may be that our brief epoch of liberal democracy will turn out to be a temporary aberration from millennia of tribalism. Populist movements are psychologically attractive because—unlike the complexities and uncertainties of liberal democracy—they offer a heady mixture of simplicity, moral absolutes, and positive identity in the face of anxiety-inducing uncertainty.

Simplicity and certainty

Facing complex and often unmanageable cognitive demands, humans often prefer simple but incorrect explanations to complex but accurate ones, especially if they are also shared by others. Simplifying cognitive habits such as categorization promote cognitive efficiency, and populist narratives naturally cater to our appetites for simplification, dividing the world into simple categories of “us and them,” “good and bad.”

Populist propaganda also exploits cognitive fluency effects and the availability heuristic—the human tendency to overestimate the reliability, importance, and truthfulness of information that happens to be simple, and easy to process and remember. People readily overestimate the truth of statements that happen to be easy to read and simple to understand—a common feature of populist communication.

Populist conspiracy theories thrive because they offer simplicity and a sense of privileged knowledge. Paradoxically, the less a person knows about a topic, the more confident they tend to be in maintaining their erroneous beliefs (the Dunning-Krueger effect). Poorly informed people are ignorant of the extent of their lack of expertise, holding on to erroneous beliefs with excessive confidence. Examples abound—many Trump followers still believe that their champion won the 2020 election, while some left-wing populists argue that any disparity between demographic groups is ipso facto evidence of systemic racism.

Populist narratives offer epistemic certainty by exploiting common failures of inductive reasoning such as confirmation bias. This refers to the human tendency to prefer information that supports our pre-existing beliefs, promoted by people’s limited cognitive capacity, and the need to sustain a coherent belief system. Maintaining a consensual view of reality, rather than seeking truth, was probably adaptive in our ancestral environment, but now makes us vulnerable to populist disinformation.

Sometimes, the more implausible a claim the more people are likely to believe it (AKA the “big lie” effect), because it is challenging to consider that the claim could have been invented in the first place. History is replete with absurd beliefs enduring for decades, sometimes even centuries. In the past we witnessed witch hunts and blood libels, in more contemporary times people believe in the existence of Satanic cults who abuse children.

Some time-worn populist ideologies, such as Marxism, promise bogus epistemic certainty by offering unfalsifiable economic and historical narratives. Postmodernist ideologies go further by undermining the notion of objective truth altogether. By repudiating the value of empiricism, unfalsifiable and anecdotal claims of “lived experience” are used to bolster unscientific concepts such as “white privilege,” “toxic masculinity,” and “white fragility.” Such concepts simplify complicated social phenomena to simple-minded, one-dimensional explanations that have no obvious explanatory or discriminatory utility, and serve only as simplistic tribal rallying cries.

Populism is dangerous precisely because it appeals to those who wish for certainty over truth. Epistemic certainty makes rational discourse superfluous, and at a collective level, widely held delusions can come to displace reality. Some Marxists remain convinced that the long-delayed proletarian revolution will still yet occur. Others find refuge in postmodernism or “critical theory” as a safe havens from falsification. And some believe that the results of the 2020 US election will still be overturned.


Populism exploits our evolutionary propensity for tribalism by offering belonging, status, and significance to followers, creating cohesive groups that are often defined by shared belief systems and fictional narratives. It is remarkably easy to get humans to identify even with meaningless groups, as shown by the minimal group experiments of Henri Tajfel, himself a Holocaust survivor. In these studies participants were randomly assigned to arbitrary “groups,” for example, by flipping a coin. When they were next asked to distribute rewards (money, etc.) between two anonymous strangers known only as ingroup or outgroup members, this vacuous group membership instantly produced a strong ingroup bias and discrimination against outgroup members.

Hatred of the “elites” is often mobilized to foster tribal resentment. As Roger Scruton and Douglas Murray have argued, some Western “elites” have indeed become captive to the ideological Left, triggering right-wing populist reactions in Germany, Austria, France, Britain, and Italy. However, anti-elitism fades once populists themselves acquire power and become the new “elite.” The movement then survives on the tribal allegiances and moral fervour of its followers alone.

Successful populist leaders typically become the symbolic embodiment of their cause. Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin demonstrated that personality cults are central to populist regimes, mobilizing the common human tendency to personalize complex issues and ideas. Populist leaders need to be strong, consistent, and uncompromising, to satisfy the craving for simplicity and certainty from their followers.

Tribalism can be especially attractive when lack of personal achievement or traumatic group experiences require narrative explanation. Narcissistic themes of injustice, betrayal, powerlessness, and victim mentality abound in populist thinking. Rectifying grievances and nostalgia for an idealized past are recurring narrative features to bolster followers’ compromised group identity. Research, including our studies, has confirmed that collective narcissism is a significant predictor of populist political preferences in countries such as the US, Britain, Poland, and Hungary.

Moral superiority

Seductive claims about moral superiority are common in both left-wing and right-wing populist movements—what could be more virtuous than representing “the people” and “justice”? Woke activists see virtue in attacking those who disagree, just as fascists and communists committed innumerable atrocities for what they believed was their "noble" cause. Moral certitude denies the legitimacy of any opposition, making any discussion superfluous. Indeed, followers of populist movements often try to outdo each other in righteous displays of moral fervour.

On the political Right, moral claims are often based on defending national, religious, or ethnic identity. After losing an election, Hungary’s Orbán claimed that the motherland “cannot be in opposition.” Similar moral posturing was on display when Hilary Clinton called Trump’s voters “deplorables,” or Trump declared the critical press to be “enemies of the people.” On the Left, social justice movements also claim moral absolutism, and activists see special virtue in attacking those with whom they disagree.

Currently, moral absolutism is used to justify coercive authoritarian practices in many universities, organisations and institutions. As Niall Ferguson noted, tyrannical behaviour can now flourish even in the absence of a one-party dictatorship. Consider the absurd slogan “silence is violence” seen at BLM rallies—even withholding opinion can be seen as deplorable by true believers. Strangely, while fascism now has few credible adherents, critical theory and postmodernism still retain a puzzling attraction for many intellectuals.

Moral absolutism is often linked to utopistic and millennial narratives, envisioning a perfect future that justifies every sacrifice. The dramatic promise of a “thousand-year empire” (Nazism) or a perfect communist utopia (Marxism) has a powerful emotional appeal that liberal incrementalist ideologies have difficulty matching. Populism can tap into the all-too-human millennial quest for a perfect utopia, rather than following established rules and processes to achieve gradual progress.

Emotional appeal

Affective states influence all human social behaviour, and feelings like anger, fear, disgust, or envy also play a crucial role in populist appeals. Fear is often employed in populist narratives, triggering an evolutionary tendency to seek safety in stricter norms, tighter control, and stronger sanctions for deviants. “Tight” societies dominated by populist ideologies (fascism, communism) have repressive norms and strict punishments for noncompliance, while “loose” societies (liberal democracies) have flexible norms and greater individual freedom. Cross-cultural research shows that fear and perceived threats trigger “tightness” and support for autocratic norms, just as fear triggered by disease produces demands for tight rules and sanctions, as the recent COVID pandemic illustrates.

Anger is also an important feature of both left-wing and right-wing populist movements. Unlike fear, anger produces narrowed cognitive focus and tunnel vision and often stimulates aggression. Populist narratives emphasizing past grievances typically produce anger and demand for retribution.

Fear, grievance, and anger in turn can eventually lead to disgust — a powerful emotion that in our evolutionary past signalled the presence of contamination and the need for cleansing and elimination. Disgust is a powerful emotion often exploited in populist aggression, legitimising ethnic violence and genocide by depicting opponents as subhuman contaminants to be cleansed.


Populism represents a danger for liberal democracy because it has a deep affinity with the archaic stone-age characteristics of the human mind, evolved to serve the demands of group cooperation rather than the rational discovery of truth. Political movements succeed or fail depending on their ability to mobilise basic psychological needs, and both left-wing and right-wing populism exploit the human need for positive identity, epistemic certainty, simplicity, moral virtue, belonging, and significance. Both ascendant and in-power populist movements from fascism, Marxism, cancel culture, the Proud Boys, Antifa, and woke-ism, all benefit from manipulating these evolutionary vulnerabilities.

The possibility that “human nature” as shaped by evolution is ill-suited to the psychological requirements of liberal democracy echoes Plato’s age-old concerns. However, it may be encouraging that liberal democracies have survived for some hundreds of years now despite our underlying paleolithic inclinations.

It is also possible that the strident individualism and secularism of our age, and the disappearance of genuine primary group experiences from our lives have left people particularly vulnerable to the siren calls of tribal ideologies. The growth of the Internet and social media also contribute to undermining the once dominant public voice of enlightened liberalism. People may now find their own “tribe” in metaverse, promoting consensual delusions, fake news, conspiracy theories and sectional group ideologies.

How can we best respond to the populist challenge? Rational argument has limited utility in convincing “true believers” who reject the value of discussion. A minority of totalitarian ideologues are acquiring undue influence over once-liberal institutions from universities, media, the law, education, and corporations. This is only possible as long as the silent majority remains silent. Understanding how populism operates should be the first step towards standing up to populist tyranny. We should keep in mind that liberal democracies successfully rose to the challenge against both fascism and communism, and new external threats like Chinese authoritarianism may yet produce a re-affirmation of our foundational values. But in combating the dangers of populism, we certainly need a more thorough understanding of the psychological processes that underlie populist support.

What I found particularly striking in the video above was how the Communists managed to take over Hungary's government through a form of "populist/ tribal entryism".  Sounds likes they're close to achieving like results in America's Congress and Deep State (civil service) as well. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Zizek on The Wire

#1 - S1E04 "Old Cases" Reference:
david simon - we pretend to a war against narcotics but in truth we are simply brutalizing and dehumanizing an urban underclass that we no longer need as a labor supply

the wire was not a story about america

it's about the america that got left behind 

the drug war is a war on the underclass 

now that's all it is 

it has no other meaning

#2 - S3E11 "Middle Ground" Reference:
#3 - S1E01 "The Target" Reference:
#4 - "Deep Down in the Hole Theme:

Co-Opting the Worker's Movement...

Monday, February 14, 2022

A Zizek Valentine to AOC...

Slavoj Zizek, "AOC and Her Boyfriend's Leg"
In late December 2021, the US nationalist Rightist Steve Cortes tweeted a photo of Alessandria Ocasio-Cortez and her boyfriend Riley Roberts enjoying their Christmas break in Florida, commenting on it: “Her guy is showing his gross pale male feet in public – not at a pool or beach – with hideous sandals.” AOC quipped back on December 31: “If Republicans are mad they can’t date me, they can just say that instead of projecting their sexual frustrations onto my boyfriend’s feet. Ya creepy weirdos.” Her reply triggered mixed reactions – one user responded: “Bold move… when people disagree with my policy positions or call me a hypocrite, I tell them they just want to f… me as well.” Another responded, “Why did your mind automatically go to ‘dating you’ and ‘sex’? That’s very conceited.”

At some level these reactions are right: it was AOC who brought sex into a situation which was not sexualized (explicitly, at least), reading Republican attacks on her policy positions as the expression of their frustration that they cannot date her. Incidentally, I don’t think the reasoning implied by AOC is correct; there is another, more probable, version. Her Republican critics primarily disagree with her policies but, as most of men, notice her sexual attractiveness, so they bring in sexuality to devalue her argumentation, in accordance with the standard male-chauvinist wisdom that beautiful women are stupid: “Stick to sex, avoid argumentation which is beyond your league…” The implicit reference to feet fetishism (Riley’s foot really protrudes a little bit excessively in the tweeted photo) is even more ambiguous: Cortes (who made this move from AOC to Riley’s foot) could have made AOC mad for another unexpected reason – instead of really desiring her (as AOC’s reply suggests), he seems to prefer her partner to her. The implicit surmise of her reply could thus be: “I am the real beauty in the photo, so why do you mention my boyfriend’s foot and not me, its real focus?”

Such tensions indicate that a truly radical feminism should do what Amia Srinivasan proposes in her path-breaking The Right to Sex[1]: she thinks “beyond the parameters of consent” and is not afraid to confront sex in all its complexity and ambiguity. Consent? Yes, but why is it somehow always the woman who gives consent or denies it? Why should a woman not be the active part? Plus, consent relies on a logic of market exchange: “the idea of consent presupposes a contract: someone is asking to do something to you, and they have to get permission to do it,” so that consensual sex can also be exploitative. And what about my Unconscious which can make me desire what I do not know, including a desire to humiliate others and myself? What if suffering brings a perverse pleasure? And what about the social dimension of desire: is my intimate desire not always affected by public and secret social norms and expectations? The image of a sexual partner who is perceived as “desirable” obviously depends on the society in which I live… Srinivasan’s general conclusion: “We need a feminism that is truly internationalist, that centres on climate disaster, colonialism, and the voices of women in the global south.”

Here is such a case from the “global south,” the very opposite of the trifling AOC incident, a terrifying event that took place on January 26, 2022 in a New Delhi neighbourhood in India. A young woman, mother of a three-year-old child, was attacked by a mob in her paternal house, her hair chopped off and her face blackened; she was brutally slapped and kicked as others in the house clapped and cheered. The attack continued for several minutes as the woman pleaded for mercy, her body crouched and hands folded. After the beating, she was paraded in the narrow lanes of the neighborhood and dragged by the mob to her “victim’s” house where she was gang-raped. And who was her “victim”? The attack took place because the woman had repeatedly rejected the advances of a teenager who lived next to her parent’s house. The 16-year-old boy’s family claims he killed himself following the rejection in November last year; the teen’s death caused the purported “revenge attack”.

There are two notably shocking moments in this affair. First, a video shared on social media shows that most of the baying mob were women. When the brutalized woman was raped, the women in the same room instigated the men to be more brutal with her. Second, she was punished for refusing the boy’s advances, although she was married; as her sister put it, “she didn’t do anything.” One can imagine what would have happened if she were to concede and give the boy a so-called mercy-fuck – if found out, she would have been again found guilty and, perhaps, even more brutally punished. In short, she had a choice with both options spelling out a catastrophe for her… In the reactions to the accident, both these features are mostly accounted for in the terms of “internalized patriarchy”: in patriarchal societies women are taught that they’re ultimately to blame for any wrongdoing, and the scale of internalized misogyny is very large in India, where women are taught to uphold patriarchal structures.

However, this explanation runs all too smooth. It is ridiculous to account for the violence women exert on other women in the terms of internalized patriarchal values. Where are the intense envy, hatred and violence a woman can direct at her sexual competitors? While this dimension is obviously not part of some eternal “woman’s nature” but is historically mediated by the patriarchal order, this dependence in no way implies that a woman’s envy and violence directed at her competitors is somehow “inauthentic,” as if a woman is not able to desire and actively pursue a man and thus hate her feminine competitors. Furthermore, to make a woman responsible for a man’s suicide just because she didn’t gratify his (illicit) desire for sex, while simultaneously blaming her if she were to gratify it, attributes to women (at least those who are considered “attractive”) an extraordinary power which reduces men to helpless puppets. Why is not the 16-year-old boy blamed for not being able to resist his desire?

The true patriarchal moment of this horrible story resides also in the fact that the woman’s sexual desire is never mentioned in it: to be direct, what if she also desired an adventure with the young boy, but was prevented by her fidelity to husband? Many of those who stand in solidarity with her praise her for this fidelity. But did the same hold for her husband? Her sister emphasizes that she did nothing, but what if she were to do something in accordance with her desire, about which we know nothing? To put it in vulgar terms, she was beaten and raped because she refused to “act as a proper whore” and cheat on her husband – ironically, she was held responsible for NOT consenting to extramarital harassment. This perverted reversal is the hidden truth of patriarchal ethics.

Are we not here at the opposite end of the conflict around AOC’s boyfriend’s naked leg in Florida? Does AOC’s trip to Florida not appear a trifling minor affair compared to what happened in New Delhi? Yes, but there is something that unites the two cases: upon a closer look, they both challenge the obvious account that offers itself. Cortes’s critique of AOC as well as her reaction bring out not only the hidden male-chauvinist logic of the new Right but also the inconsistencies of the liberal-Leftist approach to sexuality. The scandalous affair in India is not just the outcome of “primitive” patriarchal traditionalism: it could only have happened in today’s mixture of traditionalism and modernity; only within such a mixture can a woman be perceived as endowed with extraordinary powers rendering men her helpless victim and, at the same, time as deprived of their own desire.

The conclusion to be drawn is thus that, while patriarchy and other forms of the oppression of women (even in the guise of false “permissiveness”) should be ruthlessly examined and punished, sexuality remains a big mess: it relies on rules and on their codified violations, so that it is impossible to fully regulate. We have to learn to live with its crazy paradoxes. We cannot be ever sure what the consequences of our interventions, as well-meant as they are, will be.

In January 2022, the Royal Opera House in London announced that it is “consulting with Ita O’Brien – an intimacy coordinator who ensures actors feel comfortable during such scenes – for Katie Mitchell’s new production of Theodora, opening on Monday. /…/ ‘There’s consent each and every day. You might agree one day that you’re very happy to kiss lip to lip, and then you develop a cold sore, so it’s not suitable any more. So you explore what the moment is about, different ways to tell the same story,’ she said.” While one should support the fight against any form of harassment, there are some details in this announcement that make me “feel uncomfortable.”

First, why, again, the (implicit) reduction of women to the status of victims of harassment here? Second, while, obviously, there are scenes in which playing a victim of rape or violence will make the actor as a person traumatized, how could one enact on screen or stage a brutal scene without feeling uncomfortable? Third, the example mentioned (“You might agree one day that you’re very happy to kiss lip to lip, and then you develop a cold sore, so it’s not suitable anymore”) is ridiculously obvious and has nothing to do with harassment. It throws a strange light on the entire argument by putting a cold sore in the same series with, say, touching a breast of an actress. Fourth, the very term “intimacy coordinator” sounds (and is) ominous: at the end of this road lurks the idea that (why not?) even when a couple is intimate alone but not sure about how to interact, they should hire an intimacy coordinator…

So, let me conclude with a lighter example, a misunderstanding that happened to a philosopher-friend of mine. A young fan of his, an attractive lady, told him jokingly after a lecture: “If you explain all this to me in private, you can have sex with me!” He took a restrained stance and explained things to her, but with no sex, claiming that doing it to get sex as a payment would amount to sexual exploitation… Later, however, he learned from her friends that, far from being impressed by his honesty, she was furious at him: she really wanted sex, and she just playfully mentioned the price he will have to pay to avoid the vulgarity of directly asking for sex. So, again, what if women are not just victims of male predators, but can also subtly provoke them? Any why shouldn’t they do this? Why should they just be passive receivers who either consent or don’t?


[1] See Amia Srinivasan, The Right to Sex, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2021.

Be My Bitter-Sweet Valentine....

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Laibach - America and Morality

Laibach*speech in Seattle '04 when G.W. Bush won again the elections from documentary "Divided States of America": 
Winners and Defeaters 
We don't like morality and we sure do not want to preach about it. 
But your county, obsessed by moral values is now forcing us to do so. 
Let's say this very loud and clear: The higher the buildings, the lower the morals. 
Moral values in America today are nothing, pure nothing. 
Behind the faith in God, evil is hiding, lots of evil. 
And scheme against humanity. 
Freedom.. Democracy.. Family.. Life.. 
Protection and security for your own nation are based on Violence, 
Revenge and Hatred for all who set up an obstacle to the overrated fury and practice of the AMERICAN way. 
Lust for power. 
Greed and arrogance is killing this nation and it's soul. 
If there is still any left... 
The game you play. Lying still and sowing death ... to protect your concept of MORALITY and LIFE against the life of others is not the right way. 
 Heedless self-interest for countries like America, was always bad morals. 
But it's bad on economics as well. 
There are no winners in this game. 
No VICTORY for you or anybody else. 
In fact .. it's a suicide... 
Your nation is doing to itself. 
Followed by the number of the ammunition and guns, bombs and bullets, America might still be a leading force and a Global Superpower. 
You appear to us, who had a chance to see you from UP, CLOSE and PERSONAL, as a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. 
A clumsy giant filled with fear and prejudice. 
A giant child abused by his parents. 
A large flock of SHEEP on the open range. 
Without a ranger... 
Without a shepherd... 
And a leader... 
Your president is the opposite of Christ. 
And his victory is base on the moral values. 
CHRISTIAN moral values. 
I tell you this. 
The WORST government is always the most MORAL one. 
But when FANATICS are on top there is no limit or passion. 
Morality, which is based on IDEA is a unmitigated EVIL and don't forget... 
Your president presents the majority of your nation... 
This time it is TRUE! 
It's not even a lie... 
Well my dear one's ... 
It is also true that Americans, in general, are not too intelligent... 
For that reason we can partly forgive you and overlook some of your sins... 
But this will not have stop the decay. 
The historical prime of the America is approaching it's end and this is an historical fact. 
Like every empire, the USA is falling apart. 
E unum pluribus, from one many, 
United you fall. 
Divided you'll stand. 
The Divided States of America are being made and a civil war is being foretold.
*Peter Mlakar (born 30 May 1951) is a Slovenian philosopher, poet, writer, actor, rhetoric, performer.

He graduated from the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, Prof. Boris Majer in philosophy and with Prof. Dušan Pirjevc in comparative literature. He has been publishing in the Tribune since the mid-1970s and on Radio Študent. In the 1980s also under the pseudonym erotic literature in Mladina, Dnevnik's Submarine and The New Magazine. In 1987 he joined the art group Laibach, working within the Department of Clean and Practical Philosophy at Neue Slowenische Kunst.

State Capitalism... and Why Western Leaders Seem Increasingly 'Out of Control'.

Increasing Censorship is but one major symptom of State Capitalism.
The Free Market Died in 2008 and was Replaced by State Capitalism.
In addition, within free market democracies, courts exist to safeguard the rights of individuals and companies. In state capitalist countries, they exist to legitimize the state's hold on political power. As a result, when the White House pressures BP to pay damages, the company knows it will have its day in court. In China, a foreign company is unlikely to win a ruling against the government. In the United States, companies "lawyer up." In China, they are "Googled out."

Take Google, for example. When Google executives decided that cyber-attacks on its Gmail accounts from inside China could no longer be tolerated, they decided on open confrontation with China's government over censorship issues. Google remains a relatively popular brand with Chinese internet users, but there were several reasons why Beijing would rather force Google out than compromise with it.

First, there are other search engine firms that do not challenge the leadership's right to restrict the flow of information. Second, one of those firms is Baidu, a Chinese company with friends in government and a much larger Chinese market share than Google. The message sent to Google was clear: Lawyer up if you want to, but you have started a war you cannot win.

Friday, February 11, 2022


Slavoj Žižek,"Populism as Disavowal of Social Antagonism" (24th May, 2017)

Happy Birthday George Washington...

George Washington was born in Virginia on February 11, 1731, according to the then-used Julian calendar. In 1752, however, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar which moved Washington's birthday a year and 11 days to February 22, 1732.
A painting by John Ward Dunsmore of George Washington during a foxhunt in Virginia. (Fraunces Tavern Museum)
Before Lexington and Concord, before there was any need for an army, and before men found themselves beholden to the dictates of military service there were the many trade, social, and sporting organizations offering them opportunities to associate together. In Philadelphia, where before the war there were no less than seventeen private fire companies engaged in heavy socializing when not attending to fire prevention concerns, there are perhaps no better examples than the Schuylkill Fishing Company and Gloucester Foxhunting Club.[1]
The rosters of each of these organizations share many of the same names, with members coming from both the city and immediately across the Delaware River in New Jersey’s Gloucester County. These mens’ close bonds and leadership abilities were so evident that in November 1774 they formed the nucleus of one of the colonies’ first all-volunteer organizations enforcing the First Continental Congress’s non-importation dictates, the Light-Horse of the City of Philadelphia.[2] They used an important flag displaying, reportedly for the first time on any banner, the distinctive thirteen stripes symbolizing the number of colonies.[3]

Sport and the comradery it allowed was the common factor drawing these men together in the decades preceding the Revolution. Until then, the area around Philadelphia was populated with an abundance of fish and wildlife, drawing many to tramp its thick forests and wade in its streams. Early settlers marked important moments in their childhood development as young boys, spending their formative years fishing until reaching the age of fifteen when allowed to enter into the woods in pursuit of game. As the area became more populated and people sought out opportunities to socialize, those of lesser means participated in shooting, fishing, and sailing parties while the well-to-do turned to “glutton clubs, fishing-house and country parties,” reportedly allowing “great sociability” among them all.[4]

Fishing was a great diversion for many as evidenced by period newspaper advertisements by merchants hawking an abundance of fishing-related gear in the form of rods, hooks and nets while real estate notices touted the location of favored pieces of land located on or near popular fishing locales.[5] So many white perch populated the area’s waters that it was not unusual for a single fisherman to pull out between “five and twenty dozen fish” by himself using a rod measuring some twenty-five feet in length and casting a line bearing three to six small hooks.[6] Clustered together along the river banks, working and coordinating their efforts as they did in their militia musters, the men could haul in as much as “one hundred dozen” fish in a single day. However, the sport had gained such popularity that by 1767 authorities began introducing laws prohibiting some of those practices that caused a noticeable drop in the fish population.[7]

It is not surprising to see the creation of organizations including the Schuylkill Fishing Company, reportedly the longest operating social club in the English-speaking world. Originally founded on May 1, 1732, and called “The Colony in Schuylkill,” its first members included some of the original settlers accompanying William Penn to the New World. A close association then developed between them and the resident Lenni Lanape people who tradition provides first allowed them “the right and privilege to hunt in the woods and to fish in the waters of the Schuylkill.”[8]

To attend its operations, members of the Colony facetiously adopted the trappings of an independent government, creating yearly elected posts bearing the honorifics of governor, assembly (with five members), sheriff, coroner, and secretary-treasurer.[9] While purportedly only a social club, it wielded such authority that it commanded the attention of local authorities leading some to call it “Imperim in Imperio, a republic of Andorra in the heart of Penn’s Kingdom.”[10]

While many of the Club’s members came from the peaceful Quaker party, there was also a decidedly pragmatic, militaristic side to their operations. In 1747 they donated a thirty-two pounder cannon to the local Association Battery guarding the city, itself counting several individuals from the fishing Colony serving in commanding positions. Manufactured in either England or New Jersey, the ten foot long weapon weighed between two and three tons and bore an inscription in the Indian language “Kawania che keeteru,” meaning “This is my right and I will defend it,” demonstrating an unwavering intention to preserve their way of life. Continuing in that vein, the translation was later adopted by the Philadelphia Committee of Safety in 1775 for its own motto when it created the seal it used during the war.[11] In 1762 the Colony expanded its “military” capabilities by assessing its members fifteen shillings in order to replace their deteriorating “navy,” composed of the two “frigates” Shirk and Fly “condemned as totally unfit for service,” with the building of two new vessels of modest dimension, being twelve and fifteen feet in length.[12]

Members also erected a building on the banks of the Schuylkill called The Castle to which they walked and rode for their gatherings. As they did so, they traveled through the thick forest separating it from the city carrying their fowling pieces and accompanied by faithful canines as they unhesitatingly fired upon the abundant animal population. As “Governor” Thomas Stretch described the amount of game at hand in writing to this fellow “Schuylkillians” in 1744:
WHEREAS great quantities of rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, partridges, and others of the game kind have presumed to infest the coasts and territories of Schuylkill, in a wild, bold and ungovernable manner;

THESE are therefore to authorize and require you, or any of you, to make diligent search for the said rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, partridges and others of the game kind, in all suspected places where they may be found, and bring the respective bodies of so many as you shall find … to be proceeded against.[13]
By 1762 the ranks of the popular Colony in Schuylkill had reached seventy-five, many of them “renowned as active and successful sportsmen,” and while “some preferred to range with a gun … the major part sought their luck on the water.”[14] Extant records of their many proceedings, including those of other fishing clubs, reveal much revelry as they consumed large amounts of food and drink demonstrating a convivial, jocular, back-slapping crowd. However, as tensions mounted with Britain, 1769 marked their last documented meeting until later in the war. It was revived in October 1782, changing its name to the “State in Schuylkill” to reflect the new political realities, followed by the “Schuylkill Fishing Company” in 1844 and continuing into the twenty-first century.

By 1766, pressure on fish notwithstanding, the overall effects of hunting in the immediate Philadelphia area was becoming more noticeable with the decline in population of various land bound species. This, in turn, forced the sporting community to look to other areas for sport, settling on nearby Gloucester County on the other side of the Delaware River in New Jersey.[15] In addition to horse-racing, chasing vermin was the most adventurous and robust activity engaged in by the local elite in their “occasional, unregulated private hunts.” [16] Accordingly, on October 29 many of them, including their fishermen brethren, decided to organize themselves and assembled at the Philadelphia Coffee House, creating the important Gloucester Foxhunting Club; remaining in existence until 1818 when it was disbanded.

While hunting with hounds dates to the ancients, the first organized fox hunt took place in Charlton, England in 1675 with the Charlton Hunt. It became immediately popular with royalty and the elite who then took steps to create highly bred packs capable of sustained effort in the field, finally achieving that result in the 1760s and 1770s.[17] Those efforts required large amounts of money to build kennels and employ personnel to watch over them; this later resulted in the North American experience of subscription hunts requiring members to pay a certain sum yearly for that purpose. There, the heavily wooded landscape was markedly different from England’s cleared spaces, which had an effect on the conduct of the hunt itself, with more attention paid towards watching hounds at work in the thick underbrush before picking up a scent and beginning the chase. Over the course of the eighteenth century, forests were cleared and wetlands drained opening up hunting grounds. American hounds then underwent a breeding process allowing the development of needed strength and stamina to run for long periods of time.[18]

Just maintaining the necessary horse to participate in the sport required significant money. As Colony in Schuylkill fishing member (number 46 enrolled in 1748) and later Loyalist James Galloway noted in 1759, it cost no less than seven shillings a day in order to “live meanly and keep a horse” in Philadelphia.[19] With general laborers and ships’ carpenters in the city and New York making around that amount between 1758 and 1774 it is clear that many possessed too little to allow them to participate in hunting to the hounds even if they had the time to do so. For those able to afford it, hunting provided important opportunities to meet others and further their relationships. As one foxhunter noted in 1792:
When the pleasures of the chase can be made the means of calling the gentlemen of the country together, they become really useful and beneficial to society. They give opportunities of shynesses, dispelling temporary differences, forming new friendships and cementing old, and drawing the gentlemen of the country together in one closer bond of society.[20]
Budding comradery notwithstanding, in the years before the war colonists persisted in pleading to London their widespread poverty making it impossible for them to contribute to the empire’s upkeep. As one London observer wrote in 1767, “Cock-fighting, fox-hunting, horse-racing, and every other expensive diversion, are in great vogue in the Colonies, yet the Colonists pretend they are not able to pay towards the support of their Governments.”[21] However, one New Yorker took strong exception to such a characterization, contending that “Cock-fighting is held in such disgrace among us, as that the few who practice it are almost ashamed to be known.”[22] While also dismissing their attraction for horse-racing, he further noted that “Fox-hunting we know nothing of as a diversion, but only to keep them from our poultry and the benefit of the skin.” Then, in telling disdain for those in the neighboring colony, he pointed out that “How far the Philadelphians are chargeable with these or the like extravagancies, they know best, and are able to answer for themselves.”

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia in 1766 thirty-two year old local merchant Samuel Morris, Jr. did indeed ride to the hounds and knew a lot about it; he was described as “an excellent horseman, and a keen sportsman, delighting in the chase, and all health-giving out-door sports.”[23] Being a man of “independent circumstances” Morris could engage in his sport at will, rising early and eating breakfast with his brethren before the sun rose and then dashing out to the countryside where in 1765 they reportedly killed three foxes within just a few hours’ time.[24] At age fourteen in 1748 his name first appears on the rolls of the Colony in Schuylkill (member number 52) as a budding fisherman and in 1765 he was elected its governor, serving in that capacity for the next forty-six years until his death in 1812. Further, upon the formation of the Gloucester Foxhunting Club in 1766 he was then chosen as its first president, similarly continuing in that role until his passing.

Joining Morris in foxhunting twice a week on Thursdays and Fridays for the season lasting between April and October, along with twenty-six other men of note, and members of the fishing Colony, were his brother, Anthony Morris, Jr. (number 97), later killed during the Battle of Princeton in 1777, and Samuel Nicholas (number 102) who went on to become the First Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1775.[25] Whether their unique hunting attire inspired that of the Marine Corps is not definitively known, but in 1774 the Club mandated its members wear “a dark brown coatee, with lapelled dragoon pockets, white buttons and frock sleeves, buff waistcoat and breeches, and a black velvet cap” during their outings.[26]

The common interest that these fishermen and hunters shared in the field is further demonstrated by the May Day celebrations that continued to take place during the Revolution. In 1776 the play The Fall of British Tyranney; or, American Liberty Triumphant was staged with actors singing a song to the tune of “The Hounds are all out.”[27] It could not have been by mistake that they did so, relying on their audience’s familiarity with its verses:
The Hounds are all out, and the Morning does peep,
Why how now you sluggardly Sot?
How can you, how can you lie snoring asleep,
While we all on Horseback have got?
Brave Boys, while we all on Horseback, &c.

I cannot get up, for the over-night’s Cup
So terribly lies in my Head;
Besides, my Wife cries, my Dear do not rise,
But cuddle me longer a-bed,
Dear Boy, but cuddle, &c.

Come, on with your Boots, and saddle your Mare,
Nor tire us with longer Delay;
The Cry of the Hounds, and the Sight of the Hare,
Will chase all our Vapours away,
Brave Boys, will chase, &c.[28]
Their comradery continued to sustain them and with war’s storm clouds on the horizon they sought out yet further instances to demonstrate their close bonds.

That opportunity arose on November 17, 1774 when the Philadelphia Committee of Correspondence met in the statehouse to decide how to implement the Continental Congress’s recent directives aimed at prohibiting the importation of British goods. As a result, twenty-eight men, “well representing the respectability and wealth of the city,” decided to form themselves into a cavalry company called the “Light-horse of the City of Philadelphia.” Of that number, no less than twenty-two of them came from the Gloucester Foxhunting Club, electing Morris, later becoming known as “Fighting Sam,” as their second lieutenant.[29] As the history of the Light Horse relates, of the several social organizations making up its membership, those coming from the foxhunting Club “appear to have had the most influence” in forming the Troop.[30] Further, by war’s end some fifty-two names of those from the fishing Colony in Schuylkill, some also Club members, are listed in the Light-Horse rolls.[31]

This was a well-heeled, self-financed company made up of “men of substantial means, who had something at stake in the fate of their country, and who needed not pay to keep them in the field. Some of them were representatives of the elite, and others afterwards attained such prominence in public affairs as shed lustre on the organization.”[32] It is not known which preceded the other in 1774, but the fashionable uniform they chose to wear closely resembled the Club’s, described as “a dark brown short coat, faced and lined with white, white vest and breeches, high-top boots, round black hat, a buck’s tail; housings brown, edged with white, and the letters L. H. marked upon them.” [33] For arms, they bore “a carbine, a pair of pistols, and holsters, with flounce of brown cloth trimmed with white, a horseman’s sword, and white belts for the sword and carbine.” In their ostentatious display, historian David Hackett Fischer opines that “this silk-stocking outfit must have been jeered by ragged infantrymen.”[34]

There are no descriptions of its actual presentation, but at some point shortly after its formation the Light-Horse received its important standard, courtesy of their captain Abraham Markoe, thankful at being elected their commander.[35] Markoe was a citizen of Denmark and and was forced shortly after his gift to resign his commission because his king, Christian VIII, forbid his subjects to participate in the war against Britain. Morris was unanimously elected in his place.

The flag is reportedly “the earliest known instance of the thirteen stripes being used upon an American banner,” making it an article of particular interest.[36] According to September 1775 invoices recording the flag’s creation months earlier, Philadelphia artist James Claypool painted, gilded and silvered the flag which had been drawn and designed by an obscure individual named John Folwell.[37] It still survives, measuring forty inches long and thirty-four inches broad, and bears in its center an emblem, topped by a horsehead, with the words beneath “For these we strive,” an apparent reference to fame and liberty.[38] In its canton, or rectangular portion, in the upper left are the noticeable stripes described as “Barry [stripes] of thirteen azure and argent. The azure being deep ultramarine, the argent silver leaf.” It was under this flag, attached to a three-part staff of “dark wood,” that Washington, accompanied by Generals Lee and Schuyler, was escorted out of Philadelphia to the New York border by members of the Light Horse on June 21, 1775 on his way to Cambridge to assume command of the army.

Washington certainly felt particular comfort in the care of these men, himself an avid foxhunter. Years before the Revolution at age sixteen in 1748 he was employed by Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, on his massive Virginia estate as a surveyor and frequently joined him in the many foxhunting opportunities he offered.[39] Taking up the sport even more aggressively when means allowed it following his marriage to Martha Custis in 1759 and up to 1774, apparently uninterested in either shooting or fishing, Washington pursued foxes with a vengeance. Until the war disrupted the peace, he entertained guests at Mount Vernon for weeks at a time, guiding the assembly as they ranged over the countryside chasing foxes and hounds.

Washington always superbly mounted, in true sporting costume, of blue coat, scarlet waistcoat, buckskin breeches, top boots, velvet cap, and whip with long thong, took the field at daybreak with his huntsman Will Lee, his friends and neighbors; and none rode more gallantly in the chase, nor with voice more cheerily awakened echo in the woodland than he ….[40]

To the north of Washington, the year 1775 marked “the hey-day” of the Gloucester Foxhunting Club as they rode to the baying cries of an impressive sixteen couple (pairs) of hounds.[41] However, with the war and ensuing presence of a large British army taking up occupancy in Philadelphia operations were suspended as their members assumed important military and civil positions. But no sooner had the British departed than the Club was up and running, assembling once again on the banks of the Delaware River. Though with a lesser number, they continued as they had in the past, running behind a pack of “twenty-two excellent dogs” bearing the wonderful names of Mingo, Piper, Drummer, Rover, Countess, Dido, Slouch, Ringwood, Tippler, Driver, Tuneall, Bumper, Sweetlips, Juno, Duchess, Venus, Singwell, Doxy, Droner, Toper, Bowler and Bellman.[42]

Those fishing and hunting members of the Colony in Schuylkill and Gloucester Foxhunting Club working together in the Philadelphia Light Horse made contributions that proved of great value to the patriot cause. While their efforts never exceeded two months of service at any one time, or barely six months in the war’s totality, they participated in some of its most momentous events.[43] Through many trials the men performed admirably at Trenton (December 26, 1776), Princeton (January 3, 1777), Brandywine (September 11, 1777), Germantown (October 4, 1777), and at Valley Forge allowing them the honored position of being the first troops to reenter Philadelphia when the British left in 1778. Expressing his approval of their efforts following Trenton and Princeton, on January 23, 1777 Washington temporarily discharged the company, making certain to acknowledge their worthy achievements:
I take this opportunity of returning my most sincere thanks to the Captain [Morris] and to the Gentlemen who compose the Troop, for the many essential services which they have rendered to their Country, and to me personally, during the course of this severe campaign. Tho’ composed of Gentlemen of Fortune, they have shown a noble Example of discipline and subordination, and in several actions have shown a Spirit of Bravery which will ever do Honor to them and will ever be gratefully remembered by me.[44]
In the following years, the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry as it became known was called upon many times to perform tasks on the behalf of both the colony and Washington. Its members also went on to advanced ranks and held important positions in service to the new nation.

Sport, as exemplified by the fishermen and foxhunters of the time, bound these men together when there was no war forcing them to associate. Their records demonstrate the raw fun and emotion that their pursuits allowed them and, together with the abundant natural resources at their disposal, one can only look on with envy at all they experienced in their time together. In comparison, it was a deceptively innocent time, but none the less one that any avid outdoorsman would have loved to participate in as their companion.

[1] Other fishing clubs in the area before the Revolution included the Society of Fort St. David’s (founded 1753) and the Mount Regale Fishing Company (date uncertain), the latter composed of many members coming from the proprietary party countering those of the Quaker party belonging to the Schuylkill club. James H. Hutson, “An Investigation of the Inarticulate: Philadelphia’s White Oaks,” William and Mary Quarterly 28, no. 1 (January 1971): 5.

[2] History of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. 1774. November, 17, 1874 (Princeton, 1875), 1.

[3] Ibid., 119.

[4] John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: E. L. Carey & A. Hart, 1830), 166.

[5] See, e.g., Pennsylvania Gazette, December 11, 1766, April 16, 1767; Pennsylvania Journal, September 9, 1772.

[6] By a Member, An Authentic Historic Memoir of the Schuylkill Fishing Company of the State in Schuylkill (Philadelphia: Judah Dobson, 1830), 113.

[7] Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia), April 16, 1767.

[8] H. H. Brogden, “Restoration of the Schuylkill Gun to ‘The State in Schuylkill,’ April 23, 1884,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 8, no. 2 (June 1884): 200.

[9] William Milnor, A History of the Schuylkill Fishing Company of the State in Schuylkill, 1732-1888 (Philadelphia: Published by the Members, 1889), 20.

[10] Robert C. Moon, The Morris Family of Philadelphia, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Robert C. Moon, 1898), 322.

[11] George Henry Preble, History of the Flag of the United States of America, 4th ed. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1894), 254.

[12] Milnor, A History, 34-35.

[13] Ibid., 20.

[14] Ibid., 37.

[15] Watson, Annals, 237-238.

[16] Milnor, A History, 4.

[17] Eric Eliason, “Foxhunting Folkways under Fire and the Crisis of Traditional Moral Knowledge,” Western Folklore 63, no. 1/2 (Winter-Spring 2004): 129.

[18] James Howe, “Fox Hunting as Ritual,” American Ethnologist 8, no. 2 (May 1981): 289.

[19] Hutson, “An Investigation,” 7-8.

[20] Howe, “Fox Hunting,” 286.

[21] Providence Gazette (Providence, Rhode Island), August 1, 1767.

[22] New York Gazette, August 20, 1767.

[23] Moon, Morris Family, 321.

[24] Ibid., 322. Morris’ name, along with many of his friends, appears on several rolls of subscribers providing many thousands of pounds to the city’s coffers in order to sustain the war effort.

[25] Gerald R. Gems, Linda J. Borish, and Gertrud Pfister, Sports in American History from Colonization to Globalization (Chelsea, MI: Sheridan Books, 2008), 59.

[26] Milnor, A History, 7.

[27] Martin W. Walsh, “May Games and Noble Savages: The Native American in Early Celebrations of Tammany Society,” Folklore 108 (1997): 87.

[28] The Lark containing a Collection of Four Hundred and Seventy Four celebrated English and Scotch Songs (London: 1742), 353-354.

[29] Milnor, Memoirs, 3; Encyclopædia of Contemporary Biography of Pennsylvania, vol. 3 (New York: Atlantic Publishing and Engraving Company, 1898), 54.

[30] History of the First Troop, viii. Other organizations joining included “The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick,” “St. Andrews Society at Philadelphia,” and “The Society of the Sons of St. George, for the advice and assistance of Englishmen in distress.” Ibid., x.

[31] Milnor, A History, 404.

[32] The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 10 (Philadelphia: 1886), 362.

[33] Moon, Morris Family, 323. “Housings” are pistol holsters.

[34] David Hackett Fischer, Washington’s Crossing (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 279.

[35] History of the First Troop, 119.
[36] Preble, History of the Flag, 251. The presence of the stripes on this flag preceded their appearance several months later at the time of the raising of the union flag in Cambridge.

[37] Ibid., 257.

[38] Ibid., 254.

[39] Alexander Mackay-Smith, Foxhunting in North America (Millwood, VA: Good Printers, 1985), 217-218.

[40] George Washington Park Custis, Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1860), 385.

[41] Milnor, Memoirs, 7.

[42] Ibid., 10-11.

[43] John B. Linn and Wm. Hegle, eds., Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution, vol. II (Harrisburg: Lane S. Hart, 1880), 733.

[44] History of the First Troop, 11.