There would be certain tactical advantages to this. The Left always performs much, much better when a Republican is in office. The anti-establishment populist-right would continue to be rallied. The division between the Republican “base” and Republican establishment would continue to expand as would the divide between the “deep state” and Republican voters. Fragment, fragment, fragment…
Carlson has another interview with the “Straight Outta Applebee’s” guy.
If the revolutionary “far-left” was tactically shrewd, they would come out in opposition to any arrest or legal prosecution of this guy on “we’re against the pigs no matter who they come after” grounds, or “we’re for the right to bear arms for everyone” grounds. Such a stance would win the sympathy of the extremist and/or libertarian sectors of the right while driving a wedge between these sectors and the more authoritarian and/or “respectable” right while forcing bourgie liberals into an awkward position as well. Though I doubt most far-left activists are sophisticated enough to think on this kind of tactical level.
LOL. This is so predictable. The progressives insincerely co-opt a genuinely radical idea, and then the right-wing actually takes them seriously, and points the finger saying, “Look at those extremists over there!” What’s interesting about Carlson is that on economics and foreign policy he often sounds like Bernie Sanders and even ventures into Chomsky territory at times, but on “culture war” questions he always falls back on the predictable Nixonian line.
Kyle Kulinski has an interesting rebuttal to Carlson’s Hobbesian-Burkean perspective.
In his more serious and intelligent moments, Carlson is simply making the Hobbesian argument that order must be maintained at all costs in order for civilization to exist with considerations of “justice,” whatever their merit, being a secondary or tertiary concern. A similar argument could have been made to defend the rule of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Qaddafi, particularly given what happened to Iraq and Libya post-US/NATO invasion. Carlson is also making a Burkean argument that whatever the problems with existing institutions, merely burning them down typically makes things even worse. I can respect such arguments even if they’re a bit one-dimensional.
Kulinksi is making the perfectly reasonable observation that the insurrectionists were hardly the ones that started the fight, and that the lumpen violence of the insurrectionists pales in comparison to the institutionalized violence of the power elite. Looting Target is kindergarten compared to killing a million people in the Middle East. But Kyle, unfortunately, falls back on the liberal idealization of the “rule of law.” The law, as anarchists have always pointed out, is primarily an instrument of political, economic, and economic subjugation with the positive benefits of law (like “order”) largely being incidental or geared to serve ruling class interests. OF COURSE, the state is inconsistent in the enforcement of its own laws. Consistency is not the objective. Maintaining power is the objective.
It’s interesting how en vogue anti-capitalism has now become on both the left and right. On the margins, we see the Antifas carrying a hammer and sickle flag, and the Alt-Right becoming Nazbols. In the mainstream, we see the rise of social democrats like Sanders and AOC on the left, and “national-populists” like Tucker Carlson on the right. In this piece, Carlson sounds like a Marxist.
As the de facto voice of the MAGAs, Tucker Carlson’s George Wallace-like commentary is predictable. Regrettably, many MAGA-types have too many cultural, psychological, and other barriers to view the insurrection in any context other than “those people are causing trouble.”
The lamentable limitations of Carlson’s fans were summarized by Proudhon in the mid-19th century:
Carlson’s program for tonight was pretty interesting. He calls out government overreach per the lockdowns, exposing the empty skirt Stacey Abrams as a fraud, explores the interesting falling out between the Republican Party and the FBI/CIA, plus the usual heavy dose of Sinophobia where he comes close to admitting that China is simply being used as a test market in state repression by the US national security state.
If only it were true. Localized quarantines are what we should have been doing all along. It’s ridiculous to expect rural counties to abide by the same rules as New York and Los Angeles.
Some states are using science to guide their decisions and cautiously beginning to relax their lockdowns. But power-drunk politicians in the other half of the country are tightening their lockdowns even now.
Carlson calls out the federal police state about 3 minutes into this. Ilhan Omar’s response is disappointing and regrettably rooted in partisan/cultural/tribal politics than actual opposition to the system. From Trump-loyaltist three percenters to Democrat-voting Marxists, it’s interesting how few supposed “radicals” actually oppose the system.
Krystal has really been getting attacked by the SJW crowd lately, which means she is likely on the right track.
I reject Tucker Carlson’s populist-nationalism and social conservatism. I reject Krystal’s statist-reformist social democracy. And I reject the libtard-leftard-SJW-Antifa pathological right-wingophobia.
Tucker Carlson is a de facto spokesman for the petite bourgeoise and “small capitalist” sectors of the commercial economy, the post-bourgeois proletariat, the “sinking middle,” the dying WASP culture, political traditionalists and constitutional fundamentalists of the kind found on the paleo/populist-right, etc. Many of those interests have been hit very hard by the state-ordered economic shutdown. It makes sense some of them would be motivated to protest. Tucker Carlson is grudgingly allowed on FOX as a bone thrown to the paleo-right, the same way Andrew Napolitano and John Stossel are bones thrown to the libertarian-right, even if FOX is ultimately nothing more than the propaganda arm of the tripartite alliance of the right-wing plutocrats, military-industrial-complex, and AIPAC.
I generally don’t agree with Tucker Carlson’s Sinophobia. Yes, China is probably as close to being an actual “fascist” regime of any country in the world today in the sense of being a one-party state, with a cult of personality built around the leader, a state-directed system of “crony capitalism,” and a statist-collectivist ethos that appeals to national chauvinism and ancient cultural traditions as the self-legitimating ideology of the ruling class. (I would consider the DPRK to be more Stalinist than fascist, and Saudi Arabia to merely be a classic medieval regime).
But China is only a backwater province in global capitalism. China’s massive population is the only thing that makes China significant as an economic player. Only about 12% of China’s territory is arable land, and China’s relationship to the US is merely to provide cheap loans to the US government and cheap labor to US corporations. Historically, China has gone through periods of expansion and contraction, and its present period of expansion will eventually implode.
Yes, China is also involved in significant economic expansion throughout the Global South, but China’s xenophobia will prevent China from being successful imperialists. A successful long-standing imperialist empire must necessarily maintain a certain degree of cosmopolitanism (like Rome, Britain, or America). Yes, I am in favor of an anarchist/anti-imperialist revolution in China, but North America (“the belly of the beast”) still where the action is when it comes to anti-imperialist struggle.
When Trump was running for office in 2016, I knew that he would mostly govern as a normal Republican or neoliberal centrist, with a rhetorically leftward turn on a few issues (trade, gays, foreign policy, etc.), and that his more rightward rhetoric was mostly a bone thrown to the populist-right. In May of 2016, he gave an interview to Megyn Kelly where he mentioned “tax cuts” and “rebuilding the military” (i.e. standard Republican talking points) as his main priorities.
“I hate agreeing with this dick so often but Gretchen Whitmer is running Michigan like a Third World banana republic. Coronavirus is some serious shit but fascism is way fucking worse and that is exactly what heavy-handed governors like Whitmer are trafficking in. Carlson should talk to the Antifa hooligans outside his mansion about picking a bigger fish.” –Nicky Reid
Tucker Carlson’s program tonight has a lot of interesting information. Melissa Francis inadvertently describes the correct solution to the present economic crisis, i.e. a complete holiday on payments for everyone. Bring on the gift economy!
This video is over a year old, but it’s a good description of the neoliberal vs. populist division that is growing on the US right, just like there is a growing division between neoliberals and social democrats on the US left. The consequences of the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama neoliberal paradigm are now obvious enough and have been since at least 2008, which is why populist-reformist movements have developed since then, e.g. Tea Party, Occupy, Sandernistas, Trumpians, AOC’s social democracy, Carlson’s “national conservatism,” etc. Regrettably, none of these movements have been able to get past the fixation on electoralism, reformism, statism, the capitalism/socialism false dichotomy, and culture war tribalism.
Some commentators, like the folks at Rising, keep calling for a realignment pitting left/right populists against left/right neoliberals, but that ain’t happening. Too much cultural tribal conflict is in the way. Instead, as the Democratic neoliberals and Republican neoliberals continue to try to out-scumbag each other, and left/right populists continue to fail, more extreme movements from the left and right will likely develop (for which creepy groups like the Antifa and Proud Boys are prototypes). I don’t think it will become a Weimar-like scenario with the liberal-capitalist center being threatened with outright communism from the left and fascism from the right. It will probably be more like Latin America or South Asia where the entrenched oligarchy holds its position against the impoverished masses, with left and right extremists engaging in terrorism on the margins. In other words, the US is becoming less of a modern post-scarcity middle-class oriented bourgeois society (as Sanders and Carlson are constantly lamenting), and more of a traditional society with a traditional class hierarchy in terms of wealth distribution. The good news is that it will largely be the end of the US international empire in the long run as multipolarity continues to develop.