Yves right here. On the finish of the publish, we’ve embedded C.J Hopkins’ discuss with John Siman. We’re launching this publish on a Friday within the hope that a few of you would possibly discover the time immediately or over the weekend to hearken to it as an antidote to election cray-cray, significantly the liberals’ model.

By John Siman

I’ve been studying C.J. Hopkins for about three years, but it surely’s a secret which, till now, I’ve saved just about to myself. For I had wished to place some form of a restrict on the variety of liberal acquaintances I used to be alienating by my ongoing enthusiasm free of charge speech and free inquiry. However in simply the previous few months issues have come to such a disquieting go that I believe it’s come time to introduce clever liberals — or at the least the liberal-adjacent readers of Bare Capitalism— to the essays which Hopkins has been publishing for over 4 years now, starting within the annus miserabiliswhich was 2016.

Hopkins writes from the penetralia of what he calls the Consent Manufacturing unit, which is situated, he instructed me, someplace inder Stadt Berlin. Matt Taibbi has fittingly described Hopkins as a post-Soviet model of a самиздат author, fearlessly self-publishing critiques of unclothed little emperors that are so insightful that they are going to, fairly possible, ultimately, trigger each the author and his readers to be despatched to jail. A really excessive praise certainly!

I, sadly, missed this primary 12 months of Hopkins’s Consent Manufacturing unit essays, which, he instructed me, he, then a longtime fifty-five-year-old playwright, felt drawn to start out writing as he noticed the unexpectedly potent outbursts of offended populist “resistance” (sic!) — together with Brexit and Sanders and Trump — to the inexorable international company capitalist Conquest of All the pieces.

However quickly sufficient I got here throughout his searing overview of the 12 months 2017, the primary 12 months of Donald Trump’s presidency, which Hopkins declared to have been “The Yr of the Headless Liberal Hen.” Right here is an excerpt:

“Look,” Hopkins wrote three years in the past, “I do know what you’re most likely considering, but it surely isn’t like liberals don’t truly care about elementary liberal values like freedom of the press and speech and all that. It’s simply that they desperately want the Democrats to take again the Home and the Senate subsequent 12 months, to allow them to get on with impeaching Trump, and if they’ve to face by whereas the firms suppress a bit leftist dissent, or, you realize, rework your entire Web into a large, mind-numbing echo chamber of neo-McCarthyite company conformity … nicely, sacrifices need to be made” (from The Yr of the Headless Liberal Hen, which first appeared in CounterPunch in December of 2017).

Once I first learn it nearly three years in the past, I savored this essay as delightfully ferocious satire. And I give credit score to Hopkins and to a only a few different impartial writers for having helped me to turn out to be more and more acutely aware notof the predictably spectacular failure of Donald Trump as President — I’m sufficiently old to recollect how, going again thirty-five years, the cool children at Spy Journalused to tease the pompous blowhard douchebag on a weekly foundation, tease him savagely — however reasonably of the continued collective choice by the so-called liberal media to implement a coverage of nationwide censorship, a coverage of, as Hopkins put it three years in the past, “neo-McCarthyite company conformity.”

                                   

    *                    *                   * 

As I start explaining the work of Hopkins to my (remaining) well-educated liberal pals and neighbors, it startles me repeatedly that they’re serenely oblivious to what to me is so balefully apparent: the rise of censorship within the USA — censorship by liberals! So let me overview for his or her profit (and for that of readers like them) what I think about to be the three most egregious current examples of media censorship:

First, the memory-holing of the sudden outbreak of unprecedentedly harmful riots in dozens of cities all through the USA. The neo-Orwellian terminology right here has been “peaceable protests.” Solely Michael Tracey, an impartial journalist whose Tweets over the previous 12 months or so have been, for my part, our single finest supply by far of nationwide information, has coated the riots as an precise eye-witness, no-nonsense, on-the-ground reporter.

I urge anybody unfamiliar with Tracey’s work to learn, and as quickly as attainable, his essay Two Months For the reason that Riots, and Nonetheless No ‘Nationwide Dialog.’ Right here is an excerpt and hyperlink:

“[It’s] clear,” Tracey wrote in July, “that the extreme ramifications of those riots have been extensively ignored — if not consciously obfuscated — by a media class that was near-unanimous in its approval of the accompanying protest motion. That they may have so shortly ‘moved on,’ significantly from the wreckage of Minneapolis/St. Paul — the place residents generally instructed me that their lives are nonetheless in “agony” — is galling…. [I]t doesn’t take some form of profound journalistic acuity to stroll round riot-affected areas, discuss to residents, file their tales and impressions, take some photographs and file some video, and compose some tweets. And but, I heard from tons of of individuals throughout the USA and world who have been shocked that they’d have by no means been conscious of what occurred in Minneapolis/St. Paul if not for my dinky little Twitter thread.”

Second, the memory-holing of the Hunter Biden laptop computer story and Twitter’s lock-out of The New York Put up. “We noticed unimaginable abuses earlier than the election,” writes George Washington College legislation professor Jonathan Turley in an article entitled Biden Aide Alerts Push for Larger Censorship on the Web — “in Twitter barring entry to a real story in The New York Put upabout Hunter Biden and his alleged international affect peddling scheme. Notably, nobody within the Biden camp (together with Biden himself) thought that it was a menace to our democracy to have Twitter block the story (whereas later admitting that it was a mistake)…. What’s most annoying is how liberals have embraced censorship and even declared that ‘China was proper’ on Web controls.”

Third, The Intercept’s censoring of Glenn Greenwald’s story on Hunter Biden. For readers who’re unaware of the small print of this debacle, I like to recommend Jimmy Dore and Aaron Maté’s evaluation of it on this YouTube broadcast: Glenn Greenwald RESIGNS From The Intercept Over CENSORSHIP!

Greenwald himself describes the totally “fraudulent” state of our nationwide media in a wonderful interview with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper: on this excerpt from it Greenwald turns into so impassioned and energized that he begins hitting the identical analytical and satirical notes that C.J. Hopkins does when he describes the transformation of your entire Web into a large, mind-numbing echo chamber of neo-McCarthyite company conformity:

“There’s no query,” Greenwald says at 1:01:50, “that the white-supremacist white-nationalist fascist dictator Nazi-Hitler obtained extra non-white votes — extra votes from individuals of coloration in the USA by share — than any Republican candidate since 1960 — that’s … sixty years in the past. How is it which you can reconcile this narrative that was manufactured by very rich, privileged, Ivy League-educated members of the nationwide media — lots of whom are African-American or Latino or LGBT or white liberals — how is it which you can reconcile the narrative that they shove down everyone’s throat about who helps Donald Trump and what the ideology of his motion is with the truth that enormous numbers — enormous numbers! — of voters who voted for him will not be white or white males in any respect? Actually nearly all of Trump voters are both girls or individuals of coloration. And the plain reply is that these individuals within the media — white liberals, African-American liberals, Latino liberals, LGBT liberals — have concocted this angle, this concept of the Trump presidency for their very own profit … [which] utterly excludes what predominately shapes individuals’s lives and the essential prism by means of which they navigate the world: which is class, socio-economic standing, and profession prospects. And so you may have this tiny variety of individuals, these hyper-partisan elites, purporting to talk for a whole group of individuals with whom they’ve nearly nothing in widespread — besides these sorts of superficial demographics….”

Hopkins tells me that he noticed all this coming 4 years in the past, and his essays do bear him out. I might due to this fact urge readers to method his work as being much more urgently prophetic than it’s boldly satiric. Right here, for instance, is what he wrote on January 13, 2017, that’s, seven days earlier thanTrump was inaugurated:

“The purpose of all this propaganda [especially concerning Russian hacking] is to delegitimize Donald Trump,” Hopkins noticed nearly 4 years in the past, “and to prophylactically reassert the neoliberal ruling lessons’ monopoly on energy, ‘actuality,’ and ‘fact.’ In case this wasn’t already abundantly clear, the neoliberal ruling lessons haven’t any intention of giving up management of the worldwide capitalist pseudo-empire they’ve been working to ascertain these final sixty years. They’re going to delegitimize and stigmatize Trump (and another image of nationalist backlash or resistance to transnational Capitalism), bide their time for the subsequent 4 years, after which set up one other of their loyal servants … after which life will return to ‘regular,’ and liberals will do their finest to overlook this unlucky interval the place they pretended to consider this insipid neo-McCarthyite nonsense” (from Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Nonetheless Works, first revealed in CounterPunch, January 13, 2017).

And right here is the start of his current essay, The Final Days of the Trumpian Reich, which was revealed just some days earlier than the 2020 election:

“So, in line with the company media,” Hopkins wrote on October 27, 2020, “that is it for Russian-backed Hitler. Sport over. The partitions are closing in. It’s the final days of the Trumpian Reich. Get these vuvuzelas prepared! Sure, apparently, the American individuals, who have been all a bunch of Putin-worshipping, white-supremacist neo-Nazis after they elected Trump in 2016, have come to their senses…” (from The Final Days of the Trumpian Reich, first revealed by Consent Manufacturing unit, Inc.).

Hopkins, nonetheless, is simply tangentially within the absurdly fantastical smearing of Trump: his deeper investigative challenge is to indicate us the pitiless means by which these unexpectedly potent outbursts of offended populist “resistance” (sure!) that started in 2016 are being systematically suppressed.

Hopkins’s actual theme, merely put, is what he calls the Warfare on Populism. And this Warfare on Populism is the newest iteration of the continued international conquest of capitalist ideology. What we’re witnessing within the bigger perspective, what we’ve been witnessing on a world scale for over three a long time now, is the triumphal onward march of worldwide capitalism, which, as Hopkins emphasised in our conversations, has been basically unopposed for the reason that fall of the Berlin Wall, for the reason that eliminating of the yoke of communism by the nations of the Jap Bloc, and, finally, for the reason that utter implosion of the us. International capitalism, or “GloboCap,” as Hopkins nicknames it, has thus been, for 3 a long time now, increasing methodically, even logically, to seize each sq. inch of the planet.

So how and why has unchecked international capitalism resulted on this Warfare on Populism? Hopkins has no enthusiasm for Marxist evaluation; in actual fact, he celebrates the, nicely, populist victories that capitalism gained in its early phases: the overthrow of the tyranny of kings and clergymen and the next institution of contemporary democracies above all. However capitalism is a common solvent, Hopkins factors out, and simply because it unvalued the values of aristocracy and theocracy nearly 250 years in the past (to the individuals’s delight), it now proceeds to unvalue all remaining values, for its logical object is the institution of a single common worth: alternate worth.

For the triumph of alternate worth, of market worth, commodifies … all the pieces, completely all the pieces. In addition to everybody.

So what is going to international capitalism’s Conquest of Completely All the pieces appear like? A world of atomized shoppers, stripped of their rights and of any allegiances to household or clan or nation or faith and even fascinating tastes. However, such a world capitalist world might be, for the few who can develop immensely rich in it, a spot of uncountable, maybe everlasting, brute satisfactions. For the various, however, the worldwide capitalist world might be a spot of glorified slavery, lived in deserts of social isolation. To the extent that a few of the many have seen what international capitalism has in retailer for them, and don’t prefer it, and have began to oppose it, they’ve turn out to be what Hopkins calls populists, that’s to say, an actual downside for the few:

“The issue is … nicely, the issue is individuals,” Hopkins writes in “The Final Days of the Trumpian Reich.” “Not wealthy and highly effective individuals like themselves, or the individuals they should proceed working, consuming, and servicing the curiosity on their loans, however … you realize, all these different individuals. Uneducated, un-woke, working-class individuals. Gun-toting, fanatically spiritual individuals. Racist, conspiracy-theorizing individuals. Deplorable individuals. Populist individuals. Folks they dont want anymore. These individuals have been an issue not too long ago. Not solely are they a drag on the system, they’ve been actively interfering with it, voting for Brexit, electing Donald Trump, refusing to desert their conventional values and outmoded concepts (e.g., nationwide sovereignty, freedom of speech, and mammalian biology) and get on board with international capitalist ideology, and have been in any other case being an actual ache within the ass.”

This paragraph each illuminates and is illuminated by the work of Thomas Frank, who has so brilliantly proven — above all in his masterpiece Hear, Liberal— simply how, for the reason that election of our first Neoliberal president in 1992 (which was, considerably, the 12 months after the collapse of the us), the Democrats have reinvented themselves because the social gathering of the Liberal Studying Inventive Skilled Managerial Class, the social gathering of the credentialed meritocracy, the social gathering of, above all, the winners.  So, sure, as a matter after all, the Democrats have been taught to be overtly hostile to working-class “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton formally named them, to see them as “being an actual ache within the ass,” as Hopkins writes.

And the deplorables actually are a drag on the worldwide capitalist system. (Most of them need free well being care, for Pete’s sake!) Quite a lot of them voted for the socialist Bernie Sanders, and, far, far worse, much more of them voted for the “white-supremacist white-nationalist fascist dictator Nazi-Hitler” (as Glenn Greenwald mentioned!), i.e. Trump. They are surely, backside line right here, losers with a giant L.

The liberals, the bien pensants(as Thomas Frank has referred to as them) — the winners, that’s — who learn The New York Instancesand The Washington Put up and hearken to NPR and watch MSNBC and CNN, who went to good faculties and obtained every kind {of professional} credentials, are actually well-informed sufficient to know that the long run is all about international capitalism. They usually know that, in the event that they play by the foundations, international capitalism has a spot for them. Moreover, they know (or might simply determine it out) that international capitalism doesn’t have a spot for all times’s losers. However that’s simply powerful shit, isn’t it?

Plus elite liberal winners have their very own particular issues now in order that they couldn’t probably fear about deplorable racist losers even when they wished to. Apparently, for instance, their foundational meritocracy is being refurbished into some form of a super-woke moralocracy, and it may be only a matter of time till all tutorial testing is abolished within the title of Kendian Anti-Racism. So how on earth are you purported to get your child into Harvard if she’s white or, heaven forbid, Asian? Paying a woke surgeon (or possibly insurance coverage will cowl?) to chop her breasts off when she turns sixteen is trying like an excellent choice to some — Abigail Shrier writes about this in her new e book Irreversible Harm: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Shrier, nonetheless, is being systematically censored by liberals as a result of she is a reactionary transphobic monster who dares query the feminine genital mutilation of non-African our bodies. As a result of, come on, Abigail, white and trans would possibly at the least get you wait-listed at Harvard, whereas white and cis is, whenever you come right down to it, repulsively Trump-adjacent. (Different promising choices for non-black our bodies within the rising moralocracy: lacking limbs or actually conspicuous beginning defects.)

So it’s no cakewalk being a newly-woke post-meritocratic member of the Liberal Studying Inventive Skilled Managerial Class, and Hopkins, a genuinely variety man, is sympathetic to the plight of those liberals — particularly due to the huge quantities of sloppily-designed propaganda which they need to ingest with a purpose to (1) genuinely come to worry and hate the deplorables (Matt Taibbi’s e book Hate, Inc. is crucial for understanding this course of) and (2) parrot the official narratives of worldwide capitalism, which, as a result of they’re based on a rejection of the very existence of fact, are fairly tough to embrace consciously or with out each day intakes of professional quality prescription anti-depressant meds. So let’s think about one other passage from “The Yr of the Headless Liberal Hen,” simply to affirm Hopkins’s compassionate nature:

“[B]y January [of 2017],” Hopkins wrote, “the media have been taking part in down the Hitler stuff and going balls-out on the ‘Russiagate’ story. Based on The Washington Put up(which, let’s bear in mind, is a critical newspaper, versus a propaganda organ of the so-called US ‘Intelligence Neighborhood’), not solely had the Russians ‘hacked’ the election, however they’d hacked the Vermont energy grid! Editorialists at The New York Instanceshave been declaring that Trump ‘had been appointed by Putin,’ and that the USA was now ‘at warfare’ with Russia…. This nonsense was reported utterly straight-faced, and thus liberals have been pressured to take it severely. Think about the cognitive dissonance they suffered. It was like that scene in 1984when the Celebration abruptly switches enemies, and the warfare with Eurasia turns into the warfare with Eastasia.”

George Orwell — oh hell yeah! And Hopkins: “This nonsense was reported utterly straight-faced, and thus liberals have been pressured to take it severely.” So all of it actually does come right down to mental obedience to official narratives, that’s, obedience to propaganda. The Warfare on Populism is an Orwellian propaganda warfare, and its object is the furthering of the  Conquest of All the pieces by international capitalism.

Hopkins’s understanding of this propaganda is so profound that it makes him, I might argue, at this chilling second in our nation’s historical past, maybe the only most important author for us to start out studying. So allow us to conclude this essay with a abstract of his evaluation of propaganda in course of:

“Chief among the many widespread misconceptions about the best way official propaganda works,” Hopkins wrote nearly 4 years in the past in his essay “Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Nonetheless Works,” — “is the notion that its purpose is to deceive the general public into believing issues that aren’t ‘the reality’ (that Trump is a Russian agent, for instance, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). Nevertheless, whereas official propagandists are positively happy if anybody truly believes no matter lies they’re promoting, deception shouldn’t be their main intention. The first intention of official propaganda is to generate an ‘official narrative’ that may be mindlessly repeated by the ruling lessons and people who help and establish with them. This official narrative doesn’t need to make sense, or to face as much as any kind of critical scrutiny. Its factualness shouldn’t be the purpose.”

Factualness, a.ok.a. fact, let me add right here, shouldn’t be merely old style and outmoded: it’s woke-phobic, that’s to say, a violent and reactionary problem to the triumph of narrative. Incorrigible deplorables and different troublemakers (like me and C.J. Hopkins) will persist in groping for fact, however all profitable members of Liberal Studying Inventive Skilled Managerial Class know that their success is largely made attainable by their enthusiasm for official narratives, and their collective hope is that narrative offers them with a permanent secure area. Thus Hopkins concludes his evaluation:

“The purpose is to attract a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between ‘the reality’ as outlined by the ruling lessons and another ‘fact’ that contradicts their narrative. Think about this Maginot line as a round wall surrounded by inhospitable territory. Contained in the wall is ‘regular’ society, gainful employment, profession development, and all the opposite appreciable advantages of cooperating with the ruling lessons. Exterior the wall is poverty, anxiousness, social {and professional} stigmatization, and numerous different types of struggling. Which facet of the wall do you wish to be on? Every single day, in numerous methods, every of us are requested and need to reply this query. Conform, and theres a spot for you inside. Refuse, and … nicely, good luck on the market.”

And right here, expensive reader, because the promised bonus, is a hyperlink to and embed of an interview I did with C.J. Hopkins for Bare Capitalism — we focus on his fantastic essay “Bernie the Magic Socialist” amongst many different matters:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here