(As Hillary may discover — along with her more rabid leftwing supporters — starting in 2017.)
(As Hillary may discover — along with her more rabid leftwing supporters — starting in 2017.)
DIAL 911 FOR THE GLEICHSCHALTUNG SQUAD: Greenwich CT police captain investigates Common Core opponent.
THE GLEICHSCHALTUNG GENERATES PUSHBACK: Dem economists attack Elizabeth Warren over Brookings firing.
Five top Democratic economists are criticizing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the left-leaning Brookings Institution for forcing one of its nonresident economic fellows to resign.
Warren raised concerns earlier this week that Robert Litan, a nonresident and unpaid economics fellow at the think tank, was using Brookings to peddle an industry-backed study that was critical of a financial advice regulatory pitch championed by Warren and the White House.
In a letter to Brookings earlier this week, Warren questioned the independence of the study, which Litan openly notes in the text “was supported by the Capital Group, one of the largest mutual fund asset managers in the United States.”
Hours later, Litan was forced to resign.
The Democratic economists say they’re “concerned” about Litan’s treatment.
They said Warren’s approach and Brookings’ “complicity with it threatens ad hominem attack on any author who may be associated with an industry or interest whose views are contrary to hers.”
“Those who differ with Litan instead should offer a substantive rebuttal to the paper in question, which would do much more to clarify the issue than implicitly depicting him as being inherently corrupted by the sponsorship of his work,” the economists wrote in a letter submitted to The Washington Post but first obtained by The Hill.
The letter was signed by former Clinton economic advisers W. Bowman Cutter and Everett Ehrlich; Harvard University international trade and investment professor Robert Z. Lawrence; former Clinton chief budget economist Joseph Minarik; and former Clinton economic adviser Hal Singer, who co-authored the report in question with Litan.
Warren was thuggish. Brookings was cowardly. Neither is a huge surprise.
It allows companies to parade their virtue, and look good, while internal standards are allowed to slip. In fact, the social responsibility of companies is very simple – to make good products, to honour their contracts and to pay their staff and suppliers on time. Everything else is just a smokescreen.
It remains to be seen what happens to VW, and whether it can recover from the emissions scandal. The early signs are hardly promising. It took several days for the chief executive to be removed, and even then he was replaced by an insider – there was little sign the company had worked out it needed a clean sweep of its management. In the wake of that, there has been plenty of discussion about whether it signals the death of Germany Inc, or indeed the death of diesel. We will see. One thing it should certainly signal the death of, however, is the corporate social responsibility movement.
Volkswagen was as progressive, inclusive and caring as any multi-national is meant to be these days.
Live by the Gleichschaltung, die by it as well.
VOLKSWAGEN: WHEN THE GLEICHSCHALTUNG COMES FULL CIRCLE: “Gleichschaltung is a German word (in case you couldn’t have guessed) borrowed from electrical engineering,” as Jonah Goldberg wrote in 2010:
It means “coordination.” The German National Socialists (Nazis) used the concept to get every institution to sing from the same hymnal. If a fraternity or business embraced Nazism, it could stay “independent.” If it rejected Nazism, it was crushed or bent to the state’s ideology. Meanwhile, every branch of government was charged with not merely doing its job but advancing the official state ideology.
Now, contemporary liberalism is not an evil ideology. Its intentions aren’t evil or even fruitfully comparable to Hitlerism. But there is a liberal Gleichschaltung all the same. Every institution must be on the same page. Every agency must advance the liberal agenda.
And this is where the Catch-22 catches. The dream of a nimble, focused, problem-solving government is undone by the reality of hyper–mission creep. When every institution is yoked to an overarching philosophy or mission, its actual purpose can become an afterthought. In 2005, volunteer firefighters from all over the country offered to help with Katrina’s aftermath. But FEMA sent many of them to Atlanta first to undergo diversity and sexual-harassment training (which most already had).
Such examples are everywhere. What is political correctness other than the gears of the liberal Gleichschaltung? The financial crisis was worsened because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became tools for liberal social engineering. Let’s not even mention public schools.
The White House is determined to be a great friend (i.e., servant) to the unions, so everything from the stimulus to the automaker buyout to the Gulf spill must first pass union muster. Remember those vital, “shovel-ready” weatherization jobs the stimulus was supposed to pay for? The Labor Department delayed them for nearly a year while trying to figure out how to comply with pro-union “prevailing wage” rules for each of more than 3,000 counties.
Liberalism has become a cargo cult to the New Deal, but many of the achievements of the New Deal would be impossible now. Just try to get a Hoover Dam built today.
President Obama likes to say that “if we could put a man on the moon,” we can do anything, from socializing medicine to abandoning fossil fuels. That’s nonsense on stilts for a host of reasons. But it’s also ironic, given that we can’t even put a man on the moon anymore. Not when NASA’s foremost priority is boosting the self-esteem of children and Muslims.
And what is radical environmentalism, but a demand to bypass free markets and freedom of choice to advance the left’s agenda. Volkswagen, which was born of the Gleichschaltung as part of the German Labor Front in 1937, is now getting clobbered by 21st century socialism’s updated version of the Gleichschaltung. There’s plenty of irony in that, but as Glenn mentioned earlier, plenty of pain for everyday VW owners as well.
“SOCIALISM ALWAYS STARTS WITH THE SAME PROMISES AND END WITH THE SAME DISASTERS,” Glenn tweeted earlier today, linking to a Bloomberg report that “Venezuelan soldiers seized a food distribution center rented by companies including Nestle SA, PepsiCo. Inc and Empresas Polar SA in Caracas as the government looks to boost support ahead of elections.”
Nestlé, eh? That business name rings a bell; it’s what launched Jonah Goldberg to write Liberal Fascism, which focused several chapters on a century’s worth of corporatism, the intertwining of government and corporations, much beloved by the namesake publisher of Bloomberg (and in an even more radical form by Bernie Sanders), which the post-Weimar government of Germany dubbed the Gleichschaltung. As Jonah told Kathryn Jean Lopez in 2009, at the apogee of the left’s Hopenchange Obamamania:
You know, when I first started pondering the book, I thought it might be all about economics. About ten years ago I went on a junket to Switzerland and attended a talk with the CEO of Nestlé. Listening to him, it became very clear to me that he had little to no interest in free markets or capitalism properly understood. He saw his corporation as a “partner” with governments, NGOs, the U.N., and other massive multinationals. The profit motive was good for efficiency and rewarding talent, but beyond that, he wanted order and predictability and as much planning as he could get. I think that mindset informs the entire class of transnational progressives, the shock troops of what H. G. Wells hoped would lead to his liberal-fascist “world brain.”
If you look at how most liberals think about economics, they want big corporations and big government working in tandem with labor, universities (think industrial policy), and progressive organizations to come up with “inclusive” policies set at the national or international level. That’s not necessarily socialism — it’s corporatism. When you listen to how Obama is making economic policy with “everyone at the table,” he’s describing corporatism, the economic philosophy of fascism. Government is the senior partner, but all of the other institutions are on board — so long as they agree with the government’s agenda. The people left out of this coordinated effort — the Nazis called it the Gleichschaltung — are the small businessmen, the entrepreneurs, the ideological, social, or economic mavericks who don’t want to play along. When you listen to Obama demonize Chrysler’s bondholders simply because they want their contracts enforced and the rule of law sustained, you get a sense of what I’m talking about.
I don’t think Obama wants a brutal tyranny any more than Hillary Clinton does (which is to say I don’t think he wants anything of the sort). But I do think they honestly believe that progress is best served if everyone falls in line with a national agenda, a unifying purpose, a “village” mentality expanded to include all of society. That sentiment drips from almost every liberal exhortation about everything from global warming to national service. But to point it out earns you the label of crank. As I said a minute ago about that “We’re All Fascists Now” chapter, I think people fail to understand that tyrannies — including soft, Huxleyan tyrannies — aren’t born from criminal conspiracies by evil men; they’re born by progressive groupthink.
And they all end the same way, as Glenn noted today. In the meantime though, if anybody can up the chocolate ration, I’m sure the post-Chavez government, having seized one of Nestlé’s assets, can.
“THE LAST DECADE COULD BE DESCRIBED AS THE COMEBACK OF SOCIALISM,” Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation writes:
Wall Street is acting as though more government intervention will calm financial markets, when it is excessive intervention of government that created the crisis in the first place. Greece is socialism on steroids — a place where the government gives a lot of things away for free, few people work, and millions receive government pensions, paychecks or welfare benefits. Fifty percent of young people don’t have a job and over half of Greeks retire before age 60. The wagon is full and no one is left to pull it. Now Greece thinks that the Germans or the, EU, the IMF or the United States is going to pay for it all. The crash is coming very soon and the standard of living in Greece will surely plummet. Thank you, socialism.
But there are so many more dominoes that could come crashing down. Almost all of Europe is a financial sink hole. The debts as a share of gross domestic product are 100 percent or more and the public spending as a share of GDP is now just shy of 50 percent.
Pundits on the left such as Paul Krugman can only lamely respond to the European meltdown by arguing that there is “too much austerity” even as debt loads keeps rising every year. The one nation in Europe that didn’t use massive Keynesian stimulus, Germany, is the one place where the economy is still functioning.
We shouldn’t discount two subsets of socialism – corporatism and the Gleichschaltung. And speaking of both of them, back in October of 2008, Jeff Dobbs morphed Goldman Sachs’ and Obama’s logo together, which Glenn has run numerous times over the last several years to highlight Obama’s cozy relationship with Wall Street in general, and that brokerage firm specifically. Dobbs has updated his Photoshop with a new version:
Let’s hope it won’t be getting a regular workout after November of 2016.
RELATED: “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. made hundreds of partners rich when it went public in 1999. Its performance since then has turned Lloyd Blankfein into a billionaire.” It helps to have friends in high places.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Two Kinds of Freedom of Speech (or #Strangeloop vs. Curtis Yarvin). Social justice warriors want to silence all argument, because, well, they’re not very good at winning actual arguments.
Related, from Slate: The Curious Case of Mencius Moldbug: A software engineer’s odious political writing got him booted from a tech conference. It shouldn’t have. “Strange Loop’s rationale is cowardly and irresponsible, but what gets me more is the disingenuousness of people who say that Yarvin’s speech should be censored.”
LIFE IN THESE UNITED STATES: The Two Minutes Hate At Lincoln Center. It’s all about the Gleichschaltung.
MARK HEMINGWAY: The American Sniper Freakout: Why The Left Can’t Tolerate This Movie. “The film is primarily about the heroism of soldiers who, thrust into battle by larger forces, do their best to protect each other and innocent Iraqis. Clint Eastwood, often described as one of the few prominent right-wingers in Hollywood, opposed the invasion of Iraq and questioned the invasion of Afghanistan. Even so, the film’s lack of left-wing politics has been treated in some quarters as an unpardonable sin.” Gleichschaltung!
Ettling has spent his summers working as a park ranger at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon for nearly a decade. He is on a mission to teach visitors that man-made global warming is real. But climate change can be a touchy subject. So Ettling devised a strategy. When a park visitor casts doubt on global warming, he makes an appeal to their pocketbook.
“I try to shift the conversation away from polar bears and ice caps,” Ettling says. “I tell people there are a lot of things they can do to save money on their electric bill that will also help the environment. Usually, I can get through to them that way.”
Do they pitch ObamaCare, too?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN EZRA KLEIN COMPLAINS ABOUT The Politicization Of Absolutely Everything? It means he’s losing.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG: Brendan Eich was only the beginning.
Sullivan grudgingly acknowledges that “thanks to the principles of the First Amendment–Mr. Kinsley is certainly entitled to freely air his views.” But she scathes Kinsley’s editor at the Times, Pamela Paul, for allowing him to do so in that newspaper.
“There’s a lot about this piece that is unworthy of the Book Review’s high standards, the sneering tone about Mr. Greenwald, for example; he is called a ‘go-between’ instead of a journalist and is described as a ‘self-righteous sourpuss.’ . . . Surely editing ought to point out gaping holes in an argument, remove ad hominem language and question unfair characterizations; that didn’t happen here.”
By “here,” Sullivan means in the editing of Kinsley’s review. But she herself characterizes the review unfairly. . . . Here is where Kinsley runs afoul of Times doctrine. As this column has noted repeatedly, the paper’s editorial page has championed harsh restrictions on political expression while also claiming that the rights of “media companies” such as the New York Times Co. are absolute or nearly so.
Kinsley’s offense is to question the authority of the press, not its freedom; Paul’s is to allow such dissent to appear in the pages of the New York Times. Sullivan’s title is “public editor,” but what public interest is served when she acts as the Thought Police?
Hey, the gleichschaltung must proceed.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Climate Science Defector Forced to Resign by Alarmist ‘Fatwa.’
KIRSTEN POWERS: Liberal Thought Police Usher In New Dark Age. “We have slipped into an age of un-enlightenment where you fall in line behind the mob or face the consequences. How ironic that the persecutors this time around are the so-called intellectuals. They claim to be liberal while behaving as anything but. The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card.”
Gleichschaltung. But my calling card is Nemo me impune lacessit. Hey, maybe I should have some of those printed up.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich forced to resign for supporting traditional marriage laws. To be clear, for holding, in 2009, the view of gay marriage that Barack Obama held, instead of the view that Dick Cheney held.
As someone who was publicly supporting gay marriage even before Dick Cheney, I find this degree of bullying and blacklisting repellent. I’m beginning to think that the only thing the left found wrong with the 1950s blacklists was that they were aimed at . . . the left. And so I find myself in agreement with Andrew Sullivan:
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
Yeah, pretty much. Disgraceful.
THE GERMAN WORD IS GLEICHSCHALTUNG:
If you don’t recognize my description of the bill, then you probably followed the press coverage, which was mendacious and hysterical — evincing no familiarity with the legal issues, and endlessly parroting the line that the bill would institute “Jim Crow” for gays. (Never mind that in Arizona it’s currently legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation — and mass discrimination isn’t exactly breaking out.) Allegedly sensible centrists compared the bill’s supporters to segregationist politicians, liberals invoked the Bob Jones precedent to dismiss religious-liberty concerns, and Republican politicians behaved as though the law had been written by David Duke.
What makes this response particularly instructive is that such bills have been seen, in the past, as a way for religious conservatives to negotiate surrender — to accept same-sex marriage’s inevitability while carving out protections for dissent. But now, apparently, the official line is that you bigots don’t get to negotiate anymore.
Which has a certain bracing logic. If your only goal is ensuring that support for traditional marriage diminishes as rapidly as possible, applying constant pressure to religious individuals and institutions will probably do the job. Already, my fellow Christians are divided over these issues, and we’ll be more divided the more pressure we face. The conjugal, male-female view of marriage is too theologically rooted to disappear, but its remaining adherents can be marginalized, set against one other, and encouraged to conform.
When weak, the left preaches tolerance. When strong, conformity. But it has shown itself ready to cave over a few beheadings, which makes me wonder if people have thought this whole thing through. As a mild-mannered law professor who was supporting gay marriage when Barack Obama was still a “bigot” on the issue, I won’t be the one sawing off heads. But people tend to emulate what works, and the evidence of the past decade or so is that violence in support of one’s religious views wins, while “negotiation” does not.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG! Cuomo: Pro-life people have “no place in the state of New York.”
ROGER KIMBALL: Meanwhile, Back In The Fatherland. . .
What brought me up short today, however, was a news story from a friend about a worrisome development in Germany. The homeschooling movement is a vibrant and growing force in this countries. Leftists don’t like it, because it presumes to challenge the indoctrinating powers of the state with the civilization imperatives of parents, informed by churches, local communities, and moral commitments foreign to the left-liberal narrative.
Leftists — there is nothing “liberal” about them, so I am trying to avoid using that much abused term — leftists in the United States don’t like the homeschool movement, but so far anyway, it has thrived, and is indeed one of only a few bright spots in the story of primary and secondary education in this country.
Things are different in the Fatherland of Germany, where a judge recently ordered that parents may not have custody of their children because “the family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.”
Got that? Let me repeat it just in case. A German judge took children away from their parents because “he family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.”
In August, 20 armed police, equipped with a battering ram just in case, arrived at the door of this Darmstadt family and forcibly took four children, ages 7 to 14.
Was there anything wrong with the children? Nope. The judge — whose name, by the way, is Marcus Malkmus, in case you have a voodoo doll handy or wish to burn him in effigy — the judge admitted that the children were 1) academically proficient and 2) well adjusted socially.
He just didn’t like homeschooling.
Why? Pay attention now: this takes us deep into the heart of a leftist: because he feared that “the children would grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance.”
The invocation of “tolerance” is especially cute, don’t you think?
Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. Gleichschaltung!
BRIAN DOHERTY: Of Ducks and Gays and Tolerance.
The advantages of classical liberal market cosmopolitanism–the idea that it’s best to set aside peaceful differences of opinion and creed and worries about different races, nationalities, and genders when deciding how we interact with the world–has a great track record of making us all richer and happier.
The idea that that people should be punished with boycott or losing their jobs over having wrong beliefs hobbles the flowering of tolerant classical liberal market cosmopolitanism.
There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: “I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!”
That has a different feel than: “I disagree with what you say, I think you are evil for having said it, I think no one should associate with you and you ought to lose your livelihood, and anyone who doesn’t agree with me about all that is skating on pretty thin ice as well, but hey, I don’t think you should be arrested for it.”
Free speech was fine when it was needed to protect communists. Now it’s not anymore, so it can be abandoned. Gleichschaltung!
USA TODAY: A&E fowls up ‘Duck’ flap: The ‘tolerance’ society demands from Christians really is silent compliance. My own view is that everyone gets to state an opinion, but nobody has to listen to the opinions stated. That is a view, however, that is inconsistent with gleichschaltung.
UPDATE: From the comments: “I suspect this is an attempt to get Obamacare off the front pages and I suspect that we are all falling for it.” I’m still covering ObamaCare, but I think that’s probably right.
GLEICHSCHALTUNG NEWS: Ann Althouse Unpacks the Phil Robertson Kerfuffle.
He didn’t compare “being gay to bestiality.” He put homosexual conduct — not the status of being gay — into a category of sins that included “sleeping around with this woman and that woman” as well as bestiality. We don’t see the heterosexual men who enjoy multiple sex partners getting hotheaded over Phil Robertson. Why not? They’re not organized to make political demands at the moment, but they haven’t had to fight for the right to fornicate recently. So those who are organized and in the middle of a movement are taking Robertson’s bait (or answering his duck call or whatever). It’s “anti-gay.” The “bestiality” business is forefronted.
This is the political game of the moment.
You must have no unacceptable thoughts or criticisms, comrade.
IT’S BOUND TO MAKE JEWISH STUDENTS “UNCOMFORTABLE.” AMONG OTHERS. How can these U.S. universities justify membership in American Studies Association after Israel boycott? The ASA’s gleichschaltung is in opposition to everything higher education in America is supposed to stand for. Supposed to. . . .
NOTHING CREEPY HERE: White House Creates “Nudge” Squad To Shape Behavior. I mean, it’s not like they’re in bed with Google, Facebook, and all the old-style media or anything. Key quote: “Nudges can turn into shoves pretty quickly.”
GOING KOCH-CRAZY: The Paranoid Style In Liberal Politics.
Plus, how the
two-minute two-year hate was organized: Remember when “Common Cause” was supposed to be a non-partisan good-government group? Me neither. But I do remember the 1990s, when the same sort of thing was ginned up against Richard Mellon Scaife and the WSJ editorial page. The important point is to ensure that there are no voices of opposition that have not been delegitimized. Feel the gleichschaltung!
AT THE WASHINGTON POST, BOOK WARS. And, from the comments, this:
Why are Huttner and Salzman given a Washington Post blog to respond to criticisms from a third party website? Has Steven Levingston ever given over the keyboard to a conservative author so s/he can respond to the numerous criticisms of what s/he wrote?
Moreover, how stupid does Levingston have to be to uncritically accept the authors’ claims that “The book rises above partisanship” when its title explicitly endorses helping Obama?
Perhaps with the time Mr. Levingston saved by having these authors write a completely self-serving post, he could actually try finding someone at the Post to write just one review of the several conservative books dominating the bestseller list.
Helping Obama isn’t partisan. It’s “service.” Gleichschaltung!
THE ANCHORESS: Feel the Gleichschaltung!
RADLEY BALKO: The “Tenther” Smear.
The American Prospect, The New Republic, and other left-of-center outlets are pushing the ‘Tenther’ smear, aimed at lumping those who, horrors!, still take seriously the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in with the Obama birth certificate deniers and 9/11 truthers.
It’s such a transparent attempt at marginalizing the other side (mostly with respect to the health care issue) it seems almost a waste of time addressing. But one might start by pointing out that unlike any convincing evidence that Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen, or proof that the Bush administration orchestrated the September 11 attacks, the Tenth Amendment actually exists. You can actually go to the National Archives and read it. There’s also a historical record of its drafting and ratification. Really.
But if it stands in the path of power, it must be eliminated or marginalized. Gleichschaltung!
BREAKING NEWS: National Endowment for the Arts Renamed National Endowment for Propaganda. Stay Tuned. “This is Only the Beginning.” “There is a German word for what we are witnessing at the NEA and elsewhere in the Obama administration’s effort to push its agenda. It is Gleichschaltung. It means two things: first, bringing all aspects of life into conformity with a given political line. And second, as a prerequisite for realizing that goal, the obliteration or at least marginalization of all opposition.”