The Orange and the Vegetable

So with both Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, and – finally – Elizabeth Warren – having endorsed Joe Biden now is perhaps not the worst time to give my take on US politics in the Current Year.

Bernout 2020

As I observed when I left the US in 2016, the bipolar party system had come under strain because there are, in reality, five major ideological factions or sooner clusters. Loosely going from left to right, these include socialists, liberals, centrist conservatives, Christian evangelicals, and Trumpist nationalists. Only the latter seem to really “mesh” without much conflict. Otherwise, there is plenty of vitriol to around, not just between the two main camps but within them – between the centrist conservatives (“cuckservatives”) and the Trumpists, as well as between the socialists (“Bernie Bros”) and the liberals (libs; “read another book“).

Now Bernie’s fundamental problem is that the “socialist” wing is still ultimately a minority within the Democratic Party – not so amongst millennials and probably Generation X, but overwhelmingly so amongst boomers. However, this need not have been a critical handicap, on account of the weak and heavily splintered gaggle of candidates fielded in the Democratic primaries this season, as well as Bernie’s likability – even Republicans tend to like him more than generic Democratic politicians – which is all the more remarkable given the radicalness of Bernie’s program.

  • Green New Deal has a price tag of $16 trillion (for comparison, even Germany spend just $0.5 trillion on its renewables boondoggles in the past decade).
  • Federal jobs guarantee isn’t something that even the most leftist European parties campaign on. It’s Soviet-tier.
  • Likewise, no European social democracy criminalizes private medical insurance that I’m aware of.
  • 8% wealth tax on the ultra-rich is an order of magnitude higher than what exists in any other European social democracy.

But it wasn’t that which foiled him.

So why did Bernie fail? Well, I don’t really have much to add beyond what has been said by “dissident” pundits from the left (e.g. Michael Tracey) to the far right (e.g. Eric Striker), but to summarize:

(1) Abandoned working class whites for SJW careerists like AOC. This neither endeared the Blacks to him, while losing the original base that made him so competitive against Hillary in 2016.

(2) Enthusiastically promoted Russiagate, so it’s only fair he was Russiagated out of the nomination by a billionaire who had spoken with understanding about Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2015.

I agree with Tracey that other explanations, such as the DNC “ratfucking” him, are a cope. Bernie had much more money than Biden, a huge grassroots support network (e.g. via the DSA), universal name recognition, and four years of campaigning for the Presidency under his belt. He also only had his share of the vote (partially) siphoned off by Warren, whereas the centrists were splintered between several major candidates.

Ultimately, it was Bernie’s own failure 100% – and I think it ultimately came down to psychology. I have called him America’s Zyuganov, and that means he doesn’t really want to win. Jill Stein and even Donald Trump did more for Bernie’s campaign in terms of attacking Biden than Bernie himself. This lack of ambition and verve also manifested in a lack of ideas. Lack of ambition manifests itself in lack of ideas. For instance, I consider it an “achievement” of sorts to come out in favor of cash payments to citizens during the lockdown only after having been outflanked on that issue by everyone from Ilhan Omar to Romney, Mnuchin, and Cotton.

Sour Grapes?

I would also note that many Bernie supporters subsequently bitterly criticized the other candidates – most prominently, Yang and Tulsi – as they endorsed Biden. But neither owed anything to Bernie, especially Tulsi, whom Bernie had never even defended from the Russiagate freaks (unlike Yang). In any case this point has since been made entirely moot by Bernie’s own endorsement of Biden, which Tracey noted was notable more enthusiastic than Tulsi’s.

Real Winners

  1. Andrew Yang. Thanks to Corona-chan, at least the idea of Universal Basic Income has become normalized across the political spectrum.
  2. Bloomberg. KO’d Bernie out of the contest. The half a billion he spent on the campaign is an amazing ROI given what he stood to lose from a Bernie tax plan.
  3. Pete Buttigieg. You don’t have to like him to acknowledge that going from small town mayor to household name in politics is a major accomplishment.

Orange vs Vegetable

Whence now? I am not alone in getting Chernenko vibes from Biden. He is clearly losing it, though Trump shouldn’t hope for a meltdown in the debates; amphetamines can work wonders.

Besides, the “Trump is Putin’s puppet” will vote for a doorknob over Trump, anyway.

A month ago, I wrote:

OK, I like the Blomph memes as much as anyone, but Trump is really in a Catch-22 situation.

Shut down the US – and torpedo economy. Or let Corona rage & preside over a mega-Katrina. In an election year.

He can’t win. Only viable candidates now are Biden and Corona-chan.

But since then, a major change occurred. First, Trump has clearly shifted to a strategy of blaming China for everything to do with Corona. More importantly, and something I didn’t anticipate, is that Americans have lapped it up, with even a majority of Democrats now believing they are somehow entitled to reparations gibsmedats. Consequently, so far as public perceptions go, it’s not so much a Katrina as a 9/11, so assuming he can get the economy going again by autumn I’d say he does stand a good chance. Of course this also means that the deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans are now all but assured.

FWIW, the gamblers currently have Trump on 50% vs. 44% for Biden.

That said, things are in such deep flux – there is an emerging Red/Blue divide between continued lockdown and “liberating” the economy – that who knows anything really.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Politics is only two-factor: cuck and non-cuck.

    Green New Deal has a price tag of $16 trillion (for comparison, even Germany spend just $0.5 trillion on its renewables boondoggles in the past decade).

    I have heard that damming the North Sea would cost $0.5 trillion. I’m pretty skeptical – seems way too low, given the depth and other factors. But for $16 trillion, I wonder if we could somehow drain it and shoot the water into outer space. Maybe, that would bring on another ice age though. It might not be a good idea. Anyway, I don’t want to made new land for migrants.

    But I would like to spend the money to get people like AOC resettled in Africa and an impenetrable defense cordon set up around it. I figure a nice place to put her would be in the Latin section of Liberia.

    Pete Buttigieg. You don’t have to like him to acknowledge that going from small town mayor to household name in politics is a major accomplishment.

    Being the gay picked to be the sock-puppet of globohomo isn’t much of an accomplishment. Maybe, if he had competed against other gays.

  3. I don’t know if we should still care who will win the US elections.

    Whomever it would be, business will be taken care of.

    I mean, US is still useful.

    (As a construct to the Global Elite that is.)

    And I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but:

    Ain’t seeing no US Gubmint in that vid.

    Some naive people think that Elites belong to countries/nations.

    That ain’t the case, the opposite is true: nations and countries belong to Elite clans to live of their natural and human resources, just like a street corner might belong to a gang of thugs to sell drugs on it…

  4. Felix Keverich says

    assuming he can get the economy going again by autumn I’d say he does stand a good chance. Of course this also means that the deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans are now all but assured.

    Reopening US economy is absolutely the right thing to do. I do not understand why it needed to close in the first place.

    2 weeks of “stay-at-home” was never going to eradicate this virus. Or even 6 weeks. Once it’s lifted, infections will start growing exponentially again, and everyone who was going to die will end up dead anyway.

    Lockdown is the dumbest idea since carbon tax! Wildly expensive dead end. And it’s unfortunate that Russia went there too. I suppose it will take Trump reopening America for Putin to do the same in Russia.

  5. What does it feel like to be a complete faggot?

  6. TelfoedJohn says

    Trump is a Khrushchev – clownish populist. The US has to go through a senile Biden (Brezhnev/Andropov/Chernenko) phase to complete the Soviet analogy.

  7. another anon says

    What does it feel like to be a complete faggot?

    Very good question.

    How much it costs to be based WH40 gamer, at basic level?

    So, How Expensive Is Warhammer 40K? (tl;dr)

    To go from having nothing in 40K to having the required books, a 2,000pt army (standard size), with some hobby supplies, is $815.

    It’s often joked that they call the game Warhammer 40,000 because it costs $40,000 to play the game. Well, it’s not that much, but it’s not a cheap hobby either.

    (better do not reseach too closely who owns GW and who profits from your based money)

    For comparison, how much it costs to be cringe Potterhead at basic minimum?

    Harry Potter complete paperback box set, to read again and again, about $51

    Harry Potter complete DVD collection, to watch again and again, about $42

    Conclusion: being cringe Potterhead faggot and saving $700+ feels very good.

  8. another anon says



    Good summary, but you forgot that all the GOP populist talk is just talk and the free trade, outsourcing, cheap undocumented labor and military intervention loving GOP elites are strongly on the globalist side.
    Starting with the Donald, globalist extraordinaire, who owns properties all over the world and loves foreign women and foreign illegal workers.

  9. Meanwhile, triggering boomer bores (people who buy DVDs are boomers by definition) by making WH40k references is cost-free and feels even better.

  10. So much for the prediction that Kamala Harris would get the nomination.


    Without going into any precise numbers, my feeling is that Kamala Harris will win the Dem nomination, Trump will be impeached (but not convicted), and Harris will win the 2020 elections.

    Too many scandals (fair and fake) will be weighing Trump down, he’ll lose Florida thanks to felons getting the vote, and the advantages of incumbency will be annulled by the coming recession.

    Biden is too white and too creepy. Sanders is too white, too old, and too socialist.

    Booker among some others outlasted her.

  11. There is little surprise that Americans are lapping up that China is to blame for the US’s complete failure across the board – from Trump, to the Governors, to the CDC, to the military – to prepare for COVID-19, just like many lapped up that Russia was to blame for Trump and the US Empire’s many failings.

    That’s because, across the mainstream spectrum Americans are hammered with two narratives:

    1. The US is Exceptional & the epitome and protector of Good;
    2. Russia and China and various other US Govt Enemies (Iran, Venezuela etc) are Evil – the Anti-Heroes to US’s Batman and if not destroyed/contained will destroy the US.

    So when a Deep crisis hits from 9/11 to Trump’s election to COVID-19, the response is not an look inwards but Which Enemy to Blame. Was it the Joker? The Penguin?

    An interesting case is a reader of this very blog who appears to be a committed Trumpist. On the 24th of Feb, Karlin wrote a very prescient blog on the coming Coronvirus tsunami which was then in the mainstream a distant event that Authoritarian China and the Iranian Mullahs was subsumed with and a minor annoyance elsewhere. This reader indicated in the comments section that the US had nothing to worry about essentially parroting his Dear Leader and the media that he avidly reads. In other words, despite all the evidence of the seriousness of this virus from China at least from Jan 23rd – when China took the unprecedented decision that the US has even now not taken* – locking down and quarantining a city of 11 million and a province of 60 million and prevent travel in and out – US did very little in ensuring it was prepared. (*Trump briefly mooted but abandoned quarantining NY/NJ/CT states since they were accused of many neighboring states as well as second-home states like Florida of exporting the virus)

    Yet once COVID-19 caught the US infrastructure and planning completely flat footed, this reader, who despite
    reading Karlin’s blog on Feb 24th now has joined the chorus of blaming China for the US disaster, and what China knew in early Jan, though it would have made ZERO difference in US planning to deal with this as events have shown.

    In other words, rather than accept (like Macron did in France) its own ineptitude – from Trump, the media (save Tucker Carlson), the Dems, the CDC – till the tsunami hit, US authorities will now gaslight the public into shifting the blame to China. Just like the Dems and media successfully sold the narrative that Russia was to blame for Trump (and used 9/11 to attack not just the Taliban but Iraq).

    Trump is a master salesman and the outline of his strategy for energizing his base is clear. Blame China for COVID-19 and any who challenge this narrative as China propagandists (borrowing the page from the Dems re Russia). Use this to cut supply chains to China and demand US companies relocate from China (for sure there is a strong bipartisan support to ensure key industries are on shored or near shored – Mexico for example, especially given unemployment may shoot up and this could be the opportunity to boost local manufacturing). Use the unlimited stimulus packages to outflank the Dems in Bernie like initiatives from infrastructure to student debt.

    The Dems will counter with pointing out case/death counts – which many on the right are claiming are being inflated by Dem-leaning health officials – and continuing to tie Trump with Russia. The wild card for the Dems is how quickly Biden unravels – he can barely string together a coherent argument now without notes even as the media ignore what’s painfully obvious to anyone watching.

    This entire circus would make for great Reality TV except the stakes for the rest of the world, as the most powerful country on the planet goes through its quadrennial tantrums, are unfortunately quite high.

  12. Harry Potter? Work of art? Google the author’s net worth, google the putative value of the Harry Potter ‘franchise,’ you poor fool. By your measure, any and every turd dropped by Disney is a ‘work of art’.

  13. Almost Missouri says

    Hey, it’s not over yet: Biden picks her as running mate, wins, croaks. Voila! President Harris.

  14. another anon says

    In comparison with WH, HP is work of art.
    The message is: Learning is more important than noble blood, meritocracy > aristocracy, and this message resonates with lots of people who see themselves as smart and learned.

    Harry Potter, especially the movies, is about the legitimacy of authority that comes from schools.

    What is message of WH?
    Everything sucks.
    You are going to die horribly.

    The worldwide success of HP is no accident, and neither is political success of causes favored by HP fandom.
    Compare and contrast with miserable failure of Warhammer loving “alt-right” and “god emperor”.

  15. another anon says

    On the 24th of Feb, Karlin wrote a very prescient blog on the coming Coronvirus tsunami which was then in the mainstream a distant event that Authoritarian China and the Iranian Mullahs was subsumed with and a minor annoyance elsewhere.


    On the other side, Mr. Karlin also wrote very prescient posts warning about imminent WW3 in April 2018. This aged less well.

  16. Lars Porsena says

    Of course this also means that the deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans are now all but assured.

    This is America. That’s called days ending in Y.

    Quit being a siss. This country was built on letting weaponized disease pandemics murder whole populations.

  17. Dan Hayes says

    Kamala’s presidential hopes died upon Tulsi’s impaling her onstage at the Democratic Party debate!

  18. “…something I didn’t anticipate, is that Americans have lapped it up…” – Cardinal mistake. You overestimated Americans. Always keep in mind what Mencken said: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

  19. First, Trump has clearly shifted to a strategy of blaming China for everything to do with Corona. More importantly, and something I didn’t anticipate, is that Americans have lapped it up

    Sigh. You really should get out of your Sinotriumphalist bubble from time to time. “Lapped it up” indeed.

    Of course China is to blame for everything to do with Corona. Imagine that the virus came from a US town, and the one with a virus lab, no less. You think US wouldn’t be blamed? And BTW, no one cares whether Chinese response to the virus was good or not (and it wasn’t.)

  20. It will take more effort to complete the realignment.

    I was going to say it’s moving at a glacial pace but I don’t see it moving at all.

    For example, Globalist operatives like Romney still contaminate the GOP even though he is now being shunned.

    He’s not being shunned because he’s a globalist. He’s being shunned because he’s publicly anti-Trump. Globalists who are publicly pro-Trump(even as they privately stab him in the back) are welcome into the administration, which they dominate. And people like Jeff Sessions who refuse to be Dear Leader’s fall guy get called “globalist” even when their ideas are very far from globalism.

    Ultimately, Trumpian populism is dead-on-arrival because Trumpian populists are on average too unintelligent. They don’t pay attention to actual policies, they just want sound-bites. And right-wing politicians will give them the sound-bites and nothing more.

  21. This has got to be the most bizarre way of picking a fight with someone.

  22. Lack of ambition manifests itself in lack of ideas.

    A very good insight, with interesting implications for some of your favorite topics. I hope one day your formal thinking catches up with your insights.

  23. I’ll have to eat crow if she gets the VP nomination. Stranger things have happened. Recall that Harris took a nasty shot at Biden on a civil rights issue. As of now, she doesn’t seem to be among the top 3 (or even greater) of Dem VP candidates.

  24. Too bad that Gabbard disappointed by endorsing Biden. Some believe she might’ve been pissed that Sanders didn’t support her being in the debate, which saw the Dem establishment suddenly change the debate eligibility requirement, for the obvious purpose of keeping her out. This said while believing that Sanders isn’t so good a choice.

  25. VP Michelle O.

  26. “Abandoned working class whites for SJW…” – Only leader that could overcome the divide is will be a populist one that would take some socialism from Bernie and some nationalism from the early Trump with strong uniting and affirmative message: We are ONE!

  27. You sound very erudite, when you say Americans are stupid. I mean they must be stupid right? Surely you observed this during your sojourn in America. It is not that they have more blacks, etc. They must just be a more stupid version of Europeans to make Europeans feel smarter. And not the other way around – not smarter, more daring Europeans.

    And you appeal to the American authority Mencken (BTW, where is the European Mencken?) by giving a quote that he never wrote. You should quote Chesterton, famous newspaperman of England. According to a certain anon, the English have double the vocab of Americans. Chesterton had some superficial and condescending views of Americans which you might find of service.

  28. You made me realize I forgot to mention humorlessness.

  29. If Marion Marechal were to suddenly run against those two, assuming that foreign citizens can be allowed to run, how much of the vote can she get?

  30. Belarusian Dude says

    buying books in currentyear when you can get them free

    Your cuck badge will shortly arrive in the mail. Keep seething to insure it is not recalled.

  31. If Trump manages to open the economy back up, would not that just reinforce his message, even if you get 300000 excess deaths due to coronavirus flaring back up again, that is just 10 percent of the annual number of deaths in the US.

  32. yakushimaru says

    If the virus started in US and US managed to controll it, but one virus leaked to China and spreaded in China, let me tell you, people all over will curse the Chinese government and laugh at them and laugh at the Chinese people, with maybe some tokens of help, or maybe if Reagan were US president, send in medical help with big, huge labels on it.

    People like you seem to think that there is only one chance to fight off a virus, that is when it all only just had started. You miss the opportunity, you lose the whole damn battle, and you can only see people die and economy suffer. But it is NOT TRUE.

    The virus did not hit your country like a nuclear bomb, it started with just a few cases, the same way it started elsewhere in any other country. How one country responds to that early few cases, is the responsibility of your own government.

  33. Even in the states that are handling the outbreak the worst like Iowa are only seeing daily death rates in the 5% range, still easy to rartionalize away since this is not one with a 20 percent death rate.

  34. OK I have a question, how come herd immunity did not pan out for those 20 year olds who were killed in the 2nd wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic, would not you presume that the 1st wave of the pandemic would give herd immunity to those people?

  35. Max Payne says

    Karlin has a pirated copy of Warhammer 40K Dawn of War. So technically he pays less than you for more entertainment.

  36. Chernenko was a spring chicken compared to Biden.

  37. Korenchkin says

    I would’ve gone with LotR but ok

  38. Korenchkin says

    Also, who buys GW crap in the age of 3D printers?
    You can pirate even physical objects now!

    Boomers are total suckers confirmed

  39. Am I correct in making the connection that American liberals and left people are a lot more wimpy than European left people, you can see this is gun ownership rates between Republicans and Democrats, which makes Democrats very badly placed if there really is a civil war, I mean the image you associate with the European left are heavily armed Sinn Fein militants, Red Army Faction, or ETA, while the stereotypical city lefty is a granola chewing limp wristed hipster who eats asparagus and can not make an IED or how to properly aim an RPG to save his life. Basically it seems that European leftist are more violent, and are a lot more willing to resort to violence than US leftists, the antifa notwithstanding, and that if you are an angry American liberal, it would pay to learn from how the IRA or ETA actually does their stuff, especially the IRA back in the 80s. And that Democrats falling behind in their literal arms race vs US Republicans is a very bad move, especially since there is a one in 3 odds that the political cold war turns hot in the short and medium term, maybe AOC should spend more of her time sharing jihadi videos with her followers?

  40. E. Harding says

    whom Bernie had never even defended from the Russiagate freaks

    Not the case.

    FWIW, the gamblers currently have Trump on 50% vs. 44% for Biden.

    I think Biden will win over 400 electoral votes. He’s not Hillary.

    and something I didn’t anticipate, is that Americans have lapped it up

    Of course they lapped it up. Also, why didn’t you anticipate it? Americans lapped Russiagate up, too. Nevertheless, the issue for Trump now is

    1. He’s an idiot, more so than Biden’s handlers

    2. U.S. still has mass unemployment and will have ~200K deaths anyway

  41. Indeed. Konstantin Chernenko died at age 73, Biden is now 77.

  42. 1. He’s an idiot, more so than Biden’s handlers

    Biden needs good handlers on account of his not being so bright, in conjunction with the age factor noticeably hitting him. Biden’s handlers will not be having televised debates with Trump.

  43. Dude, I was writing about this in fucking late January. The MAGA bots only noticed and went crazy about it in the past few weeks.

    But continue barking at China for all the good it will do, I am not even unhappy about it. (Sino-American hostility is good for Russia).

  44. RadicalCenter says

    You’re right. Fed gov has allowed several million people — mostly poor and mostly nonEuropean — to settle in our country “legally” since trump took office, plus a million more illegally.

    At Trump’s urging, the fed gov has cut the fed income taxes of corporations and very-high-income households far more than fed income taxes for those of us working hard and paying plenty of fed tax from the 70th through the 98th percentile of households.

    Fed gov has boosted the absurdly wasteful military / war budget every year at trump’s insistence, while Trump and the bipartisan establishment claim we “can’t afford” “radical” and “socialist” ideas that would directly help US Citizens, such as Universal Basic Income or Universal Medical Insurance.

    Trump continues to call for more legal immigration, I.e., more low-skilled, poor workers competing with Americans for a pool of good jobs that is not growing enough to keep up with population already.

    Trump continues to call for more H1Bs so that white-collar Americans with more formal education and training can lose their jobs or be forced to accept lower salaries and standards of living too.

    Trump and the gang made sure that big banks and big business get bailouts and money printed out of thin air free of interest or fees, while intentionally decimated small businesses get loans from the SBA or those same crooked banks almost four percent interest.

    Huge, disloyal, worker-mistreating, tax-avoiding, anti-White corporations like Amazon, Walmart, EBay, and Target grab market share and profits due to the selective lockdown, while family-owned businesses go bankrupt or scrape by worse than ever.

    Trump has actively accelerated the demographic, economic, political, and cultural dispossession of European-American people, indeed of decent, peaceful, English-speaking US Citizens of all backgrounds. He has accelerated the arrival of our fed gov and nation’s insolvency, the weakening and ultimately collapse of our currency, the lessening and then collapse of our people’s standard of living and hope for the future.

    Time to abandon trump, the republicans, the democrats, big banks, big corporations, the military complex, the medical industry, and all of their mouthpieces in established media and academia. This guy is just another billionaire who exploits and looks down on us.

    He doesn’t deserve our support. Like his fellow billionaires and like his friends and supposed “enemies” in Congress, Trump deserves to be distrusted, mocked, prosecuted, imprisoned, and taxed at confiscatory levels for the benefit of US Citizens below the top one tenth of one percent for a change.

  45. In fairness, Sessions is a stupid boomer who didn’t even see fit to repay Trump for indulging him in his weird obsession with weed by crushing Russiagate from the outset.

    He deserved to be purged.

  46. Bernie was always a fake candidate bought off by the Neolibs to keep restive millenials from recognizing that they are being @$$raped by the Neoliberal establishment. I hate Neoliberalism, but at least I have benefited from to the tune of millions in terms of home and asset inflation, cheap landscapers, home remodelers, nannies, etc. What have those who allowed themselves to be conned by Bernie have to show for it?

  47. Hyperborean says

    you can see this is gun ownership rates between Republicans and Democrats, which makes Democrats very badly placed if there really is a civil war

    Any new American civil war would be heavily influenced by the military’s decisions and the reactions of foreign states. Then there’s geography and the layout of industrial production to consider. The coherence (or not) of the various sides (as seen during the Spanish civil war). The available pool of fighting-age manpower. Supply lines and communications. Etc., etc.

  48. RadicalCenter says

    Five percent death rate based on what denominator? Almost nobody has been tested, and millions of Americans likely already had this virus and recovered with no difficulty.

    There are apparently still NO meaningful US stats on the rate of deaths per x number of infections.

  49. RadicalCenter says

    Hmmm. You hired illegal aliens, or merely recent-immigrant US Citizens who work for less?

  50. The fact is that, outside of a small amen corner, China’s name is mud. It is forever associated with virus, the bat-eating, and so on. You think it’s only Trump or only Americans who think so? Here is our less politically correct Mexican amigos:

    This is very good. China produces novel viruses like a clockwork. They must blamed, shamed, and ridiculed until they stop, or at least learn to contain the outbreaks to their own country.

  51. Boswald Bollocksworth says

    Most of the demographic strata in America were primed for Sinophobia. Back in my China-loving youth, I was often struck by how readily people would make Chinese jokes, even people who would be appalled at black or Jewish jokes. circa 2005, even liberal Jon Stewart’s show featured basically racist depictions of Chinese, which even if deniably intended as an attack on racists, functioned mostly through the funniness and absurdity of the Chinese as a nation. By 2012 it became uncouth to make Chinese jokes, but I think the need for an Other remained strong. Venting the entry country’s need to dehumanize and jeer on to the personality of Vladimir Vladimirovich and his supposed American domestic analogues, as the liberal establishment sought, was untenable.

    I don’t think anyone who hasn’t sat in a cubicle near Chinese at lunch time really hates them, but they’re fitting bogymen. It helps that they actually are a major threat to America, and are loathsome or obnoxious in various ways.

    Lastly, the whole Wuflu thing is working out pretty well. It’s probably not as deadly as initially feared, and is looking like it was an accidental release of a research pathogen (natural or modified). Trump lived in denial too long, but has managed to oversee a decent response, better than a number of larger countries. As the tough-on-China candidate, Trump is in a solid position to win the election and push his secure borders and industrial policy. The virus is also good for US-Russia relations in various ways which could be discussed. The main risk now is that the virus causes some long term problems, yet unseen.

  52. Basically what countries are trying to crush the curve, instead of flattening it? It seems that the East Asian countries like Taiwan and Vietnam have actually managed to crush the curve?

  53. If herd immunity turns out to be bollocks, what other options do countries like France and Italy have on the table?

  54. A counter to the Swedish argument that we have a lot of brownie people that is why we do not even attempt social distancing, then why do countries from Malaysia to India to Pakistan try to get their people to comply with social distancing even if they are filled with brownie people, maybe because Swedish government authorities are too yellow and limp wristed to enforce social distancing, especially since Sweden has the finances and government infrastructure to actually carry this out? Singapore also has a corona outbreak among its brownie people in worker dorms. And it is not using the it’s because they are brown people as an excuse.

  55. Why are Swedish ICU admissions not increasing while deaths are increasing if you smooth out the pattern? Are they gaming the system, or are the deaths just going straight to the morgue without passing through the ICU? Maybe the deaths are mostly DOAs? Even if 90% of the deaths are from care houses, that is not an acceptable excuse from, especially since it has been known ever since 1000BC how vulnerable old people are, and there is ample research not ruling out the possibility of asymptomic carriers.

  56. Anarcho-supremacist says

    Deaths of hundreds of thousands? With all do respect are you on crack? The latest models say 60 thousand dead by August. It has not been as bad as anyone thought anywhere outside of maybe parts of the NYC area. I mean if you think nothing has changed then you are delusional.

  57. And furthermore, are all those Swedes asymptomatic carriers now going to carry the coronavirus to places where they are not widespread and wreak havoc there, because of the governments herd immunity policy?

  58. Blinky Bill says

    Many Americans have a seriously distorted view of the world, promoted largely by organisation such as this:

    The average Westerner ends up thinking most Russians live like this:

    Many survive in freezing nighttime temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius by sleeping under an industrial heating pipe for warmth. If they get too close to the pipe for too long, they get severe burns. Officially, 3,500 homeless people live rough in the city of Omsk, though the real figure is likely higher.

  59. Blinky Bill says
  60. Bernie’s failure has more to do with physiology than psychology.

  61. It’s not that European leftists are tougher; it’s that tougher Europeans are more inclined to be leftist. The difference is that class war has never been as central to American politics as it is in Europe, and as time has gone on the Democrats stopped even pretending to be on the side of white working class men, which is where most of your muscle is going to come from. As much as conservative-minded middle class folks recoil at hearing about “white privilege”, it’s a really nasty phrase if you’re in a poor Appalachian town with no prospects where every other person is dying from a drug addiction.

    I still wouldn’t count on the Right if there was ever a Second American Civil War though. I think the military sides with whoever pays the bills, which is the West Coast and Northeast Corridor. The fighting capabilities of the civilian population are only relevant if the military disintegrates.

  62. Kratoklastes says

    The video is interesting, but they’re over-egging the pudding when they claim that nobody in economics had looked at the network structure of ownership across corporations before the work mentioned in the video.

    Matthew Jackson’s done it plenty – well before discipline-arbitrageurs like Glattfelder were paying attention. Doesn’t anybody do literature reviews anymore? (I suppose puffery is part of the Ted psychotype, tho).

    Even earlier than Jackson – in 1988 – Peter Higgs wrote a working paper that was a partial inspiration for my PhD topic.

    Higgs was at the IMPACT think-tank at THE University of Melbourne[1]: that staff then moved to Monash and I joined them in 1994, by which time Higgs had gone into the private sector.

    Anyhow… Higgs’ paper laid out the reason why mapping companies to sectors was complicated… corporate cross-ownership.

    It also discussed the impact of cross-ownership on volatility.

    It was in a specifically Australian context (the sector-level model was ORANI – a comparative-static multi-sector general equilibrium model of the Australian economy).

    The relevant pages (hopefully not too smooshed):


    Higgs went on to found TGM – a firm that specialises in tactical asset overlays – in 1997. He then hired several of my colleagues, and TGM offered me a job that I turned down, recommending good mate for the job. I was only a year into my PhD research, having done coursework in ’96.

    Almost certainly the most costly decision I ever made, in dollar terms.

    Sliding doors, paths not taken, counterfactuals and all that. (That said: money managers at size do not generate alpha – anyone who is an active manager knows this, and is therefore a charlatan. That was my view in 1997 and nothing’s changed).

    If you can get a copy of Higgs’ 1988 paper, it’s a ripper (I’ve got 2 copies). Think of how primitive computing was in 1988.

    As a guide: ten years later I was ready to do the simulations that would provide the core quant output for my thesis. Once I worked out (roughly) the number of simulations I had to run, it became clear that I had to jerry-rig a custom multivariate Gaussian quadrature, and approximate the distribution of key outputs with a few hundred model runs.

    It took a day to do 1 simulation, and if I wanted to get the distribution by running sufficient simulations, I needed to do about 100,000.

    It wouldn’t even be 10% finished by now (and I had a 496-DX2-66 with 8MB of RAM, dammit: 2nd most powerful machine on the floor).

    Nowadays I can run 1,000 simulations an hour on my phone.

    [1] in-joke. Melbourne Uni’s formal name is “The University of Melbourne”.

  63. Athletic and Whitesplosive says

    The capability of the military is only relevant so long as supply chains hold up, not guaranteed when they’re at war with (the dominant) part of their own industrial base and supply of troops. According to your logic the dominant class at the outbreak of civil war should always be the victor (since the peak capability of a nation’s military is always greater than that of it’s private citizenry), which of course isn’t what has been the historical case.

    But trying to predict the outcome of a civil war in the world’s richest country (which also happens to span a continent and have a gargantuan population) is like trying to look into a singularity, there is fundamentally no way to predict what would happen. The demoralized right might lose the will to fight and be crushed immediately, the military might disintegrate after logistics failure, the military officer corp might be destroyed by a rightist insurrection from the lower ranks and become the principle force of the right rather than the left, or none of this might happen and they might settle in for decades of bloody attrition. Would anyone have guessed the bolsheviks would be the big winners of the Russian revolution beforehand? Well there’s almost certainly that much more uncertainty surrounding an American civil war.

  64. Dieter Kief says

    Matthew Jackson’s done it plenty – well before discipline-arbitrageurs like Glattfelder were paying attention. Doesn’t anybody do literature reviews anymore? (I suppose puffery is part of the Ted psychotype, tho).

    I remember a vivid public debate of this topic amongst European leftist – Günter Nenning and others of his journal neues forum in Austria, Jochen Steffen and numerous others in Germany (Oskar Negt, Peter Glotz, Oskar Lafontaine in Germany).

    You get away too easily on TED-talks etc. via your sheer physical presence. The message of this medium is: Charmer takes it all. People love it to be – overwhelmed. This being a very effective way to give the people what they may be long for most nowadays: Complexity reduction***.


    cf. Erich Fromm – Fear of Freedom and Nikols Luhmann – Social Systems

  65. Right wingers who are corona skeptics should all be purged and gotten rid of. What is needed in the right is a complete ideological cleansing and a massive ideological purge and purification campaign, all of the useless dead wood libertarians and classical liberals needs to be wiped out.

  66. another anon says

    Right wingers who are corona skeptics should all be purged and gotten rid of.

    Easier said than done.

    Everyone knows three sources of Marxism – German philosophy, English political economy, and French utopian socialism.

    Likewise, the three sources of modern alt-right movement are HBDIQ science, pick-up artistry and conspiracy theory.
    If you start purging virus truthers, where are you going to stop?
    Will alt-right members in good standing have to affirm that all school and mass shootings are real, that WTC towers were indeed hit by planes, that American moon landings happened, that holocaust happened?

    If so, what will be left of alt-right movement if it severs itself of one of its roots?

  67. What is the ideological source of right wing mainland European ethno nationalism? If that is so, maybe the greater part American alt-right deserves to be placed in the wastebasket of history? Although if are are against the establishment view all along, having to agree with them all of a sudden on some issues is a big psychological adjustment to make.

  68. I believe that any movement that advocates for policies that result in killing offs its own demographic base does not deserve to exist.