Are we, the masses of mankind, doomed to become useless appendages to our technological creations? Will artificial intelligence get so smart as to take over everything? Is there to be almost no space for individuals? Workers? Thinkers? Producers?

Are we obsolete?

There is a new book out by Jobst Landgrebe and Barry Smith that answers these questions. The authors make a startlingly bold claim, and back it up with something more than the hand-waving b.s. we are used to on this subject. The book is titled Why Machines Will Never Rule the World: Artificial Intelligence Without Fear, just out from Routledge.

David Ramsay Steele, who is CEO and Editorial Director of Carus Books, and its imprint Open Universe — as well as author of From Marx to Mises: Post-Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Economic Calculation, Orwell Your Orwell: A Worldview on the Slab, and The Mystery of Fascism: David Ramsay Steeles Greatest Hits — is an enthusiast for Landgrebe and Smith’s effort. He has long been skeptical of many of the more outlandish claims for AI, and he read the manuscript of the book as it approached publication. He suggested that the LocoFoco Netcast team interview Jobst and Barry, and I agreed with no small amount of enthusiasm.

But I agreed mainly on the condition that David do most of the interviewing. I am in way over my head on this issue, and do not really know much other than what I read in science fiction — which is hardly a reliable guide on such issues. He agreed. He has, after all, been featured by the LocoFoco at least twice, if not three or four times. And with David asking the most acute questions, that would allow me to ask the Dumb Guy questions.

So last week the four of us chatted for an hour and a half. I have edited that chat down just a bit, and present it on SoundCloud and Rumble and YouTube:

Yes, at least one of my questions was indeed Dumb Guy dumb. My intro, too, will not win awards for accuracy, my characterization of Elon Musk’s AI goals being offhand and parodic — and considering the august company I had on, perhaps I should have postponed my mirth. But the other participants are as eloquent — and their comments as apposite — as one could hope for.

I had read one of Dr. Barry Smith’s books before this discussion, by the way — Austrian Philosophy: The Legacy of Franz Brentano — and own another that I have occasionally consulted. He is a major scholar of Continental philosophy, and I was delighted to read something by him on an issue of current popular interest. Somehow discussions of Edmond Husserl, Alexius Meinong and Roman Ingarden (the latter mentioned in this episode, and by Jobst), cannot be expected to obtain a wide readership.

Actually, I should say, “delighted to begin to read something by Dr. Smith,” since, as I confess in the podcast, I did not make the requisite time to read the whole of the pre-publication copy David had sent me. Even after all these years using iPads, it often takes quite an effort for me to read a whole book in ebook format, especially a PDF. This means I will “be forced” actually to buy the book!

I know some people insist that podcasts be published unedited. I am not one of those people. Before Dr. Smith joined our Zoom conversation, Jobst, David and I got to know one another informally, discussing such things as the books in our respective backgrounds: my green books (Loeb Greek/English editions) and Jobst’s red set of books that look so similar, and are also about history, but in German, and may not have an English equivalent. We also discussed science fiction, Stanislaw Lem and Philip K. Dick, specifically. For some reason I did not bring up Samuel Butler’s Erewhon. Now that would have been relevant. I may include this conversation as a future extra on

Jobst Landgrebe earned his doctorate in medicine, and has worked as both scientist and entrepreneur in the field in question, artificial intelligence. As he mentions in the podcast, it was he who conceived the idea for the book and the need for collaboration with a philosopher. Jobst had been encountering too much nonsense being said about AI.

I hope that, after listening to this podcast, every listener goes out and buys the new book. This is an important subject. It should not be left to rumor-mongering by “futurologists” and others who do not know the science or understand the philosophy behind the issue.

And note: thanks to James Littleton Gill for two examples of his image work with the artistic artificial intelligence DALL-E. And yes, Barry Smith and Jobst Landgrebe both discuss DALL-E in our conversation.


Is some half-remembered Kantianism behind the clever person’s pseudo-clever rejection of the idea of “the Deep State”? Some misunderstanding of phenomenon and nuomenon?

Most of the institutions that make up the Deep State are known entities, with acts of Congress behind them, or public corporation status, and personnel and budgets and logos and the whole shebang.

But the essence of the Deep State is that much of it is secret, and the institutions we identify as Deep State are filled with secrets. So of course we must be circumspect and not pretend to know what we cannot. But we must not also pretend to not know what we do. And we know that secret powers and connections have their own properties. So even if we cannot know specifics, we know many of the principles that make the Deep State deep.

We have enough phenomena, and can make reasonable inferences, to understand the latticework of secrecy as a “thing.” The ontology is not too outré. And the fact that we do not experience its internal essences quite the same way we understand Congress or the Supreme Court or the local school board does not allow us to declare the Deep State unknowable, pompously intoning Wittgenstein’s apothegm “that whereof we may not speak we must remain silent.” Better Spencer, who inferred an invisible force and dubbed it The Unknowable.

But the Deep State isn’t that unknowable, and we certainly may say of its existential status that. It. Exists.


Illustration, at top, of Gustave de Molinari, the economist who saw states instruments of war and terror.

In the Middle Ages, society was convinced that there were witches. People were so positive that they burned people whom they suspected of witchcraft. To-day there is an equal number of people who believe just as firmly, one way or the other, about spiritualism and spirits. They do not burn mediums. But people who have made no research of the subject pass strong denunciatory judgments. Others, no better informed, consider mediums divinely inspired. Not so long ago every intelligent man knew that the world was flat. To-day the average man has a belief just as firm and unknowing in the mysterious force which he has heard called atomic energy.

It is axiomatic that men who know little are often intolerant of a point of view that is contrary to their own. The bitterness that has been brought about by arguments on public questions is proverbial. Lovers have been parted by bitter quarrels on theories of pacificism or militarism; and when an argument upon an abstract question engages opponents they often desert the main line of argument in order to abuse each other.

How often this is true can be seen from the congressional records of controversies in which the personal attack supersedes logic. In a recent fight against the proposed tariff measures, a protagonist of protection published long vindictive statements, in which he tried to confound the character and the disinterestedness of his opponents. Logically his discussion should have been based only upon the sound economic, social and political value of the bill as presented.

A hundred leading American bankers, business men, professional men and economists united in public disapproval of this plan. They stated their opinion that the “American” Valuation Plan, as it was called, would endanger the prosperity of the country, that it would be inimical to our foreign relations and that it would injure the welfare of every country with whom our commercial and industrial ties were at all close. This group was a broadly representative group of men and women, yet the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee accused all these people of acting upon motives of personal gain and lack of patriotism. Prejudice superseded logic.

Intolerance is almost inevitably accompanied by a natural and true inability to comprehend or make allowance for opposite points of view. The skilled scientist who may be receptive to any promising suggestion in his own field may outside of his own field be found quite unwilling to make any attempt at understanding a point of view contrary to his own. In politics, for example, his understanding of the problem may be fragmentary, yet he will enter excitedly into discussions on bonus and ship subsidy, of which he has made no study. We find here with significant uniformity what one psychologist has called “logic-proof compartments.”

The logic-proof compartment has always been with us. Scientists have lost their lives through refusing to see flaws in their theories. Intelligent mothers give food to their babies that they would manifestly forbid other mothers to give their children. Especially significant is the tendency of races to maintain religious beliefs and customs long after these have lost their meaning. Dietary laws, hygienic laws, even laws based upon geographical conditions that have been changed for more than a thousand years are still maintained in the logic-proof compartment of dogmatic adherence. There is a story that certain missionaries give money to heathen at the time of conversion and that the heathen, having got their money, bathe away their conversion in sacred streams.

The characteristic of the human mind to adhere to its beliefs is excellently summarized in the volume by Mr. Trotter to which reference has been made before. “It is clear,” says Mr. Trotter, “at the outset that these beliefs are invariably regarded as rational and defended as such, while the position of one who holds contrary views is held to be obviously unreasonable.

“The religious man accuses the atheist of being shallow and irrational, and is met by a similar reply. To the Conservative the amazing thing about the Liberal is his incapacity to see reason and accept the only possible solution of public problems. Examination reveals the fact that the differences are not due to the commission of the mere mechanical fallacies of logic, since these are easily avoided, even by the politician, and since there is no reason to believe that one party in such controversies is less logical than the other. The difference is due rather to the fundamental assumptions of the antagonists being hostile, and these assumptions are derived from herd-suggestions; to the Liberal certain basal conceptions have acquired the quality of instinctive truth, have become a priori syntheses, because of the accumulated suggestions to which he has been exposed; and a similar explanation applies to the atheist, the Christian, and the Conservative. Each, it is important to remember, finds in consequence the rationality of his position flawless and is quite incapable of detecting in it the fallacies which are obvious to his opponent, to whom that particular series of assumptions has not been rendered acceptable by herd suggestion.”

Thus the public relations counsel has to consider the a priori judgment of any public he deals with before counseling any step that would modify those things in which the public has an established belief.

It is seldom effective to call names or to attempt to discredit the beliefs themselves. The counsel on public relations, after examination of the sources of established beliefs, must either discredit the old authorities or create new authorities by making articulate a mass opinion against the old belief or in favor of the new.

Edward L. Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), Part II, Chapter I, conclusion.

People who want to rule other people are more dangerous than those who don’t. One problem with democracies is that they elicit leaders from all strata of society, and the most desirous ”to lead” are those with the strongest itch to rule. Over time and generations, more power accrues to narcissists and egoists and other shady people-pushers, and the spirit of ruling others suffuses whole populations, where greed and hatred and pride get covered over with the garlands and fig leaves of “morality,” but merely as disguise. So we have the desire for advancement encouraged, not curbed, by conscience — conscience becomes an excuse for outrageous enormities, and the people increasingly believe deeply perverse things, twisted.

Which is where we are at now.

“One idïôt is one īdîôt. Two īdíots are two ídïóts. Ten thousand ídíöts are a pòlitical party.”
— Franz Kafka

A great “quote” that I stumbled upon in social media. But Kafka did not say this. The correct quote appears to be:

Fanfare, bandiere, parate.
Uno stupido è uno stupido. Due stupidi sono due stupidi.
Diecimila stupidi sono una forza storica.

Leo Longanesi, Parliamo dell’Elefante: Frammenti di un Diario (1947).

The issues upon which I have most changed my mind in recent years are about how people handle “memes” (mimicked and repeatable behaviors) within institutions and organizations. I now believe there is no enormity a normal person in a privileged position in the academic, government, or medical realm will not help do, just so long as that person can go about calling him- or herself a ”good person” while retaining his or her position. They will fool themselves into thinking that the latest study must be correct (if it agrees with their political allegiances), censorship is free speech, or genocide is salvation. It will all be calculated in a series of nested marginal moral excuses, and they will send the Jews to the ovens, children to the castrator’s knife, dissidents to the gulags, and the farmers and their customers to starvation. The enormities of the 20th are now building up for an exciting and perhaps excruciating reprise. Though this time most of it will be covered over, a bit. The idea is to get the Jews to march into the ovens with eagerness; parents to sacrifice their children’s sexual futures with fervent hope of being ”in” while doctors receive their normal paychecks; dissidents to engage in self-shackling; and the farmers will be bought off, with their farms left to produce oil substitutes or . . . plastics . . . or open space for ”wildlife.”

So my medium-level alarmist predictions appear to be emerging as instantiations in reality. Remember all my arguments how insane a “vax“ policy would be in a new pandemic? I expected a number of negative outcomes. Here they come: excess deaths; mortalities labeled “unknown.” In one post, I guessed it’d be a clear pattern in three years. We’re one year in. The pattern is becoming fairly clear.

The malefactors at Facebook gave me a warning on fact checked pandemic info, but they are indeed liars, and they probably want you to die. Especially if you hold the wrong beliefs.

You see, humans are a cancer on the planet, and killing off a few billion is an entelechy buried deep within many moderns — leading to a death wish. Which nudges them at the margins of their consciences to commit genocide. An astounding thing.

Here is Paul Jacob on the subject, from his daily program:

The safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines has been disputed from the beginning.

What this usually means is that those of a skeptical mind challenge the confidence of the pro-vax mantra — “safe and effective” ad nauseam — and, when they find stats that run counter to this official position, they publicize those stats. Then, major media outfits make a few carping criticisms of the new studies and quickly proceed to assuredly re-state as fact the original and now more-dubious propaganda. 

Meanwhile, social media censors dissidents. And when more studies come out casting grave doubt on either the safety or the efficacy of the new drugs, those receive little public attention.

How Alex Berenson was treated is a good example of the methods of the orthodoxy. Take Wikipedia’s judgment: “During the coronavirus pandemic, Berenson appeared frequently in American right-wing media, spreading false claims about COVID-19 and its vaccines,” the article confidently runs. “He spent much of the pandemic arguing that its seriousness was overblown; once COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out, he made false claims about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.”

False claims! In olden times — why, it seems like just a few years ago — a major news and history resource would not baldly call some contentious matter “false” or “true.” It would state the claims and then let the counter-claims carry their own weight.

In the case of “the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines,” though, it has become clear: their efficacy wanes, diminishing quicker with each dose, leaving the unvaccinated with proportionally fewer infection and spreading events than the “boosted.”

And as excess deaths and inexplicable demises increase around the world we are “not allowed” to state this in many public forums.

No way to run a health crisis.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

The Method to the Current MadnessCommon Sense with Paul Jacob, August 30, 2022.

The government has admitted that there are not infrequent sightings of anomalous UFOs (“UAPs”) that feature “the five observables”:

  1. hypersonic speeds
  2. instantaneous velocity
  3. trans-medium travel
  4. displaying stealth mode
  5. positive lift

This admission — to Congress (what any president has been told is unknown) — blows the lid off of the Official Position from the Pentagon from the 1940s through the aughts. The scorn given de rigueur by academics to anyone who professes even mere agnosticism on the issue is now known to be either a cultic move to protect the dominant naturalistic paradigm, outrageously anti-scientific ignorance, or a lie.

The world may seem to be crazy, but this element of the crazy is at least understandably uncomfortable. And I reiterate what I’ve said before: the reason for the blanket of silence and prevarication directed (the evidence clearly suggests) by the CIA and the Pentagon is likely that it upsets two powerful groups: materialist scientists and religious people.

These two quotations remind me of Augustine’s confession of his younger days: “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet!” Communism is the holding of orgies by those who insist upon the ideal of celibacy.

“We are waiting for the withering away of the state . . . The highest development of state power in preparation of the preconditions for the withering away of state power — that is the Marxist formula. Is that ‘contradictory’? Yes it is ‘contradictory.’ But this contradiction is inherent in life and it completely mirrors the Marxist dialectic.’” —Joseph Stalin

“‘Don’t you want to abolish state power?’ Yes we do, but not right now. Why? Because domestic reaction still exists, because classes still exist. Our present task is to strengthen the people’s army, the people’s police, in order to protect the people’s interests.” —Mao

The Netflix show Midnight Mass:

  1. was not based on F. Paul Wilson’s vampire novel of the same name;
  2. is a vampire story where the word “vampire” is never used and the lore is not ever discussed (thus is a de facto “alternate history” story where Polidori and Bram Stoker never wrote their most famous works);
  3. is the most religious-based vampire story I’ve yet encountered (the religion in this case being Catholicism);
  4. is more “daring” in its religion-referencing than even Dracula 2000, which I regarded as terrific;
  5. has one of the best vampires on screen I’ve ever seen;
  6. has really good writing and acting throughout;
  7. has the best hymn-singing finale to a TV show (that I can recall);
  8. nevertheless ends with a sort Buddhist/pantheistic message, but it is
  9. not as overtly anti-Christian as it often feels like; and, finally,
  10. has a chilling, Nurse Ratchedy-type character in the oh-so-sanctimonious Bev Keane, played by the brilliant Samantha Sloyan. But all the actors were great, definitely not excepting Hamish Linklater, who plays the bloody (yes, this is apt) priest.


The first story in Out of the Unknown (1970), is by A.E. Van Vogt, and might best be categorized as adventure-horror. Titled “The Sea Thing,” the eponymous creature, which we learn is “the god of sharks,” goes on land and takes human form to wreak vengeance upon the isolated fishermen of a remote island. Van Vogt begins, and for much of the story continues, by using this creature as the viewpoint character. This is the unique thing about “The Sea Thing” — otherwise it is very old-fashioned, a sea-based horror fantasy.

Despite that apparently damning judgment of “very old-fashioned,” I do not seek to dismiss this collection of tales. First, they were all originally published in Unknown, a short-lived pulp edited by the great John W. Campbell — hence the book’s title. Second, the authors of the stories are a husband-wife writing “team” who, despite their alleged status as a team, wrote each story in the book separately.

The penultimate tale of this collection, Lord Dunany’s “The Sack of Emeralds,” is simple and effective. It is so simple that one might blink and wonder why we should take any notice of it. Dunsany wrote many similar stories. But they are timeless, and flawless in their own way. This is a little longer, I think, than his best short shorts, like “Charon,” from Fifty-One Tales, and is nowhere near as moving. But it is a worthy inclusion.

This anthology also contains Ray Bradbury’s grand exercise in low-key bizarrerie, “The Jar.”

This paperback, with its unfortunate torn top-right corner, is of a slightly smaller size than what we think of as a normal-sized pocketbook paperback. It was published in 1963, during the period when this size was most popular.


It would be funny were it true that Trump has squirreled away classified documents — if those documents related to UFOs!

I don’t see any advantage he could possibly milk from “nuclear” documents. But from documents about UFOs? Ah, that would make sense. He could be threatening to disclose a bit more truth or lie than the Deep State Secret Keepers want. And the lore about the secrets indicates it could be almost anything, and still be a doozy.

The government has admitted there’s something to UFOs. We the People just don’t know what. Trump undoubtedly was briefed on the subject to some degree far beyond what we have been told, and what he was told is undoubtedly (at the very least) interesting.


Just as it took “Nixon to go to China,” it has taken the “party of the common man” to mount the largest scale attack upon the poor and middle-income quintiles since the liquidation of the Kulaks, perhaps ever.

But of course this won’t be commonly understood until it is far too late. And by then, the plan looks like, the “party of the common man” will have insulated itself with the fascist techniques they’d been wailing about in their hapless opponents for decades.

Going after Trump may have jumped the gun, though. Only a removal of the majority “party of the people” from the Congress, followed by the largest run of impeachment proceedings in American history, could possibly prevent the onset of the totalitarian state “the party of the people” obviously itches for.

But it won’t stop the economic debacle coming.


originally on Facebook
August 8, 2022

With the FBI’s move on Trump, I once again wonder to myself:

Are Democrats now so evil that they make themselves stupid, or so stupid they make themselves evil?

In America, the right wing doesn’t know what the left’s doing, and vice versa, and I expect it all to come to some sort of frothy head soon.

Cyril M. Kornbluth wrote a novel titled Not This August in which the communists conquer the United States — and the American people conquer the country right back.

It is supposed to be quite good, but I bet, in context, it’d be depressing, for it is Americans who are now pushing towards phase one of the conquest project.

The basic ”deal” of a two-party democratic republic is that the two sides do not attack each other using state power when they secure a unitary government. The idea is to let each other get away with the usual inelegances, self-dealings and crimes and not take advantage of a temporary impregnable position.

When Trump, during the 2016 debates, threatened to put Hillary Clinton in jail for her many crimes (and she was and is deeply, deeply corrupt), this alarmed the establishment. The Administrative State (both Deep and Wide) depends upon bipartisan corruption to thrive, using both parties to keep their confidence game going. Trump was ‘reckless’ in promising to take Hillary down. And so the insiders in the CIA and FBI went on the attack against Trump, and with the help of a partisan propagandistic media, got Democratic voters to think they were right to do so — the boobs of the booboisie can always be counted on to get it wrong politically.

But notice: Trump did nothing. The Hillary-bashing was a mere empty threat. While Democrats and major media newsreaders/talking heads relentlessly portrayed Trump as a tyrant, he acted in a fairly normal-American manner for three years, and then was blindsided by the China-Fauci Team and their pet project, COVID-19.

Now Democrats are in power and they are on the warpath. They are so afraid of a second Trump run that they are breaking the basic “deal.” The FBI’s raid on the Trump compound in Florida is quite a coup, you might say — not a coup d’etat, but along those lines. It was a breakdown in the fundamental truce that makes a republic work.

It’s another step to civil war, as I see it, and Democrat voters just fall in line. I said it years ago: it is the Democratic Party that‘s the Stupid Party now. It is indeed very funny, because “the smart ones” daily prove their folly and cluelessness.

It is kind of breathtaking to watch.

But since it solidifies all my old fugitive opinions, my ultra-marginal notions about how power really works — not the standard civics text fairy tales — I guess I shouldn’t complain. Thanks, Democrats, for proving how awful your ideas always have been, and how slim-to-nonexistent your commitment to “democracy” really is.

Isn’t it odd how President Herbert Hoover was scorned and excoriated for the encampments of “Hoovervilles” during the Great Depression but no politician receives any brunt of the blame for the vast encampments of the homeless in Seattle, Portland, and California’s most woke cities?

Nicknames for the union:

I’ve long liked Gore Vidal’s: The United States of Amnesia.

I’ve often used this one: These Benighted States.

But how about this: The Self-Satirizing States of America. SSSA!

While we chortle watching Democratic insiders scramble to pretend that

  • there is no recession,
  • inflation is no big deal,
  • their goofy tax increase package (complete with IRS-agent/audit-increase measures) will decrease inflation (it won’t), or
  • jabbing infants with COVID “vaccines” is a good idea,

it’s not so funny when we comprehend that the Republican response is led by

  • Trump.

While I’m not now nor have ever been a NeverTrumper, my huzzahs for the former president are severely muted.

Why? Well, Trump is almost as much to blame as Biden & Co. for the current fiasco. His last year in office was a disaster.

While watching a terrific report on the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory, it became clear to me from Trump’s own mouth just how in-over-his-head he was in 2020.

Yet Donald Trump still defends Operation Warp Speed and the vaccine roll-out. He glories in it.

What he doesn’t seem to realize that it was the vaxx that allowed for the governors — and world governments — to inflict lockdowns for months and even years longer than made any sense (much less that they had any right to inflict them).

It was the lockdowns that led to the bailouts that led to the money supply increases coincident with supply reductions that led to the current stagflationary morass.

Biden cannot blame Trump, though, and indeed isn’t blaming Trump — for he wants to do more of the same that got us into our fix.

But as horrible as Biden is, it was Trump who signed the bailout checks — not only to individuals but also to major corporations — and it was Trump’s pushing Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx up into daily prominence that allowed the contagion of mask mandates, lockdowns, and bad therapeutics to rule while we all “waited” for the vaccines.

And it is Trump who is marshaling the forces against the egregious Democrats.

This does not bode well.

But, again, it is hard to lambaste Trump to the exclusion of the Democrats, with their unhinged fixation on the January 6th mini-riot leading them to their seemingly insane belief that they have something on the man, to prevent him from running again. The FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence better be something more than what it looks like, a witless fishing expedition. For only the Democrats could make a Trump 2024 run look like a good idea.

That’s American politics today: there is no “bipartisan” loyalty in opposition any longer. Each side breeds its Nemesis, and suffers for it . . . while feeling, somehow, class-righteous.


Americans haven’t been this generally disgruntled with the political establishment since the 1990s, when the term limits movement kicked off. And by “this” I mean the general unrest and “culture war” now.

Paul Jacob was there and in the thick of it back then, and — in conversation with him a few days ago — he says Americans are more angry now.

I agree. They have never been more distrustful of government and politicians and media and “the elites” than at present.

Which is why I don’t think there is any easy way to “go back to normal.” 

Why bring up this rather obvious point? Well, because J.D. Tuccille, writing at Reason, shows how easy it is to get this all backwards and upside-down in his opinion piece, “Biden and Trump Repulse Voters as GOP Shows Signs of Becoming Normal Again.”

Normal, of course, isn’t liberty, it is unthinking servility — and I confess to finding no camaraderie with libertarians who think it would be good for Americans to re-develop their trust in government and the establishments of power.

But that sure seems to be what Tuccille suggests.

Where does he go wrong? Orange Man, of course.

“Quite clearly,” Tuccille asserts, “Trump didn’t represent the Republican Party; the party became a vehicle for the man himself, to be used or discarded as he saw fit. That’s a classic cult of personality. . . .”

This misses the big message of 2015 and ’16: Republican leaders didn’t represent their constituents. Republican voters did not leap to Trump out of some mesmeric state of compulsion from The Great Orange Evil, they chose him above the others because he mocked those others, openly denying their standing as leaders. Trump’s supporters wanted “the Swamp” drained, so Trump promised it.

Dismissing Trump’s allure as “a classic cult of personality” misses the big story: the roiling, overwhelming distrust — a distrust of government way beyond disillusion.

“America’s experiment with strongman politics may turn out to be blessedly brief,” Tuccille begins his last paragraph. Though this implies that Biden’s also a strongman, nowhere in his piece does Tuccille acknowledge the truth of this: Biden rules in a far more dictatorial and “fascist” way than did Trump. Can’t say that in Reason these days? Hmmm?

By focusing on Trump as a cartoon strongman, and blaming Biden’s loss of support on his “bungling” and his “visible deterioration” and current “high inflation,” Tuccille avoids dealing with the great failure of The 21st Century American System.

The growing ranks of independents, of a trans-partisan recognition of that failure, and of disapproval of both Trump and Biden, bodes well. But not normal.

America needs structural reforms at the very least. Merely electing someone other than Trump or Biden is unlikely to pull off any “return to normalcy.” It won’t be that easy.

Mr. Tuccille’s been hanging around normies too much, I bet.


N.B. Image from ”Normal Again,” one of the few great seventh season Buffy episodes, for obvious reasons. Of course, I am not suggesting that we non-normies are crazy — not at all. But think on’t.