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ADDED 03/16/2018

Authoritarian ICO: How Venezuela’s Government Is Abusing the Blockchain

FROM 03/14/2018 | Medium

BY Robert Greenfield IV

Maduro’s new Petro token is consolidating power and crowdfunding oppression. “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.” ― Simone Weil Last year, token sales raised approximately $5.6 billion. The crypto-method of crowdfunding has opened the floodgates to decentralized funding, which […]

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Name it. Face it.

We can’t name it. We can’t organize against it. We retreat to the false safety of personal utopias.

This thing we feel we hate about Trump is the same thing millions around the world feel they hate about their own local political malefactors. No one has any idea how to fight back because no one can agree what constitutes the threat. Politics is impotent. Online petitions are impotent. Massive street protests are impotent. All this impotence is the nameless monster’s goal.

The monster can be named. Some smart folks are working on this problem. Let’s take a look at three recent efforts to find names for the threat and its fallout.

  1. Adam Curtis his latest film “Hypernormalization” on Chapo Trap House .

  2. Guy Standing names the social fallout the monster has created.

  3. Timothy Snyder names the monster’s political ideology.

ADDED 03/08/2018

Requiem for The New York Times Opinion Page

FROM 03/08/2018 | Esquire

BY Charles P. Pierce

This shebeen largely has stayed out of the tiresome troll-war concerning the unruly reception that some speakers have received on various college campuses. I wish folks could be more civil and welcoming, because I am a gentle fellow with a fairly well-known taste for temperate rhetoric, but I also wish that there weren’t so many […]

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ADDED 03/08/2018

Democracy stops Netanyahu using Erdoğan tactics to dodge graft probe

FROM  | Ahval News

BY Michael Koplow

As I previously wrote, there are many similarities between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. But despite these shared attributes and the fact that they have both dealt with ongoing corruption charges and investigations, Israel’s future will not look like Turkey’s present irrespective of whether or not Netanyahu is able to […]

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ADDED 03/08/2018

Why Isn’t Trump President for Life Yet?

FROM 03/08/2018 | Slate

BY YASCHA MOUNK

He is following the same playbook as other authoritarian populists around the world. He’s just bad at it—so far. A week after the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead and 14 injured, Donald Trump publicly scolded members of his own party: “They have great power over you […]

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ADDED 03/08/2018

Hungary by now is no longer a democracy, says Rutgers’ R. Daniel Kelemen

FROM 03/08/2018 | Budapest Beacon

BY Staff

“If you don’t have a free and pluralistic press that is conveying messages on different sides of issues and which is actively critical of the government and its policies, then democracy starts to be meaningless. If people are just fed a steady diet of pro-government propaganda by media sources either controlled by the government or […]

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ADDED 03/08/2018

Filipino chief justice asks people to fight authoritarianism

FROM  | ABC News

BY Jim Gomez, Associated Press

The Philippines‘ embattled Supreme Court chief justice urged Filipinos on Wednesday to stand up against authoritarianism and threats to human rights, in an indirect criticism of the country’s volatile leader, who has long called for her removal. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is facing two ouster attempts, including by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, whose legal counsel asked […]

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ADDED 03/08/2018

It could happen in Britain

FROM  | The Economist

BY Bagehot

British institutions may not withstand the authoritarian-populist wave. IN HIS dystopian novel of 1935, “It Can’t Happen Here”, Sinclair Lewis described the rise of an American Caesar, Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip. Buzz easily defeats Franklin Roosevelt for the presidency by promising to make America great again. He then sets about destroying the country’s system of checks […]

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ADDED 03/08/2018

Women of ‘new’ Turkey: dystopian sacralised mothers and everyday feminists

FROM 03/08/2018 | Open Democracy

BY Bilge Yabanci

Not a single International Women’s Day or Mother’s Day can pass by without reasserting women’s main duty as child-bearers and men’s responsibility to ‘protect’ and ‘rekindle’ fragile mothers. Last January, shortly after Turkey’s military operation started in Afrin, I was at a women’s event held by a pro-government civil society organisation in a working-class suburban […]

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ADDED 03/07/2018

Revolution at the polls: How Italy made Steve Bannon’s “ultimate dream” come true

FROM 03/06/2018 | Quartz

BY Annalisa Merelli

Steve Bannon’s “ultimate dream” came true last night in Italy: Anti-establishmentarianism, isolationism, xenophobia and populism won the country’s general elections on March 4. On March 4, populist party Movimento Cinque Stelle (Five Star Movement) won the most votes. Meanwhile, radically xenophobic Lega Nord(Northern League) overtook center-right party Forza Italia. More than half of the parliament is now in the […]

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ADDED 03/06/2018

The Unique Vapidity of the Bibi-ist Right

FROM  | Ha'aretz

BY Uri Misgav

The Netanyahu regime is a populist, Peronist right. It’s doubtful it can even be called fascist; fascism is an ideology with core values that can be challenged. How do they look at themselves in the mirror, the new right-wingers? The prime minister is suspected of receiving a million shekels’ worth of “gifts” and of bribery […]

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ADDED 03/06/2018

Notes on Italy’s Election

FROM 03/05/2018 | Jacobin

BY DAVID BRODER

After yesterday’s Italian election, the old is dying and something superficially different but not altogether new has been born.   The Italian election results, which produced a hung parliament, are surprising but not exactly shocking. While the campaign was mostly lifeless, the Five Star Movement (M5S) achieved far greater support than expected. It won around 31 percent of votes, […]

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