Forget Hitler, we need to imagine the next "black swan"

Aug 2018
3,237
5,237
Vancouver
#11
Black swan: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Impact-Highly-Improbable-ebook/dp/B002RI99IM

I posted a tread a while back about about Trump being our first "gangsta president" in the way that some quipped Bill Clinton was our first "black president." Ref: America's first gangsta president

And the other day a close friend was worrying, "What if America falls to fascism?"

We might be off our game if we are assuming that we can use the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s as a template for what to avoid.

Trump has no motive or interest to be a democratic leader. What's in it for him? Democracy is at best an obligation he has to manage and at worst a problem that needs to be erased.

Left unchecked he can do a lot of damage to the USA: our standing in the world, the economy as it relates to anyone who's not wealthy, our security and some of our freedoms.

Kept in check--somewhat!--by what's left of sincere Republican democratic leadership, he will eventually start goring his own ox of support. At some point a guy like Lindsey Graham is going to realize he's fucking things up TOO much. "Just let him fuck it up a little, so we can advance the GOP agenda!" Graham might be saying to his colleagues.

I'm starting to think that when Trump stumbled into the Presidency, he had to weigh whether or not it was worth it to him. Obviously, he decided it was. And I think one of the best features of being POTUS is immunity. E.g.:
Trump promotes Epstein-Clintons conspiracy theory, the latest in a pattern of baseless claims spread by President - CNNPolitics

He probably asked somebody what his exposure would be and was correctly advised, "Well, as president, you'll have a lot of immunity and no, you don't have to show your taxes."

So it's a personal business decision for the reptilian narcissist.

Thus, we shouldn't be looking for goose-stepping soldier parades. We should be looking for something more along the lines of current Russia or any kleptocracy. Hitler had a vision. Trump has wants and desires.

So I'm watchful about a new kind of autocracy that we've never seen before. I think if we keep posting comparisons of 1930s Germany, we're going down the wrong trail. Sure, there's a lesson in 1930s Germany in that the Germans didn't wake up one day to Naziism, but in our case, we're gradually moving in the direction of something else that's likely to be equally non-democratic.

"White collar presidency"? "Thugocracy"? "Fuggetaboutit-ism"?

Maybe "evangelical" needs to be redefined as a POLITICAL system. "A system of government in which capitalism and individual wealth are attained through followership that transcends morality."

Thoughts? (And prayers?)
While this may be new to see in such blatant ways in US politics, it's certainly nothing new.

South America, Africa, The Middle East and Eastern Europe have been running on gangster-ocracies forever. It's totally normal.

You'd be harder pressed to find a post-Soviet country that isn't run by an organised crime boss than one that is.
 

Davocrat

Former Staff
Apr 2007
52,514
40,256
Location
#12
While this may be new to see in such blatant ways in US politics, it's certainly nothing new.

South America, Africa, The Middle East and Eastern Europe have been running on gangster-ocracies forever. It's totally normal.

You'd be harder pressed to find a post-Soviet country that isn't run by an organised crime boss than one that is.

Italy came close. I'd say among most Western nations it's unusual. And a big break from American precedence. Even Nixon genuinely cared about America for people other than himself.

Also, what I'm really talking about has not happened yet. I'm suggesting what could and that it would probably not be Hitler 2.0.
 
Oct 2018
4,981
6,839
Somewhere they can't find me.
#13
Black swan: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Impact-Highly-Improbable-ebook/dp/B002RI99IM

I posted a tread a while back about about Trump being our first "gangsta president" in the way that some quipped Bill Clinton was our first "black president." Ref: America's first gangsta president

And the other day a close friend was worrying, "What if America falls to fascism?"

We might be off our game if we are assuming that we can use the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s as a template for what to avoid.

Trump has no motive or interest to be a democratic leader. What's in it for him? Democracy is at best an obligation he has to manage and at worst a problem that needs to be erased.

Left unchecked he can do a lot of damage to the USA: our standing in the world, the economy as it relates to anyone who's not wealthy, our security and some of our freedoms.

Kept in check--somewhat!--by what's left of sincere Republican democratic leadership, he will eventually start goring his own ox of support. At some point a guy like Lindsey Graham is going to realize he's fucking things up TOO much. "Just let him fuck it up a little, so we can advance the GOP agenda!" Graham might be saying to his colleagues.

I'm starting to think that when Trump stumbled into the Presidency, he had to weigh whether or not it was worth it to him. Obviously, he decided it was. And I think one of the best features of being POTUS is immunity. E.g.:
Trump promotes Epstein-Clintons conspiracy theory, the latest in a pattern of baseless claims spread by President - CNNPolitics

He probably asked somebody what his exposure would be and was correctly advised, "Well, as president, you'll have a lot of immunity and no, you don't have to show your taxes."

So it's a personal business decision for the reptilian narcissist.

Thus, we shouldn't be looking for goose-stepping soldier parades. We should be looking for something more along the lines of current Russia or any kleptocracy. Hitler had a vision. Trump has wants and desires.

So I'm watchful about a new kind of autocracy that we've never seen before. I think if we keep posting comparisons of 1930s Germany, we're going down the wrong trail. Sure, there's a lesson in 1930s Germany in that the Germans didn't wake up one day to Naziism, but in our case, we're gradually moving in the direction of something else that's likely to be equally non-democratic.

"White collar presidency"? "Thugocracy"? "Fuggetaboutit-ism"?

Maybe "evangelical" needs to be redefined as a POLITICAL system. "A system of government in which capitalism and individual wealth are attained through followership that transcends morality."

Thoughts? (And prayers?)

That's a great op-ed piece, Davocrat!

I agree with the argument that Trump is essentially a malevolent Chance (Being There), whose only motivation is catering to his own vanity and greed regardless of what gets in his way. But there are two key points that I think you're downplaying too much.

One is that Trump is keenly aware that he's empowering "white nationalists," who form the backbone of his base. The other is that they really want those parades. While it may not be all swastikas and funny little mustaches, a government comprised of "nationalist"-oriented fascists is close enough for jazz.
 
Jan 2007
37,809
8,687
#14
Black swan: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Impact-Highly-Improbable-ebook/dp/B002RI99IM

I posted a tread a while back about about Trump being our first "gangsta president" in the way that some quipped Bill Clinton was our first "black president." Ref: America's first gangsta president

And the other day a close friend was worrying, "What if America falls to fascism?"

We might be off our game if we are assuming that we can use the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s as a template for what to avoid.

Trump has no motive or interest to be a democratic leader. What's in it for him? Democracy is at best an obligation he has to manage and at worst a problem that needs to be erased.

Left unchecked he can do a lot of damage to the USA: our standing in the world, the economy as it relates to anyone who's not wealthy, our security and some of our freedoms.

Kept in check--somewhat!--by what's left of sincere Republican democratic leadership, he will eventually start goring his own ox of support. At some point a guy like Lindsey Graham is going to realize he's fucking things up TOO much. "Just let him fuck it up a little, so we can advance the GOP agenda!" Graham might be saying to his colleagues.

I'm starting to think that when Trump stumbled into the Presidency, he had to weigh whether or not it was worth it to him. Obviously, he decided it was. And I think one of the best features of being POTUS is immunity. E.g.:
Trump promotes Epstein-Clintons conspiracy theory, the latest in a pattern of baseless claims spread by President - CNNPolitics

He probably asked somebody what his exposure would be and was correctly advised, "Well, as president, you'll have a lot of immunity and no, you don't have to show your taxes."

So it's a personal business decision for the reptilian narcissist.

Thus, we shouldn't be looking for goose-stepping soldier parades. We should be looking for something more along the lines of current Russia or any kleptocracy. Hitler had a vision. Trump has wants and desires.

So I'm watchful about a new kind of autocracy that we've never seen before. I think if we keep posting comparisons of 1930s Germany, we're going down the wrong trail. Sure, there's a lesson in 1930s Germany in that the Germans didn't wake up one day to Naziism, but in our case, we're gradually moving in the direction of something else that's likely to be equally non-democratic.

"White collar presidency"? "Thugocracy"? "Fuggetaboutit-ism"?

Maybe "evangelical" needs to be redefined as a POLITICAL system. "A system of government in which capitalism and individual wealth are attained through followership that transcends morality."

Thoughts? (And prayers?)

Thoughts..... paranoia again.
 
Jan 2016
57,388
54,173
Colorado
#15
They have no idea what the word "differentiate" even means, let alone practice it.
That sounds like calculus! And alla that calculus stuff is just NONCENTS! They talk about stuff like 'instantaneous velocity', which is crazy talk, cuz things can't go NOWEHERE'S in an INSTANT! Don't believe ANYTHING them calculus teachers tell you!
 
Jan 2012
979
322
SoCal
#16
Black swan: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Swan-Impact-Highly-Improbable-ebook/dp/B002RI99IM

I posted a tread a while back about about Trump being our first "gangsta president" in the way that some quipped Bill Clinton was our first "black president." Ref: America's first gangsta president

And the other day a close friend was worrying, "What if America falls to fascism?"

We might be off our game if we are assuming that we can use the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s as a template for what to avoid.

Trump has no motive or interest to be a democratic leader. What's in it for him? Democracy is at best an obligation he has to manage and at worst a problem that needs to be erased.

Left unchecked he can do a lot of damage to the USA: our standing in the world, the economy as it relates to anyone who's not wealthy, our security and some of our freedoms.

Kept in check--somewhat!--by what's left of sincere Republican democratic leadership, he will eventually start goring his own ox of support. At some point a guy like Lindsey Graham is going to realize he's fucking things up TOO much. "Just let him fuck it up a little, so we can advance the GOP agenda!" Graham might be saying to his colleagues.

I'm starting to think that when Trump stumbled into the Presidency, he had to weigh whether or not it was worth it to him. Obviously, he decided it was. And I think one of the best features of being POTUS is immunity. E.g.:
Trump promotes Epstein-Clintons conspiracy theory, the latest in a pattern of baseless claims spread by President - CNNPolitics

He probably asked somebody what his exposure would be and was correctly advised, "Well, as president, you'll have a lot of immunity and no, you don't have to show your taxes."

So it's a personal business decision for the reptilian narcissist.

Thus, we shouldn't be looking for goose-stepping soldier parades. We should be looking for something more along the lines of current Russia or any kleptocracy. Hitler had a vision. Trump has wants and desires.

So I'm watchful about a new kind of autocracy that we've never seen before. I think if we keep posting comparisons of 1930s Germany, we're going down the wrong trail. Sure, there's a lesson in 1930s Germany in that the Germans didn't wake up one day to Naziism, but in our case, we're gradually moving in the direction of something else that's likely to be equally non-democratic.

"White collar presidency"? "Thugocracy"? "Fuggetaboutit-ism"?

Maybe "evangelical" needs to be redefined as a POLITICAL system. "A system of government in which capitalism and individual wealth are attained through followership that transcends morality."

Thoughts? (And prayers?)
I read your post and I start to believe what Scott Adams says about people having different movies that run in their head rather than reality.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a fantastic read and I'd argue that Trump is a great example of another example of a book of his.... Antifragile...

From the publisher note on the book....

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.


Trump may be our first Anti-Fragile President. He isn't a fascist because all the systems of the rich, power and connected fail to convince us he is bad or fail to take him down. You must have some sort of absurdist movie playing in your head because a fascist would NEVER be subject to the type of scrutiny and criticism that Trump has undertaken. The people writing or saying these things would disappear overnight. They'd end up in a death camp. They'd disappear along with their complaints and criticism.

The fact that they can hurl 90+% complaints, criticism, outright lies or just smears at Trump 24/7 is the proof of the opposite of fascism.

Fascists believe in the rule of the elites. Do you really think Trump and his band of deplorables are considered the elites? No the elites that think they should have all the power and control over our lives are the Tech Billionares and the crony-Democrats who create a state sponsored oligarchy of corporations that want to keep the haves and have nots just as they are now.

Trump though has been a pure example of Ant-Fragile. You can't predict the outcome of events or his reaction to them. If we had a nickle for every time the media declare "the walls are closing in" on Trump we could close the spending gap. All the standard predictions and rules just don't apply to Trump. Claim he's a pussy grabber, not a concern. Claim he paid off a porn star, just proves he could get a porn star, etc.
 
Jan 2016
57,388
54,173
Colorado
#18
I read your post and I start to believe what Scott Adams says about people having different movies that run in their head rather than reality.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a fantastic read and I'd argue that Trump is a great example of another example of a book of his.... Antifragile...

From the publisher note on the book....

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.

Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.

Trump may be our first Anti-Fragile President. He isn't a fascist because all the systems of the rich, power and connected fail to convince us he is bad or fail to take him down. You must have some sort of absurdist movie playing in your head because a fascist would NEVER be subject to the type of scrutiny and criticism that Trump has undertaken. The people writing or saying these things would disappear overnight. They'd end up in a death camp. They'd disappear along with their complaints and criticism.

The fact that they can hurl 90+% complaints, criticism, outright lies or just smears at Trump 24/7 is the proof of the opposite of fascism.

Fascists believe in the rule of the elites. Do you really think Trump and his band of deplorables are considered the elites? No the elites that think they should have all the power and control over our lives are the Tech Billionares and the crony-Democrats who create a state sponsored oligarchy of corporations that want to keep the haves and have nots just as they are now.

Trump though has been a pure example of Ant-Fragile. You can't predict the outcome of events or his reaction to them. If we had a nickle for every time the media declare "the walls are closing in" on Trump we could close the spending gap. All the standard predictions and rules just don't apply to Trump. Claim he's a pussy grabber, not a concern. Claim he paid off a porn star, just proves he could get a porn star, etc.
The Early Warning Signs Of Fascism

According to you:

the antifragile gets better and better.

Trump may be our first Anti-Fragile President.

So Trump is getting "better and better", is he? How's that? Because I think he's getting worse and worse. At least in terms of his mental health.
 

Blah

Former Staff
Jan 2007
24,853
3,657
USA
#19
I posted a tread a while back about about Trump being our first "gangsta president" in the way that some quipped Bill Clinton was our first "black president." Ref: America's first gangsta president
Bill Clinton was Americas first "gangsta president".

And the other day a close friend was worrying, "What if America falls to fascism?"
I doubt Antifa can gain that much ground in the actual government.

We might be off our game if we are assuming that we can use the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s as a template for what to avoid.
True, Americas fascism will come in the form of saviors shouting for "social justice".

Trump has no motive or interest to be a democratic leader.
Except for his inevitable re-election.

Democracy is at best an obligation he has to manage and at worst a problem that needs to be erased.
Like Obamas 45 signing statements.
 
Jan 2012
979
322
SoCal
#20
The Early Warning Signs Of Fascism

According to you:

the antifragile gets better and better.

Trump may be our first Anti-Fragile President.

So Trump is getting "better and better", is he? How's that? Because I think he's getting worse and worse. At least in terms of his mental health.
Well the concept of antifragile is from Nassim Nicholas Taleb. That said I can't think of a single politician out there that could survive a quarter of what Trump has had tossed at him be it right, wrong, justified or unjustified.

In terms of mental health people can imagine what they want and they have and will for Trump. Folks like yourself were calling for his removal under the 25th amendment before he was even sworn into office.

Which is sort of the antifragile point because when he can win against so many supposedly sane people when he has been unhinged and unstable per the experts out the gate, that makes all those folks saying that stuff completely lacking in credibility which just helps Trump. It even helps a Trump who maybe 90% of what he was 20 years ago with regard to mental ability. It makes them sound unhinged and insane.

Understand I didn't vote for Trump in 2016 and if Gary Johnson ran again or a candidate like him, they'd have my vote.

But the way Trump has impressed me is just his sheer energy and willingness to fight. I'm not saying those are great governing principles or policies. I'm just saying all these attacks have just seemed to make him stronger and better off. For example it doesn't matter if the polls show him losing to leading Democrats right now. He wasn't showing beating Clinton in 2016. If there were Trump voters who refused to answer pollsters properly and thus were shy, that is going to be even worse four years later and after thousands of hours of critiques and attacks. If the media spends months declaring that they will dox, name and shame Trump voters and will go after people who donate and declare they are supporting racism, then their ability to cover, understand and predict the nature of said people will become even worse which in turn will make them less credible, more unhinged, more conspiratorial, etc.

It is a cycle where decorum, predictions, expertise, norms, etc all hurt them and help Trump. That is sort of the point. Trump is antifragile.

Read this line again and think about it with regard to Trump...

What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.

I've repeated it dozens of times across dozens of threads. If the media wanted to beat Trump they'd stop fixating on his tweets. They'd stop worrying about if they can humiliate or prove how terrible he is to others. They'd report on him and make him mundane and boring. Trump got on Airforce One. He played golf. He ate dinner. Etc. All their nuttiness is what powers him.

Imagine how little energy and fight a Trump might have within the 90+% negative coverage and attacks to power him each morning. Can you not start to see some of this yet?
 

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