Socialism . . . But?

‘Socialism!’ the Democrats cry. ‘But don’t take us too seriously!’

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve.

American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George Nash for his list) but because of the threat presented by the Soviet Union and the worldwide Communist enterprise. The effort to link Soviet socialism abroad with the New Deal and the welfare state at home was always destined to fail, and it did fail as soon as the Soviet Union failed.

The conservative coalition did not crumble quite so quickly and dramatically as the Berlin Wall, but the end of the Cold War found the Right intellectually depleted. The Nineties saw the rise of a certain kind of rightist pseudo-intellectualism held in orbit around Newt Gingrich, the main project of which was providing ex post facto intellectual (even “scholarly”) rationalizations for the immediate political needs of the Republican Party. The Gingrich-era Right remained largely correct on most of the big policy questions, but that was in no small part a matter of happy accident and intellectual inertia; what intellectual rigor remained was subordinated to political necessity, which led, as it must lead, to the total surrender to what we sometimes call “populism,” which denotes only a bumptious style of mood-affiliation politics and the elevation of short-term electoral exigencies over all else. And so we now have a conservatism of slogans in power and a remnant conservatism of ideas in exile.

If anything, the Left and the Democratic Party are even more intellectually exhausted. The Left’s last Big Idea was socialism, and its enthusiasm for socialism was not and is not limited to admiration for Denmark, as Senator Bernie Sanders would have you believe. Lenin and Stalin had their American admirers and cooperators, and not only on the fringes of our politics but also in the pages of the New York Times and The New Republic, in government agencies, even in the White House. Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and more modern figures such as Hugo Chávez — none of these was a “democratic” socialist, but all of them had (and many still have) their admirers on the American left. The Soviet disaster was a crisis for the Left. And though our progressive intellectuals were able to muster only a very modest, partial, and shallow reckoning with their own contributions to the psychotic gulag state that came crashing down at the end of the last century, the fall of the Soviet Union brought socialism into discredit and disrepute — for a period of time.


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Giuliani blasts Bloomberg for flip-flop on stop-and-frisk


Rudy Giuliani knocked Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg for condemning the use of the controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy while he was mayor of New York. “What is this stuff that he’s condemning stop-and-frisk?” Giuliani asked John Catsimatidis during an interview that aired Sunday on “The Cats Roundtable” on AM 970. “I did it for eight years….


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Bail reform sets homeless teen free despite cop assault, car theft charges


A homeless teen who was charged with an attack on a plainclothes NYPD captain in Midtown last October has been released under New York’s controversial new bail reform guidelines after his latest in a long line of arrests — for allegedly joyriding in a stolen car in Brooklyn. Elijah Hodge, 19, a suspected Crips gang…


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Pele dismisses talk of depression, tells fans he is well


(Reuters) – Former Brazil striker Pele dismissed talk he is depressed and reclusive on Thursday and assured fans he is doing well and maintaining a busy schedule.

Pele’s son Edinho told Globo in an interview published on Monday that the three-times World Cup winner was depressed and reluctant to leave his house because he cannot get around properly due to hip problems.

“I am good,” said Pele, who will be 80 in October. “I continue to accept my physical limitations in the best way possible but I intend to keep the ball rolling.
“I have good days and bad days. That is normal for people of my age. I am not afraid, I am determined, confident in what I do.”

“I have good days and bad days. That is normal for people of my age. I am not afraid, I am determined, confident in what I do.”


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Alabama lawmaker fights tough abortion laws with ‘mandatory vasectomy’ bill


Under a wacky new proposed law, all men in Alabama would be forced to have vasectomies once they reach the age of 50. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Rolanda Hollis, claims her mandatory vasectomy law is fair turn-about given a recent law limiting abortion rights in the state. What’s good for women should also…


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Artist reveals Putin ‘superhero’ paintings in Turkey — which are promptly removed


A Russian artist known for his satirical portrayals of Vladimir Putin revealed new works featuring the Russian president in Istanbul on Saturday, according to a report. Alexander Donskoy unveiled four large paintings in Turkey which were meant to portray Putin as a hero — but authorities in Istanbul quickly removed the art, Reuters reported. The…


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Russia has seized more than 500 tons of drugs in one decade


Moscow, Feb 16 (Prensa Latina) Russian antidrug forces have seized more than 500 tons of narcotics over the past ten years, according to a report published on Saturday by the Ministry of the Interior on its strategy and development until 2030.

The confiscation of drugs resulted from investigating more than two million drug-trafficking crimes, including more than 1.5 million serious and very serious crimes (72%), the Ministry reported.

In addition, Russian authorities solved 45,000 cases, most of which were related to criminal gangs.

During that period, 8,000 organized crime groups linked to drug trafficking were eliminated in Russia. In one year alone, the number of those cases totals 200,000, according to the report.


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Venezuelan Armed Force begins military drills


Caracas, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The National Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB) began the 2020 Bolivarian Shield military exercises on Saturday, in order to prepare all troops in case of a foreign armed aggression.

President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday that more than two million soldiers will participate in the military drills that will conclude on Sunday, February 16, and will be developed nationwide.

During a press briefing with international media from the Miraflores Palace, the seat of Venezuelan government, the president pointed out that all surface-to-air missile systems, as well as rocket systems, are ready for the exercises.

This excercises are the first ones carried out after the new Constitutional Law on the Armed Forces was recently approved. The inclusion of national militias as an armed wing of the country’s defensive corps is decreed, so they will officially participate in these exercises for the first time with that category.


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