Thursday, June 14, 2018

When in Rome - Call the Emperor a "Demagogue"?

It's one thing to know Donald Trump is a demagogue. It's another thing to say he's a demagogue. It's something altogether different to go into the American capital and say:
"When people feel their economic future is in jeopardy; when they believe their children have fewer opportunities than they themselves had in their youth; that’s when people are vulnerable to the demagogue who scapegoats the outsider, the other -- whether it’s immigrants at home or foreign actors."
That was part of a speech foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland delivered last night in Washington where she received Foreign Policy magazine's 'diplomat of the year' award.

Freeland offered a brief history of the formation of the G20 and G7, and how international rules-based order came to be. And although those systems spread across the world and created positive change, the assumption that democracy was inevitable everywhere was wrong, Freeland said. 
“The saddest example for me is Russia. Even China, whose economic success in lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty is one of the great accomplishments of recent times, stands as a rebuke to our belief in the inevitability of liberal democracy. 
“And within the club of wealthy Western nations, we’re seeing homegrown anti-democratic movements on the rise. Whether they are neo-Nazis, white supremacists, incels, nativists, or radical anti-globalists, such movements seek to undermine democracy from within. 
“The idea that democracy could falter, or be overturned in places where it had previously flourished, may seem outlandish. 
“But other great civilizations have risen -- and then fallen. It is hubris to think we will inevitably be different. Our prime minister likes to say about our country that Canada didn’t happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. The same can be said of democracy itself.”


Northern PoV said...

So our war-mongering, neo-CON foreign minister goes to Washington to pick up an award she earned by replacing the even tempered Dion with a brain dead cheerleader approach ... and she decides to bait the bear.
What could go wrong?

Anonymous said...

"incels seek to undermine democracy from within." Eh?

She needs her head to be examined.

The Mound of Sound said...

NPoV, don't sugar coat it.

Would you rather she had said something flattering about Trump?

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon, are you rallying to the defence of incels? Can't get laid? Think there might be some reason for that?

Northern PoV said...

"Would you rather she had said something flattering about Trump?"

Trudeau already tried the flatter tRump approach. It worked for about 5 minutes than tRump decided (under whose influence?) that he was being gamed by 'suave Canadians'.

Why say anything about tRump at all? Where is the upside?

A boilerplate indication of our displeasure would be plenty.
It is all show and ego re the very unpredictable tRump.
We gain nothing by rhetorical resistance. "Won't get pushed around" just provokes more bullying.

Wake up Canucks! The older 'polite' rules don't apply. In past times, lobbying the USA stakeholders might have been a good ploy but in the new Rethuglican-w/o-manners world it backfired big time.

The battle was lost long ago. Canadians voted massively against free trade in '88 but our FPTP system and the media narrative buried that stance. That's when we should have been engaging in resistance.

And I particularly dislike Freeland and her neo-con demagoguery on Russia, Ukraine, Israel etc.
Pot, kettle, black.

rumleyfips said...

" She needs her head to be examined ". It probably sounds better in the original Russian.

Anonymous said...

Kонечно, товарищ rumleyfips.

And you, Mound, are showing very poor discourse skills by trying to deflect attention from the witless statement that "incels seek to undermine democracy from within."

The Mound of Sound said...

"very poor discourse skills" - what are you, a troll?

Northern PoV said...

I think Mound has great skill in posting and hosting.

In this case though, I think he missed the point.

This incel comment from Freeland was another example of the void between her ears.

Deacon Jester said...

Misogyny? More than likely.

ffibs said...

She probably added uncle because a guy ran over people a month ago. Sort of a terrorist type event I'd say. She gave a copy of her speech to a Anhauser (close) during their meeting today because he was a Reagan guy and she quoted him and his policies in her speech. She's working the room while the light still shines on her.

ffibs said...

Incel not uncle��

Owen Gray said...

Let me add my support for Freeland. It's called truth to power.

rumleyfips said...

The poor incels. They hate, fear, mistreat and ridicule women then can`t understand why women avoid them. Make no mistake though, these misfits are organizing to gain political influence.

Northern PoV said...

Owen, do you know who you are supporting?

"Your government has joined President Trump in declaring President Nicolas Maduro a dictator. Your Minister of Foreign Affairs denounced –a priori- the May 20, 2018 presidential election as fraudulent despite the assessment to the contrary of 2000 international witnesses. Ironically, in the name of democracy, Canadian-Venezuelans were prohibited from voting in the election at Venezuelan consulates in Canada. And, your government has astonishingly also imposed economic sanctions on that country.

You should know that these US and Canadian sanctions are a violation of international law. They contravene the charters of the UN and the OAS, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant of Economic, Civil and Cultural Rights and they constitute a crime against humanity because they are specifically intended to create suffering of people by preventing them from buying food and medicines."

from today's Counterpunch

Anonymous said...

Agreed Northern PoV.

Mound has great skills in posting and hosting.
That is the very reason why I read some of his blog.
However, he has also a curious tendency to stubbornly defend the indefensible.
The obvious deficiencies of POTUS are not incompatible with having the void between the ears.
One of the best advice I ever got can be summarised as follows: when you have to eat the crow, eat it while it is still hot.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Fate has not been too kind to the western cultures come lately.
Could it be the cosmic/spiritual powers that be are finally so long-fed-up with us they're just letting everything "take its course" and "letting the dice fall where they may"?

Lorne said...

As you know, Mound, i am hardly a fan of Freeland (her dancing around the Saudi arms deal left me cold), but I commend her for her speech. She said things that Americans don't like to hear about "the greatest country on earth," but they needed to be said. Top marks for that.

Jay Farquharson said...

Faux Gnus called the Singapore meeting "the meeting of two dictators",

They arn't even trying to hide it anymore.

The Mound of Sound said...

I re-read this post to see if somewhere I had vouchsafed either Freeland or the Trudeau government. That is not the case. I am, if anything, a steadfast critic of Team Trudeau and especially its economic and foreign policy. However this post wasn't about Chrystia Freeland. It was about a portion of her speech in Washington, remarks that I do endorse. The incel business? Piffle.

Most of the controversy in these angry comments is the result of people straying off-topic. Do try to stay on point.

Jay Farquharson said...

"The incel business? Piffle."

Not really, incels, Gamers, Nazi's, trolls, Russian bots, Russian trolls, etc are all part of the same place on the web, with lot's and lot's of "cross contamination", meme sharing, mutual support, strategy sharing, "talking points" sharing.

Freeland's incel comment shows that someone on her staff is "woke" to that cesspool.

The Mound of Sound said...

No, Jay, you misunderstood. I dismissed the angry criticisms of Freeland for daring to mention incel as piffle.

Jay Farquharson said...

I think we are talking past each other a bit,

I see those criticising Freeland for including incels as:

- willfully oblivious to what's been happening the past decade,

- inhabitants, members in good standing, lutz'ers and co-conspirators of those places on the web.

Northern PoV said...

So ... back to the beginning....
what good does baiting the bear do?

change tRump?
better outcome?

Or simply making Canadians feel good about themselves?

Anonymous said...

Canada's foreign policy is plucked daily from the NYT and rebroadcast by all our media verbatim. I get hot under the collar hearing this mindless pap. It shows how bought out our country is, and how little we assess things for ourselves.

NorthernPov is the one I agree with here. The remainder show dregs of remaining hope against hope that the BS put out by neocon Dems and faithfully repeated by the NYT isn't mere tainted nonsense.

Examples of this nonsense include dissing Russia on every single issue regardless, denying the US fomented the Ukraine rebellion, denying the US kick-started the Syrian civil war and subsequently supported ISIS through the Saudis, and now dissing Venezuela elections as illegitimate despite international observers giving it the thumbs up. If you believe all this guff then the yipping Freeland will suit to a tee.

I guess if you do not feel comfortable that the very bedrock you depend on for intellectual stability could be wrong, you'd collapse in a puddle of despair. Time to wake up and read more than establishment rags and magazines while quoting their articles as "thoughtful". They're not, they're establishment spin. Just like PostMedia is Con gunk.

Broaden your viewpoints, read some non-mainstream press and have a think. It's not that they don't have an agenda too, but the differing point of view at least doesn't stick one in a monoculture of merely US and UK propaganda. You then use your brain to discern the reality somewhere between the extremes on both sides.

To not examine the alternatives is to be intellectually dishonest with yourselves. I agree with George Galloway MP who Harper kept out if Canada. Here's his latest article, published first by RT, oh horrors! In which he disses that war-witch neocon Hillary: