The Scum Gentry Journal

News from Beyond

Review: The Origins of Totalitarianism

Review: The Origins of Totalitarianism

Miscellaneous
Luke Murphy
It was a sign of the speed at which events were moving that Hannah Arendt’s 1951 ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ was remembered, republished and sold-out so soon after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the referendum to leave the European Union in the United Kingdom. It is now three years on from both events, and I assume everyone who went online to buy it has completed the 600 pages that would be so much more if it wasn’t for the tiny font of its exhaustive footnotes ...
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Will There Ever Be "Art TV"?

Will There Ever Be “Art TV”?

Culture
Rob Hutton
FX’s sci-fi drama Legion concluded its three-season run recently. It was one of the most improbable shows on television: a superhero franchise tie-in, run by Fargo creator Noah Hawley, that very quickly turned into an experimental and surreal work about the nature of consciousness. Its final season included musical numbers, narrative told through still frames, an episode-long trans-temporal fairy tale, time demons, a scene from a completely different show spliced in, and a whole lot of subtitles. Nobody really cared ...
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What Comes After Trump Might be Worse

What Comes After Trump Might be Worse

Politics
Francis Taylor
There was a time when people regarded George W. Bush as the worst president in U.S. history. Surely, we thought, this was the nadir of American politics. A droopy-eyed warmonger who dragged his country into one of the worst foreign policy disasters of the 21st century. An administration that spied on its citizens and tortured prisoners in detention camps. A presidency so disliked by the public that it ended with one of the lowest approval ratings ever recorded. Then Obama entered the scene. And the previous near-decade of political turmoil seemed like a bad dream. Here was a real leader—eloquent and dignified. Never mind that he expanded the surveillance state and bombed Libya without congressional approval. Pundits ...
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Eagle vs. Tiger: The Economic Undercurrents in America’s Trade War with China

Eagle vs. Tiger: The Economic Undercurrents in America’s Trade War with China

Commentary
Jonathan Dinsmore
Is America’s trade war with China due to their communism, or is there a subtler economic motive, involving differences of opinion about capitalism and it’s relationship to the state? Why is China doing so well economically, and why does the capitalist West see this as a threat? Is it merely because arrogant Americans don’t want to be outdone, or is there something more to the plot? The story of modern history is, among other things, a story of economic models. The gradual transition of much of the world from tyranny to democracy and capitalism around the time of the enlightenment opened a variety of possibilities, and of course, the communist opposition. Mostly, these possibilities revolved around the ...
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Germany: Liberal Democracy is Rotting from its Core

Germany: Liberal Democracy is Rotting from its Core

Politics
Matthew D. Rose
Most German establishment political parties have turned away from striving for a better society. In recent decades they have become profit-oriented service companies in a billion euro industry: selling laws, permits, public contracts, even protection, as we are seeing in the case of Volkswagen’s diesel defeat device, to the highest bidder. These parties have sold their autonomy and become a consolidated committee to manage the affairs of corporations and the wealthy ...
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Reichstag Upon Thames

Reichstag Upon Thames

Politics
Laura Nelson
Comparisons between the Trump regime and Hitler’s Third Reich have become commonplace and invidious. While it is undeniable that there are similarities between their ideology and propaganda techniques (Lügenpresse = “Lying Press” = “Fake News”), it is rash to go further and declare an equivalence. The political philosopher Leo Strauss noticed and formulated the “Argumentum ad Hitlerum” and described it as a cue that the argument has gone awry. Still, disturbing parallels remain disturbing. But it came as a surprise last week that Boris Johnson, the current fanatically pro-Brexit British Prime Minister, has beaten Darth Realtor to the punch in the would-be autocrat contest ...
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Climate Models Aren’t Factoring in Lunatic Leaders

Climate Models Aren’t Factoring in Lunatic Leaders

Commentary
George Tsakraklides
It is unfolding right in front of us Let’s just be honest with ourselves. Climate Change mitigation isn’t going very well. In fact, it is a joke. At a time when society should be making Herculean efforts to reorganise our very economies, something already a bit of an ambitious fantasy given our previous record, we want to make things even harder for ourselves: we take a Herculean leap backwards by burning the Amazon. The climate mitigation models, which give us 10 years to make significant changes, are not factoring in one huge variable in their complicated algorithms: the “looney” factor. There are far too many crazies in power to be able to predict a safe, unhindered path ...
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Punk Before Punk

Punk Before Punk

Culture
Zach Davison
The birthplace of punk rock is as contested as the proverbial chicken and egg. The UK, the US, Australia, amongst others, all have a deserved horse in the race, but the truth is a little less clear-cut. What is generally termed “punk” refers to the artistic and musical movement of the mid to late 1970s that spilled through to the 1980s. As a movement in the 1970s, punk was heavily politicised. It was, though not confined to, a nihilist expression of a lack of prospects for the working-class youth, but it too extended beyond the realms of socioeconomic limitations to foster anyone with anti-establishment leanings ...
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