The Scum Gentry Journal

News from Beyond

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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The Handmaid's Tale: A Timely Warning

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Timely Warning

Politics
Zack Breslin
The television show The Handmaid’s Tale is nearing the conclusion of its third season and while the show is perhaps not quite hitting the heights of earlier series it remains essential viewing. For those who haven’t seen it (don’t worry, you’ll find no spoilers here), The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the Margaret Atwood book of the same name, tells the story of the fictional theocratic state, Gilead, which has replaced a United States that has collapsed against the backdrop of political instability, declining fertility and environmental catastrophe. In Gilead, the state forces fertile women to become child-bearing slaves (Handmaids) to a Christian Fundamentalist elite. It is a dystopic society in which all the power is held by ...
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A Filmmaker Reflects on Cinema as Art

A Filmmaker Reflects on Cinema as Art

Culture
Mahum Jamal
Today I am in Berlin and meandered into two probing contemporary art exhibits. Actually, the first was a wealthy collector’s personal collection which, for me, did not do much except reflect on a history of powerful, wealthy families defining taste. The second was more my speed, an academic look at two artists at the KN Space for Art in Context. A labyrinth of open spaces webbed together in highly compelling geometry filled with video installations, each piece separated into open rooms, but still together given the unique exhibit architecture. Both artists, David Wojnarowicz and Reza Abdoh, use video to function as powerful statements. Reza Abdoh used film to capture his theatre: dramatic, and surreal. A man is ...
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The Lessons of Rome: Our Neofeudal Oligarchy

The Lessons of Rome: Our Neofeudal Oligarchy

Commentary
Charles Hugh Smith
Our society has a legal structure of self-rule and ownership of capital, but in reality it is a Neofeudal Oligarchy. The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 is not an easy, breezy read; its length and detail are daunting. The effort is well worth it, as the book helps us understand how the power structures of societies change over time in ways that may be largely invisible to those living through the changes. The Inheritance of Rome focuses on the lasting influence of Rome’s centralized social and political structures even as centralized economic power and trade routes dissolved ...
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