Mr. Trump’s affinity for strongmen is well established, as is his contempt for his predecessor and his habit of gleefully ridiculing opponents, regardless of their party affiliation. But rarely has the Trump administration offered such a striking display of embracing autocrats as friends and painting those at home with whom it disagrees as enemies.
“It’s such a break with the tradition that you unify the country against opposition abroad, and you act with a certain decorum in dealing with opponents at home,” said the presidential historian Robert Dallek. “There seems to be none of that in this administration.”
“John Rawls concentrated on one crucial question: How can a society establish just institutions when there are seemingly irreconcilable differences among its members? He argues that we must recognize first and foremost all those who stand among us and who therefore must be treated fairly.”
Jin Park, recent graduate of Harvard and Rhodes Scholar.
Donald Trump (at Wagner College in Staten Island in May 2004)
“I’ll tell you, to me, the second-most important thing after love what you do is never, ever give up,” Trump told the students, motioning his hands and raising his index finger the same way he does at campaign rallies today. “Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen. If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus. The New Human Agenda)
For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined. In the early twenty-first century, the average human is far more likely to die from bingeing at McDonald’s than from drought, Ebola or an al-Qaeda attack.
People, not nature, are responsible for turning the natural diversity of human beings into oppressive hierarchies.
(Anderson is the chair of the University of Michigan’s department of philosophy and a champion of the view that equality and freedom are mutually dependent, …)
The philosopher Isaiah Berlin called the opposition between equality and freedom an “intrinsic, irremovable element in human life.” It is our fate as a society, he believed, to haggle toward a balance between them. This implied that freedom and equality were bound together in some way beyond the basic state of being unenslaved, which was an unorthodox notion. Much social thought is rooted in the idea of a conflict between the two. If individuals exercise freedoms, conservatives like to say, some inequalities will naturally result. Those on the left basically agree—and thus allow constraints on personal freedom in order to reduce inequality.
“Religion is an attempt to find meaning in events, not a theory that tries to explain the universe.” It exists because we humans are the only species, so far as we can know, who have evolved to know explicitly that, one day in the future, we will die. And this existential fact requires some way of reconciling us to it while we are alive.
“The United States Treasury has taken in MANY billions of dollars from the Tariffs we are charging China and other countries that have not treated us fairly. In the meantime we are doing well in various Trade Negotiations currently going on. At some point this had to be done!”
This is an astoundingly ignorant statement. Particularly from a man who is supposed to have a degree in economics from one of the leading business schools in America. First: Many billions. Trump says “MANY billions. “What does that mean? How much is many? Two billion? Ten? A hundred? Surely somebody in the Treasury Department must be able to provide a figure? Somebody at Customs and Border Protection surely must have an exact number, after all, CBP is responsible for collecting those tariffs and remitting them to the Treasury. There must be some paperwork? Receipts? Something. Somebody at the Department of Commerce perhaps? Since this would be a big aspect of their job?
I mean, SOMEBODY has to know.
As I’ve been informed, Trump supposedly understands international trade better than any previous president of the US. Is this factual?
No. His ideas about international trade are pre-cold war. The world has changed. The new world economy is not about trade wars and tariffs but about free trade and win-win scenarios. He said so himself, his techniques are the same he used 30 years ago*. But since he is incapable and unwilling to learn new things and surrounds himself with lickspittles, he hasn’t learned anything new since then. He also does not believe in win-win scenarios. He believes in a zero sum game. He feels that if he did not manage to screw the other over, he has lost.
An account of the King’s punishments meted out to rebels around 870 BCE In Ashurnasirpal’s own words: “I built a tower over against his city gate and I flayed all the chiefs who had revolted, and I covered the tower with their skin. Some I walled up within the tower, some I impaled upon the tower on stakes, and others I bound to stakes around the tower…Many captives from among them I burned with fire, and many I took as living captives. From some I cut off their noses, their ears, and their fingers, of many I put out the eyes. I made one pile of the living and another of heads, and I hung their heads from tree trunks round about the city. Their young men and maidens I burned up in the fire. Twenty men I captured alive and I walled them up in his palace…The rest of the warriors I consumed with thirst in the desert.” From Ian Morris, Why the West Rules, for Now.