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The Republican Reversal — James Morton Turner, Andrew C. Isenberg | Harvard University Press
"Not long ago, Republicans could take pride in their party’s tradition of environmental leadership. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the GOP helped to create the Environmental Protection Agency, extend the Clean Air Act, and protect endangered species. Today, as Republicans denounce climate change as a “hoax” and seek to dismantle the environmental regulatory state they worked to build, we are left to wonder: What happened?
"In The Republican Reversal, James Morton Turner and Andrew C. Isenberg show that the party’s transformation began in the late 1970s, with the emergence of a new alliance of pro-business, libertarian, and anti-federalist voters. This coalition came about through a concerted effort by politicians and business leaders, abetted by intellectuals and policy experts, to link the commercial interests of big corporate donors with states’-rights activism and Main Street regulatory distrust. Fiscal conservatives embraced cost-benefit analysis to counter earlier models of environmental policy making, and business tycoons funded think tanks to denounce federal environmental regulation as economically harmful, constitutionally suspect, and unchristian, thereby appealing to evangelical views of man’s God-given dominion of the Earth.
"As Turner and Isenberg make clear, the conservative abdication of environmental concern stands out as one of the most profound turnabouts in modern American political history, critical to our understanding of the GOP’s modern success. The Republican reversal on the environment is emblematic of an unwavering faith in the market, skepticism of scientific and technocratic elites, and belief in American exceptionalism that have become the party’s distinguishing characteristics."
to:NB  books:noted  us_politics  american_history  environmentalism  running_dogs_of_reaction  whats_gone_wrong_with_america 
september 2018 by cshalizi
Cambridge Analytica's Self-Own - The Atlantic
I think it's important to keep in mind _both_ that this is scandalous mis-behavior _and_ that these people seem to be quacks...
data_mining  surveillance  psychometrics  us_politics  running_dogs_of_reaction  vast_right-wing_conspiracy  cambridge_analytica 
march 2018 by cshalizi
Live Work Work Work Die | Corey Pein | Macmillan
"At the height of the startup boom, journalist Corey Pein set out for Silicon Valley with little more than a smartphone and his wits. His goal: to learn how such an overhyped industry could possibly sustain itself as long as it has. Determined to cut through the clichés of big tech—the relentless optimism, the mandatory enthusiasm, and the earnest, incessant repetition of vacuous buzzwords—Pein decided that he would need to take an approach as unorthodox as the companies he would soon be covering. To truly understand the delirious reality of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, he knew, he would have to inhabit that perspective—he would have to become an entrepreneur. Thus he begins his journey—skulking through gimmicky tech conferences, pitching his over-the-top business ideas to investors, and interviewing a cast of outrageous characters: cyborgs and con artists, Teamsters and transhumanists, jittery hackers and naive upstart programmers whose entire lives are managed by their employers—who work endlessly and obediently, never thinking to question their place in the system.
"In showing us this frantic world, Pein challenges the positive, feel-good self-image that the tech tycoons have crafted—as nerdy and benevolent creators of wealth and opportunity—revealing their self-justifying views and their insidious visions for the future. Indeed, as Pein shows, Silicon Valley is awash in disreputable ideas: Google executive and futurist Raymond Kurzweil has a side business peddling dietary supplements and has for years pushed the outlandish notion that human beings are destined to merge with computers and live forever in some kind of digital cosmic hive mind. Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist affiliated with PayPal and Facebook, is now an important advisor to President Trump and has subsidized a prolific blogger known by the pen name Mencius Moldbug who writes approvingly of ideas like eugenics and dictatorship. And Moldbug is not alone. There is, in fact, a small but influential—and growing—group of techies with similarly absurd and extremist beliefs who call themselves the “neoreactionary” vanguard of a “Dark Enlightenment.”
"Vivid and incisive, Live Work Work Work Die is a troubling portrait of a self-obsessed industry bent on imposing its disturbing visions on the rest of us."

--- By the author of the instant-classic "Mouthbreathing Machiavellis Dream of a Silicon Reich" (https://thebaffler.com/latest/mouthbreathing-machiavellis).
to:NB  books:noted  coveted  the_wired_ideology  nerdworld  running_dogs_of_reaction 
october 2017 by cshalizi
Alt-America The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump by David Neiwert
"Just as Donald Trump’s victorious campaign for the US presidency shocked the world, the seemingly sudden national prominence of white supremacists, xenophobes, militia leaders, and mysterious “alt-right” figures mystifies many. But the American extreme right has been growing steadily in number and influence since the 1990s with the rise of patriot militias. Following 9/11, conspiracy theorists found fresh life; and in virulent reaction to the first black US president, militant racists have come out of the woodwork. Nurtured by a powerful right-wing media sector in radio, TV, and online, the far right, Tea Party movement conservatives, and Republican activists found common ground. Figures such as Stephen Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones, once rightly dismissed as cranks, now haunt the reports of mainstream journalism.
"Investigative reporter David Neiwert has been tracking extremists for more than two decades. In Alt-America, he provides a deeply researched and authoritative report on the growth of fascism and far-right terrorism, the violence of which in the last decade has surpassed anything inspired by Islamist or other ideologies in the United States. The product of years of reportage, and including the most in-depth investigation of Trump’s ties to the far right, this is a crucial book about one of the most disturbing aspects of American society."

--- That's quite a cover...
to:NB  books:noted  us_politics  running_dogs_of_reaction  neiwert.david  whats_gone_wrong_with_america  books:owned 
august 2017 by cshalizi
Making Sense of the Alt-Right | Columbia University Press
"During the 2016 election, a new term entered the mainstream American political lexicon: “alt-right,” short for “alternative right.” Despite the innocuous name, the alt-right is a white-nationalist movement. Yet it differs from earlier racist groups: it is youthful and tech savvy, obsessed with provocation and trolling, amorphous, predominantly online, and mostly anonymous. And it was energized by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. In Making Sense of the Alt-Right, George Hawley provides an accessible introduction and gives vital perspective on the emergence of a group whose overt racism has confounded expectations for a more tolerant America.
"Hawley explains the movement’s origins, evolution, methods, and core belief in white-identity politics. The book explores how the alt-right differs from traditional white nationalism, libertarianism, and other online illiberal ideologies such as neoreaction, as well as from mainstream Republicans and even Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. The alt-right’s use of offensive humor and its trolling-driven approach, based in animosity to so-called political correctness, can make it difficult to determine true motivations. Yet through exclusive interviews and a careful study of the alt-right’s influential texts, Hawley is able to paint a full picture of a movement that not only disagrees with liberalism but also fundamentally rejects most of the tenets of American conservatism. Hawley points to the alt-right’s growing influence and makes a case for coming to a precise understanding of its beliefs without sensationalism or downplaying the movement’s radicalism."
to:NB  books:noted  us_politics  running_dogs_of_reaction 
august 2017 by cshalizi
Binder, A.J. and Wood, K.: Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives. (eBook and Paperback)
"Conservative pundits allege that the pervasive liberalism of America's colleges and universities has detrimental effects on undergraduates, most particularly right-leaning ones. Yet not enough attention has actually been paid to young conservatives to test these claims—until now. In Becoming Right, Amy Binder and Kate Wood carefully explore who conservative students are, and how their beliefs and political activism relate to their university experiences.
"Rich in interviews and insight, Becoming Right illustrates that the diverse conservative movement evolving among today’s college students holds important implications for the direction of American politics."
to:NB  books:noted  ethnography  academia  running_dogs_of_reaction  us_politics  in_library  via:gabriel_rossman 
july 2017 by cshalizi

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