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January 29, 2017

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From Arse To Elbow

The idea that commerce brings people together is rather antique, conjuring up pictures of sailors dockside and merchants in market squares. The historic trend of trade has been towards segregation (e.g. docks moving out of cities and being increasingly automated) and evanescence (e.g. digital goods and services).

What brings people together is increasingly shared experiences, whether in the form of face-to-face work or tourism. For example, the mechanism by which racism declined in British football grounds after the 70s was not "increased commerce between white fans and black players" but that black players attracted and encouraged black fans. This led to the recognition of shared interests among spectators and made overt racism unfashionable.

We have probably already reached a point where trade tariffs are likely to have only a weak impact on international understanding, so Tyler Cowen's analysis could be extended from the economic realm to the cultural. Our problem may be that commerce, in the traditional sense, has already lost much of its power to "soften barbarism".

Bob

Just as the risk of socialism is totalitarian collectivism as manifested in Communism, so to the risk of capitalism as economic liberalism dominate over social and political liberalism is fascism based on corporate totalitarianism and plutocratic oligarchy as a form of feudalism.

From this perspective, the interaction that is manifesting is the logical progression of events.

This elicited a reaction from the have-nots in America, who had nowhere else to turn but to a billionaire that was willing to represent their interests vis-à-vis the establishments of both parties. Again, this was a logical iteration based on the social and political structure being based on wealth as power.

What appears to be fascism to liberals is the expression of the will of the people that delivered the election to Trump, based on his political advisers reading of the mood of the electorate, chiefly Steve Bannon.

Donald Trump's challenge is to deliver on his promises to the people that delivered power to him, while also using that power to further his own interests and those of his cohort.

Liberals need to stop obsessing on Donald Trump and the people that put him in power and setting their own house in order. They created Donald Trump and they can only remove him successfully if they get their own houses in order by consecutive self-criticism rather than blame, admitting their mistakes and failures, and formulating and executing a new plan that corrects the mistakes and advances their game.

Aaron Headly

A note on this: Trump's support wasn't just predominantly from white people, it was strongest in the areas where there is almost nothing but white people.

America's anti-moslem tendencies are strongest where there are no moslems around.

David.

Fear of the monkeys on the other side of the hill is prevalent everywhere that very few monkeys have ever ventured over the hill.... in either direction
The hills and plains of the USA, the UK and France etc.. are much the same.

David

And of course trade takes monkeys over the hill. When they venture thus they propose a benefit for the incumbent monkeys... goods and ideas that are different and often useful. And something else, that helps to de-escalate the intrinsic inbreeding on this side of the hill.
The incumbent males of course see this as a threat to their power of dominance, and will try to kill the "foreign" monkey before he presents his exotic self before "their" women.
It's only natural, and unfortunate.

Kaleberg

The excluded nations are one that Trump personally has done commerce with, not ones that the US has done commerce with. Hell, we're even selling aircraft to the Persians. Why are they on the list? The ban excludes Christians. Is their money different?

One gets the impression that if Kim Jong Un arranged for a Trump hotel in Pyongyang, we'd see the US suddenly no longer concerned about the North Korean nuclear threat.

Gedney

Think it's a mistake to link the ban to trade, or lack thereof. Trump's ban is an overblown, reactionary, irrational and disproportionate response to Islamist extremism. It is counterproductive, it will only add to the sense of grievance from the nutjobs, and foster further sympathy from reactionary elements among the non-extremist Islamic majority (think hysterical reaction to offensive but intrinsically harmless cartoons).

I suspect the countries selected are those deemed not to be making enough effort or incapable of containing their nutters. So whilst Turkey has a problem Erdogan is at least trying to suppress it in his own idiotic way. And it's not a commentary on repressive, medievalist Islamic theocracy else Saudi Arabia and similar would be included.

It's sending the loud and somewhat incoherent message you can have repressive nutjobbery just as long as you keep it to yourselves. Hmmm... perhaps there is a touch of protectionism there, I doubt the Bible Belt wants the competition?

Smiths

I think the countries excluded are simply too connected, important, and dangerous to just trash in the way the other 7 have been
The Trump team might be provocative and inflammatory but they are not suicidal morons

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