“Am I An Extremist? ”

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Yves here. This post by Richard Murphy gives an update on how quickly the censorship project is advancing in the UK. The US analogue is trying to finesse the free speech/First Amendment impediment by depicting disfavored speech as terrorist supporting or discriminatory. So far, the dodgy bill equating criticism of Israel’s genocide as anti-semitism has not yet gotten past the House, but I would not bet against it becoming law. It is hard to see how it would survive a First Amendment challenge.

In addition, the point may be the chilling effect…even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly nixed laws and private agreements that have that effect. This extract from FIRE, shows how often the Supreme Court has cleared its throat on this issue:

The “chilling effect” refers to a phenomenon where individuals or groups refrain from engaging in expression for fear of running afoul of a law or regulation. Chilling effects generally occur when a law is either too broad or too vague. Individuals steer far clear from the reaches of the law for fear of retaliation, prosecution, or punitive governmental action.

Chilling Effect in the Courts

Justice Felix Frankfurter referred to the chilling effect in his concurring opinion in Wieman v. Updegraff (1952), a case involving a loyalty oath imposed on teachers. In that opinion, Justice Frankfurter declared:

[The loyalty oath] has an unmistakable tendency to chill that free play of the spirit which all teachers ought especially to cultivate and practice; it makes for caution and timidity in their associations by potential teachers.

Vague laws produce chilling effects because individuals do not know exactly when their expressive conduct or speech crosses the line and violates such rules. The Supreme Court explained this when examining the constitutionality of two provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) that criminalized the online transmission of “patently offensive” and “indecent” communications. However, the law failed to define either term, thus creating a chilling effect.

Writing for the Court in Reno v. ACLU (1997), Justice John Paul Stevens explained:

The vagueness of the CDA is a matter of special concern for two reasons. First, the CDA is a content based regulation of speech. The vagueness of such a regulation raises special First Amendment concerns because of its obvious chilling effect on free speech.

Vague laws are not the only ones that can cause chilling effects. Overbroad laws and laws that impose a prior restraint on expression also can chill expression. Justice William Brennan referred to this in his dissenting opinion in Walker v. City of Birmingham (1967) when he wrote of “our overriding duty to insulate all individuals from the chilling effect upon exercise of First Amendment freedoms generated by vagueness, overbreadth and unbridled discretion to limit their exercise.”

Laws that chill free expression do not provide the appropriate level of breathing space for First Amendment freedoms. The Court in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964) created a new rule for allegedly defamatory statements about public officials—the actual malice rule—in order to combat the chilling effects that many state libel laws had on free expression.

Now to the main event.

By Richard Murphy, part-time Professor of Accounting Practice at Sheffield University Management School, director of the Corporate Accountability Network, member of Finance for the Future LLP, and director of Tax Research LLP. Originally published at Fund the Future

I posted this YouTube video this morning. In it I argue that the government is cracking down on those they call extremists, who seem to me and, I suspect, most people, to be those holding exceedingly normal opinions. Woe beside nature lovers, democrats and those concerned about poverty, let alone anyone not a neoliberal. So, is Rishi Sunak the extremist in reality, because I certainly don’t feel that I am?

The transcript is:

Rishi Sunak is trying to redefine extremism in the UK, and that’s extremely dangerous.

It’s particularly dangerous in the context of a new report that has been produced by someone called Lord Walney, who used to be the Labour MP John Woodcock, but frankly he was one of those who pioneered the move of Labour towards the right wing, and he’s now well and truly on the right of the Conservative Party as far as I can work out.

And what it seems that Rishi Sunak plus Lord Walney are trying to do together is to redefine those who are considered enemies of the state. They are the people who, according to Lord Walney, might lose the right to protest because they’re trying to undermine democracy.

But let’s just look at the list that Rishi Sunak used of those who he thinks are extremists.

They’re leftists. In other words, anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

Environmentalists. That’s vast numbers of people in the UK, who are members of things like the National Trust.

Pacifists. I’m a Quaker, so unsurprisingly, I fall into that category.


Peaceful protesters. Peaceful protesters, I stress.


People who believe in the rule of law. That’s very threatening.

The supporters of human rights, even though, of course, we, the UK, were one of the founding signatories to the UN Declaration of Human Rights and created the European Court of Human Rights.

And, let’s be clear about this – nationalists, whether they be Scottish, Welsh, or Irish,

All are extremists.

So, look, this is pretty significant for some people. I notice that I happen to tick all those boxes to some degree or other. But am I an extremist? Well, of course I’m not. Not in any shape or form.

I believe all people are born equal.

Discrimination is abhorrent in all its forms.

We all have equal rights to partake in society and ask as a result that society should have a bias towards the poor, the disadvantaged and the oppressed. I

believe we should all have a say in the societies of which we are a part. That, after all, is what being a democrat means.

And I think that no state has the right to demand the subjugation of another to its will, which is why I support many nationalist causes.

So, am I an extremist for subscribing to all those beliefs, or am I simply someone who holding beliefs that are pretty close to the teaching of, well, the Christian church and pretty much every other faith, as well as all the major western and other wisdom traditions, let alone virtually all moral philosophy?

So, the question is, is Sunak right? Or is he peddling a corrupt form of politics designed to

  • favour the rich,
  • deny opportunity to those who are disadvantaged,
  • encourage inequality,
  • promote intolerance and discrimination,
  • undermine democracy, and
  • oppress Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, let alone any other country in the world that he cares to take offence about.

My answer is he’s promoting toxicity to deny people like me our freedom to express our opinions as we wish.

Now, that’s an action that, to me, that is quite clearly contrary to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

And in an era of growing political tension, he must know that this could lead to abuse. And I mean, both obvious online and verbal abuse, but even physical abuse as tensions rise.

So, what is he up to? Is this fascism? Because that’s what it feels like by denying the right of everyone who opposes him to believe anything and be labelled as anything but an extremist.

\And there’s another question that follows on from that, which is why isn’t Labour roundly condemning this?

I genuinely don’t know the answers to these questions, but what I do know is that they need to be asked, and I do know that human rights have to be stood up for, because they’ve been hard won. And they could be easily lost. And the cost to us all as a consequence of that will be enormous.

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  1. Mikel

    So, the question is, is Sunak right? Or is he peddling a corrupt form of politics designed to

    favour the rich,
    deny opportunity to those who are disadvantaged,
    encourage inequality,
    promote intolerance and discrimination,
    undermine democracy, and
    oppress any other country in the world that he cares to take offence about

    It’s a “rules based order” and those are the rules.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I’d note that damn few of the “extremists” as listed are members of the oligarchy or Ruling Class. So this is just more “legitimizing by corrupted legislation” of class warfare. Just, as in the case of the International “Order,” more of the “do what we order you to do.” With lots of grey goo in the definitions, to cover adjustments of targeting data and coordinates to match new targets of suppression.

      The same lawfare tools applied to Assange and Trump, vastly different cases but the same agents.

    2. Susan the other

      It kinda looks like Sunak is making a counter-move to the ICC for its indictments now of three British MPs (?) – legislators or politicians openly facilitating the Ukrainians’ push for a wider war against Russia. By modifying the narrative of extremism, broadening it, and confusing the issue so that it might actually be claimed that “extremism” is some kind of spectrum… so that causes everyone to wonder, Well, where do we draw the line on this in a democratic society? I wonder if all this human irony is really part of quantum uncertainties. Could be. It gets pretty insane at the level of genocide.

  2. Emma

    ‘Extremism’ is just falling outside of the officially sanctioned Overton Window. Given that most of us in the West live in societies that have openly normalized genocidal settler colonialism and playing nuclear chicken, anyone who isn’t an ‘extremist’ is a garbage human being.

    On Fascism. The Western definition of Fascism about how its a merger of the government and corporate power, is intentionally obtuse since that’s what all capitalist societies already are, because capitalism results in those with money gaining power to control the government. A better characterization is that Fascism is liberalism in crisis, where bourgeoisie control of the society can no longer be hidden under routine enforcement of laws and institutions rigged to favor the bourgeoisie, and more extreme measures must come out into the open to enforce their control.

    1. digi_owl

      Basic thing is that MSM has managed to hammer into the zeitgeist that extremism is forever and always of the violent kind.

      Thus if one voice an “extreme” opinion, in particular in the present age where so many are willfully blind to sarcasm, one is forever branded a ticking time bomb…

    2. .Tom

      I agree with your first para. Western imperial dominance is in rapid decline, the global majority sees it and is taking action accordingly, the Western ruling elites are panicking at their obvious loss of influence and legitimacy. How will they hold on to power? They aren’t going to regain legitimacy by giving voters what they want and with commonsense, realistic foreign policy so they have to be authoritarian. This is what Sunak is up to.

      As the domestic legitimacy and foreign influence declines, the authoritarianism will rise. As that happens we need to pay close attention to what side fence-sitters choose. Scratch a liberal and you may find a conservative, scratch a civil libertarian and you may find a conservative economic libertarian. We need to be ready to call it out when we see it.

      For example, I think Taibbi has now shown his position: twice on Israel-Palestine and once on class war. I supported him since The Great Derangement and throughout on Substack so that makes me sad.

      1. Heather

        Yes, I noticed that about Matt Taibbi. I was very surprised, and not in any kind of good way. I am thinking that the Gaza genocide is almost a litmus test, you can tell a lot about people from where they fall on the spectrum of support for Gaza and the excuses they are making for Israel. I am definitely rethinking my subscription to his Substack.

        1. .Tom

          I cancelled on monday and write him a note saying it’s because punditry on issues he deliberately doesn’t understand (or so it seems to me) is not what I signed up for.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        I was pretty disappointed in the two Israel-Palestine discussions myself, but in defense of Taibbi, I’m not really sure we heard his actual position. In the 2nd one, he did say that he’s always tended to favor the Palestinian’s position, and it’s pretty clear what Kirn’s position is (very pro-Israel), but perhaps that is becoming more nuanced given some of his comments in the 2nd podcast. Taibbi said before both podcasts that he was loathe to talk about the subject much at all, and I think he deferred to Kirn’s position so as not to turn the podcast into an argument between the two of them. Not hard to find a vicious I/P discussion if you want to – I’ve been avoiding them for a generation now because nothing good ever comes of it, and we certainly don’t need more keyboard warrior bloodbaths on that topic.

        And while I won’t defend what Kirn has to say on the topic at all, he is a bit older than Taibbi, and me as well. I’m in my 50s and have always seen the state of Israel as a belligerent aggressor intent on stealing land, and generally led by right wing nutters like Netanyahu. But there’s been a lot of recent press about the divide in current Israeli society between the nutters and more secular Jews, and I wasn’t really aware of these political differences before. I think older people like Kirn tend to view Israel as the place were young secular Jewish USians used to go to live in a yurt and play hippie for a while back in the late 60s/early 70s and so are appalled when it is attacked. It’s a similar phenomenon to how the older generation in the US still tends to believe what they hear on network/cable news, because they remember Walter Cronkite being a trustworthy person growing up. Things change, but sometimes it takes a while for people not directly involved to realize it.

        As far as the class war goes, his recent take on MMT was pretty bad, but he almost got it. He was skeptical about “printing money” * and did complain about money printing not being a good solution when it was done to benefit bankers, the ones he reported on so well after the financial crash. What he missed was that MMT is not a theory about how the economy should be run – it explains how things already actually work. Since we are already printing money, the issue is how to prioritize it, and current government just picks the absolute worst option on almost every occasion. Yes, bailing out greedy bankers does not help the average person, benefits the few, and throws the economy out of whack for the rest of us, but we could have printed money to create a national healthcare system instead and used it for the benefit of the majority. If think Taibbi would be on board with MMT if he understood it that way, perhaps with some more detail.

        *yes I know “printing money” isn’t the preferred way to describe what MMT does, but using it here for simplicity’s sake since that how Taibbi described it in his recent piece\. You never know who might be reading!

        1. .Tom

          Taibbi’s I/P position appears to me to be willful ignorance. He’s friends with Greenwald, Halper and Maté. He can get an interview for Finkelstein if he wants. He’s chosen not to educate himself. I think it’s the same thing with MMT. Not understanding allows him to take the positions he actually prefers or finds more convenient. At least that’s how it seems to me.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            In the last I/P podcast, they both kept saying they didn’t have enough info to really have an informed opinion on the topic. As you noted, he has lots of friends who talk quite a bit on the topic, so I sincerely doubt that he or Kirn are poorly informed. I just think he’d really rather not talk about it, but did because of pressure from his readership, or at least that’s what he claimed. Going forward, I hope they just stick to their initial instincts and skip this topic.

            With the MMT, I do think he probably just hasn’t looked into it that much, but that’s just a guess. If I remember right, he admitted to not knowing a whole lot about the financial industry prior to digging in for all the reporting he did. But he produced some great work after doing the research. I could very well be mistaken though, because normally he doesn’t write articles full of half cocked opinions like that MMT one – he generally does his research before making judgments.

            Anyway, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now and will be keeping my subscription. He’s right on the money on most issues he does write about, and I’m still searching for that elusive person who agrees with all of my own opinions on everything ;)

      3. Gulag

        So, what are the political/free speech implications of your comment that “…scratch a liberal and you may find a conservative, scratch a civil libertarian and you man find a conservative economic libertarian.”

        To my ear this sounds quite authoritarian. If you have the time could you explain your comment more fully?

    3. hemeantwell

      Emma’s reference to understanding fascism as a response to crisis raises an important point. When people started throwing the f word around – – hard to date well, but might go with Trump’s first term – – I balked because the threats to capitalism were nothing like the socialist or communist movements of the 20s and 30s. There was simply no need for that level of repression.

      Now I’m beginning to think that, if this be a form of fascism, it is much more preemptive, anticipatory than earlier forms, and this hinges on elite fear of wildfire-like, social media organized explosions, as in the Arab Spring, Indignados, Occupy, BLM. In this regard, Yves’ comments on another post today regarding the exercise of a ‘chilling effect’ via censorship is very pertinent. As is often pointed out, elites currently are facing a structural polycrisis without being able to draw on legitimacy reserves. They’re trying to throw water on embers, and they can’t even be sure that the water isn’t gasoline, as Biden’s poll numbers suggest. We need a concept of fascism that fits this crisis and can anticipate how current fascist trends will evolve as the crisis develops.

      1. .Tom

        100% agree. The authoritarianism is the response of a ruling class that recognizes its legitimacy crisis. The ruling class isn’t going to change policy to regain legitimacy. And they found that manipulating social and legacy media to change perception isn’t sufficient (e.g. despite all their efforts people still don’t want war and genocide). So the only next step to regain social control is authoritarian. Make a big media show of dramatically punishing some dissidents to create the chilling effect. It works on me and people I know.

        I worked in a big company in the 90s in West Germany. I made fast friends with a couple of Ossie colleagues. They were perfectly realistic about the social control they had emerged from. That we seem unable to see that we’re heading down that same road makes me very anxious.

    4. Trees&Trunks

      ” Fascism is liberalism in crisis, where bourgeoisie control of the society can no longer be hidden under routine enforcement of laws and institutions rigged to favor the bourgeoisie, and more extreme measures must come out into the open to enforce their control.”

      Very well put. The masks are off.

      1. .Tom

        Right. As I see it, liberalism is a theoretical justification (theology) for maintaining the status quo that works in the good time, i.e. when there’s enough prosperity spread about enough to raise enough boats. Hence it’s a good theology to preach to an empire’s citizens. Liberalism doesn’t guide us through the bad times so it’s not really a political theory at all.

      1. Emma

        I credit him with my understanding of liberalism/fascism. It was a real lightbulb on moment for me.

  3. zagonostra

    Rishi Sunak is trying to redefine extremism

    And in the U.S. Congress seeks to redefine antisemitism. Fungible words, whether extreme or antiemetic the naked truth is that free speech will only be permissible if it doesn’t threaten the Controllers. Just as he who controls the exception is sovereign, he who controls the limits of speech controls the potential of wide spread opposition to the sovereign. O’Brien in Orwell’s 1948 laid it all out.

    The U.S. Espionage Act of 1917 “made it a crime to interfere with the war effort, disrupt military recruitment, or to attempt to aid a nation at war with the U.S..” Now, just substitute Israel and just under a 100 years we’re back to an earlier period in U.S. history.


    1. rowlf

      Echoes of John Quincy Adams and the Gag Rule

      Representative William Jackson presented a petition to end slavery and the domestic slave trade in the District of Columbia, where Congress had constitutional authority. Outraged southern representatives protested any consideration of this provocative petition. They felt that abolitionists had insulted southern institutions by sending hundreds of thousands of antislavery pamphlets to the South through the mail. South Carolinian James Henry Hammond complained he would not “sit there and see the rights of the Southern People assaulted day after day, by the ignorant fanatics.” Many white southerners defended their “peculiar institution” against the barrage of assaults and developed the idea that slavery was a “positive good” that was beneficial for enslaved persons, masters, and the country because it preserved a natural order rooted in the inequality of the races. They blocked abolitionist literature from reaching southern states and were preparing to block consideration of any abolitionist petitions in Congress.

      In February 1836, Henry Laurens Pinckney of South Carolina offered a resolution stating that the House of Representatives would table any petition mentioning slavery and ban any discussion or referral of it to committees. In effect, the resolution was a gag rule that would prevent the reception and consideration of any petition protesting slavery. Soon after, in May, the House passed the resolution by a vote of 117 to 68. Former president and current Massachusetts representative John Quincy Adams immediately rose from his seat to protest the gag rule. When his colleagues shouted him down and Speaker of the House James Polk refused to recognize him, Adams grew exasperated and yelled, “Am I gagged?” He argued that the gag rule was a “direct violation of the Constitution of the United States, the rules of this House, and the rights of my constituents.” He declared it a threat to free, deliberative government: “The freedom of debate has been stifled in this House to a degree far beyond anything that ever has happened since the existence of the Constitution.

  4. Patrick Donnelly

    If you are getting backhanders to make bad laws, why not take the money?
    No one respects lawmakers anymore … business as usual. It’s not like there is any effective opposition

  5. timbers

    It seems more and more we are dependent upon flaws in the establishment to latch onto as glimmers of hope. I mean, does anyone at NC believe given the ideological and class composition of the US Supreme Court, that it can seriously render a sane ruling on homelessness? Some of it’s members are too busy collecting Nassi icons/art and pushing the limits on sanitizing and interpreting the law on how The Supremes can legally accept bribes given them in service to the billionaires they serve to…be bothered to even think about such things as homelessness. After all, if all of Congress can do insider stock trading legally and brag about to the Press, and Vice President and President offspring can scam in plain sight hundreds of millions thru blatant criminality in places like Ukraine while resulting in millions dead, if Madame Sect of State can funnel brides to herself thru “charity” corporate set-ups even while holding office, why can’t The Supremes get in on this?

    Every now an then, some random actor does something that is completely off program, totally not what The Establishment allows, and makes a mistake as in the movie “The Matrix” lingo becomes “a glitch in the matrix”. It could be a deliberate mistake to confuse and distract so that The Matrix can make greater power grabs and policy changes. Or it could be a genuine unplanned program, a real and true flaw in The Matrix which produces true errors in the programing.

    We have an example of this right now – Karim A. A. Khan the ICC prosecutor, from a fake Court created by The Matrix to target it’s enemies by twisting virtue against them. At first he seemed a ray of hope beaming thru a collapsing Matrix.

    But as days passed more details came to light and now it seems he is showing himself a glitch in the Matrix – a true glitch/flaw by issuing arrest warrants for Israeli officials, this from someone who admits the next day his program in The Matrix is to keep black folks and back nations down who are outside The Empire, as well as white folks outside The Matrix or of perceived inferior whiteness (Slavs) who resist The Matrix, like Putin.

    1. digi_owl

      More and more it seems like the basic attitude is that if one end up homeless then there is some basic character/moral flaw with the individual that makes them beyond redemption.

    2. .Tom

      Thank you, timbers. That’s a useful perspective. Glitches are like exceptions that prove a rule. I found as the decades passed that I get more upset at the progress of corruption and neoliberalism while others around me seem to accept the changed status as normal. So it’s useful to pick up these glitches and talk about what they reveal.

    3. jobs

      Those poor brides… SCNR.

      The amount of brainwashing that has been going on for decades is keeping many in a state of mesmerization they strongly resist attempts to be broken out of.

  6. The Rev Kev

    There is another way of looking at this and I will give an example. American readers who use to vote Democrat will readily understand. When I was a young guy here in Oz I felt comfortable voting for one of the two main political parties which was at least nominally on the side of working people. And then over the years they started to drift. They kept up the facade of being for the little guy but more and more were chasing after the professional middle class and the rich end of town. So here I stand in older age with the same beliefs but my political party has veered to the hard right and now I am probably classified as a radical or something because they are no longer the beliefs of that party. So like this article talks about, it is not the people that have become the extremists but the ruling establishment who are doing one almighty job of projection after shift to an extremist edge.

    1. Glen

      That’s certainly how I feel. I can best be described as an FDR Democrat. I know that my views must have changed, but I feel like I’ve mostly just become better informed, and much more cynical. But as timbers accurately details above, the corruption is so naked now-a-days that cynicism would seem to be a perfectly normal reaction.

      As to my core belief of defending free speech? Yes, I still think the ACLU was right to defend the American Nazi’s Party right to to march. I don’t have to like or believe what they say, but I need to defend their right to say it. Having a real conversation and debate about how to run your country does not make you an extremist, it makes you a citizen participating in the public debate to make your country better.

      So yeah, I hardly recognize either the current Republican or Democratic party. They are the Uniparty.

      1. Alan Sutton

        Nice one. Have shared that widely here in Aus.

        I was directly involved in this trying to garner Electoral Members for the SEP when the law changed.

        A good video. If you don’t make it funny none of my ABC listening PMC friends will take any notice.

  7. Ignacio

    As per the last question: Why isn’t the Labour condemning it? Because the Labour has turned to be the party that tries to legitimate the fascist regime supposedly on behalf of the workers?

  8. tony

    We are vulnerable to right wing suppression and censorship on a much wider platform in the UK …

    Lord Walney’s report aims to proscribe Just Stop Oil and Palestine Action as ‘dangerous extremists’.
    by recommending this new category for proscribing “extreme protest groups”.

    It defines these as those which routinely use ‘criminal tactics’ to try to achieve their aims.
    The persons who decide what constitutes ‘criminal tactics’ are either politicians or their officials, especially the Police. Nor is there a legal definition of ‘mayhem’.

    “Militant groups like Palestine Action and Just Stop Oil are using criminal tactics to create mayhem and hold the public and workers to ransom without fear of consequence,”

    “Banning terror groups has made it harder for their activists to plan crimes – that approach should be extended to extreme protest groups too.” said Walney.

    I think Walney’s report and opinions are fascistic , by prejudging just causes on very vague criteria… and with the clear intention of limiting public debate and political action.

    The substitution for “terrorist” is the label ‘extremist’ who “aim(s) to intimidate the public or a section of the public” for the purposes of advancing a “political, religious, racial or ideological cause”..

    We already have the climate change campaigning group, ‘Just Stop Oil’ with two members serving 3yr jail sentences for disrupting traffic on the M25, which is now threatened with becoming a proscribed organisation, (as were Sinn Fein) means we have to ask who is appointed to arbitrate on what conduct or political ideas are ‘extreme’, and what powers will they have ?

    Sunak tried to label the Scottish National Party as ‘extreme’ last week, so the direction of travel of the UK unionist government is already exposed and is highly dangerous to civil liberties and ‘dissent’ from goverrnment.

  9. voislav

    Language games has been played for a while now by US administrations. The one that always stuck with me is the Obama administration refusing to declare that coups have occurred in Honduras in 2009 and Egypt in 2013 as they would be required to cut military aid to those regimes. I remember Jen Psaki saying in the case of Egypt “Law does not require us to make a formal determination” and being all smug about it.

    It’s a sign of major decay and rot that these word games are being played. Ukraine and Israel have really sped up the spreading infection and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a major upheaval in Europe before 2030.

  10. KD

    They don’t make Tories/Conservatives like they use to. According to Barry Goldwater:

    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

    1. flora

      Goldwater’s campaign tropes back then were standard GOP Main Street fare. More interesting, to me, is how how his public pronouncements changed over the course of the following years when Goldwater realized he was not going to be the party’s winning standard bearer for Main Street interests for a presidential election. He in later years seemed to advocate for less party (er, paid for) ideolology and more for Main Street stuff. imo.

    2. hk

      People who consider themselves righteous feel justified in committing the eorst of wrongs because, whatever they do wrong, their cause is important and justifies and excuses whatever they do. In other words, true believers are the worst, evilest people.

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