11 comments for “Decoding Charlottesville

  1. Lyn Miller
    August 14, 2017 at 6:47 am

    THANK YOU for this. Have talked to too many people today who are making excuses for what happened in Charlottesville, and particularly for the altRight “just reacting” to what’s happened to them.

  2. Rob Coughlan
    August 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Great episode. I was listening to what you were discussing and comparing that here in Australia. Similar story with Nazis ( I call White Supremecists, alt right, Nationalists for what they are) here. There has been a rise in numbers and action, although not on the scale the US suffers. Same modus operandi, same blaming violence on our own Antifa. Their assaults are usually based around mosques or Muslims but they parade with the quasi uniforms, symbols and all wrapped in the Australian flag. Fortunately many more on the left turn out to counter protest. It turns violent at times and both our major parties, Liberal and Labor, openly condemn them. When you were discussing Russia and Putin my ears really pricked up. Our Nazis are the same….praise for Putin. I had not thought on this much but you have joined some interesting dots. As a further thought I wonder if it is worthwhile to pick up on how left and right leaning media in the West pick up and run with these stories.

    Also wanted add we have the same free speech shouts when the Nazis are silenced. While our Liberal government would like to water it down, our Racial Discrimination Act will not allow speech which attacks and vilifies an individual. Sadly they can vilify a race, culture, religion etc.

  3. Vince
    August 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Glad to see you back Dr. Z. I’ve enjoyed Jamie’s occasional updates here, but this really works best when the it’s both of you. Looking forward to more deep dives into issues.

  4. Ian
    August 15, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Hello Mrs and Mr Zed,

    Please excuse the pronunciation I live just north of the US. Congrats on the marriage. Jamie don’t screw up up, you got the better end of that bargain my friend.

    My first question is historically based. I understood that both the National Socialist and Facista movements were started on the left of the Marxist/Capitalist scale . Both were only a step above communism with huge state welfare programs and were both extremely statecentric . How is it that they are now referred to in the states as Alt right?

    Secondly, How aware Is the average American of there own history? By erasing visible reminders of your past are you not at risk of forgetting why you needed to change?

    Thirdly, What in your collective psyche causes you to have so much faith and believe what politicians and media tell you on either side of the L/R coin? Bias is the sole reason for their existence.

    These are questions from an outsider looking in. I’m trying to understand the average Americans politics not criticize them so please do not take offense.

    Best of Luck,


    Full disclosure I am anti government. I do not believe that any political party can HONESTLY represent a population of any significance. Individuals no matter how good they are will ultimately be corrupted by those who can make money or forward their own interest. All govt systems are fatally flawed at conception.
    The less govt. we have the better off we will all be.

    • Zee
      August 15, 2017 at 11:44 pm

      Hi Ian,

      Thank you for your congratulations – we are both over the moon.

      To your points:

      1.) The idea that Nazism and Fascism are leftist is a right-wing myth. Strong state systems are not the exclusive domain of, nor definitive components of, left-wing political thought or systems. Here’s a decent run down of the actual history regarding the “Hitler was a socialist” myth: https://www.thoughtco.com/was-adolf-hitler-a-socialist-1221367

      2.) There is a full spectrum of awareness of American history among Americans. However, there is a huge difference between being aware of our history regarding our Civil War, and casting central figures who championed human slavery in bronze, in heroic poses and on pedestals, in major public areas. This is history to be solemnly remembered, not venerated. It is better suited for a museum and a well designed memorial.

      3.) This question makes no real sense. It’s largely a word salad of internet pseudo-intellectual buzzwords. Decisions on the truth of any given claim should be based upon the evidence presented. The question to ask any given knowledge claim is first “what evidence supports this conclusion?” Then, “is there important evidence missing that can still be collected?” and then, “what evidence could never be collected, thus leaving a permanent gray area around this subject?”

      I gather that you are anarchist in your political leanings, and possibly an anarcho-capitalist. To that end I would encourage you to start practicing what I laid out in point 3, and be open to any new conclusions that may lead you. I also encourage you to start reading material from academics and philosophers, rather than what you may be finding in on-line forums.



      • Ian
        August 16, 2017 at 3:59 am

        Whoa Zee I think we a have a misunderstanding,

        My “points” were questions. They were not intended as a criticism of your personal politics nor as a criticism of your Country. I am a Canadian asking an educated American for their opinion on the feelings of the average American. I have none currently within earshot. I am not an American I did not live the weekend that you guys just endured but I am very curious.

        I am not a racist, trumpist, republican or democrat. I have no tolerance for violence or hawks. I believe that the colour of ones skin matters no more than the colour of there eyes. (Bob Marley) I have had the privilege of growing up in a country that never had slavery. We have our unique set of issues surrounding racism here but we a re working on them in a much less violent manner.

        Please let me reword so that I am not offending you. You elaboration is greatly appreciated. Thanks for heads up on the hitler was a socialist link. Looks like an interesting read.

        Here we go. Final try.

        1. How have the Nazis and facists become affiliated with “republicans” in recent history. I dont remember seeing large flocks of racists openly supporting Regan, Dubya or his father. (my living memory)

        In My opinion Nazi and the Mussolini Fascists were leftists. Leftist meaning socialists not “American democrat”. I can’t see a lean toward a free republic with a wide open market in either agenda.

        2. Point well put and agreed to but not what I was trying to ask.

        My Knowledge of American history does not have any personal loyalties associated with it. My reading has led me to believe that neither side was anti slavery until it was used as apolitical tool against the south in Lincolns second term. Does this mean all of the civil war statues including Lincoln’s memorial are offensive?
        What is in your opinion the depth of knowledge of the average American in regard to the factual history (Politics aside). How is this basic knowledge or lack there of being used to politically manipulate either side. Again I am not living your politics this is curiosity.

        3. Simplified: Politicians are all full of crap. Media exists only to make money. Dtn excluded of course. From my experience average people in most places in the world that I have been to have a firm working grasp of this concept.
        IT appear from the outside that the majority of Americans invest much energy in something they ultimately have no real say in? Where does all the militancy come from on both sides?

        Your final retort was one of the finest bouquets written horticulture that I have digested in long while. Like a word Eden almost. An expensive education provided by mommy and daddy has at the very least yielded to you an extensive vocabulary. Elitist and condescending, a very nice sign off considering you suggested I open my mind. (joking your opinion is appreciated)

        Much Love

        Word Salad 🙂

      • Vince
        August 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

        #2 is important. Many people I know IRL or online want to just erase it all; no discrimination between bronze monuments and thoughtful exhibits, they just want anything to do with the issue removed. That kind of thinking frightens me, though of course not as much as the thinking that wants to preserve and revere the public monuments.

  5. Carol
    August 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I realized this exchange is meant for Zee, but as a daughter of America’s south I’d like to respond to question number two. I’m from the great state of Georgia. General Oglethorpe founded our colony in 1733. When the northern colonies rose up to rebel against the British, we somewhat reluctantly joined in. We were becoming quite prosperous as a royal colony. But we did join the fray and we did beat the bloody British. And despite being happily part of Britian for over forty years, we didn’t erect monuments to honor our history. There’s no George III statue in front of the courthouse, there’s no Pitt the Younger monument in our city squares, and we damn sure didn’t incorporate the Union Jack in our flag. Because the British were losers. And if you only know one thing about Trump America it’s that nobody likes a loser.
    After we claim our independence, the US south is chugging right along. We’re making stacks of money because the land is rich and we have this great work force. They’re terrific! Best workers ever! You pay for these folks once and make sure they don’t starve and they will work like slaves. Then the yankees become really jealous of our wealth and our really great workers and try to tell us to stop. So, we’re like “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” and we take all our toys and refuse to play with them anymore. They decide to fight over it and we win. Win bigly. So we erect these fantastic monuments all over the southland to show what winners we are.
    Except the south didn’t win. We lost quite spectaculary. So why are there over 40 confederate monuments in my state alone? Why are there so many tributes to so many losers? We have a “mountain” outside of Atlanta that has Generals Lee & Jackson & President Davis carved on the side. (If you’ve never seen the Stone Mountain laser light show with Elvis singing a mashup of Dixie and Battle Hymn of the Republic, stop what you’re doing and go watch it on the computer now.) If you came to the south and know absolutely nothing about American history, you’d probably wonder who are all these great men? Well over there is General Lee, he lead the treasonous rebellion against the United States. That’s General Forrest, he helped start the Ku Klux Klan. And that guy is Ole Stonewall Jackson, he actually got shot by his own men in Gettysburg. The majority of our Civil War statues are not placed in any context. It is a very romantic view of history always with a strapping gentleman atop his steed or standing proudly with his rifle. If we really need visual reminders of past follies, then we should erect monuments to soldiers starving in Andersonville or slave children being ripped from their mothers or Sherman’s neckties on every tree. We don’t do that. Removing these monuments is not an attempt to erase the past, it’s an attempt to stop living in it. I used to work with a guy who loved to say “Lee surrended. I didn’t.” WTF.

  6. Elizabeth
    August 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    I just saw this article about how the neo-Nazi “news” site that was banned by two US hosting services getting a new hosting service in Russia. Seems to support your theory about everything tracing back to Putin.

  7. DGB
    August 21, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Pillsbury war bands. I love it. Psychopathic pigeons?

  8. Greg Murray
    September 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm


    I thought you might be interested to know the EU has now set up a web site and data based to track and debunk disinformation / fake news.


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