Worth Reading October 12, 2021

JDQB notes that below the radar screen are some interesting articles. Edward Snowden writes especially clearly about an obscure but interesting subject most people (including me) never heard of Central Bank Digital Currencies. It could be subtitled “the Surveillance State comes to Money.”

Matt Taibbi just keeps getting more interesting. The insights he brings from his upbringing in the Soviet Union to our rapidly evolving social totalitarianism  deserve wide circulation.  The article is short, but this paragraph, especially in context, is dynamite.  As a student in the Soviet Union I noticed subscribers to what Russians called the sovok mindset talked in interminable strings of pogovorki, i.e goofball proverbs or aphorisms you’d heard a million times before (“He who takes no risk, drinks no champagne,” or “Work isn’t a wolf, it won’t run off into the woods,” etc). This was a learned defense mechanism, adopted by a people who’d found out the hard way that anyone caught not speaking nonstop nonsense could be suspected of harboring original thoughts. Voluble stupidity is a great disguise in a society where silence is suspect. 

Robert Kaplan’s article from last week in the Wall Street Journal is worth reading even if you have to drive somewhere to buy the proper paper issue of the newspaper (sadly, the article is behind a paywall I fear).  Kaplan’s topic is the new mob, and he offers the reminder “one aim of the crowd is to hunt down the insufficiently virtuous.” These days, one must subscribe to many sources to stay grounded outside some bubble. 

Peggy Noonan’s take on the Quinnipiac poll discussed above is consistent with, but different from JDQB’s.  Her headline is Progressives Hold the Capital Captive.”

WDM recently heard that those who refuse to observe the ritual uniformity of views demanded by progressives are being described as “enemies of the state.”  For those who think it is forgivable to toss that phrase around, this essay might be informative. 

A philosophy professor further describes the rituals required by the new moralists demanding “equality” in all dimensions of life.

The City Journal strikes again with a short article on who benefits from the demands for diversity in every business and institution – those already on their way to the top.

Democrats not only have all the problems JDQB has described today – the latest Iron Dome fiasco reveals that they have handed support and defense of Israel over to Republicans.  The final sentence of this article from Haaretz is “Jewish Democrats need to … concentrate their efforts on winning back their party from an increasingly influential faction that makes no secret about its disdain for Israel.”