Can Europe be made great again? 9

Can Europe save itself from death by Islamization?

Breitbart would like to help it do so. With Logos, an Italian journal of ideas, it brought people together who think it possible and want to try.

Maybe it is possible. Maybe the conference is a beginning. Maybe it will start a current of pride and patriotism flowing and gathering strength among Europeans which will bring new leaders to power who will think of ways to save the nations and their culture.

From Breitbart, by Rebecca Mansour:

A group of leading populist thinkers met in Milan Thursday to discuss the future of Europe and especially the relationship between the European Union (EU) and its individual member states.

A growing malaise has been sweeping Europe as citizens grow progressively more distrustful of the European Union and desirous of recovering the sovereignty of their own nations and of taking back responsibility for their own destinies.

The Milan conference, titled Sovereignty vs. Globalism: Shifting Geopolitical Realities in Europe and the USA, analyzed this phenomenon by comparing the populist-nationalist fervor in Europe with the movements that produced the Trump revolution in the United States and Brexit in the United Kingdom. The meeting was cosponsored by the Milan-based political-cultural journal Logos together with Breitbart News.

Ted Malloch, Donald Trump’s putative ambassador to the European Union, spoke of the President’s first 100 days in office, laying out the statistics of his numerous accomplishments that are rarely if ever discussed by the mainstream media and comparing them to past administrations. He also drew comparisons with Europe’s recent history, as EU power in Brussels has grown steadily while many member states languish in economic stagnation and migratory crises.

The migration question came up again as Prof. Giuseppe Valditara, the academic director of Logos, explored Europe’s contemporary migrant crisis with similar events in the ancient Roman Empire that eventually led to its collapse.

“Many speak of the need for ‘generosity’ in welcoming huge numbers of economic migrants,” Valditara noted, “but few speak of the generosity needed toward our children and future generations as we hand on to them a society that scarcely resembles the one we received in heritage,” a comment that elicited enthusiastic applause from the audience that filled the hall.

Italy’s former finance minister, Senator Giulio Tremonti, spoke of the anger experienced by those who thought that they had finally figured out how to create the “new man” and the “new society”, based on a unitary thought allowing no opposition, only to find their project thwarted by the very democratic system they claimed to be serving.

Tremonti, the author of numerous books including his recently published Mundus Furiosus, offered a historical analysis of how the European Union has gradually separated itself from an active partnership with the individual member states, arrogating more and more decision-making power to itself.

Brussels, Tremonti argued, has become less and less democratic with the passage of years, fearful of subjecting its authority to the will of the people it governs.

“The Europe of Brussels has little by little taken on the absurd form of an upside-down pyramid,” Tremonti contended, “built with para-constitutional measures of an excess of power and a deficit of democracy.”

Dr. Thomas Williams, Breitbart’s Rome bureau chief and co-organizer of the conference, spoke of the need for greater subsidiarity in the relationship between the EU and its members, understood as the concentration of decision-making power as close as possible to the citizens who are affected by it.

The Trump revolution in the United States, Williams argued, was “the direct result of people’s instinctive longing to have a greater say in setting the conditions under which they live, work and raise their children, and thus was an unspoken appeal to the principle of subsidiarity.”

Against hyper-regulation, government overreach and fiercely enforced political correctness in the United States, Williams noted, people reasserted their own sovereignty and right to self-government—a phenomenon mirrored by growing populist movements in Europe.

Marcello Foa, editor-in-chief of the Swiss-based Corriere del Ticino, spoke of the ideological battle being waged between the establishment, bent on holding onto its power and the status quo, and the unsatisfied masses who are tired of being told what they are to think and what is best for them and would like the chance to decide for themselves.

The establishment would like to brand all uncomfortable ideas as “fake news”, Foa noted, when in reality they simply represent an alternative perspective and worldview, a comment that drew spontaneous applause from the audience.

While many are aware only of the passive acquiescence of contemporary European society to its various ailments, the Milan conference showed that an energetic and forward-thinking nucleus of thinkers is busy planning how to get it back on its feet again.

The way to “make Europe great again”, the speakers seemed to agree, is by restoring the greatness of the individual nations and cultures that she comprises.

And to do that they must halt Islam’s aggressive colonization of Europe, and abolish the European Union.

Posted under Europe, Globalism, Italy, Populism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 14, 2017

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Why she not he must win 11

Tomorrow the French voters choose either Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen to be their president.

He’s for Muslim immigration. She’s against it.

He’s for perpetuating the corrupt undemocratic EU.  She ‘s for getting out of it.

That’s what matters.

What Mark Steyn says about Macron in this video is worth hearing. (Nothing the silly host says is worth listening to, but he’s unavoidable.)

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Posted under France, Globalism, Islam, jihad, Populism, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 6, 2017

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Equality and inclusiveness in terrorism 1

To understand the bland dullness of mind that rules the European world and as much of the globe as it can influence, one has only to watch this video put out by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

A full display of moral self-satisfaction in total innocence of any knowledge of human nature, history, and the present state of the world that might contaminate the pure vision of the virtuous.

From Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey:

A decade or so ago the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was still a champion of civil liberties and free expression.

The OSCE was formed during the Cold War (as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, CSCE) to challenge the Soviet Union to engage in truth-telling. It could rightly claim a share of the credit for prompting the push towards glasnost that eventually dissolved the U.S.S.R. With its headquarters in Warsaw, where memories of Soviet repression remained fresh, the OSCE managed to hold onto its mission for more than a decade after the Iron Curtain disappeared from Europe.

But not anymore.

An alliance of globalists and Muslims gradually has infiltrated and subverted virtually all the institutional components of the OSCE. To achieve their disparate ends, both subversive groups have been using the same weapon: Politically Correct Multiculturalism, a.k.a. Cultural Marxism. PC/MC is an effective tool for sapping the civic will among well-meaning Westerners to maintain a commitment to free speech. With its goal of eliminating “racism”, “xenophobia”, and “intolerance”, an illiberal political culture has formed at the OSCE that is diametrically opposed to the principles of those who founded it.

“Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) is simply the latest component of the Cultural Marxist Narrative. It was concocted by an alliance between Islam and the Globalist Left as a means to suppress dissent and block any criticism of Islam. Pushed by the [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] OIC at the UN, it has trickled down into other transnational institutions such as the EU and the OSCE.

Under the Obama administration, CVE was adopted wholeheartedly by the U.S. government, and became official American policy. 

CVE tells us that by focusing on Islamic terrorism we are engaging in several doubleplus ungood forms of behavior:

1.We are discriminating against Muslims by only paying attention to Islamic terrorism, and ignoring other forms of violent extremism

2.Also, since the U.N. has ruled that “Islamophobia” is a form of racism, we are being racist in our discrimination against Muslims

3.To prove that we are tolerant and inclusive, we must spend equal amounts of time, money, and energy in the struggle against other types of violent extremists, including (but not limited to), nationalist extremists, Christian extremists, neo-fascists, neo-Nazis, and anti-immigration activists

4.If we can’t find any examples of #3 to hand, we must ignore Islam while we continue searching for fascists and Nazis and Christian terrorists, and not give up until we find some.

So terrorism is okay if it is carried out in the name of Islam – as long as no one except the terrorist says it is in the name of Islam. Meanwhile, the search is on for terrorists acting in the name of some – any – other religion or ideology or cause.

Because only if someone other than a Muslim does it, terrorism is not okay?

That would be the logic of the CVE position. But they wouldn’t say it.

Their expressed idea is that terrorism is bad but nobody who carries it out in the name of his cause is bad. It is the same old Christian position that the sin is to be condemned, but not the sinner. Though they wouldn’t say that either.

When you scrape off all the globalist PC gobbledygook, the above, in a nutshell, is the essence of CVE.

The net effect is to rule all discussion of Islam off the table.

This removes the tether that attaches “extremism” to any concrete ideology, and makes it into a free-floating constellation of behaviors that just appear out of nowhere and somehow inexplicably “radicalize” people, causing them to engage in violence for no discernible reason. …

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has dedicated an entire section of its website to “OSCE United in Countering Violent Extremism”.

Its mission statement:

We must all rise to the challenge of responding to the corrosive appeal of violent extremism by promoting tolerance, mutual respect, pluralism, inclusion, and cohesion.

Notice how vague and squishy those positive characteristics are. We don’t know exactly what they are, but it sure makes us feel virtuous to promote them!

The negative characteristics are at least as ill-defined, especially “hate”. …

Here’s the official description of the campaign:

Terrorism is a crime that has no justification, and it should not be associated with any race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. …

“Terrorism… should not be associated with any… religion.”

But what if it is?

What do you do if, despite those bland assurances, terrorism does happen to be associated with a religion?

What if terrorism is associated with one particular religion to such an extent that violence by any other religion is dwarfed into insignificance by comparison?

What if all the data available point inexorably to the conclusion that more than 99% of violent acts committed in the name of a religion by adherents of that religion are committed by Muslims in the name of Islam?

Well… According to the diktat embraced by the OSCE, you must not talk about the massive incidence of Islamic terrorism.

The topic simply may not be discussed. It has been ruled off the turf. Anyone who refers to it is prima facie guilty of “hate speech”, and may be subject to disapproval, shunning, professional sanctions, and possibly even prosecution.

That’s what CVE is all about. …

[But] what  is “extremism”? The word “extreme” is not a stand-alone concept; it is an intensifier used to modify nouns or other adjectives, similar to “very”. The word “verism” doesn’t make any sense. Why should we consider “extremism” to be any more meaningful?

“Extreme” and “extremism” have no utility unless they accompany meaningful substantives. For example, the phrases “extreme nationalist” or “nationalist extremist” have meaning, and it might be possible to define them in a useful way.

The real issue, of course, is the phrase “Islamic extremism”, which has been ruled off the turf. We are obliged to eliminate the word “Islamic”, leaving “extremism” to stand all by itself. Which is absurd — without a substantive companion, it has no meaning whatsoever.

And what about “hate”?

Hatred is a feeling, a passion held in the heart. It is not visible, audible, or tangible, and has no observable characteristics unless it is expressed by the person who holds it.

This makes the phrase “hate speech” a nebulous concept, one that is easily manipulated to serve an ideological purpose for the dominant political agenda. If I am in a position of power, and I don’t like your opinion, I can construe it as “hateful”, thereby causing you to be ostracized, fired from your job, and/or prosecuted.

These are just two examples of ill-defined terms that are employed indiscriminately for pernicious political purposes. Undefined or ill-defined terms should especially be avoided when the use of those words is intended to deprive people of their civil liberties — which is exactly the opposite of the purpose for which the OSCE was founded.

OSCE is now a very dangerous organization.

 

(Hat-tip to our British associate, Chauncey Tinker)

Socialism – the ultimate weapon of mass destruction 1

Since America has two parties competing for power, and since one of them has become a socialist party, it is necessary to think what it will mean if socialism becomes the dominant ideology in the world’s most powerful nation.

The great free-market economist Milton Friedman recommended that his students read an essay by the Russian writer Igor Shafarevich titled Socialism in our Past and Future. In Soviet Russia it was impossible to publish it. An English translation was published in the West in a collection edited by Alexander Solzhenitsyn under the title From Under the Rubble.*

The point of the essay is that socialism (or communism – in the USSR the terms were used interchangeably) is a destroyer of mankind; an ideology whose global implementation must necessarily bring about the total annihilation of the human race.

He writes:

[T]he economic and social demands of socialism are the means for the attainment of its basic aim, the destruction of individuality. … Such a revolution would amount to the destruction of Man … And not just an abstract destruction of the concept, but a real one too. [Emphasis in all instances in the original.]

That warning may seem at first sight to be too far-fetched. But it is surely true that the individual person is supremely important. He (I use the masculine to stand for both men and women as is the convention of our language) must be free to pursue his own ends, among them to have and support and defend a family. (Shafarevich includes the individual’s need for religion. Those who need it should not of course be deprived of it.)

Because “socialism aims at the destruction of those aspects of life which form the true basis of human existence”, “radical changes” to the needs of the individual, implemented on a global scale, will bring a “universal result, the withering away of all mankind, and its death.”

It seems that all the socialist parties of the world are now internationalist, or “globalist”. If America became a socialist country the effect would be the triumph of globalism, the ultimate realization of which is world socialist government. If Shafarevich is right – and we think he very well may be – that will bring about the end of the human race.

Fortunately, the Democratic Party – the socialist party of America – has become so silly in what it says (anti-white, anti-male, anti-rule of law, anti-America, anti-science, anti-nature), and so violent in what it does (politically motivated riots), that at least in the foreseeable future it has little chance of winning power.

 

*From Under the Rubble edited by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Little, Brown and Company, New York, 1975.

Soros the earthly satan and his pet news agency 2

George Soros is an evil man. Go here, to Discover the Networks, to read about the evil he does, the many subversive and insurrectionist movements he funds.

From the days of his early youth spent helping the Nazis implement the Holocaust, to his sponsoring now in his old age the Muslim-organized marches of (pathetically stupid) women to protest the election of President Trump in America, he has unwaveringly pursued his satanic aim – the wrecking of Western civilization.

But the news agency Reuters likes him and his works.

We emphasize examples of their bias in the story they tell of how the Hungarian government’s effort to ward off the flood of Muslim immigrants* –  now overwhelming western Europe – is being impeded by George Soros.

Reuters reports and opines:

When his government lost a lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights last week over its detention and expulsion of two migrants from Bangladesh, Hungary’s rightwing prime minister blamed the usual suspect: a billionaire in New York.

“The usual suspect”  is of course a reference to the famous line of dialogue in the film Casablanca, in which the French police chief gives orders to his men to  “round up the usual suspects” in order to deceive the Nazi occupiers of the French territory that he is serving them when he isn’t. The “usual suspects” are innocent of the crime they are being rounded up to answer for. The use of the phrase by Reuters conveys their belief in George Soros’s innocence.

“It is a collusion of human traffickers, Brussels bureaucrats and the organizations that work in Hungary financed by foreign money,” Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday.

“Let’s call a spade a spade: George Soros finances them.”

Yes, it is such a collusion, and Soros is financing it.

Across former Communist states of east and central Europe, leaders with a hardline bent have turned their wrath in recent months against Soros, a Hungarian-American financier who funds liberal charities and non-governmental organizations worldwide through his Open Society Foundations (OSF).

A more Orwellian use of the phrase “open society” could not be devised by the author of 1984 himself.

The campaign against Soros in countries formerly dominated by Moscow appears to follow a template set by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose own crackdown on foreign-funded charities drove Soros’s foundation out of Russia two years ago.

Reuters would have us weep for poor Soros and his foundation. And, they imply, if he’s a victim of Putin, he must be a good guy.

And now, with President Donald Trump in the White House, anti-Soros campaigners in Eastern Europe say they have also drawn inspiration from the United States, particularly from rightwing U.S. media like the website Breitbart, which has long vilified Soros as a liberal hate figure.

A nice, good, liberal person, just “vilified” out of sheer spite and reasonless hate – in the opinion of Reuters.

Breitbart’s former chairman Steve Bannon now serves as a senior White House adviser to Trump.

“Our inspiration comes from the United States, from the American conservative organizations, media and congressmen with the same views, especially the new administration of President Trump,” said Cvetlin Cilimanov, the editor of the main state news agency in Macedonia, who co-founded a group called Operation Stop Soros in January.

Macedonia, a former Yugoslav republic north of Greece, has been embroiled in a political crisis that began two years ago with street demonstrations and forced nationalist prime minister Nikola Gruevski to resign last year after a decade in power. Gruevski, who still controls the biggest bloc in parliament and is expected to return to power, blames Soros for his downfall.

So now, despite the acid tones and slanted reporting of Reuters, we begin to get a glimpse of what Soros has actually been up to:

“Soros turns Macedonian NGOs into a modern army,” he [Gruevski] told local magazine Republika in January. “They crush you. They make you a criminal, a thief, traitor, idiot, a monster, whatever they want. Then you have to go to elections.”

“He doesn’t only do that in Macedonia but in a great number of countries.”

In Romania, ruling Social Democrat party leader Liviu Dragnea told a TV interviewer in January that Soros and “the foundations and structures that he has funded since 1990 have financed evil in Romania”.

Soros has also been attacked by members of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and politicians elsewhere in the region.

And according to Reuters they are all wrong; they speak purely out of malice; they are lying.

… Hundreds of groups worldwide have accepted [OSF]  money over the years, allowing conspiracy theorists and other foes to paint Soros as the center of a vast web.

He is the center of a vast web.

 In countries like Hungary, so many human rights groups have sought OSF grants at some point that politicians can use the association with Soros to attack whole swathes of civil society.

The “whole swathes” are Soros funded organizations out to destroy the nation-state of “countries like Hungary”:

“Fake NGOs of the Soros empire are sustained to suppress national governments in favor of global capital and the world of political correctness,” Szilard Nemeth, a deputy leader of Orban’s ruling Fidesz party, said in January.

“These organizations must be repressed by all means and I think they must be culled altogether. I think there is an international opportunity to do that now.” …

Opposition to immigration has been the core of  Orban’s political message since 2015, when more than a million migrants and refugees entered the EU through the Balkans. Hungary was initially their main entry point into the bloc’s border-free zone, although nearly all proceeded on to Germany and other countries further north. Orban built a fence to keep them out.

Meanwhile, Soros prioritized support for charities that help migrants and asylum seekers. At the height of the flow in 2015, his OSF put out a statement saying: “The Hungarian crisis demonstrates the dangers radical populist regimes pose not only to the hundreds of thousands of refugees, but also to the values of Europe and to the humanity of the local populations.”

“Values of Europe”. “Humanity”. With these words the great liar prettifies his agenda, which in plain terms is the domination of Europe by Islam. And Reuters compliantly quotes him.

But Orban’s message still hammers home the need to keep out migrants, and he portrays rights groups as part of a plot to abolish nation states and flood Europe with foreigners.

Which is, of course, exactly what the “rights groups”, created and funded by George Soros, are bent on doing.

Hungary’s Helsinki Committee, a rights group founded in 1989 that has accepted Soros funding, helped defeat the government in court in Strasbourg. It argued that two Bangladeshi migrants had been unlawfully detained at a makeshift transit zone on the Hungarian-Serbian border and expelled with no regard to their future safety, in violation of their rights.

Orban has proposed new rules governing asylum due to take effect in coming days that his opponents say ignore the principles of the Strasbourg ruling.

Helsinki co-Chair Marta Pardavi says she expects to file many more cases on behalf of migrants who are in similar positions, which could generate a systemic intervention by Strasbourg and a tooth-and-nail fight with the government.

“Our position, which Orban has called ‘pretty human rights nonsense’ has just won in Strasbourg,” she said. “If I were the Hungarian government I would be considering the necessary legislative amendments now.”

Fortunately, they are.

Pardavi said her organization, made up mainly of lawyers, would not be intimidated by a government crackdown, but other groups were likely to be less resilient, and the crackdown could deter activism in the country more broadly.

Such “activism” urgently needs to be deterred. May Hungary yet succeed in curing itself of the lethal Soros disease.

We long for Soros himself to be indicted for subversion in the US, fined billions of dollars, and locked up.

Then Reuters could frame the print news in black, and soak its pages with tears.

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*Yesterday, in our post (immediately below) Western feminists are for the subjugation of women, we approved the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s opposition to the Islamic jihad, in particular in Nigeria. It seems that the two organizations – Reuters the news agency and the Thomson Reuters Foundation – do not have consistently matching principles and policies.

The desirable dissolution of Europe’s unnecessary union 3

Why was the corrupt and undemocratic European Union (EU) brought into existence?

The Germans wanted to dissolve their guilt  – for starting two world wars and perpetrating the Holocaust – in the sea of a European superstate. Which they knew they could dominate through their economic strength.

The French wanted to be part of an entity that was more populous, more prosperous, and more powerful than the United States of America, even though it meant sharing power.

The ambitious politicians of Western Europe wanted a bigger stage to strut on. As well as a perpetual ride on a gravy train.

Eastern European nations had a more respectable motive for joining the EU after the collapse of the Soviet Union, under whose heel they had suffered for some 40 years: they saw the EU as a shelter from renewed Russian imperial ambition. Some of them – notably Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – are now defying dictatorship from Brussels, the EU capital, by refusing to admit unlimited numbers of Muslim “refugees”.

The annual budget of the EU is about 145 billion euros ($153 billion US dollars). By its own accounting, 4.7% of the budget is lost in fraud and corruption. That is some 6.97 billion Euros.*  

It employs 33,000 people.

There are 28 member states and 24 official languages. Every document has to be put out in all 24 languages.

The EU leaders see their supra-national, “post-nationalist” union as a model for world government.

The Council of the European Union governs by decree. The European Parliament consists of elected members but they do not have the power to legislate. They can approve or reject a legislative proposal, or propose amendments. In other words they give advice, but the Council is not legally obliged to take it. It is treated as mere opinion. For appearance sake, and as a result of case-law decisions by the EU Court of Justice, the Council must receive that opinion before it can act on its own decision. This is pure gesturism. The ritual salutes democracy without adopting it.

In sum, the EU is a political and economic monstrosity. It cannot and will not endure.

Elections this year in the Netherlands may well bring Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom into power. If so, there could be a referendum on whether the country should leave the EU (though legislation would be necessary to make this possible), and a majority vote in favor.

Nationalist movements in France and Italy may also bring those countries to leave the EU.

All of which threatens the continued existence of the rotten, superfluous, and positively harmful European Union.

From Gatestone, by Timon Dias:

At its core, what is the EU? And why, despite its vast resources, does it seem perpetually unable to make sense of the world and meet its objectives? …

First, there’s the EU’s primary internal contradiction: EU federalism is an ideology that propagates post-ideologism; a culturally amorphous post-ideological world. … It is acting as if the world has already arrived at this so badly coveted post-cultural/ideological end station.

This is why the EU’s foreign minister is convinced political Islam should be part of the solution for Europe’s bicultural malaise. It is why for almost a decade now, the EU is maintaining it is reasonable to expect a German fiscal discipline from Greece ― a country in which tax evasion has been a central pillar of its culture ever since it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire some 600 years ago. It is why the EU fails to grasp the fact it’s deepening the migration crisis by acting as a ferry service for human traffickers. It is why the EU refuses to acknowledge an inherently expansionist religion like Islam views Europe’s open borders as an invitation to conquest. And it is why it was caught off guard by the mass rapes in Cologne etc. …

In short, the EU is treating the world as if it’s already an earthly EUtopia in which everything can be solved through dialogue and the right subsidies. And that’s why it will keep on chasing facts until its imminent demise.

But there’s something even more fundamental obstructing the EU’s ability to solve crises.

The EU is artificial and unnecessary. 

What is the EU? The EU is a government looking for people to govern. It didn’t evolve organically from a community’s desire to be governed.

It was an elitist ideological hobby project ― one that European Commission first Vice-President Frans Timmermans a few weeks ago referred to as:

Arguably the most successful peace project in human history.

This, however, is a deception. A deception so pervasive, it has become the most pivotal element of the Eurocrats’ belief system. But the EU is no peace project. It neither caused nor consolidated peace.

True peace is being able to hurt one another, but simply not wanting to. In 1945, after centuries of conflict, European nation states finally reached this status. Subsequently, the European Economic Community (EEC) consolidated this peace in 1958 by entangling the French and German economies.

The EU came afterwards, without there ever being an actual need for it ― the continent was peaceful and that peace was consolidated. …

So, if the EU neither caused nor consolidated peace, what is the EU’s fundamental raison d’être? The simple answer is: it has none.

There is nothing fundamentally positive about Europe, that could not exist without the EU.

This is no trivial matter.

Because the EU is a highly artificial and non-organic governing body, one without a fundamental raison d’être, the EU’s priority objective, at all times, is self-preservation. Even when this means not solving problems at all.

The euro and migration crises serve as prime examples. The EU is not only not solving the euro crisis, it’s prolonging it by insisting fiscally dysfunctional member states remain member states, simply because their ejection from the EU would endanger and obscure the EU itself.

The same is true for the migration crisis. It’s not hard to solve. To simply stop being a ferry service for human traffickers and implement the very straight forward Australian model, is hardly rocket science. It’s no coincidence Australia’s migration architect claims Europe doesn’t even seem to be trying to solve this crisis.

In 2016, 490,547 migrants reached Europe. The total number of asylum applicants is almost 2.5 times higher at 1.205 million, which is a modest drop from 2015’s 1.323 million. During the first months of 2017, almost 13,000 arrived by sea.

So what is the EU’s priority during the migrant crisis?

Instead, the EU’s highest priority seems to be preventing nation states from bypassing the EU, by taking their own measures against the crisis.

For if that were to happen, the EU would lose its “greatest achievement”: the federal control of European national borders, without which, the EU is nothing.

The EU must go.

The nation-state with strongly defended borders must be resurrected as an ideal.

The British showed the way with Brexit – its majority vote last year to leave the EU.

President Trump lights the way for the European nations with his slogan, “Make America Great Again!”

 

*We quote an article on EU corruption by Richard Milton.

Have the EU’s accounts for the past 19 years been signed off by the auditors or not? The EU says they have been signed off, while critics in parliament and the media say they have not. So who is telling the truth about the accounts? What are the real facts?

First, a little background to the controversy. Since 1977, the EU’s budget has been audited annually by a body called the European Court of Auditors, based in Luxembourg. The Court is nominally independent, although it is funded by the EU.

In the 1980s, the EU’s budget became the subject of allegations of fraud, so in 1988 the EU formed UCLAF – the Unit for the Co-ordination of Fraud Protection.

A decade later, In 1997, the Court of Auditors investigated UCLAF and discovered that it was dealing with 40 cases of potential corruption, conflict of interests, favoritism or just bad management. Many of the cases had been brought to UCLAF by members of staff of the Commission reporting their suspicions about other officials.

In a report described as “devastating”, the Court revealed that no-one had been prosecuted for fraud and no-one was likely to be prosecuted, because UCLAF had no powers of investigation or arrest and there was no European prosecutor to take on such cases. It recommended that UCLAF be replaced by, in effect, an economic FBI with the staff and the powers to police the EU’s huge budget – a fully fledged operational fraud squad.

Later the same year, 1998, Paul van Buitenen, an assistant internal auditor in the European Commission’s Financial Control Directorate, turned whistleblower and wrote directly to the European Parliament expressing his  “discontent with the way the Commission services are dealing with irregularities and possible fraud”.

His whistleblowing led ultimately led to the resignation of the Commission presided over by Jacques Santer. His reward was to be suspended with his salary halved. He fought back and his exposures triggered the collapse of Santer’s Commission.

In the wake of the “Santergate” scandal UCLAF was replaced by a new organization, OLAF [Office européen de lutte anti-fraude]. This was said to be an improvement since OLAF had more staff, more money and clearer guidelines and was described as representing a move towards a more serious investigative prosecuting body. But it remained the case that only national member states could take legal action against suspected fraudsters – the same central weakness that had defeated UCLAF.

OLAF is notified of some 12,000 cases of possible fraud every year, and says that it adopts a “zero tolerance” policy towards corruption and fraud in EU institutions. In reality, OLAF must be somewhat more tolerant than “zero” as it investigates only some 200 cases per year – that is to say 98% of reported cases go uninvestigated.

This is the most likely explanation of the fact that, since 1999, OLAF has sent only 335 people to jail and recovered only 1.1 Billion Euros of EU money – less than one-thousandth of the amount unaccounted for.

One other obstacle to OLAF nailing anyone inside the EU is that EU law gives EU officials immunity from prosecution both while they work in the EU and then for the rest of their lives for any acts committed in the course of their duties. Even if OLAF managed to put together a case against an EU employee, he or she could not be prosecuted anyway.

This long history of corruption and fraud brings us to the case of Marta Andreason, who in 2002 was appointed the EU’s first Chief Accountant, the director responsible for budget execution and the EU’s accounting officer.

From the start, Andreasen was critical of the EU’s accounting system for being open to fraud, criticisms she raised with  her superior but to no effect. She voiced her doubts to Commissioner Michaele Schreyer and the Commission President Romano Prodi, and when she got no reply approached members of the EU Parliament’s Budget Control Committee.

Because of her doubts, she refused to sign off the 2001 European Commission accounts and went public with her concerns. She suffered a similar fate to Paul van Buitenen before her, and was sacked for speaking out (“failure to show sufficient loyalty and respect”.) In reality she was fired for refusing to sign the account and embarrassing the Commission by letting the cat out of the bag about the extent of fraud.

A series of other EU officials tried to blow the whistle on the fraud and corruption of their colleagues and all received similar treatment, Dorte Schmidt-Brown, Robert Dougal Watt and Robert McCoy. …

At this point, in 2002, EU officials realized that they could no longer conceal or ignore the extent of fraud and corruption in the EU budget and that they must act to try to restore public confidence in the EU’s financial affairs. So they did what most large bureaucratic organizations do in these circumstances. When you cannot change the facts, you change the way the facts are presented. So the EU turned to public relations to solve their problem.

From 2002 until the present, the Court of Auditors continued to audit the budget annually, but they no longer signed off the accounts as a whole. Instead, they have split the budget into two sections – the part to which they are willing to give a clean bill of health, and the part to which they are not willing to give a clean bill. The Auditors refer to this second part as its “opinion on the underlying payments which have been negative or adverse”.

To justify this change in established auditing procedure it came up with a number of arguments. The budget is too big and too complicated for us to expect them to account for every penny. Every large organization has amounts missing and unaccounted for. We can’t expect the EU Auditors to know every little thing that goes on inside member countries. The bit that’s not signed off is “only” a few per cent of the budget so it’s not worth making a fuss about. And, in any case, said the Auditors, although we do not know where the money went or who took it, we can say that it definitely wasn’t fraud or theft.

“Errors”, said the auditors,  “do not mean that EU money is lost, wasted or affected by fraud.” When asked to give an example of some money that had gone missing that wasn’t fraud, the EU said, “A farmer was granted a special premium for 150 sheep. The Court found that the beneficiary did not have any sheep. The corresponding payment was therefore irregular.” The missing money is accounted for by changing the word “fraud” to the word “irregular”. …

Remember, the question we are trying to answer here is … “Have the EU accounts been signed off for the past 19 years?” And the only honest answer to this second question is clearly, “No, they have not been signed off.”

What the EU has done is not to make extra efforts to get to the bottom of its accounts and sign them off, but to change the normal rules of accounts auditing so that they no longer apply to the EU, and to change the meaning of ordinary English words to try to persuade us that this procedure is acceptable. …

The amount not signed off by the Court of Auditors was “only” 4.7% of the budget.  The problem is that 4.7% of the budget is 6.97 billion Euros

Steve Bannon and the EU 1

Steve Bannon’s world view is ferreted out by Reuters, looking for evidence to support its prejudice against the Trump administration.

Reuters – always to be taken with suspicion – reports from secondary sources. The result is full of admitted uncertainty, but plainly shows every intention of making Mr. Bannon look threatening:

In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America’s “steadfast and enduring” commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks.

Bannon, these people said, signaled to Germany’s ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favored conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis. …

We take the same view.

A White House official who checked with Bannon in response to a Reuters query confirmed the meeting had taken place but said the account provided to Reuters was inaccurate. “They only spoke for about three minutes and it was just a quick hello,” the official said.

The sources described a longer meeting in which Bannon took the time to spell out his world view. They said his message was similar to the one he delivered to a Vatican conference back in 2014 when he was running the right-wing website Breitbart News.

In those remarks, delivered via Skype, Bannon spoke favorably about European populist movements and described a yearning for nationalism by people who “don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union”. 

Western Europe, he said at the time, was built on a foundation of “strong nationalist movements”, adding: “I think it’s what can see us forward”.

The encounter unsettled people in the German government, in part because some officials had been holding out hope that Bannon might temper his views once in government and offer a more nuanced message on Europe in private.

One source briefed on the meeting said it had confirmed the view that Germany and its European partners must prepare for a policy of “hostility towards the EU”.

We hope there will be no friendliness towards the corrupt and undemocratic EU, with its political philosophy of globalism and ultimate socialist world-government.

A second source expressed concern, based on his contacts with the administration, that there was no appreciation for the EU’s role in ensuring peace and prosperity in post-war Europe.

It is a fondly nursed illusion of the EU and its hooray-chorus that it has “ensured peace in post-war Europe”. Peace has been assured by NATO, funded mostly by the United States. Only some of the states locked into the EU have prospered. All members might well have prospered more if they had not entered the eurozone.

“There appears to be no understanding in the White House that an unravelling of the EU would have grave consequences,” the source said.

We would like to think the understanding in the White House is that an unravelling of the EU would be a boon and a relief for Europeans, and a victory for the popular revolutionary movements against the corrupt globalist EU leadership.

The White House said there was no transcript of the conversation. The sources who had been briefed on it described it as polite and stressed there was no evidence Trump was prepared to go beyond his rhetorical attacks on the EU – he has repeatedly praised Britain’s decision to leave – and take concrete steps to destabilize the bloc.

But anxiety over the White House stance led French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, to issue unusual calls last week for Pence to affirm during his visit to Europe that the U.S. was not aiming to break up the EU.

Pence obliged on Monday in Brussels, pledging strong ties between the United States and the EU, and making clear his message was shared by the president.

“President Trump and I look forward to working together with you and the European Union to deepen our political and economic partnership,” he said.

But the message did not end the concerns in European capitals.

If that is true, it is good news!

“We are worried and we should be worried,” Thomas Matussek, senior adviser at Flint Global and a former German ambassador to the Britain and the United Nations, told Reuters.

“No one knows anything at the moment about what sort of decisions will be coming out of Washington. But it is clear that the man on top and the people closest to him feel that it’s the nation state that creates identity and not what they see as an amorphous group of countries like the EU.”

Right!

With elections looming in the Netherlands, France and Germany this year, European officials said they hoped Pence, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could convince Trump to work constructively with the EU.

The worst-case scenario from Europe’s point of view was described by Ischinger in an article published last week, entitled “How Europe should deal with Trump”.

He said that if the U.S. administration actively supported right-wing populists in the looming election campaigns it would trigger a “major transatlantic crisis”.

We would like to see what that looks like.

We hope the U.S. administration does support the populist movements in Europe, and that the populist nationalist candidates win their elections. If they do – if populist nationalist candidates come to power in a number of EU countries – there will be no “major transatlantic crisis”.  There will be peace and harmony between those governments and the U.S. government.

There will also be sound reason to expect the survival and prosperity of the Western world.

 

The philosopher of Trumpism? (Part Two) 1

(Continuing from the post immediately below, being a commentary on an article by Gwynn Guilford and Nikhil Sonnad at Quartz, about the political philosophy of Stephen K. Bannon, whom President Trump has appointed Chief  Strategist.)  

The authors write:

It’s important to note that “Judeo-Christian values” does not necessarily seem to require that all citizens believe in Christianity. Bannon doesn’t appear to want to undo the separation of church and state or freedom of religion enshrined in America’s constitution. After all, both of these are traditions that have led America to success in the past. What he believes is that the founding fathers built the nation based on a set of values that come from the Judeo-Christian tradition. …

But the values the founding fathers built the nation on did not come from “Judeo-Christian values”; they came from a revolution against Christian values – the Enlightenment.

True, “Nature’s God” is mentioned in The Declaration of Independence, which also declares that Men “are endowed by their Creator” with certain rights. But when one looks at the actual values that the Declaration and the Constitution enshrine, they are the values of the Enlightenment – individual freedom, self-determination, tolerance, responsible ownership, rationality, patriotism: not the values of any religion.

It is [in Bannon’s view] through … the primacy of the nation-state’s values and traditions — that America can drive a stake through the heart of the global, secular “establishment”.

In addition to enriching themselves and encouraging dependency among the poor, global elites also encourage immigrants to flood the US and drag down wages. Immigrant labor boosts the corporate profits of globalists and their cronies, who leave it to middle-class natives to educate, feed, and care for these foreigners. The atheistic, pluralist social order that has been allowed to flourish recoils at nationalism and patriotism, viewing them as intolerant and bigoted. …

Atheism has nothing whatever to do with it. Hundreds of thousands of the immigrants have been Muslims, and however secular the Left governments have been, they have demanded that the host nation treat the – extremely intolerant – newcomers with deference. But it is true that those who welcome the Muslims “recoil” at nationalism and patriotism. 

[Bannon] pointed out that each of …  three preceding crises had involved a great war, and those conflicts had increased in scope from the American Revolution through the Civil War to the Second World War. He expected a new and even bigger war as part of the current crisis, and he did not seem at all fazed by the prospect. …

War with whom?

Bannon is left searching for a major, existence-level enemy. Does the “Party of Davos” alone qualify? Who else could this war be fought against?

In the 2014 Vatican lecture, Bannon goes further. “I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism. … I believe you should take a very, very, very aggressive stance against radical Islam…. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions.” …

We agree with Bannon about that too.

Bannon’s remarks and his affiliations with anti-Muslim activists like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer leave the impression that the enemy might well be Islam in general.

Yes. And so it is. Islam has declared war on the West, and sooner or later the West must fight and win it.

[He] entertains the argument that Islam’s “war” against Christianity “originated almost from [Islam’s] inception.”

It did.

He endorses the view that, in the lead-up to World War II, Islam was a “much darker” force facing Europe than fascism.

It was as dark. And Turkey and most of the Arabs were allies of Hitler and Mussolini.

Other ideas he has supported include: a US nonprofit focused on promoting a favorable image of Muslims is a terrorist front

If they mean Hamas-affiliated CAIR, which seems most probable, then again Bannon is right …

the Islamic Society of Boston mosque was behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

It very likely was …

and Muslim-Americans are trying to supplant the US constitution with Shariah law.

Many are.

… Bannon’s diatribes against the media brim with spite toward journalists’ arrogance, superiority, and naivety.

“Spite”? The media are spiteful. Say “anger” instead, and there are millions of us who share it with him.

… [R]ecently, he told the New York Times that the media “should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while”. He added: “I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” …

Again, we agree.

In his 2014 Vatican speech, he says:

I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run. I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don’t believe that. They believe they know what’s best for how they will comport their lives.

And we think that is true.

But this cosmic avenger role Bannon seems to claim as voice-giver to the “forgotten” middle-classes hints at a deeper relish of conflict. … In particular, the aesthetic of his documentaries can be nauseatingly violent. Torchbearer is a tour de force of gore. (There are at least six separate shots of falling guillotines, as well as lingering footage of nuclear radiation victims, mass burials from Nazi gas chambers, and various ISIL atrocities.)

Events brought about by self-appointed elites and savage jihadis. Should they be ignored? Forgotten?

The authors then ask what all this means for the Trump presidency, and give us their answer:

Even before he took charge of Trump’s campaign, in Aug. 2016, Bannon’s philosophies pervaded its rhetoric. If there was any question about the role his views would play in the Trump administration, the last two weeks have made it clear: The president’s leadership hangs from the scaffolding of Bannon’s worldview.

Trump’s inaugural address was basically a telepromptered Bannon rant. Where inaugural speeches typically crackle with forward-looking optimism, Trump’s was freighted with anti-elite resentment. He described a Bannonistic vision in which the “wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.” The “forgotten men and women of our country” — a meme that Trump claimed, but that appears in Generation Zero — had a cameo too.

Trump heaped blame on the “establishment,” which “protected itself” but not American citizens from financial ruin. “And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land,” Trump continued. “We’ve made other countries rich, while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon.”

“America first” is Bannon’s economic nationalism in slogan form. Trump’s vow to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth” was a mellowed-out version of the West’s battle against “Islamic fascists.”

There’s more. Trump’s remarks that the “Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity,” that “most importantly, we will be protected by God,” and that children from both Detroit and Nebraska are “infused with the breath of life by the same almighty creator” seemed kind of bizarre coming from a not-very-religious man. …

We are glad of that.

Within days of the inauguration came the dizzying spurt of executive actions — written by Bannon and Stephen Miller, [another] White House policy advisor …

Now the authors, whose hostility to Bannon has been growing in clarity and force, openly show their antagonism to the Trump administration:

Bannon’s philosophy toward Islam seems likely to have influenced the order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. Recalling that line about how immigrants are not “Jeffersonian democrats”, the document prescribes ensuring the allegiance to America’s “founding principles” and the US constitution of anyone admitted to the country, including tourists.

How is that an unreasonable requirement?

Trump also implied in a TV interview with the Christian Broadcast Network that he wanted to prioritize Christians refugees over Muslims, accusing the US government of favoring Muslim refugees over Christians in the past (a claim for which there’s no evidence).

That is an outrageous statement. The Christians of the Middle East have been, and are being, atrociously persecuted by Muslims, yet far more Muslims – who do not have any values in common with most Americans – have been let in enthusiastically by President Obama, while Christians, who do, and who need asylum far more urgently, have been admitted in far smaller numbers. They were deliberately excluded by Obama. See here and here.

Some argue (fairly convincingly) that Trump’s ban risks lending credence to ISIL recruitment propaganda claiming that the US is leading the West in a war on all of Islam.

And that is an absurd argument, not convincing in the least. ISIL/ISIS has been doing its atrocious deeds for years. Everyone knows it. It is long past time for it to be opposed, eliminated from the face of the earth – and all possible ways its operatives can enter America shut off.  A banning order is common sense.

Another of the new administration’s focuses — the danger posed by Mexicans flooding over the border — is also a central theme of Bannon’s vision of America under siege. …

“America under siege”. Has Bannon made such a claim? Or Trump? A belief to that effect is attributed to President Trump by his opponents, but has he or Bannon ever actually said it? Anyway, the authors present  some spurious arguments against Trump’s executive action which declares that “many”  unauthorized immigrants “present a significant threat to national security and public safety” – something we all know to be true – and they back them up with reference to pronouncements made by “criminology and immigration experts”. The plain fact that “unauthorized immigrants” are in the United States illegally bypasses the authors’ consciousness.

 Finally, Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal supported by what would count as the “elite”, includes a special shout-out to “the American worker”, the classic Bannon theme.

The TPP was a rotten project. It was supported by the “elite”. American workers have been overlooked and made poorer. Bannon is not the only observer to have noticed that and Trump did not need Bannon to point it out to him.

The possibility that many of these positions are right and good, and the fact that many people support Trump in espousing them, are not considered by Guilford and Sonnad.

Bannon savors the power of symbolism. That symbolic power infused Trump’s campaign, and now, apparently, his administration’s rhetoric. …  So it’s possible that the narrative flowing through Trump’s inaugural address and executive actions is simply what Bannon has calibrated over time to rouse maximum populist fervor — and that it doesn’t reflect plans to upend America.

There’s also, however, the possibility that Bannon is steering Trump toward the “enlightened capitalist”, Judeo-Christian, nationalistic vision that he has come to believe America needs.

Which it is, we can’t know, of course: Only Bannon knows what Bannon really wants. What we do know for sure, though, is that a man who has … a deep desire for a violent resurgence of “Western civilization” now has the power to fulfill it.

A “violent resurgence” of something dubiously called “Western civilization”. Is that deplorable? Is there no such thing as Western civilization? Is it not under attack?

Is there some means other than violence to destroy ISIS?

Or to stop Iran from nuking the West as it plainly intends to do?

The mind-set, assumptions, prejudices, and obliviousness to stark dangers that Guilford and Sonnad manifest, illustrate the need for the vision shared by President Trump, Stephen Bannon, and Stephen Miller to be acted upon by all necessary means.

The philosopher of Trumpism? (Part One) 4

The defeated Democrats and their furious supporters of the fourth estate have not tried to find out what Donald Trump and his like-thinkers actually think. They accuse him and his supporters of being everything they consider vile. So it’s a welcome development if some journalists try to find out what he believes, what he stands for, what he aims at.

Two researchers, apparently already convinced that President Trump’s own ideas are not discoverable at present (a conviction stated with a hint that he doesn’t have any), studied instead his closest adviser, a man with a philosophical turn of mind, and investigated him through what he had said and done in the past. If there is to be such a thing as Trumpism, it would be formed by this thinker, they deduce.

The adviser is Stephen Bannon. His official position in the White House is Chief Strategist. Democrats use their whole vocabulary of five or six political insults to denigrate him: “bigot”, “racist”, “xenophobe”, “Islamophobe”, “Nazi” (a favorite screech by mobs who are increasingly Nazi-like), and even one label not always used as an insult by the Left – “anti-Semite”.

But the two researchers, Gwynn Guilford and Nikhil Sonnad, tried to find out what Bannon’s ideas really were. And they wrote an article about him, to be found at Quartz:

What does Donald Trump want for America? His supporters don’t know. His party doesn’t know. Even he doesn’t know.

If there is a political vision underlying Trumpism, however, the person to ask is not Trump. It’s his éminence grise, Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist of the Trump administration.

…  Through a combination of luck (a fallen-through deal left him with a stake in a hit show called Seinfeld) and a knack for voicing outrage, Bannon remade himself as a minor luminary within the far edge of right-wing politics, writing and directing a slew of increasingly conservative documentaries.

“The far edge of right-wing politics” they say. So Bannon is on the “far right”? We conservatives only say that someone is on the “far right” if we mean someone like Mussolini, or the Black Hundreds, or Vlad the Impaler, or Genghis Khan. To us conservatives, Mr. Bannon does not sound or behave like any of them.

So now we expect that this article might not be a friendly portrait of its subject.

Bannon’s influence reached a new high in 2012 when he took over Breitbart News, an online news site, following the death of creator Andrew Breitbart. While at Breitbart, Bannon ran a popular talk radio call-in show and launched a flame-throwing assault on mainstream Republicans, embracing instead a fringe cast of ultra-conservative figures. Among them was Trump, a frequent guest of the show.

Trump “an ultra-conservative figure”? A lot of conservatives complained that he wasn’t conservative enough. Many insisted he wasn’t conservative at all.

And the question arises – why not examine what Trump said as a guest on that show? Is it not possible that something Trump said now and then influenced what Bannon thought?

They established a relationship that eventually led Bannon to mastermind Trump’s populist romp to the White House, culminating in his taking the administration’s most senior position (alongside the chief of staff, Reince Priebus).

“Populist”, we suspect, is a pejorative to the authors. And what of “romp”? What is a romp? A caper, a frolic, a bout of jolly play – nothing serious like standing for election as the president of the United States with a smart strategy for winning.

It’s impossible to know for sure what Bannon will do with his newfound power; he honors few interview requests lately, ours included. (The White House did not respond to our request to speak with Bannon.) But his time as a conservative filmmaker and head of Breitbart News reveals a grand theory of what America should be. Using the vast amount of Bannon’s own publicly available words — from his lectures, interviews, films and more — we can construct elements of the vision for America he hopes to realize in the era of Trump.

Bannon’s political philosophy boils down to three things that a Western country, and America in particular, needs to be successful: Capitalism, nationalism, and “Judeo-Christian values”. These are all deeply related, and essential.

We will be commenting on that below.

America, says Bannon, is suffering a “crisis of capitalism”.  … Capitalism used to be all about moderation, an entrepreneurial American spirit, and respect for one’s fellow Christian man. In fact, in remarks delivered to the Vatican in 2014, Bannon says that this “enlightened capitalism” was the “underlying principle” that allowed the US to escape the “barbarism” of the 20th century.

Since this enlightened era, things have gradually gotten worse. (Hence the “crisis”.) The downward trend began with the 1960s and ’70s counterculture. “The baby boomers are the most spoiled, most self-centered, most narcissistic generation the country’s ever produced,” says Bannon in a 2011 interview.

Is there a good argument that he is wrong about this? If so, we would like to hear it.

He takes on this issue in more detail in Generation Zero, a 2010 documentary he wrote and directed. The film shows one interviewee after another laying out how the “capitalist system” was slowly undermined and destroyed by a generation of wealthy young kids who had their material needs taken care of by hardworking parents — whose values were shaped by the hardship of the Great Depression and World War II — only to cast off the American values that had created that wealth in the first place. This shift gave rise to socialist policies that encouraged dependency on the government, weakening capitalism.

Again, we would like to hear a refutation of that judgment.

Eventually, this socialist vision succeeded in infiltrating the very highest levels of institutional power in America.

It did indeed. It was in pursuit of a long-term plan of the New Left which its adherents called “the long march through the institutions“. Nothing fictitious about it. Not an invention of paranoid “far-right” conservatives but of the Italian Communist leader, Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), eagerly taken up by the New Left in the late 1960s everywhere in the Western world.

“By the late 1990s, the left had taken over many of the institutions of power, meaning government, media, and academe,” says Peter Schweizer, a writer affiliated with Bannon’s Government Accountability Institute, a conservative think tank, in Generation Zero. “And it was from these places and positions of power that they were able to disrupt the system and implement a strategy that was designed to ultimately undermine the capitalist system.” …

Anything untrue there? Anything misleading? Not that we can see.

Underlying all of this is the philosophy of Edmund Burke, an influential 18th-century Irish political thinker whom Bannon occasionally references.

It figures that he would. Edmund Burke is generally considered one of the foremost philosophers of conservatism.

In Reflections on the Revolution in France, Burke presents his view that the basis of a successful society should not be abstract notions like human rights, social justice, or equality.

Indeed not. Those are the political obsessions of the contemporary Left: “human rights” for some by imposing obligations on others; “social justice” at the cost of justice itself which can only be applied to individuals; “equality” at the price of liberty, through tyrannical state enforcement. 

Rather, societies work best when traditions that have been shown to work are passed from generation to generation. The baby boomers, Bannon says in a lecture given to the Liberty Restoration Foundation (LRF), failed to live up to that Burkean responsibility by abandoning the tried-and-true values of their parents (nationalism, modesty, patriarchy, religion) in favor of new abstractions (pluralism, sexuality, egalitarianism, secularism).

Now obviously we have a difference of opinion with both Burke and Bannon on one of their preferred values: religion. But it certainly was valued by Burke, and is valued by most American conservatives. (Burke had a Catholic mother and a Protestant father. He believed strongly in the importance of Christianity as the foundation of conservative politics. And Bannon is a Catholic.)

By  “modesty” the authors mean chasteness. We gather that, because the authors name its opposite as “sexuality”. As sexuality is not a value, we have to understand it to imply “immodesty” or promiscuousness as one of the “new abstractions” opposed to Burkean conservatism.

By “pluralism”they can only mean multiculturalism and globalism.

By “egalitarianism” they mean socialism.

For both Burke and Bannon, failure to pass the torch results in social chaos.

Once in power, the liberal, secular, global-minded elite overhauled the institutions of democracy and capitalism to tighten its grip on power and the ability to enrich itself. The “party of Davos“, as Bannon long ago dubbed this clique, has warped capitalism’s institutions, depriving middle classes everywhere of the wealth they deserve.

Leaving aside that secularism does not interfere with democracy or distort capitalism, did that not happen? It did.

This pattern of exploitation came to a head in the 2008 global financial and economic crisis. Wall Street — enabled by fellow global elites in government — spun profits out of speculation instead of investing their wealth in domestic jobs and businesses. When the resulting bubble finally burst, the immoral government stuck hardworking American taxpayers with the bailout bill.

An incomplete description of what happened. The house-owning bubble was not caused by Wall Street; it was caused by Democratic governments insisting that financial institutions give mortgage loans to people who could not afford them. So yes, Wall Street was “enabled by global elites in government”.

This is the kind of thing that led Bannon to say in that 2011 LRF lecture that there is “socialism for the very wealthy”. The rest of the country, he says, is [sic] “common sense, practical, middle-class people”.

There is also “socialism for the very poor,” he adds. “We’ve built a welfare state that is completely and totally unsupportable, and now this is a crisis.”

Bannon wants all of this liberal-sponsored “socialism” to end. He celebrates CNBC host Rick Santelli’s famous 2009 tirade about “those who carry the water and those who drink the water”, which sparked what became the Tea Party, a populist movement focused on tax cuts, fiscal scrimping, and a narrow interpretation of constitutional rights. Channeling the spirit of the Tea Party, Bannon blames Republicans as much as Democrats for taking part in cronyism and corruption at the expense of middle class families.

What Guilford and Sonnad call “fiscal scrimping” we, like the Tea Party, call “fiscal responsibility”.

What they call “a narrow interpretation of constitutional rights”, we call “rights according to the Constitution”.

But, yes, there were Republicans as well as Democrats who took part in cronyism and corruption at the expense of the middle class.

So far, the authors’ attempt subtly to convey a portrait of a stuff-shirt bigot would convince only those who already think of conservatives as stuff-shirt bigots. But nothing that has been said (except to us the mention of religion as a good thing), actually puts a single black mark against Mr Bannon in conservative eyes.

“We don’t really believe there is a functional conservative party in this country and we certainly don’t think the Republican Party is that,” says Bannon in a 2013 panel in which he discusses Breitbart’s vision. “We tend to look at this imperial city of Washington, this boomtown, as they have two groups, or two parties, that represent the insiders’ commercial party, and that is a collection of insider deals, insider transactions and a budding aristocracy that has made this the wealthiest city in the country.”

In short, in Bannonism, the crisis of capitalism has led to socialism and the suffering of the middle class. And it has made it impossible for the current generation to bequeath a better future to its successors, to fulfill its Burkean duty.

So what exactly are these traditions that Americans are meant to pass along to future generations? In addition to “crisis of capitalism,” one of Bannon’s favorite terms is “Judeo-Christian values*.” This is the second element of his theory of America.

Generation Zero, Bannon’s 2010 documentary, has a lot to say about “American values”, and a lot of this matches closely the ideals of the Tea Party. But since 2013 or 2014, Bannon’s casual emphasis on American values has swelled to include a strong religious component. The successful functioning of America — and Western civilization in general — depends on capitalism, and capitalism depends on the presence of “Judeo-Christian values.” …

The article continues to discuss Bannon’s views on the connection between capitalism and “Judeo-Christian values” at some length. We’ll cut most of it out, but will also stress that our disagreement with Stepehen Bannon on this point in no way weakens our agreement with his historical analysis, his advocacy for capitalism, or his strong preference for nationalism over globalism.

 

Footnote:

In obstinate opposition to a universal assumption, we deny that there is any such thing as “Judeo-Christian values”. The values of Judaism and the values of Christianity are not only different, they are contradictory. (See our post, Against “Judeo-Christian values”, August 26, 2014.)  The very fact that we agree with the rest of the Burke/Bannon political philosophy without being religious, disproves their contention thatCapitalism, nationalism, and Judeo-Christian values … are all deeply related, and essential”.

 

 

(To be continued)

Bulletin from a battleground of the people’s revolution 12

The rulers of Europe and their supporting media are beginning to feel seriously embattled. They are aware and frightened of a spreading discontent, a darkening mood of defiance and even rebellion among the peoples they lead.

Their instinct – the instinct of tyrants – is to protect themselves by using government to silence criticism.

Of all the members of the European Union, Germany, it seems, is where the ruling class feels most insecure and is responding with most high-handed imperiousness. This is not hard to account for. Germany is anxious to live down its appalling modern history; dissolve its guilt in the wider sea of a European state; dilute its very nationhood in a flood of immigrants bringing different laws, culture, and religion.

But rising populist movements are demanding the dissolution of the European Union and a stop to Muslim immigration.

From Gatestone by Stefan Frank:

The elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection.

Toward the end of last year, Germany experienced a previously unheard-of boycott campaign – funded by the German government, no less – against several websites, such as the popular Axis of Good (Achse des Guten). The website, critical of the government, was suddenly accused of “right-wing populism”.

The German government’s efforts at thought control seem to have begun with the victory of Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election – that seems to set the “establishment” off. Germany’s foreign minister and the probable future federal president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier – one of the first to travel to Iran after the removal of sanctions there to kowtow to the Ayatollahs – called America’s future president a “hate preacher”.

Herr Steinmeier, uniquely among European leaders, has come to his senses since then, recognized that there has been a world-transforming political upheaval in America, and plans to talk to President Trump in an effort to understand what the popular revolution is all about.

Germany’s newspapers were suddenly littered with apocalyptic predictions and anti-American fulminations.

For hard-core Trump-haters, however, a witch hunt by itself is insufficient; they want activism! Since November, Germany’s left-wing parties have had a strong increase in membership, as reported by Der Spiegel. At the same time, the federal government evidently decided, at least regarding the federal elections taking place in 2017, that it would no longer count on journalists’ self-censorship.

The German government, instead of merely hoping that newspapers would voluntarily – or under pressure from the Press Council – refrain from criticising the government’s immigration policies, decided that it, itself, would inaugurate censorship.

To this effect, as reported by Der Spiegel, the Federal Interior Ministry, intends to set up a “Defense Center against Disinformation (“Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation“) in the fight against “fake news on social networks”. “Abwehr” – the name of Nazi Germany’s military intelligence agency – is apparently meant to demonstrate the government’s seriousness regarding the matter.

“It sounds like the Ministry of Truth, ‘Minitrue,’ from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984,” wrote even the left-leaning daily, Frankfurter Rundschau.

Frank Überall, national head of the German Association of Journalists (DJV), bluntly stated: “This smells like censorship.”

It seems that all ideas suspected of being “populist” – or simply those ideas without the blessing of the elites – will now be banned in Germany. This restriction applies to criticism of the government (especially regarding immigration and energy policies), of the EU, of Islam, of government officials and of the media.

The Federal Agency for Political Education – the information agency of the Interior Ministry – is quite open about it: “Anti-elitism”, “anti-intellectualism”, “anti-politics” and “hostility toward institutions” are “the key characteristics of populism”.

Toward the end of 2016, one of the biggest German media scandals in recent memory erupted when Gerald Hensel, undoubtedly a member of Germany’s elite, tried to introduce a new form of internet censorship with the help of a team of media agencies and political players. Until recently, Hensel was “Director of Strategy” at Scholz & Friends, one of Germany’s two big advertising agencies. The firm counts among its clients multinational corporations such as General Motors, the German federal government and the European Commission; so one might say the company is close to the state.

Apparently in anger over Trump’s election victory, Hensel demanded: “Let us freeze the cash flow of the right-wing extremist media!” He had previously written a strategy brief declaring debate to be useless; instead, the political enemy — the “populists” – needed to be fought, even with questionable methods:

The liberal center must, especially in these new digital and information-based wars, take off the kid gloves. We have to turn the tables and learn about populism, particularly on the Internet … Thus, we have to respond in a more wide-spread digital manner and with explicitly less sympathy to those people who want to force their own future on us – and do this long before the next federal election … Political storytelling, targeting the political enemy, influencers, forums, rumors…”

“Measures,” he added, have to be taken against the “new right” – measures that:

… [A]re “Below the Line” and also digital. We need “good” troll factories in our fight against [European “populist” leaders] Frauke Petry, Beatrix von Storch, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and the fat stupid white men behind them. Ideally, as quickly as possible. Starting in 2017, they will continue to dismantle the EU and thus our future and that of our children.

Toward the end of November, Hensel appealed to his colleagues in various advertising agencies, under the banner of “no money for the right”, to boycott all those who fit the description of his bogeyman – because they were “hostile towards the EU”, or because they might even harbor sympathies for Donald Trump. He was jumping on a bandwagon. A witch hunt was already under way against the American website Breitbart, due to the closeness of its former executive chair, Steve Bannon, to Donald Trump.

Without providing any kind of proof, countless German newspapers and broadcasters claimed that Breitbart was “racist”, “sexist”, “xenophobic”, “anti-Semitic” and “Islamophobic”, and a “hate site”. The state-owned German television station ARD described Breitbart as an “ultra right-wing” platform for “white supremacy”. Other journalists followed suit.

Hensel went one step farther. In the style of a prosecutor during the Inquisition, he called to break the “dominance of right-wing micro media”. He seems to consider particularly dangerous and subversive, anyone who reads articles that do not originate from one of Germany’s media empires:

“While I may satisfy my thirst for information with my subscriptions to ZEIT or Le Mode Diplomatique, the brave new-right freedom-fighter likes to stay informed via online media such as the Axis of Good or Breitbart News.”

This alone raises several suspicions. Hensel, whose website (which since December can only be accessed with a password) is graced by the display of a Soviet red star, likes to eliminate his opponents swiftly. Breitbart, for example, is deemed fascist (“salon-fascists”). Why? Because the blog — and here he, supposedly for simplicity’s sake, quotes an article from the Süddeutsche Zeitung — “covers all the topics of German right-wing populism”; Breitbart reports about “the migrant and refugee policies of the German federal government, as well as of supposed criminal acts conducted by migrants and Islamic activities”.

There is freedom of speech in my stupid little world. Undoubtedly, websites such as Breitbart News and the Axis of Good … are legal media. Nevertheless, one could ask brand names whether they … are aware that their banner ads appear on these particular websites and represent their brand there.

This type of “asking”, of course, roughly corresponds to the mafia “asking” the pizzeria owner if he has fire insurance.

Hensel also considerately provided detailed instructions for his readers. Those employed by an enterprise should check whether the websites that he deemed “right-wing” are registered on a blacklist. Employees of advertising agencies should form a team, with Hensel and other authoritarians, for internet censorship:

If your career in a media agency has propelled you a little higher up the hierarchy, you might be able to bring up the topic at the next media get-together with colleagues. 2017 is an election year. You, dearest colleagues, clearly have a part in determining who receives our advertising dollars.

Hensel also suggests that consumers put direct pressure on companies or approach them via social media, to dissuade them from advertising on “hate publishers” and “destroyers of the future”.

This manifesto was only published on a private blog — one that barely anyone had ever heard of before. But the power of which Hensel boasted – the networks in the advertising agencies and editorial offices – is real. On Hensel’s command, big newspapers and websites reported on the operation with much sympathy, along with the hashtag #NoMoneyForTheRight.

Large companies such as Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), BMW, Mercedes-Benz and the supermarket chain REWE obeyed straightaway, and promised to place “Breitbart” on the blacklist immediately and never to advertise there againDer Spiegel cited Hensel’s “resistance” (!) and pilloried one business that did not follow suit: A plucky little pizza delivery service that responded to the blacklisting demand by declaring that it was “not the morality police”. The company was denounced by Der Spiegel as “inept”, and after “protests from customers”, it ended up capitulating, as the newspaper reported with much satisfaction.

Breitbart will cope with missing out on a few hundred dollars of advertising revenue from Germany. Hensel, however, was successful in his attempt to motivate his ad agency colleagues against German websites such as the Axis of Good. Within a few days, none of them advertised there anymore. Advertising revenue, equally important for websites as it is for newspapers, came to a halt. Hensel had achieved his goal.

For this campaign, Hensel also received support from the group Network Against Nazis (Netz gegen Nazis), which receives financing from by Germany’s federal government, the German Football Association and the newspaper Die Zeit, and which, until recently, also counted Scholz & Friends among its supporters. In the tried and true Orwellian fashion of calling things their opposite, the definition of “Nazi”, for Network Against Nazis, encompasses anyone who is “Islamophobic” or “hostile toward the media”.

Shortly after Hensel’s call for boycotts, the Axis of Good was placed on a list of “popular right-wing blogs” by Network Against Nazis – together with the liberal publisher Roland Tichy and the evangelical civil rights activist Vera Lengsfeld (who is a thorn in the side of communists, because she fought against the East Germany’s dictatorship in the 1980s). The Amadeu-Antonio Foundation, which runs the Network Against Nazis website, receives almost a million euros per year from the federal government. Not surprisingly, it demonstrates its gratitude with character assassinations of critics of the government.

Within a short time, Hensel had put together a kind of mafia, bent on economically ruining whoever rejected his ideological commands, by using libel and slander to scare away their customers.

As the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily newspaper commented:

It is very fashionable right now to stigmatize people and denounce them as “right-wing” if they do not share your views. Companies want nothing to do with that label, and, as you can see on Twitter, they quickly change direction if they are aggressively made aware that they support the wrong side with their ads (which are often automatically activated and run on the internet).”

The Left’s lie that Nazism (National Socialism) was “right-wing” rather than one of its own branches – which it was – has stuck, giving the Left one of its few lasting victories.

In response to the boycott campaign against it, the Axis of Good showed how a business can defend itself: the editors raised a public alarm about Hensel’s campaign in a series of reports and commentaries. Thousands of readers complained on the Facebook page of Hensel’s employer, Scholz & Friends, which, after its initial support, began to distance itself from its employee’s campaign and finally severed ties with him.

According to Hensel’s version, his campaign was “so successful” that he wanted to take his employer “out of the line of fire”.

My former employer and I became the victims of a massive hate storm consisting of countless tweets, emails and comments on social media … This is a systematic campaign.

As if that was a wicked thing, and as if his campaign had not been “systematic”.

Of course, it was Hensel himself who initiated a systematic campaign, including dirty tricks, which were waged with an eye to the government’s apparent plans to consolidate the population ideologically.

That is the chilling plan, precisely worded. And that is true Nazism, true Stalinism. 

As research by the Axis of Good has revealed, Hensel’s boycott operation was closely tied to the plans by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs to conduct an advertising campaign in support of an open-door immigration policy in 2017. For this, an advertising agency was necessary, as reported in September by an industry journal:

As revealed by a Europe-wide announcement, the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is looking for an agency to advertise the brand “Living democracy! Actively against right-wing extremism, violence and inhumanity”.

Ad agencies were invited to submit their suggestions by the middle of December. The Axis of Good concluded:

There is a suspicion that this [boycott] operation was a hurried pilot project for the bid for the million-euro project by [Federal Minister] Schwesig’s Family Ministry. A free trial run for the so-called “advertising pitch”.

Regarding the question of how much economic damage was caused to the Axis of Good by the boycott campaign, Henryk M. Broder, the website’s publisher, told Gatestone:

It is significant, but how big it really was, we will only know in a few months. After all, it is not the companies themselves that stopped advertising, but the agencies. The damage for Scholz & Friends could be even bigger, but they do not talk about it.”

The Hamburger Abendblatt daily referred to Hensel’s campaign as an “attack on the freedom of the press,” adding: “It seems as if the shot from the activists backfired.”

As in communist dictatorships, the more obvious the failings of the government, the more aggressively the establishment attacks those who speak out about them.

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