In this time of painful stress and deep dread leading up to the most important US presidential election ever, the great actor Jon Voight speaks eloquently to us and for us. (We politely overlook his appeal to “God”.)
Why was Obama, the Islam-loving communist, twice voted into the presidency of the capitalist, Islam-attacked, United States?
Why do most Americans “think” that Obama is doing a good job – though they know the economy is bad, millions are unemployed, businesses are overburdened with regulations, travelers are manhandled and humiliated at airports, an American ambassador was killed abroad with impunity, the Taliban is back in business in Afghanistan, the Middle East is in flames since Obama assisted the displacement of allied rulers with Islamic fundamentalists … and so on and on?
Why do millions of Americans “think” that economic equality is morally desirable?
Why are tens of millions content to live on state support without attempting to improve their standard of living by their own efforts?
Why do millions of university students in America admire intellectuals who hate America, such as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, and make an icon out of the sadistic mass-murderer Che Guevara?
Why? Because they’ve been told to. They’ve been told that good people do and “think” these things. They want to be good. They believe what they’ve been taught.
The same answer applies to: Why Muslim women believe they must put up with being sexually mutilated and enslaved to men. Why multitudes the world over believe that there was a nation called Palestinians who were driven off their land by aggressive usurping Jews. Why Christians believe that a man who once lived and died lives on as one part of a three-part god. Why Muslims and Christians imagine that when you are dead you are still alive in another place. Why Jews believe that their benign and omnipotent God has some unknowable but just purpose in having six million of them enslaved, starved, tortured and murdered by Nazis.
They believe these things because they were taught them. All this was drummed into them. They were raised to know that that is how it ought to be.
Few if any ideas are easy to spread. To get an idea accepted by large numbers of people takes patience, persistence, conviction, tireless energy on the part of those who want to spread it. The idea need not make good sense, be reasonable, come with proofs that it will work as its advocates say it will. It doesn’t even have to appeal strongly to the emotions. It just needs to become what “everybody” accepts.
If you want your idea to prevail over others, this is what it takes. First the conviction that it is right and everyone should know it. Next, a decision to spread it. Then energy, persistence, patience – and eventually force.
What made Christianity catch on? It wasn’t the life-style – poor, austere, hard, humble. Even the promise of eternal life was not a reliable recommendation as anyone’s eternity could as easily be endless agony as endless bliss (it was and is a 50-50 tossup). The theology was so hard to make sense of that the Church itself to this day has not settled it. And the morality it demanded was against human nature. So what made it succeed? Energy, persistence, patience, indoctrination, force.
See how long it took. From the time St Paul invented “Jesus Christ” to the time the emperor of Rome (Constantine) accepted the new god and the doctrines that had accreted to him, thus making it fashionable to be Christian (just a few decades before force was applied and it became compulsory), nearly three hundred years had passed. Three hundred years of persistent, patient, energetic proselytizing. Even then, it was not securely implanted in the minds of the subjects. One Emperor – Julian – came along and actually tried to reverse the trend by suppressing Christianity and re-instating paganism. He didn’t have enough time. He died in battle, his successors went back to favoring Christianity, and the Emperor Theodosius decreed that Christianity was to be the religion of the state. With him the final phase of force arrived.
Marxist Communism took less time to get a real grip on the minds of multitudes. Means of communications had speeded up considerably between the 4th and the 19th centuries, but still it took half a century (if one arbitrarily dates it from the first publication of Marx’s Das Kapital in 1867 to the success of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917). And still the same method had to be employed: energetic, patient, persistent proselytizing. Much repetition was required. The fever of enthusiasm had to be caught by two generations of intellectuals before the infection became a pandemic. Then came force.
The creed must become the norm. So pervasive must the doctrine be that anybody who does not subscribe to it wholeheartedly will appear egregious; an oddball, a rebel, a danger to everyone else and even to himself. The orthodoxy must be accepted without question as good, so anyone who opposes it is ipso facto a bad person.
By the late 20th century communications had become even faster, so the New Left, rising in 1968, could achieve the peaks of power in Europe in less than thirty years, and in America in forty years. It started as a weak revolutionary movement which brought nothing good with it to Western Europe and America, but much that was bad: recreational drugs, AIDS, and terrorism as self-expression. New Leftists complained that they had too much freedom, too much choice, that tolerance of their politics was repressive. And this irrational case was widely accepted, even while, on the other side of the iron curtain, a young man burnt himself to death to protest against the lack of freedom, choice, and tolerance.
The New Left movement was ignorant, blind, puerile, unreasonable, sadistic – yet it became, it has become, the prevailing belief-system of the greater part of the Western world, and at present in almost all “free” countries the standard ideology (or religion) of the state, no matter what political party is in power. How?
The plan was made. The plan was put into execution. Gramsci supplied the phrase for the overall strategy: “The Long March through the Institutions”. It wasn’t enough that the New Leftists should protest, should threaten and carry out violent attacks, should shout and write and display their slogans. They must take over the institutions of power, everyone of them: the smallest citizens’ groupings – such as library committees – were not too small. But none were too big. Town councils had to be infiltrated and eventually dominated; then newspapers, radio and TV channels; boards of education very importantly; the schools, the universities; the civil service; the law courts; a major political party; then the country’s legislative body, and eventually the pinnacles of power, prime ministerships, presidencies. Police forces and the military were formidable challenges. The tactic was first to discredit them and pressure them from outside by means of public opinion guided by the converted press; then to infiltrate them; finally bend them from within to conform to the doctrine and advance the cause.
Meanwhile books, films, articles, lessons, lectures, systems of reward, prizes must all promote the cause. It took decades, but it succeeded. Even in America now there have been at least two generations raised on New Left doctrine through schools, universities, books, films, the press, and TV.
How otherwise could the free Western world, whose policies and armies opposed the oppressing, enslaving Communist Eastern world, have been successfully converted to the very doctrine that oppressed, enslaved, tortured and mass murdered? It didn’t take reason. It didn’t take persuasion. The idea was no more innately and manifestly true and good than the idea of Christianity. But as in the case of spreading Christianity, it took conviction, decision, planning, energy, persistence, repetition, and finally force.
Only Leftist doctrine – government control of the economy, government provision of welfare, confiscatory and punitive taxation – is politically correct now in America. Collectivist thinking is the norm. Good people vote left. (When, in 2008, a Californian woman came upon a stall set up on a main street to canvass votes for the Republican presidential candidate John McCain, she called the police, and was astonished to learn that to solicit public support for the anti-collectivist Republican Party was not illegal.) Again, as with Christianity, the allegiance to the doctrine has little or nothing to do with its ideas. Most adherents could not explain what the ideas are. But they know that good people find them good, that good people vote for them. And that is all they need to know. Who doesn’t want to think of himself as a good person?
But the question of how did this become the case has not been fully answered. There is another aspect to the story. In order for one doctrine to succeed, it is necessary for other, counter doctrines to fail. If the ancient world had had enough confidence in paganism, enough enthusiasm for it, hadn’t taken it for granted, hadn’t become bored with it, hadn’t ignored the Christian missionaries with their crazy talk, could the weird, obscure, muddled, sorrowful, other-worldly new religion of Christianity have prevailed?
And the success of Leftism now – would it have happened if the conservative Right had been paying attention? Remember that old saying that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance”? Well, the Right was not being vigilant. It didn’t bother to argue against political correctness. It disregarded the cynical shenanigans going on in the United Nations as if it were nothing but a zoo housing many clamorous beasts who were safely confined and could in no way threaten American life, liberty or happiness. If it was made to feel now and then the bullying, deceitful, sly, sometimes violent tactics of the Left, it shrugged them off. Conservatives went on being civil and preferring honesty when the world’s mood had changed to favoring lies and abuse. They put their confidence in the fact that America had been founded as the political embodiment of the idea of personal freedom; had demonstrated to the world – forever, they believed – that freedom brought prosperity and might and stunning innovation. They assumed that the rightness of individual liberty, the capitalist system, and government by the people had been established forever. So strong and free a country could afford to be tolerant. Let some wild, immature, misguided persons preach despotism (Communism, Socialism, Progressivism, Greenism, whatever), the system was strong enough to be hospitable to alien ideas, and to allow dissent or even rebellion. Tested, it would prove itself inviolable. It could not only withstand opposition, it could absorb it and dissolve it. No special effort was required. American history was on the side of those who would defend freedom and the constitution. The separation of powers would protect them. The free press would dilute propaganda. Open enquiry in the academies would ensure that all points of view were argued and the most rational, the most humane, would persuade serious scholars. But they were wrong.
In their complacency, conservatives did not even notice the Long March. They could not mark its stations of success. Even now there are deluded Republicans who have not absorbed the fact that most Americans like collectivism; that they don’t object to electoral fraud; that they accept a failing economy; that many would rather live on government handouts than become rich; that being rich has become a morally bad thing; that it’s okay for foreign powers to develop weapons that can kill vast numbers of Americans; that the press does not report what is happening in the world but only what it wants to happen; that courts of law are willing to prefer foreign law to the Constitution; that it doesn’t matter if American representatives abroad are attacked and murdered; that freedom has become a term worthy only of contempt; that American history is a trail of shame; that a cruel religion is being allowed to seep through the body politic, and is protected and advanced by the government itself.
But now millions of conservatives are waking up and are asking, how did this happen? It happened because people patiently, energetically, persistently planned it and made it happen.
What can we do about it, they ask themselves and each other.
What they have to do about it is change the minds of the people. First they must be sure that they want the free republic the founders established; that they want to maintain free markets; that they don’t want a welfare state; that they do want to preserve national defenses; that they want indoctrination in the schools to stop; that they want to forbid the application of foreign law; that they do not want to go on funding an institution – the UN – that consistently works against their interests. Then they must decide that their political philosophy is right, uniquely right, and must be implemented at any and all costs. Then they must start teaching it. With energy, persistence, patience and fiery enthusiasm. It will take time. But that is the only way. Teach, preach, argue, use every method that works. Give up the idea that it’s better to be gentlemanly than to sink to using the methods of the opposition; that if you do as they do you will have betrayed the very values that you are fighting for. They have made the fight low and dirty. Get down in the dirt and fight it.
How badly does the conservative right want to win power in America? How important is it to them that they should?
If it is important, tell the voters, tell the children that the free market is the only means of creating general prosperity, and why. Tell them that central planning of an economy cannot work, and why. Tell them why competition is good for everyone, producers and consumers alike.
Tell them what profit is and why it is essential for ensuring abundance.
Tell them that only where people are free can there be discovery and innovation, improvement in everyone’s daily life, better technology, the advance of civilization. Explain why. Show them the proofs of history.
Tell them the truth about life in the Third World. Not politically correct sentimental drivel, but the actual awful facts about life in most other countries.
Tell them why impartial judgment is the only means to justice; why all sane adult citizens must be treated equally by the law; why people must be judged by their actions, not their intentions or feelings.
Tell them why government should be kept small and its powers limited. Tell them what the essential tasks of government are: protection of the nation, of the individual, of liberty, of the rule of law itself. And why governments should not be allowed more power and money than it needs to fulfill its few essential functions.
Shout down the shouters. Tell Muslims what is wrong with their creed and why American secularism is better. Don’t allow them to build a protective wall around themselves to shut out criticism of their absurd and savage beliefs.
Tolerate only the tolerant and tolerable.
It will take time. Start now. Stop short of force. But tell them.
The United States of America was – uniquely among nations – established on the idea of liberty.
Liberty is not, however, as The Declaration of Independence declares it to be, an “unalienable Right” endowed to Men by “their Creator”.
Nor is it “natural”.
It is a man-made artifact.
We quote from The Constitution of Liberty by F. A. Hayek, Chapter Four, Freedom, Reason, and Tradition:
Though freedom is not a state of nature but an artifact of civilization, it did not arise from design. …
The development of a theory of liberty took place mainly in the eighteenth century. It began in two countries, England and France. The first of these knew liberty, the second did not. As a result, we have had to the present day two different traditions in the theory of liberty … the first based on an interpretation of traditions and institutions which had spontaneously grown up … the second aiming at the construction of a utopia, which has often been tried but never successfully. …
What we have called the “British tradition” was made explicit mainly by a group of Scottish moral philosophers led by David Hume, Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson … drawing largely on a tradition rooted in the jurisprudence of the common law. Opposed to them was the tradition of the French Enlightenment … the Encyclopedists and Rousseau … are their best known representatives. …
There is hardly a greater contrast imaginable between their respective conceptions of the evolution and functioning of a social order and the role played in it by liberty. …
The British philosophers laid the foundations of a profound and essentially valid theory, while the French school was simply and completely wrong. …
Those British philosophers have given us an interpretation of the growth of civilization that is still the indispensable foundation of the argument for liberty. They find the origin of institutions, not in contrivance or design, but in the survival of the successful. …
This demonstration … represented in some ways an even grater challenge to all design theories than even the later theory of biological evolution. For the first time it was shown that an evident order which was not the product of a designing human intelligence need not therefore be ascribed to the design of a higher, supernatural intelligence, but that there was a third possibility – the emergence of order as the result of adaptive evolution.
While liberty needs to be guarded by the rule of law, it will dwindle and perish under regulation.
The more a nation is regulated and organized, the less liberty the people have. A society highly organized and regulated by government is an unfree society.
The United States is becoming ever less free. Its successive governments have become increasingly regulatory, or to put it another way, increasingly Leftist. The trend was interrupted and to some extent reversed by the presidency of Ronald Reagan. When he left office, the decay of liberty resumed. In the last eight years, President Obama – a firm believer in regulatory government – has all too often imposed his personal will by dictatorial executive order. In doing so, he acted as an enemy of the country he presided over.
The great Sovietologist, Robert Conquest, noted that there are “Three Laws of Politics”.
John Derbyshire recently recalled them, writing at National Review:
1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing.
3. The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.
And he adds:
Of the Second Law, Conquest gave the Church of England and Amnesty International as examples. Of the Third, he noted that a bureaucracy sometimes actually IS controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies – e.g. the postwar British secret service.
As the most historically important example of the Second Law, we can now add the United States of America.
Excellent as the US Constitution is, it has not kept governments from the fatal tendency.
The Democratic Party has become a wholly left-wing organization. If the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is elected to the presidency in 2016, the people will lose such liberty as remains to them.
One rare brave voice raised for freedom in Europe is that of Geert Wilders. Over and over again he breaks the law of his country and the European Union by speaking for freedom against the encroaching tyranny of Islam.
He writes at Gatestone:
The great Ronald Reagan once said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” These wise words are more true today than ever before. We are the free men and women of the West.
Freedom is our birthright. But if we fail to defend it, we are bound to lose it. And, sadly, that is exactly what is happening today.
2016’s Black Summer of Jihad, with terror attacks all over the free world, teaches us that the enemies of freedom are already among us. The ruling elites all over the Western world have accepted millions of people into our countries without demanding that they assimilate.
Many of these immigrants acquired our nationality. But some do not care for our country at all. They do not love it. They do not respect it. Nor do they respect us and our values.
They carry our passports, but they do not belong to us. They spit on our identity and behave like conquerors.
This is particularly true of many immigrants with an Islamic background. That is not surprising. Islam is a totalitarian ideology aimed at establishing tyrannical power over non-Muslims.
Islam commands its followers to make all nations submit to Islamic Sharia law, if necessary through the use of violence and terror.
Last week, we had an important debate in the Dutch Parliament. We discussed the future of our country. I pointed out that we will have no future if we do not de-islamize the Netherlands. Our time is a time for action.
Islam is an existential threat to our survival as a free nation. It violates all the basic principles and freedoms of our Constitution. It discriminates against non-Muslims, who have no rights under Islamic Sharia law.
It discriminates against women, who according to the Koran are worth only half a man. There is no freedom of religion under Islam. Apostates deserve the death penalty, the Koran tells Muslims that Jews are pigs and monkeys, and Christians have to submit or die.
There is no freedom of speech in Islam either. Criticism of Allah or Muhammad is punishable by death. There is no right to personal integrity. Islam advocates cruel corporal punishments, such as whipping, amputations, stoning, beheading. There is no right to live in peace and dignity. Islam orders war until the whole world has been submitted to Allah.
Some seem to think that by allowing freedom to the enemies of freedom, we prove that we stand for freedom. The opposite is true. By refusing to draw boundaries to our tolerance, we are handing away our freedom. If we continue being naive we will lose everything.
By depriving Islam of the means to destroy freedom, we are not violating freedom; we are preserving it. We should not turn freedom into a snake eating its own tail. Freedom requires a democracy willing to defend itself.
We need a political freedom agenda. It looks like this.
We must end all immigration from Islamic countries. There is more than enough Islam in our countries already.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, expects 77 million immigrants to enter Europe in the next half century. Most of them are Islamic.
If we do not stop them, we will be facing a catastrophe. We will be colonized and Islamized. We will cease to exist. We can already see how disruptive relatively small groups are. Research by the University of Amsterdam showed that 11% of the Muslims in the Netherlands are prepared to use violence for the sake of Islam. This is more than 100,000 people.
The more Islam we get, the more dangerous and less free our society becomes. Let us keep our countries safe. And lock the door to Islam.
We must also stimulate voluntary remigration of those who are already here. And those who stay must adopt our values; they must assimilate and integrate.
It is not extremist to demand that Muslims, who want to live in our midst, renounce the hateful doctrine and texts of Islam and abide by our laws. If they commit crimes, act against our laws, impose Sharia law, or wage jihad, we must expel them. My party wants to strip all criminals with dual nationalities of their Dutch nationality and expel them to the country of their other nationality.
These measures are part of our de-islamization plans and have been on our party platform for over ten years.
And, finally, in order to remain free, we must honor our freedoms by using them. That is why I will never give up my freedom of speech. Not in parliament nor anywhere else.
I have been dragged to court for asking party members at a meeting whether they want more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. 65% of Dutch Moroccan youths have been suspected of criminal activities. They are six times as often suspects of violent crime as indigenous Dutch, and 22 times as often of hold-ups and street robberies. They also constitute almost 80% of the Dutch jihadis traveling fighting in Syria for IS. Just last week, a Dutch Moroccan was arrested in Rotterdam for supplying French jihadis with Kalashnikovs and explosives. Nevertheless, according to the public prosecutor, asking Dutch voters whether they want more or less Moroccans in the Netherlands is a criminal offense.
But no matter the outcome of the trial, I will keep speaking. No judge will ever be able to silence me. And no jihadist will succeed either. For twelve years already, I have been on the death list of several Islamic terror organizations, from al-Qaeda to IS and the Taliban. I am under 24/7 protection by the police. I live in a safe house, am driven around in armored cars, have to wear bullet proof vests in public, and have to stand trial in converted bunkers. But I will never shut up.
The more they try to do so, the louder I will speak.
It is time to raise our voices. Let them sound like thunder: Freedom has a price. The price is to always defend it, no matter the consequences. To be brave and let no-one bully us into submission.
So, let us do our duty and ensure that Reagan’s warning never becomes a reality: Extinction is not an option!
Freedom or Islam. You cannot have it both ways. There is no middle way.
So the light of reason has broken over Senator Ted Cruz. He has seen at last that Donald Trump MUST win the presidential election.
Any vote not cast for Trump helps Hillary Clinton into power. Another presidency of the Left will do all it can to change the demographic composition of America with the intention of creating a permanent Democratic-supporting electorate.
This election is very probably the last chance Americans – those who value the liberty their country was founded to preserve – will have to save themselves from the tyranny of full-blown socialism, the advance of Islam, the dissolution of the nation-state, the end of the rule of law, and a life that is collective, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
The enlightened Ted Cruz writes:
This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.
In Cleveland, I urged voters, “Please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
If “voting your conscience” means preserving your moral purity while your free nation crashes round you, you are making a vain and foolish choice. Your nice clean little conscience, brother, doesn’t matter a damn when your civilization is at stake.
Fortunately, Cruz brought his conscience in line with political good sense.
After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
If Jesus advised him to vote for Trump, then Jesus has at last developed some degree of useful intelligence.
I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.
Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.
Six key policy differences inform my decision.
First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”
For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.
Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.
Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.
Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.
Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.
Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.
These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.
If Clinton wins, we know — with 100% certainty — that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country.
My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that.
We also have seen, over the past few weeks and months, a Trump campaign focusing more and more on freedom — including emphasizing school choice and the power of economic growth to lift African-Americans and Hispanics to prosperity.
Finally, after eight years of a lawless Obama administration, targeting and persecuting those disfavored by the administration, fidelity to the rule of law has never been more important.
The Supreme Court will be critical in preserving the rule of law. And, if the next administration fails to honor the Constitution and Bill of Rights, then I hope that Republicans and Democrats will stand united in protecting our fundamental liberties.
Hoping that Democrats will protect fundamental liberties is like hoping for rain in the Sahara desert.
Our country is in crisis.
Hillary Clinton is manifestly unfit to be president, and her policies would harm millions of Americans. And Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her way.
A year ago, I pledged to endorse the Republican nominee, and I am honoring that commitment. And if you don’t want to see a Hillary Clinton presidency, I encourage you to vote for him.
Hear him, all you obstinate conservatives and Republicans!
On November 8 you will pass through Last Chance Gate. Go through it and turn Right.
If you turn Left, the next gate is the one displaying the immutable instruction: “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”
Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The Left in power has been brutal. Throughout the West, in government, in the media, in the academy, in the law courts, in society generally, wherever the Left is dominant, it is aggressive, dishonest, unjust, discriminatory, uncivilized. It is dour, it is harsh, it is smug, it is solemn, and with all that it is also boring.
The unmannerly Left has given rise to the unmannerly Alt Right.
These are extracts from a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, telling the clucking old women of both sexes and all ages who want to get rid of the mocking Alt Right what they must do to achieve that end:
Now, various media and political figures have tried to define the alt-right, with varying degrees of accuracy, over the past few weeks. Which is to say no accuracy at all.
Hillary Clinton, just before reading out some of my headlines, called the alt-right an “emerging racist ideology”. Of course, she also constantly hallucinates about a “vast right wing conspiracy” …
According to Vox, the alt-right is “a movement lurking in Reddit and 4chan threads and in community blogs and forums, a movement of right-wingers who openly argue that democracy is a joke”.
This is typically nonsensical bilge from Vox, given that the alt-right were also apparently responsible for the outcome of the Brexit referendum.
Salon is more succinct. “The alt-right, also known as white nationalism.” …
Almost everything you read about the alt-right is wrong. It isn’t just white nationalists. … And the movement certainly isn’t led by me — although the media seems determined to crown me its queen. …
Just to be clear, I don’t consider myself a member of the alt-right. …
Of course, to the mainstream media, reporting accurately on the alt-right, and understanding the movement’s nuances instead of just shrieking “RACISTS”, is tantamount to leading the movement. …
Yes … there are racists in the alt-right — but the movement is much bigger than just them.
The left’s motivations in branding the alt-right as skinheads with Twitter accounts are easier to understand when you realize that the left is responsible for creating it in the first place, as I’ll explain in a moment.
The problem is, they’re smearing an entire political generation as racist, and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process.
The inability of the establishment right to decipher the movement is slightly different — they just don’t get it. I don’t think any of the people at National Review are bad people — they just don’t understand what they’re seeing. They don’t get cultural politics, they don’t get Millennial politics, and thus they don’t get the alt-right. The only tools they have to understand the movement are those handed to them by the political left. …
The media desperately wants to define the alt-right by the worst 5 percent of its members. They take the genuinely anti-semitic racists … and use them to define the whole movement. The left is obsessed by white supremacy, which in reality makes up an infinitesimally small number of people.
I see two primary motivating factors behind the rise of the alt right.
The first is a millennial generation that’s fed up with identity politics and its hypocrisies.
I see old-school conservatives who have had enough of mainstream politicians ignoring their concerns about immigration and cultural politics. I see intellectuals desperate to discuss dangerous, forbidden ideas as the left tries to make the overton window narrower and narrower.
And millennials are proving phenomenally talented at converting their parents, who might be disaffected republicans or tea partiers with Alt-Right thinking. …
The second is anti-white racism.
Progressives in America today believe that you can’t be racist unless you’re white, or unless you have what they call “prejudice plus power”. This argument, dreamed up in gender and African studies departments, does nothing more than give people an excuse to attack others for their gender, their sexual orientation, or the color of their skin, in the same way that eugenics gave people an excuse to view others as subhuman nearly a century ago.
Ironically so-called white privilege is the privilege to be discriminated against.
The idea that women and minorities, who have advocates for their special status in every university, every political party, and every media organization don’t have power behind their prejudices is also, frankly, absurd.
Racism is everywhere in America today. So is sexism. It’s in our university faculties.
But it’s not the racism you think.
It’s on the pages of the Washington Post. It’s on the pages of The Guardian. It’s in Hollywood. It’s on MSNBC.
Let me read you some statements which highlight the sort of casual racism and sexism that is deemed acceptable by the establishment today.
“The Beginning Of The End For Angry White Males.”
“Feminists Don’t Hate Men, But It Wouldn’t Matter If We Did.”
“When Whites Just Don’t Get It”
“As A White Man, I’m Surprised More Women Aren’t Tweeting The Hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen”
“Women Should Speak First In Class, Says SMU Professor. Really, Do Men Have To Speak At All?”
These are headlines from The Guardian, The New York Times, The Independent, The National Post, and the Chicago Tribune.
The key question behind all this is: are we going to have identity politics for everyone, or identity politics for no-one?
At the moment, we have identity politics for everyone except white men. If you advocate for men’s issues, The Guardian will call you a misogynist and a sexist. If you advocate for whites, The Guardian and National Review, and everyone else will call you a racist.
Meanwhile, other groups – women, gays, blacks, Muslims – are not only allowed to advocate for their group’s interests, but allowed to be openly racist and sexist towards white men.
When they do so, they receive support from the Silicon Valley’s tech giants, who manage an increasing share of our lives. When a parody group called the Feminist Software Foundation tried to create a browser extension that took all instances of “white men” in articles and changed them to “Jews” — making Guardian articles read like Mein Kampf — the extension was banned from both Chrome and Firefox.
Not for antisemitism, you understand. But for showing the Left up as racists.
I’d prefer we had no identity politics at all and that we judged people, as someone once said, not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. But if you’re going to have identity politics, you have to have them for everybody.
You might not like the result.
The younger, millennial members of the alt-right are, for the most part, not white nationalists. But they’re being pushed toward racial humor by the progressive left.
The left is responsible for me. The left is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. The left created the alt-right.
If you’re on the Left, and you’re looking out at the alt-right with horror, and want to destroy it, guess what? You probably can.
Here’s the bad news: your current tactics aren’t working, and are in fact having the opposite of their intended effect. Name-calling, public shaming, and tearing your hair out over Pepe the Frog* is simply ineffective and is enlarging the ranks of the troll army every day you continue to do it.
Here’s the good news: there are a few simple things you can do to nuke the movement.
I’m happy to tell you what they are, because I know you’re not going to do any of them.
But I want to you to listen, because I want you to understand how your actions created this phenomenon.
The first thing you have to do is stop being hypocrites.
Double standards are everywhere in coverage of the alt-right. Whenever confronted with a left wing or minority- radical movement, the Establishment will wring its hand about addressing the “root causes”. But they accuse anyone who does the same for the alt-right as necessarily endorsing the worst of its proponents.
Just look at the media’s coverage of Black Lives Matter, and how it gives a pass to horrifying behavior, behavior that goes far beyond what the alt-right does on Twitter. Oh, someone with an anime avatar tweeted a racial caricature at you? That’s nice — Black Lives Matter has killed police officers.
And they’re still being championed by the mainstream press. Is it any wonder that people sympathize with the alt-right, when they’re at the losing end of such a blatant double standard?
And again you push older people to the alt-right. Who do you think stopped giving millions of dollars to Mizzou following their Black Lives Matter protests? Here is a hint — it wasn’t jobless gender studies majors, or young engineers whose job was replaced by an H-1B visa holder, it was established donors ranging in age from 40-65.
It’s double standards that are at least in part fuelling the alt-right, and not Donald Trump. If you think the alt-right is going to evaporate with the God Emperor, think again.
The genie is not going back in the bottle. And I don’t care if I just appropriated the culture of some Arab country by saying that, or infringed on a Disney company trademark for that matter.
Here’s one for Hillary Clinton: you gotta stop calling half the country racists.
Establishment columnists argue that responding to racism with racism is wrong, but this is an oversimplification of what’s going on with the alt-right. …
The millennials in particular are simply responding to real racism with trolling, as a means to expose the double standard. When the double standard disappears, I expect this “performative racism” if you like, will too.
Performative racism doesn’t mean racism-lite. It means memes. It means jokes. It means 19 year old boys saying stuff to get a reaction. …
What I do see is a lot of young people trying to get a reaction. That’s the Troll Manifesto: find something that a person in power is sensitive about, rightly or wrongly, and joke about it relentlessly until they acknowledge you. …
People ask why the alt right has to be so mean and why I make mean remarks about people.
Because it’s fun! And progressives made it fun by finger wagging.
The Left has demonized and censored people who speak about taboo issues respectfully and seriously. … If you’re going to get ostracized for having un-PC views no matter how you present them, why not be an asshole about it?
To stop the mayhem, the establishment needs to do one very simple thing: stop punishing people for jokes. Stop punishing people for ideas. And stop other people from doing so as well. The bigger of a taboo you make something, the more attractive it is for young pranksters.
I’m going to read out a quote from early alt-right intellectual, the Jewish entrepreneur and writer Curtis Yarvin:
“If you spend 75 years building a pseudo-religion around anything – an ethnic group, a plaster saint, sexual chastity or the Flying Spaghetti Monster – don’t be surprised when clever 19-year-olds discover that insulting it is now the funniest thing in the world. Because it is”
The establishment has done exactly that. They’ve built a religion around left-wing identity politics, complete with blasphemous words and excommunication. And, surprise surprise, shattering those quasi-religious taboos has become hilarious for a huge section of the youth.
The thing I most hate about the Left is that they want to stop us laughing – to prescribe which jokes are okay and which are not okay to make in public and to draw artificial lines around certain subjects. I find all sorts of inappropriate things funny. Islam, trannies, AIDS.
These are all innately hilarious things. Now and again I even enjoy a good rape joke — especially if I’m the butt of it. Telling me I’m not allowed to laugh at something does not make it unfunny. …
Sir Tim Hunt, a British chemist … was working on the cure for cancer before he abruptly became the target of a feminist sting operation.
They deliberately and maliciously took a section of his speech to a room of female South Korean scientists out of context, in which he jokes about women in laboratories “falling in love and crying all the time”. The comment was meant to mock outdated sexist attitudes, but it was presented by feminists as a serious claim on the part of Tim Hunt.
The lie was swallowed by the academic establishment, which forced Hunt to resign from his position at University College London. It took months and months of relentless efforts from conservatives and moderates to clear his name. ..,
There are countless others. … There was also Razib Khan, a geneticist who lost an opportunity at the New York Times over his views on human biodiversity, and now writes for the alt-right Unz Review.
These are the people being driven into the arms of the alt-right by the excesses of the left.
As well as jokes, there’s something else that establishment elites need to stop demonizing as racism: national pride. During the 2015 election in England, a left-wing candidate for parliament called people who fly the English flag “simpletons and casual racists”. And this is nothing compared to some of the things said by university academics about displays of national pride.
The globalist elites, who assemble in places like Dubai, Davos, and whatever unfortunate country hosts the Bilderberg Conference, don’t have a nation.
Whether they’re from Istanbul, London, or Beijing, global elites tend to dress the same, act the same, talk the same, and think the same. They look at what’s different and unique about their home countries, and squirm in embarrassment.
If you want to draw people away from the alt-right, this has to stop. If you want to identify with the jet setting, cosmopolitan, nationless elite, that’s fine. I like being rich and powerful too.
But stop looking down on people who want to stay true to their roots, and remember the national values and traditions that made our progressive, globalized civilization possible. Because for every national flag you take down to replace it with the faceless and sinister logo of the European Union, the International Olympics Committee or the United Nations, ten more will fly upwards in protest.
This is what and who we are.
Leftists will insist that racism underpins national pride, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most members of the alt-right, even the serious ones, will agree that they want everyone to have national pride, not just western countries.
And they’re right — the instinct for belonging, for a sense of common identity, is universal. The global elite’s foolish quest to suppress this instinct is one of the reasons why the alt right, as well as the populist nationalist right, have gained so much ground so quickly.
Millennials have grasped an issue that the globalists have been ignoring for a long time: that immigrants should come to America from hellholes to better their family, not to turn America into the hellholes they fled from.
If there’s one thing that fuels anti-establishment sensibilities of all kinds, it’s the idea that the truth is being suppressed.
Sometimes the alt-right gets accused of flirting with conspiracy theories. Sometimes they do, mostly with a nod and a wink.
But other times they are right to be suspicious.
Straight white men have been lied to and lied about in this country for decades, whether it’s the wage gap myth or the hysterical witch hunts and kangaroo courts on campuses that police sexual misunderstandings between horny teenagers.
The politically correct establishment suppresses the facts.
Just look at the way the media behaves after a terrorist attack. Witness the desperation with which they avoid mentioning the name and backgrounds of the attackers, who are nearly universally Islamic. That’s if they can be bothered to interrupt an Obama speech to cover terrorist attacks in the first place.
America just suffered three terror attacks in 12 hours this weekend. Hillary couldn’t decide if it was a bombing, Bill de Blasio wouldn’t call it terrorism, and no one other than right-wingers were willing to label it “Islam”. Once again, everyone but the right look ridiculous.
Meanwhile, these are the same people who call white men racists and rapists without any evidence. …
And, of course there are those truths that are increasingly impossible to ignore. Like the fact that all cultures are not equal. Some are homophobic, anti-semitic. Some, as the German city of Cologne and the English town of Rotherham tragically found out, are rape cultures. And unlike college fraternities, it’s actually real this time.
I am of course referring to the fact of Muslim culture, which as it stands today is utterly incompatible with western liberal values. It amazes me that so many otherwise-sound libertarians and conservatives fail to grasp this simple fact, or brand it racist.
If you want to preserve capitalism, it’s probably unwise to let a million hardline bolsheviks into your communities. Likewise, if you want to preserve what the Left claims are the best things about western culture — tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights, religious freedom — it’s time to close the door on Muslim immigration. There is no gray area.
Everyone’s heard the old cliche: when you attempt to suppress something, you drive it underground. Well it’s true. But it’s even worse when you drive talented, skilled people underground. Because then they find each other. And they start building a rebel army. Everyone fired from their jobs, or suspended from their university, or kicked off social media becomes another soldier in their ranks.
The alt-right is a cultural rebel army. …
The good news is, the alt-right in its broadest definition isn’t in fact to any degree traditional white nationalist …
A huge proportion of the alt-right today are millennials, ranging from teenagers up to the younger members of Generation X. Primarily white, but also consisting of increasing numbers of minorities. Jews fed up with the pro-Islam attitudes of elites. Asians who are now being penalized by affirmative action. Black groups like the Hoteps, fed up with Black Lives Matter.
These aren’t white nationalists — they’re drawn to the alt-right because of the hypocrisies of identity politics, and by the joy breaking the rigid taboos of the establishment. …
White males are responsible for everything that the left have advocated for in the past: gay rights, women’s rights, civil rights, tolerance, the abolition of slavery, the establishment of the welfare state, and so on and so on.
They are right to be confused at being named Satan by the progressive left. …
I’m under no illusions that the left will abandon what have become some of its core operating principles. … What motivates the left now is anti-white hatred, particularly of straight men. …
“Systemic racism and “white privilege” are bullshit, unfalsifiable and bonkers pseudoscientific concepts designed to disempower white men in the societies and civilization they’re primarily responsible for creating.
Unless the left abandons this insane hatred – and as I say, I doubt they will – the alt right will continue to grow, and in the future we can expect to hear more and more about the horrors of cartoon frogs*.
*See the Wikipedia entry on Pepe the Frog. Extract: “The campaign website for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton released an article stating that Pepe was associated with white nationalism.”
A nationwide curfew was imposed as a section of the armed forces claimed to have taken the country over. The coup leaders seized national television and the phone network. Gunfire was heard in Ankara and military jets flew low over Ankara and Istanbul where the bridges over the Bosphorus were blocked. In Istanbul, Turkish Gendarmerie and soldiers blocked entrances to bridges over the Bosphorus while tanks blocked Ataturk airport. A TV announcer read out a statement saying that a “peace committee” had taken over the country against autocratic rule and will write a new constitution restoring democracy, whose institutions have been eroded by autocratic rule, and restore secular law.
It was a great aim, a brave attempt – but it failed.
Now Turkey is less likely to be secular and democratic.
DebkaFile, which we quoted above, assesses the event and analyses why the attempted coup failed:
The Turkish armed forces’ attempt to overthrow the authoritarian rule of President Tayyip Erdogan was largely extinguished Saturday morning July 16 after less than 24 hours – due to three major miscalculations:
1. They first seized the country’s power centers and state television when their first priority should have been to immobilize Erdogan who was out of the capital on vacation.
2. Although out of control in Ankara and Istanbul, he used his mobile phone to reassert his authority through a private television station and called on the people to take to the streets in protest against the plotters. Civilians responded by surrounding the tanks and tying them down until loyal troops moved in.
3. They relied too heavily on the air force to cow the regime, the jets zooming low over the two main cities while the two main airports were closed.
It was soon evident that control of Turkey’s skies was no guarantee of control of the ground. Indeed, the coup leaders did not prevent him from landing at Ataturk airport and declaring immediately that he was in charge, demonstrating that he was on top of events.
In the clashes that followed, Gen. Umit Dundar, the newly appointed acting chief of the general staff, said more than 190 people died in clashes: 41 police officers, two soldiers, 47 civilians and 104 people described as ‘‘coup plotters”. Dundar said officers from the Air Force, the military police and the armored units were mainly involved in the attempt.
At the same, the attempt by part of the Turkish armed forces to topple Erdogan in the name of democracy and the return of “secular law” was impressive and evidence of social and political malaise under his rule. It was led by at least half a dozen generals, as may be judged the arrest of Gen. Memduh Hakbilen, the chief of staff of Turkey’s command for the important Aegean region, among the more than 1,500 alleged plotters and the suspension of another five generals.
That elements of the air force joined the attempted uprising is unprecedented in Turkey, whose army is NATO’s second largest.
Erdogan will no doubt want to know why his MIT intelligence failed to scent the conspiracy afoot.
He will certainly lose no time in executing a massive purge of Turkey’s armed forces, and especially the air force and intelligence arms, after accusing the coup leaders of treason.
Erdogan has been steadily taking steps to re-create an Islamic state. He wants to reverse the modernizing reforms that Kemal Ataturk effected after Turkey, as an ally of Germany, was defeated in the First World War. He dreams of reviving the Ottoman Empire, perhaps seeing himself as Sultan (who was also titled Caliph). He has built himself a new palace in Ankara, and announced that it will be the center of government.
Predictably, President Obama is on the side of the would-be dictator against the side that reached for democracy.
Erdogan’s new presidential palace in Ankara
President Erdogan in his new palace
President Erdogan among guards dressed in the uniforms of Ottoman soldiers
We very much like Daniel Greenfield’s Independence Day column at Front Page. From which we quote:
Independence Day is a commemoration, but it is not a mere commemoration. The struggle is not over. …
It is not our capacity for obedience that makes us true Americans, but our capacity for disobedience. …
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were acts of rebellion against the entire order across what was then seen as the civilized world.
American greatness came about because we were willing to break the rules. It was only when we began following the rules, when as a nation we made the maintenance of the international order into our notion of the greatest good and when as individuals we accepted the endless expansion of government as a national ideal that we ceased to be great.
When we think of great Americans, from Thomas Jefferson to the Wright Brothers, from Andrew Jackson to Daniel Boone, from Theodore Roosevelt to today’s true patriots, we think of “damned rebels” who broke the rules, who did what should have been impossible and thumbed their noses at the establishments of the day. American greatness is embodied in individual initiative. That is why the Declaration of Independence places at the center of its striving, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It was for these individualistic ends of freedom that government had to be derived from the consent of the governed, that a war was fought that changed the world and it is these ends that we must celebrate.
Rebellion does not always mean muskets and cannon. Long before the War of Independence, we had become a nation of rebels who explored the wild realms of forests and streams, who forged cities out of savage lands, who argued philosophy and sought a higher purpose for their strivings, who refused to bow to their betters out of an accident of birth. And at our best, we are still rebels today.
When we dissent from the system, we rebel. When we refuse to conform, when we think differently, when we choose to live our own lives instead of living according to the dictates of our political rulers and pop culture arbiters, then we are celebrating the spirit of freedom that animates the Fourth.
When we defy the government, when we speak out against Obama and the rest of our privileged ruling class, when we demand the right to govern ourselves, when we fight to hold government accountable, when we question what we are told and the need to be told anything at all, then we are keeping that old spirit of rebellion alive.
We are still fighting for our independence from government every day and every year that we choose to live as free people.
That is the glorious burden of freedom.
Freedom is not handed to us. It is not secured for us by politicians. Like the Founding Fathers, we are made free by our fight for freedom. Preserving their legacy cannot be meaningfully recreated through any means other than the committed struggle for the same ideals.
This Fourth of July, celebrate by continuing to be a rebel, question and challenge the left’s worship of government. And don’t stop on the Fifth or in July. Or in any year or any decade or any century.
Donald Trump’s statement on Britain’s EU referendum:
The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples.
They have declared their independence from the European Union, and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy.
A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense.
The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.
Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence.
Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first.
They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people.
I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.
Islam does its utmost to make us infidels afraid of it – and then complains of our “Islamophobia”, our (irrational!) fear of Islam. If we do not fear it, we haven’t been paying attention. We are wise to fear it. We are wise to hate it. It is an evil creed.
Still, it ought not to be silenced by law.
We quote from our post, It’s better to be free to hate than to be free of hatred (April 30, 2014):
When Britain was a free country (ah, yes, I remember it well!), you could insult anyone as much as you pleased short of slander (such as accusing him of a crime). It was called “common abuse”, and there was no law against it. Nor should there have been. Now, in Britain, it’s okay for you to insult white males as much as you like. And Jews. If you insult them loudly and often enough you may get a grant to do it professionally. But if you insult Muslims you will be arrested and charged with a “hate crime”.
It should not be the business of the law to monitor and censure personal opinion.
It is precisely when someone says something you don’t agree with – something you consider stupid, abominable, ugly, offensive, wrong – that you must uphold his right to say it. Argue with him, call him a cretin and a villain; despise him, hate him … But do not call for him to be gagged.
Allowing people to say what you don’t like and don’t agree with is the whole point of constitutionally guaranteeing free speech.
The idea of “hate crime” is at the root of this nonsense. Nobody can know what another person feels. If a person commits a crime, punish him for the crime, not for the supposed emotion behind it. Such an arrogantly puritanical concept as “hate crime” was bound to distort the law and threaten liberty. As it does. …
People must be free to be petty, to be prejudiced, to be malicious, to be insulting. They cannot be stopped by the law. To make a law against bad behavior won’t change it, and can only make a mockery of the rule of law itself. …
Now that vast bureaucratic tyranny, the European Union, decrees that what it judges to be expression of hate on the social media is to be illegal, and punishable.
Although it insists that “freedom of expression is a core European value which must be preserved”, it also insists that if you say something it doesn’t like, you must be gagged and punished. And it is co-opting “social media platforms” to assist in its policy of repression:
The Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia criminalises the public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. This is the legal basis for defining illegal online content. …
In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as in the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalising hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms … [Our emphasis]
The real, unspoken, pathetic purpose of the ruling is to protect Islam from criticism. It is not likely that a Muslim will be censored, let alone prosecuted, for publishing such typical statements as these:
“The Jihad for Allah is the way of the truth and the way for salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews.” (Yasser Ghalban, Hamas leader, in 2006.)
“The Jews deserved their annihilation by Hitler.” (Dr Wafa Musa, psychologist, in 2009.)
“Jews are bacteria, not human beings.” – (Al Aqsa TV, Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments, Abdallah Jarbu, in 2010), and “The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the earth.” (‘Atallah Abu al-Subh, in 2011.)
And (we repeat), nor should they be censored or prosecuted! Indeed, it would be an excellent thing if the media of every kind displayed such statements prominently as often as they were made (which is every day). Muslims might be pleased at first. But after a while the effect on public opinion could be to provoke contempt and hatred of Islam. And then they’d raise their habitual noisy and violent objections, calling the display of their own words a manifestation of “Islamophobia”, of course.
The following comes from an article at Spiked, by its editor, Brendan O’Neill:
Hatred is an emotion, and the state has no business policing emotion.
“The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech.” This spectacularly Orwellian comment was made last week by EU commissioner Vĕra Jourová, as she unveiled a new EU code to tackle hatred on the internet. Following three or four years of agitation by officials, politicians, hacks and feminists, all of whom insist that hateful “trolling” online is turning the internet into a cesspool of foul ideas and rotten comments, the EU has decided to take action. It has got web giants YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft to sign a promise that they will hunt down and extinguish illegal hateful commentary, especially racist and xenophobic comments.
Which is to say, they will “hunt down and extinguish” criticism of Islam, warnings of its jihad, objection to the spread of its cruel sharia law – as some have already started doing with zeal.
Some have responded to the new code by asking if it represents overreach. There’s a danger, they say, that angry speech, or just zany speech, will be swept up in the clampdown on hate speech. This will no doubt happen. But we should take our critique of this new code, and of 21st-century censorship more broadly, a step further. We shouldn’t only say “relatively normal speech might be destroyed alongside hate speech” — we should call into question the whole idea of “hate speech”. The category of hate speech is as ridiculous, and abominable, as the idea of thoughtcrime. It represents the criminalisation, not only of racism and xenophobia — which would be bad enough — but of certain ideas, moralities and beliefs. We should bristle and balk as much at the idea of “hate speech” as we do at the idea of thoughtcrime.
Hate-speech codes are an ideological tool disguised as a force for moral good. Consider the recent history of the idea of hate speech … After the Second World War, the keenest proponents of controls on “hate speech” were the Soviets. There were various international gatherings in the 1940s and 50s to hammer out postwar international treaties, and at these the Soviets pushed for a global commitment to repressing “hate speech”, in particular far-right speech. They wanted stipulations against “hatred” and “incitement to hatred”. Amazingly, the West resisted. Eleanor Roosevelt represented the Western powers at some of these debates. She argued that it would be “extremely dangerous” to outlaw hate speech, since “any criticism of public or religious authorities might all too easily be described as incitement to hatred”. Indeed.
Eventually, the Soviets won out. In 1965, the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted, and it included a proposal to criminalise “ideas based on racial superiority”. The keyword here was ideas. From the outset, treaties and laws against hate speech were about controlling ideas: obnoxious ideas, yes, but ideas nonetheless. It was clear very early on that the category of hate speech was an ideological tool for the repression of bad ideas, of certain convictions. Post-1965, Western countries introduced into their national laws this new commitment to repressing ideas based on racial thinking.
What’s more, the category of hate speech is an extremely elastic tool for the repression of ideas. It has spread from curtailing ideas of racial superiority to suppressing expressions of religious hatred. Some Scandinavian countries want to outlaw misogynistic speech. On campuses there are clampdowns on transphobic speech. Anyone who says that a person with a penis is a man can now be branded a “hate speaker” and find himself No Platformed. So even saying ‘men are men and women are women’ has been encapsulated in the ideological category of hate speech.
Normal, widely held beliefs are casually rebranded “hatred”. Criticise religion too harshly and you’ll be accused of religious hatred; oppose gay marriage and you’re homophobic; doubt gender dysphoria and you’re a “transphobe”. Shouting “that’s hatred!” has become the preferred means for suppressing beliefs we find difficult or uncomfortable. That’s thanks to hate-speech laws. They have sanctioned this rush to rebrand beliefs as hate and to try to crush them. Once you accept that some ideas are beyond the pale … then ultimately no idea is safe …
Under the banner of tackling “hate speech”, people are being punished for their moral convictions. … We should feel as angry about state restrictions on hate speech today as we would have done about the Soviet Union’s arrest of political dissidents 40 years ago, because in both cases the same thing is happening: people are punished, not for anything they’ve done, but for what they think.
Hatred is an emotion. … And when we allow figures of authority to control emotion, to fine people for their emotions, to imprison people for their emotions, then we enter the realm of tyranny. It completes the state’s control of the individual. It expands state power from the public sphere of discussion into the psychic sphere of thought and feeling. It invites policing not only of political sentiment but of deep feeling. It is a profound assault on the freedom of the individual.
It’s time to get serious about freedom of speech. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of ideas. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of hatred. “Hate speech is not free speech!”, people say. But it is.
By its very definition, free speech must include hate speech.
Speech must always be free, for two reasons: everyone must be free to express what they feel, and everyone else must have the right to decide for themselves whether those expressions are good or bad. When the EU, social-media corporations and others seek to make that decision for us, and squash ideas they think we will find shocking, they reduce us to the level of children. That is censorship’s greatest crime: it infantilises us. Let us now reassert our adulthood, our autonomy, and tell them: “Do not presume to censor anything on our behalf. We can think for ourselves.”