The Left, as a whole, in the Western World, has become far more extreme in this century than it was in the last. The Socialist and “Conservative” parties of Europe, the Democratic Party of America, the universities everywhere, the media and the film industries, book publishers, song writers, judiciaries, and a slightly varying half of the voters in almost all Western countries, are predominantly of one opinion, consciously or semi-consciously, articulately or silently, that Marx and Lenin, and even (though their names may be spoken a shade more sotto voce) Stalin and Mao, were right.
This is from Front Page, by Vladimir Tismaneanu:
It has become fashionable among leftist circles to invoke a return to Lenin, to radicalism, to utopia. Among those who advocate such imperatives to “retest the communist hypothesis” one can count French philosopher Alain Badiou, a former admirer of the Khmer Rouge, and Slovene thinker, Slavoj Zizek, the new idol of Western university campuses, subject of documentary hagiographic movies, and prophet of a new phantasmagoric world revolution.
To know more about Slavoj Zizek, see our post Red alert, January 21, 2009. And to get the flavor of the man, watch the video at the foot of this post.
Did the partisans of such positions ever stop to think how it would sound a call for “retesting the Nazi hypothesis”? One must be totally oblivious to history, an incurable cynic, in order to ignore the fact that Leninism, just like National-Socialism, means political terrorism, the apotheosis of fanatical partisanship, the boundless cult of violence and nihilism, etc. In short, Leninism presupposes … the destruction of the inner man. Leninism is theoretical and practical anti-humanism.
‘The inner man” in this context means the individual for himself alone, not as a unit of “society”.
There have been conferences and symposia where Lenin is presented, in an academic context and without any trace of compassion for the millions of victims of “the great experiment”, as the philosopher of the break with an order putatively condemned by history.
The “order putatively condemned by history” is of course capitalism, or the free market. Those who condemn it and praise “the great [Communist] experiment” have not noticed that the free market has brought widespread prosperity wherever it has been allowed to, or that Lenin’s experiment, the miserable Soviet Union, failed and fell and lost the Cold War.
All in all, it is unsurprising that the prophets of violence worship Lenin. What is surprising is that intellectuals, who should have learnt from the catastrophes of the 20th century, are engaged in an endeavor driven by programmatic irresponsibility. It is simply shocking that in countries where the Leninist model was implemented, one can still read and hear hymns honoring the architect of a criminal system.
Should we be amazed by all this? What could one expect from the epigones of Georg Lukacs, the Marxist philosopher who declared … that he preferred the worst form of socialism to the best incarnation of capitalism. …
Georg Lukacs was the Hungarian Commissar, and philosopher of drama and art, on whom Jillian Becker’s character L is based in her novel L: A Novel History.
Real history does not matter for such sectarians. What does matter is the dogma to which they are faithful in total disregard of reality. … It is quite telltale that one of Hugo Chavez’s intellectual heroes was Istvan Meszaros, one of Lukacs’s former students who … has remained a flaming Marxist, faithful to the dialectical sophistries of his mentor.
An excellent example of such world-view is a recent memoir by a Romanian Marxist intellectual, Ion Ianosi, who happened to be deeply involved for long stretches of time in the ideologization of the country’s culture during communism. The volume’s title is My International. Some critics glorify the book as testimony of heartfelt sincerity. What is missing in those more than 800 pages is an honest analysis of Bolshevism as justification of social genocide. Ion Ianosi seemingly excels on topics such as “Marx and Art”, “Lenin and Art”, pretty much the same fields for which his expertise was called upon during his activity within the Romanian communist party’s Agitprop. But Ianosi shies away from trying his expert pen on topics such as the crimes against humanity inspired by the Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Even before the Bolsheviks’ coming into power, it was clear that Lenin was a fanatical propagandist, a utopian ideologue fixated on social purity and purification, an heir to Robespierre and St. Just, but no philosopher. Philosophy implies doubt and Lenin was the man without doubts. …
Lenin was the practitioner of a simplistic, partisan, and exclusivist philosophy. He rejected emphatically any possibility for a middle path, of a tertium datur between what he called “bourgeois ideology” and the “proletarian” one.
We at TAC are all for “bourgeois ideology”, if the bourgeoisie as such – the successful middle class – can be said to have such a dusty thing as an ideology. We value the middle class, anyway, above the others, because out of it has come almost every one of those men (and handful of women) who have advanced our civilization and augmented the glory of our culture in the last five hundred years. (Though also most of those who’ve done our civilization the worst harm, such as Marx, Lenin, Lukacs …)
Lenin’s Manichaeism [bourgeois bad, proletarian good] was inexorable. For Lenin and his followers, ideas were (are) always the manifestation of class interests. … This is the meaning of a notion essential for the Leninist conception about ideas, ideologies and philosophical consciousness: partiinost – partisanship, class position, militant commitment, total and abject subordination to the party line.
Leninism is a revolutionary doctrine that sanctifies political violence and condemns entire social categories to state-engineered extinction. It is … rooted in the visceral contempt for the rule of law, legality, and the universality of human rights. “Back to Lenin” means a return to barbarism, blindness, and murder.
We are not enamored of the phrase “human rights”. We prefer to speak of human freedom, which we suppose is what Professor Tismaneanu, who has lived under Communism in Romania, probably means.
Now here’s Slavoj Zizek. He starts at about the 2 minute mark. Don’t expect to be rewarded for over 15 minutes of paying attention with any impressive ideas. He says nothing much, but with strong emphasis, and what he does say is notably wrong. For instance, that Norway is intolerant of immigrants! (Go here to test this notion, and to any other of Bruce Bawer’s numerous articles on the same subject.) He thinks the major political groupings in Europe are now the “capitalist anti-immigrants” on one side and the [Islamic] immigrants on the other. (Would it were so! ) He calls himself a Leftist, though oddly declaring that in America there is “an excess of anti-capitalism”; calls Fox News “the enemy”; and implies that the worst problem facing mankind is … you guessed it … global-warming.
Determined violent killers who cannot get guns will not refrain from killing; they’ll use less efficient weapons, such as knives or clubs, and so in all probability make the killing slower and more painful.
The answer to anti-gun fever is that it isn’t the gun that kills but the person who shoots with it.
Here the case is well argued by Daniel Greenfield writing at his website Sultan Knish:
Every day another one of the stories comes in. A teacher panicked by a plastic gun, an army man on a cupcake, a t-shirt, a pop tart chewed into the shape of a gun or a finger gun hits the panic button. Supensions and lectures quickly follow as the latest threat to the gun-free zone, usually in the form of a little boy, is tackled to the ground and lectured to within an inch of his life.
There are some very stupid people in charge of schools!
Tellingly these incidents rarely take place in the inner city schools where teenage gang members walk through metal detectors at the start of the day. The safety officers in those schools, big weary men with eyes that look everywhere at once, don’t waste their time on toys. Not unless those toys are full-size, painted black and filed down to look like real guns.
It’s usually the schools where a shooting is wholly unlikely; where gun violence is not a daily reality, but an unlikely convergence of horror, that institutional vigilance hits an irrational peak as every school imagines that it could be the next Columbine or the next Sandy Hook.
The NRA’s initial proposal of armed school guards was met with an irrational chorus of protests. More guns aren’t the answer, was the cry. And the leading crier was the White House’s expert skeet shooter. … The problem was not the man, it was the gun. Get rid of the guns and you stop the killing. Schools across the country are banning not [only] the gun, but the idea of the gun. It is a conceptual prohibition that is meant to push away the threat of gun violence by eliminating any mention of the G word. Gun-free zones mean places where guns cannot be mentioned, depicted or even symbolized as if the refusal to concede the existence of a firearm will eliminate the threat of it being used on the premises.
This isn’t a precautionary attitude, but a pacifist one. Gun horror is not a productive emotion, but learned helplessness disguised as moral superiority. Rather than teaching children to hate killers, schools are instead teaching them to hate guns. And reducing murders to instruments rather than morals, children are left with no sense of right and wrong, only an instinctive horror of violence.
Pacifists have always demonized armies rather than invaders. … By dealing with the object rather than the subject, they are able to avoid the question of moral responsibility. Rather than hold the Nazis, Communists or Islamists accountable for their actions, they extended a blanket condemnation over the weapons-wielders. …
While the left likes to indulge in stereotypes of gun-toting rednecks and bomb-brandishing generals, the only people who judge the worth of a man by his weapon are the pacifists, the gun-fearers and gun-hiders who mythologize weapons as black agents of evil.
To believe that there is no such thing as constructive violence is to reject free will. Without accepting the necessity of constructive violence, there is no good and evil, only armed men and unarmed men. Without constructive violence, two boys playing cops and robbers in the schoolyard are not acting out a childish morality play, they are becoming desensitized to murder …
If there is no such thing as constructive violence, then the police officer is not the solution to crime, he is part of the cycle of violence. And if that cycle of violence does not begin with a man choosing to use a gun for good or evil, then it must begin with the gun. The man becomes the object and the gun becomes the subject. American ICBMs become just as bad as Russian ballistic missiles. An Israeli soldier killing a suicide bomber is just as bad as the terrorist. There are no good guys with guns. To have a gun is to be the bad guy.
For decades the gun-control lobby has brandished assault rifles at press conferences and spent more time describing their killing power than their manufacturers have. The rifle has been upgraded to the assault rifle and now, in the latest Orwellian vernacular used by the White House and the entire media pyramid beneath it, weapons of war. …
Shootings in America are not caused by guns, they are caused by crime. Guns really do not walk off store shelves and go on killing sprees. That’s what criminals are for. But the trouble with that discussion is that it takes us into moral territory. … We have to ask the difficult question of what does kill people.
It’s a bigger question than just Adam Lanza pulling the trigger in a classroom full of children. It is a big question that encompasses the Nazi gas chambers and the Soviet gulags, the Rape of Nanking and September 11. It is a question as big as all of human history.
Pacifists once used to be able to address such questions, but they have become obsessed with the technology of violence … ,[which] is largely beside the point. Guns do not motivate people to kill. …
Some of history’s worst massacres happened long before firearms became useful for more than scaring off peasants. The heavily armed Americans of the 50s had lower per capita murder rates than medieval London. It isn’t the gun that makes the killer. It’s not the hand that kills, but the mind.
The gun-free society has little interest in individuals. Its technocratic philosopher-kings want big and comprehensive solutions. Their answer to gun violence is to feed a horror of guns. Their answer to obesity is to ban sodas. Their solutions invariably miss the point by treating people like objects and objects like people.
In the Middle Ages, rats were put on trial for eating crops. Today we put guns on trial for killing people.
The left has tried to reduce people to economics, to class and then race, gender and sexual orientation. It has done its best to reduce people to the sum of their parts and then to tinker with those parts and it has failed badly. The best testimony of its … failure is that the worst pockets of gun violence are in urban areas that have been under the influence of their sociologists, urban planners, psychologists, social justice activists, community organizers and political rope-pullers for generations. And what have those areas brought forth except malaise, despair, blight and murder?
Banning guns will do as much for those areas as banning drugs did. …
The gun-control activists drew the wrong lesson from [the murder of children at Sandy Hook school in] Newtown as they drew the wrong lessons from WW2 and September 11. The lesson is not that weapons are bad, the lesson is that people in the grip of evil ideas are capable of unimaginable horrors regardless of the tools at their disposal. A single man can kill a classroom full of children with a gun and a few men can kill thousands with a few box cutters. It isn’t the tool that matters. It’s the man.
Unwishing the gun brings us back to the sword. Unwishing the sword brings us back to the spear. Unwishing the spear brings us back to the stone club. And what then? When every weapon that ever existed or will exist is undone, all that remains is the deadliest weapon of all. The mind of man.
The gun, the sword, the spear and the club took countless lives and saved countless lives. Civilization has always balanced on a future made possible by little boys playing cops and robbers and playing with little green army men. They can either grow up to be the protectors of the future or the frightened men who will stand aside and do nothing when they hear the screams begin to come because they have been told that all violence is evil.
Theodore Shoebat has an article at Front Page making an important point: that Islam and Environmentalism are both collectivist ideologies, both of them anti-humanist and both of them deplorable. With most of what he says I agree.
Where I disagree with him is in his conclusion: that it is therefore better to be Christian.
Christianity has been a collectivist, totalitarian movement, and (I suspect) would be again if it could. While it is less oppressive than other ideologies in our time, its doctrines are no more true. And its morality, if not inhumane, is inhuman; if not anti-humanist, anti-human. Who can love everyone else? Does everyone deserve to be loved? Is forgiveness just? Was it perhaps the setting of unrealistic ethical goals that made the churches, both Catholic and Protestant, so cruel in their powerful past?
I expressed my opinions and quite a few disagreed with me, some so strongly that they condemned me to Hell.
The argument can be found in the Comments on the Shoebat article here.
Perhaps some of our readers may feel moved to join in – preferably on our own Comments page, but if under the Shoebat article, please let us know and give us the link.
Jillian Becker January 20, 2013
This is from Reason, February 27, 2008:
“I share about 90 percent of the views of most libertarians.”
So said the famous conservative William F. Buckley in a 1983 discussion when he “sat down with reason to discuss, among other subjects, libertarianism, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and the decriminalization of marijuana.”
The interview, which must have been interesting, is now hard to find. However, all we need from it is Buckley’s statement that he “shared about 90% of the views of most libertarians”, because we do too. But, like him, we still describe ourselves as conservatives.
Buckley was influenced by Albert Jay Nock, “whose elegant criticism of statism seems to grow more relevant with each passing day”, as Jonah Goldberg wrote in an essay on Nock in the National Review in 2009. Here are some extracts from it:
Albert Jay Nock … was one of the great men of letters of the 20th century. He counted among his friends and admirers H. L. Mencken, Charles Beard, Dwight Macdonald, Oswald Garrison Villard, Frank Chodorov, William F. Buckley Jr., and William Jennings Bryan (for whom he did some work as a special envoy when Bryan was secretary of state). … [He] was born in 1870 … in Scranton, Pa., and raised in Brooklyn, Nock was an autodidact who mastered numerous languages, including French, Latin, and Greek. He spent a good deal of his youth in a small town in upstate New York, where he imbibed from the wellspring of American individualism and gained an enduring appreciation for the power and magisterially ennobling competence of what we would today call civil society (he used the word “society” or “social power” to denote the good and decent realm of life not corrupted or coerced by the state). In 1887 he went to St. Stephen’s College (now Bard), where he was later a professor.
After college he attended divinity school, and he became a minister in the Episcopal Church in 1897. A dozen years later he quit the clergy and became a full-time journalist and editor, first at American Magazine and then at The Nation (which was still a classically liberal publication). In 1920 he became the co-editor of the original Freeman magazine, which, in its four-year run, managed to inspire the men who would one day launch National Review and the second incarnation of The Freeman, run by Nock’s disciple Frank Chodorov. …
He wrote a few books, including biographies of Thomas Jefferson and Rabelais. His most famous and successful works were Our Enemy the Stateand Memoirs of a Superfluous Man. But he was not prolific. As Chodorov put it, he “had a rare gift of editing his ideas so that he wrote only when he had something to say and he said it with dispatch.” …
Among virtually all of the political writers of the Left and the Right in the 1920s and 1930s, Nock shines brightest for seeing from the outset that the differences between the various collectivist schemes then circulating amounted to differences in branding. “Communism, the New Deal, Fascism, Nazism,” he wrote in his Memoirs, “are merely so-many trade-names for collectivist Statism, like the trade-names for tooth-pastes which are all exactly alike except for the flavouring.” …
A cold river of anarchism runs across the landscape of Nock’s work, but … he was not an anarchist, as many fans claim. … Nock understood that the state is not the “proper agency for social welfare, and never will be, for exactly the same reason that an ivory paper-knife is nothing to shave with.” Government intrusions “on the individual should be purely negative in character. It should attend to national defense, safeguard the individual in his civil rights, maintain outward order and decency, enforce the obligations of contract, punish crimes belonging in the order of malum in se [evil in itself] and make justice cheap and easily available.” Such a regime would amount to a government by and for the people, not a state in which the citizens are mere instruments of the statists. …
He denied that the state was the proper object of hope or a worthwhile agent of change. Moreover, he had contempt for the vast bulk of humanity, the “Neolithic mass” and those who spoke to them. In the dark, or at least darkening, age in which he believed himself to live (Nock died two weeks after Hiroshima), he cared only for the Remnant — a tiny slice of humanity he could describe but not locate. … the Remnant was his audience. At times, the idea of the Remnant is unapologetically elitist, but in a thoroughly Jeffersonian way. The Remnant were not the “best and brightest,” the most successful, the richest. Rather, they were those occupying the “substratum of right thinking and well doing” (in Matthew Arnold’s words). “Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. Except for these two certainties, working for the Remnant means working in impenetrable darkness.”
And it is here that we find an explanation for why Nock is so admired by liberals such as The New Republic’s Franklin Foer and the New York Times’s Sam Tanenhaus: He openly embraced the idea that he couldn’t change anything. History was driven by forces too large to be affected by politics or punditry. Any revolution would result only in a new crop of exploiters and scoundrels eager to pick up where the deposed ones left off. So, Nock figured, why bother with politics? Now what more could today’s liberals ask for from a conservative pundit? …
He was wrong about many things, and his formulations were often too simple. … He bravely dissented from the overwhelming consensus that collectivism was the most desirable form of social organization. But he in effect surrendered to the same consensus that it was the “wave of the future.” …
He was wrong that statism was inevitable, partly because he was right about the need to speak to the Remnant. Buckley, Chodorov, and countless others took inspiration from Nock or from Nockian ideas, but they did not write for their desk drawers. They shared Nock’s fatalism at times — standing athwart history yelling Stop, and all that — but they actually yelled Stop. Nock did not believe in anything so crude as yelling, even in purely literary terms. His successors did, because they shared Burke’s understanding that “when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” Likewise, when bad ideas seem good, men who know otherwise must say so, lest society slip under their spell. That was the key lesson the disparate righteous took from Nock the Prophet as they associated to form the modern conservative and libertarian movements — even if, as Nock fully understood, they didn’t know where their ideas came from, or that Nock’s fingerprints were upon many of them. …
And that is why the Right is in so much better shape than it was during Nock’s time, even as liberals are mounting a statist revival. Yes, statism is on the march again, but anti-statism isn’t an amusing pursuit for cape-wearing exotics like Nock anymore; it is the animating spirit of institutions launched and nourished by lovers of liberty.
We are fascinated by this piece of history, glad to learn that “the disparate righteous … associated to form the modern conservative and libertarian movements”.
But is statism not the “wave of the future”?
With the re-election of Obama and the apparent weakness of the Republican Party now, we cannot be confident that statism is a passing phase.
Jonah Goldberg remains full of optimism. Here he is again with a cheerful view. We quote from an article of his at Townhall today:
American conservatism began as a kind of intellectual hobbyist’s group with little hope of changing the broader society. Albert Jay Nock, the cape-wearing libertarian intellectual … who inspired a very young William F. Buckley Jr., argued that political change was impossible because the masses were rubes, goons, fools or sheep, victims of the eternal tendency of the powerful to exploit the powerless.
Buckley, who rightly admired Nock for many things, rightly disagreed on this point. Buckley trusted the people more than the intellectuals … [and believed that] it is possible to rally the public to your cause.
It took time. In an age when conservative books make millions, it’s hard to imagine how difficult it once was to get a right-of-center book published. Henry L. Regnery, the founder of the publishing house that bears his name, started his venture to break the wall of groupthink censorship surrounding the publishing industry. With a few exceptions, Regnery was the only game in town for decades.
That’s hardly the case anymore. While there’s a higher bar for conservative authors at mainstream publishers (which remain overwhelmingly liberal), profit tends to trump ideology.
And publishing is a lagging indicator. In cable news, think tanks, talk radio and, of course, the Internet, conservatives have at least rough parity with, and often superiority to, liberals. It’s only in the legacy institutions — newspapers, the broadcast networks and most especially academia and Hollywood — where conservatism is still largely frozen out. Nonetheless, conservatism is a mass-market enterprise these days, for good and for ill.
The good is obvious. The ill is less understood. For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can only come with persuading the unconverted.
We have a sinking feeling that we are among the “hucksters … stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can only come with persuading the unconverted”, though we don’t make money out of it, and we would very much like to achieve real political success.
A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it’s possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument.
We are amply exposed to liberal arguments, but have yet to hear a good one.
Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.
Ironically, the institution in which conservatives had their greatest success is the one most besieged by conservatives today: the Republican Party. To listen to many grassroots conservatives, the GOP establishment is a cabal of weak-kneed sellouts …
Well, yes. That is how we think of the GOP right now.
It’s not that the GOP isn’t conservative enough, it’s that it isn’t tactically smart or persuasive enough to move the rest of the nation in a more conservative direction. Moreover, thanks in part to the myth that all that stands between conservatives and total victory is a philosophically pure GOP, party leaders suffer from a debilitating lack of trust — some of it well earned — from the rank and file.
But politics is about persuasion, and a party consumed by the need to prove its purity to its base is going to have a very hard time proving anything else to the rest of the country.
We applaud – and often quote – conservative and libertarian writers who attract millions of readers and may be persuading them.
And eagerly – though full of misgiving – we await their success: await the defeat of collectivist statism; the fall from power of the now far left Democratic Party; the final disappointment of the world government fans and the Big Green fanatics; the enlightenment of feminists and pacifists; the stopping of the Islamic onslaught on the West.
And the regeneration of the GOP.
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 is 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 why do they make an icon out of the sadistic mass-murderer Che Guevara?
The broad general answer is simple. 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. This is so obvious that the statement “they believe it because they’ve been taught it” could be dismissed as a truism.
It is 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 unguessable but just purpose in having six million of them enslaved, starved, tortured and murdered by Germans.
They believe it because they were taught it. It was drummed into them. They were raised to know that that is how it is.
Yet 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. How?
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 it takes energy, persistence, patience, time, repetition – 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 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, time, repetition, force.
Look how long it took. From the time St Paul invented “Jesus Christ” to the time the emperor of Rome 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 finally the Emperor Theodosius decreed that Christianity was to be the religion of the state. With him the last 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, repetitous proselytizing. The fever of enthusiasm had to be caught by two generations of intellectuals before the infection became a pandemic.
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 could achieve irreversible success in Europe in less than thirty years, in America in forty (1968 to 2008). 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, terrorism as self-expression. New Leftists complained that they had too much freedom, too much choice, that tolerance of their politics was repressive. (That’s what Leftist theorists mean by “the dialectic” – every concept is also its own opposite.) 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. Antonio Gramsci, founder of the Italian Communist Party, proposed the strategy: “The Long March through the Institutions”. It wasn’t enough that the New Left should protest, should threaten and carry out violent attacks, should shout and write and publish, should display their slogans, should bomb their native cities and maim and kill their neighbors. They must take over the institutions of power, every one of them, by achieving a majority of votes in them: from the smallest citizens’ groupings – such as library committees – to town councils, news media, boards of education, the schools, the universities, the civil service, the publishing industry, the legal profession, the law courts, a major political party, the country’s legislative body, and eventually prime-ministerships and presidencies. Police forces and the military were formidable challenges. The tactic with them was first to discredit them, then pressure them from outside by means of public opinion guided by the converted press, then to infiltrate them, and finally to bend them from within to conform to the doctrine and so advance the cause.
Books, films, articles, lessons, lectures, systems of reward, prizes must all promote the cause. It took the three or four decades, but it succeeded.
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 in the East oppressed, enslaved, tortured and mass murdered? The idea itself was no more innately and manifestly true and good than the idea of Christianity. But as in the case of Christianity, it took conviction, decision, planning, energy, persistence, repetition, and finally (now even in America, under the Obama administration) force.
Only Lefist 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 Republican Party was not illegal.) Again, as with Christianity, the allegiance to the doctrine has little or nothing to do with the innate worth of the ideas themselves. Most adherents to either Christianity or Leftism 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 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 conquered it?
And the success of Leftism now – would it have happened if the conservative Right had been paying attention? The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and the Right was not being vigilant. It took little notice of the Long March. 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 the Right 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 when the world’s mood had changed to favoring crassness, vulgarity 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, Feminism, 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 acadamies 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 they did not even notice the Long March. They could not mark its stations of success. Only now, late in 2012, the Republican Party has woken up with a shock on discovering, in the November presidential election, that most of America likes collectivism; that it doesn’t object to electoral fraud; that it has no objection to a failing economy; that it would rather live on government handouts than become rich; that being rich has become a bad thing; that it’s okay for foreign powers to develop weapons that could 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 apply foreign laws; that it doesn’t matter if American representatives abroad are attacked and murdered; that the concept of personal freedom is worthy only of derision; that American history is a trail of shame; that aggressive Islam is being protected by the government.
How did this happen? It happened because people patiently, energetically, persistently planned it and made it happen.
What can we do about it? What needs to be done to change the minds of the people?
Those who would change this state of affairs must first 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 to stop indoctrination in the schools; 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; that Islam is inimical to their civilization. Then they must decide that their own 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. Teach, preach, use every method of persuasion that works. Take back the institutions. Give up the idea that it’s better to be gentlemanly than sink to using the low methods of the opposition. The Left has made the fight low and dirty. Leftists will cheat, lie, turn dirty tricks. Will the Right, before it is to late, get down in the dirt and fight in the same way?
Have they – Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, the Tea Party – got the stomach for it? How badly does the conservative Right want to win power in America? How important is it to them that they should?
Are they prepared to shout down the shouters? Criticize and mock Islam? Make Communists feel passé and nasty? Tolerate only the tolerant and tolerable?
Will they start a process and persist with it, energetically and patiently? Or do they imagine that the innate rightness of their ideas, if politely explained, will win the electorate over to their side?
Will it be enough just to tell them?
Tell them 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 other countries. Not politically correct sentimental drivel, but the actual awful facts about life in most other countries.
Tell them why impartial justice is the only justice. Why all sane adult citizens must be treated equally by the law. That 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 the rule of law itself. And why government should not be allowed more powers and money than it needs to fulfill its few essential functions.
Will that do the trick?
No. It will not be enough just to tell them.
Just how low and dirty the fight will have to be, just how hard the task necessarily is, can be learnt from David Horowitz’s book Radicals*. Here are a few indicators to be found in it:
Lenin “declared that the purpose of a political argument was not to refute one’s opponent but to wipe him off the face of the earth”.
“Because the left is inspired by the fantasy of a future that can never be realized, it is never defeated by its defeats.”
Alinskyites [eg Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] “will say anything (and pretend to be anything) to get what they want, which is power.”
Alinsky’s advice: “Advance your radical goals by camouflaging them.”
“[Lenin] was always engaged in a total war, which he used to justify every means he thought might advance his goals. These included summary executions, concentration camps that provided a model for Hitler, and the physical ‘liquidation’ of entire social classes. Lenin was the most dangerous kind of political fanatic – ready to resort to any means to get what he wanted, even if it meant pretending to be a democrat.”
“This is the art [Alinsky] taught to radicals trying to impose socialism on a country whose people understand that socialism destroys freedom: Don’t sell it as socialism. Sell it as ‘Progressivism’, ‘economic democracy’, ‘fairness’, and ‘social justice’.”
“[I]dentify one’s political enemies as instruments of evil and thus … justify the total war against them.”
“[Alinsky explains] to idealistic radicals who think of themselves as creating a world of perfect justice and harmony that the means they must use to achieve that world are dishonest, deceitful, and ruthless – and therefore indefensible by the moral standards they claim to be upholding. The radical organizer has no such standards … he ‘does not have a fixed truth – truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political relativist.’” [Italics in the original.]
“[Alinsky writes;] ’To say that corrupt means corrupt the ends is to believe in the immaculate conception of ends and principles. The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process … he who fears corruption fears life.’”
Terrible, terrible! And of course immoral means pervert the ends.
The moral Right cannot do as the immoral Left does.
So how will the Left be defeated?
Jillian Becker December 17, 2012
* Radicals: Portraits of a Destructive Passion by David Horowitz, Regnery,Washington D.C., 2012
The incessant drumbeat of anti-Semitism— often rooted in anti-Zionist prejudice against Israel and all who publicly identify with the Jewish state and Jewish identity — throughout Europe is inciting violence that can no longer be ignored. The problem here is not just al-Qaeda sympathizers such as the Toulouse shooter or the importation of Jew-hatred from the Middle East that have taken root among French Muslims. It is the way that such views have melded with attacks from intellectuals on Zionism, Israel and its supporters in such a way as to dignify the sordid hatred flung at Jews on the streets of Europe. There is a long and dishonorable history of anti-Semitism in France, but what we are witnessing now is an updated version of traditional bias that is casting a shadow over the future of the Jewish community there. … It is difficult to envision much of a future for Jews in Europe. - Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary-Contentions, July 6, 2012
In recent weeks, I have heard those who have cast doubt on Iran’s intentions. They said that when Iran’s leaders declare that they will wipe Israel off the map, they really mean something else in Persian. It would be interesting to hear what they think of the Iranian Chief-of-Staff’s remarks yesterday: ‘Iran is committed to the complete destruction of Israel.’ This is clear and simple. Iran’s goals are clear. It wants to annihilate Israel and is developing nuclear weapons to realize this goal. Iran threatens Israel, peace and the entire world. Against this malicious intention, the world’s leading countries must show determination, not weakness. – Benyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, 21 May, 2012
In pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons, the president finalizes plans to decimate our nuclear deterrent and reduce our warhead count beyond even treaty commitments … with the goal “in the longer term, of eliminating nuclear weapons”. This plan stems from a Nuclear Posture Review conducted by an administration committed to a world without nuclear weapons, particularly American ones, based on two fraudulent conclusions, one that Cold War weapons are no longer needed in a post-Cold War world, and the weapons, not the tyrants who would use them against us, are the real threat. - From an IBD editorial, July 6, 2012
Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, has described as “risky” plans to reduce the service to its smallest size since the Napoleonic wars. - From the Telegraph, July 7, 2012
The following is from Omnipotent Government by Ludwig von Mises, 1944, re-published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. It is subsection 5 of Chapter VIII, Anti-Semitism and Racism: Anti-Semitism as a Factor in International Politics.
(Ludwig von Mises, free-market economist of the Austrian School, was one of the most eminent classical liberal thinkers of the last century.)
It was a very strange constellation of political forces that turned anti-Semitism into an important factor in world affairs.
In the years after the first World War Marxism swept triumphantly over the Anglo-Saxon countries. Public opinion in Great Britain came under the spell of the neo-Marxian doctrines on imperialism, according to which wars are fought only for the sake of the selfish class interests of capital. The intellectuals and the parties of the Left felt rather ashamed of England’s participation in the World War. They were convinced that it was both morally unfair and politically unwise to oblige Germany to pay reparations and to restrict its armaments. They were firmly resolved never again to let Great Britain fight a war. They purposely shut their eyes to every unpleasant fact that could weaken their naïve confidence in the omnipotence of the League of Nations. They overrated the efficacy of sanctions and of such measures as outlawing war by the Briand-Kellogg Pact. They favored for their country a policy of disarmament which rendered the British Empire almost defenseless within a world indefatigably preparing for new wars.
But at the same time the same people were asking the British government and the League to check the aspirations of the “dynamic” powers and to safeguard with every means—short of war—the independence of the weaker nations. They indulged in strong language against Japan and against Italy; but they practically encouraged, by their opposition to armaments and their unconditional pacifism, the imperialistic policies of these countries. They were instrumental in Great Britain’s rejecting Secretary Stimson’s proposals to stop Japan’s expansion in China. They frustrated the Hoare-Laval plan, which would have left at least a part of Abyssinia independent; but they did not lift a finger when Italy occupied the whole country. They did not change their policy when Hitler seized power and immediately began to prepare for the wars which were meant to make Germany paramount first on the European continent and later in the whole world. Theirs was an ostrich policy in the face of the most serious situation that Britain ever had to encounter.
The parties of the Right did not differ in principle from those of the Left. They were only more moderate in their utterances and eager to find a rational pretext for the policy of inactivity and indolence in which the Left acquiesced lightheartedly and without a thought of the future. They consoled themselves with the hope that Germany did not plan to attack France but only to fight Soviet Russia. It was all wishful thinking, refusing to take account of Hitler’s schemes as exposed in Mein Kampf. The Left became furious. Our reactionaries, they shouted, are aiding Hitler because they are putting their class interests over the welfare of the nation. Yet the encouragement which Hitler got from England came not so much from the anti-Soviet feelings of some members of the upper classes as from the state of British armament, for which the Left was even more responsible than the Right. The only way to stop Hitler would have been to spend large sums for rearmament and to return to conscription. The whole British nation, not only the aristocracy, was strongly opposed to such measures. Under these conditions it was not unreasonable that a small group of lords and rich commoners should try to improve relations between the two countries. It was, of course, a plan without prospect of success. The Nazis could not be dissuaded for their aims by comforting speeches from socially prominent Englishmen. British popular repugnance to armaments and conscription was an important factor in the Nazi plans, but the sympathies of a dozen lords were not. It was no secret that Great Britain would be unable, right at the outbreak of a new war, to send an expeditionary force of seven divisions to France as it did in 1914; that the Royal Air Force was numerically much inferior to the German Air Force; or that even the British Navy was less formidable than in the years 1914–18. …
The problem which Great Britain had to face was simply this: is it in the interest of the nation to permit Germany to conquer the whole European continent? It was Hitler’s great plan to keep England neutral at all costs, until the conquest of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Ukraine should be completed. Should Great Britain render him this service? Whoever answered this question in the negative must not talk but act. But the British politicians buried their heads in the sand.
Given the state of British public opinion, France should have understood that it was isolated and must meet the Nazi danger by itself. The French know little about the German mentality and German political conditions. Yet when Hitler seized power every French politician should have realized that the main point in his plans was the annihilation of France. Of course the French parties of the Left shared the prejudices, illusions, and errors of the British Left. But there was in France an influential nationalist group which had always mistrusted Germany and favored an energetic anti-German policy. If the French nationalists in 1933 and the years following had seriously advocated measures to prevent German rearmament, they would have had the support of the whole nation with the exception of the intransigent communists. Germany had already started to rearm under the Weimar Republic. Nevertheless in 1933 it was not ready for a war with France, nor for some years thereafter. It would have been forced either to yield to a French threat or to wage a war without prospect of success. At that time it was still possible to stop the Nazis with threats. And even had war resulted, France would have been strong enough to win.
But then something amazing and unexpected happened. Those nationalists who for more than sixty years had been fanatically anti-German, who had scorned everything German, and who had always demanded an energetic policy against the Weimar Republic changed their minds overnight. Those who had disparaged as Jewish all endeavors to improve Franco-German relations, who had attacked as Jewish machinations the Dawes and Young plans and the Locarno agreement, and who had held the League suspect as a Jewish institution suddenly began to sympathize with the Nazis. They refused to recognize the fact that Hitler was eager to destroy France once and for all. Hitler, they hinted, is less a foe of France than of the Jews; as an old warrior he sympathizes with his French fellow warriors. They belittled German rearmament. Besides, they said, Hitler rearms only in order to fight Jewish Bolshevism. Nazism is Europe’s shield against the assault of World Jewry and its foremost representative, Bolshevism. The Jews are eager to push France into a war against the Nazis. But France is wise enough not to pull any chestnuts out of the fire for the Jews. France will not bleed for the Jews.
It was not the first time in French history that the nationalists put their anti-Semitism above their French patriotism. In the Dreyfus Affair they fought vigorously in order to let a treacherous officer quietly evade punishment while an innocent Jew languished in prison.
It has been said that the Nazis corrupted the French nationalists. Perhaps some French politicians really took bribes. But politically this was of little importance. The Reich would have wasted its funds. The anti Semitic newspapers and periodicals had a wide circulation; they did not need German subsidies. Hitler left the League; he annulled the disarmament clauses of the Treaty of Versailles; he occupied the demilitarized zone on the Rhine; he stirred anti-French tendencies in North Africa. The French nationalists for the most part criticized these acts only in order to put all the blame on their political adversaries in France: it was they who were guilty, because they had adopted a hostile attitude toward Nazism.
Then Hitler invaded Austria. Seven years earlier France had vigorously opposed the plan of an Austro German customs union. But now the French Government hurried to recognize the violent annexation of Austria. At Munich—in coöperation with Great Britain and Italy—it forced Czechoslovakia to yield to the German claims. All this met with the approval of the majority of the French nationalists. When Mussolini, instigated by Hitler, proclaimed the Italian aspirations for Savoy, Nice, Corsica, and Tunis, the nationalists’ objections were ventured timidly. No Demosthenes rose to warn the nation against Philip [of Macedon]. But if a new Demosthenes had presented himself the nationalists would have denounced him as the son of a rabbi or a nephew of Rothschild.
It is true that the French Left did not oppose the Nazis either, and in this respect they did not differ from their British friends. But that is no excuse for the nationalists. They were influential enough to induce an energetic anti Nazi policy in France. But for them every proposal seriously to resist Hitler was a form of Jewish treachery. …
Germany openly prepared a war for the total annihilation of France. There was no doubt about the intentions of the Nazis. Under such conditions the only policy appropriate would have been to frustrate Hitler’s plans at all costs. Whoever dragged in the Jews in discussing Franco-German relations forsook the cause of his nation. Whether Hitler was a friend or foe of the Jews was irrelevant. The existence of France was at stake. This alone had to be considered, not the desire of French shopkeepers or doctors to get rid of their Jewish competitors.
That France did not block Hitler’s endeavors in time, that it long neglected its military preparations, and that finally, when war could no longer be avoided, it was not ready to fight was the fault of anti-Semitism. The French anti-Semites served Hitler well. Without them the new war might have been avoided, or at least fought under much more favorable conditions.
When war came, it was stigmatized by the French Right as a war for the sake of the Jews and by the French communists as a war for the sake of capitalism. The unpopularity of the war paralyzed the hands of the military chiefs. It slowed down work in the armament factories. … Thus the unbelievable happened: France disavowed its past, branded the proudest memories of its history Jewish, and hailed the loss of its political independence as a national revolution and a regeneration of its true spirit.
Not alone in France but the world over anti-Semitism made propaganda for Nazism. Such was the detrimental effect of interventionism and its tendencies toward discrimination that a good many people became unable to appreciate problems of foreign policy from any viewpoint but that of their appetite for discrimination against successful competitors. The hope of being delivered from a Jewish competitor fascinated them while they forgot everything else, their nation’s independence, freedom, religion, civilization. … The secret weapon of Hitler is the anti Jewish inclinations of many millions of shopkeepers and grocers, of doctors and lawyers, professors and writers.
The present war would never have originated but for anti¬Semitism. Only anti-Semitism made it possible for the Nazis to restore the German people’s faith in the invincibility of its armed forces, and thus to drive Germany again into the policy of aggression and the struggle for hegemony. Only the anti-Semitic entanglement of a good deal of French public opinion prevented France from stopping Hitler when he could still be stopped without war. And it was anti-Semitism that helped the German armies find in every European country men ready to open the doors to them.
Mankind has paid a high price indeed for anti-Semitism.
The orderers 10
A hundred years ago, when a workers’ paradise was about to be born in Russia, there was a joke which may by now have fallen down the collective memory-hole. It went like this:
Communist rabble-rouser: “Come the revolution we’ll all be eating strawberries and cream.”
Voice in the crowd: “But I don’t like strawberries and cream.”
Communist r-r: ”Come the revolution you’ll bloody well have to like strawberries and cream.”
There is a type of human personality that believes he/she knows what’s best for everyone, and will go to any length to force everyone, “for their own good”, to do as he/she decrees.
People of this type often choose to be sociologists, priests, politicians or bureaucrats. They are always collectivists, always authoritarians, always a pain in the neck. Theirs is the stuff great despots are made of. And many gods. And a certain type of murderee.
Their deep ambition is to possess total power. Not one of your secrets left unexposed. Not one of your shelves or drawers unsearched. All your files downloaded. All your emails read. Your thoughts policed. Your actions monitored. Your words recorded.
They will tidy you into neat “housing-units”. They will count out the calories you consume. They will ration the energy you may use. They will decide how long you may live. They will tell you what you may know. They are merciless in punishment – they’ll trim off lone wolves and obstinate dissenters as fast as a barber will trim your neckline. They have no use for innovation, or for change of any sort. They grudge you leisure in case you use it for thinking. They know what work you should be doing and you’d better be doing it how and where and for how long they say.
(Doctors and army officers really do have to exert authority over other adults. They are exempted from this post’s otherwise sweeping condemnation.)
These order-imposers, these self-elected benefactors, these interfering meddlers just simply cannot mind their own business. They can see what needs to be “put right” and cannot rest until they’ve done it.
You can protest until you drop: “What’s it to you what I do? It doesn’t harm you! I don’t interfere in your life, so don’t interfere in mine! If you don’t like seeing me do it, don’t look…”
Still he/she will insist, “But don’t you understand, it does you harm. It’s bad for you. You must do this instead. I’m only trying to be helpful. I care what happens to you.” – ”You” being all of us except himself/herself. As if we were all children.
Usually they are puritans. Occasionally one pops up who lusts for destruction speedily, and might even orchestrate chaos to achieve the perfect order of utter annihilation. Nothing is so tidy as a world cleansed of human life.
Whatever their particular way and final goal, they are the Enemy.
This is from PJ Media, by Joe Hicks:
If you enjoy having a Big Gulp along with your burger and fries, you’d better drink up fast if you live in New York City: do-gooder Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks you are too irresponsible to know what’s good for you. He believes super-large sugary drinks contribute to all sorts of bad health issues, so he’s determined to make you downsize whether you like it or not.
The mayor’s ban on these drinks could go into effect as soon as early next year, and would affect drinks larger than 16 ounces. Bloomberg’s ban is aimed at drinks sold only at movie theaters, restaurants, or from street carts, meaning you could still get your large-sized drink fix at convenience stores, supermarkets, or other retail sellers.
This isn’t Bloomberg’s first foray into the “nanny state,” or employing excessive state action to protect people from themselves by restricting freedom. Under Bloomberg’s leadership — and via an equally meddlesome and liberal city council — the city has banned trans fats from food preparations in restaurants (the ingredient that makes french fries, doughnuts, and other deep-fried foods taste so yummy) and has forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus.
Bloomberg, in one of his most Orwellian moves, even banned donations of food to the homeless because the city didn’t have the ability to monitor these much-needed and welcomed gifts for things like fat, salt, or fiber content — a concern not typically voiced by individuals desperate for a meal.
Of course, the mayor’s rationale is the protection of public health. After all, there is an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. However, who among us really believes regularly downing upwards of 32 ounces of soft drink is a healthy thing to do? And since anyone addicted to gigantic-sized soft drinks can easily ask for a second 16-ounce drink or find a nearby retail outlet, is this ban likely to impact obesity among people already making unhealthy decisions?
And what business is it of the mayor’s anyway?
For libertarians and conservatives, the far greater concern is government intrusion into our private lives. There can be no confusion about this: controlling the intake of food and drink is simply not a function of good government as outlined by the framers of our Constitution. …
The problem of meddling “I-know-best” bureaucrats obviously isn’t just an affliction local to New York City. In 2008, Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry succeeded in imposing a resolution banning any new fast food restaurants in a 32 square-mile area of South L.A. Like Bloomberg, her rationale was the disproportionate rates of obesity and diabetes among the largely poor, black, and Latino residents of her district. The racist, infantilizing message: poor minorities living in South L.A. are too stupid to make their own food choices. Her patronizing solution: experiment with their lives by forcing them to eat what she wants them to eat. …
If government bureaucrats can ban the types of fast food outlets available, manipulate the size and types of drinks we can consume, and regulate every aspect of food preparation, what couldn’t they attempt to ban? Some studies have suggested that red meat is “unhealthy.” Will Bloomberg next propose a measure limiting red meat intake to one steak per month? Will the nanny state do-gooders ban hot dogs, or force Americans to take part in government exercise programs like those promoted by the first lady? …
Now listen up. You gotta eat every one of those strawberries, no arguments.
But cream? Do you know there are 20 calories in just one tablespoon of cream?
It oughta be banned.
(Michael Ramirez cartoon from Investor’s Business Daily.)
Environmentalists “refuse to look at or admit the existence of the carnage they have created and continue to perpetuate worldwide.”
So writes Robert Zubrin in an article at PJ Media.
He contends that more people have died as a result of the environmental movement than at the hands of the most extreme mass-murdering dictators. In fact, he argues, millions of those deaths in the dictatorships have been caused, indirectly, by the environmental movement.
How good is his case?
Let’s look at the record.
Some of the worst atrocities can be laid at the feet of the population control ideologues such as Paul Ehrlich and his co-thinkers who argued — in direct contradiction to historical fact — that human well-being is inversely proportional to human numbers. As a result of their agitation, since 1966 U.S. foreign aid and World Bank loans to Third World countries have been made contingent upon those nations implementing population control programs. In consequence, over the past four decades, in scores of countries spanning the globe from India to Peru, tens of millions of women have been … subjected to involuntary sterilizations or abortions, often under very unsafe conditions, with innumerable victims suffering severe health effects or dying afterwards.
We are against foreign aid. But we are even more against the forced reduction of populations by “population control programs” including compulsory abortion and sterilization.
Ehrlich also called for the United States to create a Bureau of Population and Environment which would have the power to issue or deny permits to Americans to have children. While rejected here, this idea was adopted by the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, who were convinced of the necessity of such measures by the writings of the Club of Rome* after these were plagiarized and republished in China under the name of one of its top officials. Thus was born China’s infamous “one-child policy,” which has involved not only hundreds of millions of involuntary abortions and forced sterilizations, but infanticide and the killing of “illegal children” on a mass scale.
There have been tens of millions of cases of murder-by-default: people being allowed to die by keeping from them a remedy for fatal disease:
The anti-technology wing of the antihuman movement also has its share of human extermination to account for. …
… by getting governments to ban the highly effective pesticide DDT – not always for scientific reasons, but precisely because it saves lives:
To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase of agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable. But the role of DDT in saving half a billion lives did not positively impress everyone. On the contrary, as Alexander King, the co-founder of the Club of Rome put it in his 1990 biography, “my chief quarrel with DDT … is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” …
Scientific arguments were also used, for instance that DDT endangered birds. To these lunatics (what else can one call them?), the preservation of bird life was more important than the preservation of human life.
Rachel Carson … in her 1962 book, Silent Spring, … made an eloquent case that DDT was endangering bird populations.
Which wasn’t even true:
This was false. In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly. No matter. Using Carson’s book and even more wild writing by Ehrlich (who in a 1969 Ramparts article predicted that pesticides would cause all life in the Earth’s oceans to die by 1979), a massive propaganda campaign was launched [in the US] to ban DDT.
The EPA – not yet the storm-trooper arm of a dictatorial administration as it has now become – carried out an investigation into the effects of the pesticide:
In 1971, the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency responded by holding seven months of investigative hearings on the subject, gathering testimony from 125 witnesses. At the end of this process, Judge Edmund Sweeney issued his verdict: “The uses of DDT under the registration involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. … DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man.”
But dedicated environmentalists are never put off by facts:
No matter. EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus (who would later go on to be a board member of the Draper Fund, a leading population control group), chose to overrule Sweeney and ban the use of DDT in the United States.
Subsequently, the U.S. Agency for International Development adopted regulations preventing it from funding international projects that used DDT. Together with similar decisions enacted in Europe, this effectively banned the use of DDT in many Third World countries. By some estimates, the malaria death toll in Africa alone resulting from these restrictions has exceeded 100 million people, with 3 million additional deaths added to the toll every year.
The harm done by the EPA, itself a creation of the environmental movement, has not been limited to stopping DDT. It is no coincidence that U.S. oil production, which had been growing at a rate of 3 percent per year through the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, peaked in 1971, immediately after the EPA’s creation, and has been declining ever since. In 1971, the U.S. produced 9.6 million barrels of oil per day (mpd). Today we are down to 5.6 mpd. Had we continued without environmentalist interference with our previous 3 percent per year growth in the period since — as the rest of the non-OPEC world actually did — we would today be producing 35 mpd, and the world economy would not be groaning under the extremely regressive tax represented by $100 per barrel oil prices. The environmentalist campaign against nuclear power has made its promise for plentiful, cheap electricity impossible as well.
The genocidal effect of such support for energy price-rigging should not be underestimated. Increasing the price of energy increases the price of all other products. It is one thing to pay $100 per barrel for oil in a nation like the USA which has an average income of $45,000 per year. It is quite another to pay it in a Third World country with an average income of $1500 per year. An oil price stiff enough to cause recession in the advanced sector can cause mass starvation among the world’s poor.
While we think the phrase “genocidal effect” is not well chosen, we follow Dr. Zubrin’s argument.
Again, the evil that he accuses environmentalists of is choosing not to allow the saving of lives that could be saved:
European greens also have much horror to account for, notably through their campaign against genetically modified crops. Hundreds of millions of people in the Third World today suffer from nutritional deficiencies resulting from their cereal-dominated diets. This can now readily be rectified by employing genetically enhanced plants, such as golden rice, which is rich in vitamin A. Other genetically modified crops offer protection against iron or other vitamin deficiency diseases, dramatically increased yields, self-fertilization, and drought or insect resistance. But as a result of political pressure from the green parties, the European Union has banned the import of crops from countries that employ such strains, thereby blackmailing many governments into forbidding their use. In consequence, millions of people are being unnecessarily blinded, crippled, starved, or killed every year.
Taken together, these campaigns to deny billions of people the means to a decent existence have racked up a death toll exceeding that achieved by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or any of the other tyrants whose crimes fill the sordid pages of human history.
*And here is a very important footnote that explains how and why environmentalists decided to exploit pollution, global warming, and famine in order to make a case for global unification [ie for world government] as long as the earth is peopled, but also against the human race, which they perceive as the planet’s enemy. What their ultimate aim is – whether absolute power over the human species or its total annihilation – is not clear. Is preservation of the environment the pretext for, or the goal of world government? Perhaps they are not sure themselves.
The Club of Rome raised considerable public attention with its report Limits to Growth … It predicted that economic growth could not continue indefinitely because of the limited availability of natural resources, particularly oil. …
Mankind at the Turning Point was accepted as the official Second Report to the Club of Rome in 1974. … [It claimed] that many of the factors [affecting the environment] were within human control and therefore that environmental and economic catastrophe were preventable or avoidable. …
In 1993, the Club published The First Global Revolution. According to this book, divided nations require common enemies to unite them, “either a real one or else one invented for the purpose.” Because of the sudden absence of traditional enemies, “new enemies must be identified. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. … All these dangers [to the planet] are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
Mohammad Merah the Muslim Murderer
Expressing the sort and degree of indignation we wish we heard more often, Daniel Greenfield writes at Canada Free Press:
There was a time when Jewish children were hunted down and killed in France. Their killers believed themselves to be members of a superior group that was destined to rule the world and enslave or exterminate members of inferior groups. The cowardice and appeasement of the French authorities allowed them to operate freely, to kill Jews and launch attacks on other countries.
What was then is now again. The occupying army doesn’t wear uniforms, it wears keffiyahs. It doesn’t speak German, it speaks Arabic. It doesn’t believe that it is superior for reasons of race as much as for reasons of religion. It does not view all others as Untermenschen, but as infidels. It looks forward not to a thousand year Reich, but to a thousand year Caliphate.
Mohammed Merah did not chase down a French-Jewish [eight-year-old] girl, put a gun to her head and pull the trigger because he came from an economically depressed area or any of the other media spin. He was only doing what Muslims had been doing to non-Muslims for over a thousand years. He didn’t do what he did because he was “radicalized”, he did it because he became a fully committed Muslim. …
Between all the non-stop coverage, the expressions of grief, the political pandering, no one is stating the obvious. France has been occupied all over again. Once again, the occupation has been carried out with the consent of the authorities who have decided that cowardice is the only way. Vichy France has become Vichy Europe, Vichy America, Vichy Australia, where the blatant appeasement is disguised as honor, treason is portrayed as responsible leadership, and collaboration in the mass murder of your own people is never acknowledged as such. …
Muslims have hated Jews before the telephone, the telegraph, the steam engine, gunpowder, movable type and paper currency. And now, surrounded by smartphones, credit cards and jet planes, they still hate them. That simple undeniable fact is denied by government, in every university and in every center of culture. And every one of those deniers has blood on his hands.
Not only the blood of the Jewish children murdered by Mohammed Merah. Not only the blood of Jews murdered by Muslims in France. But the blood of all those who have been killed by Muslim immigrants, no matter of what generation, in the name of Islam.
The names of Chamberlain, Petain and Quisling have become eternally infamous because they stand for appeasement and collaboration. But, then, what do we make of the names Blair, Sarkozy and Stoltenberg [Prime Minister of Norway]? What have the latter done differently from their predecessors? The left likes to pretend that its collaboration with Islam is moral, while the collaboration with Nazism was immoral. It’s a distinction without a difference.
Does it really matter whether the men murdering children in the name of their Fuhrer call him Adolf or Mohammed? Does it matter whether they call themselves Hans or Mohammed? Does it matter whether their fantasies of superiority are based on bad science or bad religion? What matters is the end result. A foreign enemy controls your cities, murders at will, and takes your future for his own.
The Toulouse Massacre did not come out of the blue, it follows decades of Muslim violence in France—a Kristalnacht that has been going on year after year. It will not stop here. Not while there are five million Muslim in France, some of whom are bound to pick up the Koran and take it seriously. The “radical” clerics that Mohammed Merah listened to did not innovate a new religion, there has never been any basis to the teachings of the so-called radicals other than the Koran. The only book more popular in the Muslim world than Mein Kampf. …
The question, as always, after every act of Muslim terror is how many more must die? How many? Because the killing will continue. It has gone on for over a thousand years. It is not about to stop now. Muslim leaders who condemn these acts do it for tactical reasons, not moral ones. They don’t believe it’s wrong to kill rebellious non-Muslims… unless the act rebounds against non-Muslims.
The difference between the “radicals” and the “moderates” is that the radicals want to engage in genocide even while they are a minority, while the moderates want to wait until they are a majority. The radicals are satisfied with killing a few Hindus, Christians, Jews, here and there. The moderates want to wait and kill millions. Neither are our allies. Both are our murderers. …
There is no peace to be had with a creed that defines peace exclusively in terms of its own dominance over others.
Islam, like Nazism, is a disease of the soul, a twin sense of superiority and victimhood possessed by the angry corner dwellers of the world, who are certain that they would rule if only it wasn’t for all the others holding them back. To understand a Nazi or a Muslim, you don’t need to learn their creeds, just stare into the eyes of a wife beater, a pedophile or any bully, and you will see that same smirk which easily transforms into outrage, the arrogant tone that turns unctuous when it is set back on its heels, the flickering eyes that are always looking at what they can’t have.
You don’t need to read the Koran to understand Mohammed Merah, you can just as easily understand the Koran by reading about what Mohammed Merah did.
The day will come when … the peoples of the free world will learn what true Muslim terror really is, as the peoples of Africa and Asia, as the many other religions of the Middle East including the Jews learned, in the day of the original Mohammed.
There is nothing extraordinary about what Mohammed Merah did. You may think that there is, but that is because you are a citizen of the free world, and you have become used to that rare thing known as civilized behavior. But when your nations opened their borders to people who consider your infidel lands, the Dar Al-Harb, the House of the Sword, then civilization gets its throat cut, it gets chased down at a school, has a gun put to its head and the trigger gets pulled.
Killing children is not a shocking act in the [Muslim] Middle East … Parents routinely kill their own children for minor offenses that would hardly get an American child grounded. When they move to America or Canada, they kill their children there too, and we considerately look away. If they do that to their children, why do you think they will have any more mercy on yours?
There is no point in holding Mohammed Merah accountable for what he did, just as there was no point in bringing Nazi leaders to trial for crimes against humanity. Mohammed recognizes no form of law other than the law of Islam, just as the Nazis recognized no other form of humanity than their own. There is no common moral or legal system that we share with Islam. Equality before the law, the cornerstone of our system, is so much noise in the windy corridors of the mosque. How can the Subhuman be equal to the Aryan, how can the Infidel be equal to the Muslim?
Mohammed Merah is a mad dog and should be treated as what he is. Accountability is for those who share our moral system. It is for our own leaders who continue perpetuating the macabre myth of a religion of peace, even while attending the funerals of its victims. Accountability is for the Petains, the Chamberlains and the Quislings who have led us into this hole and keep waving in more Mohammeds to come and join the party.
The old Nazis marched in at the head of an army. The new Nazis bought a plane ticket. The old Nazis had to get by the French Armed Forces and the Royal Air Force. The new Nazis are welcomed in and anyone who says a word otherwise faces trials and jail sentences. The old Nazis deported Jews to camps. The new Nazis kill them right in the cities. And the killing will not stop until the Muslim occupation of Europe comes to an end.
Miriam Monsonego, 8, murdered by Mohammad Merah. He also killed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two sons, three-year-old Gavriel and six-year-old Aryeh.