Collectivist idealism: an obituary 1

The Marxist movement that tormented the human race for 100 years – 1917 to 2017 – was a Western bourgeoisie revolt against itself.

Almost all its leading idealists came from middle-class well-educated families. (Stalin was an exception.)

Its victims were multitudes of vulnerable individuals in frail societies.

Its last desperate heave for enduring power was the successful campaign of the Democratic Party to get Barack Obama elected to the presidency of the United States.

But America is not a frail society. The people are not poor, helpless, vulnerable. They have been made strong by 240 years of constitutionally protected liberty and property-owning free market capitalism.

Obama weakened America militarily and put it into heavy debt, but he is being constitutionally replaced by a patriotic capitalist, and there is nowhere for the Marxist movement to go now except into oblivion. 

There will still be idealists of collectivism, chiefly in the academies, for some years to come. Communist regimes linger on in a few sad places – North Korea, Cuba. But it is unlikely that there will be new regimes of that sort.

Here’s Milton Friedman explaining, kindly and politely but inarguably, how collectivism is bad for people and freedom is good for them:

Posted under communism, Cuba, Economics, Leftism, Marxism, North Korea, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 5, 2017

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End of an era 3

The year 2017 approaches, and with it the centennial of the Russian revolution that first brought Marxists to totalitarian power.

For the last hundred years Marxism has been destroying human life, liberty and happiness on a vast scale. Far from ushering in paradise on earth as the Marxists proclaimed they would do, they used power wherever they acquired it to create earthly hells.

By reasonable reckoning, 23 Communist regimes had killed (at least) 149,469,610 people by 2006. R. J. Rummel, who was professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, is the authority most cited for the statistics of deaths caused by Communist governments by means of executions, deliberate mass starvation, and forced labor. For mass slaughter of this sort, he invented the word “democide“.

In one of his papers titled How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?, Professor Rummel wrote

How can we understand all this killing by communists? It is the marriage of an absolutist ideology with absolute power. Communists believed that they knew the truth, absolutely. They believed that they knew through Marxism what would bring about the greatest human welfare and happiness. And they believed that power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, must be used to tear down the old feudal or capitalist order and rebuild society and culture to realize this utopia. Nothing must stand in the way of its achievement. Government – the Communist Party – was thus above any law. All institutions, cultural norms, traditions, and sentiments were expendable. And the people were as though lumber and bricks, to be used in building the new world.

To many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths. The irony of this is that communism in practice, even after decades of total control, did not improve the lot of the average person, but usually made their living conditions worse than before the revolution. It is not by chance that the greatest famines have occurred within the Soviet Union (about 5,000,000 dead during 1921-23 and 7,000,000 from 1932-3) and communist China (about 27,000,000 dead from 1959-61). In total almost 55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from democidal famine. This is as though the total population of Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out. And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people, was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. …

But communists could not be wrong. After all, their knowledge was scientific, based on historical materialism, an understanding of the dialectical process in nature and human society, and a materialist (and thus realistic) view of nature. Marx has shown empirically where society has been and why, and he and his interpreters proved that it was destined for a communist end. No one could prevent this, but only stand in the way and delay it at the cost of more human misery. Those who disagreed with this world view and even with some of the proper interpretations of Marx and Lenin were, without a scintilla of doubt, wrong. After all, did not Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao say that. . . . In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusade against nonbelievers.

[A]t the extreme of totalitarian power we have the greatest extreme of democide. Communist governments have almost without exception wielded the most absolute power and their greatest killing (such as during Stalin’s reign or the height of Mao’s power) has taken place when they have been in their own history most totalitarian. As most communist governments underwent increasing liberalization and a loosening of centralized power in the 1960s through the 1980s, the pace of killing dropped off sharply.

Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed.

We contend that the recent death of Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, marks the end of the terrible Marxist era. Cuba will continue for a while yet to be under the cruel Communist regime he established. And North Korea is still under Communist dictatorship. But no new such regimes are arising. Democracy is replacing dictatorships in South America. And with the defeat in 2016 of a second* Alinskyite presidential candidate nominated by the Democratic Party of the United States, the grip of Marxist ideology through government is loosening everywhere and – we contend – unlikely to strengthen again.

It is still, however, dominant in the academies of the Western World. What can be done about that rottenness in higher education?

With this question, Robert Conquest, one of the greatest historians of Communist Russia, was concernedIn a review of his book Reflections on a Ravaged Century in the American Spectator Online, Josh London wrote:  

The clearest picture to emerge from these pages is that the history of Communism is, at its simplest, little more than the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques. These groups have, invariably, been led by excruciatingly cruel dictators who were revoltingly drunk on their own foolish ideology and power.  …

Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek pointed out over fifty years ago that “Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for an obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be persuaded to adopt it as their programme.” Though unquoted by Conquest, Hayek’s insight is exactly what worries him most about the 20th century and the prospects of life in the 21st century. Conquest’s work in this section constitutes an inquiry into the intellectual’s temperament and, in particular, the intellectual ingenuity required to go on believing when all is lost.

There follows an excellent and absorbing chapter on what is happening in education: A great many just swipes are taken at the academic intelligentsia who subvert it. Conquest reviews the rise of pseudo-science, and the application of quantitative methods and measurements in social science. Conquest also laments the influence of half-baked, trashy European ideas in Western, specifically American, academic thought: “At a recent seminar on the much resented influx of certain American movies in France, my old friend Alain Besancon remarked that a hundred soft-porn products of Hollywood did less harm in his country than a single French philosopher had done in the United States.”

[Robert Conquest] laments the academic unwillingness to be seen to criticize colleagues or step outside of the many and varied leftist solidarities rampant throughout academia. …

As Conquest’s essays demonstrate, we, the victors of the Cold War, have thrown away a great part of what should have been a victory for Western values. The Cold War has been won, but the ideas that produced Communism still go marching on in their well-organized, corrupting way, even though the people advocating them are a minority.

The Historian Edward Gibbon once wrote that “There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.” Yet, standing from his vantage point at the end of the 20th century, surveying the history of the last 100 years, Conquest is probably right to end his book, as he soberly does, with a warning. Although we are now living through an exceptionally optimistic historical moment, he reminds us that the “past is full of eras of progress that ended in darkness.” We should not fool ourselves: “The power of fanaticism and of misunderstanding is by no means extinct.”

Nor will it ever be as long as humanity exists. Chriss W. Street, writing at Breitbart, warns that the Marxist aim of imposing Communism on the whole world is still being pursued with fanatical resolve:

Donald Trump winning the presidency based on his promise to torpedo globalism came exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and represents the second leg down for “World Socialism”.

Although U.S. history books declare capitalist United States the victor in World War II, it was World Socialism that ended up dominating most of the globe. [The] Soviet Union and China carved out massive communist states, India adopted extreme socialism, and communist insurgencies were ascendant in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.

Socialist governments controlled Western Europe and the idea that the state should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive the role of the state should be, but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service, health and electricity should be nationalized.

Paul Samuelson’s Economics was the top selling U.S. economics textbook from the 1960s through the 1980s. It proclaimed world socialism’s more efficient use of resources would allow the Soviet Union’s Gross National Product to pass the U.S. economy by 1984.

But mainstream economists failed to recognize that President Ronald Reagan’s policies of doubling down on capitalism through tax cuts and strangling the regulatory state in the 1980s would end the West’s inflationary spiral that had allowed communist resource-based economies to flourish. After the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, Russia was forced into a U.S. bailout and China adopted “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”.

But rather than accept a permanent home in the “dustbin of history”, socialists in Western Europe passed the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the 27 nation European Union. Meanwhile, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement and gave Most Favored Nation status to China.

Robert Wolfe, in the book SocialistGlobalization, calls this “internationalist movement”, a system of planning and production that transcends the boundaries of the individual nation-states:

The goal of socialist globalization should be the treatment of the entire world as a single economic unit within which the provision of necessary goods and services would be maximized and the [alleged man-made] damage to the environment minimized.

Leftist economist Joseph Stiglitz in January 2015 announced that “The American Century” had ended and “The Chinese Century” had begun, following the ‘World Bank’s International Comparison Program’ declaring China’s gross national product surpassed the U.S in 2014.

Stiglitz stated that the “rise of China also shines a harsh spotlight on the American model, due to capitalist economic and political “systemic deficiencies — that are corrupt”. He demanded that America must “pivot” to accept that the economic interests of China and the U.S. are now “intricately intertwined” in the new global order.

China would boast that it played a “crucial role” in formulating a new global development pact called “Agenda 2030,” which was signed by 193 members of the United Nations on September 28, 2015. The world socialist and corporatist pact aimed at re-engineering civilization through that imposition of 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” and setting 169 accompanying targets in what was referred to as a “Great Leap Forward”. 

China said that to “combat inequality domestically is simply not enough — international socialism is needed to battle inequality even among countries”. 

But, like us, the writer thinks that the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marks a turning-point; that the zealots for international socialism are aware that their path to world domination, for so long all too smooth, could now be made impassable.

The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet.

Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.

Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism.

Though not yet dead, Marxism/Communism/International Socialism has had its day. Its era is over. It will not go quietly. It will howl, it will grumble, it will whimper – but it will go. Perhaps as a minority secular religion it will linger, but as a power in the world it is done.

The Marxist professoriate remains to be muzzled. Agenda 2030 must not only be stopped, but the damage it has already done (under the name originally given to it by its parent the UN, “Agenda 21”) needs to be reversed. The prophets of doom by human beings overheating the planet need to be discouraged to the point of despair, because they are using “climate change” as a pretext for imposing world socialist government. But the Age of Marx is over.

That does not mean that “the power of fanaticism” – to use Robert Conquest’s words – is “extinct”. As we have said, it never will be.

We face another enemy of mankind. Islam.

As Marxism was to the last century, Islam will be to this century. Islam is an equally crippling totalitarian ideology, another mass killer and bringer of darkness.

Will a new era of American greatness save the world from it?

 

Footnote: * Barack Obama was the first Alinskyite to stand – in his case successfully! – for election to the US presidency.

Celebrate the death of Fidel Castro! 13

Obama over. Hillary out. Merkel, Juncker, Hollande soon to go. Maduro done for. FIDEL CASTRO DEAD.

It’s over. The terrible century of Socialist idealism in practice, whether just depressingly as in the United States under Obama, or with totalitarian horror elsewhere under Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, is coming to its end.

There are still a few Socialists in power – to mourn the death of the Monster of Cuba. Instead of abominating him as he deserves and condemning his cruel tyranny, they will heap praise on him.

As does the prime minister of Canada:

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:

November 26, 2016

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.

“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.

“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.

On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”

This punchinello must fall – and will of course.

The Left has nowhere to go but into oblivion. It has proved its own ideas to be disastrously wrong over and over again. It is utterly discredited.

Hundreds of cheers for the death of Fidel Castro!

*

Fabiola Santiago writes at the Miami Herald:

During the six decades of the Castro brothers totalitarian rule, more than two million Cubans fled their beloved island

One of Castro’s most heinous crimes was the massacre of 41 men, women and children attempting to flee Cuba on a tugboat on July 13, 1994. Cuban authorities sprayed the vessel with water hoses, rammed and sank it. This is not something I read. I interviewed survivors at the Guantanamo Cuban refugee camps months later. The Cuban Coast Guard refused to rescue the drowning, they told me.

There were so many other crimes and human rights abuses, largely ignored or benignly viewed by a world that gave Castro the benefit of the doubt, and only slapped him on the wrist occasionally at some forums like the United Nations.

Fidel Castro, myth and legend to the international left, has died without being brought to justice for his crimes against his people — the passing of the torch and title of president to his brother in 2006 challenged only by brave dissidents who are beaten and detained daily. The Castros have installed their children and grandchildren in government roles, an indication they plan to sustain the family dynasty beyond Raúl’s promised retirement in 2018.

There’s joy, excitement — and hope — at the news of Fidel Castro’s death at 90. I’m skeptical. Castro didn’t govern alone. He had accomplices. …

Still, it won’t be the same without the patriarch. With his death, it feels as if an evil curse — the heaviest of weights — has been lifted on a nation whose children are scattered all over the world. The bogeyman is gone.

At the break of morning, the streets of Havana were deserted. People were told to stay inside, refrain from playing music, close their doors.

Miami never went to sleep, some of the arteries that run through its Cuban heart closed so that people could express the accumulation of 58 years of loss and separation, of disillusionment and never-ending hope.

Cuba , Castro no more.

There will be no farewell comandante from us, only a good riddance.

*

CELEBRATING THE DEATH OF FIDEL CASTRO IN MIAMI

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*

Here is President-elect Trump’s official statement on the death of Fidel Castro. It deserves applause:

“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”

A taste of socialist honey 5

Bernie Sanders is out of the running for the presidency of the United States. Millions are disappointed. He stimulated a taste for socialism. The Democratic Party is more socialist now than it was before it watched him entrancing his millions of followers.

He conveyed to crowds of Americans apparently innocent of any knowledge of modern history, that socialism is a benign system for an ideal society in which all are equal, and everyone gets free education from kindergarten to college, and free health care for life.

He has managed not to notice that where the system was tried – as in Russia – it did not established unending human happiness.

Although he went to Soviet Russia himself.  He took his honeymoon there.

He got back home again safely, and has continued to the present day to consider socialism a fine thing.

Other Americans who went there – to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – were just as foolish but not as lucky.

We quote from an article by Tim Tzouliadis, published by the BBC in August 2008:

At the height of the Depression, several thousand American emigrants left New York on the decks of passenger liners waving goodbye to the Statue of Liberty, bound for Leningrad.

Over 100,000 Americans had applied for jobs working in brand new factories in Soviet Russia, ironically built for Stalin by famous American industrialists such as Henry Ford.

Those American emigrants who entered the “workers’ paradise” were certain that they were leaving the misery of unemployment and poverty behind them. They considered themselves fortunate.

Their optimism would prove to be short-lived. Most were stripped of their American passports soon after their arrival.

Considered suspect by Stalin’s paranoid totalitarian state, the foreigners were swept away in the Terror.

The American jazz clubs, the baseball teams, and the English-language schools set up in cities across the USSR, would quickly vanish with them. …

The Metropol Hotel became the weekly venue for the party of rich American journalists, businessmen and engineers who would dance around the circular fountain kept stocked with fish in the middle of the dance-floor.

Diners were encouraged to select their supper, at which point a net would be deftly flourished by the waiter, the fish caught and cooked and brought to their table.

Seventy years later the Metropol is still Moscow’s finest hotel, and the marble fountain is still present in the centre of the dining room. The city has changed radically but the key locations of the American emigration are still there.

In Gorky Park, the American baseball teams would compete against each other in the summer evenings of the early 1930s.

The American Ambassador’s residence, Spaso House, where William C. Bullitt once hosted the “party of the century” in April 1935, still has the Stars and Stripes flying in front and the diplomats still drink cocktails on the terrace.

The original American embassy on Mokhovaya Street is now the headquarters of a Russian investment bank. … At the height of the Terror, the American emigrants had besieged their embassy, begging for passports so they could leave Russia.

They were turned away only to be arrested on the pavement outside by lurking NKVD agents.

Inside, the American diplomats had known about these disappearances almost from the very beginning. But they did little to save their fellow countrymen 

The emigrants began their long journey either into the prison cells and the Gulag camps, or the shorter route to the execution grounds.

In the killing fields at Butovo, a suburb 27 kilometres south-east of Moscow, several of the American baseball players were executed during the Terror, and lie in mass graves stretching for hundreds of metres.

Thousands were killed in this quiet country backwater, surrounded by trees to muffle their screams. …

Wearing leather aprons and protective gloves, the masked NKVD guards had set about their nightly work methodically, killing young and old alike, understanding that they too would be killed if they refused.

But many also acted willingly, as the conscious and deliberate agents of the class struggle.

Stalin’s executioners had been convinced of the need to “kill and kill and kill” for the benefit of all mankind. And then they returned each morning to steady their nerves with their specifically-allotted quota of vodka, and to douse their clothes in eau-de-cologne to remove the stench of death, ready for the next night’s work.

Vladimir Putin was recently quoted as saying that Russians have nothing to be ashamed of concerning the Terror.

The iconography of totalitarianism remains firmly in place in modern Russian society. The entrance to the Lubyanka is still decorated with hammer and sickles.

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under Russia, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 12, 2016

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America’s Red Guard 12

We often quote Daniel Greenfield because we often like what he says and how he says it.

Here he is writing about America’s Red Guard (we quote his article in part):

As the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution approaches some of the former students who participated in its Red Guard terror have been trying to make amends to their victims. If China’s former leftist fanatics feel some remorse for the atrocities they participated in, the same can’t be said of their American counterparts.

Even as the Cultural Revolution was dying down in China, it flared up in the United States. The Weather Underground drew inspiration from China’s Red Terror. Their founding manifesto cited the Red Guard as a model for a “mass revolutionary movement.”

Bill Ayers, among others, had signed a letter, “Long live People’s China. Long live Comrade Mao.”

The American counterparts of China’s Red Guard remain largely unrepentant because here the  Cultural Revolution never ended. Instead it went mainstream. Its members were never disavowed and their acts of terror continue to be celebrated, minimized and whitewashed by a left that finds them alternately embarrassing and thrilling.

The terrorists became celebrities and the radicals became part of the system and set the rules. There was less violence, but more authoritarianism. Instead of carrying on a futile campaign of bombings and bank robberies, the radicals used the vast wealth and power of the system to train the next generation of the Red Guard. And that next generation did the same thing.

Each wave of the Cultural Revolution in the United States has eroded civil rights and illiberally undermined a liberal society. Though the Red Guards have chosen to work within the system, they are animated by an unmistakeable contempt and hatred for the country and its institutions. Their endgame has not changed. Only their tactics have.

Barack Obama, a child of the Cultural Revolution, is the very model of a modern Red Guard. The mark of a successful revolution is that the revolutionaries no longer need extreme rhetoric since they can do anything they want. The Weather Underground engaged in extreme rhetoric and actions. Obama dispenses with the extreme rhetoric and gets right down to the extreme actions. He is calculating enough to avoid the verbal vindictiveness of an Ayers or a Wright, but he still chose them as his mentors. …

The virtue of the creative individual was displaced by the Red Guard’s virtue of outrage. Its members mistake the thrill of abusing others for the rightness of a moral crusade. They celebrate the elimination of all restrictions that prevent them from punishing their victims as a revolutionary act.

This form of crowdsourced political terror by elites and their pet mobs isn’t new. It’s only new to the United States.

Political outrage is the supreme virtue of both the American and Chinese Red Guard. The denunciations leading from that outrage show off their revolutionary commitment to everyone.

The lines of scapegoats paraded through the media for some petty crime against political correctness are a modern digital version of the Red Guard’s denunciations and humiliations. The politics and the poisoned power motives are the same. The only difference is that the Red Guard lacks the license to commit real violence, as of now, and must instead settle for economic and social violence.

The virtue of outrage leads to a state of authoritarian lawlessness. Legislatures and laws are replaced with an alliance between the executive authority of Barack Obama and the Red Guard activists. The activists demand, the media manufactures outrage and Obama uses executive orders to deliver. …

When outrage displaces the process of the law, what remains is either authoritarianism or anarchy. And despite the occasional Circle-A embroidered on a pricey jacket, the progressive Red Guard are not anarchists. What they are after is not less authority, but more of it. Not more freedom, but less of it. Their rhetoric about banks and corporations disguises what they intend for the rest of us.

They are not fighting against power. They are fighting for power.

The Red Guard, whether it’s the Occupiers or Barack Obama, abide by no rules except those of their own ideology. The United States Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing to them. The rules of their ideology are expressed formally in private, but publicly as outrage or empathy.  …

The momentum of emotion has no room for argument or dissent. There is no possibility of negotiation or compromise. Everything exists in black and white. Reason is not even a factor. There is nothing to debate. Either you agree or you are the enemy.

Under the rule of the Red Guard … freedom of speech and thought are only provided to those who say and think the right things. The same is true for all else. There are no rights, as we know them anymore.  Only a binding mandate of social justice. The right to speak your mind or donate to a political cause is valid only if it serves that mandate. …

“Social justice” of course means injustice. It means government using its monopoly of force to take wealth away from those who have earned it and give it to those who haven’t.

Justice [to the left] is not blind. She’s a community organizer coming out on the side of the social justice faction against the greedy and ignorant majority. The entire system, political, cultural and legal, is a means of enforcing the mandate. Its administrators are an elitist faction whose contempt for the people leads them to believe that tyranny is the only way to equality. …

The artificial and extraordinary force of the Red Guard is a perverse parody of mob rule. Our Red Guard, like many in China’s Red Guard, are the sons and daughters of the elites. Their violence is a ferocious assault of the top against the middle in the name of the low.

They manufacture an elitist populism in order to call for despotism.

In New York City, the sons and daughters of the elite stopped shaving, set up camping tents opposite Wall Street and clamored for the radical change that their parents were already busy implementing.

Occupy Wall Street, like every modern manifestation of the Red Guard in the United States, and like the original Red Guard, was a cynical power move by a ruling elite. The fake populism of 1 percenter brats shrieking about income inequality while campaigning to destroy the middle class and what’s left of the working class was true despotism.

The new Cultural Revolution is aimed at shrinking the already narrow power and prosperity of the majority for the sake of the minority. Not the minority of racial or ethnic minorities, but the minority of elites that is determined to get its way by any means necessary.

The 50th anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution will coincide with a national election in the United States that will serve in part as a final referendum on the Red Guard reign of the previous eight years. Like the Chinese, Americans will be forced to confront the ruin of their institutions, the polarization of their society and the victims of the Red Guard’s political inquisitions.  

50 years from now, will the students eagerly tearing down a liberal society and replacing it with outraged denunciations and media purges also regret their role in the new Cultural Revolution?

We doubt they will. Bill Ayers never matured sufficiently to regret his acts of terrorism, or his admiration for the atrocious regime of Mao Zedong. He comes from the wealthy middle class. He owes all he has, including his comfortable living, his freedom and his celebrity to the open system of capitalist America. A softly-reared child of privilege,  prosperity, and tolerance (extended to extreme indulgence in his case), he wouldn’t last long under actual communism as enforced by Mao or Stalin or Castro.

Unless Americans of his sort are brought to want, hunger, physical wretchedness and real political oppression, they will never comprehend the true nature of communist totalitarianism. And their reduction to those conditions is unlikely to happen despite all their blind efforts to bring about the system that would guarantee them. Capitalism will go on looking after its aberrant children for decades yet, even though the Red establishment will do all it can to hinder it and demonize it. As Daniel Greenfield says, the Red Guards in power are of Bill Ayers sort. Barack Obama himself belongs to the “1%” he and his minions denigrate. So does Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the Clintons.

As we have often done before, we quote Joseph Conrad on the sort of people they are. He is writing here specifically about women. What he says perfectly describes Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Ayers’s wife Bernadine Dohrn, and Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. (See our post Daisyville, April 22, 2013).

For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures. …

She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social class to which she belonged herself. … 

She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions.” 

– Joseph Conrad (The Informer)

Conrad’s scornful portrait of privileged women playing with revolutionary ideas applies equally well to the male of the species.

The dying of the light 2

The Obama administration is growing ever longer arms and ever more grasping fingers, to reach into every aspect, activity, and setting of our lives: our homes, our possessions, our habits, our tastes, our choices, our  minds; to regulate, manipulate, constrain, constrict, direct, control us. Their aim? For them,  power beyond the imaginations of all former tyrants; for us, helpless dependence, obedience, submission.

An exaggeration? Let’s see.

Among the people he has appointed to “czardom”, the unelected ideologues who have real executive power, are “behavioral scientists” and “behavioral economists”, who are actively trying to “usher in an era of profound social reform by getting us to change the way we behave, little by little, every day”, to quote an article by Christine Rosen in the July/August issue of Commentary, titled Now Behave. She names in particular Cass Sunstein, co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth,  and Happiness, whom Obama has appointed his “regulation czar”. What he and his fellow philosophers now governing the Republic are doing is, in Rosen’s words:

.. reconciling political theory with the scientific study of human behavior since, they argue, the old categories of political theory no longer apply. … Personal responsibility? Impossible in a complicated world governed by complex ‘systems’ and limitless choices.  The result is a kind of [Pavlovian] stimulus-response politics that promises to liberate citizens from having to make complicated choices in exchange for limiting their freedom.

Promises to liberate us from liberty?

It’s all for own good, of course, as every tyranny has ever been for the good of the tyrannized. But it’s not just for our own individual good. No  – as always it’s for the good of “society”.

Rosen explains:

The new behaviorism isn’t interested in protecting people’s freedom to choose. Its core principle is the idea that only by allowing an expert to limit choices can individuals learn to break their bad habits. … Contemporary behaviorists want to nudge us, but not merely to make us happier, better people. They have specific hopes for the social effects this nudging will achieve: fewer smokers, thinner Americans, higher savings rates.

Now we see the dream in  detail. It’s not exactly the same as the grand, vague, Marxist utopian dream of a proletarian paradise. It’s a more mundane, banal projection, concerned with correcting trivial behaviors that insult the puritan eye, nose, and tight fist. A largely aesthetic ideal based on parsimony, satisfying a taste for sparseness and austerity, with everyone skinny and no more unsightly fatties impeding passage through the mall. The venting of a petty and stingy enviousness that cannot endure the sight of abundance. A drive for conforming discipline, with a Spartan adulation of rude health, conjuring up images of medicine-ball, gym-slip, girls’ organizations in the early twentieth century.

The intelligentsia of the Western world, the elite that always classes itself with the rulers rather than the ruled, think all this is wonderful, great, brilliant. If you doubt it, read what distinguished critics and academics say about Cass Sunstein’s book Nudge, quoted proudly in it. Eg: “a wonderful book”; “this gem of a book”; “insightful and amusing, practical and deep … a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better … it will make the world a better place“.

They see no contempt in it. No evil will. After all, it’s not a plan to force us, the masses; just to plant certain ideas in our minds so we can mull them over and come to accept them as better ideas than our own.

Not forcing us? Are they not already taking steps to regulate how much salt and fat we eat? To limit how much credit we may have so we don’t go and buy something just because we want it? The way you live in your own home will be scrutinized and corrected. Think you can cheat? They have technologies unavailable to earlier totalitarians, and they’ll use them to mold us to their heart’s desire.They are putting X-ray vans on the streets from which they can look into your house and see if you’re just lolling about when you should be working out (in either sense of the phrase). Complain about it? They’ll know. They’re working on censoring your internet communications.

Let’s look at an example of government interference in our home lives, at one way our betters are limiting the choices we can make in small and necessary things.

Ed Feulner, president of that splendid stronghold of conservative principles, the Heritage Foundation, writes today in Townhall:

So, are you ready to comply with the federal government’s ban on incandescent light bulbs? Me neither.

Starting in January 2012, a little over a year from now, the phase-out begins. Simple, inexpensive lighting will become a time-capsule item. Compact-fluorescent lights, or CFLs — the bulbs that look like a twisted ice-cream cone (and won’t fit in many light fixtures where space is tight) — will become the new norm.

Anyone who has priced CFLs knows they’re not cheap. Supposedly they’re worth the extra money because they’ll last longer. That’s cold comfort, though, given the dull, unnatural glow that these bulbs throw off.

Worse, CFLs are full of mercury. If one breaks — and who hasn’t dropped a light bulb now and then? — you have an elaborate clean-up process ahead of you. It’s on the EPA’s website, and it involves evacuating the area of all people and pets, and using duct tape and damp paper towels to get everything up. (Go to www.epa.gov for complete details.) And no vacuuming, or you may disperse the mercury – which, after all, is a toxic substance.

So why are we making the switch? … The theory, of course, is that we’ll consume less energy. It’s all part of the green agenda. The same agenda that the president insists will produce scads of high-paying, earth-friendly “green jobs.” Tell that to the 200 workers in Winchester, Va., who are losing their jobs as General Electric closes its incandescent-bulb factory there. Or to the Americans who work in other plants that have been shuttered.

Yes, some jobs will be created, thanks to the ban. Unfortunately, those jobs won’t be here in the U.S. — they’ll be in China, where CFLs can be made cheaper. …

But at least we’ll be saving energy, right? Not according to a recent study sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It found that energy use under newer “efficient” lighting will actually go up rather than down.

But their will be done.

One of the most profoundly troubling things about all this is that it’s being done to us so easily. Who is crying out against it? Even those who are aware that it is happening are not raising a hullabaloo, not threatening – let alone taking – action to prevent it. Christine Rosen, though she reports, explains, and objects to it, does not  seem appalled by it. Ed Feulner, a champion of individual liberty, says of the light-bulb diktat: “This whole affair is a prime example of bad ‘unintended consequences’ resulting from well-intentioned plans — plans imposed by devotees of big-government solutions for nearly every problem.”

Well-intentioned? Can no one see that what we are being subjected to, stealthily nudged into, is a subservience more absolute than Orwell visualized, or Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Kim Jong Il achieved?

Or are these absurd comparisons? True, no cruel punishments, no forced starvation, no mass killings are written into the scenario. The program wears a smiley face. Its authors, the rulers, wish only the happiness of all mankind.

Didn’t they all?

Jillian Becker    September 28, 2010

What is socialism? 2

What is socialism?

Never mind dictionary definitions. Rather ask, what does a socialist state do?

It controls the resources of a nation and allocates them as it chooses.

More fully: In a socialist state, resources are controlled by an all-powerful central agency, the government, and distributed according to the arbitrary decision of the most powerful person or persons in that government.

Widely, “socialism” is thought of as a creed of equality, as is “communism”.  It is to achieve their high ideal of equality that socialists and communists favor the forced collection and allocation of resources.  If they achieve a kind of equality, it is only and always an equality of misery. For this they have many explanations and excuses, but no remedy.

The difference between socialism and communism is often said to be a difference of degree, or manner of enforcement. In common parlance, at least in the West, “socialism” refers to a similar but milder, less oppressive, system of collectivization.  West European states were happy to call themselves “socialist’, and saw the self-described “communist” states, chiefly the Soviet Union, as their enemies.

In the Soviet Union, however, “socialism” and “communism” were commonly used interchangeably, as synonyms. In Marxist theory, “communism” is an ideal that will be realized when the state – ie government – has “withered away”.  But withering away is not on the agenda of any existing socialist government, nor is likely to be.

In fact, most forms of collectivism can  justifiably be called “socialist”.  (An exception is Islam.) The collectivist idea is that the society, not the individual, is important, so the citizenry must be organized. The organization must be enforced, whether harshly or temperately.  Most self-described “socialist” states consider their rule not only temperate but positively beneficent, while they see “communist” states as cruel and oppressive.

But the word “socialism” cannot bear a connotation of beneficence. Nor does it always imply equality.

Remember that the Nazis were self-described socialists: national socialists. Nazi is the short name for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  And of course the Nazis saw themselves as beneficent – to those they counted as worthy of existence, the “Aryan” Germans. They had a tender care for their citizens. In the Third Reich official collections were taken up for the poor to keep them warm in winter (the annual “Winterhilfe” charity drive).  But nobody thinks of the Third Reich as a kindly state, or one that did humankind any good. And its rulers scorned the notion of equality, either between persons or between nations.

So one clear distinction that does exist among socialist states is that some are ideologically egalitarian – eg Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Castroite Cuba – and some are non-egalitarian – eg Nazi Germany.

The Soviet communists considered themselves international socialists – even when Stalin declared his policy to be for a time  “socialism in one country” (the one country being the USSR). The Marxist ideological vision was and remains a world government controlling the world’s resources – a vision now justified in the name of environmentalism.

The biggest political divide comes between collectivism and freedom. Or rather, since a totally free country does not exist, between those who hold collectivism as an ideal, and those who want every individual to be free.

While it is true that a totally free country is nowhere to be found, such a thing could exist. It would not be an anarchy, because freedom is a product of civil order, and  is only possible under the rule of law. Everyone’s freedom should be limited only by everyone else’s, but the protection of every individual, his person, property, and freedom, requires the rule of law.

The USA was as free as any country has ever been, more so than any other large nation. (Small areas have been freer, such as Hong Kong, which was legally under British rule and could rely on the protection of law, but was free of taxes and all the harm that ensues from taxation – such as regulation of trade, and welfare.)

Now Americans are losing their freedom rapidly, since they voted Democratic socialists into power in Congress, and a Marxist-trained “community organizer” to the presidency. He has packed fellow socialists into his administration. Some declare themselves to be “Maoists” or “communists”.  All of them are collectivists.

It will take a hard fight to recover the liberty that has been lost, but for those who want to be free, it’s a battle that must be won.

Jillian Becker    August 13, 2010

The menace of “peace” 0

In the vocabulary of the militant international Left, the word “peace” is a code word for “pro-tyranny” and “anti-freedom”.

This comes from a must-read article, titled The Peace Racket, by Bruce Bawer in City Journal (reprinted in the current issue from Summer 2007):

We need to make two points about this movement at the outset. First, it’s opposed to every value that the West stands for—liberty, free markets, individualism—and it despises America, the supreme symbol and defender of those values. Second, we’re talking not about a bunch of naive Quakers but about a movement of savvy, ambitious professionals that is already comfortably ensconced at the United Nations, in the European Union, and in many nongovernmental organizations. It is also waging an aggressive, under-the-media-radar campaign for a cabinet-level Peace Department in the United States. Sponsored by Ohio Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich (along with more than 60 cosponsors), House Resolution 808 would authorize a Secretary of Peace to “establish a Peace Academy,” “develop a peace education curriculum” for elementary and secondary schools, and provide “grants for peace studies departments” at campuses around the country. If passed, the measure would catapult the peace studies movement into a position of extraordinary national, even international, influence.

The Peace Racket’s boundaries aren’t easy to define. It embraces scores of “peace institutes” and “peace centers” in the U.S. and Europe, plus several hundred university peace studies programs. …

At the movement’s heart … are programs whose purported emphasis is on international relations. Their founding father is a 77-year-old Norwegian professor, Johan Galtung, who established the International Peace Research Institute in 1959 and the Journal of Peace Research five years later. Invariably portrayed in the media as a charismatic and (these days) grandfatherly champion of decency, Galtung is in fact a lifelong enemy of freedom. In 1973, he thundered that “our time’s grotesque reality” was—no, not the Gulag or the Cultural Revolution, but rather the West’s “structural fascism.” He’s called America a “killer country,” accused it of “neo-fascist state terrorism,” and gleefully prophesied that it will soon follow Britain “into the graveyard of empires.” …

Fittingly, he urged Hungarians not to resist the Soviet Army in 1956, and his views on World War II suggest that he’d have preferred it if the Allies had allowed Hitler to finish off the Jews and invade Britain.

Though Galtung has opined that the annihilation of Washington, D.C., would be a fair punishment for America’s arrogant view of itself as “a model for everyone else,” he’s long held up certain countries as worthy of emulation—among them Stalin’s USSR, whose economy, he predicted in 1953, would soon overtake the West’s. He’s also a fan of Castro’s Cuba, which he praised in 1972 for “break[ing] free of imperialism’s iron grip.” …

His all-time favorite nation? China during the Cultural Revolution. Visiting his Xanadu, Galtung concluded that the Chinese loved life under Mao: after all, they were all “nice and smiling.” While “repressive in a certain liberal sense,” he wrote, Mao’s China was “endlessly liberating when seen from many other perspectives that liberal theory has never understood.” Why, China showed that “the whole theory about what an ‘open society’ is must be rewritten, probably also the theory of ‘democracy’—and it will take a long time before the West will be willing to view China as a master teacher in such subjects.”  [See our post, Mao in the White House, October 15, 2009, for glimpses of what Mao’s China was really like.]  …

Galtung’s use of the word “peace” to legitimize totalitarianism is an old Communist tradition.

The people running today’s peace studies programs give a good idea of the movement’s illiberal, anti-American inclinations. The director of Purdue’s program is coeditor of Marxism Today, a collection of essays extolling socialism; Brandeis’s peace studies chairman has justified suicide bombings; the program director at the University of Missouri authorized a mass e-mail urging students and faculty to boycott classes to protest the Iraq invasion; and the University of Maine’s program director believes that “humans have been out of balance for centuries” and that “a unique opportunity of this new century is to engage in the creation of balance and harmony between yin and yang, masculine and feminine energies.” (Such New Age babble often mixes with the Marxism in peace studies jargon.)

What these people teach remains faithful to Galtung’s anti-Western inspiration. First and foremost, they emphasize that the world’s great evil is capitalism—because it leads to imperialism, which in turn leads to war. …

Students acquire a zero-sum picture of the world economy: if some countries and people are poor, it’s because others are rich. They’re taught that American wealth derives entirely from exploitation and that Americans, accordingly, are responsible for world poverty.

If the image of tenured professors pushing such anticapitalist nonsense on privileged suburban kids sounds like a classic case of liberals’ throwing stones at their own houses, get a load of this: America’s leading Peace Racket institution is probably the University of Notre Dame’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies—endowed by and named for the widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, the ultimate symbol of evil corporate America. It was the Kroc Institute, by the way, that in 2004 invited Islamist scholar Tariq Ramadan to join its faculty, only to see him denied a U.S. visa on the grounds that he had defended terrorism. [He has since been granted a visa by Hillary Clinton – JB.] …

What’s alarming is that these [peace studies] students don’t plan to spend their lives on some remote mountainside in Nepal contemplating peace, harmony, and human oneness. They want to remake our world. They plan to become politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, journalists, lawyers, teachers, activists. They’ll bring to these positions all the mangled history and misbegotten ideology that their professors have handed down to them. Their careers will advance; the Peace Racket’s influence will spread. And as it does, it will weaken freedom’s foundations.

To remind, expose, condemn, accuse, and praise 0

In this article, at Pajamas Media, Jamie Glazov does five things that we applaud:

He reminds all of us who are free – and trying to remain free under a government that prefers collectivism to libertyhow terrible it is to live under collectivist totalitarian oppression. Specifically he writes about how it was in the Soviet Union.

He exposes the feminists for what they are – indulged, self-absorbed, ignorant, silly, and petty.

He condemns the leftists, who are blind to the value of the freedom they have and strive to destroy it.

He accuses Islam of threatening us with totalitarianism now.

He praises Glenn Beck and his outstandingly excellent film The Revolutionary Holocaust, that conveys, entirely adequately in a very shot space of time, an enormously important lesson to an American generation who are not taught it in their schools, their universities, or by the mass media.

The tortures included laying a man naked on a freezing cement floor, forcing his legs apart, and then an interrogator stepping on his testicles, applying increasing pressure until the confession surfaced. Imagine the consequences of no surfacing confession. Indeed, many people refused to confess to a crime they did not commit. Daughters and sons were raped in front of their fathers and mothers — for the sake of extracting “confessions.”

These are just some of the delicacies that the Stalinist machinery inflicted on its citizenry in the hope of bringing socialism into earthly incarnation. …

Both of my grandfathers were exterminated by Stalinist terror. Both of my parents, Yuri and Marina Glazov, were dissidents in the former Soviet Union. They risked their lives for freedom; they stood up against Soviet totalitarianism. They barely escaped the gulag, a fortune many of our friends and relatives did not share. I come from a system where a myriad of the closest people to my family simply disappeared, where relatives and family friends died under interrogation and torture for their beliefs — or for simply nothing at all.

Now try to imagine me sitting in the company of left-wing “intellectuals” in the West who think they are oppressed. This is my lifelong experience. I remember one radical feminist, whom I sat next to in a graduate student lounge, lecturing me sternly about how women in the West are oppressed because they wear bikinis on beaches; with a reprimanding tone, she explained to me that this represented the way capitalism objectifies women, marginalizes them from spheres of power, and metaphorically decapitates them as human beings. I remember asking her what she thought of female genital mutilation and honor killings in the Muslim world. To this I received a stone-cold silence and a frightening hateful stare, a stare with which I have become accustomed: I would be confined to a gulag or a psychiatric hospital if this particular individual had the power to place me there. This would be done for the good of society of course. My question was heresy: she could not, naturally, admit that evil adversarial cultures and ideologies existed — under which women truly suffer real oppression — for if she did, then she would have to sacrifice her entire worldview and personal identity.

My family’s nightmarish experience in the Soviet Union was followed by a providential escape from totalitarian hell. We were among the lucky ones, the ones who got away. The United States gave us a safe and protected home — a home of unbelievable material well-being (in comparison to Soviet starvation) and human liberty. I will never forget the awe I felt experiencing my first taste of freedom, even as a young five-year-old boy who wasn’t completely sure what it was. My parents could now, for the first time, speak out without fear of brutal repercussions in defense of Soviet citizens who were being persecuted for their political and/or religious beliefs. For the first time, we lived without the dread to which I had been accustomed throughout my young life.

I remember while we were cherishing our newfound freedom, we encountered a strange species: intellectuals in the universities who reviled my parents for the story they had to tell. For the first time in their lives, my father and mother confronted an intelligentsia that was hostile to them. Back in Russia, dissident intellectuals risked their lives when they pronounced one word of truth about the horrible history (and reality) of their country under communist rule. In America, most of the intellectuals who surrounded us scoffed at the importance of real intellectual freedom and dismissed my parents’ experience; they demonized their own society, wished for its defeat, and supported the communist enemy that muzzled free speech and tortured millions of human beings.

As a very young boy, I learned that these intellectuals were “leftists.”… While my family agonized about the relatives and friends we had left behind, and as we kept the memory of their suffering alive in our hearts, our leftist acquaintances reprimanded us for our views, instructing us to see America — our personal liberator — as the most evil entity not only in the Cold War, but in all of human history. They wanted us to dedicate our lives — as they had done — to the victory of the West’s totalitarian adversaries.

But … today we have a best friend in the West … We aren’t orphans anymore. There is a certain individual in this land, by the name of Glenn Beck, who has a television show on the Fox News Channel with a mass following; he is masterfully exposing this phenomenon that we experienced — and are still experiencing. He is telling the truth about the Soviet regime and about communism and he is beaming a light on leftists and liberals for their long romance, which continues till this day, with communist systems and the ideologies that brought them into place. Just recently, Beck’s program featured his profound documentary, The Revolutionary Holocaust, which powerfully illustrates the evil of communism and the leftist ideals that brought its horrors into existence. Beck’s documentary exposes the crimes against humanity perpetrated by mass murderers such as Che Guevara and Mao Zedong, who, till this day, enjoy great idolization in leftist milieus and, as we know, in the Obama White House itself. …

Mr. Beck, thank you for having the courage and integrity to tell the truth about communism, despite the price you have had to pay for doing so. …

Because of people like you, the millions of victims of communism will not be pushed into the invisible sphere of historical amnesia — where the liberal left has perpetually tried to confine them. Mr. Beck, by producing documentaries like your recent The Revolutionary Holocaust, you are bringing personal affirmation to myriads of families like my own — and to all victims and survivors of communism — by validating our experiences and by telling the whole world that, despite the left’s attempt to impose gulag denial on our culture, we did live what we lived, we did endure what we endured, and we did see what we saw. And you are crystallizing the pernicious socialist idea that comes in the form of humanitarianism, but culminates in mass terror.

Glenn Beck, you are leading the crucial fight of the 21st century. In battling on the front lines for moral clarity on the issue of communism, you are setting a firm terrain on which free men and women will be able to fight the new jihadi totalitarians who seek to destroy our freedom and lives… Thank you.

Sisters of perpetual hate 2

In our post Pacifists for jihad (January 13, 2010), we considered what might motivate the Code Pink women, suggesting ignorance, stupidity, and malice. On further thought, we would put hate at the top of the list.

Recently some Code Pink members tried to enter Gaza through Egypt. An Israeli woman journalist, Amira Hass, wrote a sympathetic account of the adventure which did not go quite according to plan.

(A note of passing interest: Hass is the German word for hate.)

Here’s Caroline Glick:

Last month, 1,300 pro-Palestinian activists from the US and Europe came to the region in the name of peace and social justice to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. Led by the self-declared feminist, antiwar group Code Pink, the demonstrators’ plan was to enter Gaza from the Egyptian border at Rafah and deliver “humanitarian aid” to the Hamas terrorist organization.

But it was not to be. Led by Code Pink founder and California Democratic fund-raiser Jodie Evans, the demonstrators were not welcomed by Egyptian authorities. Many were surrounded by riot police and barbed wire as they demonstrated outside the US and French embassies and the UN Development Program’s headquarters. Others were barred from leaving their hotels.

Those who managed to escape their hotels and the bullpens outside the embassies were barred from staging night protests in solidarity with Hamas on the Nile. In the end, as the militant Israeli pro-Palestinian activist Amira Hass chronicled in Haaretz last week, all but 100 of them were barred from travelling to Gaza. …

[Bernadine] Dohrn, the woman who has called for a “revolutionary war” to destroy the US, felt that the Egyptian authorities’ behavior was nothing but an unfortunate diversion from their mission…

Unfortunately for the lucky 100 who were permitted to enter Hamastan, the diversions didn’t end at the Egyptians border. Hamas immediately placed them under siege. The Palestinian champions had planned to enjoy home hospitality from friends in Gaza. But once there they were prohibited from leaving the Hamas-owned Commodore Hotel and from having any contact with local Gazans without a Hamas escort.

Rather than being permitted to judge the situation in Gaza for themselves, they were carted onto Hamas buses and taken on “devastation tours” of what their Hamas tour guides claimed was damage caused by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead. …

But they didn’t really mind. Reacting to her effective imprisonment in the Hamas-owned hotel, one of the demonstrators, an American woman named Poya Pakzad*, cooed on her blog that the Commodore Hotel was “the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at, in my life.”

Pakzad did complain, however, about what she acknowledged was the “farce” devastation tour she was taken on. She claimed that her Hamas guides were ignorant. In her studied view, they understated the number of Palestinians rendered homeless by the IDF counterterror offensive last year by some 60 percent…

Hass’s participation in the pro-Hamas propaganda trip is a bit surprising. In November 2008, she was forced to flee from Gaza to Israel after Hamas threatened to kill her. At the time, Hass appealed to the Israeli military – which she has spent the better part of her career bashing – and asked to be allowed to enter Israel from Gaza, after sailing illegally to Gaza from Cyprus on a ferry chartered by the pro-Hamas Free Gaza outfit.

Hass’s behavior is actually more revealing than surprising. The truth is that Hass and her fellow demonstrators were willing to be used as media props by Hamas precisely because it isn’t the Palestinians’ welfare that concerns them. If they cared about the Palestinians they would be demonstrating against Hamas, which prohibited local women from participating in their march to the Israeli border, and which barred non-Hamas members from speaking with them. It would offend their sensitivities that Hamas goons beat women for not covering themselves from head to toe in Islamic potato sacks. It would bother them that Hamas executes its political opponents by among other things throwing them off the roofs of apartment buildings.

The demonstrators did not come to Gaza to demonstrate their support for the Palestinians, but rather their hatred for Israel and for their own Western governments that refuse to join Hamas in its war against Israel. As one of the organizers told Hass as she sat corralled by Egyptian riot police … “In our presence here, we are saying that we are not casting the blame on Egypt. The responsibility for the shameless and obscene Israeli siege on Gaza rests squarely with our own countries.”

By happily collaborating with Hamas in its propaganda extravaganza, these demonstrators demonstrated that the rights of Palestinians are not their concern. Their concern is waging war against their own societies and against Israel. They are more than happy to have their pictures taken with the likes of Hamas terror master Ismail Haniyeh

The Free Gaza movement members are but a chip off the old psychopathic block of nearly a century of far-left Western activists whose hatred for their own countries motivated them to hide the crimes of mass murderers from Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong to Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh to Daniel Ortega and Saddam Hussein…

These fanatics are usually dismissed as fringe elements. But the truth is that … the distance between these true believers and the centers of state power has not been very great…

Code Pink … is welcome at the Obama White House. Its leader Evans was an official fund-raiser for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Evans visited the White House after travelling to Gaza last June. While there she met with Hamas leaders who gave her a letter for Obama. Evans met Obama himself at a donor dinner in San Francisco last October where, while standing in front of cameras, she gave him documents she received in Afghanistan, where she met with Taliban officials.

Then, too, among the board members of the Free Gaza movement is former US senator James Abourezk. Abourezk is reputedly close to Obama and according to knowledgeable sources has been a key figure in shaping Obama’s policy towards Israel… Dohrn and her husband [William] Ayres are also friendly with the president of the United States. Dohrn and Ayres have been Obama’s political patrons since he launched his first campaign for the Illinois state Senate in 1996. In White House visitors’ logs, Ayres is listed as having twice visited the building since Obama’s inauguration…

*We were in error quoting that Poya Pakzad is an American woman. Poya Pakzad is a Danish man. He has drawn our attention to the mistake in a comment. Our apologies to him.  1/19/2010

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