Tommy Robinson justly honored 1

Three loud cheers!

A great award, a just reward, is being bestowed on Britain’s one true hero of our time,

TOMMY ROBINSON

 

Posted under liberty by Jillian Becker on Friday, January 17, 2020

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Vote Bernie Sanders for rope and chains 8

Not hope and change. Or if change, not for what we would call the better.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is, however, excited by the prospect of being able to inflict misery on persons so wicked as to have earned a lot of money, or to vote for Donald Trump; and violence on any who oppose Comrade Bernie for the Democrats’ presidential candidacy.

Breitbart reports:

An undercover video published by Project Veritas … shows a field organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign saying Soviet gulags were actually a positive phenomenon, suggesting that some similar program could re-educate Trump supporters and billionaires.

The video begins with a Project Veritas journalist asking an individual identified as Sanders organizer Kyle Jurek if “MAGA people” could be re-educated if Sanders wins the White House. “We gotta try,” Jurek replies. …

In another part of the video, Jurek is seen discussing Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin’s use of gulags, where he claims that the CIA was overly critical of them. “People were actually paid a living wage in the gulags. They have conjugal visits in gulags. Gulags were meant for re-education,” he says.

Jurek is then seen suggesting that the most effective way to re-educate the billionaire class is to order them to “break rocks for 12 hours a day”.

Jurek uses “the f word” a lot. We substitute stars:

“The greatest way to break a ******* billionaire of their privilege and their idea that they’re superior, go and break rocks for 12 hours a day. You’re now a working class person, and you’re going to ******* learn what that means, right?”

The video also shows Jurek warning that Milwaukee, host of this year’s Democratic National Convention, will “burn” if Sanders fails to win the party’s nomination. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, ******* Milwaukee will burn,” says Jurek. “It’ll start in Milwaukee and then when the police push back on that, other sites will ******* explode.”

The footage concludes with Jurek issuing the chilling prediction that Milwaukee could see riots akin to the 1968 convention in Chicago, where left-wing activists engaged in violent riots in the streets.

“Be ready to be in Milwaukee for the DNC convention. We’re going to make 1968 look like a *******girl’s scout ******* cookout,” warns the Sanders field organizer. “The cops are going to be the ones ******* beaten in Milwaukee.”

This cussing sadist Jurek will not have read, would not read, probably does not know of the existence of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: an Experiment in Literary Investigation. We suspect that even if he did read it, it would not make him change his mind about condemning people to gulags. But for those less unshakable in their admiration for Communism, less inspired by the Russian practice of it, here’s a small taste* of what the book has to teach readers and writers in the West:

How to describe the perturbation of a human soul placed in a cell filled to twenty times its capacity and with no latrine bucket? The texture of this life [in the Gulag] is bound to be quite unknown to Western writers; they wouldn’t conceive of the solution – to urinate in your canvas hood or your boot. Ah, with what psychological twists and turns Western writers could enrich their literature if they only knew about the scheme of things in that Minusinsk Prison: there was only one food bowl for every four slave prisoners; and one mug of drinking water per day. And it could happen that one of the four sharers contrived to use the vessel allotted to him and three others to relieve his internal pressure and then refuse to allow  his daily water ration to wash it out. What a conflict! What a clash of four personalities! What nuances! And I am not joking. That is when the rock bottom of a human being is revealed. Months in such a cell and a human being, though he may escape being shot under Yezhov and may even be rehabilitated under Khrushchev, will live in ruined health for the rest of his life. …

In Minusinsk prison in 194-, after the prisoners hadn’t been taken into the fresh air for a whole year, they had forgotten to walk, to breathe, to look at the light. And then they took then out, put them in formation, and herded them the fifteen miles to Abakan on foot. About a dozen of them died along the way. And no one is ever going to write a great novel about it, not even one chapter: if you live in a graveyard, you can’t weep for everyone.

Like the good communists who ran the gulags, this Jurek – and Bernie Sanders himself who honeymooned in the Communist paradise that Solzhenitsyn describes – would no doubt be happy to say to the billionaires and Trump voters they would condemn to imprisonment:

“In the prison camp, nothing belongs to you. Here in camp we have communism. Forward march!”

Upon which Solzhenitsyn comments:

And if it was “communism” then what was there to object to? Communism, after all, is what they had dedicated their lives to.

Solzhenitsyn himself did actually write a  great novel about life in a gulag prison. It is called One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. We advise billionaires who intend to vote for Bernie Sanders – yes, you lot in Silicon Valley – to read it so you can be prepared for what might be in store for you.

Here is a video showing photographs of life in the Soviet gulag prisons. Also watch the video that follows it, continuing with the same subject.

 

 

The founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe, has released the footage of the interview with Kyle Jurek on Tuesday January 14, 2020, and says that several more videos will follow “as part of the group’s ‘Expose2020’ campaign”.

 

*I have used the translation by Thomas P. Whitney (Collins and Harvill Press, London] as a basis for my own phrasing in part. The quotations come from pages 541-542 and page 584. The emphasis is in the original – ed.

Posted under communism, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Retreat from the Enlightenment 8

France is submitting to Islam.

“Voltaire fades before Muhammad, the Enlightenment before Submission.”

 – Giulio Meotti quotes and comments in his article at Gatestone:

“Five years after the killings at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher, France has learned to live with the Islamist threat,” wrote Yves Thréard, deputy editor at the daily newspaper Le Figaro.

Not a month goes by… without a murderous attack with the cry of “Allahu Akbar” taking place on our soil…. But what is the point of fighting the effects of Islamism if we do not tackle the origins of this ideology of death? On that front, however, denial continues to compete with naiveté. Nothing has changed in the last five years. On the contrary.

In the name of diversity, non-discrimination and human rights, France has accepted a number of blows to its culture and history… Islamists are a hot-button issue. They continue the fight which, even without weapons, has all the allure of a war of civilizations. Is the famous “Charlie spirit”, which some people thought was blowing after the January 2015 attacks, just an illusion?

France has been marking the fifth anniversary of the deadly jihadist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which took place on January 7, 2015. Last month, French Senator Nathalie Goulet warned that more attacks were likely. “In France we have a serious problem and we need to do more to prevent extremists from acting. As it stands, there will be more attacks,” Goulet said. There are believed to be 12,000 radical Islamists on France’s terror watch-list, “however only a dozen are thought to be under 24-hour surveillance”.

This week was marked by yet a new string of Islamist terror attacks: police injured a knife-wielding man on a street in the northeastern city of Metz, two days after a suspected Islamist radical in the Paris suburb of Villejuif stabbed a man to death, an act that prosecutors are treating as a terror attack. In both incidents, the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar.” This type of attack was dubbed “ordinary jihad” in a Le Figaro editorial this week.

On January 7, 2015, the cartoonists and journalists Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski, the psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat, the economist Bernard Maris and the policeman Franck Brinsolaro fell under the bullets of the jihadist brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi. Charlie Hebdo‘s 2020 anniversary issue commemorated the massacre and slammed the “new gurus of monolithic thinking” who are trying to impose politically correct censorship.

The outburst of indignation of the French people, gathered in Paris for a massive demonstration on January 11, 2015, was not enough to awaken the spirit of resistance of the French leaders and elites against Islamism and its collaborators. “The seriousness of the Islamist political fact in France is strongly underestimated,” says the lawyer Thibault de Montbrial, president France’s Center for Internal Security Studies.

In a country that used to stand for freedom of expression, self-censorship is soaring. “For the humorists in France, it’s always easy to make fun of the Pope and the Catholics, it’s always easy to make fun of Jews, it’s always easy to make fun of Protestants,” confesses a long-time Charlie Hebdo columnist, Patrick Pelloux. For Islam, it is not easy. “We feel that this religion is scary. The word Islam is scary, and on that, the terrorists have won.”

While French prisons have become a breeding ground for jihadists, the Islamization of the cities’ suburbs, the banlieues, is proceeding full tilt. The weekly Le Point recently devoted a cover story to the “territories conquered by the Islamists”. In many of these areas, violence rages; 1,500 cars were torched there on New Year’s Eve. In recently published book, “Les territoires conquis de l’islamisme” (“The Territories Conquered by Islamism”), by Bernard Rougier, a professor at the University Sorbonne-Nouvelle and director of the Center for Arab and Oriental Studies, he explains that Islamism is an “hegemonic project”, splintering working-class neighborhoods. These “ecosystems”, he states, work on a “logic of rupture” of the French society, its values and institutions, and are built on mosques, bookstores, sport clubs and halal restaurants. …

“Today,” said the president of the Ministry of Education’s Conseil supérieur des programmes, Souâd Ayada, “the visibility of Islam in France is saturated by the veil and the jihad.”

Souad Ayada is a Muslim, a spécialiste de la spiritualité et de philosophie islamiques, so it’s doubtful that she was complaining. (If those in charge of education in France all think so badly, no wonder the nation is fading away. “Visibility” cannot be”saturated”. Veils cannot saturate anything. Nor can “the jihad”. )

While Islamist preachers and recruiters are out on the streets, seeking out the weak minds that will form the first line of their holy war, political Islam also forms electoral lists in France’s suburbs.

French President Emmanuel Macron opposed banning these political groups.

“France is a budding Islamic republic,” noted the Algerian novelist Boualem Sansal. In those “territories”, he said, live many of the terrorists who attack France, from the Kouachi brothers of Charlie Hebdo to the jihadists who murdered [and tortured – ed] scores of people at the Bataclan Theater.

Islamists have, in addition, recruited dozens of French soldiers and ex-servicemen who have converted to Islam. Many have come from commando units with expertise in handling weapons and explosives.

France is turning into a “society of vigilance” in its fight against the “Hydra” of Islamist militancy, as Macron said. …

He said that? But will do nothing to stop the influx of Muslims whose holy duty it is to wage jihad? Or even ban known “political groups”? “Vigilance” may not be quite enough.

Last October, an Islamist struck in one of France’s most secure buildings: the monumental Paris Police headquarters near Notre Dame cathedral, where he murdered four of his colleagues. … “It is hard to believe that the police on which we rely to protect us and which is supposed to be our last rampart against terrorism, can itself be the victim of terrorism, with throats slit in the holy of holies of the Police Prefecture.” 

In the wake of the attack, seven police officers, “suspected of radicalization”, had their guns confiscated.

And without their guns they can do no harm? Their brother jihadists in London could teach them how to use knives and mechetes to inflict death and injury. But come to think of it, they know how. They used knives in the Bataclan Theater. “The French Parliamentary report contains details of how victims’ bodies had been mutilated, such as by eye-gouging, disemboweling, castration, and beheading,” Wikipedia reports.

“I have the impression that our immune defenses have collapsed and that Islamism is winning,” says the French writer Pascal Bruckner.

There’s an observant citizen!

He is quoted further:

[Islam’s] main demands have been met: nobody dares to publish caricatures of Mohammed anymore. Self-censorship prevails…. Hate is directed against those who resist obscuring information rather than against those who obscure it. Not to mention the psychiatrization of terrorism, in order better to exonerate Islam. If we had been told in the early 2000s that in 2020, around 20 French cartoonists and intellectuals would be under police protection, no one would have believed it. The threshold of servitude has increased.

“Sunk” is what he means: the threshold has been lowered, made easier to get over. To enter into servitude. The easy choice for the French now is to submit to Islam.

Five years after the terrorist murders at Charlie Hebdo, free speech is less free [read “gone” – ed] in France. “No one today would publish the cartoons of Muhammad,” said Philippe Val, the former editor of Charlie Hebdo, recently.

“For the past five years, I’ve been going to the police station every month or so to file a complaint about death threats, not insults, death threats,” says Marika Bret, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo today.

In Paris, five years after the murders at Charlie Hebdo, there was a big march to protest not terrorism, but “Islamophobia”.

“Voltaire fades before Muhammad, and the Enlightenment before the Submission,” wrote the author Éric Zemmour.

In 2017 … a Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was tortured and murdered in her Paris apartment by her neighbor, Kobili Traoré, who was yelling “Allahu Akbar”.  A court of appeals recently ruled that Traoré, because he had smoked cannabis, was “not criminally responsible” for his actions.

And so he was acquitted.

Which means that anti-Semitism, even when it results in murder, is licensed in France.

Actually, anti-Semitism is a grand old French tradition. But now it is not merely tolerated and quietly practiced in the land of “liberty, equality and fraternity”, it is an aim, a cause, a duty. Because it was commanded – and an example of the mass murder of Jews set – by Muhammad himself.

France has capitulated to Islam. The EU has capitulated to Islam. In all the countries of western Europe, the peoples are condemning themselves to live in fear. In subjection. And in  sorrow. For in Islam there is no laughter, and no singing and dancing. And no wine, mon frère, no wine. No beer, mein Bruder, no beer.

Standing almost alone in the Western World against this retreat from the Enlightenment is America. At least for as long as Donald Trump is president.

The coming day of wrath 8

The aggressive, vengeful, jihadist Iranian regime can do nothing much now to harm the US or its assets or its allies.

But it looks to the time when it will have its nuclear arsenal.

This is the view of how things stand at present from the Heritage Foundation:

(The Iranian) objective was to show that they are striking back against the United States to save face in the eyes of their public, but to do so in a way that does not provoke the United States even more to retaliate back.

They fired 15 missiles. One landed at the airport in Irbil, four landed somewhere in the desert, and then the remaining missiles landed on that base in western Iraq. And there were no U.S. or Iraqi or coalition casualties, and very minimal damage to facilities on these bases.

So, it was enough, I think, where the regime in Iran could go to its people and say, “Look, we struck back,” and there’s already these wild rumors flying around on social media about so many U.S. service personnel wounded and being treated secretly in Israel. And, of course, Iran has to drag in Israel somehow.

And we all know this is nonsense in the way our system of government works here. There’s no way the U.S. government could cover up something like this, but it’s enough where the Iranians probably were able to save face and had an off-ramp.  …

President Trump over the past several months has shown a lot of restraint against Iranian aggression. There have been numerous occasions where the U.S. would have been justified to strike back. And President Trump chose not to, always trying to leave that door open for negotiations. …

He had to show the Iranians that the U.S. means business, and that’s what he did. And paradoxically, the demise of Qassim Suleimani might be looked upon as the de-escalatory strike, that’s the strike that deescalated the situation. …

Until this point, the Iranians thought they could keep going and going and going, and the U.S. would just kind of tinker on the edges in terms of its response, and then that response was so great, that impact, it was so great.

I don’t think we can overstate how important someone like Qasem Suleimani is to that, to the whole Iranian security apparatus. And whenever he was taken out, I think it probably gave some room for pause in Iran, and they probably thought, “Whoa, OK, can we afford another severe blow like this if we push the Americans too far when we retaliate?”…

President Trump … prefers negotiation. He prefers making a deal. His instincts are not to go to war. He does not want to go to war with Iran. He’s not looking for a fight.

But he did strike at last. He had Qasem Soleimani killed. He knew there would be an uproar from his enemies – the most virulent of them being the Democrats in Congress.

But:

President Trump comes out on top of all of this in many ways. And even some of his strongest critics have acknowledged this point as well.

President Trump looks stronger. Iran looks weaker.

All good.

But Iran is still working on producing nuclear bombs.

President Trump has not lost sight of that.

As we have come to expect, he dealt with the events masterfully. In a well-judged address the day after Iran’s gesture of revenge, he warned the Iranian leaders without humiliating them.

Most importantly, he made a strong statement about their ambition to become a nuclear-armed power first, before anything else, even his “Good morning”:

As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Good morning. I’m pleased to inform you the American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. …

But the fight with Iran – started by the regime in 1979 when it seized 52 American hostages at the US embassy in Tehran – is not over.

The president spoke of imposing more sanctions:

As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.

Sanctions will not stop the making of nuclear bombs, but they might so weaken the government that it can be brought down by a popular revolt.

President Trump does not speak of regime change in Iran. But only if the theocracy falls and is replaced by an elected government, could the abandonment of the nuclear program be negotiated.

If that does not happen while Donald Trump is president – and if he means what he says as we have come to expect he does – the only alternative is the physical destruction of Iran’s  nuclear bomb-making facilities.

The Democrats, who would rather see the whole world laid waste than that Donald Trump should succeed at anything, will try to prevent it.

But there has to be either regime change or the dies irae of the bunker bombs.

Posted under Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, jihad, middle east, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 9, 2020

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The mullahs quake 2

… and so may the land beneath their feet.

Iran cannot do much to hurt America. It is already suffering from the economic sanctions President Trump has imposed on it. It would be very foolish of the mullahs to try violent retaliation on America or its foreign assets for the killing by a US drone of its top general Soleimani. If it does, Trump has 52 Iranian targets marked for destruction, one for each of the 52 American hostages seized in Tehran in 1979 (and not yet avenged).

Some could be oil production facilities.

And some could be underground nuclear weapons development sites. However deep underground they may be, they can be destroyed. The US has the weapons to do it.

Chuck de Caro writes at American Greatness:

While the mullahs in Iran continue to threaten the United States with worldwide terrorist attacks against American individuals and groups, it might be time for them to reconsider their position.

The mullahs are attempting to run a formerly evolving modern state, utilizing the ideas of 12th-century Shia Islam; they remain in power through the repression of the well-paid Revolutionary Guard. Their most urgent strategic priority is a regeneration of Persian ascendancy not seen since Darius the Great. Their methodology for this new Persian Empire is to complete a nuclear bomb production industry now nascent among some 40 dispersed and hardened sites.

The mullahs are willing to force the Iranian people to absorb the effects of crushing economic sanctions imposed by the United States, the United Nations [although it is evil’s HQ – ed], and cooperating countries in order to build their bomb.

As a result, the mullahs in 2019 precipitously raised fuel prices 50 to 200 percent and immediately were inundated by waves of violent protests in most of Iran’s larger cities. An estimated 1,500 Iranian protesters died.

The Iranian economy remains dependent on oil production and export. Its most vulnerable points are the six oil production centers at Abadan, Esfahan, Bandar-e Abbas, Tehran, Arak, and Tabriz. If any one of those is reduced in capability, even for a short time, the economy will further weaken, and domestic instability will increase.

Meanwhile, the religiously driven mullahs have continued to support Shia aligned groups wreaking havoc in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank. In Iraq, their surrogates went a step too far in attacking the American embassy, and the result was the obliteration of Qasem Soleimani (and his staff) who reported directly to Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader.

Despite loud cries of revenge, Khamenei must be quaking in his givehs. Why? Because the United States had the precise information to target his best general, head of the Quds Force (the elite military intelligence and unconventional warfare service) in his car, in an airport parking lot, and vaporize the sonofabitch before his seat bell stopped dinging.

Now if you are Ayatollah Khamenei, with a shaky domestic body politic and an even shakier economy, and you go to work in a palace which the United States likely has under satellite and drone surveillance, and you know it can target you with the precision of a micrometer, it might be wise to go easy until you get your bomb.

Meantime back in Washington, [President Trump] is thinking that the last thing he needs is Persians with nukes. He also knows there are two things that the mullahs absolutely must have: cash flow from petroleum and those nukes.

Thus the target set is defined: Each time there is an attack on U.S. interests, however small, directly or through surrogates, the United States will attack and cripple an oil production facility, and then another, and then another, along with a nuclear weapons site, and then another. The important part is to limit civilian casualties while causing the Iranian economy and regime to implode.

For this specific set of parameters, the U.S. can use a little jewel called the Small Diameter Bomb/Focused Lethality Munition. SDB is basically a 250-pound smart bomb with a composite case to limit collateral damage; the kind you use on some Tuesday afternoon while everybody is at lunch, to silently fly through a window and wipe out the computer control booth of an oil production facility.

If Khamenei’s subordinate, Brigadier General Alvarez Sabahifard were a bright guy, he’d be watching the skies for an SDB with his name on it, since he heads the Iranian Air Defense force, and his demise might cause some consternation when the rain of American bombs begins to fall.

On the other end of the spectrum from the Small Diameter Bomb are a family of special-purpose hole-diggers. Since World War II, the United States has developed bunker-buster munitions originally called “Disney Bombs” after a concept which was dreamed up by Walt Disney Studios for a 1943 film called “Victory Through Airpower”.

The Army Air Corps thought the cartoon bomb was so good that they actually went ahead and invented the real thing. Then they passed it to the mighty 8th Air Force to hurl against hardened Nazi positions in the spring of 1945, slicing through 14 feet of reinforced concrete, followed by a large “boom”.

After that came Azon, Razon, and Tarzon, the last being a 13,000-pound behemoth that we used in the Korean War against the Chinese and North Koreans.

In Iraq, the United States used the laser-guided GBU-28, a 5,000-pound deep penetrator, successfully against hardened targets.

And now, the Pentagon has the Son of the Disney Bomb, called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP. Formally known as the GBU-57, it is a 30,000-pound (15-ton) bomb designed to dig a really deep hole.

The MOP is particularly interesting in that it is GPS guided and can be used at night or in bad weather or during sandstorms, with an accuracy measured in feet. Think of it as a candygram to bad guys in caves . . . 200 feet down.

The use of these diverse weapons on oil production and nuclear facilities would cause the Iranian economy to falter, their nuclear program to stumble, and protests to begin anew. The end effect would be the implosion of the mullahs’ regime.

We predict that the Iranian economy would collapse, and the regime’s dream of making Iran a nuclear-armed power would be irretrievably extinguished.

Then the Democrats, who are in deep mourning for Soleimani, could beat their breasts and tear their hair out in grief for the downfall of the Iranian theocracy, the disabling of its terrorist proxies, and for the victory of America, the triumph of Trump.

President Trump destroys the world’s leading terrorist 21

The Daily Mail, which always has the best pictures and video footage of dramatic events, reports and illustrates:

  • Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s highest ranking general, was killed early Friday at Baghdad International Airport
  • US drone missiles obliterated two vehicles carrying Soleimani, his entourage, and Iraqi Shiite militiamen
  • Grainy video purportedly taken by Baghdad locals shows the moment one of the cars was struck from above 
  • Iran has confirmed that two Islamic Revolutionary Guard generals, one colonel and  a captain were also killed
  • Five Iraqis, including militia deputy-commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were also listed among the dead
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to carry out ‘jihad’ against America amid warnings of a ‘devastating war’

 

An American airstrike on Baghdad airport has killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's powerful Quds force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy-leader of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (pictured, the burning remains of a car that was among a convoy the men had been travelling in)

As the sun rose over Baghdad airport, daylight revealed the twisted remains of one of the vehicles the men had been travelling in. In total, a US drone fired four missiles that struck a convoy of cars, killing the two men and their entourage

The attack unfolded in a precision strike on two cars that were carrying Soleimani and Iraq-based PMF militiamen who were picking him up from the airport.

Soleimani had arrived at the airport on a plane from either Syria or Lebanon around 12.30am when he was met on the tarmac by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Forces [PMF] in Iraq.

Muhandis pulled up to the aircraft steps in two cars before Soleimani and Mohammed Ridha Jabri, public relations chief for the PMF who had been traveling with him, climbed inside and were driven away.

Moments later, as the cars passed through a cargo area headed for an access road leading out of the airport, the convoy was struck by four missiles fired by an MQ-9 Reaper drone.

Both vehicles were instantly reduced to smoldering wrecks – killing Soleimani, Muhandis, Jabri and two others who have yet to be identified.

Two officials from the PMF said Soleimani’s body was torn to pieces in the attack, while they did not find the body of al-Muhandis.

A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore. Photos from the scene show a hand with large ring that looks identical to one Soleimani is seen wearing in old photos.

Local militia commander Abu Muntathar al-Hussaini told Reuters: ‘Haj Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were riding in one vehicle when it was struck by two successive guided missiles launched from an American helicopter while they were on their way from the arrivals hall on the road that leads out of Baghdad Airport.’

He said the second vehicle was carrying bodyguards from the PMF and was hit by one rocket.

Brilliant intelligence work! Marvelous precision bombing!

See more pictures and video of the moment the world’s top terrorist died here.

Will the Iranians now launch a “devastating war” ? Do they have someone to lead it? Can they afford it? Will the Iranian people support it?

Kenneth R. Timmerman writes at Front Page:

The killing of Iranian terror-meister Qassem Suleymani in a targeted U.S. air strike in Baghdad on Thursday will have a dramatic impact on Iran’s ability to conduct oversea terrorist operations and the stability of the Iranian regime.

But the real impact, one can legitimately wager, will be quite different from what you’ve been hearing so far from most of the U.S. and international media.

Rather than engendering some massive Iranian “retaliation,” as many talking heads have been warning, I believe this strike will throw the Iranian regime back on its heels, as wannabe successors contemplate their careers vaporizing in a U.S. drone strike and Iran’s civilian leaders fret that they have been exposed as emperors without clothes.

Put simply, the aura of the Iranian regime’s invincibility is over.

They have pushed us and our allies repeatedly, and have been encouraged by the modest response from U.S. political and military leaders until now.

But with this strike, the gloves are off. And the leadership in Tehran – and more importantly, the people of Iran – can see it.

Suleymani was not some run-of-the-mill terrorist. He was worst of the worst; a man with more blood on his hands than even Osama bin Laden. Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, 9/11, Benghazi: all of them were his doing.

He was responsible for all those horrors? The accusation needs some explaining. But it is true that he was the most powerful Islamic terrorist of them all.

He was also the most respected and the only charismatic military leader to have emerged since the 1979 Islamist revolution in Iran.

No other leader in Iran today even comes close to Suleymani for sheer star power.

This is a huge loss for the Tehran regime; bigger, indeed, than if the Supreme Leader himself (who actually is a nobody) died or was killed. …

We have two historical parallels to compare to Thursday’s events: Operation Praying Mantis in April 1988, when U.S. naval forces sank 1/3 of the Iranian navy in a matter of hours after repeatedly catching them dispersing naval mines against international oil tankers in the Persian Gulf; and the presumed Israeli assassination of Iranian-Lebanese terrorist Imad Mugniyeh in Damascus in February 2008.

In both cases, we were told Iran and their proxies were going to counter-attack with devastating lethality. Hundreds of Americans and Israelis were going to die. Thousands! The entire region was going to explode.

In the end what happened? Absolutely nothing.

That’s what I predict here as well.

The Iranians have been lulled into thinking they can act with impunity in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

Finally, the United States has drawn a firm hard line on their bad behavior.

This is exactly what we needed to do.

I believe the Iranian people will draw the obvious conclusion that this once powerful regime has feet of clay. Expect bigger anti-regime protests inside Iran in the coming weeks, and popular revolts against Iranian interference in Lebanon and Iraq as well.

To me, the biggest question remains: is President Trump ready for the revolution he has unleashed? With this single act, the United States has set in motion big historical forces for positive change. Are we prepared to help the forces of freedom against tyranny and oppression?

We wait to see. We have come to expect that the President’s decision will be the right one.

The enemy on the Right 25

Anti-white racism now obsesses the Left more than any other of its preoccupations (“gender-fluidity”, “climate change”, citizen disarmament, open borders). It was surely only to be expected that there would be an equal and opposite reaction on the Right. It exists. It is equal in intensity, but not in the numbers who support it. Adherents of what we might call the “whites are best movement” are a small minority among conservatives.

American Greatness publishes articles by some of them. Why is American Greatness giving the alt-Right a respectable platform? It is not that the editors are simply allowing the expression of white-Christian-supremacists as a matter of tolerant  broad-mindedness. One of their columnists who defends the alt-Right is Matthew Boose. He, we are told, is “a Mt. Vernon fellow for the Center for American Greatness”. We have recently discussed an article of his here. Boose defends a facetious youth named Nick Fuentes who declares the Holocaust to be a lie, and a funny one, a rib-tickling yarn.

Pedro Gonzalez is another such contributor. He is also a member of the online journal’s staff. Though not named on their “Who we are” page, he is, we learn from a note at the bottom of his column, an “assistant editor”.

In the column discussed here, he is reviewing a documentary film titled No Safe Spaces … 

… featuring conservative commentator Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla. The aim of the film is to expose the illiberal direction that the halls of higher education have taken.

He gives it some praise:

The days of rage that have rocked universities across the country in recent years are well documented here.

And he makes it plain that he is in strong agreement with the film-maker, Dennis Prager, that the outbreaks of student rage – which in some cases brought disastrous consequences for the affected universities – were outrageous and indefensible.

But he finds flaws in the film. Or, rather, with people whose opinions it reflects. Gonzalez does not object to what they say in the film itself, but what they have said and done in other places at other times.

He says:

No Safe Spaces succeeds at its primary goal: revealing the fundamentally evil designs of our enemies. … There are, however, serious flaws in this otherwise polished production. For a start, the mainstream conservatives Prager props in the documentary have recently behaved themselves in a way consistent with how the Left operates.

They had offended, he explains, by refusing to give a platform at certain conservative gatherings to spokesmen of the (self-styled) alt-Right. Why?  Because, we can infer, the opinions of the alt-Right are as offensive to most conservatives as are those of the Left, for the same reason. They are intensely racist.

The alt-Right, spoken for in his review by Pedro Gonzalez, claims that its indignation is a righteous reaction to their being denied freedom of speech. (They speak and write freely, however, at many a gathering, on many a blog site, and everywhere in the social media.)

One of the professors whose story is treated sympathetically in both the film and, at first, in the review, is the (liberal, not conservative) biologist, Brett Weinstein. He refused to be kept away from the university where he taught, Evergreen State College in Washington state, on a “no whites on campus” day, was consequently subjected to violent persecution by Leftist students, and hounded out of his job. He maintained that the attempt to force whites to stay away was “an act of oppression”, and cited historical precedents of groups trying to force others to share their beliefs. He gave an example which Gonzalez quotes:

“Some of history’s darkest chapters involved brutal coercion of people because they didn’t accept that ‘Jesus is the son of God’,” wrote Weinstein recently. “Assuming Christians have outgrown that inclination, they’d be wise to quit broadcasting this exclusionary claim. Seems obvious. What am I missing?”

And that irked Gonzalez.

He comments:

That is, Christians must stop being Christians. Or to use Prager’s line, on preferring “clarity over agreement”, Weinstein is merely clarifying that liberalism requires that Christians dissolve Christ and adopt a secularized theology of humanism.

Weinstein did not mean that “Christians must stop being Christians”, unless Christians are nothing but enforcers of shared belief. Nor would Dennis Prager tolerate a requirement “that Christians dissolve Christ and adopt a secularized theology of humanism”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our beef with Prager is that he taints his intelligent advocacy of conservatism with arguments for religion. He earnestly defends Christianity, even as he passionately proselytizes Judaism.

But Weinstein had struck a nerve. The alt-Right does not only believe that whites are best, but that Christian whites are the best of the best: Christianity is the supreme good; it can do no wrong. And because Christianity is the supreme good, devotees of all other religions – and non-believers – are bad, and deserve what they get at Christian hands.

The alt-Right is doing exactly what Weinstein advises them it would be wise to quit doing: “Broadcasting this exclusionary claim.”

Indeed Gonzalez insists: “[T]he only social force with the moral and ethical framework to counteract leftism [is] Christianity.”

While many Christians today, particularly in America, are supporters of freedom, the kind of Christianity that the alt-Right apparently admires has more to do with intolerance, domination, and compulsion.

Christianity had a very long reign. Contrary to Christian claims, it did not prove to be historically a force for good. Whether the human suffering the Christian churches caused when they had the power to do so on a massive scale was less or more, better or worse, than that caused by Leftist powers, is a verdict more easily reached by prejudice than judgment.

Posted under Anti-Semitism, Christianity, Ethics, Race, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 1, 2020

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On this new year’s eve 5

WE WISH OUR READERS AND COMMENTERS

 ENCOURAGERS AND CORRECTORS

CONTRIBUTORS AND OBJECTORS

(but not our enemies, be damned to them!)

HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS IN THE NEW YEAR

2020

AND ALL THEIR YEARS TO COME

 

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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What makes for the common good? 22

We can usefully start with two quotations:

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.
― Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Vol 1

Which is  a description of capitalism in practice. It is a beautiful system. Individuals provide goods or services that other people want and therefore pay for. The greater the demand, the more rewarding the provision, the more profitable the business. If the demand is too great for the labor of the provider to meet on his own, he can pay people to help him. How much he pays will depend on how much the employee contributes to the profit: his contribution must be worth more – twice or three times as much – as his pay to make him worth hiring.

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Senator Marco Rubio does not agree with Adam Smith and Ayn Rand. He believes that the butcher, the brewer, the baker, must carry on their businesses as benevolent enterprises. And that we live to serve others.

He does not say so in as many words, but his opinions amount to those sentiments.

Which he writes about at National Review in an essay adapted from a speech he delivered at the Catholic University of America. We quote the greater part of his essay:

Large corporations have become vehicles for shareholders and banks to assert claims to cash flows, rather than engines of productive innovation. Over the past 40 years, the financial sector’s share of corporate profits increased from about 10 to nearly 30 percent. The share of profits sent to shareholders increased by 300 percent. This occurred while investment of those profits back into the companies’ workers — and future — dropped 20 percent. Last year, corporations on the S&P 500 spent more than a trillion dollars buying back their own shares. These are the largest corporations in the world collectively saying, “We don’t have anything to invest in.”

This is what it looks like when, as Pope Francis warned, “Finance overwhelms the real economy.”

A phrase that means nothing. But then, Pope Francis knows nothing about Economics. He’s  a “liberation theologist”  – an oxymoronic god-worshiping communist. And Rubio, the ostensible conservative, quotes him as an enlightening sage?

The world is full of enterprises to invest in. But Rubio wants the investment to be ethical according to his own judgment of what is ethically acceptable.

The result has been an economy whose architecture has been rapidly transformed. Despite three years of robust economic growth, millions are unable to find dignified work; they feel forgotten and left behind. We are left with a society with which no one is happy. …

An outright lie. In fact, unemployment is low –  lower than it has been for 50 years.

Rubio goes on to attribute a variety of “social ills” to there being “millions unable to find dignified work”:

The repercussions have extended far beyond the economy: a collapse in churchgoing and community institutions; a decline in marriage, childbirth, and life expectancy; and an increase in drug dependency, suicides, and other deaths of despair. We have condemned the next generation of Americans to be the first to enter adulthood worse off than their parents.

Diagnosing the problem is something we should be able to achieve across the political spectrum, though even that seems challenging at times. Ultimately, deciding what the government should do about it must be the core question of our politics.

Marco Rubio is a Republican Senator. But he he thinks like a Socialist Democrat – that the solution to people not going to church (an outcome of which, if it is true, we heartily approve of course), to a drop in births and life expectancy, to drug dependency, to suicides “and other deaths of despair” and to anything else worth clicking one’s tongue over that goes on in a population of over 330 million, lies with government.

We must start by rejecting the false choice our politics has offered us for almost three decades. First, our financialized economy …

He is alluding to the ways in which money can make money. When you are young and in the prime of life you work for your money; when you are old you let your money work for you. You own bonds and shares. Both the investors and the companies invested in, benefit. Companies get the capital they need to produce goods and services, investors get income and increase their capital worth. It’s one of the joys of capitalism.

Why that is a bad thing for the wealth and happiness or the morals of the nation, Rubio does not explain. Financial markets do not require busy hands, the sweat of the human brow; the physical toil he apparently considers “dignified” and which alone, in his view, brings the worker satisfaction. As if happiness were best pursued at the conveyer belt or the plough or the coalface or the anvil.

“Our financialized economy” was the undesirable result of government decisions, of “policy choices lawmakers have made in the past”. It makes for an undesirable “imbalance” which must be set right, he says:

[R]estoring a balance between the obligations and rights of the private sector and working Americans will require the attention of lawmakers today.

He quotes Pope Benedict (the non-Communist Pope) objecting to “the dominance of ‘largely speculative’ financial flows, detached from real production”.

He argues that money producing money is not good. That the production of material things is good.  That somehow “our financialized economy” has taken us away from a system which, while still capitalist, is geared towards community benefit rather than individual gain. (But which has never existed.) He calls it “common-good capitalism”. And he says we need to get it back.

What we need to do is restore common-good capitalism: a system of free enterprise wherein workers fulfill their obligation to work and enjoy the resultant benefits, and businesses enjoy their right to make a profit and reinvest enough to create high-productivity jobs, which is what I mean by dignified work for Americans. …

The butcher, the brewer, the baker must not give up slaughtering, brewing and baking, but must do it out of benevolence and not self-interest. They must employ workers in order to make them happy, not because their labor is needed by the employer.

It is also possible to reform the Small Business Administration to reinvigorate the legacy of business innovation that delivered Americans to the Moon 50 years ago. …

“Business innovation” did that? And it’s not doing it now is a result of … what? Losing vigor? Letting the financial markets become dominant?

We must remember that our nation does not exist to serve the interests of the market; the market exists to serve our nation. And the most effective benefit the market can provide is the creation of dignified work.

No, the market does not exist to serve the nation, any more than the nation exists to serve the market. The market is the nation serving itself.

His vision is communitarian:

Dignified work allows people to give their time, talent, and treasure to our churches, our charities, and community groups. It makes it easier to form strong families in stable communities and reinvigorates those institutions that bind us together as a people.

Because when you live with, worship with, serve with, or share a community with someone, you know him or her as a whole person. You may not agree with the person’s politics, but you have other commonalities that bind you together.

But when your neighbors are strangers, and all you know about your fellow countrymen is who they voted for, it is much easier to see them as the other.

He invokes the name of a famous Catholic in politics – a Democrat:

In 1968, Robert Kennedy decried the deep cultural sickness of his era that was “discouraging initiative, paralyzing will and action, and dividing Americans from one another, by their age, their views, and by the color of their skin”.

As Kennedy did in 1968, we must accept the indivisible tie between culture and economics, so that once again we can reclaim the motto on our nation’s seal: E pluribus unum — out of many, one.

All of which is, frankly, drivel.

E pluribus unum was chosen as the motto of the United States because many states united to form one new nation. It had nothing to do with communitarianism.

If and how we resolve this will not just define 21st-century America; it will define the century itself. Our future is not ours alone to decide. In China, we are confronted with a near-peer competitor on the global stage.

China is undertaking a patient effort to reorient the global order to reflect its values and its interests at the expense of ours — a global order in which the key industries and good jobs are based in China and controlled by them; in which the principles of freedom of religion and speech are replaced by what the Chinese call “societal harmony” …

Isn’t “societal harmony” the very thing that the Senator is arguing for?

… and in which the right to elect your own leaders and voice dissent is replaced by a totalitarian system that criminalizes protest and imprisons minorities.

Nobody here wants that (except perhaps the American Left, the professoriate, the mainstream media, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).

An America in which no one is held back by his or her gender, skin color, or ethnic origin is no longer just morally right; it’s a national imperative.

And is not that the American reality (except in the universities where Asians are held back by Leftist administrations because too many of them are high achievers)?

For, in the words of the late sociologist Robert Bellah [a sociologist of religion who had been a Communist in his youth], the American tradition — the “transcendent goal” of our politics — renders sacred our “obligation to carry out God’s will on Earth.”

Let’s repeat that: our transcendent political goal is to carry out the American tradition because by doing so we sanctify our obligation to God. It makes no sense, even as a religious idea.

But Rubio asserts –

That is the task accepted by each generation before us. We are the beneficiaries of their sacrifices and achievements.

Now we must decide whether to accept the challenge of our time and author the next chapter in the story of the nation that changed the world.

How can we not? As we live and act the “chapter” of our time is being “authored” by us.  So – more drivel.

Senator Rubio’s “common-good capitalism” may be good Catholicism, but it is neither good capitalism nor conducive to the common good.

All who live in the same country have certain needs in common – such as roads, sewers, street lighting in towns, bridges, ports, the rule of law, military defense – so it is plainly reasonable for all to contribute to their provision and upkeep. There is no economic or moral imperative that one person pay for another person’s (other than his own natural dependents’) education, medical treatment, shelter – or survival. Because people in civilized cultures are generally humane, however, they help their helpless compatriots. As a personal choice, as voluntary activity, such giving is irreproachable. Charity is neither immoral nor threatening to the economy when it is practiced between consenting adults in private.

But Christian doctrine compelled material charity at the same time as it mercilessly punished dissent. And Christian morality became socialist doctrine. It shouts down Adam Smith, burns Ayn Rand, and inspires Senator Marco Rubio.

Adam Smith proves that the best way to serve our fellow man is to supply each our own needs by providing others with something they will pay for. That is the market. We do not have to love our grocer, only to pay him. As an economic system, it is capitalism. It does not need to be made more palatable with a condiment of sentimental togetherness.

Just as it is, it is good for us all.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the FAIREST of us all? 5

The defeat suffered by the far-left Labour Party in a recent general election in Britain was so decisive, it forces left-wing parties on both sides of the Atlantic to reconsider their policies, and encourages conservatives to hope it is symptomatic of a decline and fall of the Left everywhere.

When we were in the grip of that wild hope, an article in Areo by Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay titled The Left is Having an Identity Crisis drew our close attention.

The title is ironic, intentionally or not, because the Left has been primarily concerned with “identity” ever since Karl Marx drew rigid lines between the classes of the Western world. Your identity in the Marxian view was defined by your class. You were either bourgeois which was bad because you supported the status quo, or you were proletarian which was good because you were destined to make violent revolution. (In his personal life Marx was a social snob, always putting his wife’s aristocratic name and title on his visiting card.) When the proletariats of Europe disappointed the Left after the Second World War, becoming well-off, indistinguishable in their outlook from the bourgeoisie and plainly uninterested in making revolution, a New Left arose with a revised ethic of identity. Henceforth it was the Lumpenproletariat, a vagabond underclass that Marx had despised, that must play the revolutionary role. Their class, the “unemployed and unemployable” (as Herbert Marcuse wrote) was augmented by les misérables of the Third World (Frantz Fanon’s “wretched of the earth”) and others who were powerless and exploited by the bourgeois patriarchy; notably women and the sexually deviant, and even (sotto voce why not?) felons. These “sections” of society would unite under the red banner of socialist revolution, which no longer had to be violent. Instead the Left would advance to power by taking control over the institutions of the Western democracies – or where that proved impossible, by discrediting them. The author of the plan, Antonio Gramsci, described it as “the long march through the institutions”.The sections, united in purpose throughout the world, would get the levers of power in their hands and then change our world that has evolved over millennia, our world of many nation-states, of European and male supremacy, of capitalism and private ownership and unequal wealth, into One World of material equality and moral beauty.

In this drama, your identity according to the categories of the New Left is what matters about you. You are black, female, homosexual, or in the nostalgia of the theorists a worker, so you are expected to take part in, or at least assist, the long march. You are expected to be on the Left.

And now the Left itself is having a crisis of identity? What is it about its Leftness that is troubling it?

Pluckrose and Lindsay, who declare themselves to be liberal and not socialist or “identitarian”, reflect on what is happening in and to the Left in Britain and America, and set about defining, diagnosing, and prescribing a cure for the problem:

The Left is in crisis. We no longer present a cohesive movement, and we no longer form coherent political parties. We are a fractured and ill-defined mess, our goals are diffuse and scattered, and we are hemorrhaging supporters from what should be our base—the working class, liberals, and racial and sexual minorities. It is not clear that left-wing parties and movements are currently listening to that base or have its best interests at heart.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent British election, which was disastrous for the left. Labour lost key seats, including in areas that have voted left for close to a century, and experienced its worst drubbing in four decades. An outright majority was won by surely the least credible Tory Prime Minister in living memory.

That’s Boris Johnson they’re talking about. A man who was born to be Prime Minister of England, very possibly a good one. He has sworn to take Britain out of the European Union which is  a corrupt and undemocratic political darling of the Left, so of course the Left abominates him. To persons on the Left, he is almost as bad as our great President Trump.

It seems uncomfortably likely that this disaster is soon to be mirrored in the US by the re-election of Donald Trump for a second term, despite the fact that the American public has had four years—beginning with his 2015 campaign—to notice how manifestly unfit he is to be the leader of the western world. The pressing questions at the moment are, what’s going on? and what, if anything, can we do to stop it?

They do some quite credible analysis of what’s going wrong on their side:

Let’s start with what isn’t going to work. It simply will not do to blame these electoral results on the idea that the majority of the population is ignorant, hateful, or unaware of their own best interests. This is the attitude—made popular throughout the educated left by a growing commitment to elitism and critical theories—that got us into this mess in the first place. This attitude is particularly worrying because it leads leftist activists to double down on exactly those things that are killing the left.

If left-leaning parties around the world hope to have any future electoral success, they need to ditch both elitism and identity-based theory and develop some self-awareness. They need to start listening to the people they are supposed to represent so that they can understand what people actually want from a left-wing party. Only in this way can the left heal its fractures and form a strong and principled movement, with political parties that the general public can trust and respect.

The policies of left-wing parties need to come from the people—not represent revolutionary ideologies most do not share or appreciate having imposed upon them for their own good. The public will not stand for this—nor should they. It is absolutely right to reject the social engineering projects of theorists, activists, and the privileged elite who, like self-appointed philosopher kings, want to order society according to their ideological vision of how things should be rather than how they are or realistically could be.

People who reject the ideologues’ vision are not all racist, sexist, and xenophobic bigots or radical capitalist absolutists. Liberals and working people, who form an overlapping majority, generally have strong opinions on what will make their lives better and society fairer, and they are increasingly deciding that right-wing parties are closer to providing this. Barely electable as those might be, that’s still miles better than being totally unelectable. This is a point our left-wing parties seem utterly unable to grasp—as our elections keep demonstrating. This calls for humility and introspection from the left, rather than doubling down and denigrating the masses for their wrongthink.

Ah, yes. It seems that whenever the workers are given a chance to express their political preference, they choose wicked but rewarding capitalist conservatism over morally beautiful but materially deficient socialism.

But Pluckrose and Lindsay, and probably all Leftists, assume that “most people” really want a left-wing government. One that is not too radical.

So Left-wing parties must strive to keep themselves from becoming too radical. But it’s not easy for them:

Left-wing parties and movements generally have a harder job maintaining consistency and cohesion than conservative ones because of their progressive nature. Progress requires change, moving with the times, and finding new directions. It requires fighting for certain advances and then, when these are achieved, fighting for new ones. Conservatives generally have an easier time with continuity because they seek to conserve aspects of society that they see as good, as well as upholding consistent principles, rooted in consistent moral intuitions of individual responsibility, respect for tradition and authority, cultural cohesion, and family. While differences do exist within conservatism—especially between libertarian fiscal conservatives and religious and/or social conservatives—there are natural limits as to how much principles can change and evolve when they are firmly rooted in the drive to conserve.

Progressives, on the other hand, are always trying to move forward and address new injustices and inequalities. The drive to progress necessarily manifests in many different directions at the same time and these can even contradict each other. One good example of this is the vitriolic conflict between the radical feminists, whose rejection of gender is rooted in an adaptation of Marxist class struggle, and the self-ID trans activists, whose conception of gender is rooted in postmodern queer theory. These groups are both decidedly left-wing and yet they do not agree.

Another such conflict came to light when Goldsmith University’s Feminist Society endorsed the Islamic Society’s protests against communist feminist, Maryam Namazie, due to her criticism of Islamism. For progressives to make progress, their competing aims therefore need to be balanced within a consistent ethical framework—a liberal framework—that can prevent the left from repeatedly fracturing because of incompatible aims and conceptions of the world.

… [There is a] current deadlock between the three main elements of the left [which are]: the radical (or socialist), identitarian (“Social Justice”), and liberal left. She argues that the  liberal left must strongly champion liberalism, as an overarching principle by which the valid concerns of the other strands of the left can be judged. Neither socialism nor identity politics can win back the voters who have gone over to the right because most people support regulated capitalism and universal principles of fairness and reciprocity, regardless of identity. This is perfectly compatible with profound concern about the disadvantages people face because of their class, race, sex, or sexuality.

The socialists—who prioritise the material realities of economic and class issues—and the identitarians—with their myopic and obsessive focus on race, gender, and sexuality as social constructs perpetuated in language—cannot easily cooperate with each other, without a broader framework that is neither socialist nor identitarian. The left needs to focus on both economic and identity issues. … [R]ight now most people want a combination of center-left economics and center-right stability. We can achieve this by restoring liberalism to the heart of left-wing politics and rejecting the lure of illiberal alternatives.

Liberalism, in its essence, seeks incremental reform to address social injustices, and it does so on the level of the individual and the universal. That is, liberalism seeks to produce a society in which every individual has access, in principle, to everything society has to offer, regardless of economic background, race, gender or sexuality. Liberalism is not (as its socialist and Social Justice critics claim) a belief that society has already achieved that aim and a corresponding denial of any continuing disadvantages caused by economic inequalities or prejudice.

On the contrary, by insisting on the rights of the individual and universal principles of non-discrimination we can oppose the barriers impeding any social group. This is the approach taken by the Civil Rights Movement, liberal feminism, and gay pride—with great success. … Critics of liberalism are right to warn us that focusing only on the individual and the universal can lead us to overlook issues disadvantaging specific groups. But we can address these criticisms most effectively by appealing to a broader liberal framework, not by attempting to overthrow it.

We have moved into a new stage of history. The battles the left fought over the past half-century have largely been won. We cannot go back to focusing on miners’ rights and trade unions, or on securing equal pay for women, outlawing racial discrimination, or legalizing homosexuality: we have won those wars. In fact, much of the right supports these advances now too.

So far, not much to make us feel irresistibly compelled to argue.

But next they explain what liberalism means to them:

We have new battles to fight. These include combating climate change, securing our place on the world stage and within the global economy, and fostering a cohesive multiculturalism, free from moral relativism and enforced conformity. The left now finds itself pulled in many directions at once. This is the source of its profound identity crisis.

The intractability of the problem facing the left was made abundantly clear by the recent UK election. Constituencies such as Grimsby and Blyth voted Conservative after decades of being staunchly Labour. As Aditya Chakrabortty points out, this is largely due to changes in working class political identity:

While the party bigwigs threw their weight about, the mines and the manufacturers, the steel and the shipbuilding were snuffed out. With them went the culture of Labourism: the bolshy union stewards, the self-organised societies, most of the local newspapers. Practically any institution that might incubate a working-class provincial political identity was bulldozed.

Workers have other concerns now, and it seems they did not feel that Labour was addressing them. In areas that were long-term Labour strongholds—and which have now turned Tory—a majority of working people also voted Leave in the Brexit referendum. This points to a deep and fundamental rift that cannot easily be ignored—and some of the responses to this division highlight many of the same issues that triggered working-class support for Leave in the first place.

[Jeremy] Corbyn’s Labour Party was torn between honoring the wishes of the many working people who wanted to leave the European Union and those of its liberal and cosmopolitan supporters, who strongly supported Remain. After dithering on the issue for a couple of years, Labour finally compromised by calling for a second referendum, a solution that, by calling Mulligan on the results of the first Brexit referendum, seems not to have mollified its working class base in the least. Since then, a YouGov survey found that Labour voters were more likely to think the next Labour leader needed to be more centrist and that the general population overwhelmingly did not care for identity politics, at least in the realm of gender.

The Economist has described Labour as out of touch with the working class, particularly in the north. …

While the issue of Brexit is far more complicated than a simple left-right divide, it highlights a profound disconnect between the old, class-conscious left and the new identity-conscious (read: identity-obsessed) left. By attempting to satisfy both of them at the same time, Labour is tearing itself apart. We can also see this in the anti-Semitism that now plagues the party, which is a consequence of attempting to come to terms with postcolonial guilt by acknowledging Britain’s role in the current tensions across the Muslim world. As a result, Labour often supports conservative Muslims over liberal ones, and condones—or actively endorses—the sexism, homophobia, and antisemitism that comes along with that position, leaving British Jews in a very vulnerable position. These deep inconsistencies have led many centrist and liberal voters in the UK to believe that the Tories better represent their interests than can Labour.

These political challenges are not confined to the UK. In the US, the Democratic Party is flailing, as it attempts to satisfy both its economic and identitarian wings, in the run-up to the 2020 elections. While the majority of the left and center—and a significant part of the right—hope that a reasonable, electable presidential candidate will emerge from within the Democratic Party, they’re forced to stare wild-eyed as the vast majority of the current and past hopefuls catalogue their pronouns in their Twitter bios and declare that “the future is female” and “the future is intersectional”.

Meanwhile, the activist base—the only ones interested in these displays—write articles fixated on the identity politics surrounding these candidates. Joe Biden is just one more old, white man who needs to step aside (even though he has tremendous support among black Americans, as does that other old white man, Bernie Sanders, who is polling in second place). If you don’t support Elizabeth Warren, even as she panders endlessly to the far-left fringe, it’s because you’ve bought into systemic misogyny (or condone Trump’s allegedly racist mockery of her as “Pocahontas”). Pete Buttigieg, who would be America’s first openly gay president if he were elected, isn’t gay enough. He may be married to a man but, we’re told, he isn’t really gay because he’s straight-passing and not a queer activist. …

Note of possible relevance: Pete Buttigieg’s father, Joseph Buttigieg, translated into English the works of no less a Communist Superhero than Antonio Gramsci himself.

This leaves left-wing parties in a quandary. They need to move with the times but are currently unsure where those times are going.

“The times”, aka History, is seen by theLeft as an agent with a purposeful will. It – not human thought and action – shapes events. Human beings are the tools of History – though its ultimate purpose is their perfection. A Marxian thesis which still lingers with the Left.

Marx believed his envisioned revolution was inevitable – though also in need of action by the “revolutionary class”.

A contemporary Labour MP, Jess Phillips, believes the working class needs a Labour government, even if it is not revolutionary. She writes in the Guardian:

The truth is, there are corners of our party that have become too intolerant of challenge and debate. The truth is, there is a clique who don’t care if our appeal has narrowed, as long as they have control of the institutions and ideas of the party.

We’ve all got to discover the courage to ask the difficult questions about the future of our party and the future of the working-class communities who need a Labour government. Because the alternative is that the working-class voters who, in despair, lent the Tories their votes on Thursday, never take them back.

It is time for the left to acknowledge this wake-up call. If the election of Donald Trump in the US and the catastrophic collapse of Labour in the UK haven’t made it obvious that we have a problem, it is unclear what will. The left cannot continue to try to impose a set of ideological values held by only a tiny minority of the left-leaning public and then blame that public for not electing a left-wing government. While trying to find its footing in today’s society and address the injustices and concerns of most of its natural base, the left has fallen into the trap of listening to noisy ideologues rather than average liberal and leftist working people. How much more evidence do we need that this does not work? When will we start listening to what people overwhelmingly want—a society that meets their material needs and feels fair and ethical? When will the left commit to being liberal again?

We ask: for what do “working class communities need a Labour government”? If the (somewhat) right-wing governments elected in the United States and Britain meet their material needs – and in the US at present the Trump administration is amply doing so – and if that seems “fair and ethical” to the voters, what can a reformed right-shifted left-wing government do for them? Can such a government, with redistributionist welfare policies designed by “noisy ideologues” to achieve fairness as an ethical ideal, meet material needs more amply?  No. That’s the whole point. Planned economies do not work. Equality of wealth, equality of power, equality of talent, equality of achievement, all that is meant by “social justice”, will never be brought about by History, nor can it be made to happen by ideologues, whether noisily by revolution or silently by their gaining control of the institutions of democracies.

The Left is failing because Leftism as such, whether “liberal” in the contemporary sense (“combating climate change, securing our place on the world stage and within the global economy, and fostering a cohesive multiculturalism … meeting material needs and feeling fair and ethical”), or uncompromisingly socialist, or defiantly “identitarian”, cannot succeed.

The law, by treating all sane adults equally, may sometimes be “fair”; but nature will not be, nor History, nor any political party.

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