Do you remember the American Republic? 0

Do you remember the USA, the nation that was established by a constitution?

Perhaps you imagine it is still in existence?

It is not.

Glenn Ellmers describes the post-constitutional republic that America has become. He writes at American Greatness:

The constitutional republic created by our founders no longer exists. Most everyone on the Right seems to agree with that—though we differ about how deep the rot is, and whether we are now living under a new regime that is essentially different in kind, not merely degree.

Most of us also agree that we want to restore the American founders’ principles and institutions. …

But how exactly we recover the founders’ constitutionalism is a question no one has been able to answer with any specificity. …

Elections—and therefore consent and popular sovereignty—are no longer meaningful.

This is the big one, and in a way, everything flows from it. It is helpful to break it down into two discrete pieces.

First, even if conducted legitimately, elections no longer reflect the will of the people.

Set aside for the moment any concerns about outright fraud and ballot tampering. The steady growth of the administrative state since the 1960s means that bureaucracy has become increasingly indifferent to—even openly hostile to—the will of the people over the last half-century. A clear majority of Americans, including Democrats (at least until recently), has been demanding and voting for comprehensive immigration reform, including strict control of the border, for decades. The Republican establishment in Congress—which made its peace with the deep state some time ago—has made numerous promises to fix this problem, and broken them all, always finding a reason for “amnesty now, enforcement later.” The decision about who gets to be part of the political community was the basic principle of popular sovereignty in the founders’ social compact theory. To the degree that the elites have simply ignored the American people on this point, neither the United States as a nation nor its citizens can still be considered a sovereign people.

Of course, that is only one obvious example. In thousands of other ways, the federal bureaucracy ignores the deliberate wishes of the American people. The regulators, administrators, and policymakers in the alphabet soup of federal agencies set the rules and impose their collective will as they see fit. Regardless of who the people repeatedly elect to reform the system, those politicians and their agendas come and go; the permanent government persists.

Yet even this has not been enough for the leftist oligarchy. Trump’s election in 2016 scared the establishment into taking even more extreme measures to prevent “unacceptable” electoral outcomes. Which leads to the latest antidemocratic development.

Second, elections now represent “manufactured consent”.

Mollie Hemingway showed in her excellent book, Rigged, that the technically legal though unscrupulous maneuvers undertaken by the Left—including legacy and social media propaganda and censorship, last-minute changes to election laws, and private money poured into partisan “voter education” efforts—were more than enough to alter the outcome of the 2020 election.

This new reality became even clearer this month. The highly manipulative practice of ballot harvesting—which reached new lows of cynicism in the recent midterms—makes a mockery of elections as an expression of popular deliberation and rational will. … The Democrats didn’t beat back the red wave because the voters chose them; they won by choosing their voters. It is hard to see how elections under these circumstances are substantially different from the artificial voting rituals practiced by the “people’s republics”, i.e., communist regimes of the 20th century.

The idea that the founders’ institutional arrangements still obtain is a nostalgic fiction today—especially the idea of checks and balances based on federalism and the separation of powers.

As a treatise on constitutional government, The Federalist is and will always be a classic work of political science, with many enduring insights. … [But] what Publius describes about the functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches—as well as the countervailing powers of the states—has almost no connection with current reality.

Congress doesn’t write, the executive does not enforce, and the judiciary does not interpret the laws. Power and wealth have become massively centralized in Washington, D.C. Federalism, judicial review, executive authority, the legislative process, appropriations—none of this remains operational in a way James Madison would recognize. And now, the country’s most powerful corporations are in active collusion with the federal security apparatus to enforce the regime’s authority. That’s practically the definition of fascism.

Political competence, in the traditional sense, is becoming irrelevant. 

Ignore the current spat between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. A bitter nomination fight would only benefit the opposition. What’s important to note is that any attempt by a Republican president to control his own (nominal) employees in the executive branch would require talents that neither Trump nor DeSantis has demonstrated. In fact, if confronting today’s administrative state, it isn’t clear how even a Lincoln or a Churchill would have exercised effective statesmanship. We are in a post-constitutional, even a post-political, environment.

For all his flaws, Donald Trump at least recognized that defending the sovereignty of the people (the most fundamental and meaningful definition of Americanism) meant striking at the legitimacy of the administrative state, especially its assumptions of rational expert knowledge. Trump correctly perceived that mockery and derision were effective, if indelicate, tools for challenging this hubris.

But Trump erred grievously in thinking he could accomplish everything he wanted on his own. The art of the deal doesn’t work when the other side holds almost all the cards. Trump underestimated this situation. And he was simply foolish and vain in thinking he could overcome it on the strength of his abilities alone and ignoring his duty to fill every available appointment with people loyal to—and willing to fight for—his agenda.

A DeSantis presidency, meanwhile, would have to recognize that while executive experience as a governor was once the ideal training ground for the Oval Office, this is much less true today. To whatever degree overweening bureaucracy has infiltrated the states, the governor of Florida does not have to deal with a national security machine that sets its own foreign policy, abuses classification rules, and engages in shameless leaking to a compliant national press; a Justice Department that weaponizes the resources and capacities of the FBI to undermine an elected president; and a veritable nation of unfireable (for now) subordinates long habituated to regarding themselves as the true representatives of the public will.

Yet DeSantis has shown better instincts than Trump in backing up his words with actions, especially in his willingness to punish powerful opponents, like Disney, when they needed it.

It remains to be seen how either man could translate his virtues, and overcome his shortcomings, to exercise the power of the presidency creatively, with cunning, subtlety, and ruthless determination, in ways that pursue the goals of constitutionalism even while understanding that the old forms no longer apply.

Moreover, any president seeking to restore constitutional government would need large majorities in both houses of Congress committed to reform far more seriously than the current Republican leadership seems to be. This partnership would not involve traditional legislative log-rolling, but would require an alliance in a quasi-political street fight, probably leading to a constitutional crisis, to bring the bureaucracy to heel. It is a big ask to expect congressional leaders who would even understand how this would occur, let alone have the will actually to do it. Massive challenges await at every turn. …

By carrying on with retail politics and accepting the current situation as normal, people on the Right are now legitimizing and strengthening their enemies. 

This may be the hardest pill to swallow.

Our current woke oligarchy becomes more fanatical every month, yet instead of getting weaker or provoking a popular backlash, it seems to grow ever stronger. In part, this is because the elites have maintained a semblance of institutional normalcy. No matter how extreme its policies—COVID lockdowns, chemical or surgical castration of children, open borders—the ruling class carries on with a kind of constitutional kabuki theater. Citizens (or rather “people”) vote, Congress meets and passes “laws”, the president pontificates and signs documents. It is largely just a performance; it certainly doesn’t resemble government functioning as the founders intended. But it looks close enough to the real thing to persuade many people that the situation, if not perfect, is at least tolerable. There is just enough veneer of Our Democracy™ to keep most citizens from acting on their dissatisfactions and justified fears.

But the longer this goes on, and the more phoniness people are willing to tolerate, the more the whole rotten edifice becomes accepted as legitimate. At some point, the people will have consented, by their acquiescence, to anything the regime decides to do. Soon, one suspects, our left-wing masters won’t find it necessary to keep up the charade.

That’s why I disagree with those who say we should simply go tit-for-tat with the Democrats. Julie Kelly and Scott McKay, among others, believe that Republicans need to adopt the Democrats’ ballot harvesting techniques in order to beat them at their own game. In the same vein, Ned Ryun argues, “If conservatives and Republicans want to win again, we had better adopt the only-ballots-matter approach at least in the short term or die. . . . This is now the modern-day political battlefield in America, the rules of the game. One can either howl at the moon about it or beat the Left at it.”

Look, I get it. Nevertheless, this strikes me as a bad idea—practically, theoretically, and morally.

    • Practically, we can never hope to match the maniacal zeal of the Left, which invests millenarian expectations in politics, and is thus always driven to do whatever it takes to win. Acknowledging this does not mean giving up and letting them win. But it does mean recognizing that in a race to the bottom, the Left will always get there first. And having fought tooth and nail to see who can go lower, what do we do when we reach the bottom?
    • Theoretically, this means we will be participating in altering the essential meaning and purpose of elections. Representative, deliberative democracy will become the technocratic accumulation of votes—a clickbait contest that rewards whichever side can best wage computerized demographic warfare.
    • Morally, we will then lose any claim that we are trying to recover genuine self-government. If the argument is that we need to descend to the Democrats’ level in order to gain power, one might ask, “Why not just cut to the chase and skip the empty, meaningless process?” If power really becomes the only object, and neither side really believes in consent, then the entire pretense will fade away soon enough anyway.

Accepting, even “in the short term”, the regime’s authority to perpetually rewrite the rules of the game is the true surrender. They will always win if we repeatedly acquiesce to their legitimacy, chasing after what they define as normal on their terms. Worse, there won’t be a republic in the long term worth having.

I know that what I am painting here is a pretty bleak picture. But while it reveals a rough road in the short term, I don’t think it necessarily dictates long-term despair, in part because there are certain truths about political life that the Left cannot change.

Ellmers then “offer[s] some ideas about what has not changed, which might provide some grounds for optimism”, including “human nature”! But with that section of his article I disagree. I don’t think human nature or anything else he points to provides grounds for optimism.  Quite the contrary.

Spokesman of our ruin 1

(From New English Review, November 2022)

It is not easy to make out what Slavoj Zizek means to say. While he comments interminably on everything under the sun, he is barely intelligible. Yet, paradoxically, it is he who makes plain what we urgently need to know about our bewildering and frightening world: that our world is meant to be bewildering and frightening.

At home in Slovenia, where he lives on state welfare support, he is no more than a senior researcher at the University of Ljubljana’s Institute of Sociology, but further west he is more highly valued. He is a professor at the European Graduate School and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at the University of London. Despite the extreme hostility he expresses towards the United States—or because of it—he is Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University and has been a visiting professor at Princeton and numerous other American universities including Chicago, Columbia, Minnesota, Michigan, and UC Irvine. His many prestigious appointments, TV and speaker engagements must bring him a respectable income, but it is apparently not enough for quality replacements of the slovenly T-shirts he habitually wears and continually tweaks and plucks as if for relief from discomfort.

He ran for the presidency of Slovenia in 1990, unsuccessfully. He does not, however, need to be active as a politician to have a political effect. He is one of those intellectuals whose pernicious influence on fellow academics, and consequently on rising generations of students, do profound harm by denigrating freedom and commending tyranny. Typically, he derives pleasure from rebelling and shocking, in the irresponsible spirit of adolescence, though he is now seventy-three years old. His fans applaud him with the hideous glee of spoilt children. He is the darling of television chat shows and organs of the left such as The Guardian newspaper and the New Yorker. A characteristic “look at me how daring I am” statement he made on TV in New York was: “Everybody in the world except US citizens should be allowed to elect the American government.”

In the style of the enfant terrible, he likes to shock by inverting conventional values. What to most of us is good he denounces as bad, what is abhorred he praises as good. This, to his admirers, proves him witty, brave, original and profound. What he really is, is an intellectual clown, partly by intention (he does have a sense of humor) but compulsively anyway because that is his nature. He is uncouth, uncivil—again most likely by both will and character. “Do you want some f*cking  fruit-juice?” he asks an interviewer in a video.

When he appears personally before an audience or a camera he is entertaining, even fascinating. He creates an atmosphere of excitement and drama, which makes him a popular participant in panel discussions. He waffles and rambles with magisterial conviction. The word “precisely” crops up repeatedly in his imprecise statements like a decorative motif. He gestures, he snuffles; he swipes and pulls his nose again and again as if it is from there that he derives his ideas and it is his nose that is the paradigmatic philosopher of the age. Audiences are charmed, so they allow him his arrogance, his show-off iconoclasm.

When he is read rather than watched and heard, his reckless assertions are less likely to be indulged—if they can be deciphered. He writes in the customary opaque language of the left. For example: “To put it simply [sic]: If we make an abstraction, if we subtract all the richness of the different modes of subjectivization, all the fullness of experience present in the way individuals are ‘living’ their subject-positions, what remains is an empty place which was filled with this richness; this original void, this lack of symbolic structure, is the subject.” [1]

The only meaning I can extract from this is that if you take everything out of something, it will be empty. For this we need a philosopher?

He declares himself to be a communist. His heroes are Marx, Hegel, and Lenin. He acknowledges the intellectual influence of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault. Their repulsive ideas, enthusiastically endorsed and handed on by academics in America, were given a new lease of life by late-comer Zizek, whose country had been sleeping for decades under the spell of communism. Most East Europeans woke happily in the dawn of freedom after the fall of the Soviet Union, and many of them brought new vigor to the decadent spirit of the West. But here comes one who lived under the oppression of communism and yet is nostalgic for it; who idealizes cruelty and suffering; who abominates freedom—while making use of it to build a lucrative reputation as its implacable enemy.

His stardom among leftist academic peers is due to his wishing even worse evils upon us than did Lacan, whose psychoanalytic therapy consisted of trying to drive his patients insane; or Foucault, who wrote of “the joy of torture,” longed to carry out human sacrifice, and taught that cruelty should be a perpetual condition of existence, so that life would be the experience of unmitigated pain, hate and aggression. Zizek praises extreme sadism, terrorism, motiveless murder, and delights in crime. Only crime, he declares, is “authentically ethical” because it subverts the coercion of law. He revels in the suffering of other people, so the more horrific the crime is, the more pleasure it gives him. He adores suicide bombing. He loved the planes crashing into the Twin Towers on 9/11; they gave him an aesthetic thrill. America he calls “the enemy.” Anyone—any state, any terrorist, any traitor—who acts against America is laudable. (While he maintains that torture is good, he reviles the American soldiers who—he says—tortured Iraqi military prisoners at Abu Ghraib.) He wants all people everywhere to live in fearful obedience to totalitarian despotism. Voluntary subordination to an “authentic Leader,” he preaches, is “the highest act of freedom. [2] So if you are free, the best use you can make of your freedom is to choose to be unfree.

Most political philosophers on the left now perceive Western civilization not as a protector of liberty but as a patriarchal tyranny. They want us to believe that they are humane revolutionaries; that the subversion they applaud, the insurrection they encourage, the injustice they excuse, are to liberate the wretched of the earth: the enslaved, the oppressed, the poor, the colonized, the dispossessed, the persecuted; slaves, workers, women, lunatics, prisoners, aborigines … They want us to trust that they are striving for the eventual freedom, prosperity and happiness of the entire human race; that their apparent heartlessness is disguised compassion. Schools and universities teach their ideology with its utopian claim, and generations grow up believing in it. So Europe lets itself be invaded by Islam; the Biden administration permits black racists and their white abettors to riot and burn and murder in American cities for months on end; the Greens impose impoverishing conditions; universities oppose free speech.

Slavoj Zizek neither offers nor predicts utopia. He is volubly against freedom, prosperity, and happiness. He wants us all to be in perpetual anguish. He wants us to be in chains. He propounds atrocious ideals of subjugation and suffering without end. And the universities embrace him for it.

“Don’t take him seriously. You know he is a clown. He doesn’t really mean it,” his apologists may say. But we must take him seriously, because Zizek the Clown is the spokesman of our ruin.

 

Notes

[1] The Sublime Object of Ideology by Slavoj Zizek, Verso, London 1989, pp.174-175
[2] Did Somebody say Totalitarianism? Five Interventions on the (Mis)use of a Notion by Slavoj Zizek, Verso, London 2001, pp.246-247

 

Jillian Becker

 

Two nations: the disunited state of America 1

The weak showing of the Republican Party in the recent elections [November 8, 2022] should not have come as the shock that it did. Because the elections confirmed what all the world knows: there is a chasm between Left and Right in America.

Kurt Schlichter writes at Townhall:

Much of America is more liberal than we want to accept, and a whole lot of Americans are willing to tolerate the garbage policies Democrats push. Some people just don’t want freedom – they liked the COVID crap and support woke fascism. There are a lot of these people, though not in Florida, and liberals are gonna liberal no matter how poor and miserable that makes them and everyone else.

As he says, there are a lot of these people. Apparently half the electorate. Which means there are now TWO NATIONS between sea and shining sea.

Trump is being blamed not only by the Left which routinely blames him for everything but by disappointed Republicans for choosing and supporting bad candidates.

Trump certainly should own the losses of the candidates he pushed in the primaries … just as he takes the accolades for the ones who won. … There’s no sugarcoating it – Trump was a huge loser yesterday.

Yet at the same time it’s widely acknowledged that the quality of candidates doesn’t matter.

They say candidates matter, of course, but how much do they really? The fact is that Pennsylvania elected a bizarre ogre.
Here’s the thing – party allegiance is enduring in ways it never used to be. That Fetterman won is an indicator. You vote for that freak of nature only if you are purely partisan. … Appeals pointing out the fact that Fetterman is a mutant did not get it done. Sure he’s a mutant, they thought, but he’s our mutant.

Yes, because Americans are divided, and between the two sides there is an unbridgeable chasm.

Posted under United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 10, 2022

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President Trump is the only great leader of our time 4

No one but Donald Trump can save America and the world.

It is lucky for America and the world that he exists. He is our last chance. If the power of the presidency is withheld from him a second time, it will be one of the great tragedies of history.

Some Republican pundits say that Governor Ron DeSantis should be the GOP’s candidate for the presidency in 2024 rather than Donald Trump. They are wrong. DeSantis is conservative and competent, but he is not a political genius. Donald Trump is a political genius.

Paul Ingrassia writes at American Greatness:

When it becomes safe to take a position on a once controversial issue (i.e., wokeism), only then will DeSantis latch on. Compare this with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric about locking up illegals; forcing Mexico to pay for the wall; locking up Hillary Clinton for her corruption; implementing a complete and total shutdown of all Muslim immigration until we figure out what the hell is going on. These statements were powerful, and memorable, because the ideas behind them were not circulating until the words flowed from Trump’s lips. He alone was responsible for moving the Overton Window on these questions.

Trump remains the only candidate who does not frame himself in reaction to an existing agenda, but proactively sets the agenda himself. For all his fame, DeSantis is still but an offspring of the MAGA movement. If DeSantis were truly a kingmaker, he would have launched an attack on the Republican establishment, deeming Biden part of an illegitimate establishment, and explicitly called on both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to step down to pave the way for better leaders. Figuring himself a would-be presidential candidate, DeSantis would break ranks with his party and attack the national security state head-on, calling for a negotiated settlement with Vladimir Putin. He would expel from state borders any federal agents who willfully circumvent due process and raid the homes of political adversaries with impunity. DeSantis would also recognize the gravity of the political moment, if he were worthy of the title, and make sure that his and President Trump’s interests were perfectly in line. Deference to Trump should be expected out of respect for what DeSantis owes to him and out of recognition that the state of the country depends on these two men operating in sync. …

The Grand Old Party would have gone the way of the Whigs had Trump not risen to the occasion in 2015 and taken that ride down the escalator. It is only proper now that Republicans, DeSantis included, put to one side any reservations they harbor about Trump, and in humility support the only man who made American Greatness the center of his movement.

And Matthew Boyle at Breitbart writes:

Former President Donald Trump told Breitbart News that conservative victories in Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and more are proof that the “great movement” he leads is spreading worldwide.

“The whole thing is a great movement that’s taken place and now it’s happening all over the world,” Trump said … “It’s a very simple movement: Give us borders, give us safe streets, we don’t want crime, give us good education, give us dignity and give us respect as a nation. It’s not complicated.”

Asked if he thinks these global wins against globalism are foreshadowing a looming American victory against globalism, like what happened in 2016, Trump said, “I think it is.”

“They saw what happened to me, they saw what happened to our country and now they’re comparing it to what’s happening with the Biden administration,” Trump said. “We had no inflation. We had the hottest economy ever in the history of the world prior to the virus coming in. Then I built it back up a second time. The stock market was higher than just before the virus coming in. They saw what we did and they saw the movement. It really became big. We started it—and it became very big. It’s happening here again. It’s happening now again because people see the results of the open borders and the stupidity taking place, the crime. All of the things that are happening in our country, other countries are watching.”

Trump [in his interview with Breitbart News] noted correctly that his domestic endorsement record “was close to 99 percent in the primaries and we’ll do great in the general elections too” …

The Republican Party is largely Trumpean now.

Trump has also been getting active in international endorsements, first helping deliver a victory earlier this year to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and helping Bolsonaro in Brazil. …

Americans who see the world like he does, Trump added, “should be excited” as they are watching this play out around the world.

“It’s a great thing and it’s a great tribute to common sense—not only conservatism but just common sense,” Trump said. “A lot of what we do and what we preach and what we believe in is common sense.”

President Trump can save America. And by doing so, he would save the Western world.

If his Party wins both the House and the Senate in the coming elections – which it is likely to do – hope for our civilization will revive.

Posted under Brazil, Capitalism, Conservatism, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, October 31, 2022

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Do conservatives need to change into radical revolutionaries? 6

Are American conservatives trying to conserve what no longer exists?

John Daniel Davidson, writing at The Federalist, declares that to be the case.

His article is titled We Need To Stop Calling Ourselves Conservatives. Why? Because “the conservative project has failed, and conservatives need to forge a new political identity that reflects our revolutionary moment”.

He argues that –

Conservatives have long defined their politics in terms of what they wish to conserve or preserve — individual rights, family values, religious freedom, and so on. Conservatives, we are told, want to preserve the rich traditions and civilizational achievements of the past, pass them on to the next generation, and defend them from the left. In America, conservatives and classical liberals alike rightly believe an ascendent left wants to dismantle our constitutional system and transform America into a woke dystopia. The task of conservatives, going back many decades now, has been to stop them.

In an earlier era, this made sense. There was much to conserve. But any honest appraisal of our situation today renders such a definition absurd. After all, what have conservatives succeeded in conserving? In just my lifetime, they have lost much: marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years, the First Amendment, any semblance of control over our borders, a fundamental distinction between men and women, and, especially of late, the basic rule of law. …

He maintains that “conservatism used to be about maintaining traditions and preserving Western civilization as a living and vibrant thing” but “Western civilization is dying” – is effectively already dead, and “you cannot preserve or defend something that is dead”.

The traditions and practices that conservatives champion are, at best, being preserved only in an ever-shrinking private sphere. At worst, they are being trampled to dust. They certainly do not form the basis of our common culture or civic life, as they did for most of our nation’s history. …

So what kind of politics should conservatives today, as inheritors of a failed movement, adopt? For starters, they should stop thinking of themselves as conservatives (much less as Republicans) and start thinking of themselves as radicals, restorationists, and counterrevolutionaries. Indeed, that is what they are, whether they embrace those labels or not.

He recalls Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “periodic revolution to preserve liberty and civil society has always been and always will be necessary”.

He is  convinced that it is necessary now.

The imperative that conservatives must break from the past and forge a new political identity cannot be overstated. It is time now for something new, for a new way of thinking and speaking about what conservative politics should be.

He dates “the end of  Republican politics as we knew it” from the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016. That event “heralded a populist wave and … we are in uncharted waters”. He does not see Trump’s populism as a solution to the terrible change that the West has undergone.

Put bluntly, if conservatives want to save the country they are going to have to rebuild and in a sense re-found it, and that means getting used to the idea of wielding power, not despising it. Why? Because accommodation or compromise with the left is impossible. …

The left will only stop when conservatives stop them, which means conservatives will have to discard outdated and irrelevant notions about “small government.” The government will have to become, in the hands of conservatives, an instrument of renewal in American life — and in some cases, a blunt instrument indeed.

To stop Big Tech, for example, will require using antitrust powers to break up the largest Silicon Valley firms. To stop universities from spreading poisonous ideologies will require state legislatures to starve them of public funds. To stop the disintegration of the family might require reversing the travesty of no-fault divorce, combined with generous subsidies for families with small children. Conservatives need not shy away from making these arguments because they betray some cherished libertarian fantasy about free markets and small government. It is time to clear our minds of cant.

In other contexts, wielding government power will mean a dramatic expansion of the criminal code. It will not be enough, for example, to reach an accommodation with the abortion regime, to agree on “reasonable limits” on when unborn human life can be snuffed out with impunity. As Abraham Lincoln once said of slavery, we must become all one thing or all the other. The Dobbs decision was in a sense the end of the beginning of the pro-life cause. Now comes the real fight, in state houses across the country, to outlaw completely the barbaric practice of killing the unborn.

Conservatives had better be ready for it, and Republican politicians, if they want to stay in office, had better have an answer ready when they are asked what reasonable limits to abortion restrictions they would support. The answer is: none, for the same reason they would not support reasonable limits to restrictions on premeditated murder.

On the transgender question, conservatives will …  need to get comfortable saying … that Drag Queen Story Hour should be outlawed; that parents who take their kids to drag shows should be arrested and charged with child abuse; that doctors who perform so-called “gender-affirming” interventions should be thrown in prison and have their medical licenses revoked; and that teachers who expose their students to sexually explicit material should not just be fired but be criminally prosecuted.

If all that sounds radical, fine. It need not, at this late hour, dissuade conservatives in the least. Radicalism is precisely the approach needed now because the necessary task is nothing less than radical and revolutionary.

To those who worry that power corrupts, and that once the right seizes power it too will be corrupted, they certainly have a point. If conservatives manage to save the country and rebuild our institutions, will they ever relinquish power and go the way of Cincinnatus? It is a fair question, and we should attend to it with care after we have won the war.

For now, there are only two paths open to conservatives. Either they awake from decades of slumber to reclaim and re-found what has been lost, or they will watch our civilization die. There is no third road.

While it would not be hard to make a confirming case that “marriage as it has been understood for thousands of years, the First Amendment, any semblance of control over our borders, a fundamental distinction between men and women, and, especially of late, the basic rule of law” are “lost”; and “that Drag Queen Story Hour should be outlawed; that parents who take their kids to drag shows should be arrested and charged with child abuse; that doctors who perform so-called ‘gender-affirming’ interventions should be thrown in prison and have their medical licenses revoked; and that teachers who expose their students to sexually explicit material should not just be fired but be criminally prosecuted”, other assertions of his need more examination.

Is Western civilization effectively dead?

Is the idea of small government outdated and irrelevant?

Is the idea of a free market economy nothing more than an unrealizable “cherished fantasy”?

Should divorce be made harder?

Should abortion be totally forbidden in all circumstances?

Above all, if conservatives “awake from decades of slumber to reclaim and re-found what has been lost” will the strong exercise of political power – which he recommends as the remedy – be enough to resuscitate Western civilization?

If it is too late for traditional conservatism to recover the values that have been discarded, would authoritarian government be a new development of Western civilization or would it be a replacement of it with its opposite – Oriental style, Chinese Communist Party style, dictatorship?

If that is the only way to re-establish the rule of law, be rid of same-sex “marriage”, restore the efficacy of the First Amendment, re-seal our borders, save children from forced mutilation and sterilization for the profit of doctors and from racist indoctrination by teachers, then yes, Western civilization is already dead.

There is no third choice between liberty and tyranny.   

Against religion 8

“When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity.

When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.”

– Robert M. Pirsig

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“Seeing no reason to believe is sufficient reason not to believe.”

– Karl Popper

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“Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.”

– Eric Hoffer  Reflections on the Human Condition

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“The theory that you should always treat the religious convictions of other people with respect finds no support in the Gospels.”

– Arnold Lunn

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“By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth & life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared ‘abruptly’.”

– Newsweek, June 29, 1987

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“Today, the theory of evolution is an accepted fact for everyone but a fundamentalist minority, whose objections are based not on reasoning but on doctrinaire adherence to religious principles.”

– Dr. James D. Watson, winner of the Nobel prize for his co-discovery of the structure of DNA

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“When I hear them praying extra loud, I always go out and check the lock on the smokehouse.”

– Harry Truman

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“There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing and predatory as it is – in our country particularly, and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree – it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime – the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor His Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt.”

– Mark Twain  Reflections on Religion

==================================

“In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

– Mark Twain

         ==================================

“George Washington though he belonged to the Episcopal church, never mentioned Christ in any of his writings and he was a deist.”

– Richard Shenkman  I love Paul Revere, whether He Rode or Not

==================================

“Think how great a proportion of Mankind consists of weak and ignorant Men and Women, and of inexperienc’d Youth of both Sexes, who have need of the Motives of Religion to restrain them from Vice, to support their Virtue, and retain them in the Practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great Point for its Security.”

– Benjamin Franklin

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“A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism.”

– Rev. Donald Morgan, theologian

==================================

“Atheism has one doctrine: To Question.

Atheism has one dogma: To Doubt.

The Atheist Bible has but one word and that word is, ‘THINK’.”

– Emmet F. Fields

==================================

“Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.

Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there’s an INVISIBLE MAN…LIVING IN THE SKY … who watches every thing you do, every minute of every day.

And the invisible man has a list of ten special things that he does not want you to do.

And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry for ever and ever ’til the end of time … but he loves you.”

– George Carlin, Brain Droppings

==================================

“As an historian, I confess to a certain amusement when I hear the Judeo-Christian tradition praised as the source of our present-day concern for human rights. That is, for the valuable idea that all individuals everywhere are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on this earth.

In fact, the great religious ages were notable for their indifference to human rights in the contemporary sense.

They were notorious not only for acquiescence in poverty, inequality, exploitation, and oppression, but also for enthusiastic justification of slavery, persecution, abandonment of small children, torture, and genocide.

          – Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

==================================

“Why have those countries with a strong Church-State alliance displayed such an eagerness to enforce religious dogmas and eliminate dissent through the power of the state?

Why has Christianity refused, whenever possible, to allow its beliefs to compete in a free marketplace of ideas?

The answer is obvious and revealing.

Christianity is peddling an inferior product, one that cannot withstand critical investigation.

Unable to compete favorably with other theories, it has sought to gain a monopoly through a state franchise, which means: through the use of force.”

– George H. Smith, from Atheism: The Case Against God

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“The Bible tells us to be like God, and then on page after page it describes God as a mass murderer.

This may be the single most important key to the political behavior of Western Civilization.”

– Robert Anton Wilson, Right Where You Are Sitting Now

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“So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would neither be created nor destroyed… it would simply be.

What place, then, for a creator?”

– Stephen Hawking

==================================

“No theory is too false, no fable too absurd, no superstition too degrading for acceptance when it has become embedded in common belief.

Men will submit themselves to torture and to death, mothers will immolate their children at the bidding of beliefs they thus accept.”

– Henry George

==================================

“Convicts register their religious affiliation when they’re processed into prison.

And about 99.5% of the huge U.S.A. prison population consists of inmates who identified themselves as members of religious denominations.”

– Gene M. Kasmar

==================================

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God.

It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”

– Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

==================================

“The history of intellectual progress is written in the lives of infidels.”

– Robert Green  Ingersoll, The Great Infidels (Most probably America’s greatest orator.)

==================================

“According to the theologians, God prepared this globe expressly for the habitation of his loved children, and yet he filled the forests with ferocious beasts; placed serpents in every path; stuffed the world with earthquakes, and adorned its surface with mountains of flame.

Notwithstanding all this, we are told that the world is perfect; that it was created by a perfect being, and is therefore necessarily perfect.

The next moment, these same persons will tell us that the world was cursed; covered with brambles, thistles and thorns, and that man was doomed to disease and death, simply because our poor, dear mother ate an apple contrary to the command of an arbitrary God.”

– Robert Green Ingersoll, The Gods

==================================

“If you don’t think that logic is a good method for determining what to believe, make an attempt to convince me of that without using logic.”

          – Brett Lemoine

==================================

“The idea that a good God would send people to a burning Hell is utterly damnable to me. The ravings of insanity! Superstition gone to seed!

I don’t want to have anything to do with such a God. No avenging Jewish God, no satanic devil, no fiery hell is of any interest to me.”

– Luther Burbank, address to Science League of San Francisco, Dec. 1924

==================================

“Should one continue to base one’s life on a system of belief that–for all its occasional wisdom and frequent beauty–is demonstrably untrue?”

– Charles Templeton, former right-hand man to Billy Graham, in Farewell to God

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“I’m firmly convinced Michael Carneal is a Christian. He’s a sinner, yes, but not an atheist.”

– Rev. Paul Donner, of the St. Paul Lutheran Church, Paducah, Ky., describing accused mass murderer Michael Carneal, 14, in contrast to early reports.

==================================

“The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable.

A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration.

The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.”

– Bertrand Russell

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“Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people.

For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.”

– Albert Einstein, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray.

==================================

“If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy.”

– Marquis de Lafayette

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“Here and there in the midst of American society you meet with men full of a fanatical and almost wild spiritualism, which hardly exists in Europe.

From time to time strange sects arise which endeavor to strike out extraordinary paths to eternal happiness.

Religious insanity is very common in the United States.”

– Alexis de Tocqueville

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“I fight fire with fire. You shouldn’t treat a crazy religious cult with kid gloves.”

– Ian Plimer, Melbourne University  Professor of  Geology, in reference to legal action challenging the existence of Noah’s Ark

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“The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking.

Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent — slimy, sneaking and abominable.

Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man.

It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions.

It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.”

– Henry Louis “H.L.” Mencken

==================================

“Heretics have been hated from the beginning of recorded time; they have been ostracized, exiled, tortured, maimed and butchered; but it has generally proved impossible to smother them; and when it has not, the society that has succeeded has always declined.”

          – Judge Learned Hand

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“Gods are creatures of the human imagination.

Faith in imaginary beings does not prove their existence.

Passionate devotion to a faith does not prove it to be true.”

– Jillian Becker

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“All laws and moral rules are man-made.”

– Jillian Becker

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“Many a belief can survive persecution but not critical examination.”

– Jillian Becker

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“The barbaric religions of primitive worlds hold not a germ of scientific fact, though they claim to explain all.

Yet if one of these savages has all the logical ground for his beliefs taken away, he doesn’t stop believing.

He then calls his mistaken beliefs ‘faith’ because he knows they are right.

And he knows they are right because he has faith.”

– Harry Harrison, said by a character in his novel Deathworld

==================================

“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”

 – Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

Posted under Atheism, Christianity, Judaism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Sunday, October 9, 2022

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The West at sunset 4

A multitude of enlightened Europeans cultivated reason, and built a culture that was innovative, prosperous, powerful, and humane.

Their descendants long to destroy it.

Rebels from and against the prosperous educated classes – scholars, philosophers, politicians – have been teaching generations to intoxicate themselves with fantasies of destruction, spoliation, and atrocity that can and do inspire real events of horror, suffering, and death. Now the destroyers have triumphed. Their dark vision prevails.

In its degeneracy, the West has become libertine and lewd, obsessed with sex. Sexual intercourse is no longer venerated as the vital activity for the continued existence of the family, the tribe, the nation,  the culture, the race. That purpose has been stripped away from it. Now all sexual activity is for fun only. Sterility is required. If a child is conceived, it is best aborted. Abortion has become a venerated rite. Children who do get born are groomed to gratify the sexual desires of adults. They are taught pornography and are sexually mutilated and sterilized. Sexual perversion is celebrated in street carnivals called “Pride”. Uncovered genitals are publicly displayed. Homosexuals “marry” each other. Marriage between a man and a woman is unpopular and preferably barren.

The white race is dying out. Intent on obliterating its past and not caring for the future, it is giving way to migrating hordes of aliens.

Giulio Meotti writes at Gatestone.

“The Western world has provided more wealth and convenience to more citizens than any other civilization in history. We are practically inundated with resources, but we are running out of people, the only truly indispensable resource.”

He reports the demographic facts:

In 2021, Europe’s population shrank by 1.4 million. …

Fewer babies will be born in all of Europe than in Nigeria alone.

In Europe, “at the rate at which things are going, the population will have halved before 2070, with the continent at risk of losing 400 million inhabitants by 2100,” noted James Pomeroy, an economist at China’s HSBC bank. …

In the next four minutes 1,000 children will be born: 172 in India, 103 in China, 57 in Nigeria, 47 in Pakistan — but in all of Europe, only 52.

Other civilizations are also dying. Meotti surveys the enormous and decisive demographic changes that are happening now in Asia, Africa, America, as well as Europe:

Two-thirds of the world’s people live in a country where the fertility rate is below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman.

China’s population is projected to decline by 6 million per year in the mid-2040s and by 12 million per year by the end of the 2050s, the largest slump ever recorded in a country’s history. China’s population will halve over the next 45 years and it will become a very old country: its GDP will contract as never before and society will have to manage an aging population it never before encountered.

Japan’s unprecedented aging is having a frightening impact on its military. Since 1994, the number of young people between 18 and 26 — the age for recruitment — has been dwindling. Between 1994 and 2015, there was a fall off of 11 million, or 40%. “Japan no longer has people to wage war,” wrote Forbes. For the first time, the Japanese bought more diapers for adults than for babies.

“The decline in births in South Korea has become a challenge to national security,” the Wall Street Journal reported in 2019. “Fewer young people are around for military service. That is why Seoul officials said that South Korea’s army will shrink to half a million, from the current total of 600,000 by 2022.”

“Taiwan has long lived with the terrifying prospect of an invasion of China, but one of the biggest threats to its security lies from within: the lowest birth rates in the world”, noted the Telegraph. Taiwan today claims the lowest birth rate in the world; by 2050 it will have just 20 million inhabitants,  the average age rising to 57 from 39 today. Taiwan might be so irrelevant that perhaps China will not even have to invade it.

The same downturn is expected in Italy, where the population will reportedly halve in 50 years. This year in Italy, 121,000 fewer students will enter school than last year, and 2,300 classes will disappear. Last year, there were 100,000 fewer students and 196 schools were closed. The previous year, 177 schools were shuttered, and 124 the year before that. Every year Italy loses 1-2% of its pupils. From 7.4 million students (latest available data: 2021), the number will supposedly drop by 2034 to 6 million in “waves” of 110-120,000 fewer students each year. During the last eight years, according to data published by the ministry, 1,301 schools have shut, representing 13.3% of the 9,769 schools that are still active.

This crisis is not a projection, it is happening right now. By 2050, 60% of Italians will have no brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles or aunts. The Italian family, with the father who pours the wine and the mother who serves the pasta to a table of grandparents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will be gone, as extinct as dinosaurs.

Yemen, on the other hand, a failed country in the middle of a terrible civil war, will show a population increase that is double Italy’s. [Despite the coming famine?-ed.]

In the north-central African Sahel region, the population is expected to reach 330 million, seven times its population of 2000. Egypt will reach 190 million. Algeria will go from the current 42 to 72 million (most of whom will likely head for Europe). Morocco will grow from 36 million to 43 million.

So, the “old Europe” will find itself facing a North Africa of 318 million inhabitants, not counting those residing beneath the immense sub-Saharan plateau. In France today, 29.6% of the population aged 0 – 4 is of non-European origin, compared to 17.1% percent aged 18-24. Non-Europeans are also 18.8% percent in those aged 40 -44; 7.6% aged 60-64, and 3.1% for those over 80, according to the national statistics institute, Insee. The institute also recently examined the last three generations in France: 16.2% of all children between the ages of 0- 4 are children or grandchildren of North African origin; 7.3% are from the rest of Africa, and 4% are from Asia. …

Pakistan will become a young cauldron of 403 million people, almost the same as the population of the entire European Union (448 million); and its youth will go to the “stans” that will have been created around Europe. Afghanistan, one of the largest geopolitical black holes after the US withdrawal last summer, will double its population to 64 million.

What will Poland build to keep out the mass of people who will press on the external borders of the EU? Eastern Europe will collapse in a terrifying picture. Romania will lose 22% of its population, followed by Moldova (20%), Lithuania (17%), Croatia (16%) and Hungary (16%). Le Monde cries that today Central and Eastern Europe are “confronted with the anguish of disappearance”.

Bulgaria, which went from 9 million inhabitants in the 1990s to 6.8 million in 2022, could have only 5.2 million in 2050. Serbia had 8 million inhabitants in collapse [sic] of the iron curtain. It currently has 7.2 million and could drop to 5.8 million in thirty years. Over the same period, the population of Lithuania could plummet from 3.8 million to 2.2 million, that of Latvia from 2.7 million to 1.4 million.”

Germany as we know it is, according to Die Zeit, disappearing: “22 million people, or more than a quarter of the population, are from another country or have parents born outside Germany”. … In Frankfurt, the first German city where Germans became a minority, 15% of the population is of Turkish origin. …

Russia is [territorially]the largest country on earth, full of natural resources, yet it is dying: its population is declining disastrously. Vladimir Putin will no longer be Russia’s president when his country will have lost approximately 15 million inhabitants, and a third to a half of those remaining will be Muslims. “Is Russia afraid of disappearing?” was the question asked in the weekly Le Point by Bruno Tertrais, the scholar author of the book Le choc démographique and vice-president of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. “Behind the conflict over Ukraine loom Russian demographic anxieties about the increase in Muslim immigration. … Vast spaces in Siberia and European Russia are depopulating. The only places with natural growth are the Muslim areas. …”

Janis Garisons, Latvia’s defense secretary, just offered Politico among potential scenarios after Putin’s eventual fall, “… an internal warthe disintegration and fragmentation of Russia, with pockets controlled by militias and warlords.”

Islam will have a unique opportunity to fulfill its dream of a caliphate by creating an unbroken chain of Muslim entities from Pakistan and Afghanistan to the North Caucasus and the Volga. In the worst-case scenario, the situation could get out of control. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, weapons of mass destruction began to spread around the world, posing a threat to human existence itself. Nobody knows what will happen if Russian missiles and high-tech weapons fall into the hands of the “caliphs” or “emirs” of the new Islamic Russian states.

By 2050, more than half the increase of the global population projected will be concentrated in just eight countries, mostly in Africa, according to The Economist: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines and Tanzania.

Nigeria will have more inhabitants than Europe and the United States.

India, next year, is expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous country. India will also be 20% Muslim as well as the world’s largest Islamic community. How will this demographic trend impact the fragile coexistence between Muslims and Hindus?

The West is yielding to immigrant hordes of aliens who lust for conquest and are governed by laws devised in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula in the Dark Ages.

The Islamic population of the European Union, depending on the migratory flows, could reach 75 million within a generation — like an entire Muslim Germany or, if one prefers, like Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Belgium, Holland, Portugal and Sweden combined.

“They have not managed to change us. It is we who will change them,” Norwegian imam “Mullah Krekar” told the newspaper Dagbladet. …

Already today, Islam is the leading religion in Brussels.

Algerian author Boualem Sansal recently said on French radio: “France has made deals with Islamists: in France there were once 10 mosques, today there are 3,000 and Arabia and Qatar finance the Islamization of suburbs. The French government has been overwhelmed”.

Islam is a growing social force in Britain’s second city,” headlined The Economist, referring to England’s second-largest city after London, Birmingham, where the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer. A small portrait of a conquered city:

“In the city’s 200 mosques, Muslims come not only to pray, but also to buy books, receive instructions, marry, divorce and bury their dead. Every year hundreds of people approach its ‘sharia council’, which administers family law.”

When Birmingham’s annual Eid Festival began in 2012, it was attended by 20,000 worshipers. In 2014 there were 40,000. In 2015, 70,000. In 2016, 90,000. In 2017, 100,000. In 2018, 140,000. Then Covid stopped all large gatherings. Now they are resuming.

The population of Birmingham will soon be half Muslim. “Muslims in Birmingham in 2018 amounted to 27 per cent of the population,” noted the Birmingham Mail . “The number of Muslims increased from 21 percent in 2011”. Business Live revealed that the number of Muslim children in the city has surpassed the number of Christian children:

“In addition to Birmingham, Islam is now the dominant religion among children in Leicester, Bradford, Luton, Slough and the London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets.”

The recent clashes between Muslims and Hindus in Leicester have now moved to other British cities, including Birmingham. …

Sectarian and religious hatred “can spread all over England”. The clashes between Muslims and Hindus at the birth of India and at the partition with Pakistan have now reached the multicultural enclaves of Europe. …

The loss of European culture is the worst, the most tragic loss for the entire human race.

Meotti asks:

Are we resigned to the disappearance of our civilization?

If we are not, what are we doing, what can we do, to save it?

The disastrous decline of the practice of medicine 6

Can you trust your doctor to be qualified in Medical Science? Or was he awarded his degree because he scored a pass in Diversity Studies?

Beware! The latter is more likely now to be the case.

Medical schools and medical societies are discarding traditional standards of merit …,”  Heather Mac Donald writes in an authoritative and important article at City Journal which we quote in part.

Why are they doing that?

… in order to alter the demographic characteristics of their profession.”

Virtually every major medical organization—from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) to the American Association of Pediatrics—has embraced the idea that medicine is an inequity-producing enterprise. The AMA’s 2021 Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity is virtually indistinguishable from a black studies department’s mission statement. … Physicians must “confront inequities and dismantle white supremacy, racism, and other forms of exclusion and structured oppression, as well as embed racial justice and advance equity within and across all aspects of health systems”. The country needs to pivot “from euphemisms to explicit conversations about power, racism, gender and class oppression, forms of discrimination and exclusion”.  (The reader may puzzle over how much more “explicit” current “conversations” about racism can be.)

In other words, the policy-makers of the profession, being convinced that Blacks are innately less  intelligent than Whites and Asians, are lowering standards and introducing new criteria of evaluation by requiring skills in hitherto unrelated subjects (such as “communication and interpersonal skills”), in order to have more black doctors. Their motive is impeccably virtuous. Blacks must be saved from feeling inferior.

(It doesn’t apparently strike them that by lowering standards to achieve this aim they are declaring their firm belief that Blacks are inferior.)

Of course they never say they think Blacks are less brainy than Whites and Asians. They claim that the reason Blacks generally score lower in exams is because they are subjected to race prejudice and discrimination.* They are therefore less healthy, and therefore less able to study.

In accordance with the idea that racism causes racial health disparities, they are changing the direction of medical research, the composition of medical faculty, the curriculum of medical schools, the criteria for hiring researchers and for publishing research, and the standards for assessing professional excellence. They are substituting training in political advocacy for training in basic science. They are taking doctors out of the classroom, clinic, and lab and parking them in front of antiracism lecturers.

If this is not done, the medical school’s existence may be terminated:

Faculty are responsible for teaching how to engage with “systems of power, privilege, and oppression” in order to “disrupt oppressive practices”. Failure to comply with these requirements could put a medical school’s accreditation status at risk and lead to a school’s closure.

These exotic ideological obligations cannot be shrugged off by the trained doctor once he has his degree and starts practicing his profession:

According to the AAMC, newly minted doctors must display “knowledge of the intersectionality of a patient’s multiple identities and how each identity may present varied and multiple forms of oppression or privilege related to clinical decisions and practice”.

Research will be well funded – provided it is spent  on advancing the ideological doctrine:

They have shifted billions of dollars from the investigation of pathophysiology to the production of tracts on microaggressions.

Funding that once went to scientific research is now being redirected to diversity cultivation. The NIH and the National Science Foundation are diverting billions in taxpayer dollars from trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease and lymphoma to fighting white privilege and cisheteronormativity.

Which means that “white privilege” and “cisheteronormativity” (translation: being of European extraction and sexually normal) are worse afflictions than Alzheimer’s disease and lymphoma.

Private research support is following the same trajectory. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute [HHMI] is one of the world’s largest philanthropic funders of basic science and arguably the most prestigious. Airline entrepreneur Howard Hughes created the institute in 1953 to probe into the “genesis of life itself”. Now diversity in medical research is at the top of HHMI’s concerns. In May 2022, it announced a $1.5 billion effort to cultivate scientists committed to running a “happy and diverse lab where minoritized scientists will thrive and persist” in the words of the institute’s vice president. “Experts” in diversity and inclusion will assess early-career academic scientists based on their plans for running “happy and diverse” labs. Those applicants with the most persuasive “happy lab” plans could receive one of the new Freeman Hrabowski scholarships. The scholarships would cover the recipient’s university salary for ten years and would bring the equivalent of two or three NIH grants a year into his academic department. If an applicant’s “happy lab” plan fails to ignite enthusiasm in the diversity reviewers, however, his application will be shelved, no matter how promising his actual scientific research.

The HHMI program and others like it amplify the message that doing basic science, if you are white or Asian, is not particularly valued by the STEM establishment. How many scientific breakthroughs will be forgone by such signals is incalculable.

It is a sad and dangerous policy for all of us frail mortals. A “doctor” well trained in the recognition of unconscious racism but not necessarily in biochemistry and pathology cannot be relied on to make an accurate diagnosis. As the author says, “The proponents of the systemic racism hypotheses are making a large bet with potentially lethal consequences.”

[The doctrine] that health disparities are necessarily the product of systemic racism has devalued basic science and encumbered medical research with red tape. The fight against cancer has been particularly affected. White and Asian oncologists are assumed to be part of the problem of black cancer mortality, not its solution, absent corrective measures. According to the NIH, leadership of cancer labs should match national or local demographics, whichever has a higher percentage of minorities.

As in all ideologies, logic is dispensed with, and the dogma does not stand up to critical scrutiny:

The AMA’s Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity sneers at “discredited and racist ideas about biological differences between racial groups”. If race does not exist, as received wisdom now has it, then the racial makeup of clinical trials should not matter.

But it matters more than anything else to the Embedders of Racial Justice and the Advancers of Health Equity.

In May 2022, a physician-scientist lost her NIH funding for a drug trial because the trial population did not contain enough blacks. The drug under review was for a type of cancer that blacks rarely get. There were almost no black patients with that disease to enroll in the trial, therefore. Better, however, to foreclose development of a therapy that might help predominantly white cancer patients than to conduct a drug trial without black participants.

In another case, in which applicants competed for a grant –

… the runner-up possessed a research and leadership record that far surpassed that of the winning candidate. But he lacked the favored demographic characteristics.

Much talent is being lost to medical science because of “anti-racist” bigotry.

[T]he diversity push is discouraging some scientists from competing at all. When the chairmanship of UCLA’s Department of Medicine opened up, some qualified faculty members did not even put their names forward because they did not think that they would be considered …

The HHMI program and others like it amplify the message that doing basic science, if you are white or Asian, is not particularly valued by the STEM establishment. How many scientific breakthroughs will be forgone by such signals is incalculable.

***

Footnote:

*Heather Mac Donald provides these figures and facts about medical school admissions:

In 2021, the average score for white applicants on the Medical College Admission Test [MCAT] was in the 71st percentile, meaning that it was equal to or better than 71 percent of all average scores. The average score for black applicants was in the 35th percentile—a full standard deviation below the average white score. The MCATs have already been redesigned to try to reduce this gap; a quarter of the questions now focus on social issues and psychology.

Yet the gap persists. So medical schools use wildly different standards for admitting black and white applicants. From 2013 to 2016, only 8 percent of white college seniors with below-average undergraduate GPAs [grade point averages] and below-average MCAT scores were offered a seat in medical school; less than 6 percent of Asian college seniors with those qualifications were offered a seat … Medical schools regarded those below-average scores as all but disqualifying—except when presented by blacks and Hispanics. Over 56 percent of black college seniors with below-average undergraduate GPAs and below-average MCATs and 31 percent of Hispanic students with those scores were admitted, making a black student in that range more than seven times as likely as a similarly situated white college senior to be admitted to medical school and more than nine times as likely to be admitted as a similarly situated Asian senior.

Such disparate rates of admission hold in every combination and range of GPA and MCAT scores. Contrary to the AMA’s Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity, blacks are not being “excluded” from medical training; they are being catapulted ahead of their less valued white and Asian peers.

Posted under corruption, Demography, Health, Leftism, Race, Science by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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Despise, humiliate, mock, insult, subjugate, eliminate white people 2

… and curse them, whether they’re alive or dead, in obscene terms.

That is their just deserts.

(Warning: This post contains sarcasm.)

White people have done nothing good for the human race. They have invented nothing, created nothing, built nothing, discovered nothing, achieved nothing, done nothing that has been of any benefit to humankind.

Uniquely among the peoples of the world, they have done terrible harm. Every one of them is an oppressor by nature.

Whites must be stamped out and their memory abominated forever.

That is the moral instruction of all respected thinkers, writers, political leaders, publishers, social trend-setters, preachers, professors and teachers of this new era.

John Murawski outlines the evolution of this moral enlightenment at Real Clear Investigations. We quote parts of his essay:

In a 2021 lecture at Yale University titled The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind, psychiatrist Aruna Khilanani described her “fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step, like I did the world a favor”.

Around the same time, a scholarly article in a peer-reviewed academic journal described “whiteness” as “a malignant, parasitic-like condition to which ‘white’ people have a particular susceptibility”. [The way water has a particular susceptibility to the condition of wetness – ed.] The author, Donald Moss, had also presented his paper as a continuing education course for licensed therapists who would presumably treat patients with this condition. The paper advises: “There is not yet a permanent cure.” …

The escalation of this inflammatory rhetoric is reaching the highest levels of American society, as when President Biden insinuated [stated – ed.] in a fiery campaign speech last week that Donald Trump supporters are “white supremacists”

This new rhetoric is not coming from dropouts and loners at society’s margins; it is being advanced by successful professionals who have scaled the heights of respectability and are given a platform on social media and in prestigious cultural outlets …

Such inflammatory rhetoric is defended or downplayed by cultural gatekeepers. The incidents have been piling up especially in the past few years, especially since the election of Donald Trump to the White House during the ascent of Black Lives Matter in the age of social media, and even include cases of people calling for the hate of privileged groups and insisting it’s not hate speech. 

In its ultimate sign of success, this messaging has taken hold in public schools, corporate workplaces, medical journals, scientific research and even diversity training in federal agencies. It’s not limited to any single race but endorsed by whites, blacks, Asians and others, and disseminated in diversity materials and workplace-recommended readings that characterize white people as flawed, predatory and dangerous to society. Its sudden spread has caused a sense of culture shock and given rise to acrimonious school board meetings and employee lawsuits over hostile work environments as legions of teachers, students and workers have been educated about white privilege, white fragility, white complicity, and the moral imperative to de-center “whiteness” so as not to “normalize white domination”. …

Its advocates insist there is no double standard; they argue they are simply speaking truth to power, which should cause discomfort. In this belief system, reverse discrimination can’t exist because social justice demands tipping the scales to favor marginalized groups to correct for centuries of injustice. …

The idea that stereotyping and denigrating entire groups has no place in a society that strives for equality is [was -ed.] one of the signature achievements of the Civil Rights era. By the 1970s, openly expressing racist slurs and jokes against black people was seen as a distasteful holdover from the Jim Crow era … signifying low education and low intelligence.

The prohibition against racist speech rapidly became generalized to all identity groups. Ethnic slurs against Poles, Italians, Asians, and others became verboten as did mockery of gays and the disabled. Many words once commonly used to describe women, such as “dame” and “broad” became unacceptable, while terms that were once seen as neutral or descriptive, such as “colored”, “Oriental”, and “Negro”, suddenly took on negative connotations, and became unutterable in public …

But at the same time that these language taboos against expressing prejudice were becoming widely accepted across the political spectrum as a matter of civility, a far-more radical effort to regulate speech was percolating on the left.

This movement sought to limit speech on the rationale that language was a form of social control and therefore the source of oppression and violence. The assumption that hurtful language leads to harmful policies ultimately produced today’s cancel culture phenomenon, where otherwise well-regarded professionals are investigated, suspended, canned, or booted from social media for simply questioning the factual claims of Black Lives Matter …

Speech codes have been a staple of college campuses for decades but the stakes intensified after Donald Trump was elected president and the nation underwent a social transformation that some call the Great Awokening. Seemingly overnight the bar for permissible speech rose for the oppressor and dropped for the oppressed. And now it was overtly about politicizing and weaponizing speech to save humanity from itself.

On Christmas Eve in 2016, just weeks before Trump took office, a Drexel University political science professor, George Ciccariello-Maher, pulled an attention-getting stunt on Twitter: “All I want for Christmas is white genocide.”

“For Christmas”! “Genocide”! Spoken in  the true spirit of the season!

The next day, the provocative professor pushed the nuclear buttons again: “To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed.” ..

The core proposition of this mindset can be traced to philosophers like Michel Foucault, who developed theories of language as a form of societal power and domination, and Herbert Marcuse, the Marxist scholar whose now-classic 1960s essay Repressive Tolerance argues that the oppressor class and the oppressed cannot be held to the same standard. Marcuse proposed that the classical liberal doctrine of free speech is a mechanism that benefits capitalists and others who wield power, that the struggle for “a real democracy” paradoxically necessitates “the fight against an ideology of tolerance”.

(Warning: Even if you read the whole book you will not find any sense made of that claim.)

The subversive intellectuals of the 1960s and 1970s passed on the torch to Critical Race Theorists and radical feminists, and in the 1990s the critique of bourgeois liberalism was taken up by Stanley Fish, a post-modernist literary critic and critical legal scholar who ridiculed the idea of “free speech” and “reverse racism” giving wider exposure to these esoteric scholarly arguments.

“By insisting that from now on there shall be no discrimination, they leave in place the effects of the discrimination that had been practiced for generations,” Fish wrote. “What is usually meant by perfect neutrality is a policy that leaves in place the effects of the discrimination you now officially repudiate. Neutrality thus perpetuates discrimination, rather than reversing it, for you can only fight discrimination with discrimination”. …

Only torment, humiliation, subjugation, massacre will do.

Each professor and journalist strives to surpass the others in the use of obscene words to express their righteous loathing.

The New York Times stood by …. Sarah Jeong, a Korean-born graduate of U Cal Berkeley and Harvard law school whose Twitter oeuvre trafficked in crude racial stereotypes. Jeong, who was fond of the hashtag #CancelWhitePeople, tweeted out such sentiments as: “White people have stopped breeding. you’ll all go extinct soon. that was my plan all along.” And: “Dumbass fucking white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”

As the New York Times was pilloried for its double standard progressive digital pundits, Vox came to Jeong’s defense, patiently explaining for the umpteenth time that Jeong was to be exempt from censure because “there’s no such thing as ‘reverse racism'”.

That Whites are uniquely evil and entirely dispensable cannot be said often enough or with sufficiently satisfying vituperation.

To clarify(as Professor George Ciccariello-Maher was careful to do): Not only would white genocide relieve the world of a useless and terrifyingly destructive life-form, it would also satisfy the burning desire of non-whites for revenge – a point made by Frantz Fanon in his classic work The Wretched of the Earth.

Genocide would be the one and only acceptable final solution to whiteness; the “permanent cure” of it; a full accomplishment of “social justice”, for which the wretched of the earth have long panted.

(Maybe a few specimens of whites could be kept in captivity to be studied, experimented on, taunted, mocked, laughed at? What say you?)

The man who did great good by mistake 1

Was the Soviet Union dismantled and abolished by its own leader – but entirely accidentally?

It would be an interesting idea to examine in a novel. Not because it could not happen in reality, but because it apparently did happen in reality.

Guy Sorman writes at City Journal:

The paradox of Mikhail Gorbachev’s major accomplishments is that none was intentional—not the destruction of the Soviet Union, not the demise of socialist ideology, not the independence of formerly enslaved peoples. No other statesman in contemporary history can match this quixotic fate. He accomplished much, but it was based entirely on misunderstanding. …

It all began with his appointment to power by the Politburo, the Soviet Union’s supreme entity, in 1985. The three previous Soviet leaders had died over a three-year period, all aged veterans. Gorbachev, in the eyes of his colleagues, had the advantage of being young and insignificant; the old guard believed that he could be manipulated. He said little, and his only recognized expertise was in agriculture. (He regarded Soviet agriculture as somewhat archaic.) Better still, he was a faithful servant of the regime, whose changes over the years he had embraced without difficulty. The truth is that Gorbachev was a sincere Soviet and a sincere socialist—a true believer, while his colleagues were cynics who clung to power at any price. When they named Gorbachev, the Politburo leaders were ignorant of this sincerity. Moreover—and this was a most unusual quality in the Soviet regime—Gorbachev detested violence and was appalled by bloodshed. He would prove to be just as sincere a pacifist as he was a socialist.

What Gorbachev failed to understand, what he would never understand, was that violence had been the foundation of Soviet socialism since 1917. This blindness explains his life’s work. If he had seen clearly, perhaps the USSR would still exist. …

How likely is that?  Socialism is not a workable economy. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money,” Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher explained. The wonder is that the USSR lasted as long as it did.

And doesn’t socialism always depend on force? Isn’t it essentially government by force?

Socialism with a human face was Gorbachev’s true religion. He preferred not to see that no such thing exists, and so he alienated both the anti-socialist liberals and the anti-reformist socialists. …

Gorbachev had no card left to play on the international stage; he would concede everything, in particular the reunification of Germany. This became inevitable as early as 1989, from the moment Gorbachev refused all assistance to the Communist government of East Germany in preserving the Berlin Wall. The wall was attacked, and then destroyed; the Red Army made no move. The Baltic States and Poland understood the situation and rose up in turn, peacefully. Once again, because Gorbachev believed in glasnost [transparency] and because he abhorred the use of force, he forbade a military response. He thus demonstrated, again unwittingly, that the USSR was based upon nothing but force : no more repression, no more USSR. It was left to the Russians themselves to claim their freedom, which they would do by confiding the presidency of a new independent Russia to Yeltsin, who, for his part, saw clearly what was happening.

It is said that Gorbachev saw in his reception of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 an anti-Soviet gesture. He was right, but the Soviet Union was already a thing of the past, and he was the last to know. He would never grasp this fact, since, in 1996, he would run for the presidency of the new Russia and gain 0.5 percent of the votes. Perestroika [restructuring] was doomed from the outset, and Gorbachev was a kind of calamitous visionary, at least from the perspective of what he wanted to protect. …

Gorbachev and Yeltsin were both liberators, in their way, who have since been replaced by a new Stalin.

Or, it might be said, a new Tsar. Russia has never been a free country. There have been a few short-lived attempts at democratic government, all ending in failure.

Communism did nothing good for the Russian peasants. Nothing. Not even electrification. Not even universal education. When I visited Russia soon after the fall of the Soviet Union, I saw for myself how poor, illiterate, ignorant, passive, the peasants still were. How lowly their living conditions. (Most of those I encountered were dressed in rags and shod in felt boots!) Even now, some thirty years later, does Chekhov’s description of their miserable lives need revision?

If they are now prosperous, educated, free, please tell me. It would be welcome news.

 

Jillian Becker   September 3, 2022

Posted under Soviet Union by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 3, 2022

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