Patriotism versus Nationalism? 4

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, declares himself to be a patriot.

But not a nationalist.

“Patriotism,” he says, “is the opposite of nationalism.”

To his mind, patriotism is good, nationalism is bad.

He emphatically expresses his own patriotism, saying at various times:

Long live the Republic, long live France.

France is back.

France is a strong, wealthy country.

Our language, history, and civilization shine out across every continent.

I bring the spirit of French conquest.

He believes that France has reason to be proud – but not the French.

Not those who incarnate “the spirit of French conquest”.

For the French to be proud of being French would be nationalism. And nationalism is bad for two reasons:

First, because not just the indigenous French live in France.

Second, because France is only one of the 28 countries in the European Union.

If you are a citizen of one of those countries, you can like the country you live in, you can be proud of it. That makes you a patriot. Good. But you may not like it better than the other 27 countries. If you do, you are a nationalist. Bad.

Macron declares:

We are a continent of refugees, and if you say we can’t integrate refugees, that’s not consistent with our values, even if borders cannot be wide open. 

I want to be the president of all the people of France, for the patriots facing the threat of nationalism.

My responsibility will be to unite all the women and men ready to take on the tremendous challenges which are waiting for us, and to act.

He wants to unite them because very many of them – indigenous French citizens of France – still want France to be their country, not a country of refugees. They do not want the millions of (mainly Muslim) immigrants from the weak, poor Third World coming to live among them not to become French, but to benefit from the freedom and wealth  – which the French have attained through long centuries with their blood, sweat and tears – while keeping their own languages and customs, and even their own law. 

Those whose patriotism nationalism is expressed like that – the conservatives, the political Right – are Macron’s bad people.

The Left calls them “bigots”, “xenophobes”, “Islamophobes”, “Nazis”.

Macron calls himself a man of the Left, though not a socialist:

I am not a socialist.

I am from the Left, but I am happy to work with people from the Right.

Provided that the Right will accept the sharing of their country with multitudes of foreigners.

Macron saw his task as getting the nationalists to accept those multitudes. He called it “reforming” France.

We have no choice but to reform this country. I am not just a liberal movement. I come from the progressive Left. I am trying to refresh and counter the system.

To “refresh and counter”. A contradiction, yes.  Macron’s politics are bundles of contradictions.

On further thought, he was not sure that “reform” is the right word for what he believes he has to do. To “reform” France would be too local a project. Too … nationalistic. The French, all of them, have not only to accept that they must share their country with hostile foreigners – and be generous to them, and adapt their own ways to the foreigners’ because the foreigners are not interested in adapting to the ways of the French – they must fundamentally change from being French to being Europeans.

But wait! Even that is too self-serving, too vain and arrogant – still tainted with the stain of a kind of nationalism. As France is not better than the other 27 countries of the European Union, so Europe is not better than the rest of the world. (With one exception, which we’ll come to.)

It would not be enough merely to reform France into a different kind of country, changed from a nation-state into a constituent state of a United Europe. Not enough because France  needs to be much more changed, to have its Frenchness so eradicated that it will be transformed into just one geographical area named “France” among hundreds of other geographical areas in a United World.  

Macron announced:

I am for a progressive world. I do not propose to reform France; I propose to transform it at its deepest level.

That is “globalism”. It is the goal of the “progressives” – the Left – everywhere.

The Left has always understood that for their dream of a communist utopia to work, human nature must be fundamentally changed. Changed “at its deepest level”.

In fact, of course, Europe is not “a continent of refugees”. At least not until very recently. Now Macron and his fellow European Union leaders are trying to make it so by importing multitudes from Asia and Africa. Until that began to happen, the countries of Europe were largely homogeneous.

The country whose population is a mixture, is the United States of America. The American nation is the one that does not define itself in terms of origin and descent, or by subjection to king or chieftain, or by adherence to a particular religion. It is a nation of many peoples bound into one by a Constitution. It’s existence is the greatest political achievement of humankind. Those Americans who are aware of this have great cause to be proud of their country. Cause to be patriots. To be nationalists. Their nationalism is not a narrow arrogance. It is an achievement. And its present leader, President Donald Trump, is a proud patriot, a self-declared nationalist who puts the interests of his own country first, who wants it to be a great force and example for promoting freedom in the world. A country tolerant of all religions. With all its citizens equal before the law.

And it is this country, this leader, this patriotism, this nationalism that Emmanuel Macron and his fellow European globalists despise!

Within America, the Left, the “progressives” do not like their country the way it is. They are  trying, furiously and violently, to change it. Insurrectionist organizations, many of them financed by the multibillionaire George Soros, are fighting by all means, including treasonous conspiracy inside the agencies of the state, to unseat the president, align the country with globalist Europe. Also to abolish borders and admit as many immigrants from the poor, weak Third World as desire to come and benefit from the freedom and wealth of the US, while keeping their own languages and customs, and even their own law. 

George Soros collaborated with the Nazis in his youth, when his native Hungary was under occupation by the German Third Reich. He is a Jew who helped the Nazis kill Hungarian Jews. He calls one or a group of his organizations the Open Society Foundations. His “open society” ideal is a socialist – which is to say a closed – society. When Karl Popper praised the “open society” he meant a conservative, capitalist, free enterprise society within the nation-state. So George Soros, whether ingenuously out of misunderstanding, or disingenuously and ironically, is misusing the label by sticking it on the collectivist system he works treacherously in many countries to instate.

Opposition to this Nazi-assisting, communist sympathizing, promoter of civil chaos is deplored by President Macron. He has not only embraced the Soros idea of an open society (“I am for an open society,” he states plainly), he also accuses those who denounce Soros of “anti-Semitism”. (Which recalls the classic example of “chutzpah”: the murderer of father and mother pleading for mercy at his trial on the grounds that he’s an orphan.)

When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Emmanuel Macron courted him. The first state banquet given by the Trump administration was in his honor. On television news one could watch the slight figure of Macron scampering about to claim a place beside the dominating figure of Trump when photographs of NATO or European or world leaders were being taken.

But he reformed his fascination. As President Trump is a self-declared nationalist who likes the nation-state and insists on firm borders, Macron came to perceive him as the enemy. The enemy of globalism.

Breitbart reports:

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism during an Armistice Day centennial observance in Paris on Sunday.

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is treason,” Macron said …

Macron spoke in front of world leaders including President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“If we think our interests may only come first and we don’t care for others, it is a treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values,” he said. “We must remember this.”

Macron said that the moral values of France helped them fight for the future of their country.

He praised the world leaders that formed the first League of Nations, after World War I.

“They imagined the first international corporation, the dismantling of empires, and redefined borders, and dreamed at the time of a union, a political union of Europe,” Macron said.

The League of Nations! A horrible organization, brainchild of President Woodrow Wilson although his own country, the United States, never joined it. It was the precursor to the even more horrible United Nations. But Macron likes international bodies. He believes they keep peace between nations. The League, for all its imagining, did not keep peace between nations. World War Two broke out despite its being there. And the United Nations has not succeeded in keeping peace anywhere. It is a hopelessly corrupt organization. As is also the European Union. 

Oh, but for all his fondness for internationl bodies, for a United States of Europe, for open borders, Macron does not wish to be called a globalist.    

In an interview with CNN, Macron continued his condemnation of nationalism but was hesitant to claim the “globalist” label.

He doesn’t find it easy to say why. Perhaps because a lot of untransformed French voters understand that the Great Political Argument is now between Globalists and Nationalists and are on the side of the Nationalists.

“I would say I’m a patriot,” he said, but added: “I’m not a believer in a sort of globalism without any differentiation. I think it doesn’t — it’s very inconsistent, and it’s extremely — it makes our people very nervous. But I’m not a nationalist, which is very different for me from being a patriot.”

No dream mosque 11

The great comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in the role of a local official, offers the residents of a small American town the great boon of … a mosque. A huge mosque. Or an immense mosque if they think the huge mosque is too small.

The people believe that the townhall meeting and the offer are real. Horribly real.

Best moment. Man calls out: “I am [a racist]. I’m a racist towards Muslims.”

 

Update:

From Creeping Sharia:

Ohio: North Ridgeville city council approves new mega mosque, one of largest in the region. “It’s a good project that improves upon an existing vacant lot and will provide a very nice looking building and it will welcome new people to our community,” said North Ridgeville City Council President Kevin Corcoran.

Posted under America, Muslims, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 18, 2018

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Insurrection and the decline of the American press 3

In Washington DC yesterday (Sunday, August 12, 2018) the masked fascists that call themselves “Antifa” marched through the streets shouting:

No border! No wall! No USA at all!

They are encouraged to violent insurgency by the media, and the media are stepping up their campaign.

A conservative opinion on these dire developments comes from Blabber Buzz:

At what point do outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN cross the line from being far-left sites who irrationally despise President Donald Trump to potentially inciting indiscriminate violence with truly despicable and dangerous words?

With one of its latest attacks on the President, The Washington Post shamefully reinforced that the point has long since been reached.

In an outrageous screed going after Trump titled The Path to Autocracy is all too familiar, the liberal propaganda sheet for the “Resistance” attached a photo of Hitler Youth gleefully burning books.

Hitler Youth burning books.

As irresponsible and disgraceful as that photo was, it paled in comparison to the words in the piece.

Fully understanding that multi-billionaire Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos may himself be biased against Trump and may not grasp – or choose to ignore — the escalating danger of such potentially violence-inciting pieces, there are still some well-respected “adults in the room” at the paper who most certainly do understand that threat.

Where are their voices? Why are they silent? Who has the courage and decency at that paper to say that these reprehensible connections of the President of the United States to Hitler, the Holocaust, and genocide must stop?

Not only are they obscenely insulting to the millions of Jews and others put to death by Hitler and his collection of Nazi psychopaths, but they are purposeful lies seeking to facilitate a desired political outcome for reasons of ideology. …

The Washington Post’s much-mocked tag-line – even by liberals – states: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

What could be “darker” than an American news organization working in concert with elements of the far-left to delegitimize, destabilize, and potentially bring down a constitutionally elected President of the United States?

Where are the voices of the leaders in the Democratic Party? Where are the voices of academics and historians?

Every single one of them knows this is falsely dangerous partisan trash masquerading as “news” or “opinion” and yet they all remain silent. …

Most do, but not every single one. Two academics, Alan Dershowitz (who says he “voted proudly for Hillary”!), and Jonathan Turley, are liberals who criticize the lengths the Democratic Party and its allies are going to, and even doing so on the Fox News shows of pro-Trump hosts.

Do they truly want to incite violence? Do they truly want people to take to the streets against Trump? Do they want a real revolution?

Are they prepared to accept responsibility for the injuries, deaths, and destruction of property that may come about because of their wretched insinuations and outright lies?

Yes, they do. Because they do not understand and cannot imagine what it means.

The Western Journal reports:

A Boston newspaper wants every newspaper in America to attack President Donald Trump in response to his criticism of the news media.

The Boston Globe on Friday began reaching out to newspapers across the country to publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what it called a “dirty war against the free press”, according to a report in The Boston Globe itself.

“We are not the enemy of the people,” said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe.

As of Saturday, “We have more than 100 publications signed up, and I expect that number to grow in the coming days,” she said …

What did President Trump say that occasioned all this fake outrage?

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE,” he tweeted recently. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

Last weekend, at an Ohio rally where the crowd chanted “CNN sucks,” Trump delivered his critique of the media.

“Oftentimes I’m getting ready to do the fake news with CNN or MSNBC — MSNBC is so corrupt it’s so disgusting,” Trump said … “I would say they’re almost – they’re worst,” he said. “They’re really a fake news group of people.”

Those comments followed similar ones at an Aug. 2 rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

“What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting? They don’t report it. They only make up stories,” Trump said then.

Good questions. Thoroughly deserved accusations.

… Pritchard said the newspapers want Americans to see Trump’s comments as an attack on basic American rights.

“I hope it would educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable,” she said. “We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”

As if theLeft doesn’t want the Constitution changed or even abolished. As if it doesn’t particularly want the First Amendment changed or abolished. As if  it really was for free speech, rather than for the exclusive right to express its own opinion and the forcible silencing of all others’ as the Nazis were.  

And as if the Left’s toadying media weren’t actively encouraging the street marchers who shout for the total abolition of the United States.  

Needless to say, President Trump has not and would not attack the First Amendment. He accuses the Leftist press of  extreme partisanship, false reporting, and sustained hostility towards him personally. And of all that it is guilty.

He is right that most of the media lie. In order to harm him and if possible destroy his presidency, they spin scandals out of unimportant incidents, and bury important news that would throw a good light on him for his numerous achievements.

Since they are not reporting truthfully, they have made their work pointless,  and themselves redundant.

USA! USA! USA! 3

We wish all our readers, wherever they are, a Very Happy American Independence Day! 

The creation of the United States of America has been good for the whole world.

Twice in the 20th. century, America saved Europe and the world from conquest by evil men obsessed with evil ideas.

The excellent Bruce Bawer writing about this, concludes his article with these passages, in which he recognizes that once again America – not by arms this time but by inspiration – is a source of salvation to Europeans who are threatened again with conquest by evil men with evil ideas: the followers of Muhammad, the warring tribes of Islam.

America may once again help save the Old World. But there’s another contribution that America is clearly making on that front. In President Donald Trump, millions of Western Europeans see a leader who, to a greater extent than the overwhelming majority of politicians on either side of the pond, says it like it is, keeps his promises, and puts his own nation’s citizens first.

Almost every major country in Western Europe is run by Hillary types – establishment hacks who don’t mean a thing they say, who view ordinary citizens as deplorables, and who think that those deplorables should keep their opinions to themselves. Look, for example, at Merkel’s pathological effort to play guardian angel to armies of Muslim thugs – and her utter indifference to the impact of her actions on her own people. Look at the British political class’s appallingly tepid response to grooming gangs – and their obsessive hatred of Tommy Robinson. Look at the cynical attempts by Dutch courts, which mollycoddle Muslim malefactors, to destroy Geert Wilders. Look at the leaders of Finland and Ireland who, apparently more eager to please their EU masters than serve their own people, call for increased Muslim immigration and insist, quite insanely, that it “enriches our cultures and societies”.  

After only a year and a half in power, Donald Trump has already done a great deal for America. But he has also done something crucially significant for Europe: he has opened the eyes of Western Europeans to the possibility of giving their mediocre, pusillanimous, appeasement-happy leaders the bum’s rush and replacing them with strong, smart, genuinely patriotic men and women who might still manage to deliver their continent from evil. Yes, America First, by all means – but that very slogan, that very sentiment, is emboldening people all over Western Europe to raise their own voices to say “France First!” “Germany First!” “Sweden First!” We may yet hope that Western Europe’s salvation is at hand – and if it is, the people of these devastated countries may once again have America to thank for it. 

We heartily concur.

The lure of the West 3

A possible and excellent solution to the Islamization of the West presents itself: Muslims leaving Islam.

Having encountered the far better life, the far richer culture of the West; having felt the freedom; having seen the opportunities –  especially for women – many Muslims are daring to become apostates.

At least in America it is happening to a significant extent.

The Economist reports:

As the number of American Muslims has increased by almost 50% in the past decade, so too has the number of ex-Muslims. According to the Pew Research Centre, 23% of Americans raised as Muslims no longer identify with the faith. Most of them are young second-generation immigrants who have come to reject the religion of their parents. Some, however, are older when their crisis of faith arrives, already married to devout Muslim spouses and driving children to the mosque to study the Koran at weekends.

The vast majority, whether young or old, are silent about their faithlessness. One Muslim college student, who came home drunk one evening, was confronted by his father. Not thinking clearly, the son confessed to his father that he was an atheist, whereupon the father revealed that he too had lost his faith many years ago. Yet he still admonished his son for not hiding his secret well enough.

Publicly leaving Islam is difficult because many Muslims live in tight-knit communities. Many apostates are left closeted, afraid to put at risk their relationships with their parents, on whom they may still depend, or with their siblings and their friends. Non-believing Mormons, Hasidic Jews and evangelical Christians find themselves in a similar predicament. Within Somali enclaves in Minneapolis and Pakistani ones in Dallas, renunciation of Islam is tantamount to renunciation of an entire social circle. “The most frustrating part is living knowing that my life has to be guided by the rules I don’t agree with,” says one still deep in the closet.

Apostasy is different from apathy, but that is also growing among Muslims. Among believers aged 55 or older, 53% say they perform all five of the mandatory daily prayers — no easy feat, considering that the first must be done before dawn. Among Muslim millennials, that proportion falls to 33%. Few would be ostracised for missing a prayer, or not fasting during the month of Ramadan — so long as those misdeeds were not made public.

In broad terms, there are two types of ex-Muslims. Those who are from less religious families simply drift away and face fewer repercussions. “It was a progression,” says one such ex-Muslim, who stopped praying at the age of eight after noticing that nothing cataclysmic happened when she missed a prayer one day. Then she starting sneaking meals during Ramadan, before moving on to alcohol and premarital sex. At 18, she was an atheist.

Then there are those in more religious households. They tend to have cleaner breaks, sudden realisations while studying the Koran or the Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Often the verses that trigger this are controversial ones about slavery or gender that family members and imams cannot explain satisfactorily. Coming across the writings of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens sometimes has the same effect. Some chafe at sexism or homophobia. “I remember one Halloween, I wasn’t allowed to go trick-or-treating because I had to clean up after dinner, but all my male cousins and brothers got to go,” says one female ex-Muslim who is not out to her family (nor will ever be, she fears).

To cope, some look online, seeking solace in anonymous forums. One, hosted on Reddit, has nearly 30,000 followers. Here ex-Muslims trade stories of families kicking their children out after they confess their disbelief. But they also traffic in lighter-hearted fare, like taking pictures of booze-and-pork meals during Ramadan — enjoyed in the daylight, of course

Despite all the pressure of family and community, more ex-Muslims seem to be going public. Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA), an advocacy organisation, has pushed for those who safely can to publicly declare their renunciations. “The goal is to change things enough so that we no longer need to exist,” says Sarah Haider, EXMNA’s director. The group launched a university tour, entitled “Normalising Dissent”, which has attracted angry critics and required extensive security preparations. Though she must contend with death threats, and has to be quite vigilant about infiltrators to her organization, Ms Haider persists. “Condemnation is still acknowledgment,” she notes.

While the penalties for apostasy can be high in the West, they are much more severe in the Muslim world. In Pakistan, blasphemy carries a death sentence. In Bangladesh, atheist writers have been hacked to death by machete-wielding vigilantes. An atheist who recently appeared on Egyptian television to debate a former deputy sheikh from Al-Azhar University was dismissed by the host and told that he needed to see a psychiatrist.

Millions who were so fortunate as to have been born into freedom in the countries of the West, now despise and even hate their country and their culture. The Left’s grip on education has meant that they have been indoctrinated to feel guilty over their own history and heritage. But the truth is, thanks to the Enlightenment the West is the superior civilization. The West is civilization itself – fighting an intense political battle for its survival against the destructive ideologies of the Left and encroaching Islam.

The more Muslims who come to appreciate our civilization, the more who abandon their religion and adopt our ways, the better for us, for them, for all humankind.

The Muslim plan 7

… to make America Muslim:

Published February 14, 2018

Posted under America, Islam, Muslims, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, February 16, 2018

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Rights or Liberty? 26

Which would you rather be able truthfully to claim:

“I have a right to …”

or

“I am free to …” ?

There has been some discussion in the comments section of our post The Colossus … and the enriching of America (29 January, 2018) about whether government is necessary for the protection of a citizen’s rights or the protection of his liberty. I say, for the protection of his liberty. That is what defines “a free country”. In the United States of America, there are certain “rights” granted in law that are themselves protective of the individual’s freedom. The ultimate aim of the Founders in granting those rights was the protection of liberty.

*

Freedom is not a state of nature but an artifact of civilization

– Friedrich Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, Chapter Four.

To be for freedom to do what one wants to do is not to be for unbounded liberty. (I use the words “liberty” and “freedom” interchangeably, as they are synonyms.)

What then are the bounds of liberty?

Ideally, my liberty is limited by nothing except everyone else’s liberty.

Sane, sober, sensible self-interest tells me that if I don’t want to be bonked on the nose by my neighbor, I would do well not to bonk him on his nose. But I cannot trust everyone else – or even myself – to be always sane, sober, and sensible.

If I live in a time and place when and where I have to fear continually that I will very likely be assaulted, injured, killed, and that the things I have acquired to sustain my existence, comfort, safety, and pleasure may be forcefully taken from me, I am not free. I am constrained to be perpetually on my guard against attack. I must never venture abroad unarmed. I must carry my possessions with me or stay with them. I am burdened with anxiety. I am severely hampered.

But if my freedom is protected by law and the apparatus of law-enforcement – police, judicial courts, prisons, gallows – I can take the safety of my person and my things for granted, and go lightly about my business among my fellow citizens. (Which is not to argue that it’s unnecessary to insure my house and its contents, or register my intellectual property. These are, it is true, private protections taken on by personal choice, but available to me only in a society governed by the rule of law.)

The city-states of ancient Greece embodied the idea of a society made up of people from many different countries, nations and tribes, all governed by the same rule of law. Your willingness to obey the law made you a worthy citizen, regardless of what region of the earth you derived from. The idea that people of many different nations could melt together into one nation ruled by law (“e pluribus unum”) was lost and forgotten for centuries and was not applied again until the eighteenth century with the founding of the United States of America.

However, the idea of a nation governed by the rule of law rather than by a monarch, re-emerged earlier than that, in England, with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. By signing it, King John conceded the principle: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you.” It was intended to be a “charter of liberties”, not a bestowal of “rights” on his subjects or on any one class of his subjects such as the barons. Clause 60 declared: “all the customs and liberties which we have granted to our own men shall be observed by all of our men, both lay and clerk [cleric], to their own men”. In other words, just as the king pledged liberty to the barons, so the barons, by the same token (the Charter) pledged liberty to their tenants.

Magna Carta affirmed the vital principle of freedom under the law. Clause 39 of the Charter said: ‘no free man shall be imprisoned or deprived of his lands except by judgement of his peers or by the law of the land’.  Clause 40 said: ‘To no one shall we sell, delay or deny right or justice’ (“right” in the sense of what is right, not “a right”).  Before Magna Carta, the king had been able to do pretty well whatever he liked – and did.  After the making of the charter of liberties, the king was as firmly subject to the law as everyone else.

(It is true that the monarchs of England nevertheless went on for centuries having too much arbitrary power. But it would be a mistake to believe that the continuing existence of an English monarch now means that the people are not as free as the American people. [The British have recently become less free, but not for that reason.] Since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when William of Orange and his wife Mary became the constitutional monarchs of the United Kingdom, the reigning king or queen is the nominal and ceremonial head of state, not the power of the state. The present Queen has no choice but to sign the acts of law that Parliament passes. The people are “subjects” in name only.)

A free country is one in which the people are free to do anything that is not specifically prohibited by law. Most of its laws proscribe rather than prescribe. They say you must not do this and that, such as murder, steal, perjure yourself. While there  are some that say you must do – for instance, the laws of the fisc: you must pay your taxes – the fewer “must” laws there are, the freer the people.

Now let us suppose that legislators decide that the law should specify everything you may do. Those would be your rights. It would be an infinitely long list, never exhaustive. So the enterprise would be impossible.

Does that mean that there can be no such thing as a “right” granted by law? No, it does not mean that. The law, and only the law, can grant a right. Even if one believes in a god, and makes the claim that the god bestowed certain rights on every human being ever born – the right to life, say – it would be meaningless if it were not recognized as a right, and protected, by the law.

Only the law can grant a right. The rights the laws of a free country can grant are very few. And there is a danger in granting any: that some governments, having granted a few, may claim that what those few permit you is all that you are permitted.

Why can governments only grant a few rights? Because no one can have a right that puts an obligation on someone else.

That is why it is nonsense to speak of a “right” to health care; a “right” to an education, a “right” to a house, a “right” to a minimum income, a “right” to equality of pay; a “right” to social security; a “right” to an abortion; a “right” to contraception; a “right” to a sex-change operation; or, the crowning stupidity, a “right not to be offended”. That takes away the essential freedom on which all the rest depend – the freedom to speak. And it is in itself a deeply offensive notion.

If your “right” compels the labor of someone else, it is not a “right” but a privilege – and what is worse, the indefensible privilege of the parasite.

What of your “unalienable”[1] rights named in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”? They do not put an obligation on someone else, so aren’t they good rights? You are declared to be endowed with them by your “Creator”, “Nature’s God” – which is a way of saying that they are yours simply because you exist. And many there are who believe that because they exist, they have a right to exist.

If you believe that God or Nature granted you the right to live, to be free, and to pursue happiness, you may also believe that God or Nature will protect those rights of yours. But in fact Nature guarantees you nothing. You have no natural rights. You can call them natural, you can call them God-given, but unless they are recognized and supported by the law, you may find that they are not dependable.

So what rights can the law grant – and sufficiently protect to make the granting of them more than just the wistful thought of a somnolent parliament?

These: The right to speak freely. The right to a trial if you are accused of breaking the law. The right to safeguard yourself, your property, your reputation. They are among the rights granted by the US Constitution in the first ten amendments (the Bill of Rights), and all of them can be, and are, protected by the law. By protecting them, the law – or say the government – is protecting your freedom.

That is what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are all about: realizing the idea on which the USA was founded – the idea of liberty.

 

Jillian Becker   January 31, 2018

 

[1] “Unalienable” means the same as “inalienable”: that which cannot be taken away.

The Colossus … and the enriching of America 26

Watch Donald Trump, President of the United States, as the Colossus standing astride the world, to whom the CEOs of the biggest companies in the world bring their tribute – their promises of doing business, more business, much more business in America, with investments of vast sums.

Several of the CEOs acknowledge that President Trump’s tax reform and deregulation have prompted them to grow their business in the United States.

Could any other American politician do this?

The greatest civilization, if lost will never come again 1

Ours is the civilization that built the modern world. 

We built it, and, if we do not maintain it, and defend it, then, as Donald Trump says, it will never come again.

So Mark Steyn writes.

President Trump’s speech in Warsaw was a remarkable statement from a western leader in the 21st century – which is why the enforcers of our public discourse have gone bananas over it and denounced it as “blood and soil” “nativism” (The New Republic), “racial and religious paranoia” (The Atlantic), and “tinpot dictator sh*t” (some comedian having a meltdown on Twitter). … This was the offending passage:

There is nothing like our community of nations. The world has never known anything like our community of nations.

We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers.

We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.

We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.

And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.

I’m not certain we do put “faith and family” ahead of “government and bureaucracy”, …

And we atheists, of course, do not think that “faith” is a positive good …

… not in Germany or even Ireland, but we did once upon a time. Nor am I sure we still “write symphonies”, or at any rate good ones. But Trump’s right: “The world has never known anything like our community of nations” – and great symphonies are a part of that. I’m not sure what’s “nativist” or “racial” about such a statement of the obvious, but I note it’s confirmed by the traffic, which is all one way: There are plenty of Somalis who’ve moved to Minnesota, but you can count on one hand Minnesotans who’ve moved to Somalia.

As an old-school imperialist

For which we praise Mr. Steyn  …

…  I make exceptions for sundry places from Barbados to Singapore, which I regard as part of the community of the greater west, and for India, which is somewhat more ambiguously so, but let’s face it, 90 per cent of everything in the country that works derives from England.

But otherwise Trump’s statement that “the world has never known anything like our community of nations” ought to be unexceptional. It’s certainly more robust than Theresa May’s and David Cameron’s vague appeals to “our values” or “our way of life”, which can never quite be spelled out – shopping, telly, pop songs, a bit of Shakespeare if you have to mention a dead bloke, whatever… For his part, The Atlantic‘s Peter Beinart preferred the way Trump’s predecessor expressed it:

To grasp how different that rhetoric was from Trump’s, look at how the last Republican President, George W. Bush, spoke when he visited Poland. In his first presidential visit, in 2001, Bush never referred to “the West”.  He did tell Poles that “We share a civilization”.  But in the next sentence he insisted that “Its values are universal”. 

I wish that were true. It would be easier if it were. But it’s not. These values are not “universal”: They arise from a relatively narrow political and cultural tradition, and insofar as they took root elsewhere across the globe it was as part of (stand well back, Peter Beinart!) the west’s – gulp – “civilizing mission”.

Alas, left to fend for themselves, those supposedly universal values have minimal purchase on millions upon millions of people around the planet – including those who live in the heart of the west.

Yes. Millions of the children of the capitalist West, endowed with liberty, prosperity, tolerance, security, opportunity, good health, education, entertainment, luxury, hate the civilization that nurtures them, rebel against it, and call for its destruction. In Europe and America they are gathering in their tens and even hundreds of thousands to riot. They are smashing, burning, maiming, killing.  

They call the countries that allow them to do this in the name of freedom and tolerance, “fascist” and “oppressive”.

Equipped with their iPhones, which only Western freedom, capitalism and prosperity could have given them, they try to pull the house they live in down upon their heads.

And behind them, safe in their castles, mysteriously untouched by the law, are deeply evil people who pay the thugs who lead them:

Mark Steyn continues:

Bush’s bromide is easier to swallow because it’s a delusion – as we should surely know by now, after a decade and a half of encouraging Pushtun warlords to adopt Take Your Child Bride To Work Day. In contrast to Bush’s happy talk, Trump concluded his laundry list of western achievement on a sobering note:

What we have, what we inherited from our — and you know this better than anybody, and you see it today with this incredible group of people — what we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again. So we cannot fail.

That, I think, is also true. Were a catastrophe to befall our world – an EMP strike or a widespread nuclear exchange, a sudden devastating virus or a zombie apocalypse – we could not rebuild the modern world in anything like the time-frame in which we originally constructed it. The technological reason is obvious: The industrial revolution was powered by comparatively easily extractable coal and oil. We extracted it and used it to develop the skills to get at the less easily extractable stuff. A global calamity would put us back to Square One, but with resources we could only reach at Square Twelve. That goes for more basic human resources, too: We have lost a lot of the skills of our ancestors, because we assumed they were no longer required. And in a less quantifiable way it applies to artistic achievement, too. So, in a fairly routine stop on a foreign tour, Trump has introduced a rather profound warning:

What we’ve inherited from our ancestors has never existed to this extent before. And if we fail to preserve it, it will never, ever exist again.

It will never come again. Is there a “racial and religious paranoia” to this? Even the Globalist Kingpin himself, Klaus Schwab, founder of Davos, sees it as basic demographic arithmetic:

“Look how many countries in Africa, for example, depend on the income from oil exports,” Schwab said in an interview ahead of the WEF’s 46th annual meeting, in the Swiss resort of Davos. “Now imagine one billion inhabitants, imagine they all move north.”

As I commented at the time:

A billion man march, eh? The population of the developed world – North America, the European Union, Japan, Oz, NZ – is about a billion. Of the remaining six billion people around the planet, is it really so absurd to think that one-sixth of them would “move north” if they could? Or if they chanced to see a YouTube video of “refugees” in Sweden and Germany demonstrating how easy it is?

The population of Africa is projected to grow from one to four billion in the course of this century – to about two-fifths of the planet’s people. Is it remotely likely that 40 per cent of humanity will choose to stay in the most dysfunctional continent on earth when it can’t support a population a quarter that size?

And if a billion people move to the west what chance those “universal values”? Even the crappy Cameronian ones like lousy pop concerts, which in Sweden are already being canceled and boycotted because of the, um, lively interaction between vibrantly diverse non-universal values. As Trump continued:

We have to remember that our defense is not just a commitment of money, it is a commitment of will. Because as the Polish experience reminds us, the defense of the West ultimately rests not only on means but also on the will of its people to prevail and be successful and get what you have to have.

Indeed. In Sweden, the most “enlightened” and “progressive” social democracy on earth, under a self-proclaimed “feminist government”, cannot muster the will to defend the right of its women to enjoy an evening of music in the park unmolested. It’s a small pleasure, but illustrative, as Trump grasped, of an existential question:

The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it? …

Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital, and demand no less defense, than that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested. Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory. …

I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph

As I said, a remarkable speech. …

I am nowhere near as confident of that answer. But he raised the question at a time when no other western leader will. It is a measure of our decay and decadence that the question is necessary, but in an age of cultural relativism a statement of the obvious is daring and courageous: Ours is the civilization that built the modern world – as even the west’s cultural relativists implicitly accept, if only because they have no desire to emigrate and try to make a living as a cultural relativist in Yemen or Niger. We built it, and, if we do not maintain it, and defend it, then, as Donald Trump says, it will never come again.

It will never come again.

Win! 1

President Trump is rapidly making America great again.

Yet we have to search for conservative commentators who see it.

Kurt Schlichter sees it. What is more, he has a gift for writing witty abuse. We enjoy it because it is directed at the Left. We occasionally quote him.  (He is religious, but if god stuff pops up – which it doesn’t in the article we quote here – we just cut it out.)

We quote most of this article of his, from Townhall, because we agree with it and enjoy it:

After eight years of Barack Obama’s pathetic fecklessness, America has got its feck back.

And the whiny progressives who prefer our woman-enslaving, gay-tossing, toddler-crucifying enemies to the guy who beat their designated heir to the Crown (Royal) are in a tizzy.

Oh no, America is refusing to continue down the path of submission, humiliation, and utter failure blazed by President Faily McWorsethancarter!

Heavens, we can’t have our enemies respecting us, much less fearing us!

Gosh, we can’t have America re-assuming its rightful place in the world – after all, weren’t we taught that the United States is the root of all evil by our pony-tailed TAs at Fussboy U?

In fact, Donald Trump is in the process of doing what Barack Obama never did and what he and his coterie of pompous twits and political hacks masquerading as a foreign policy brain trust could never do. Trump is establishing a successful foreign policy doctrine. It’s not precisely old school Republican doctrine. It’s also not the activist Bush Doctrine, which is often labeled “neo-con” by people who think “cuck” is a sick burn.

Trump’s policy is “America First.” Obama’s policy was “Blame America First.” Obama employed force only after extensive agonizing and never in the amount required to actually win. The Obama Doctrine was about staving off defeat just long enough so the next sucker would get stuck dealing with the resulting mess while The Lightbringer chills doing who knows what sans spouse in the South Pacific as Bill Ayers types up his memoirs for him.

Obama treated our allies like dirt, and he didn’t just embolden our enemies. He paid them – literally – with pallet loads of cash. Of course our enemies stopped fearing us. To the extent Putin diddled with our election [if he did – ed] by exposing the depths of Democrat corruption, it’s because he wasn’t afraid of that posing, prancing puffboy in the White House.

Putin’s rethinking his play now, as are those Seventh Century cultists in Tehran and that bloated bratwurst in Pyongyang. They all saw Obama for what he was – a preachy wuss without the stones for a fight, adhering to the motto “Make love, not war.”

Trump though? “We don’t understand what they’re going to do in Syria, and not only there,” pouted some Putin puppet. Good. When you’re acting like the most dangerous guy in the room, everyone else thinks twice about making any sudden moves. Be careful, because Trump might just kick your Harry Reid.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Trump is “changing his policies” and “flip-flopping”. The mainstream media is desperate for a “Trump Fails!” narrative that might stick, and “Trump Betrays His Supporters By Fighting America’s Enemies!” is as good as any.

Baloney. These prissy pundits don’t get the essential nature of either Donald Trump or the American people. They confuse Trump’s critique of establishment foreign policy – one that resonated with the Americans our fey elite asks to carry the burden of their interventionist shenanigans – with pure isolationism and even pacifism. It is nothing of the sort. Americans are sick of their lives and treasure being squandered by dithering milquetoasts who tie our troops’ hands and won’t do what’s necessary because they can’t get it through their pointy heads that if it’s important enough to fight a war, then we damn well ought to win it.

Putting America’s interests first does not mean putting our heads in the sand. Americans know these savages need killing, and they’re happy to oblige. Army General George S. Patton understood this essential truth: “Americans love to fight…. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.”

Congratulations Washington, you managed to disprove Patton on one point. We haven’t won a ground war since Desert Storm in 1991, and we won that because we found the enemy, we fixed them in position, and we killed those bastards until they begged for mercy. Then we came home. That’s the lesson, and Trump seems to get it. What Americans are tired of is having their sons and daughters coming home in bags because D.C. hand-wringers were butch enough to start a fight, but not men enough to finish it.

Notably, the new National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is a Desert Storm legend, a cavalryman from the mighty VII Corps. See the pieces come together?

Trump gets that we can’t fix Syria, and he has zero intention of dropping in tens of thousands of America’s sons and daughters to teach its inhabitants to play nice. But spraying sarin on little kids crossed the line, morally and strategically. Assad didn’t have to use it; he chose to, and he chose to because he thought he could rub Trump’s nose in America’s impotence the way he had done to Sissy O’Redline.

Trump came under fire from platoons of Eames chair generals and hipster blogtroopers sharing the strategic savvy they earned fetching a thousand lattes. Most of them have never thrown or taken a punch, and they didn’t understand that the only way to stop a bully is with a haymaker to the jaw. Trump’s message was loud and clear, and not just to that little creep cowering in Damascus. Everyone saw what happens when you get in Trump’s face, and how fast the fists flew. And just wait until they see our 350-ship Navy.

Trump’s Tomahawk strike was a tactical and strategic success. Tactically, it bashed a decent chunk of Bashar’s air force. Strategically, it gave dictators and thugs pause – and the limited nature of the response kept us from being sucked into another quagmire in which our magnificent warriors’ sacrifice and success would be squandered by subsequent Democrats a la Vietnam and Iraq. Plus it demonstrated that the key processes for executing American foreign policy are in place and operating again. The Trump Team understands that firmness and focus saves lives by deterring our enemies.

The MOAB strike was vintage Trump. Typical Obama – we had a weapon system that American forces needed, but the military probably didn’t even bother asking to use it. With Trump, they don’t have to ask. Here’s Trump’s order: “Win.”

Trump meets with the Chinese leader and a week later the Chi-Coms are leaning on the Norks. Yet the clueless media is whining that suddenly Trump’s altered some of his positions on trade issues, missing the connection entirely. But in the media’s defense, it has been eight years since Americans walked out of a negotiation having kept their pants.

The mouth-breathing media tells us Trump has done a 180 degree turn on NATO. Nonsense. Trump, like most Americans, rejects the “You hate NATO, you NATO-hating knuckle draggers!” shrieks from the establishment every time some patriot wonders why the Europeans were, for the most part, not pulling their weight in their own defense. Trump simply told them that we are done shrugging and covering the cash shortfalls while they take money that they promised would be going to guns and give it to rape-focused refugees. That’s not at all unreasonable and, as someone who supports NATO and who wears a NATO medal, some real talk was long overdue and necessary to sustain this critical alliance. NATO’s “friends”, by using cheap invective to shield it from legitimate criticism, imperiled its support among the American people. To save NATO, we must fix NATO. That will happen. …

In response, the desperate Democrats are trying to play tough, and it’s adorable. They hate it when a Republican stands up for America’s interests over those of foreigners abroad almost as much as when one stands up for normal Americans here at home (If Hillary had won, we may well have seen the same peace and love here as they created in Libya). That’s why the Russian nonsense was so hysterical. …

Trump is playing tough with our actual enemies. The only enemies that Obama’s national security hacks like Susan “The Video Did It!” Rice and failed young adult romance novelist Ben Rhodes were ever interested in defeating were Obama’s political enemies. …

It’s again clear that if you are thinking about getting uppity with the U.S. of A, you are rolling the dice. Of course, the liberals whine, which is good because the volume of their yelps is a terrific metric for success. The more they cry about it, the better an idea it is. May they weep long and hard, because America has got its feck back.

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