Civilization’s sickness unto death 447

The Sickness Unto Death is the title of a book by the nineteenth century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855).* He diagnosed the sickness as despair – the despair of individuals. An individual despairing of himself is sick with a psychological disease. “Psychological” is the author’s word for it. Kierkegaard was a Protestant Christian – but opposed to the established Lutheran church of Denmark – and the cure he prescribed was Christian faith.

In the twentieth century the French writer Jean Raspail (1925-2020) published a novel titled The Camp of the Saints. The story diagnoses guilt as the lethal sickness of the pan-European community called the West. Its guilt is a political disease, making it impotent and moribund. Raspail was a Catholic – but angry with the Catholic Church – and the cure he prescribed was Christian faith.

In May 2023, First Things published an article by Nathan Pinkoski on The Camp of the Saints. These are extracts from it:

The most important dystopian novel of the second half of the [20th] century is Jean Raspail’s Le Camp des Saints (The Camp of the Saints, 1973). Its central plotline concerns an armada that transports one million migrants from India to the shores of France. It’s an invasion, an occupation of the Global North by the Global South. As the migrants land, France is thrown into chaos, along with the rest of Europe, and Western civilization dies.

Yet The Camp of the Saints is not a disaster novel. The book’s significance does not hinge on whether Raspail was correct to predict mass immigration or describe it in catastrophic terms. Rather, the novel’s genius lies in the depiction of an apocalypse in the original sense of that term. Properly translated, apocalypse is rendered as revelation, disclosure, literally an “uncovering.” The Camp of the Saints unveils the perverse logic that pervades late Western civilization, and throws into sharp relief the nihilism of guilt whereby the West welcomes its own destruction. …

Raspail will not allow the migrants to be idealized. Throughout the novel, he emphasizes their vulgarity by providing lengthy descriptions of their crudeness, sexual promiscuity, and repellent hygiene. … [T]he migrants are materially and culturally destitute. That is why they find the West attractive. They do not have a mission to redeem sinful Europe; they are seeking deliverance from poverty and from the sometimes-brutal oppression and inequalities of non-Western cultures.

They will not obtain what they seek. In discussing what to do about the armada, the French authorities persuade themselves of their own ­illegitimacy. At the climax of the novel, the French president delivers an emergency speech meant to authorize the use of military force against the migrants and prevent them from landing. But he ­cannot bring himself to deliver the order. France will not defend itself. When the migrants alight from their boats and wade ashore, the West has already capitulated.

European governments fall as the migrants arrive, and European citizens withdraw from public life. Civil society collapses; as a result, the migrants enjoy no real improvement in their condition. They bring their bad rulers with them, replacing European regimes with the very regimes they have fled. ­Dictator-generals and Brahmins take up positions in French government, ruling as they did in their own lands. The migrants and their supporters do not “include” the Rest into the West. They expand the scope of the Third World, and wretchedness goes global. The purported blessing of the arrival of the wretched, so cherished by progressive voices in the novel, does not come about. What emerges is not a particularly harsh despotism—there is only the occasional boot stomping on the human face—but the pain of the survivors is great, because of their vivid memories of what they have lost. …

The left-wing intelligentsia herald the coming of the migrants as the dawn of a new age of multiculturalism, but they stoke a media frenzy and deploy the tools of cancel culture against those who demur, ostracizing or punishing them. …

Raspail is unsparing in his depiction of the betrayals urged by left-wing intellectuals, but he reserves his most scathing passages for the treason of the Catholic Church. In the novel, the previous pope has sold the treasures of the Vatican in a failed bid to win the approval of the Third World. The sitting pope, a Latin American, spends his time flying around on humanitarian missions and selling off whatever Vatican assets remain. He sees himself as a champion of the Third World. As the migrants arrive and the native French abandon their lands, priests go down to the beaches to cry, “Thank God!” They turn their backs on their countrymen, imagining they see Christ in the migrants.

In Raspail’s telling, Catholic Christianity has for some time been in thrall to humanitarian universalism. The novel satirizes a left-liberal Catholicism that disdains national and civilizational particularity and renders the faith indistinguishable from the moral universalism of non-believers. Under the banner of “charity, solidarity, and universal conscience”, progressive clerics abandon their neighbors for the sake of the stranger. They practice the religion of humanity, a Christian heresy

The First World must be taught to be ashamed of itself, to believe that its death will be its greatest gift to the future of humanity. The new civic liturgy of Western nations must express submission to the morally superior non-Western “other”. Those in the West need to be trained to take the knee …

Again and again in the novel, cowardice and self-hatred are masked and moderated by the conviction that mass immigration into Europe and the deconstruction of European identity will somehow take away the sins of the West. But Raspail knows the truth: Third World immigrants do not have the power to deliver Europeans from their sense of worthlessness. Once one embraces the logic of civilizational repudiation, the endpoint is nihilism and cultural death. …

The West is responsible for its own fate. Raspail is right. God will not deliver us from the consequences of our guilty self-­hatred. It is up to us to decide whether we will reject […] atonement through occupation and turn instead to the Lord.

Contrary to Pinkoski’s opinion, ours is that the really interesting thing about The Camp 0f the Saints is the accuracy of its prediction of what is happening in the 21st century: the non-violent invasion of the First World by a vast number of immigrants from the Third World; the failure of First World Governments to prevent it or turn it back; the sabotaging reaction to it of leftist intellectuals; clerics of the great churches – the Catholic priests following the lead of a Latin American pope –  passionately encouraging the shattering, the befouling, the abandonment of Western civilization.

What accounts for the capitulation of the rich and mighty law-governed civilized West to poor, weak, ignorant hordes from (in our case) the dark continent of Africa, corrupt republics of Latin America, cruel khanates of the Middle and Far East, hellholes of vicious Communist dictators?

Pinkoski declares, in apparent agreement with Raspail, that the big mistake which allows such a fatal tragedy to happen, is the embrace by Western political, intellectual, and religious leaders of  a “perverse logic” that “throws into sharp  relief the nihilism of guilt”.  The guilt is for Europe’s erstwhile imperialism, its colonizing and alleged oppressive exploitation of Third World countries. It arises, even in “Catholic Christianity”, out of an enchantment with  “humanitarian universalism”. That, Pinkoski tells us, is a “religion of humanity” and “a Christian heresy”.

The expression “humanitarian universalism” is no doubt intended to imply Marxism, but also more than that: global brotherhood, the family of man, humanism; an ideology of moral values, but essentially secular, and so “heretical” because it omits God. To the Christian mind, such an ideology is invalid because morals can only be decreed by God.

In reality, humanism, which purports to be concerned with individuals, is a very unlikely source of guilt and shame for a communal “sin”. The “sin” in this story is so bad that it calls for extreme punishment – nothing less than the destruction of our entire civilization, the peak achievement of humankind. The notion that humanism, or “humanitarianism”, is the source of such a shame could only arise in the religious mind – a mind furnished with inherited antiques: sin, guilt, atonement, penance, redemption through suffering, subordination of one’s own interests, apocalypse. And only one Western religion demands atonement by self-abasement, self-sacrifice, annihilation of achievement, willing submission to suffering.

Humanism began its resurrection with the anthropocentrism of  the Renaissance, and rose to its full height when Reason dethroned Faith at last in the Enlightenment. After a millennium of Christian oppression, Reason set Western man free to think, explore, experiment, discover, invent, hypothesize, be right and wrong; and be free to choose law instead of mystic revelation as a setter of ethical rules. (It is unfortunate – worse, it is disastrous – that most humanists have by now embraced the secular religion of socialism which again is inimical to freedom.)

The Enlightenment broke the power of the churches to terrify and oppress, but it did not change the essence of Christianity, which is masochistic. Doctrinally self-accusing. An ideology of  guilt, shame, abasement, and morbid reverence for martyrdom. For as long as its institutions were  powerful enough, it was an oppressive, torturing, property-confiscating, murdering tyranny; as totalitarian as it could be in the ages in which it ruled – no matter whether in the name of Catholicism or Protestantism. The secular heir to its tyranny is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Wokeism – no matter which of those labels it wears.

Christian faith, far from being the cure for the West’s sickness unto death, is its cause.

***

*Kierkegaard’s works are fascinating and often intentionally funny. He was witty and dryly humorous. His wit and humor are on fullest display in his book Either/Or.

The point of no return 447

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James Hankins and Allen C. Guelzo … noted in the first chapter of Where Next?: Civilization at the Crossroads thatCivilization is always threatened by barbarism, and the greater threat often comes more from within than from without.”

The political philosopher James Burnham made a similar point when he argued thatSuicide is probably more frequent than murder as the end phase of a civilization.”

The historian Arnold Toynbee spoke in this context of the “barbarization of the dominant minority.” When a society is robust and self-confident, Toynbee suggested, cultural influence travels largely from the elites to the proletariats. The elites furnish social models to be emulated. The proletariats are “softened,” Toynbee said, by their imitation of the manners and morals of a dominant elite. But when a society begins to falter, the imitation proceeds largely in the opposite direction: the dominant elite is coarsened by its imitation of proletarian manners. Toynbee spoke in this context of a growing “sense of drift,” “truancy,” “promiscuity,” and general “vulgarization” of manners, morals, and the arts. The elites, instead of holding fast to their own standards, suddenly begin to “go native” and adopt the dress, attitudes, and behavior of the lower classes. Flip on your television, scroll through social media, look at the teens and pre-teens in your middle-class neighborhood. You will see what Toynbee meant by “barbarization of the dominant [or, rather ‘once-dominant’] minority.” One part of the impulse is summed up in the French phrase nostalgie de la boue. But it is not “mud” that is sought so much as repudiation. …

What we are talking about is the drift, the tendency of our culture. And that is to be measured not so much by what we permit or forbid as by what we unthinkingly accept as normal. This crossroads, that is to say, is part of a process, one of whose markers is the normalization of the outré.  Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan described this development as “defining deviancy down.” It is, as the late columnist Charles Krauthammer observed, a two-way process. “As part of the vast social project of moral leveling,” he wrote, it is not enough for the deviant to be normalized. The normal must be found to be deviant. . . . Large areas of ordinary behavior hitherto considered benign have had their threshold radically redefined up, so that once innocent behavior now stands condemned as deviant. Normal middle-class life then stands exposed as the true home of violence and abuse and a whole catalog of aberrant acting and thinking.”

Hilaire Belloc espied the culmination of this process in Survivals and New Arrivals (1929):

When it is mature we shall have, not the present isolated, self-conscious insults to beauty and right living, but a positive coordination and organized affirmation of the repulsive and the vile.” …

Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints (1973) … imagines a world in which Western Civilization is overrun and destroyed by unfettered Third-World immigration. It describes an instance of wholesale cultural suicide … Conspicuous in that apocalypse is the feckless collusion of white Europeans and Americans in their own supersession. They faced an existential crossroads. They chose extinction, laced with the emotion of higher virtue, rather than survival. …

In 1994, Irving Kristol wrote an important essay called Countercultures. In it, he noted that “‘Sexual liberation’ is always near the top of a countercultural agenda—though just what form the liberation takes can and does vary, sometimes quite widely.” The costumes and rhetoric change, but the end is always the same: an assault on the defining institutions of our civilization. “Women’s liberation,” Kristol continues, “is another consistent feature of all countercultural movements—liberation from husbands, liberation from children, liberation from family. Indeed, the real object of these various sexual heterodoxies is to disestablish the family as the central institution of human society, the citadel of orthodoxy.”

In Eros and Civilization (1966), the Marxist countercultural guru Herbert Marcuse provided an illustration of Kristol’s thesis avant la lettre. Railing against “the tyranny of procreative sexuality,” Marcuse urged his followers to return to a state of “primary narcissism” and extolled the joys of “polymorphous perversity.” Are we there yet?  … Marcuse sought to enlist a programmatically unfruitful sexuality in his campaign against “capitalism” and the cultural establishment: barrenness as a revolutionary desideratum. Back then, the diktat seemed radical but self-contained, another crackpot effusion from the academy. Today, it is a widespread mental health problem, accepted gospel preached by teachers, the media, and legislators across the country. As I write, the National Women’s Law Center has just taken to Twitter to declare that “People of all genders need abortions.” How many things had to go wrong for someone, presumably female, to issue that bulletin? “All genders,” indeed. I recall the observation, attributed to Voltaire, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

In The Catholic Tradition and the Modern State”(1916), the historian Christopher Dawson wrote, “It is not liberty, but power which is the true note of our modern civilization. Man has gained infinitely in his control over Nature, but he has lost control over his own individual life.” I think this is true. And there is a political as well as a technical or scientific dimension to the phenomenon Dawson describes.

[It may be true, but the underlined sentence is annoyingly badly written. When “Man” is used  as a generic term, “he” cannot be said to have an “individual life”. A better formulation of the idea Dawson is trying to express: Humankind has gained greatly in control over Nature, but individuals have lost control over their own lives.]

In the West, what we have witnessed since the so-called “Progressive” movement of the 1910s and 1920s is the rise of a bureaucratic elite that has increasingly absorbed the prerogatives of power from legislative bodies. In the United States, for example, Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress. For many decades, however, Americans have been ruled less by laws duly enacted by their representatives in Congress and more by an alphabet soup of regulatory agencies. The members of these bodies are elected by no one; they typically work outside the purview of public scrutiny; and yet their diktats have the force of law. Already in the 1940s, James Burnham was warning about the prospect of a “managerial revolution” that would accomplish by bureaucracy what traditional politics had failed to produce. Succeeding decades have seen the extraordinary growth of this leviathan, the unchecked multiplication of its offices and powers, and the encroaching reach of its tentacles into the interstices of everyday life. We are now, to an extent difficult to calculate, ruled by this “administrative state”, the “deep state”,  the “regulatory state”.

When in September 2020 the World Economic Forum at Davos announced its blueprint for a “Great Reset” in the wake of the worldwide panic over COVID-19, a new crossroads had been uncovered. Never letting a crisis go to waste, the Davos initiative was an extensive menu of progressive, i.e., socialistic imperatives. Here at last was an opportunity to enact a worldwide tax on wealth, a far-reaching (and deeply impoverishing) “green energy” agenda, rules that would dilute national sovereignty, and various schemes to insinuate politically correct attitudes into the fabric of everyday life. All this was being promulgated for our own good, of course. But it was difficult to overlook the fact that the WEF plan involved nothing less than the absorption of liberty by the extension of bureaucratic power.

Kimball’s idea is that we are now  at a point – a “crossroads”, or a fork in the road – where we have a choice to make: restore and preserve Western civilization, OR let it die.

I do not think we have that choice. “The drift, the tendency of our culture” has gone too far in the direction of “the repulsive and the vile” to be stemmed and diverted back to “right living”. Western Civilization  has been “overrun and destroyed by unfettered [unobstructed] Third-World immigration”.

We are at – we have have passed the point of no return.

 

Jillian Becker    December 12, 2022

The West at sunset 186

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 122

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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What is worth conserving now? 157

The Left, a passionately destructive movement, has won. The Right has let it win.

Where now can those who want to live what had become the normal life of the West – being safely free under the law, having children, enjoying family life, gaining knowledge and prosperity, contributing talent and labor, pursuing happiness  – look for the preservation and protection of that normality?

Not to any institutions we can think of – government, police, army, intelligence agencies, courts of law …

Not to the Republican Party. Not to any conservative organization or grass roots movement.

Does that mean that the greatest civilization in human history, begun in the Renaissance and launched by the Enlightenment, is now over and done with? Is this the suicide of the West?

Having taken away the security of equality under the law; having put an end to real education; having wrecked the arts; having, in short, destroyed in a few decades the greatness that had taken centuries to build, the destructive Left now concentrates on putting an end to the human race itself – by sterilizing it.

Pedro Gonzalez writes at American Greatness:

The first thing we have to accept about the culture war is that the Republican Party and the conservative movement have lost.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the battle of the biological sexes, lost without a shot fired.

In the United States, Congress generously provided $5.7 million in taxpayer dollars to the National Institutes of Health for a study wherein children as young as age 8 received puberty-suppressing, cross-sex hormones that will render them permanently infertile.

Nationally, Republicans like Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem have capitulated to the queer zeitgeist. Hutchinson vetoed a measure to ban castration for minors suffering from gender dysphoria, also known as “gender-affirming therapy”.  Noem effectively killed a bill intended to restrict transgender participation in women’s sports. Even when they had the upper hand over Democrats in Florida and Texas, limp-wristed Republicans performed silent retreats from transgender sports bills, allowing Democrats to run the table.

Conservatives accept the Left’s premise that transgenderism is normative and, therefore, something to be glorified and even celebrated when they speak of the “rights” of the transgendered. The alternative, in this view, is rank bigotry and perhaps even violence. But this is a false choice.

No one should suffer abuse, but rather than exalting the virtues of our transgender culture, the Right should reject the normalization of what is essentially a pathology connected to staggering suicide rates.

An order wherein underage boys can receive hormone blockers to hinder the growth of their penises, and have male genitalia “reconstructed” into female genitalia, is not worth preserving.

Yet –

This is the order the conservative movement and Republican Party seek to preserve. They do not reject it but only protest that treatment should not be taxpayer-funded and that sports remain free of biologically unfair competition, blind or indifferent to the dishonor of it all.

A civilization that legalizes the sterilization and mutilation of its children has put itself on a path toward suicide by robbing its sons and daughters of the ability to procreate even as birth rates plummet.

It has chosen to die a humiliating death. 

But transgenderism is only the latest failure of conservatism and the GOP, which has surrendered on everything including immigration, criminal justice, and reparations.

There is, therefore, no reason to be “conservative” because to be conservative in America today is to preserve an order that has lost its legitimacy, and the right thing is not to conserve but destroy it and institute something else. The Republican Party, as it stands, is and will continue to be an obstacle to this cause.

What “something else” can be “instituted”? How? When? By whom?

Progress to extinction continued 114

We ended the post immediately below with this: 

It is not only “hard to imagine where universities go after peak progressivism”, or where the networks can “go after that”; it is impossible to see a destination for the Left itself, in America or anywhere else in the world.

Except to extinction.

Seems there is at least a section of Left opinion in academia, among the climate alarmists, that sets extinction as its goal; not just the extinction of the Left itself, and certainly not the extinction of the planet, but the total extinction of the human race.

Breitbart reports:

Giving birth to a child is “the worst thing you can do” to the climate, says philosophy professor Patricia MacCormack of Anglia Ruskin University.

The professor, author of The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene who describes herself as an “old school goth,” says that the only way to save the planet is to stop having children and allow humans to become extinct. …

Due to global overpopulation, giving birth is the worst thing you can do to the planet, MacCormack [maintains], while insisting that she is not advocating wiping out the existing population but rather letting it die off.

“Far from advocating mass death, genocide or eugenics, my manifesto is antinatalist,” says MacCormack. “It boycotts human reproduction due to the damage humans have perpetrated on the Earth and its other inhabitants.”

“The manifesto simply asks that humans no longer reproduce – no life is lost, no being is mourned,” she states. “If we no longer reproduce, we can care for all inhabitants already here, human and non-human, as well as care for the Earth itself by mitigating the damage already caused. It’s an activism of care.”

Care for all those other inhabitants? They need us for that? Are you sure, Madam Professor? I mean – in that case, won’t they miss us when we’re gone?

A native Australian, MacCormack says her opinions have been manipulated and misunderstood.

“I simply propose people not reproduce, and it automatically translated into acts of violence,” she has said.

“So, somehow, I want to kill children, which is ridiculous. Somehow, I’m proposing eugenics or some kind of ethnic population control,” she declares, “and I think that what that shows is there is an anthropocentric — or a human — impulse to read acts of grace as, automatically, acts of violence.” …

So she visualizes the human species going very gently into obliteration.

Along with her opinions regarding the human population, MacCormack advocates overcoming “human privilege” through what she calls “abolitionist veganism,” or the notion that no sentient being should be treated as property of another.

Her prescription for stopping lions, tigers, crocodiles, snakes, eagles, bears, wolves, sharks treating their prey as their property to kill and eat, is not reported.

According to MacCormack, her manifesto “questions the value of human exceptionalism, asking are humans really the ‘best’ forms of life, or should we dismantle our understanding of life as a hierarchy for a more ecological, interconnected scheme of living things?”

In no way are we human beings superior to any other form of life! What arrogance to suppose we are!

Among other climate action groups, MacCormack says that those like the protest group Extinction Rebellion have the right idea but are not going far enough.

“Even Extinction Rebellion only focus on the effect this will have on human life, when climate change is something that will affect every living being on the planet,” she states.

Anglia Ruskin University holds up MacCormack’s ideas on climate, but also underscores her expertise in feminism, queer theory, posthuman ethics, animal studies, and horror films.

Posthuman ethics.

Now there’s something to think about – while there’s anybody left to think at all.

Feminist Witch/University Professor Patricia MacCormack

Posted under Climate, Demography, education, Environmentalism, Feminism, genocide, Leftism, Philosophy, Progressivism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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What is conservatism? 302

A heated altercation is proceeding between two groups of American conservatives. Each group is claiming to be the true conservatives.

The one group calls itself “Alt-Right ” and “America Firsters”. All its members are white and proudly white-supremacist, convinced that the white race is superior to all others. They are also called “groypers”. What they want to conserve, they say, are what they consider to be the traditional cultural norms of the white race, laying particular stress on the Christian religion and heterosexual marriage. Their motto is “Faith, Family, Community”. They are fiercely – and at the same time facetiously – aggressive in word and deed.

The other, much bigger group in America, are the conservatives who (generally, but not invariably and not uncritically) vote Republican; are Christian, but want a separation of church and state; are nationalists and patriots, but not racists; are tolerant of homosexual marriage; and who loyally uphold the Constitution of the United States.

These two rival versions of conservatism are to be found in an article and a speech from which we select the most telling passages:

Matthew Boose defends the “Alt-Right” and attacks what he calls “Conservatism, Inc.” in an article at American Greatness. He refers to the “civil war” between representative of the two sides, and sums up the arguments as he understands them:

In the wake of the Donald Trump moment, conservatism is up for grabs: white identitarians, “Catholic integralists,” paleocons, and American nationalists all sense an opportunity for greater representation. But the bigger story is that the globalist, anti-nationalist, progressive “conservatism” that came before Trump isn’t yet quite dead, and it’s fighting for survival.

The degree to which this is true has become apparent over the past few weeks as a civil war within campus conservatism has raged on between Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA and paleoconservative activists who follow the nationalist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes.

Nicholas Fuentes is a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite.

As Kirk and his allies see it, the Fuentes fans, who call themselves “groypers,” have been trying to “hijack” campus conservatism by injecting “white nationalism” into the debate. But this so-called sabotage has been accomplished with extraordinary simplicity. The groypers have been showing up to Kirk’s events to air their grievances about the failures of mainstream conservatism and its wholesale embrace of the LGBT+ agenda and mass migration.

Rather than talk to these activists in good faith, though, the gatekeepers have decided their ideas are not worth debating. They have instead pursued a campaign of denigration and suppression. Leaving aside personalities, they have dismissed candid, important questions about demographics and the liberalization of the conservative movement as “bigoted” and “racist.” …

Kirk acknowledges that the demographic shifts … are real and that leftists are celebrating those changes. But Kirk ends up backing the leftist premise that such demographic shifts are inevitable and that the Republican Party’s only hope is to embrace this growing and diverse reality.

Kirk rejects without explanation putting a moratorium on immigration. Rather than restrict immigration to reverse the trend, Kirk [says that] … Republicans must reject “anti-immigrant” stances and instead do more to reach minority demographics. Only then can the GOP remain viable in a majority-minority future.

The premise is based on an obvious double-standard, one which is becoming more and more difficult to simply ignore. … If we’re talking about the interests of “natural Republicans” from El Salvador and “MAGA drag queens,” then Kirk and Conservatism, Inc. have no issue with appealing to demographics. But when it comes to talking about the interests of white Christians it’s a different story altogether. That’s “racist”. …

The leaders of the conservative movement must be able to answer these questions: why are white Christians, and only white Christians, prohibited from acting in their rational self-interest? Why must Republicans, given the prospect of a dim future in which it can only survive by pandering to the Left, respond by pandering to the Left now, just to win over people who hate and want to persecute them anyway?

In the end, this “strategy” is nothing more than a capitulation to the Left, the same surrender that has laid the country, and the party, so low for decades. By all means, the Republican Party must never waver in its support of the traditional family, of life, and of the Constitution. But it’s also not clear how exactly, or why, appealing to minority groups, and only minority groups, is the best way to do that.

It is disingenuous, not to say illogical, to say that the Republican Party must, for some unexplained reason, not think in terms of demographics when it comes to its most reliable voters—and join the Left in attacking any of those voters who may feel besieged by our liberal monoculture—and instead seek to recruit and celebrate other, reliably liberal groups, such as gays and Latino immigrants. With the exception of evangelicals and Cubans, Latino voters as a group are reliably Democrat, and they have been for decades. They support gun control, the welfare state, and even gay marriage by some margins. Their mythic social conservatism is not as solid as some Republicans would like to think. What does Conservatism, Inc. imagine it can do to change that in short order?

While the TPUSA controversy has focused on demographics, another core grievance of the “groypers” is the conservative movement’s inability to conserve the morals and traditions that made America great, especially traditional marriage. The conscious embrace of leftist identity politics, particularly LGBT rights, by Kirk and other Conservatism, Inc. figures justifies the impression that this is by unconscious design, if not conscious choice.

They pander to every identity group under the sun while at the same time feeling very free to attack white Americans who are troubled by the prospect of becoming a minority in their own country. Such people are denounced as “racists” just for feeling that way. It’s hard to see what’s conservative about this, or how it will help Republicans win elections in a deeply uncertain future.

It is no accident that some liberals have encouraged their Republican adversaries to embrace the “diversify” strategy Kirk advocates, as it advances the Left’s own goals and commitments. The gatekeepers in Conservatism, Inc. embrace the same ideas, the same methods, and even the same rhetoric as the Left to advance a globalist, anti-nationalist agenda. Their smears of outspoken America Firsters are indistinguishable from the Left’s familiar drive-by attacks on even the most unobjectionable conservatives.

The “conservatism” of groups like TPUSA isn’t conserving anything—nothing, that is, but liberalism itself. It does not offer young people anything they cannot already find in the ethos of consumerism and vacuous personal “liberation” so pervasive in our liberal culture and advanced relentlessly by the globalist Left.

For conservatives to embrace gay marriage is not an intuitive position by any means, but Kirk and his boosters have done exactly that, denouncing those with questions about this development as “homophobes”. Especially at a time when leftists scheme in the open about taxing churches that don’t recognize gay marriage, it’s hardly a logical position for a conservative to take.

The “conservatism” of Conservatism, Inc. isn’t conservatism, but a species of libertarianism. Like many in the libertarian camp, Kirk takes the view that matters of marriage and morals should be left to private contracts between individuals and what they do in the so-called privacy of their own lives; never mind that the Left has already invaded the public square and has made persecuting Christians and conservatives a moral mission. To the libertarians of Conservatism, Inc., moral authority appears not to rest with a higher power, but is arrogated instead to individuals. All that matters is the “free market” and securing the freedom to legitimize a deeper and deeper backslide into barbarism.

I’m not going to question Kirk’s faith, but the morality he advocates has more in common with the Left than with Christian principles. In an interview … Kirk described himself as a “conservatarian” and expresses the view that there is no contradiction between the libertarian non-aggression principle and his religious views: “you should be able to make your choices as you see fit, as long as you’re not harming someone else.”

This is the classic formulation of liberalism: the idea that society should be arranged to make people as free as possible to pursue their own adventures. But there is nothing obviously conservative about this mentality. By following it, Kirk has embraced a very recent cultural shift that repudiates centuries upon centuries of tradition on marriage and the family.

This libertarian ethos of personal liberation justifies the damage done to the social fabric by leftism, while inviting further degeneration down the road. It has no cohesive social vision beyond securing the “blessings of liberty” to invite drag queens into libraries to read stories to schoolchildren. It has neither the desire nor the conviction to resist America’s free-fall into social anomie and moral decay, and it has no plan for repairing the destruction of the past decades of experimentation. America is imagined not even to be a concrete place at all, but rather a collation of hoary abstractions coined by the Founding Fathers, who surely fought and died so that future generations of Americans would embrace state-sanctioned gender reassignment surgery for 7-year-olds.

Coupled with this moral indifference is a worship of the “free market” and its miraculous power to distribute goods, resources, and labor as efficiently as possible. It’s not by mistake that conservatives of Kirk’s stripe talk more about markets than morals. If all that matters is the free market and “doing whatever you want,” then it’s hard to justify restricting immigration or opposing gay marriage to preserve American jobs, values, and traditions.

These “conservatives” understand that the common good is most helped by inviting millions of foreign laborers to boost the GDP, that the Gospel preaches acceptance of whatever sexually permissive fashions the Left dreamed up yesterday, that America is just an idea in which all lifestyles, peoples, and cultures except those which define the historic American nation must be celebrated. …

Conservatism, Inc. can offer no assurances that Americans may expect to raise their children in a decent, moral society that cares about family, community, and faith. It does not seek to build a world where Americans may live free and prosperous lives without bearing false witness to the same idols that the Left, and the controlled opposition of Conservatism, Inc., worship. Americans are provided not the least guarantees of job security, or that America will even speak their native language in thirty years time. Neither are they provided the reprieve of knowing that they will be able to worship and raise their families in the faith of their upbringing and their ancestors without incurring ruinous financial and social consequences.

Kirk acknowledges that conservatives are besieged by a “far-left mainstream culture leading an assault on American values,” but whether he realizes it or not, Kirk and his defenders are part of enabling that mainstream. The entirety of Conservatism, Inc. is working towards the same ends as the progressive, globalist left. The irony is that they do this while styling themselves the “real conservatives” and attacking anyone with serious questions about the movement’s priorities.

Rather than answer challenging questions about the future of conservatism, the Beltway conservatives have responded with emotive attacks, threats of censorship and doxxing, and outright smears. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) has warned that questioners who venture outside the gentle sandbox of Heritage Foundation good-think will regret showing their faces on camera. Ben Shapiro dedicated a 45-minute speech to obliquely attacking the groypers, but refused to engage with them directly. Coming from the guy who coined “facts don’t care about your feelings,” that’s just rich.

Conservatism, Inc. isn’t a movement but a corporate enterprise. Its self-styled “dissent” is all part of a shallow brand of rebellion that begins and ends with “triggering” blue-haired gender studies majors. Beyond these shallow displays of edginess, Conservatism, Inc. promotes the same agenda of social liberalism and open borders as the Left. They wear a mask of intellectualism and “free thought,” but the moment anyone questions the dogma, the gatekeepers fall back on exactly the kind of emotive attacks that they project onto the “triggered” Left.

Kirk says that the Right must resist “excommunicating” those with different opinions on important issues, but that is exactly what Kirk and his allies are trying to do to the America Firsters. He complains of being subjected to an ideological “purity test” by the America First crowd while simultaneously, and arbitrarily labeling them “fake conservatives,” “white nationalists” and “anti-Semites.” This is nonsense.

What Kirk calls a fake purity test is conservatives who are concerned about the direction of the Trump movement making sure that it actually remains committed to its priorities. Their concerns are legitimate. It doesn’t matter when and whether Kirk became a Trump supporter if his ideas don’t align with the agenda that propelled Trump to office.

The truth is that the groypers, however weird the “groyper” brand might be, are closer to the mainstream of how the American Right actually feels than the Beltway types who wear the conservative label while behaving exactly like leftists. They should be applauded for challenging Conservatism, Inc. and its bankrupt ideology. Their “trolling” is more effective activism than the totality of the establishment’s pathetic kowtowing to the gods of Diversity and Progress. …

Why don’t establishment conservatives like Kirk, who have also been smeared by the Left, ally with the conservative “trolls” who actually want to conserve something instead of pandering to the people who hate them? That they do not raises  two possibilities: that they are not sincere, or that they are sincere liberals.

Whatever they are, it isn’t “conservative”.

Ours is a conservative establishment that does nothing, and has done nothing, to conserve the traditions that made America great. This fact cries out for an accounting, and it is becoming impossible to ignore. If Conservatism, Inc. refuses to engage candidly with serious, legitimate questions about its priorities, then it deserves to be called out for its hypocrisy and emptiness.

It is an intensely emotional argument. It shows real fear that America is undergoing a demographic transformation that will make the whites a minority.

Ben Shapiro (who was not at first a supporter of President Trump, but seems to be now) defended the more common views of American conservatives and attacked the ‘”Alt-Right” in a speech he made at Stanford University (November 7, 2019):

I want to talk about the dangerous game being played by two particular nasty groups who feed off one another: I am speaking about the radical Left and the Alt-Right. …

The radical Left and the Alt-Right need each other. And they’re playing a game, in which the radical Left seeks to delegitimize anyone who isn’t radically Left by lumping them in with the despicable Alt-Right — and in which the Alt-Right seeks to make common cause with anyone “cancelled” by the radical Left, specifically with the supporters of President Trump who have been maligned falsely as evil by the radical Left, in order to artificially boost their numbers.

These two goals are mutually reinforcing. Here’s how this garbage works… Let’s say, for example, that you believe that ‘white civilization’ — a nonsensical term, since civilization is not defined by color but by history, culture, and philosophy — is under attack from multiracial hordes. Let’s say that you’re antipathetic toward Jews and enraged by the liberties guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of the United States. Let’s say you spend your days ranting about how American conservatives and traditional classical liberals — the sole protective force against the radical Left — haven’t “conserved” anything. You say America is not a propositional or creedal nation, even though the nation’s founding literally begins with the words, ‘We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights… Let’s say you cite Christianity as the basis of your values, but you’re more likely to quote Nietzsche than Christ. …

First, you declare your allegiance to President Trump, and declare that you aren’t really Alt-Right, even though you obviously are. You show up to lectures wearing a MAGA hat in order to get the media to cover it – and in order to demonstrate that you’re truly a representative of the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump. You call yourself “America First”, hijacking Trump’s slogan, but twisting it to mean “white Americans first”.  The media will eat it up, because the media love nothing better than suggesting that Trump is a white supremacist, despite the fact that he has repeatedly condemned white supremacism. …

You do so by simply lying about mainstream conservatives. You suggest that mainstream conservatives are insufficiently committed to social conservatism. You do this by asking questions like, “How does anal sex help us win the culture war?” [a reference to an Alt-Right heckler’s question at a TPUSA event]. “The purpose is to simultaneously pose as edgy and also preserve your ability to say you were just joking. …

What helps America win the culture war is freedom: freedom against a government encroaching on your activities that don’t harm anyone else. … As Edmund Burke put it, “Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself.” You know what else helps win the culture war? Engaging with your community, involving yourself in the social fabric. Not creating Pepe memes online and then jabbering about anal sex.

In fact, there’s great irony in watching alt-righters claim that they should use the commanding heights of government to cram down their viewpoints on others – while complaining that the Left uses the commanding heights of government to cram down their viewpoint on others. You can’t really whine about other people shutting down your viewpoint and activity that harms no one else while planning to shut down everybody else’s viewpoints.

The Left everywhere in the Western world likes to condemn all conservatives as “far-Right white-supremacists, Nazis, fascists, racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes”. Shapiro stressed how the Left does this in America:

[The Left] will label anyone on the right Alt-Right, even if we say vocally and in no uncertain terms that the Alt-Right is pure, unbridled, vile garbage — even if members of the Alt-Right target those on the mainstream right. Even if Donald Trump condemns the worldview. …

So the Boston Globe will call my website, The Daily Wire, an “Alt-Right outpost” (we forced them to recant); the Economist will call me “the Alt-Right sage without the rage” (we’ll force them to recant). Students at Boston University are festooning my posters with a Hitler mustache. Students at this university will mob those trying to put up posters for this lecture …

The media will suggest that Trump is in league with the Alt-Right, even at this late date – they’ll neglect all Trump has done to purge his administration to those who were remotely friendly with the Alt-Right  and his forcible disavowal of white supremacism. They’ll simply overlook that Trump isn’t a white supremacist, and declare that the MAGA hat is equivalent to a Nazi swastika – and they’ll say that, by extension, anyone who wears a MAGA hat or votes for Trump is a secret Brownshirt.

[But] if someone believes that all men are created equal, … that every American should have equality before the law, in free market capitalism, in small government, in equal opportunity for all people of all races, that person is not on the Alt-Right. In fact, they despise the Alt-Right, and the Alt-Right despises them. But people on the Left know this, they just prefer the lie. Why? Because their goal is to delegitimize the entire Right.

“The only difference between the radical Left and the Alt-Right,” he pointed out, “is they reverse the victim hierarchy.”

Despite Boose’s protests, it is obvious that the “groypers”, the “America Firsters”, are homophobic, anti-Semitic, white-supremacist racists.

We are none of those things.

We have a lot in common with the conservatives who are defended by Shapiro – and who are not “globalist”, “anti-nationalist”, or “progressive”. But we do not share all their principles, values and views. We quote neither Nietzsche nor Christ to support our opinion.

So why do we call ourselves conservatives? What is it that we think needs to be conserved?

Christopher Roach, writing in the same issue of American Greatness Conservatism to defend Nicholas Fientes and Matthew Boose’s notion of conservatism, says, “Conservatism is not a checklist of particular positions, an ‘established dogma’ or set of ‘doctrine’. It is a disposition, a love of what already is, and is in danger of being lost.”

Certainly it is not a set of doctrines. But it is a set of values.

Our motto, inscribed on our Facebook page, declares those values to be “Freedom, Justice, Reason”We were endowed with them by the Enlightenment. They are interdependent, and essential to our civilization. They need to be conserved if our civilization is to survive.

Freedom is our highest value. We want personal freedom. All our other wants flow from that one; wants of systems, policies and institutions. (This, as Matthew Boose observes, is libertarian – but we share little else with Libertarians.)

Freedom needs the protection of the rule of law, a system of impartial justice which treats all sane adults equally, and which the nation state – and only the nation state – can administer. (Something which libertarians we have read and listened to seem not to be convinced of.)

As we are so fortunate as to live in such a nation state, we are patriotic nationalists. We are uninterested in the race, color, ethnic background of our fellow patriotic nationalists.

We want a strong military to defend us from foreign invasion (but not to force outcomes in other countries).

We want our government to be no more powerful than it needs to be to do its essential job of protecting freedom; never to become so big and strong as to be our master. (It is here that we are furthest from the Left.)

Capitalism is essential to prosperity, and prosperity sustains freedom. The free market is inseparable from a free society. The Alt-Right’s contempt for business, trade and profit is as stupid as it is hypocritical, arising from the absurd value placed on poverty by Christianity (and endorsed by socialism).

We part company with the majority of American conservatives over the issue of “faith”. We accept no “truths” that cannot survive critical examination in the bright light of reason.

Nothing else is essential to our conservatism.

We do, however, have preferences which we do not expect all atheist conservatives to share.

We are against the killing of people except as condign punishment for those who kill, so we are against the killing of unborn living children unless for compelling reasons. We are unconcerned about individual adults’ sexual choices as long as they do not involve the exploitation or corruption of children, although we continue to understand the meaning of “marriage” to be a solemn (not “sacred”) contract between a man and a woman primarily (not imperatively) for the begetting of children.

Where do we stand on immigration, the future demographic composition of the United States? That seems to be the biggest issue in the argument between the Alt-Right and the mainstream conservatives.

Matthew Boose writes:

The elephant in the room is demographics. Not even progressives any longer pretend that mass migration won’t, at the rate we’re going, transform America into a majority-minority nation within our lifetimes. The implications for the nation and the Republican Party because of this shift are profound, and any conservative movement that is not willing to engage with it seriously cannot be taken seriously.

The Alt-Right wants America to be a nation of European-descended, heterosexual, English-speaking, Christian whites.

Do we agree with them?

To the only official language being English, yes. To the bearing and raising of children by husband and wife as a general custom, yes.

To worshiping Jesus Christ, no.

And we are not against immigration. While we see the influx of large numbers of people from less civilized countries, bringing customs and systems of law which we abominate, to be bad for the economy and the quality of life, we do want immigrants bringing inventiveness, expertise, wealth, ability, talent to enrich the nation.

Keeping the country white? Why? European culture, above all Anglophone culture, owes its greatness partly to being eclectic, taking what it likes from other cultures.

We took the zero from brown-skinned India. We took our numerals from India too (though they are wrongly called Arabic).

Did not your Christian god come from the Jews? More beneficially in our view, mobile phones did too.

The vast migration of the 21st century 110

In the dark ages before the Internet, what did the masses of the hellish Third World know about the First World?

Not much, unless the First World came colonizing, which turned parts of the hellholes into pockets of civilization.

The Internet changed everything. The dwellers in darkness saw the light. From their huts, their slums, their shanty towns, their hovels, they viewed the great cities of the West, the goods in the stores, the size of the houses, the millions of cars on smooth roads; they saw the plenty, the ease, the pleasantness, the manifest wealth. And they wanted to go and live there.

So they did, by the thousands and tens of thousands. And so they continue to do.

Tides of people are flowing from the lands of poverty into the lands of plenty. They flow from south to north, into the lands of “the West”. (And into its branch, Australia.) They will not ebb away again.

What fools they would be not to go where the grass really is greener.

I, the migrant, know that the journey will not be easy. I have a perilous sea to cross. Or a desert.

I may have to work and save for years to pay for a passage over the sea or a guide over the desert.

I know that I risk drowning. Of dying of heat and exhaustion. Of being robbed. If I, the migrant, am a woman I will almost certainly be sexually assaulted.

But it is worth taking the risks to get there.

If I can just get there, it will not be hard to get in. There are no barriers to speak of.

There, I will be given a house, and money without working for it. There, my children will go to school free of charge. There, if I get sick, I will be cured free of charge.

Clearly, from the point of view of the immigrant, coming from hell to western Europe or Canada or the United States is a highly rational decision.

But why is the First World letting them in, the millions of them? Is the decision of First World governments to do so also rational? What benefits do they reckon accrue to them, to their countries through this demographic tsunami?

Here’s someone with an explanation –

Sean Byrne wrote in February 2018 on the RTÉ (Ireland’s National Television and Radio) website:

Over the past three years, Europe has experienced the worst refugee and migration crisis since World War II.  While the flow of refugees from Syria has diminished as some eastern European countries have closed their borders and the EU has given €6 billion to Turkey to persuade it to keep Syrian refugees within its borders, the flow of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa across the Mediterranean continues unabated.

The number of refugees entering Europe peaked in 2015 at just over one million. Half were Syrian, 20 percent from Afghanistan and seven percent from Iraq, with most of the remaining 33 per cent coming from Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, 3,771 people drowned while crossing the Mediterraneancrammed into unseaworthy and overcrowded boats by traffickers. Most of the migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are trying to reach Europe through Libya. The lack of an effective government in Libya has enabled people traffickers to operate almost unhindered out of Libyan ports and there are reports that some migrants are being sold as slaves in Libya. …

The hopeless poverty of sub-Saharan Africa, where populations are growing faster than output, causes many people from the region to risk their lives to reach Europe. …

The writer believes that the massive immigration into Europe is a Good Thing:

As Europe’s population declines and ages, it must accept significant immigration or face economic and social decline.

We should all appreciate that. Economic and social decline! That (does he mean? or hasn’t the question crossed his mind?)  would be far worse than losing our countries to an alien population. Yet some of us are – he thinks – hard-heartedly and stupidly against it.

Even when the immigration was “limited” we were already fussing about it:

Yet the limited immigration that has taken place over the past 30 years has already led to the rise of anti-immigration political movements and some of these, including Germany’s Alternativ fur Deutschland are achieving electoral success. The new Austrian government includes the vehemently anti-immigration Freedom Party, while Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are all refusing to take their share of the refugees that the EU has agreed to accept from Syria. …

But what of the …?

He knew what we were about to protest and answers us:

Because of the inexorable decline of birth rates, Europe will need large numbers of migrants over the next 50 years. Some of these migrants will want the economic benefits of living in Europe while maintaining their own cultures, including such practices as forced marriages, honour killings, female genital mutilation and the persecution of gay people. Many immigrants to Europe will reject the rights and freedoms painfully achieved by western democracies over the past 200 years. Resolving this conflict of cultures will be the greatest challenge facing Europe over the next 50 years.

It’s a challenge. That’s all. A little courage, some planning, lots of tolerance and humility are all we need to … what?

Byrne’s defense is no defense at all.

Is there another? Can someone else tell us why we must adapt ourselves cheerfully to a huge change in our culture and tolerate (among other appalling practices of the Third World) forced marriages, honor killings, female genital mutilation and the murder of homosexuals?

Yes. Here’s one.

Matthew Boose writes at American Greatness:

The New York Times recently published an op-ed advancing a rather peculiar argument. Author Suketu Mehta builds on the familiar, hackneyed debate over reparations for slavery to make an even bolder, but more politically contemporary proposal: as penance for colonialism, the West should open its borders to the Third World.

Mehta suggests immigration quotas for Western countries that correspond with their respective historical sins. Mehta categorizes the nations of the world into “creditors” and “debtors,” according to their legacy as oppressors or oppressed within roughly the past 500 years.

By this token, “Britain should have quotas for Indians and Nigerians; France for Malians and Tunisians; Belgium for very large numbers of Congolese”. The West should accept 12 million African laborers, one for every African enslaved by the colonialists of the past.

While audacious, this argument expresses what many on the Left believe, but are often careful to avoid stating frankly: that mass migration should be seen as a form of just punishment for the West’s history.

We interrupt to state firmly that the era of Western colonialism on the whole brought more good than harm to the “underdeveloped” world. That is certainly true of the British Empire (though in the case of the American Revolution right was on the side of the rebels). The British took the rule of law, impartial justice, a free press, and higher standards of living to their colonies. On the other hand, we grant, German colonial rule in South West Africa (now Namibia) was oppressive and murderous. And Belgian rule of the Congo in the time of evil King Leopold was a horror story, told memorably by Joseph Conrad in his story The Heart of Darkness. Later the Belgians did better. Now the Congo has reverted to what it was in Conrad’s story. The plight of the African peoples in general is, in all but a few cases, worse now than under colonial rule.

As for the slave trade, it is important to remember that the victims were first enslaved by Africans and Arabs before Christians bought them.

In general, immigration activists try to disguise their malice as sympathy for “refugees”, many of whom are in fact economic migrants seeking a better life. Of course, one need not be so cynical as to imagine that their concern for the well-being of would-be immigrants is entirely fake. But once in a while, the mask will slip, and it becomes apparent that they are motivated at least as much by resentment towards the destination countries as they are by compassion for migrants.

From the “walls are immoral, but we don’t really want open borders” denialism of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to those openly calling for immigration as a form of reparations, there is a growing consensus on the Left that all restrictions on migration are motivated by xenophobia, borders are immoral because they are exclusionary, and Western countries are morally obligated to accept an unlimited number of migrants because of past wrongs.

How would these immigration quotas be drawn up? As with slavery reparations, the price is levied indiscriminately and with great prejudice. People who had nothing to do with the negative effects of colonialism are saddled with collective, generational guilt for the sins of distant, forgotten ancestors.

Mehta mentions more recent ravages as well, such as the Iraq War. National sovereignty doesn’t absolve America’s leaders from the responsibility of making smart, and ethical, foreign policy decisions. The United States should not invade the world and then expect the world to stay behind in the blast crater. But why should American workers pay for Iraq, when it is America’s irresponsible leaders who deserve the blame?

An exact accounting of who the “debtors” are, and what they owe, is beside the point. How would one go about determining who deserves to pay for King Leopold II’s brutal exploitation of the Congo? The enterprise is no more workable than figuring out which Americans living today should pay for slavery. Never mind the specifics; all Westerners are assumed guilty for the wrongs of all Western history.

The classes that comprise America’s elite are pushing this narrative. Journalists, academics, educators, entertainers, and activists are all popularizing academic, anti-American histories that invert the story of America’s founding and legitimize unlimited migration as a form of just deserts.

This new radicalism marks a shift from traditional American heritage, history, and identity. No one can deny that immigrants have had a profound impact on American history and society. But until recently, immigration has been understood as adding to, not defining, American identity; as something that should occur within legal and reasonable boundaries, not endlessly and without consideration for the economic welfare and social fabric of the existing nation.

Put simply, immigration always has been regarded as a privilege. Immigrants would come to America through a legal process. They would be vetted and accepted as American citizens, with certain expectations. They would assimilate to American society and pledge loyalty to their new home. They would contribute more than they would take. The would learn English, and be good neighbors and citizens.

In sum, immigration worked best when it had benefits for America and the migrants it accepted alike. There was no malice or malevolence toward the United States or its existing people involved.

This is a path that countless migrants have followed and continue to follow. But for numberless thousands of migrants coming more with the mindset of invaders than immigrants, a set of powerful interests exists to justify their illegal entry as an entitlement. …

Lawful process has been replaced with lawlessness, gratitude and respect with brazen entitlement.

For the Left today, immigration is a universal human right that can brook no restrictions, whether by national sovereignty or mere economic realism. …

To justify this universal right of entry, the Left employs a foundational myth. In this myth, America, and the West broadly, is the villain and debtor to the suffering masses around the globe. Citizenship is not a privilege but a right owed by Westerners to every “citizen of the world”. 

In this founding myth, the settlers of America were illegitimate brutes who despoiled the verdant plains and stole the birthright of today’s rightful heirs to the continent. American history begins not with 1492, but with the beginning of the struggle for social justice and the rise of modern progressivism in the 20th century, particularly the mid-century. The American “history” that has been written is illegitimate and needs to be written anew, by the erstwhile, rightful occupants of the land. In fact, the real Americans need not have any historical ties to the American continent at all, other than having been on the receiving end of America’s might.

This academic narrative typically writes off the Founders as irredeemable racists, discrediting their nobility, wisdom, and efforts to build a lasting constitutional republic. Once relegated to humanities departments in America’s universities, this “de-colonialist” ideology has seeped into the wider public consciousness through various left-wing channels. Today’s students learn more in K-12 education about what is wrong with America and its past than what made it great.

At its core, this anti-founding myth denies that America has a core identity at all. There is nothing greater about American life than the sum of the countless job seekers searching for a better life from abroad. America has no history, since that history is illegitimate; it has no culture that rises above what can be bought on the market, including the various commodified “cuisines” brought from afar and sized down to American palates; it has no border, since borders are restrictive. America is simply a giant  casino in which all and sundry may seek their fortune, with special preference given to those shut out by the prejudices of the past.

In this narrative, migration, being a right rather than a privilege, comes with no obligation for the migrant.

What nation would there be to render any obligation to, anyway, when America is merely a “nation of immigrants”? …

In an excerpt of his book, This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, Mehta argues the West is being “destroyed, not by migrants, but by the fear of migrants” and describes fears of mass migration as “irrational”. Millions of Westerners somehow have been duped into working against their own interests by populist strong men playing off atavistic hatred.

But if immigration is a form of punishment, payment of the “debt” for the West’s wrongs, is this not an admission that those “irrational fears” are simply clear perceptions of the costs of mass migration?

When they’re not forwarding shallow, disingenuous arguments for mass immigration as a boost to the GDP, today’s most ardent proponents of open borders—however much they might deny it—agree in their most honest moments that mass immigration, rather than being a net boon, brings burdens that Americans may be loath to accommodate—but must bear, as payback. How, then, are the fears of immigration restrictionists irrational?

In their haste, the open borders proponents are giving the game away. Does their confidence stem from a belief that they have already won? That through their combined institutional powers, the media, activist judges, the administrative state, academia, an education system thoroughly co-opted by anti-American ideology, and corporate interests seeking cheap labor, dissenters are powerless to resist their agenda?

Can anything stop the vast migration from the impoverished and wretched south into the prosperous north? Will walls do it? Will laws do it?

Perhaps only the economic ruin of the north will put a stop to it. So will the migration itself cause economic ruin? Or keep the welfare states going, as the Merkels and Macrons and Trudeaus and Newsoms who hold the gates open insist that it will?

What’s to be done with a traitor? 174

From the 1970s on, Western countries accepted millions of Muslim immigrants from the Third World.

The fact that their religion has been hostile to the West from its inception in the 7th. century was ignored by Western governments. (After all, “Nobody’s perfect,” as Osgood says to Daphne in Some Like It Hot when she finally reveals to him that she can’t marry him because she’s a man. Oh, those bad old days!)

Then what happened? Thousands of the immigrants went from the host countries which had recklessly – enthusiastically! – let them or their parents in and given them citizenship, to join a Muslim army formed in 1999 with the intention of actively pursuing the Islamic war against the West (among others of its perceived enemies).

The army bore various names but was most generally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria with the acronym ISIS. It declared itself a “caliphate” in 2014. It terrorized, enslaved, tortured and murdered the victims it fell upon. Among the victims were Europeans and Americans, soldiers and civilians.

The men and women joined ISIS from Western countries in order to pursue that war, the men mostly to fight, the women mostly to keep house for the men and bear their children. The volunteers included indigenous Westerners who had converted to Islam.

Plainly they all committed treason.

Now that the Islamic army has been defeated and destroyed and the territory they had seized and occupied has been retaken, the traitors want to be let back into the countries they betrayed.

And the governments of those countries are uncertain whether to let them come back or not. And whether, if they do let them come back, to welcome them or to prosecute them. And what, if they prosecute them, a fitting punishment for their treason might be.

Claudia Rosett writes at PJMedia about the case of a traitor wanting to return to the US:

What are we to make of the ISIS bride who now wants to return to America? Hoda Muthana left her home in Alabama in 2014 to join the terrorist “caliphate” of ISIS in Syria. Now, reportedly thrice-married to ISIS terrorists, twice-widowed, and recently arrived with her 18-month-old son at a Kurdish-run refugee camp in northern Syria, she says she “deeply regrets” joining ISIS, and wants to come back to the United States.

How this plays out under U.S. law is likely to be decided by the legal wranglers in court, based on technicalities of dates and documents. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called her a terrorist, described her as having inflicted “enormous risk” on Americans, and released a statement that she is not a U.S. citizen and does not have any legal basis to travel to the United States. President Trump has tweeted that he has instructed Pompeo “not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Hoda’s father, Ahmed Ali Muthana, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is now suing Trump, Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr to have Hoda and her son “declared to be U.S. citizens and returned to the United States”, which, according to the complaint, is what she wants, even if that could mean facing criminal prosecution.

The issue of Hoda’s citizenship — and whether she might be legally entitled to reenter the country — apparently turns on the timeline of her father’s diplomatic status at Yemen’s Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he served as a Yemeni diplomat in the early 1990s, before becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. Hoda was born in New Jersey, in October 1994. The U.S. does not consider children born to foreign diplomats in the U.S. as entitled to American citizenship; but if her father’s diplomatic status was terminated before she was born, then she would have been a U.S. citizen from birth. By her father’s account, he lost his diplomatic status shortly before she was born, ergo she’s a citizen. The State Department said otherwise, in a letter dated Jan. 15, 2016, sent to Hoda at her family’s Alabama address, more than a year after she’d gone to join ISIS in Syria. According to State, U.S. authorities were not officially notified of the termination of her father’s diplomatic status until February 1995, some four months after Hoda was born, ergo she was not born a U.S. citizen, has never been one, and should never have been issued a U.S. passport. It could take a while before we see a court ruling one way or the other.

But there’s another timeline that ought to matter here. Not for legal purposes, but in the broader context of how Hoda Muthana’s story is now playing to the American public. What about the timeline of high-profile ISIS atrocities — the context in which she made her choices?

In the media coverage of this case, all that bloody record of deliberately inflicted human agony seems to have faded into some remote and misty past, summarized in maybe a sentence or two — or symbolized on the TV news by short video clips of ISIS fighters waving black flags and shooting guns, with no obvious target. As far as I’m aware, no media outlet has so far juxtaposed an interview of Hoda Muthana with such signature ISIS footage as videos of American hostages, on their knees, about to be beheaded by ISIS; or that young Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage.

Instead, we’re invited to focus our attention and sympathies on a young woman in a headscarf, holding her infant son or pushing him in a stroller around a refugee camp, telling her assorted media interlocutors that in joining ISIS she made a “big mistake.” This past week she told ABC News that she regrets joining ISIS, and she hopes Americans will “excuse me because of how young and ignorant I was”.

Was it really nothing but youth and ignorance? Hoda was 20 when she went to Syria to join ISIS — older than many of the victims whose sufferings ISIS was gloating over at the time. She’s now 24, and only now, with ISIS stripped of its caliphate — thanks to others, including members of the American military who risked or gave their lives to fight the terrorists she joined — is she publicly disavowing ISIS. And though in her recent interviews she’s been expressing plenty of regret about the misfortunes ISIS brought to her own life, she’s said almost nothing about what ISIS did, while she urged and cheered it on, to thousands upon thousands who had no choice at all. They are not on camera in these interviews. Many of them are dead.

Nor has the news coverage of Hoda Muthana done much to remind us, at least not in compelling detail, of the savagery, on a staggering scale, with which ISIS butchered, shot, raped, enslaved, blew up, burned alive, drowned, dragged to death, ran down, starved, oppressed, and abused its designated victims in Syria, Iraq, Europe, America, and beyond. In most of the recent coverage of what Hoda now wants, the record of what ISIS dished out has been dealt with in a sentence or two. The rest has been all about the quandaries of Hoda and her family. On Feb. 22, for instance, the Washington Post ran a lengthy article about the “complex questions” raised by the case of this “ISIS bride”, her citizenship and her father’s lawsuit, without making a single mention of the atrocities of ISIS or the zeal with which she joined up. The headline implied that the real villains are Trump and Pompeo: “Rule by tyranny: American-born woman who joined ISIS must be allowed to return, the lawsuit says.” No doubt there are important legal issues in play, but that’s hardly the entire story.

So, in the interest of seeing the fuller picture, let’s take a look at the timeline on which ISIS and Hoda Muthana converged.

Hoda’s interest in ISIS began in November 2013, a year before she left Alabama for Syria, according to an interview she gave online to BuzzFeed in April 2015, from what was then her new home in Raqqa, Syria, via a messaging app called Kik. During the year in which she was preparing to travel to Syria, ISIS was on the rise, and its character was plain to see. It was so grotesque, so sadistic, so sickening, so bloodthirsty that it was all over the headlines and the internet — which is how she was communicating with ISIS.

A full roster of ISIS atrocities would take volumes. So, what follows here is not remotely comprehensive. You can find a longer list in this timeline, which if you print it out would run to 47 pages, though it is also just a partial summing up. The ISIS activities noted below, each of them monstrous, are a small fraction of the horrors that loomed high in the U.S. headlines just before and during the time Hoda hooked up with the group. In some cases, the final casualty numbers vary slightly from the estimates in stories at the time — but not by much. Notes on Hoda are in italics. Information sourced to court documents filed under her father’s lawsuit is marked with an asterisk.

2014

For most of this year, Hoda was still in Alabama, using pseudonyms to communicate with and about ISIS on social media. If she was aware of ISIS atrocities before she left the U.S. — and it’s hard to believe she knew nothing about them — they did not deter her from going to Syria to join ISIS.

February — From Alabama, Hoda Muthana renews the U.S. passport initially issued for her at her father’s behest in 2005.*

May — ISIS displays crucified bodies in Raqqa, Syria. Here’s CNN coverage from the time, with a warning about the graphic photos.

June — ISIS declares its “caliphate” with Raqqa as its capital.

August — ISIS releases video of captured American journalist James Foley, on his knees in an orange jumpsuit, and beheads him on camera.

ISIS launches a genocidal attack on the Yazidis in Iraq, besieging tens of thousands of men, women, and children who have fled to the upper reaches of Mount Sinjar, denying them access to food and water in temperatures rising above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The horrors go on and on, sickening to read about. Hundreds of Yazidis die on Mount Sinjar before the siege is broken. ISIS captures thousands of Yazidis, separates families, kills the men and older boys who refuse to convert to Islam, and enslaves the women and girls, starving and raping them, setting up a slave market in Raqqa where Yazidi girls as young as five are sold at auction.

September — ISIS releases video of the beheading of American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff.

ISIS releases video of the beheading of British aid worker, David Haines.

October — ISIS releases video of the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.

November — Hoda Muthana tells her parents she is leaving on a school trip, and uses her university tuition money to buy a ticket to Turkey and travel onward to Raqqa, Syria.

December — From Syria, Hoda tweets a photo of American, British, and Canadian passports, with the comment “Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore. alhamdulillah.” She marries an Australian ISIS jihadi, who is killed a few months later. While in Syria, she will go on to marry a second ISIS jihadi, bear him a son in 2017, and when that second husband is killed, marry a third ISIS jihadi, whose whereabouts she now says she does not know.

2015

January — ISIS releases a video of the beheading of a Japanese journalist, Kenji Goto.

In Paris, terrorists linked to ISIS carry out synchronized slaughter at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, killing 17.

February — ISIS releases a video of a captured Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh, drenched in gasoline, screaming in agony as he is burned alive in a cage.

March — Hoda posts on Twitter about the death of her first ISIS husband, an Australian, Suhan Rahman, who’d traveled to Syria from Melbourne, and two months earlier had made news in Australia for posting pictures of himself posing with an AK-47, praising the terrorist attacks in Paris, and urging in a social media post: “Let the heads fly and the blood flow.”  As Hoda confirms the following month in her online interview with BuzzFeed, she posts on Twitter a photo of her husband’s dead and bloodied body, and eulogizes him with a tweet: “May Allah accept my husband, Abu Jihad al Australi. Promised Allah and fought in the front lines until he attained shahadah [martyrdom].”

 Hoda also tweets from Syria: “Americans wake up! … You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping! Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades. Kill them.”

April — From Syria, Hoda gives an online interview to BuzzFeed, via a messaging app, in which she writes that “Nothing is forced here.” She describes herself as “content”, says ,”I wanted to marry under an Islamic state rather than the West,” and writes that when she asked her father, a month after her departure, to send her $2,500 to come home, she was not telling the truth: “It was just a test,” she wrote; “It would never cross my mind to come back.”

August — ISIS captures the city of Palmyra, in Syria, demolishes magnificent ancient ruins, carries out mass executions, and tortures the city’s 81-year-old chief archeologist, Khaled al-Asaad, reportedly demanding that he tell them where to find valuable antiquities, which he reportedly refuses to do. ISIS beheads him in a public square and hangs his torso from a lamp post, placing his severed head beneath it.

November — In Paris, during three hours of terror, ISIS gunmen and suicide bombers kill 130 people, shooting and bombing in cafes and on the streets, and massacring scores of concert-goers in the Bataclan Theater.

December — In San Bernardino, California, a husband-wife team of ISIS acolytes guns down 14 of his co-workers at an office Christmas party.

2016

March — In Brussels, ISIS terrorists, using bombs packed with nails, attack the airport and a metro station, killing 32 people and injuring more than 200.

June — In Orlando, Florida, shortly after ISIS calls on followers around the world to deliver “a month of calamity for the non-believers”, an ISIS acolyte shoots to death 49 people at the Pulse nightclub.

July — In the French city of Nice, a terrorist claimed by ISIS drives a 19-ton truck through a holiday crowd, killing 86 and wounding more than 400.

December — In the German city of Bonn, a Tunisian terrorist who has pledged loyalty to ISIS hijacks a heavy truck, killing its driver, and runs down holiday-makers at a Christmas market, killing 11 and wounding 55.

2017

March — In London, a terrorist claimed by ISIS kills three and injures dozens, using a car to run down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and then stabbing to death an unarmed police officer.

May — In Manchester, England, a suicide bomber claimed by ISIS detonates his bomb at an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 innocents, including children.

On May 19, in Syria, Hoda Muthana gives birth to a son [referred to in the lawsuit brought by her father as “Minor John Doe”].* 

June — In London, three terrorists claimed by ISIS drive a van into pedestrians on London Bridge, then go on a stabbing rampage, killing six and wounding more than 30.

October — In the deadliest terror attack on New York City since Sept. 11, 2001, an ISIS-inspired terrorist uses a rented tuck to mow down people on a crowded Manhattan bicycle path, killing eight.

2018

December — ISIS has lost almost all the territory it seized a few years earlier. The group remains a vicious threat, but the Caliphate is kaput.

 Hoda leaves the severely dwindling patch of ISIS-controlled turf and turns herself over to Kurdish forces, who transfer her to the refugee camp where she is now living.

2019

And that brings us to the present, in which, from the refugee camp in Syria, Hoda has been giving interviews to the media. She now professes regret over joining ISIS, and declares her desire to go back to America — where, she now suggests, she might make amends by, variously, potentially facing prosecution, entering therapy, and counseling others. In the U.S., her father, with legal representation by Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida (CAIR Florida), and lawyers of the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, has been seeking ways to legally send Hoda money and bring her with her son to the United States.

Hoda and her father’s CAIR Florida attorney now say that in Syria her Twitter account was taken over by others. OK, a lot can happen during four years with ISIS, but, if true, was her social media hijacked before or after such activity as the March 2015 tweet she apparently confirmed to BuzzFeed as her own, urging that American veterans and patriots be bloodied, crushed, and killed with trucks?

We can expect to see and hear a lot more from Hoda and her father’s attorneys, and ever less about the barbarisms of ISIS touched on in the timeline above — tempting to want to forget, but in sizing up this ISIS bride, important to remember.

What is to be done with Hoda Muthana?

In the interest of diversity and inclusion, will we welcome her back into the US? Give her a free university education? And some hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of dollars to compensate her for the hardship she has endured? (That’s what they’ve done for returning traitors in Canada.) A tax-payer funded house? (That’s been proposed for returning traitors in Britain.)

Will it be only fair if the New York Times appoints her editor of its op-ed page? Or if CNN employs her to explain to its viewers at airports that hijacking planes for Islam is what American travelers deserve? Or if ABC gives her a permanent seat with the pundits of The View?

What does she deserve?

The great good movement to destroy humanity 120

 

A bunch of eminent professors and kindly persons who love nature want the human race to be extinguished. Wiped off the earth. Never to arise again.

“Would human extinction be a tragedy? ” asks Professor Todd May in the New York Times.

“Our species possesses inherent value, but we are devastating the earth and causing unimaginable animal suffering.” he says.

Todd May is a professor of philosophy at Clemson University.

He does not speak of those animal species that depend absolutely on humans for their existence. Or those whose lives have been much improved by human care. Or the suffering that animals cause other animals. Nor does he notice that natural forces cause animals to suffer. Humans are cruel to animals. Human existence causes animals to suffer. Ergo humankind must go.

There is good news for him from an academic colleague.

Eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner, who helped to wipe out smallpox, predicts that humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change.

Fenner, who is emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, said homo sapiens will not be able to survive the population explosion and “unbridled consumption”, and will become extinct, perhaps within a century, along with many other species.

Fenner told The Australian he tries not to express his pessimism because people are trying to do something, but keep putting it off. He said he believes the situation is irreversible, and it is too late because the effects we have had on Earth since industrialization (a period now known to scientists unofficially as the Anthropocene) rivals any effects of ice ages or comet impacts.

If the burning up of the earth because of human beings’ dirty ways does not destroy the human race, perhaps through starvation, our species can be wiped out by disease. Professor Eric Pianka of the University of Texas has picked the best disease for the purpose: ebola.

“The Texas Distinguished Scientist of 2006, University of Texas ecologist Eric Pianka told a meeting of the Texas Academy of Science that 90 percent of his fellow human beings must die in order to save the planet. A very disturbed Forrest M. Mims III — Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, writing at The Citizen Scientist — reported”:

Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.

He then showed solutions for reducing the world’s population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved.

Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets.

AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs.

After praising the Ebola virus for its efficiency at killing, Pianka paused, leaned over the lectern, looked at us and carefully said, “We’ve got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that.”

“An Oxford philosophy professor who has studied existential threats ranging from nuclear war to superbugs says the biggest danger of all may be superintelligence.”

Superintelligence is any intellect that outperforms human intellect in every field, and Nick Bostrom thinks its most likely form will be a machine — artificial intelligence.

There are two ways artificial intelligence could go, Bostrom argues. It could greatly improve our lives and solve the world’s problems, such as disease, hunger and even pain. Or, it could take over and possibly kill all or many humans. As it stands, the catastrophic scenario is more likely, according to Bostrom, who has a background in physics, computational neuroscience and mathematical logic.

“Superintelligence could become extremely powerful and be able to shape the future according to its preferences,” Bostrom told me. “If humanity was sane and had our act together globally, the sensible course of action would be to postpone development of superintelligence until we figure out how to do so safely.”

Bostrom, the founding director of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, lays out his concerns in his new book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. His book makes a harrowing comparison between the fate of horses and humans:

Horses were initially complemented by carriages and ploughs, which greatly increased the horse’s productivity. Later, horses were substituted for by automobiles and tractors. When horses became obsolete as a source of labor, many were sold off to meatpackers to be processed into dog food, bone meal, leather, and glue. In the United States, there were about 26 million horses in 1915. By the early 1950s, 2 million remained.

The same dark outcome, Bostrom said, could happen to humans once AI makes our labor and intelligence obsolete.

“It sounds like a science fiction flick, but recent moves in the tech world may suggest otherwise. Earlier this year, Google acquired artificial intelligence company DeepMind and created an AI safety and ethics review board to ensure the technology is developed safely. Facebook created an artificial intelligence lab this year and is working on creating an artificial brain. Technology called “deep learning,” a form of artificial intelligence meant to closely mimic the human brain, has quickly spread from Google to Microsoft, Baidu and Twitter. …

“There are maybe six people working full time on this AI control problem. We need to add more brilliant brains to this technical work. I’m hoping my book will do something to encourage that. How to control superintelligent AI is really the most important task of our time — yet, it is almost completely ignored.”

Those who look forward to the extinction of the human race can join like-thinkers in a group called The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT). According to Wikipedia it is “an environmental movement that calls for all people to abstain from reproduction to cause the gradual voluntary extinction of humankind”.

So the question confronts us. How valuable is human life?

Valuable to whom?

It is an unanswerable question.

You cannot measure the value of human life. Human life is itself the measure. It’s like trying to measure the saltiness of salt or the wetness of water.

Without human life, human consciousness, there is no such thing as “value”. There is no “clean” and “dirty”, no “right” and “wrong”.

It can even be said that there is no “planet earth”, no “universe”.  Sure there are things out there, energy in innumerable multifarious forms. There are even forms of consciousness, but as far as we know there is nothing other than the human mind that names anything, nothing that ascribes value to anything.

Oh wait! Yes, many believe there is a human-type MIND presiding over this universe. They believe it created matter out of nothing. In that human-imagined MIND the value of human beings can be measured. Is measured. Weighed and found wanting. Our good, our bad, how well we fulfill our purpose (which is to worship the Creator MIND), is alleged to be under its constant surveillance. But they who believe all this believe without reason.

How afraid should we be? Will the earth destroy us with the heat we ourselves obstinately go on generating? Will we all starve to death? Will ebola be deliberately spread among us? Will intelligent machines ruthlessly kill us? Is voluntary abstention from reproduction likely to become so general that those living now are the last generations?

We hope not. But we do see something at work that really could destroy us all. It is not global warming. It is not starvation. It is not disease. It is not robots. It is not chastity – the most unlikely of all.

It is stupidity.

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