Antifa and the suicide of nations 2

Those innumerable politicians, historians, journalists, television pundits and other opinion-dealers who allowed the Left to get away with the claim that fascism is the opposite of communism – despite their knowing better – made a devastating mistake. Because of it, new generations learning that fascism is bad logically assume that ergo communism is good

Communism and fascism are collectivist and aim to be totalitarian. Communism is fascist.

What is not fascist is freedom. Only freedom. Freedom includes the free market, which communists prefer to call capitalism, to them a pejorative term.

Soeren Kern writes at Gatestone:

In the United States, Antifa’s ideology, tactics and goals, far from being novel, are borrowed almost entirely from Antifa groups in Europe, where so-called anti-fascist groups, in one form or another, have been active, almost without interruption, for a century.

Antifa can be described as a transnational insurgency movement that endeavors, often with extreme violence, to subvert liberal democracy, with the aim of replacing global capitalism with [global] communism. Antifa’s stated long-term objective, both in America and abroad, is to establish a communist world order. In the United States, Antifa’s immediate aim is to bring about the demise of the Trump administration. …

A common tactic used by Antifa in the United States and Europe is to employ extreme violence and destruction of public and private property to goad the police into a reaction, which then “proves” Antifa’s claim that the government is “fascist”. …

Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, in a special report on left-wing extremism, noted:

Antifa’s fight against right-wing extremists is a smokescreen. The real goal remains the “bourgeois-democratic state”, which, in the reading of left-wing extremists, accepts and promotes “fascism” as a possible form of rule and therefore does not fight it sufficiently. Ultimately, it is argued, “fascism” is rooted in the social and political structures of “capitalism”. Accordingly, left-wing extremists, in their “antifascist” activities, focus above all on the elimination of the “capitalist system”.

… In an essay, What Antifa and the Original Fascists Have In Common, Antony Mueller, a German professor of economics who currently teaches in Brazil, described how Antifa’s militant anti-capitalism masquerading as anti-fascism reveals its own fascism:

After the left has pocketed the concept of liberalism and turned the word into the opposite of its original meaning, the Antifa-movement uses a false terminology to hide its true agenda. While calling themselves “antifascist”  and declaring fascism the enemy, the Antifa itself is a foremost fascist movement. The members of Antifa are not opponents to fascism but themselves its genuine representatives. Communism, Socialism and Fascism are united by the common band of anti-capitalism and anti-liberalism. The Antifa movement is a fascist movement. The enemy of this movement is not fascism but liberty, peace and prosperity.

The modern Antifa movement derives its name from a group called Antifaschistische Aktion, founded in May 1932 by Stalinist leaders of the Communist Party of Germany. The group was established to fight fascists, a term the party used to describe all of the other pro-capitalist political parties in Germany. The primary objective of Antifaschistische Aktion was to abolish capitalism, according to a detailed history of the group. …

During the post-war period, Germany’s Antifa movement reappeared in various manifestations, including the radical student protest movement of the 1960s, and the leftist insurgency groups that were active throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The Red Army Faction (RAF), also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, was a Marxist urban guerrilla group that carried out assassinations, bombings and kidnappings aimed at bringing revolution to West Germany, which the group characterized as a fascist holdover of the Nazi era. Over the course of three decades, the RAF murdered more than 30 people and injured over 200.

After the collapse of the communist government in East Germany in 1989-90, it was discovered that the RAF had been given training, shelter, and supplies by the Stasi, the secret police of the former communist regime.

It was “discovered” much earlier than that. My book, Hitler’s Children: the Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang*, first published in 1977, reveals that fact.

John Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University, described the group’s tactics, which are similar to those used by Antifa today:

The goal of their terrorist campaign was to trigger an aggressive response from the government, which group members believed would spark a broader revolutionary movement.

RAF founder Ulrike Meinhof explained the relationship between violent left-wing extremism and the police: “The guy in uniform is a pig, not a human being. That means we don’t have to talk to him and it is wrong to talk to these people at all. And of course, you can shoot.”

Antifa and the RAF shared the same aim – Marxist totalitarianism. Ulrike Meinhof’s daughter, the journalist Bettina Röhl, sees “the modern Antifa” as “a continuation of the Red Army Faction”. She thinks “the main difference is that, unlike the RAF, Antifa’s members are afraid to reveal their identities”. But there are more important differences than that. The RAF never became a mass movement as Antifa has become. They were a small group – only a few dozen active members – and they used terrorist tactics: kidnapping and murdering individuals as “representatives” of the state or the “military-industrial complex” or capitalism; and putting time-bombs in department stores, a newspaper’s offices, a police station. Antifa (as Bettina Röhl rightly points out) threatens violence and attacks against politicians and police officers. But the movement has not (as yet) kidnapped or killed any of them. On the other hand, its riots have rocked a nation, while the RAF never managed to lead a riot though they would no doubt have liked to.

In sum, the RAF was more lethal than Antifa, but less politically effective.

Western governments are finding Antifa a major nuisance, a contributing cause of widespread civil unrest and what can even be called insurrection in America.

The Federal Republic of [West] Germany did not perceive the RAF as an insurrectionist threat. The government treated arrested leaders and members of the gang as the criminals they were. They were brought to trial, sentenced and imprisoned. The leaders committed suicide in prison – in such a manner as to indicate to their followers that they should claim they’d been  murdered. That, they hoped, would provide “proof” of the “fascist” nature of the state, and cause such an outcry that it would spark a revolution. But the country remained unmoved by the deaths except perhaps to heave a collective sigh of relief that the pests were gone.

Germany, now including the former Communist “Democratic Republic”, has changed since those days, and much for the worse. Its so-called “conservative” government is now well over on the Left, as are almost all the “conservative” parties of Europe.

Proof of its leftward drift is provided by Bettina Röhl, as Soeren Kern reports:

In a June 2020 essay published by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, [Bettina] Röhl … drew attention to the fact that Antifa is not only officially tolerated, but is being paid by the German government to fight the far right:

The flourishing left-wing radicalism in the West, which brutally strikes at the opening of the European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, at every G-20 summit or every year on May 1 in Berlin, has achieved the highest level of establishment in the state, not least thanks to the support by quite a few MPs from political parties, journalists and relevant experts.

MP Renate Künast (Greens) recently complained in the Bundestag that Antifa groups had not been adequately funded by the state in recent decades. She was concerned that “NGOs and Antifa groups do not [meaning should notalways have to struggle to raise money and can only conclude short-term employment contracts from year to year.”  There was applause for this from Alliance 90/The Greens, from the left and from SPD deputies.

What can it mean if a state pays a rebel movement to destroy it? That apparently is what the German government is doing, or has done, and is being urged by some elected political leaders to do again more generously. We learn that the “conservative” dominated Bundestag  – not just lunatic-fringe Green and Alliance 90 members, not just the socialist deputies – has been (however “inadequately”!), funding Antifa.  

Do the Germans want to commit national suicide? Is their government trying to get the deed done in such a manner as to inspire all the nations of the West to do it too?

On the face of it the idea seems preposterous, impossible, absurd.

But Germany has already brought in its replacement population from the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East. It finances Antifa. Where Germany goes, there goes the EU. What Europe does, Britain and Canada do too.

Will America alone resist the rising red revolution?

 

Jillian Becker   June 19, 2020

 

*Click on the ad for Hitler’s Children in our margin.

His story 3

Tommy Robinson’s acceptance speech when he is awarded the Free Speech prize at the Danish Parliament:

It’s long, but it’s a must-watch.

Posted under Denmark, Fascism, Islam, Law, liberty, Muslims, tyranny, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 20, 2020

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Fascist socialism versus Islam 3

President Trump will keep Americans safe from both Democratic Socialism and Islam while he is in power. But what will happen after him?

Is the American future to be fascist-socialist under Democratic rule – as California is now (see our post immediately below, Californian left-fascism, a model for the nation? November 15, 2019)?

Or is it to be Islamic?

Islam is already exerting decisive power in Europe. Most effectively in Sweden and France. And it is steadily advancing towards domination in America.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, acronym CAIR,  has announced that it wants to get 30 Muslims into Congress. And there are at least 100 members of Congress who would welcome CAIR’s chosen members into their company it would seem, since 100 members of Congress have written letters to CAIR to affirm their friendship with that Hamas-connected organization. Ninety-seven of the signatories are Democrats, three are Republicans.

The fascist-socialist Democrats and militant Islam are in alliance now, presenting a common front to their shared arch-enemy, President Trump with his tens of millions of followers. But the time may all too possibly come when one or the other – likely the Democrats first – will, by crooked means (because they cannot do it by honest election), take command of all three branches of government. Then the allies will become rivals and enemies.

Both are global and totalitarian in ambition, a similarity which will make them rivals.

And although they both suppress individualism, demand doctrinal orthodoxy and punish heresy, their differences of doctrine and character will make them enemies.

The New Left is:

Secular

Egalitarian

Libertine

Western, middle-class, modern, academic  

Revolutionary

Islam is:

A god-worshiping religion  

Male dominated

Puritanically prurient

Oriental, tribal, archaic, bellicose

Unalterable

So they way it looks now, if the worst should come to the worst, the American future will be either fascist-socialist or Islamic.

The question is: when the conflict between them comes as it must, which of the two dark forces is likely to prevail?

Posted under Europe, Fascism, France, Islam, Leftism, Socialism, Sweden, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, November 17, 2019

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Californian left-fascism, a model for the nation? 1

The “Democrats” – which is to say Left fascists – who govern the state of California and most of its cities, see nothing wrong with the results of their policies. They like what they’ve wrought. They plan more of the same, and even to intensify their endeavors to create one vast plague-ridden criminal’s playground.

In pursuit of which, they have recently welcomed among them the son of two imprisoned terrorists, himself a devotee of their political faith.

Chesa Boudin has been elected District Attorney of San Francisco. When he was little more than a year old, his parents, both of them  members of the Weather Underground terrorist group, were found guilty of killing two police officers and a security guard in a robbery attack on an armored car in upstate New York. His mother, Kathy Boudin, served 22 years in prison, but was released when President Clinton pardoned her on his last day in office. His father, David Gilbert, is still serving a life sentence. Chesa was taken care of by the leaders of the Weather Underground: Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn (close friends of Barack Obama). As the child and foster-child of red revolutionary murderers, Chesa was warmly welcomed into Yale Law School. He went to work as a translator for Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela.

His winning policies include keeping as many black felons out of prison as he possibly can, and protecting illegal immigrants undocumented residents from deportation.

Why do we call the Far Left rulers of California fascists?

An article by Edward Ring at American Greatness explains:

Law and Order: … Thanks to Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative which voters approved in 2014, it is nearly impossible to arrest and hold anyone for possession of hard drugs, so long as they claim the drugs are for personal use. Prop. 47 also downgraded the punishment for property crimes if the value of the stolen goods are under $950 per offense.

The consequence of these laws is public drug use and rampant theft to support these drug habits. Other ridiculous laws include Assembly Bill 953, the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (2015), which requires police to fill out an extensive questionnaire after every encounter with a member of the public, even if it doesn’t result in an arrest. The purpose of this is to prevent disproportionate encounters with members of disadvantaged groups, and the consequence of it is fewer stops, fewer arrests, and more crime.

Environment: It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to environmentalist extremism that tyrannizes ordinary Californians. At the heart of California’s central planning state is AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act (2006), and follow-on legislation. These laws aim to reduce California’s net “greenhouse gas” emissions to zero by 2045.

To accomplish this, it is becoming almost impossible to develop land outside of existing cities, which is driving the price of land and housing to unaffordable levels. Next on the “climate change” agenda is to charge Californians for “vehicle miles traveled”, wherein everywhere people go in their cars will be monitored and taxed.

Well before AB 32 came along, though, California had already gone overboard with environmentalism. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), passed by the state legislature in 1971 and turned into the monster it is today via numerous follow on legislation, requires environmental impact reports to accompany any building permit. Since a separate report is required for every permit application, and since major building projects require approval from dozens of agencies, in California the costs to file applications and pay fees often exceed the actual cost of construction.

Then there’s forestry management, taken over by environmentalist zealots who prohibited logging, suppressed controlled burns with byzantine application gauntlets and endless litigation, and turned California’s forests into tinderboxes.

Energy and Water: Californians pay among the highest prices for gasoline, electricity and natural gas in the United States, despite the fact that California has abundant reserves of oil and gas.

But instead of approving new refineries, more connecting pipelines, oil and gas drilling, and clean natural gas power plants, California’s policymakers are shutting down conventional energy in favor of “renewables”. Even clean, emissions-free nuclear power is forbidden, as California’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, is scheduled to be shut down by 2025.

Not only does this leave Californians without affordable energy, as they’re herded to the nearest retailer to purchase “demand response” appliances that don’t work very well, but utilities investing in renewables don’t have money left over to upgrade their power lines to better manage wildfires.

As for water, instead of storing more storm runoff behind dams and within aquifers, and investing in reuse and desalination, California has turned to rationing. Starting in 2020, Californians will be restricted to 55 gallons of indoor water use per person per day, with that amount being lowered in subsequent years.

Transportation: Freeways in California are among the most congested in the nation, but instead of widening roads and building new freeways, California’s policymakers have declared war on the car. Never mind that cars are the future of transportation, destined to be entirely clean, autonomous, capable of driving safely at high speeds while their occupants work, sleep, or entertain themselves.

Instead, California’s political leadership remains committed to a high-speed train that will never pay for itself, light rail when light rail ridership is in decline, and zoning that will make it impossible for people to park their cars where they live. California’s transportation policy is misanthropic and misguided. Meanwhile, ordinary Californians cope with super commutes on neglected roads.

Housing: Despite the fact that most young married couples, given a choice, would prefer to raise their children in a single-family home with a yard, California’s elite has decided that single-family homes and suburbs are “unsustainable”. Never mind that California spans over 160,000 square miles, of which only around 5 percent is urbanized.

Californians instead are expected to construct all new housing via high density “infill”, where there is minimal open space, parking is unavailable, and prices are sky-high thanks to the artificially created shortage.

Again, the costs to prepare permit applications and pay fees often exceed the construction costs, notwithstanding the fact that high rise and mid-rise construction always costs far more per square foot than what it costs to construct one or two-story wood-frame homes.

Homeless: In a state where you can’t build anything without paying fees that cost more than the construction costs, and where utility bills and other hidden taxes make the cost-of-living the highest in the nation, it should be no surprise that California has a homeless crisis.

Add to that the best weather on earth, and laws that permit public consumption of hard drugs and prevent detention of petty thieves, and you have a recipe for a homeless population explosion. Moreover, court rulings make it impossible to remove homeless encampments unless you can offer them “permanent supportive housing”, and rampant (totally legal) public sector and nonprofit corruption have driven the costs for such housing to exceed on average $500,000 per unit.

To top it off, state laws make it, for all practical purposes, impossible to incarcerate the mentally ill. If these laws and court settlements were overturned, overnight, half of California’s homeless would find shelter with relatives and friends, and the rest would get cost-effective help. But it’s a meal ticket for the corrupt public sector.

Education: To save the worst for last, this is perhaps the most unforgivable sin of all in California. Instead of teaching children to read and write, the public schools excel at indoctrination. Instead of being held accountable, incompetent teachers are protected by union labor laws. Disruptive students are kept in classes to fulfill quotas designed to prevent “discrimination”.

The University of California, which—under threat of lawsuits—is about to abandon using SAT scores entirely, has already engineered its admissions policies to circumvent state and federal prohibitions on affirmative action. From higher education down through the K-12 public schools, leftist propaganda and identity politics are the goal of California’s unionized public education system, instead of teaching children the skills they will need to become more productive graduates.

The last section of the article  is headed A Soft Fascism:

This is the future that awaits America. It is a future abetted by a complicit media, an activist entertainment industry, a unionized public bureaucracy and public education system, and nearly every significant corporate and financial player. The political model it embraces is often labeled as socialist, but might more accurately be described as economic fascism—a merging of public and private, a partnership of corporations, oligarchs, and the public sector.

While people typically cringe at the use of the term “fascist,” the fascism we’re seeing in California is … a soft fascism as envisioned by Aldous Huxley in his novel Brave New World. California’s citizens are being channeled into high-density apartments, forced to use mass transit, and increasingly made dependent on government subsidies, in exchange for the illusory freedoms of legal drugs and anything-goes gender exploration. …

This 21st-century fascism being pioneered in California touts itself as “anti-fascist” at every opportunity, but the system nonetheless fits the definition of fascism. It is corporate, collectivist, centralized, and autocratic. With an equally unhealthy and excessive fervor, it exalts the planet instead of the nation, and celebrates “diversity” instead of one culture. It punishes dissent, protects the oligarchy, and deludes the overtaxed, over-regulated, overpaying majority.

The state could be saved if this sensible advice were to be taken (which it will not be, of course, as long as the Democrats are in unrestrained, almost unchallenged power – and to that there is no foreseeable end):

Enforce common sense drug laws and punish thieves. Quit using environmentalism as a punitive religious faith and start logging the forests, building roads, drilling for oil and gas, and approving nuclear power plants instead of shutting them down. Stop extorting more money in permitting costs than it costs to construct homes, and start building them again on open land. Get vagrants off the streets, build cost-effective shelter for the truly needy, and put the mentally ill back into institutions. Fire incompetent teachers and hold our students to immutable, objective academic standards instead of filling their heads with divisive nonsense.

And let water flow amply to farms and houses.

And keep felons of all ethnicities in prison for their full term, and deport illegal aliens.

Americans would do well to look to California today, and whatever they’re doing, do the opposite. Before it’s too late.

Posted under Fascism, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 15, 2019

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France sinking into chaos and Islam 1

France is dissolving into chaos under the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron, an authoritarian when dealing with the suffering of the indigenous people of his country, but a submissive indulgent weakling when he has to deal with violent Antifa mobs and the ever-growing hordes of Muslim invaders.

Professor Guy Millière describes it at Gatestone:

France today is a country adrift. Unrest and lawlessness continue to gain ground. Disorder has become part of daily life. Polls show that a large majority reject President Macron. They seem to hate his arrogance and be inclined not to forgive him. They seem to resent his contempt for the poor; the way he crushed the “yellow vest” movement …

The “yellow vests” seem finally to have stopped demonstrating and given up: too many were maimed or hurt. Their discontent, however, is still there. It seems waiting to explode again.

The French police appear ferocious when dealing with peaceful protesters, but barely able to prevent groups such as “Antifa” from causing violence. Therefore, now at the end of each demonstration, “Antifa” show up. The French police seem particularly cautious when having to deal with young Arabs and illegal migrants. …

President Macron looks like an authoritarian leader when he faces the disgruntled poor. He never says he is sorry for those who have lost an eye or a hand or suffered irreversible brain damage from extreme police brutality. Instead, he asked the French parliament to pass a law that almost completely abolishes the right to protest [and] the presumption of innocence and that allows the arrest of anyone, anywhere, even without cause. The law was passed.

In June, the French parliament passed another law, severely punishing anyone who says or writes something that might contain “hate speech”. The law is so vague that an American legal scholar, Jonathan Turley, felt compelled to react. “France has now become one of the biggest international threats to freedom of speech“, he wrote.

Macron does not appear authoritarian, however, with violent anarchists. When facing young Arabs and illegal migrants, he looks positively weak. …

Macron knows that the partition of France already exists. Most Arabs and Africans live in no-go zones, apart from the rest of the population, where they accept the presence of non-Arabs and non-Africans less and less. They do not define themselves as French, except when they say that France will belong to them. Reports show that most seem filled with a deep rejection of France and Western civilization. An increasing number seem to place their religion above their citizenship; many seem radicalized and ready to fight.

Macron seems not to want to fight. Instead, he has chosen to appease them. He is single-mindedly pursuing his plans to institutionalize Islam in France.

Three months ago, the Muslim Association for Islam of France (AMIF) was created. One branch will handle the cultural expansion of Islam and take charge of “the fight against anti-Muslim racism”. Another branch will be responsible for programs that train imams and build mosques. This autumn, a “Council of Imams of France” will be established. The main leaders of the AMIF are (or were until recently) members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement designated as a terrorist organization in Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – but not in France.

Macron is aware of the demographic data. They show that the Muslim population in France will grow significantly in the coming years. (The economist Charles Gave wrote recently that by 2057, France will have a Muslim majority). Macron can see that it will soon be impossible for anyone to be elected President without relying on the Muslim vote, so he acts accordingly. …

The French economy is not creating jobs. Poverty remains extremely high: 14% of the population earn less than 855 euros ($950) a month.

The educational system is crumbling. An increasing percentage of students graduate from high school without knowing how to write a sentence free of errors that make incomprehensible anything they write. …

The main concern of Macron and the French government … is climate change. Although the amount of France’s carbon dioxide emissions is infinitesimal (less than 1% of the global total), combatting “human-induced climate change” appears Macron’s absolute priority.

A Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, age 16, – nevertheless the guru of the “fight for the climate” in Europe – was recently invited to the French National Assembly by members of parliament who support Macron.

Of that autistic and intensely irritating kid, Andrew Bolt wrote in the Australian paper the Herald Sun:

Thunberg … is one of the most astonishing Messianic figures in world history — and I don’t mean that in a good way.

I have never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru.

Which created a storm of fury among climatistas and psychobabblers – and generally, the Left – everywhere. (So much so, that his article has been made inaccessible by Google. If you follow the link to the source of our quotation, you will not be able to read the whole article; the Herald Sun’s link fails.)

Guy Millière continues:

She delivered a speech, promising that the “irreversible destruction” of the planet will begin very soon. She added that political leaders “are not mature enough” and need lessons from children. MPs who support Macron applauded warmly. She received a Prize of Freedom, just created, which will be given each year to people “fighting for the values ​​of those who landed in Normandy in 1944 to liberate Europe”. It is probably reasonable to assume that not one of those who landed in Normandy in 1944 thought he was fighting to save the climate. Such minor details, however, seem beyond Macron and the parliamentarians who support him.

Macron and the French government also seem unconcerned that Jews – driven by the rise of anti-Semitism, and understandably worried about court decisions infused with the spirit of submission to violent Islam – continue to flee from France.

Kobili Traore, the man who murdered Sarah Halimi [an elderly Jewish widow] in 2017 while chanting suras from the Qur’an and shouting that the Jews are Sheitan (Arabic for “Satan”) was found not guilty. Traore had apparently smoked cannabis before the murder, so the judges decided that he was not responsible for his acts. Traore will soon be released from prison; what happens if he smokes cannabis again?

A few weeks after the murder of Halimi, three members of a Jewish family were assaulted, tortured and held hostage in their home by a group of five men who said that “Jews have money” and “Jews must pay”. The men were arrested; all were Muslim. The judge who indicted them announced that their actions were “not anti-Semitic”.

On July 25, 2019 when the Israeli soccer team Maccabi Haifa was competing in Strasbourg, the French government limited the number of Israeli supporters in the stadium to 600, not one more. A thousand had bought plane tickets to come to France to attend the match. The French government also banned the waving of Israeli flags at the game or anywhere in the city. Nonetheless, in the name of “free speech”, the French Department of the Interior permitted anti-Israeli demonstrations in front of the stadium, and Palestinian flags and banners saying “Death to Israel” were there. …

And yet, despite all that …

Although Macron is widely unpopular and widely hated, he will probably use the same slogans as in 2017: that he is the last bastion of hope against “chaos” and “fascism”. He has a strong chance of being elected again. [Even though] anyone who reads the political program of the National Rally can see that [his most serious rival] Marine Le Pen is not a fascist. Also, anyone who looks at the situation in France may wonder if France has not already begun to sink into chaos.

And France is not an exception to most of the other countries of Western Europe.

The sad situation that reigns in France is not all that different from that in many other European countries.

Down, down goes Europe into chaos – and the tyranny of the most oppressive of all extant religions.

The Party of Death 9

The Democratic Party has become officially and doctrinally authoritarian and cruel.

Another word for it is fascist.

Karin McQuillan, writing at American Greatness, explains why “fascist” is the right word to use for what the Democrats have become. We quote her article almost in full:

The Democrats have no shame.


Liberals watch their politicians, celebrities, and media leaders attack individuals, even children, and our precious civil liberties. Instead of recoiling, they immediately parrot the vicious talking point of the day. The few exceptions of public protest, the exemplary Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, and last week, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), makes the ominous acquiescence of other Democrats all the more noticeable.


The mobbing of the Covington boys, and the feeble excuse-apologies—and continued attacks—that followed, join what is now a long series of hate-filled words and acts by leftists that cause regular Democrats no shame, no dark night of the soul, no revulsion towards what they are becoming as people and as a party.


Everything America has ever stood for must go. Being colorblind is attacked as racist. Equality before the law is attacked as sexist. The list of Democrat doublespeak becomes a tedious rant, and what’s the point? Democrats are not listening and if forced to listen, plug their ears and scream at the top of the lungs that it is Trump, Trump, Trump who is ruining everything.

Meanwhile, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom to organize politically (for conservatives), the right to life for a baby about to be born — have all been redefined as violence against blacks, women or gays. A religious teenager standing still in a MAGA hat is an attempt to “erase” minorities that justifies violence to wipe the smile off his face.


#TheResistance is an attack on the right of Republicans to win a perfectly normal, hard fought, fairly won, national election. Democrats are resisting American democracy itself—and their previously normal voters cheer.


Americans never accepted attacking children, mobbing anyone, making political opposition a thought crime — now Democrats do.


The attempt to defame and destroy youngsters should trigger revulsion across the political spectrum. Instead, we heard a chorus of lame excuses that the original Covington video clip could well have been the boys mobbing an Indian. Reality check: even the short clip did not show a boy disrespecting an Indian, let alone mobbing an Indian. The short clip was a video of a boy smiling at an Indian. That’s it. The long clip showed black adults and an Indian being aggressive and disrespectful to a group of youngsters, followed by the Indian trying to frame the kids in a lying, hostile interview with the national media.


Democratic professional journalists tried to ruin that child’s life. A hysterical Twitter mob wanted to dismember and kill him. His real crime was going to a right to life rally and wearing a MAGA hat. They tell us so. I keep thinking of Mao’s Red Guards, who would stuff a neighbor in a sack for thought crimes and beat her to death.


We have black shirts, in America, beating conservatives with chains. It’s OK with leftists, including Obama and Clinton, because they name themselves Antifa. It’s hard to believe it’s really happening.


One by one, the post-Obama Democratic party is breaking down all civilized norms in America. That’s understandable. They are being led by professional activists, following the cultural Marxist playbook of identity politics. It is a well published, albeit ignored playbook, which Obama learned at the American Socialist conferences he attended, taught in Chicago as a paid agitator and law school lecturer, and instituted from the White House.


We’re following the leftist blueprint for destruction. Their weapon of choice is to set the races at each other’s throats. Obama stoked racial grievances leading to race riots and a mass shooting of cops, cynically using the corpses of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Social justice warrior’s grievance studies departments, racial quotas and attacks on white privilege daily rub race relations raw.


Community organizers purposely inflame grievances into societal breakdown. They get money by shaking down corporations with accusations of racism (now add sexism and homophobia). They take over public schools and texts that teach kids to hate America. When they get enough power, they corrupt and subvert our institutions—IRS, FBI, DOJ. They delegitimize the constitutional safeguards against tyranny of the mob, such as the electoral college.


The left is tearing America apart on purpose, because they want a revolution. It’s normal for them.


What is not normal is for regular Democrats, once sincere liberals, to follow their leaders down into the sewer of cultural Marxism, pretending it doesn’t smell. Once normal Democrat politicians, journalists, Hollywood and sports celebrities are leading a revolting break down of civility and decency.


In each and every case, normal, decent Democrats choose not to look. If forced by too many headlines to notice the odious behavior, they justify it.

The stench of their hypocrisy is in all our nostrils.

In the case of the Covington boys, their own high school and bishop in Kentucky — people who knew the boys and their milieu and should have assumed their decency absent overwhelming evidence to the contrary — automatically and swiftly joined the accusers of the innocent boys.


Liberal Catholic and Christian clergy have long been turning a blind eye to the intense bigotry of Democrats against their own religions. Liberal Jews are tolerating their party’s anti-semitism, since it is integral to identity politics and multiculturalism. This seems freakish, but it is all too human. 

Liberals cannot admit what is in front of their eyes: conservatives represent traditionally liberal values. Conservatives are the party of inclusiveness, in which we are all Americans, colorblind and equal, while their identity politics is something foreign to America that encourages hatred of whites and men, pitting race against race and women against men. Conservatives want to raise people up, and their party wants people to be dysfunctional victims, seething masses of self-destructive grievance, envy, and revenge.


None of this is subtle or confusing. It’s just impossible for liberals to admit. The price of being honest is too high.


Everyone they know is liberal. Their spouses, their children, their relatives, their neighbors, their bosses, their colleagues. Liberals don’t tolerate dissent.


Dissent, and you will be treated like the Covington boys. …


Liberals have no escape from their party’s embrace of hate. For a liberal to criticize Democrat’s hatefulness towards whites, men, Jews, Christians, Catholics — it can’t be done. It would destroy a liberal’s career, perhaps his or her marriage, in an instant. Dissent is punished swiftly and ruthlessly by liberals. Apple’s black, female vice president of diversity and inclusion was fired after six months in her new position (she was a 20-year veteran at Apple, on the leadership team expanding retail worldwide). Her crime? She said twelve white men from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences and perspectives also provide “diversity”.


All of this is impossible for liberals to face. Their own betrayal of American values, their hypocrisy, the danger of dissent—all are awful things to admit. So they don’t admit them. Instead, they double down on denial and displacement. They tell themselves Republicans are truly evil and must be destroyed. They insist they are the party of love.


Liberals aren’t uneasy that the two freshmen congresswomen from Muslim districts are anti-Semites. Their papers simply don’t report on it. Instead, they scream over and over that President Trump is KKK, ignoring his stellar record of helping blacks with jobs and safe neighborhoods and school choice and incarceration reform, his healing words that color doesn’t matter, and we are all American.


Tearing the country apart with false accusations of racism is bad for America, but for the individual liberal, it is totally safe. It is required. It is good.


Wanting to torture, beat and murder the Catholic boys from Covington High carries no penalty in their social circles. Showing those boys respect even though they are right to life? That’s dangerous. Really dangerous.


It’s easy to keep liberal blinders on. Limit your reading to the propaganda press, so you will not learn any disturbing information. Read the New York Times and listen to NPR, and “poof”—all the potential cognitive dissonance is gone.


To stay in the fold, liberals are being forced to jettison liberalism. They have already jettisoned American values. No more Bill of Rights. No patriotism allowed. No common sense on borders. No Martin Luther King’s dream of colorblind fairness. No equality before the law. No respect for a two- party system.


Adopting fascism is entirely comfortable. Everyone they know is doing it. They’re the good people. Everyone they know says so.
 
 

In fact, those “liberals” have not been liberal for a very long time, if ever they were. They are Democrats. The Democratic Party supported slavery, segregation, secession and the KKK, and now it supports infanticide. One of the two major political parties of America, commanding roughly half the votes of the American people, has become the Party of Death!

A number of professors (particularly foolish types generally speaking) question whether the human race should continue to exist – and mostly argue that it should not. (See here, here, here and here.) Whether they are Democrats or not, whether they are all on the Left or not, we don’t know, but they certainly aren’t conservatives.

Antifa: the fascist insurrection 4

Antifa is a revolutionary Marxist/anarchist militia movement that seeks to bring down the United States by means of violence and intimidation.

Those are the opening words of a new booklet, Antifa: A Growing Fascist Threat, published by The David Horowitz Freedom Center. Most of the content can be found online at Discover the Networks. All our quotations in this post come from that source.

Because Antifa is a movement with no centralized leadership, its constituents typically group themselves into autonomous local cells. Some of these cells meet only sporadically to strategize and plan future activities, while others meet as frequently as several times each week. Antifa activists communicate and recruit mostly through social media, using Facebook as their principal forum for organizing protests.

The movement is in alliance with – or swelled by – a dozen or so groups which similarly characterize themselves as “anti-fascist”.

By “fascist” they mean any person, organization, business, creed, movement, system, faction, party, institution that they don’t like because, they allege, he, she, it and/or they are “white supremacists” like the Nazis and the KKK.

They would have it believed that their motivation is idealist, utopian, selfless, supremely moral. They claim to be champions of “the oppressed” whom they identify primarily as “the poor, the black, and the brown”. (Video footage of Antifa riots indicate that the majority of its members are white. Some of their associated groups are predominantly or exclusively black. One such is the Black Panthers.) The oppression, they say, takes the form of “capitalism”, “materialism”, “colonialism”, “imperialism”, “racism”, “sexism”. Of these crimes they accuse all conservatives, Republicans, property-owners, bankers, retailers, patriots, the police, the military, and above all President Trump and the United States. One of their slogans, shouted at a rally in Berkeley, California, in August 2017, was: “No Trump, No Wall, No USA at All!”

The authors of the Antifa booklet declare, with reason, that the motivation is also “base criminal desires, and thrill seeking”.

Their protests against oppression take the form of violent attacks and rioting in the streets, parks, and public square. They attack people marked as their enemies with brass knuckles, poles, chains, clubs, rocks, knives, pepper spray, Molotov cocktails, smoke bombs, bottles of urine, and guns; and the property of their enemies with clubs, rocks, “chunks of pavement”, and fire. They have not yet killed anyone, but many of their victims have needed to be hospitalized. They know they are breaking the law, and that they can get away with it.

When Antifa activists participate in street demonstrations, they often employ a tactic known as “black bloc”, whereby they dress entirely in black and cover their faces with black masks or scarves, so as to make it nearly impossible for victims, witnesses, or law-enforcement personnel to identify any particular individual who has committed an act of vandalism, arson, theft, or assault. As the Antifa website CrimethInc.com explains, “When everyone in a group looks the same, it is difficult for the police or others to tell who did what.” Longtime Antifa activist Scott Crow confirms that the masks allows the activists to “become anonymous”, and thus “able to move more freely and do what we need to do, whether it is illegal or not.”

Who funds the insurgent rioters? Are they motivated at all by expectation of being paid?

One organization that can be definitively identified as a funder of the Antifa movement is the Alliance For Global Justice (AfGJ), which was founded in 1998 by members of the Nicaragua Network, an organization that had been created nineteen years earlier to support the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. AfGJ serves as the fiscal sponsor of Refuse Fascism, a constituent organization of the Antifa movement.

Describing itself as an “anti-capitalist”, “anti-imperialist”, “people’s think tank” whose activities include “a whole lot of organizing”, AfGJ seeks to train young activists to build a “unified grassroots movement” capable of creating “a socially, ecologically and economically just world” that offers “alternatives” to the “domination of governments, global financial institutions, and multinational corporations which denigrate the world’s peoples and devastate ecosystems”.

In its ongoing “struggle for liberation from Empire,” AfGJ denounces “neoliberal economics”, “corporate globalization”, and “privatization”, contending that “a just society is oriented toward meeting the needs … of its own people, not toward creating vast inequality and mega-profits for those at the top at the expense of the many”. To combat “the concentration of wealth and power [that] is the root cause of oppression,” says AfGJ, there must be a “fundamental change in international and national conditions that disempower people, create [economic and political] disparities, poison the earth, and plunder its resources”. By AfGJ’s reckoning, it is government’s duty to satisfy “the right of people to shelter, sufficient food, medical care, education, employment, [and] leisure”, and to dismantle societal “structures that distribute wealth in ways that deny anyone those basic rights”. 

And who funds AfGJ?

AfGJ over the years has received funding from a number of left-wing philanthropies, including George Soros‘s Open Society Foundations, the Tides Foundation …

… which is also one of George Soros’s organizations. He is the would-be paymaster of universal chaos.

Among the other “left-wing philanthropies” on the list are the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund.

The Bank of America’s charitable arm supports an anti-capitalist movement? 

Apparently, yes. 

There are mayors of cities where Antifa riots have done harm to people and property, and certain police chiefs, who – perhaps out of sympathy with the insurrectionists – have looked on and let them do their vicious damage. This happened at Charlottesville on August 12, 2017, and at Berkeley on August 27, 2017.

The mainstream media do not want to criticize Antifa.

Over the course of several months in 2017, conservative political commentator/comedian Steven Crowder’s cohort, “Not Gay Jared”, infiltrated an Antifa group and shot a large amount of video while undercover, resulting in a goldmine of damning evidence showing that Antifa is an unwavering supporter of violence. … Local police in Utah were in on Crowder’s infiltration of Antifa, and Jared happily gave them all the footage that he captured as evidence. Crowder then tried to hand over his undercover exposé to members of the local and national media, including ABC News’s Nightline, and they all turned down his offer. “We were delivering a story to local and national news on a silver platter, which included infiltration, violence, and exposing the roots of a national domestic terrorist organization and no one even wanted to give it a glimpse?” Crowder said incredulously.  

And the worst is yet to come.

There is clearly overwhelming evidence that there are growing ties between U.S. radicals and the Islamic State [ISIS], as well as several [ISIS] offshoots and splinter groups.

Ties between three key leaders of the Oakland [anarchist] group met in Hamburg with a leader of the AQAP [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] and the AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] … The leader from AQAP is an Egyptian-born male who is known to be in charge of finances and recruiting for the group. There is evidence from informants that he is helping the Oakland group acquire the weapons they are seeking, primarily bomb making equipment and toxic chemicals and gasses. 

One of the men from Oakland traveled to Syria to meet with ISIS; the purpose was for training in tactics, but was thought to be primarily a bonding visit to discuss possible massive disruptive attacks in the U.S. While in Hamburg, several of the Oakland-based criminals were photographed throwing Molotov cocktails and wielding iron bars, which have been their weapons of choice, though they are almost certainly on the verge of upping the caliber of their weaponry for use in the U.S. Despite having their faces covered by masks, they were positively identified…. Making some sort of common cause with Americans who are determined to commit violence against the U.S. makes them potentially very useful to radical Islam. 

The authors of the Discover the Networks booklet on Antifa rightly conclude:

In the final analysis, it can accurately be said that the Antifa communists and anarchists who so passionately denounce fascism, are quite literally fascists themselves.

Most importantly, they are terrorist traitors intent on starting a bloody revolution. 

The rotting of the American mind 5

One of the most important political scholars of our time, David Horowitz, founder of the Freedom Center, wrote a letter to Philip Hanlon, president of Dartmouth College, which encapsulates all that has gone wrong with most American universities.

Horowitz demands an apology for the treatment he received at Hanlon’s academy. It is clear that he deserves it.

We quote from the letter (a must-read-in-full):

On October 23, I spoke at your college. I was invited by members of College Republicans and Students Supporting Israel. They probably wanted to hear what I had to say because I am one of the most prominent conservative intellectuals in America …

Despite my credentials –

Extremely impressive credentials, of which he gives a summary –

– and even though these conservative students pay the same tuition – $75,000 per year – as your leftwing students, I was forced to raise the money to underwrite my visit and lecture. This was particularly galling to the Dartmouth conservatives who invited me, because the previous spring Dartmouth’s “Office of Pluralism and Leadership” sponsored a visit by notorious anti-Semite and terrorist supporter Linda Sarsour – who has no academic credentials to speak of – underwriting her expenses and paying her a reported $10,000 honorarium for her talk.

Linda Sarsour is a genuine, fanatical, total bigot: outspokenly anti-Semitic, an agent and defender of the terrorist organization Hamas, a propagandist for intolerant Islam, she is a prime example of the vicious and immoral type of person idolized by the Left in this era of Western decadence.

My hosts were also probably interested in what I had to say because over the preceding decades, Dartmouth has purged conservative intellectuals from its faculty so effectively that the students could only name two Dartmouth liberal arts professors who were conservative. This reflects a collective faculty attitude that intellectual diversity is dangerous and unwanted. This is a disgraceful fact of academic life, which could easily be remedied, which prevents Dartmouth students from getting a decent liberal arts education, where all issues are controversial and intellectual diversity is the only guarantee that students are being educated rather than indoctrinated, or that there are reasonable checks on unchallenged leftist professors going off the deep end. As it happens my visit elicited a professorial outburst showing just how far leftwing bigotry and anti-academic discourse can go on your campus. …

He describes the outburst in some detail. It was aggressive, arrogant, lying, unjust, savage.  

And it was encouraged to be what it was by faculty staff.

Leading the pack of Dartmouth character assassins who mobilized to combat my presence was Professor Annelise Oreleck, an out-of-control Gender Studies professor who tweeted:

Long-time hater, Islamophobe and anti-intellectual David Horowitz is speaking today in Rocky 3 at 6pm. He is a hater of the first order. If you’re so inclined, support students who are organizing a protest – Bring signs. Turn your back. Stage a walkout.

There were several Dartmouth administrators overseeing this event, including Keysi Montás, the Director of Safety and Security who was in charge. Unfortunately, they were not there to enforce an educational decorum but to encourage the protesters by tolerating their antics and refusing to eject them.

You had no personal role in these travesties, but you are president of the institution that made them possible. I’m not going to ask you to have your “Office of Pluralism (how Orwellian is that)” sponsor a return visit from me, since it might well provoke a faculty riot. I just want you to think about these signs of a damaged institution. and the warping of the educational experiences of your students.

And –

I would like an apology from you on behalf of the Dartmouth community. …

Will he get an apology?

If he does, it will mean that there is still a trace of moral responsibility in at least one highly-paid Big Cheese of the educational establishment.

What if anything is the Trump administration’s secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, doing to stop this rot in the mind-nurseries of the nation?

That rising generation 3

Now in America as then in Germany?:

In the decade preceding the First World War, Germany, the country most advanced on the path toward bureaucratic regimentation, witnessed the appearance of a phenomenon hitherto unheard of: the youth movement. Turbulent gangs of untidy boys and girls roamed the country, making much noise and shirking their school lessons. In bombastic words they announced the gospel of a golden age. All preceding generations, they emphasized, were simply idiotic; their incapacity has converted the earth into a hell. But the rising generation is no longer willing to endure gerontocracy, the supremacy of impotent and imbecile senility. Henceforth the brilliant youths will rule. They will destroy everything that is old and useless, they will reject all that was dear to their parents, they will substitute new real and substantial values and ideologies for the antiquated and false ones of capitalist and bourgeois civilization, and they will build a new society of giants and supermen.

The inflated verbiage of these adolescents was only a poor disguise for their lack of any ideas and of any definite program. They had nothing to say but this: We are young and therefore chosen; we are ingenious because we are young; we are the carriers of the future; we are the deadly foes of the rotten bourgeois and Philistines. And if somebody was not afraid to ask them what their plans were, they knew only one answer: Our leaders will solve all problems.

It has always been the task of the new generation to provoke changes. But the characteristic feature of the youth movement was that they had neither new ideas nor plans. They called their action the youth movement precisely because they lacked any program which they could use to give a name to their endeavors. In fact they espoused entirely the program of their parents. They did not oppose the trend toward government omnipotence and bureaucratization. Their revolutionary radicalism was nothing but the impudence of the years between boyhood and manhood; it was a phenomenon of a protracted puberty. It was void of any ideological content. …

The bulk of them  … had one aim only: to get a job as soon as possible with the government. Those who were not killed in the wars and revolutions are today pedantic and timid bureaucrats in the innumerable offices of the German Zwangswirtschaft. They are obedient and faithful slaves of Hitler. But they will be no less obedient and faithful handy men of Hitler’s successor, whether he is a German nationalist or a puppet of Stalin. 

From Bureaucracy, by Ludwig von Mises (1945). 

 

(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)

Posted under communism, Fascism, Germany, Revolt, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 26, 2018

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Enlightenment, atheism, reason, and the humanist Left 25

This is a kind of review. But it is more of an argument about ideas that vitally affect the real world.

I am in emphatic agreement with roughly half of what Professor Steven Pinker says in his new book Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress*, and in vehement disagreement with the rest of it. Like him, I esteem the Enlightenment most highly; profoundly value science; and certainly want progress in everything that makes us happier and better informed, our lives longer, healthier, less painful, and more enjoyable. Like him, I am an atheist. It is chiefly with his ideas on Humanism that I disagree. Which may seem strange since humanism is atheist. And, certainly, on all his criticisms of religion I am in complete accord. More than that: where small “h” humanism is concerned with humane morals – the imperative to treat our fellow human beings and other sentient beings humanely – the great professor and I could sing in harmony.

“The moral alternative to theism,” he writes, “is humanism.”

But Humanism-the-movement holds principles that I not only do not like, but strongly dislike. They are principles of the Left. And  while he is not uncritical of the Left, Professor Pinker upholds those principles. Humanism, wherever it may be found, is a Leftist ideology. And because the Humanist movement is well-established, widespread, its opinions prominently published, and taught (or preached) where scholars gather, atheism is assumed by many to belong to the Left, inseparably, part and parcel of its essential ideology.

Atheism may be indispensable to the Left, but Leftism is not necessary to atheism.

Atheism as such carries no connotations. No political or ethical ideas logically flow from it. It is simply non-belief in the existence of a divine being. Nothing more. A person’s atheism does not itself make him more humane or less humane.

Steven Pinker implies that it does. Although he states that “atheism is not a moral system … just the absence of supernatural belief”, he also declares that “secularism leads to humanism, turning people away from prayer, doctrine, and ecclesiastical authority and toward practical policies that make them and their fellows better off.”

He reasons along these lines:

“Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.”

Not from holy books. Agreed.

“Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.”

Agreed.

There being no supernatural moral authority, and as human beings have natural needs –

“Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.”

So far, no cause for quarrel. But he elaborates on this last statement to demonstrate that Humanists do this “deriving” well:

“Humanists ground values in human welfare, shaped by human circumstances, interests and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem …”

There it comes, as if it followed logically from scientific knowledge and humane secularism, one of the main obsessions of the Left: concern for the planet, for which, the Left claims, human beings bear responsibility. The words “man-made global warming” silently intrude themselves; as does the “solution” for it – global governance, by those who know what the human race must do; total communism, the highest principle of the Left; its vision of a whole-world Utopia. Though Steven Pinker himself is not a Utopian, he writes a good deal in this book about the virtues of “globalist” politics. He sees globalism as an enlightened, reasonable, science-based, progressive, humanist creed. To “maximize individual happiness”, he remarks, “progressive cultures” work to “develop global community”. He has much praise for international institutions – including, or even led by, the (actually deeply evil) United Nations. He is confident the UN and other international bodies such as the EU, formed after the end of the Second World War, can help keep the world at peace. In fact, there has not been a single year since 1945 when the world has been without a war or wars.

To the globalist view he opposes the populist view. Not wrong when stated thus. But he does not see the populist view as the one held by 63 million Americans who voted Donald Trump into the presidency of the United States because they wanted more jobs, lower taxes, and secure borders; or that of the British majority who voted to withdraw their country from the undemocratic and corrupt European Union. No. He sees populism as a cult of “romantic heroism”, a longing for “greatness embodied in an individual or a nation”.

He is adamantly against the nation-state. He thinks that those who uphold the idea of the nation-state “ludicrously” envision a “global order” that “should consist of ethnically homogeneous and mutually antagonistic nation-states”. Who has ever expressed such an idea? And he puts “multiculturalism” (the failing experiment of enforcing the co-existence of diverse tribes within a nation’s borders) on an equal footing with “multi-ethnicity” (the melting-pot idea that has worked so splendidly for the United States of America).

To him, nationalism is ineluctably authoritarian and fascist. He sees President Trump – who is in fact unswervingly for individual freedom – as a “charismatic leader” of the dictatorial Mussolini mold. The politics of the Right for Professor Pinker are irredeemably dyed in the wool with Nietzschean anti-morality, “superman” aspirations, and genocidal urgings. Libertarianism is tainted with it too. He writes: “ … Ayn Rand’s celebration of selfishness, her deification of the heroic capitalist, and her disdain for the general welfare had Nietzsche written all over them.”

Interestingly – and restoratively to my esteem for him – he also asserts that certain Marxists and certain Leftist movements are equally, or even more, colored with Nietzsche’s inhumanity: “[Nietzsche] was a key influence on … Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault, and a godfather to all the intellectual movements of the 20th century that were hostile to science and objectivity, including Existentialism, Critical Theory, Post-structuralism, Deconstructionism, and Postmodernism.”

Steven Pinker’s humanism, then, is not far to the Left, just “left-of-center”. And most of the humanists I have known (and argued with) would also place themselves on that section of the political spectrum. “[T]he moral and intellectual case for humanism is, I believe, overwhelming …,” he writes.

He concludes (and here he specifically rejects Utopianism):

We will never have a perfect world. And it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing. This heroic story … belongs not to any tribe but to all humanity – to any sentient creature with the power of reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.”

That is the vision of the Decent Thinking Western Man. He believes that all human beings ultimately want the same things; that the good life is defined for all in the same general terms; that all  would agree to the Golden Rule, which has been “rediscovered in hundreds of moral traditions”.

But are those beliefs true? He himself records that there are many who do not value knowledge above ignorance, reason above superstition, freedom above coercion, even life above death. Which is to say, he writes about Islam (in which there is no Golden Rule). He knows Islam has no trace of “Enlightenment humanism”. He declares it an “illiberal” creed, and observes that “[M]any Western intellectuals – who would be appalled if the repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence that are common in the Islamic world were found in their own societies even diluted a hundred fold – have become strange apologists when these practices are carried out in the name of Islam.”

He finds one explanation for the double-standard of these intellectuals in their “admirable desire to prevent prejudice against Muslims”. But when it comes to revulsion against ideologists of repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence, is it prejudice or is it judgment? He says also that some of the apologetics are “intended to discredit a destructive (and possibly self-fulfilling) narrative that the world is embroiled in a clash of civilizations”. (Or, as I see it, of civilization against barbarism.) I wonder how anyone can look at the drastically changing demographics of Europe, or at least the Western part of it which will surely be under Islamic rule before the century is out, and not notice the clash.

But he does say that “calling out the antihumanistic features of contemporary Islamic belief is in no way Islamophobic”. Being the decent thinking Western man that he is, he is firmly for critical examination of all ideas.

His optimism shines out of the book. He thinks Islam can be reformed, even that a Muslim Enlightenment is possible. He believes there was an earlier age of Islamic Enlightenment, an “Islamic Golden Age” which could serve as a precedent. Well, if one wants to see bright possibilities, Islam may come to prefer science to the assertions of its prophet. It may become humane in its law and stop oppressing women. It may contribute to human progress. But whatever changes may come to Islam in the future, at present it does not value life above death, freedom above coercion, knowledge above superstition. And there is no good reason to believe it ever will.

 

Jillian Becker    April 12, 2018

 

*Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker, Viking, New York 2018. The quotations in the article come from the last chapter, Humanism.

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