Of lingerie and hijabs 4

The Left is now a political pantomime donkey. It has a Social Justice Warrior in the front and a Muslim in the back, and they  are starting to pull in opposite directions.

For one thing, the Left and its SJWs say that men can become women. Muslims say they can not.

AP reports:

Valentina Sampaio has become the first openly transgender model hired by Victoria’s Secret …

Here “she” is modeling their underwear

The Left also believes it is “liberating” for women to wear a hijab.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

When Banana Republic faced a 3% decline in sales, it decided to go all the way back to the 7th century. Hoping to tap into the lucrative market of concealing bruises and strangulation marks, Banana Republic rolled out a line of hijabs for the discerning woman who knows better than to leave home without the permission of a male guardian.

While women in Iran were being beaten and imprisoned for taking off their hijabs, Banana Republic decided to celebrate the courageous spirit of those women who want to live as second class citizens.

But if the Gap brand thought that displaying some garments of female subjugation between its ugly purple purses and its eighteen-dollar scrunchies would win over Islamists, it had another think coming.

Modern lefties iconize hijabs without having the faintest idea of what they mean or what they’re for. All they know is that to properly display diversity, you need to add a woman in a hijab between the gay guy, the Black Lives Matter guy, and the militant #resistance member ready to storm Starbucks; even though a hijab is as much a symbol of human liberation as a case of female genital mutilation.

But since Banana Republic couldn’t figure out how to market female genital mutilation to sophisticated urban consumers, it had to settle for trying to sell them hijabs. A hijab, BR execs thought, is just a 72×26 shmata  [piece of cloth]. Our Vietnamese slave laborers can make one a minute before passing out from the toxic fumes. And we can sell them for 20 bucks while getting a diversity award from CAIR for our wokeness. …

But the plan was not a success.

Instead of being cheered from Algeria to Afghanistan, Banana Republic was accused of cultural appropriation and insensitivity. The failing retailer had made an obvious and tragic error. Their model may have had every lock of hair encompassed by the fashion forward follicular prison, but she was showing off her elbows in a short-sleeved shirt. What’s the point of locking up the hair after the elbows are already out there? Does Banana Republic, despite its name, understand nothing about Islam?

“There are guidelines to hijab outside of just covering hair,” the founder of Haute Hijab warned.

The guidelines of Islam cover women’s hair, elbows, sometimes faces and even one eye. The hijab is the most distinctive sign of subjugation, because hair is even more offensive than elbows.

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s first president, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, warned that women’s exposed hair emits rays that drive men mad. It’s unknown if women’s elbows also emit rays, but Islam approves of women’s elbows no more than it approves of their hair.

And Banana Republic soon repented.

The model in the black rectangular hijab print and the short sleeves vanished from Banana Republic the way she had from the republics of Afghanistan, Iran and ISIS. The very woke company replaced her provocative elbows with a cropped shot in which she no longer has elbows, arms or hair.

Just the way Allah intended.

But Muslim critics pointed out that the model in the blue soft satin square hijab has an exposed neck. And Allah is no more fond of the sight of women’s necks than he is of their hair and their elbows. Meanwhile the model in the unconvincing leopard print hijab is not only showing her neck, but has the first two buttons of her shirt open. The only thing more offensive would be is if she were also driving. …

An American brand that claims to tap into the liberating power of fashion bet big on subjugation and discovered that no amount of subjugation is ever enough.

The question is where do the loyalties of the huge corporations which collude in the oppression of women lie? Is it with the women risking their lives to defy oppression or those who collude with it?

Banana Republic tried to collude with a theocracy of rape and discovered that no amount of erasing women is ever enough. And that’s a tough lesson for an American clothing retailer to absorb.

But when BR next relaunches its line of oppressive headgear, it’ll bring in CAIR advisers who will make sure that none of the models are showing any ankle, elbow, neck, or hair. And then the media will cheer. And there will be awards and an ad campaign. Because we all live in a banana republic now.

When Victoria’s Secret sells nothing but burkas, and Banana Republic has transgender models wearing nothing but lacy underwear and hijabs, we’ll believe that Islam and the Left can rule the world in amicable partnership.

Posted under Islam, Leftism, Muslims, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 9, 2019

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American Boko Haram 7

Boko: book – book learning = Western education.

Haram: not halal – unlawful – forbidden.

Gathering strength in the minds of Progressives is the idea that records of the past should be destroyed. The past was dominated by white men and everything they did was unjust, oppressive, bad.

All relics of their unjust world, archives, archaeological sites, statuary, murals, works of art in museums and galleries, above all libraries as collections of books open to everyone, must go.

(Yes, inventions of theirs that are useful to “minorities” can remain. If you are non-white – which is to say in the word à la mode, “diverse” – and Progressive, you have a right to those. A better claim, in fact, than whites do. Because.)

The idea has been made explicit, as Daniel Greenfield points out:

The Library Journal recently retweeted the accusation that, “Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence” and all the books by white people “are physically taking up space in our libraries”.  …

We can’t have that. Away with all books by white people!

And the schools must stop teaching literacy – even to the small extent that they do at present.

Why have libraries at all?

The obvious answer is that they employ librarians. And they provide internet access to homeless people and teach English to day laborers. They offer spaces for visitors to study the slogans on all their posters. That’s the anti-library future of the library. A space with few books and many screens. A community organizing hub that occasionally happens to have a few books tucked away somewhere. 

By “diverse” – ie. non-white – authors (with Progressive credentials) only.

Not too many though.

Well, there aren’t too many. And there’ll be lots of space for them when all books by whites have been removed. Anyway, reading is to be discouraged.

To put it simply, reading is racist.

Posted under education, Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 1, 2019

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Islam bows to Communism 14

The Left and Islam are at present in alliance against … the West, our civilization, the US, the rule of law, democracy, capitalism … in a word – liberty.

In that, the two ideologies are alike. And both are authoritarian, both demand strict obedience, both strive for domination.

But their prescriptions for government, laws, morals, life-styles are in direct opposition to each other. So the alliance cannot last.

When they clash, which they must, which of the two will prevail? Which is stronger?

A skirmish between them has broken out over a course of study in a school in Birmingham, England. The Leftists want the children to be taught that homosexuality is normal and good. But Muslim parents are angrily protesting that homosexuality is not normal, not good, really very bad, and the teaching – officially designated “LGBT awareness” and “relationship education” – is wrong and must be permanently abandoned. Right now there is a stand-off and neither side can be said to be winning.

However, a surprising event on the world stage indicates that the winner, the super-bully, is likely to be … Communism.

Daniel Greenfield reports and comments at Front Page:

The war of letters began when 22 countries penned a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council condemning China’s treatment of Uighurs and “other Muslim and minorities communities”. 

The letter in defense of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang was signed by France, Germany, Canada, Sweden and 18 other, mostly Western and European, countries.

The case of the missing Muslim signatories was solved when the People’s Republic of China fired back with its own letter signed by 37 countries.

This letter in defense of China’s crackdown on Islam was signed by 16 Muslim countries.

While some of the Muslim signatories were drawn from African countries, the letter was also signed by ambassadors for the leading Arab governments including Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Kuwait. Pakistan, the world’s second largest Muslim country, also signed on.

While Western governments wailed about Muslim human rights in China, the leading Sunni nations of the world signed off on a letter praising “China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights”.

(At which point Greenfield interjects with sardonic disgust: “Mandatory abortions, organ harvesting and the mass murder of millions are remarkable achievements.”)

… The world’s top Muslim governmentsexplicitly defended China’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang.

“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers,” the letter reads. …

The People’s Republic of China’s idea of de-radicalization measures had allegedly included forcing Muslims to drink alcohol and eat pork, a ban on beards, hijabs and the name Mohammed.

Even Qatar, whose Al Jazeera propaganda outlet has broadcast claims of Islamist oppression in Xinjiang, was finally forced to sign on to a letter that effectively disavowed what its own media has been saying.

The Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority, its Islamists had sought to set up a separatist Turkic Islamic state, and the Islamist regime in Turkey had been vocal about their cause. Erdogan, the Islamist thug running Turkey, had in the past accused China of genocide. This year, the spokesman for Turkey’s foreign ministry had described China’s crackdown on Islamists as a “great cause of shame for humanity”. The spokesman had accused China of engaging in torture and brainwashing in concentration camps.

But then Erdogan, the most aggressive national exponent of Islamist causes in the region, visited China, and declared, “It is a fact that the peoples of China’s Xinjiang region live happily in China’s development and prosperity.” Then he told critics to keep quiet to avoid spoiling Turkey’s relationship with the PRC.

The People’s Republic of China had attained the complicity of the world’s most vocal Turkish nationalist in its crackdown on Turkic nationalism and won the support of the tyrant who had transformed Turkey from a secular democracy into an Islamist banana republic for its enforced secularization of Muslims.

It’s hard to imagine a greater diplomatic triumph.

Finally, the letters humiliated the United States, which had not signed on to either one, but, despite providing protection and billions of dollars in foreign aid to Muslim countries, has been repeatedly attacked for its limited counterterrorism efforts which fall far short of anything that the PRC has done.

Qatar, Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have long been thorns in America’s side, backing Islamic terrorists abroad, funding subversion within the United States, and criticizing our counterterrorism.

What does China have that we don’t? …

China was able to get not only Muslim countries, but the worldwide sponsors of Islamism, to sign on to its letter because they understood that crossing the PRC would carry a serious economic price.

The United States hands out foreign aid and trade agreements to countries no matter what they do.

In the United States, cutting off foreign aid to a country, no matter how awful, is nearly impossible. The worse a country treats us, the harder we work to win that country over with extensive outreach.

The People’s Republic of China doesn’t view insults and threats as an incentive for outreach. Instead it uses its economic clout to reward or punish countries based on how those countries treat it. …

American diplomacy has a fantastic track record of failure. The only thing it ever really seems to succeed at is giving away money and abandoning our national interests to pursue meaningless global goals.

The PRC does not dedicate its diplomacy to saving the planet, ending all wars, or any of the delusional nonsense that occupies American diplomats in between expensive lunches and pointless conferences. Its diplomacy is a blunt instrument meant to achieve simple ends. And, that makes it far more effective.

The war of letters demonstrated that China could recruit 16 Muslim countries to endorse forcing Muslims to eat pork, while Western countries couldn’t get even one to sign on in opposition. …

America spends a great deal of time worrying about being loved. Our diplomacy is meant to convince the world to love us. China does not need to be loved. It never apologizes for its strength.

We should stop apologizing for our strength. And start putting our national interests first.

Which is the strongest principle and fixed goal of our president – and for that goal and principle (along with all his others) the Left furiously condemns him.

The puritan virtue of political correctness 4

It is sober, serious, strict, stern, grim, hard, austere.

The great short-story writer Joseph Epstein wrote earlier this year at Claremont Review of Books (CRB) on The Menace of Political Correctness:

Political correctness started out as a minor project of the international firm known as the Good Intentions Paving Company. … But political correctness soon came to be about much more than social decorum. As with so many projects of the Good Intentions Paving Company, things haven’t worked out quite as planned.

It is a vast Company, centuries old. It was largely responsible for the sentimental policies that weakened Rome and spread Christianity.

Epstein sees plainly what devastation it is busybodying to bring about now, with its current “be nice” project.

We quote part of his article (and recommend the reading of all of it):

[W]ith the campaign for a misguided equalizing in all American institutions, political correctness took a large leap forward in its ambitions. Criticism of any action or attempt to bring equality soon became, ipso facto, politically incorrect. Affirmative action—the rigging of admissions requirements at the country’s most prestigious universities in favor of what were deemed oppressed minority groups—was an early gambit in the campaign for equal outcomes and a boost, too, for political correctness. Criticizing affirmative action carried with it the penalty of being thought racist.

How could one admit minority students, it was felt, without catering to their special interests? So an ample buffet of courses in African-American, Chicano, and other studies were offered at universities. These courses would, naturally, be taught by matching minority-group faculty. To denigrate these courses, to argue that they were largely victimology, and as such that they lowered the standard once in place for the liberal arts in higher education, would in itself of course be politically incorrect, and most people who knew better were hesitant to step forth and say so.

What became known as the women’s movement soon claimed oppressed status, since it could not claim actual minority status. Homosexuals, male and female, were next on board. Hispanic Americans surely qualified, and so others who could construe a history—or, in the cant phrase of the day, a narrative—of inequality forced upon them.

The United States began to seem a country of victims—and victimology, the study of victimhood from the point of view of the victims, became a dominant subject in high schools and especially in the social science and humanities departments of universities.

Political correctness meanwhile became the new national etiquette, at least among the self-acclaimed cognoscenti, or as they came to think of themselves, the “woke”—a word meaning those awake and responsive to the important social and political questions and issues of the day. In universities and in public life generally one violated this etiquette at one’s peril. A violation could be as trivial as telling the wrong joke, not being sufficiently inclusive (inclusivity, like diversity, would soon become one of the P.C. shibboleths) in one’s speech or writing, or being insensitive about observing the new dispensation on proper pronoun usage. …

Political correctness contravenes the US Consitution:

Under political correctness the First Amendment calling for free speech somehow didn’t apply, for lots of speech was now clearly out of bounds and entire subjects disallowed. Nor did political correctness have anything like a statute of limitations. One could be held responsible, and thereby punished, for what were deemed violations of the political correctness code committed half a century ago and longer—well before there was such a code. Aided by the internet’s social media, the surveillance exerted by political correctness became total, the impulse of political correctness itself totalitarian. …

If political correctness had stopped at the request for civil behavior, there would have been no difficulty in acceding to it. If homosexual men wish to be called “gay,” if blacks wish to be called “African-American,” if women prefer “Ms.” over “Mrs.” and “Miss,” there would be no problem whatsoever. But the program inherent in political correctness has evolved into something much more ambitious than that. In its current phase, it is revolutionary, seeking a utopia of complete fairness in all institutions—educational, cultural, political—which in its advocates’ interpretation means utter equality for all, excluding only those who violate political correctness’s underlying assumptions and well-known restrictions. …

The least perceived differences between individuals and groups, whether inherent or acquired through upbringing, are for now to be ignored in order that they may ultimately be eradicated. Political correctness doesn’t allow leeway for differences in intelligence, talent, or strength. Not equal opportunities but equal outcomes are its monomaniacal goal, and it is not overly concerned about the punishing means required to achieve it.

Under political correctness, righteous indignation and tender sensibilities must be protected. Hence the politically correct have no compunction in removing statues of figures from the Confederacy from their long inhabited public places. Nor must the young be put to undue stress in the classroom. So trigger warnings have been installed in universities alerting students to courses that may contain material painful to them. If minority students wished to remain exclusively among themselves—thus all but killing the once grand ideal of integration in American life—this, too, could be arranged by setting up separate dormitories and dining rooms, clubs and extracurricular activities for their use. A tenet of political correctness is that students must above all feel safe.

Along with rewriting the past and protecting the young from the harsh realities of life, the political correctness program emphasizes diversity, which has become one of the great desiderata of the contemporary university, itself the hearth and home of political correctness. … Admissions offices are instructed to accept fixed percentages of incoming students on the bases of race, national origin, and gender, replacing the old quotas once in place against Jews, Catholics, and blacks. Provosts and deans are hired to ensure this diversity is enacted. Schools without such staff or without the right ethnic mix are in danger of having federal funds denied them, for by now, such has been the spread of political correctness through the culture, that the federal bureaucracy is in on the game.

But President Trump has has threatened to cut off funding from colleges that stifle free speech.

In the contest for scholarships, prizes, and honorary awards, political correctness holds the cards, and deals from an unapologetically stacked deck. A good gauge of this is the list of any recent year’s honorary degrees bestowed by universities. The roster of recipients is sure to include at least one African American and more than one woman. Not to do so is to risk being called racist, misogynist, and to have one’s school judged egregiously behind the times. White male commencement speakers, no matter how impressive their scientific, artistic, or scholarly accomplishments, are rarer than honest politicians. Under the reign of political correctness, all other things being equal, which they rarely are, African Americans, women, and other presumably oppressed minority group members are naturally chosen over drab white males for professorships, administrative posts, scholarships, and other university appointments.

As for literary prizes, from the Nobel Prize on down, juries for such awards now feel that the time has come to give their prizes to women, or African Americans, or poets from Greenland, for one rarely any longer has the sense that the truly best writers are being honored. I once remarked in print, in the Times Literary Supplement, that the Pulitzer Prize usually goes to one of two types: those who don’t need it and those who don’t deserve it. When some years ago Katharine Graham won the Pulitzer Prize for her rather weepy poor-little-rich-girl autobiography, the critic Hilton Kramer remarked that she was awarded it on both grounds. …

The university has long been the institution where utopias go to die. After World War I, socialism’s chief home was the university. (Dig round a university’s History or an English Department today and you might still discover a Marxist napping in his office.) Of course the youth rebellion of the 1960s found its home in the university. All these may now seem passing fancies, but political correctness figures to have a longer, and more significant, life than any of them, for it has affected not merely the institution of the university but the wider culture of the country.

The goal of political correctness is to level American culture, to reduce the role of elite culture, slowly eliminating merit and intellectual authority as the main standards in the country’s culture. If one were to argue that the result of applying the criteria of political correctness is a general dumbing down of learning, or choosing to value artistic productions on a political rather than an aesthetic basis, an advocate of political correctness would likely respond that this isn’t necessarily true, but even if it were, it would be worth it. A great flattening equality is the goal of political correctness. This is what makes it revolutionary.

What’s in it for the more strident advocates, or at least for those who are not themselves members of victim groups? Nothing so mercenary as profit, nor so obvious as direct power, but something perhaps grander than money or power—the assurance of their own splendid virtue.

The role of virtue in politics or any social movement ought never to be underestimated. Outside the corridors of power, the feeling of righteousness, both on the Left and on the Right, is behind much political sentiment. The word “virtucrat” describes those whose sense of themselves is motivated by the feeling of their own superior public morality. Those who subscribe wholeheartedly to political correctness, especially those who have no direct stake in the game, do so because they feel doing so is right and just—and expressing these feelings makes them feel damned fine about themselves.

What they may not realize is the deep cultural implications of political correctness. The New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books currently review an overwhelming number of novels by women and African-American writers. In recent years much of the fiction published by the New Yorker also seems to be by women or by Asian writers. By publishing him extensively in its pages the Atlantic has made a prominent figure of the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose writings—asking for reparations for slavery days, worrying about his young son’s growing up in what he assumes to be an obviously and thoroughly racist country—are heavy contributions to the victimology of our time. The market for writing of this kind, by turns angry and sad, appealing above all to the guilt of its readers, is there, one imagines, because it makes those who publish it feel they are on the side of social justice, decency, righteousness—and thereby feel good about themselves. Virtue rides high again.

Consider the movies. Roughly half the movies up for Oscars this past year were, essentially, political correctness movies. …

Political correctness comes at no direct cost to those who endorse it. The cost is ultimately to the culture, which in so many ways is sadly diminished.

Political correctness meshes nicely, too, with the phenomenon known as identity politics, which has dominated the Democratic Party in recent decades. Identity politics entails groupings of people—chiefly minorities—by their victim status, whether race, sex, sexual orientation, or religion. Behind identity politics is the demand for equal rights, always with the supposition that they do not already exist and the added presumption that no progress toward this goal has genuinely been made, so that it is assumed that vast numbers of whites stand implacably opposed to black equality and men to equality for women, while homophobes are everywhere blocking acceptance for gays, and on and on. Under identity politics, sides are chosen up as in a sandlot baseball game: Victims versus Victimizers, the Woke versus the Deplorables. No one has to be told on whose side in this game virtue lies.

As for humor, while one might have thought political correctness itself supplies an ample target, comedians have tended to shy away from it, lest they, too, be put out of business by public censure. Under the reign of political correctness, one is allowed not a single mistake. … One of the hallmarks of the politically correct, of course, is a grave and abiding humorlessness.

The role of political correctness in politics has also greatly expanded. … The hearings over the Supreme Court candidacy of Brett Kavanaugh were little more than trial by political correctness. …

One can only hope that political correctness will go so far as to make evident its absurdity … Until then there is nothing to do but to wait things out, in the hope that the deep illogic of political correctness and its widespread perniciousness, like that of Prohibition and other programs of enforced virtue that have gone before, will indubitably reveal itself for the grievous mistake it is.

Will it? And will it then be abandoned?

If so, you can bet on its immediate replacement with some other enforced oppressive virtue to sadden human hearts and in the dark to bind us.

Posted under Leftism, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 25, 2019

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What have we allowed to happen to us? 12

Anjuli Pandavar is a British atheist who was raised a Muslim in South Africa.

She was recently shut out of (misnamed!) Free Thought Blogs because, they say:

We have  been receiving complaints [about Anjuli Pandavar] from readers and other bloggers for months — and recent posts [by her] praising Fox News and blaming black Americans for racism were the final straw. … We are skeptics and critics of dogma and authoritarianism, and in addition, we recognize that the nonexistence of deities entails a greater commitment to human values, and in particular, an appreciation of human diversity and equality.”

Pompous nonsense! And dogmatic. And wrong. There is absolutely nothing about atheism that requires one to “appreciate” Lefty dogma about “diversity” and “equity”.

They go on:

We are for feminism, against racism [except when it is against Whites], for diversity, against inequity.

It’s a general sentiment, but if you can’t meet any of it, you don’t belong here. We’ve been agonizing over rejecting Anjuli Pandavar all summer long, and the consensus of the active members of the FtB community was that her continued presence was a betrayal of our principles.

You’ve gotta feel sorry for them. They went through agonies before kicking out a black woman for calling anti-White racism what it is.

 

Anjuli Pandavar writes cogently and incisively at Jihad Watch:

Thursday was 4 July 2019, the 832nd anniversary of the Battle of Hattin, arguably the most symbolic, if not the most fateful, of Christian follies, when the stage was set for the Kingdom of Jerusalem to lose the very city that gave it its proud name, and for jihad to subdue Christian mediaeval backwardness under the yoke of Islamic pre-medieval backwardness. The Crusaders had taken the Cross and by virtue of that fact alone, most believed themselves invincible. Considerations of practicalities such as water, terrain or supply lines, or indeed, Salah ad-Din’s battle plans, were secondary at best, blasphemous at worst. The Crusaders had God, but they lost. It was inconceivable to them that Salah ad-Din, too, had God, and by virtue of that fact alone, the Muslims, too, believed themselves invincible. Relying on God in war is truly a gamble in which the odds are even.

Eight hundred and thirty-two years later, the unholy trinity of the Occident is secular: the god of political correctness; the god of multiculturalism; the god of diversity. Different gods purportedly wielded against the same jihad, except this time straining to subdue modern Judeo-Christian enlightenment under the same Islamic pre-mediaeval backwardness with which it confronted the Crusaders. On this year’s 4 July, we find ourselves in the midst of transition from the jihad of incessant victimhood, incessant taking of offence and incessant demands for special treatment, to the jihad of violent attacks and brutal enforcement of Shari’a by any Muslim, whether obviously “fighting in the way of Allah” or not. The voices that have been warning of this for so long now face more than just shrill denunciations for the blasphemies of “racism”, “fascism”, “intolerance” and “Islamophobia”, and for the heresy of being “far-right”. In chilling enactment of George Orwell’s 1984, they are being erased, and all levels of society are complicit in their erasure. Exactly how bad things have to get before such voices are taken seriously remains to be seen.

Gut-feel and all evidence of what jihad has managed to get away with in the West so far, strongly suggest that these voices of warning and truth will never be listened to. It seems that some of what were once Western societies will be defending Islam even as all manifestations of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and all other religions are destroyed, even as all democracy and all freedoms are obliterated, even as slavery is reinstated … , even as young white girls are shipped off en mass for sale in the Islamic heartlands, even as those who refuse dhimmitude and those who have left Islam are rounded up and publicly beheaded or crucified, even as married women see their husbands murdered before their eyes and are themselves dragged off to be raped, as per Muhammad’s excellent example, they will still be insisting that Islam is a religion of peace, is just like any other religion, and that Muslims are victims who have to be protected from “Islamophobia”.

And what of the God that the Enlightenment had relegated to a personal choice? I disagree with my Christian friends that we find ourselves in this worsening madness because “we have abandoned God”, and must return to him if we are to save ourselves from jihad. We owe our freedom, our equality and our democracy to our ousting God from his throne and lodging him instead in the hearts of those who will have him. God as free choice is the greatest achievement of the Enlightenment and one of the foundation stones of individual autonomy. Christian ideologues … seem not to realise that they argue directly against individual freedom when they seek to re-elevate God to a cosmic imperative. … Do not the perpetrators of jihad account for their own people’s troubles in exactly the same terms as Christian ideologues do? The ummah languishes in backwardness and misery in the face of infidel prowess, according to Qutb, Al-Banna, Maududi, Al-Qaradawi and others, precisely because Muslims have abandoned Islam and must return to it. Inter-religious squabbles over who has God and who hasn’t have always been the one-sided blindness on which religious exceptionalism, not to say arrogance, floundered. That way lies tragedy. … This is not the time for Christians to be stoking turf wars with atheists.

Just to be absolutely clear, I am an atheist … Not only that, I think religion erodes our innate sense of ethics, and that faith can diminish our humanity. But I also accept that belief is a central component of the way many people’s heads work. That, in and of itself, does not make them bad people. My head, though, does not work in that way. I could not function if there were something that I had to accept without question. The problem before us right now is Islam and I do not care if someone leaves Islam to become a Bible-basher or a Hari-Krishna chanter or an atheist. All I care about right now is that as many Muslims as possible leave Islam, that we support the victims of Islam, wherever they are in the world, and that we roll back jihad, by whatever means necessary. Muslims are already raping our daughters and we are already complicit in their deeds. The situation is dire.

We are helpless in face of the jihad onslaught because we have abandoned ourselves. We are no longer the human beings that the Enlightenment created.

We are not even the human beings who vowed to go on to the end, to fight in France, to fight on the seas and oceans, to fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, to defend our island, whatever the cost may be, to fight on the beaches, to fight on the landing grounds, to fight in the fields and in the streets, to fight in the hills; to never surrender. Where are those heroic people now? If they are still with us, it is perhaps the greatest tragedy that they will live to see that they have died for nothing.

We became complicit when we substituted political correctness and identity politics for our common human decency and respect for human life and human freedoms, as if what wasn’t broke needed fixing. We drank from the poisoned chalice of “groups” and “communities” having rights that supersede the rights of individuals and entitlements to protection over the protection of individuals. Britain’s Muslim rape gang crisis stems not solely from Islamic sanction of such behaviour and jihad insistence on it, but from those Muslims who would be inclined to rape finding themselves in the enabling environment created by multicultural Britain. It is both dishonest and dishonourable to refer to Muslim rape gangs as either “Asian” or “grooming gangs”. They are distinguished not by being “Asian” or even “Pakistani”. They are Muslim, and they rape because they are Muslim (anyone with a fully-functioning capacity for language will immediately recognise that this in no way implies anything about Muslims not involved in gang rape). … In 80s and 90s Britain, there was widespread fear of social workers who seized children from parents at the slightest sign of anything that could indicate child abuse. Now social workers aid and abet paedophilia. Then, the residents of entire council estates physically drove paedophiles from their houses. Now, they won’t touch them. Is that because the white paedophile rings of the 80s and 90s did not have a 1.6 billion-strong religion behind them? Is it because then, “racism” still meant “racism,” and those who knew they weren’t racist had no fear of those who would call them that?

It has been a small step from identity politics to so-called “oppressed and oppressor groups”, to “all whites are racist”, to the denial of Muslim women’s oppression, to infidels taking offence at critique of Islam, to our own schools indoctrinating our own children to favour an ideology intent on enslaving them, and of course, to denial of the Muslim rape gang crisis.

In London, the setting of 1984, on 4 July 2019, a trial opened in the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, otherwise known as “the Old Bailey”. It was no ordinary trail, but one in which the British state, by means foul and fouler, once more attempted to turn an innocent man into a criminal, after having failed several times before. A farce played out behind a noble injunction carved in stone over the heads of all who enter upon that august place: Defend the Children of the Poor and Punish the Wrongdoers. The man on trial was Tommy Robinson, and he was on trial for doing exactly that: defending the children of the poor and attempting to have the wrongdoers punished. Robinson, in his own naivete, still believes that the British state observes the rule of law, and fails to understand why mainstream journalists are happy to see the state abuse him. The wrongdoers, as it turned out, were not only the gangs of Muslim men who raped tens or hundreds of thousands of poor infidel girls up and down the land, but the many and varied arms of the state itself, who not only failed to punish the wrongdoers, but went out of their way to protect them and continue to protect them. The Ministry of Truth has shown that just because something is written in stone, doesn’t mean it’s true forever. Right before sending this essay off for publication, I learnt that Tommy Robinson had been “found guilty”. 

And now, in the ultimate ignominy, the pinnacle of our civilisational accomplishment, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is to be subjugated to the strictures of Shari’a, a barbaric seventh-century affront to humanity and decency, with the full support of many who would themselves be destroyed by such a folly. For folly it is to believe that self-righteous appeasement of Muslim powers can win over to coexistence and mutual respect adherents of an ideology that holds at its core the certainty of its own supremacy and a sacred, unshakeable hatred of all others, others whom it must, by divine order, kill, convert or subdue, and that employs the vilest and most deceitful of means to attain its end … This coup is taking place at the United Nations complex in New York, where, in the now non-existent shadow of the now non-existent twin towers, those who survived jihad’s greatest-ever single carnage to date and those who came after, do their best to celebrate The 4th of July. On this day, 243 years ago, they declared their land the protector of the freedom and equality of all human beings, and that from that day forth, no god shall meddle in their affairs.

Doing jihad’s dirty work for it has become an infidel virtue. … By the time the future Antifa Youth gets around to reporting on, denouncing and killing their own parents, there’ll be no one left to listen to the warning voices, for a Dark Age will once again be upon us. All the social, moral and ethical gains so hard-won over the centuries will be abolished overnight, reducing civilisation to that of brutal seventh-century Arabia, a foretaste of which is the Islamic State, Boko Haram, Al-Qaida, Al-Shabaab, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah and a spectacularly long list of others. It is most telling that, once brought into extensive contact with Western society and culture, especially at the height of colonialism, the Muslim middle classes, for whom the benefits were not only obvious but also accessible, adopted Western values and habits with some enthusiasm, there being no question in their minds about which was the superior culture. Many tried to do so without jettisoning Islam. Today they still recognise this, but must pretend not to, under pressure both from jihad, that insists that Islam is superior, and from the Western handmaidens of jihad, who insist that all cultures are good.

Posted under Commentary, Europe, Islam, jihad, Leftism, Muslims, Race, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 8, 2019

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Facebook is for Leftists only 2

Step by step, Facebook is becoming a medium for the communication of Leftism only.

Its existing policy of censoring conservative opinion is to be ever more strictly implemented, to the point – we foresee – of total suppression.

It has now put itself under the orders of “90 left-wing organizations”.

Brent Bozell writes at Media Research Center (MRC):

On Sunday [June 30, 2019], Facebook Chief Operations Officer Sheryl Sandberg announced the company’s latest efforts to institutionalize the demands of 90 left-wing organizations into the company’s operations, including disturbing efforts geared toward the 2020 elections.

Brent Bozell is making this widely known on behalf of a coalition of conservative organizations.

Media Research Center President (MRC) Brent Bozell issued the following statement Tuesday on behalf of The Free Speech Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 conservative organizations committed to combating online bias and censorship: 

Sheryl Sandberg just announced that she is allowing the ACLU and 90 left-wing organizations to dictate nearly every aspect of Facebook’s policies. This will let the left dominate the most powerful social media platform on the face of the earth. That raises significant legal and statutory issues that should worry both left and right.

Facebook hasn’t released the names of these groups, but the crux of their plans is clear – the influence of everything Facebook does from hiring more liberals to control of all content. That goes so far as to include advertising, partnerships and control of the product itself.

Now these left-wing groups have the power over every post a conservative makes. Facebook can’t be a free marketplace of ideas with the left controlling everything and the firm’s No. 2 [Sheryl Sandberg] overseeing and embracing all they are doing.

The company getting in bed with these liberal organizations – especially in its efforts to prepare for the 2020 elections – should be deeply alarming to the conservative movement, Congress, potentially the FEC, and indeed all Americans.

This was a big mistake on Facebook’s part. We hope they will rethink the decisions they have made.

They won’t.

Corinne Weaver, also at MRC, writes more about the decision:

Facebook released an update of its so-called “civil rights” audit June 30. The results did not bode well for conservatives, as the company committed to work with left-wing groups in every facet of its business.

The audit announced a “Civil Rights Task Force”, led by COO Sheryl Sandberg, which will rely on third-party “civil rights expertise” to make decisions. The task force will address all key departments of the business from content and partnerships to human resources. It will exist to “ensure civil rights concerns raised by outside groups are escalated promptly to decision-makers so that they can be considered and acted on quickly”.

[The audit] called for even more censorship than Facebook already has … hate speech to be censored even more, as well as “hateful ideologies”.

Humor will be removed as a protected category. [“Any humor that could be construed as an attack should be removed.”] …

Scrupulous human scrutiny is needed:

“Under-enforcement of hate speech policies” … [has meant] that only 65 percent of posts removed for hate speech were removed automatically, as opposed to being subject to human review.

Conservative opinion as such is classed as “hate speech”. All of it must go.

By this means the Facebook honchos expect to get the Left into power – forever.

Why persons who have made billions in this sweet land of capitalism want to hand it over to socialists, who will turn it into a vast permanent refugee camp, remains an impenetrable mystery.

Posted under Leftism, Technology by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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We are feared and silenced 4

Our Facebook page is still “suspended” although the declared three days of our punishment – for “violating” its “community standards” by posting a link to a documentary on the spread of sharia in Britain – are over.

This is the notice we have tried and failed to place today on Facebook:

We exist to criticize religion, including the religion of Leftism – one of the two worst. The other “worst”, equally appalling, is Islam.

If we are to be suspended for criticizing Islam – and soon it will probably be for criticizing the Left – we have these choices:

(1) We can become self-censoring to try and avoid suspension. In other words, cave to Facebook’s tyranny, accept limits to our freedom of expression. This would be to concede a victory to Facebook, and to frustrate the purpose for which we exist. So obviously we will not do it.

(2) We can abandon using Facebook immediately. This too would be giving in to Facebook’s bigotry. So we won’t do that either.

(3) Carry on as usual, risking frequent suspension. The Facebook algorithm that censors us is probably programmed to effect a policy of “X strikes and you’re out” – meaning the end of our page.

We were warned three months ago by one-who-knows (not a Facebook employee) that we probably have about three months to go before we will be censored out of existence. That censorship has started. Four days ago we were abruptly suspended for three days for “violating” Facebook’s “community standards”. Beware the word “community” in all political contexts. It implies that the Group is always more important than the Individual, and that is the notion at the heart of all collectivist ideologies.

One of our highly valued supportive commenters informed our readers on our behalf (since we could not write a thing or even “like” a comment) that we were being suspended. If our page were to be abruptly terminated, no notice to our readers would be possible of course. And this could happen, because we are choosing the third way we have listed: to carry on as usual, risking suspension and elimination. There would be no sense in doing anything else. It is what we are for.

So we are posting this to warn our readers that we might disappear from time to time or even permanently. If we are abolished, it will be entirely against our will. We’ll be very sorry indeed to lose our much appreciated supporters, constructive critics, like-thinkers and followers who help to make our page a valuable intellectual resource that pays the price that must be paid for freedom – eternal vigilance.

As we say in our Articles of Reason on our website – which will survive, and to which we hope our Facebook readers will turn if we lose this page:

Many a belief can survive persecution but not critical examination.

That is why they fear us and try to silence us.

 

3 hours later: Our “suspension” is over. We can post again.

We expect that next time we will be shut out for longer.

Posted under Islam, Leftism, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 1, 2019

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The most that the Left can hope for 7

… and its weird idea of what constitutes liberty.

Yes, of course, the Left hopes to be in power, everywhere and over all of us. It is a vast ambition, to organize the entire human “community” – or organize the entire human race into a “community”, locked under its power.

But why? Surely it has a vision it considers beautiful?

We sometimes go looking for explanations of why the Left opposes individual freedom, free speech, free market prosperity, private property, the US Constitution, objective impartial justice, racial color-blindness, the nation-state and its military defense capability, the family, the rules of the English language, historical monuments and records, civility, and  – coming at last to a word that could be the title of the whole list – happiness.

And from time to time we find an article that gives us a glimpse of  – not a rational argument as to why – but an exposition of what the Left wants which, discussing some of its hates and dreads, clarifies some of its wishes, even though it still leaves the question why unanswered.

Here’s one such article. The Leftist author, reviewing the work of fellow Leftists, is convinced that Marxism is gaining popularity. He  thinks that the financial crash of 2008 brought about “the intellectual rehabilitation of Marx”.

Outside academic precincts, his ideas have been slowly, if not wholly, exfoliated of their association with dictatorship and state-sponsored terror.

Have they indeed? If so they need to be foliated in those associations again as quickly as possible!

What makes him think so?

Recent, if only partial, exonerations have been issued by the Economist and the New York Times …

No surprise there.

And a host of new “journals and websites [that] share certain characteristics. They express a loathing of the war on terror, and disaffection with the precariousness and austerity of millennial life. The London riots in 2010 and the student protests as well as the Occupy protests in 2011-12 were formative moments of dissent that produced new political imaginaries [sic]. Academics, writers, bloggers and journalist-activists began to describe post-capitalist futures …

Above all, these “little magazines” reflected a growing sense of political possibility, a belief that the future wasn’t locked in the image of oligarchic power, but looked simultaneously darker (inequality and ecological collapse) and more hopeful (a recrudescent left). …  [T]he left began to crawl out from the sumps of melancholia.

We derive a certain amount of Schadenfreude from thinking of the Left as in “the sumps of melancholia”.

How does its new hopefulness express itself?

The blurb advertising the article reads: “Bhaskar Sunkara, founder of Jacobin, offers a manifesto for socialism that is thrillingly non-utopian.”

“Thrillingly non-utopian”? So a vision not of an ideally beautiful human world, yet “thrilling”?

An irresistible temptation to read on!

The article, titled The rise of millennial socialism, is by Gavin Jacobson (commissioning editor for the Leftist New Statesman).

He writes at the NewStatesmanAmerica:

Across the world, young activists are turning to old ideas. Why? …

[Bhaskar] Sunkara’s vision is thrillingly non-utopian. When describing the ultimate goal of socialism, he alludes to one of its most brilliant, if saturnine, definitions: “converting hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness”.

Now that’s blunt! Not to be happy is the aim. Achieving “ordinary unhappiness” is the height of the socialist aspiration.

And the prospect is thrilling?

The author expatiates further:

The phrase was originally conceived by Freud, but was adapted by the political theorist Corey Robin in 2013. And while you wouldn’t put it on the side of a campaign bus, it gets to the heart of what a socialist economy might look like: helping people overcome, in Robin’s words, the “immense, and incredibly shitty, hassle of everyday life”.

There are more provocative theorists than Sunkara on the American millennial left, and more engaging historians, too. But few of them present the arguments against capitalism and for socialism better than he does. He writes with clarity and light-heartedness – something writers on the left hardly ever do well – and has shrewdly repurposed buzzwords from the liberal centre to make the case for the radical left. The usual socialist argot of justice, equality, class war, dialectics, revolution, the 99 per cent, and so on, is either absent or pared down. Instead, Sunkara emphasises how socialism enables greater choice, leaves markets intact, is about participation and democracy, is created through reform, and is ultimately about freedom – safe-words for the politically curious. In style and endeavour, then, if not in politics, Sunkara might be the heir to Michael Harrington, the founder of the Democratic Socialists of America in 1982, who did so much to promote socialism in the US. …

So this socialism “leaves markets intact”, “is created through reform” (ie. not through revolution – nothing new there, that brand of Leftism used to be called Fabianism) and is “ultimately about freedom”?

At which point we need Sunkara’s definition of freedom. It is not provided.

We are taken back to the familiar politics of the New Left:

Again, this draws on the work of Ralph Miliband, who argued in 1985 that “the exploitation, discrimination and oppression to which women, blacks and gays are subjected is also crucially shaped by the fact that they are workers located at a particular point of the production process and the social structure”.

The Left has not noticed that Europe is governed mostly by women and the men who are allowed to share the seats of power with them have “Feminist” hung round their necks. They have not noticed affirmative action; are unaware that Blacks are admitted to universities on lower academic grades than Whites and Asians. Or that we are forced every day of our lives now to be aware of homosexuality as if it were one of the most important issues in all our lives.

The New Left replaced (to use its own jargon) the Marxist “class analysis” with “race analysis” and – more recently – “gender analysis”.

But we discover here that “class analysis” has not been superseded, only enlarged to take in race and gender:

Prioritising politics over policies is why Sunkara favours Sanders over Elizabeth Warren, who has a plan for everything – “I have a plan for that!” has become her unofficial campaign slogan – but not an alternative politics. It isn’t enough to win the policy argument, nor is it enough to win elections. Today’s socialists speak of the need to win power – not for its own sake, but as the handmaiden of liberty – and that requires a mass movement based on class struggle.

So in that discussion, the Left wants power “not for its own sake” but because it will deliver liberty to women, blacks and gays who are at present – so it analyses – unfree.

No intention there of defining liberty. The author admits that in discussing Sunkara’s view he has told us who must be freed, but not what their freedom will consist of:

If Sunkara asks “Freedom for whom?” Aaron Bastani wants to know “who will benefit?” Specifically, who will benefit from what he calls the “Third Disruption”, when abundance and “extreme supply” in labour, energy, resources, health, and sustenance lead to a post-scarcity world? Just like information, these things “want to be free”, posing grave dangers for an economic system built and sustained by profit.

What? So the present system – capitalism – is  leading to all that “extreme supply”? To a post-scarcity world? Wonderful! Great! Odd that he expects even more of capitalism than we do ourselves. But then he seems to be saying that because there will be so much in the way of “labour” (does he means robots?), “energy” (from what?), “resources” (such as?), “health” (medical care, he presumably means), and “sustenance” (food”?) that they should be free to everybody, like the sands of the desert, the water of the ocean, the air we breathe. He or the writer he quotes expresses it badly,  saying that “these things ‘want to be free'” rather than that people want to have them without having to pay for them.

This desire on the part of these things to be had freely – or let’s be kind and say it the way it makes sense: the fact that there will be so much of these things that they will be freely obtainable by everyone without it costing them anything, will “pose grave dangers” for the capitalist free market system. He is implying that no one will be able to make money out of enterprises that employ people; or by selling coal, gas, oil, wind-power etc.; or by being doctors; or by growing or retailing food.

That is indeed a utopian vision! And that is what Bastani thinks of as liberty. You are free from having to work to earn money, because you do not have to pay for anything. Everything you need is “free”. So that’s what freedom means. In such a world, such a paradise, women, blacks and gays will no longer be “workers located at a particular point of the production process and the social structure”. They will be free when all things are free to them.

Ah, but in that case, women, blacks and gays must face a most disheartening truth – that they will never be free.

Women, blacks, gays – sorry, but there will never be a post-scarcity world.

But now confusion arises in the article. It seems that capitalism and the free market are not creating a post-scarcity world! We thought that view of our present system was too strange  coming from a Leftist.  No, no – he knows that capitalism is failing. Mark off the constantly repeated failures and disasters:

Bastani’s message is that climate change, resource scarcity, surplus populations, and technical unemployment, are syndromes of a dying socio-economic order.

So what will produce the post-scarcity world where everything and therefore everyone is free?

[T]echnological advances in robotics and AI, as well as renewable energies, gene editing, synthetic meats, cellular agricultures, and (eventually) asteroid mining, provide opportunities to achieve FALC [fully automated luxury communism]. This is when, under a realm of plenty, “labour and leisure blend into one another”, and where work is no longer a means of survival, but a “route to self-development… more akin to play”. …

Actually, Gavin Jacobson thinks Bastani may be a little too optimistic …

Bastani’s book isn’t a complete riposte, and load-bearing statements such as, “once the technical barriers are surmounted”, suggest his arguments require more faith from the readers than he might think. Nor does he contend with the fact that capitalism has so tightly bound our collective sense of meaning to work, that post-scarce societies might become more like JG Ballard’s dystopian leisure world in his novel Cocaine Nights than luxury communism.

… though not too unrealistic:

But in outlining the benefits of decarbonised economies, worker-owned businesses, people’s banks, planet taxes and universal basic services, Bastani is starting to put flesh on the spectre that might one day haunt Europe again.

Note the vocabulary: :”decarbonised economies” (think Green New Deal); “worker-owned businesses” (for the danger of which see our post Darkness descends on South Africa); “people’s banks” (loans without limit without interest, without repayment?) “planet taxes” (taxes paid to a world government?); “universal basic services” (everything free).

However, the author says, just hoping for such a utopian “post-scarcity” world has the power of dynamite. To hope is in itself progressive:

Both his [Bustani’s] and Sunkara’s books represent … “the dynamite of hope that blasts the dead load of ossified systems, institutions, customs, intellectual habits, and closed doctrines. The Left unites those dispersed and often hidden atoms whose movement is, in the last analysis, what we call progress”.

Progress towards “fully automated luxury communism”.

“Luxury communism” is the name of the new Marxist utopian vision.

It may be less believable, but it’s certainly less depressing than “ordinary unhappiness”.

Posted under communism, Feminism, Leftism, Marxism, Socialism, world government by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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The enemy within 18

For tens of thousands of years, fruitfulness was the highest good. For the rich harvest and the fecund womb, sacrifice was made to the gods of fertility.

Now the Left, which is in hot rebellion against Nature, makes sterility its ideal.

It is a cult of barrenness.

It fosters men who render themselves unable to procreate and women who kill their children.

Feminists, true to the doctrine of the cult, make the aborting of babies the righteous mission to which women must dedicate themselves:

Here is one of them preaching her crusade:

Her vision –

Armed with forceps and scissors, the brave army of Feminists fights a formidable enemy – babies in the womb:

The conservative Tribune reports and comments:

In a video posted by publishing house Verso Books, feminist writer Sophie Lewis, author of the book Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family, talks about protecting abortion access, defends the right to kill babies and claims fetuses are violent in the womb.

“We have very little to lose at the moment when it comes to abortion and I’m interested in winning radically,” Lewis said.

“I wonder if we could think about defending abortion as a right to stop doing gestational work. Abortion is, in my opinion, and I recognize how controversial this is, a form of killing. It is a form of killing that we need to be able to defend.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you, unfortunately. From the language Lewis uses — “hemochorial placentation” to mean human pregnancy, “gestator” meaning an expectant mother, “gestational work” meaning bearing a child — it’s almost easy to forget that what she’s talking about is violently ending a human life through the “acceptable violence” of abortion.

But that’s exactly what she’s saying.

“But looking at the biology of the hemochorial placentation helps me think about the violence that, innocently, a fetus metes out vis-a-vis a gestator,” she said.

“That violence is an unacceptable violence for someone who doesn’t want to do gestational work. The violence that the gestator metes out to essentially go on strike or exit that workplace is an acceptable violence.”

Who will lose the war?

The human race.

Posted under Feminism, Leftism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 14, 2019

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Venezuela: the cost of socialism 7

Those (generally unreliable) opinion polls are saying that most Democrats – around 57% – now favor socialism over capitalism. It’s not implausible. Considering that children are indoctrinated by the public schools, most universities, TV, films, and the media to believe that socialism is the supreme and only political good, a mere 57% of Democrats seems an underestimation.

Daniel Mitchell, Libertarian, writes at Townhall Finance:

How do we measure the cost of Venezuelan socialism?

Is it people eating household pets?

Is it people dying of malnourishment?

Is it women selling their bodies?

Actually, it’s all of the above.

And there’s plenty of additional evidence. All of which shows that more socialism results in more misery.

Let’s review some examples.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. But with government running the industry, producing petroleum products has been a challenge. To put it mildly.

Venezuela — home to the world’s largest oil reserves — has started introducing in some areas to tackle extreme fuel shortages. For ordinary Venezuelans, it is a cruel joke without a punchline. A  driver recently died of a heart attack after waiting in line for days to fill his tank. …

Here’s another sign of Venezuela’s descent into third-world status.

The Center for Malaria Studies in Caracas is not immune to Venezuela’s economic crisis and is struggling to treat patients. … Scientists who would later work for this clinic contributed in 1961 to helping Venezuela become the first country to eradicate malaria. … Today the clinic is in a sorry state: yellowed microscopes, a dishwasher stained by purple chemicals, refrigerators corroded by rust. …According to the World Health Organization, Venezuela registered more than 400,000 malaria cases in 2017, making it one of the hardest-hit countries in the Americas. .. The true extent of the epidemic [could be] close to two million people affected. …

Reuters reports on how parts of Venezuela are descending into autarky and barter.

At the once-busy beach resort of Patanemo, tourism has evaporated … These days, its Caribbean shoreline flanked by forested hills receives a different type of visitor: people who walk 10 minutes from a nearby town carrying rice, plantains or bananas in hopes of exchanging them for the fishermen’s latest catch. With bank notes made useless by hyperinflation, and no easy access to the debit card terminals widely used to conduct transactions in urban areas, residents of Patanemo rely mainly on barter. It is just one of a growing number of rural towns slipping into isolation as Venezuela’s economy implodes amid a long-running political crisis. …In the mountains of the central state of Lara, residents of the town of Guarico this year found a different way of paying bills – coffee beans. Residents of the coffee-growing region now exchange roasted beans for anything from haircuts to spare parts for agricultural machinery. …

What can you say about a country that’s so poor that even criminals are suffering?

Venezuela’s crippling economic spiral is having a negative impact on an unlikely group in society: criminals, who are struggling to afford bullets, and unable to find things to steal as the country’s wealth declines rapidly. …While bullets are widely available on the black market, many muggers cannot afford the $1 price tag anymore, a criminal known as “Dog” told the news organization. …Another gangster, “El Negrito,” who leads a gang called Crazy Boys, has found it increasingly hard to support his wife and daughter with assaults. Firing a bullet is a luxury now, he said. … [The] homicide rate  … went down by nearly 10% last year— though Venezuela remains one of the most violent countries in the world. The non-profit which aggregates the data from morgues and media reports, partly attributes this decrease to the reduction in muggings — because there is nothing to steal. …

What a perfect symbol of socialism! People are so poor that there’s nothing left to steal.

In a postscript, the writer adds:

Venezuela in 1970 was ranked in the top 10 for economic liberty.

Will it take less or more than 50 years for the US to become as poor as Venezuela if the Democratic Socialists come to power in both houses of Congress and in the presidency?

Posted under communism, Leftism, Progressivism, Socialism, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 10, 2019

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