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. 

BLEXIT 2

So America “needs” to have a woman leader?

And she “should” preferably be black?

Your sex and race are not in themselves qualifications or disqualifications for leadership.

But intelligence is a qualification for it. So is political acumen. So are strength of character, determination to defend the Constitution, steadfast commitment to freedom and patriotism, competence, and the power to communicate. Especially if they are all present in one person.

They are all present in Candace Owens.

Candace Owens

And Candace Owens is calling for an exit of black voters from “the Democrat party”: 

When I uploaded my first video onto YouTube one year ago, I entitled it “Mom, Dad, I’m a Conservative.”

It was a two-minute satirical stab at the social exiling that many Americans face when they announce their conservatism to friends and family.

Soon thereafter I would discover that for black Americans, the punishment that awaits is far worse than any social exile: it is a full-court social lynching.

Search the name of any prominent black conservative and peruse the words written by liberal journalists:

Dr. Ben Carson is a “porch monkey”

Larry Elder is but an “Uncle Tom”

Kanye West is “in the sunken place”

Clarence Thomas is “a womanizer”

I have been branded a self-hating black, Nazi-sympathizer and rather astonishingly — a white supremacist.

The underlying sentiments are clear; black people are meant to think and act within the confines of what white liberals deem acceptable.

But while in the past the threat of slander has worked to lag the spreading of black conservatism, over this last year, I have observed something of the opposite effect.

In fact, what many have misdiagnosed as political tension between two ideologically disparate groups is actually something far greater, far more deep-rooted, and much more likely to alter the trajectory of this country as we know it.

Across America, black people are beginning to question political orthodoxy. We have been quietly building an ecosystem of free thinkers and at long last, the intellectual dam is breaking.

This unique moment will come to be known as BLEXIT: the black exit from the Democrat party.

BLEXIT is a national movement of minorities that have awakened to the truth. It is for those who have taken an objective look at our decades-long allegiance to the left and asked ourselves “what do we have to show for it?”

Beyond anything else, BLEXIT is a chant of freedom. It is a chorus of voices from across the country whose hearts are exploding with the realization that we are more than the color of our skin.

We are also more than a voting bloc.

We are Americans first and foremost and we will work to piece back together our broken communities — absent overreaching government structures, absent hand-outs, and alongside our American brothers and sisters.

The tides are shifting. New leaders are emerging to help steer open minds into the uncharted possibilities of our futures.

We need all of America to join us in this fight. No matter your skin color, we need you to take up metaphorical arms against the Democrat party. First, visit our website, BLEXIT.com, where you will find the hard truths about the bigoted racism within the Democrat party. Second, spread the word. Your voice matters to those who are looking to make an “exit” from the bondage of the Democrat party. Finally, stand for truth. This battle will be one of the most consequential culture wars in American history. Your support is needed to allow us to arm the next generation with the facts they need to be free.

The “Democrat party”, moving ever more to the Left and becoming ever more aligned with the worldwide socialist movement, presents itself as – even perhaps believes itself to be – characterized by concern for the underdog. The Party of Compassion. 

Socialism always advertised itself as a movement for the raising and empowerment, the “liberation”, of the oppressed: of the “workers of the world”, said Karl Marx; of the “outcasts and outsiders, the exploited and persecuted of other races and colors, the unemployed and unemployable”, said Herbert Marcuse, theorist of the New Left; of “the wretched of the earth”, said Frantz Fanon; of “women”, said the feminists; of “homosexuals” said some Leftists and later many; of “blacks”, they said in some places at some times and all of them eventually.

Blacks were not always classed by the prophets of the Left as worthy of liberation. Karl Marx was a fierce racist, despising blacks and Jews (though or because he was Jewish), and agreeing with Friedrich Engels that the Slavs should be wiped off the face of the earth. (See for instance here and here.)

In South Africa, in the early 20th century, the motto of the Communist Party was: “Workers of the world unite and fight for a white South Africa”. Then, in 1928, the Comintern decreed that the South African case must no longer be subjected to “class analysis”, but instead to “race analysis”, so the blacks replaced the white workers in the tender concern of Stalin’s Kremlin.

In the real world, the extreme oppression of all classes, both sexes, and all races by the self-proclaimed Parties of Compassion wherever they came to power – in Russia, China, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba – has repeatedly and invariably demonstrated that the Left is actually characterized by hypocrisy.

And intense, dumb, unexamined, class snobbery.

Connoisseurs of irony can particularly savor the treatment meted out by the Left, and all the politically compassionate, to a genuine working-class rebel leader now that one such has finally arisen in Britain to defend young girls exploited and oppressed by Muslim immigrants. Yes, young girls and boys persecuted by rapists of other races and colors coming from the countries where the wretched of the earth proliferate. He is called Tommy Robinson. They look down on him. They not only call him a “neo-Nazi”, “bigot”, and “racist” – though he is none of those things – but also an “oik”, which means a person of low class, an uncouth person. It is an expression of sheer snobbery.

And what do the Leftists and their sympathizers who rage against President Trump hold against him? They say he is “vulgar”, that he has bad taste, that he is not of their class. Right – the  Latin word “vulgus” means the common people. Although he is rich and the rich are the upper class of America, they say he lacks the necessary refinement of the socially superior.

It wasn’t the compassionate snobs but the workers of America who voted for Donald Trump to be president. And very many who were poor before he came to power are now in well-paying jobs.

And it is a black woman who is leading the movement she calls BLEXIT, whereby the blacks of America, in numbers yet to be counted, will take their votes away from the Democrat party and give them instead to the Party of Trump.

How Karl Marx is conquering America 8

This is from much maligned Infowars.

It records a professor saying it is essential to teach Marxism.

If a partiality to Marxism is common among the professoriate in US academies now, which seems to be the case, this  professor is typical, and what she teaches – or indoctrinates –  is typical.

Posted under Marxism, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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How much is that socialism in the window? 8

To a conservative who lived in a Western country through the decades of the Cold War, the current fashion for Socialism in America is likely to be shocking and terrifying. To those who lived under the iron heel of Soviet Socialism in Eastern Europe, or any other Marxist regime, it must be many times worse.

(Throughout this article, “Socialism” and “Communism” are used interchangeably – as was customary in the USSR.)

Some dangerously under-informed American women entering the political arena seem really to think that it is a pretty thing, Socialism.

Here’s one of them – Democrat Cynthia Nixon, who fortunately lost her challenge to the Democrat Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo by a difference of 30% of the votes – smilingly, in all the self-deceiving self-confidence of ignorance, urging Socialism on New York voters:

 

And here’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district – demonstrating how innocent she is of Economics:

Another fan of Socialism, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, wants to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency in 2020.

Lloyd Billingsley writes at Front Page on Cory Booker’s claim to be Spartacus: a hero of resistance to ancient Roman tyranny re-canonized by Communists in the 1950s. Booker founded his claim on the extreme daring he showed in rising against the Left-alleged tyranny of President Trump – by making public certain documents, in relation to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that were in fact already public.

As Billingsley says, “Booker’s gambit was something of a bust.”

He goes on to tell us how one Communist, the author of the novel Sparticus, lost his faith.

The movie Booker cited is based on the 1951 novel Spartacus by Howard Fast, a Communist pisseur d’encre whom Time magazine had dubbed “Big Brother’s U.S. pen pal.” In 1953, Fast won the Stalin Peace Prize, the only American to win the award other than Paul Robeson, a black American Communist who spent his life defending all-white Soviet dictatorships.

Stalin died in 1953 and three years later, Soviet boss Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin’s crimes and mass atrocities to the Soviet Communist Party’s 20th Congress. The revelation devastated many American Communists and motivated Howard Fast to write The Naked God: The Writer and the Communist Party, released in 1957.

Khrushchev’s revelations, Fast wrote, “itemizes a record of barbarism and paranoiac bloodlust that will be a lasting and shameful memory to civilized man”.  Communism is not social science but “naked terror, awful brutality and frightening ignorance“.  Fast denounced “Stalin and the collection of hangmen and murderers around him” and charged that the Communist Party is “based on pseudo-religious cant, cemented with neurotic fear and parading ritualistic magic as a substitute for reason”.  And the Spartacus scribe wasn’t done.

The only people who resisted the revelation of Stalin’s crimes, Fast wrote, were “the mental revolutionaries, the parlor pinks, the living-room warriors, the mink coated allies of the working class”. These were “Sick people who had seen no death [other] than a painted corpse in a funeral parlor, no other violence than an auto crash – these people lusted for an Armageddon their mad dreams had promised them.” …

The Spartacus screenwriter was Dalton Trumbo, who joined the Communist Party during the Stalin-Hitler Pact, when many others left, and remained in the Party after the Khrushchev revelations. Trumbo hated Fast’s Naked God but he wasn’t going to pass up a big payday. And since Trumbo had been one of the famed Hollywood Ten, Spartacus remains a classic on the big screen of the left, which duly consigned The Naked God to the forbidden list.

While some fled the Communist Party after 1956 many others remained and the Soviets continued to run candidates in American elections. In 1976 their candidate for president was Gus Hall, an old-line Stalinist, with Jarvis Tyner for vice president. College student John Brennan voted for Gus Hall and incredibly enough, only four years later in 1980 Brennan gained employment at the CIA, which he headed under POTUS 44.

One of those Americans who remained faithful to Communism and the Soviet Union was Angela Davis. In 1979 Davis won the Lenin Peace Prize, her primary for the Communist ticket in 1980, with Davis for vice president under Hall. The same duo lost to Reagan and Bush in 1984, and thereafter the Communist Party USA declined to run candidates and urged their supporters to vote for the Democratic Party.

In 1988, American Bernie Sanders spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, where the gulags were still functioning and Soviet bosses torturing political prisoners in psychiatric hospitals. If Hillary Clinton had not rigged the primaries, Sanders would have been the Democrats’ candidate in 2016.

Cory Booker wants to be the candidate in 2020, and his bid for a  “Spartacus moment” suggests that he knows the Old Left back story. For their part, Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and Andrew Gillum [Florida’s Democratic Gubernatorial nominee. also advocating Socialism without perhaps fully realizing that he is], like their media supporters, show little if any familiarity with The Naked GodThe God That Failed, and The Road to Serfdom.

Right. They show no familiarity whatsoever with the theory or practice of the Socialism that charms them so. If Cory Booker knows, and yet desires to impose the horror that is Socialism on his fellow Americans, he is a lot worse than they are.  

On every hand they rise crying “I am socialist!” thereby confirming ignorance of the actual record. Howard Fast, who died in 2003, knew what socialism was all about. So did Milan Kundera, who wrote, “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting”.

Candidates can’t recall what they never knew in the first place.

They need to be told, but their teachers have not told them, and will not tell them: Socialism is hungry, bleak, smelly, shabby, hopeless, poor, cold, painful and very frightening.

Prize lies 2

Obama claims that the eight years of his presidency were free of scandal. In fact, the scandals were many and appalling.

Obama claims to have stopped Iran becoming a nuclear power. In fact, he entered into a deal that permitted Iran to become a nuclear power.

Obama claims to have improved race relations. In fact, he worsened them. 

Obama claims to have launched an economic boom. In fact, he never achieved even 3% GDP growth.

In sum, he was a weak and destructive president. The harm he did would not be easy to repair, and America is lucky to have found the man to succeed him who could not only mend what he had broken, and is doing so, but is going much further, turning the failure round and achieving success. Even some unprecedented successes. And all in record time.

Obama sees the repair as an undoing of the changes he wrought. As he puts it, “The status quo pushes back.”

The complaint comes from a speech he made at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill., on Sept. 7, 2018, when the university honored him with the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.

The speech he gave on the occasion of receiving the prize included these claims:

Each time we painstakingly pull ourselves closer to our founding ideals, that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; the ideals that say every child should have opportunity and every man and woman in this country who’s willing to work hard should be able to find a job and support a family and pursue their small piece of the American Dream; our ideals that say we have a collective responsibility to care for the sick and the infirm, and we have a responsibility to conserve the amazing bounty, the natural resources of this country and of this planet for future generations, each time we’ve gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back. Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change. More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege. …

To which political party does that last sentence most aptly apply? We say the Democratic Party? But then, the Left has a habit of accusing its opponents of the faults, failings, bad emotions, plots, conspiracies, evil intentions, underhand actions, and failures of which itself is guilty.

Most of you don’t remember a time before 9/11, when you didn’t have to take off your shoes at an airport.

Did he mention who was responsible for 9/11 and for us having to take off our shoes at an airport? No. Because he never did and never will blame Islam for its acts of terrorism.

Most of you don’t remember a time when America wasn’t at war, or when money and images and information could travel instantly around the globe, or when the climate wasn’t changing faster than our efforts to address it.

A strange combination of references. No one living remembers a time when America wasn’t at war, if the Cold War is counted. About the money and images he probably meant “remember a time when they could not …”  And then he throws in as a certainty that there was a time when climate was not changing fast, but it is now.

And this was all before a change. What change? Have the wars stopped?

The only change he almost got right was a change to faster communications than ever before.

He claims that all three factors together brought about this consequence:

This change has happened fast, faster than any time in human history. And it created a new economy that has unleashed incredible prosperity.

Only, of the three phenomena he mentioned, could the faster communications be said to have promoted prosperity.

Actually, he just gabbled nonsense. And all to get in a claim to an “unleashed incredible prosperity” – the prosperity he claims as hid own achievement.

He goes on to say how he rescued the economy from wicked men.

[T]he reckless behavior of financial elites triggered a massive financial crisis, ten years ago this week, a crisis that resulted in the worst recession in any of our lifetimes and caused years of hardship for the American people, for many of your parents, for many of your families. Most of you weren’t old enough to fully focus on what was going on at the time, but when I came into office in 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. 800,000. Millions of people were losing their homes. Many were worried we were entering into a second Great Depression. So we worked hard to end that crisis, but also to break some of these longer term trends. And the actions we took during that crisis returned the economy to healthy growth and initiated the longest streak of job creation on record. And we covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance and we cut our deficits by more than half, partly by making sure that people like me, who have been given such amazing opportunities by this country, pay our fair share of taxes to help folks coming up behind me.

While it is true that employment rose before he left office, his claim that higher taxes (on “people like me”) were a formula for prosperity is false. President Trump’s tax cuts (for all tax payers) prove it. Furthermore, Obama heavily regulated business, and President Trump’s lifting of many Obama regulations has been a factor in creating the very real present economic boom.

And by the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low and wages were rising and poverty rates were falling. I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.

He came on then to his foreign policy.

Even though we took out bin Laden and wound down the wars in Iraq and our combat role in Afghanistan, and got Iran to halt its nuclear program, the world’s still full of threats and disorder. …

And even though your generation is the most diverse in history …

Nonsense! No generation is more “diverse” than any other.

… with a greater acceptance and celebration of our differences than ever before, those are the kinds of conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division. …

[O]ver the past few decades, the politics of division, of resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.

Remember when a Republican Attorney General refused to prosecute a bunch of white people although they were breaking the law, on the grounds that he would not act against “his  people”? No. Neither do we. But we do recall Eric Holder- Obama’s black AG – saying something like that in a case of the Black Panthers …

This Congress has … embraced wild conspiracy theories, like those surrounding Benghazi, or my birth certificate.

The trick: he throws out, in passing, that the (factually accurate) report of his failure to send help to a US ambassador and three servicemen who were killed by Muslim terrorists in Benghazi was a “wild conspiracy theory’, and associates it with an unproved, unlikely, and petty story that he was not born in the United States. But the horrible events in Benghazi were proved and profoundly important.

He comes to his own party’s wild conspiracy theory:

[The Repulicans in power are] undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia. What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against Communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB, actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack.

And he calls the partial repeal of his unworkable health legislation “sabotage”:

Their sabotage of the Affordable Care Act has already cost more than three million Americans their health insurance. And if they’re still in power next fall, you’d better believe they’re coming at it again. …

He defends the media who gave him uncritical support in all he did, and never stp attacking President Trump. What is indefnsible in his eyes, is Trump hitting back at his media enemies. To do this, he lies again:

I complained plenty about Fox News – but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them enemies of the people.

We did hear that his administration “spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’ after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources”. (See our quotations from Matt Margolis below.)

Next, he endorses the lie that President Trump sympathizes with Nazis:

We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers.

How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

How hard can it be to say that Islamic terrorism is bad? That Communism is bad? Too hard for him, it appeared.

Then comes the most blatantly impudent accusation of them all:

And we won’t win people over by calling them names, or dismissing entire chunks of the country as racist, or sexist, or homophobic.

Who, every minute of every day, calls whom “racist, or sexist, or homophobic”? Or all three?

Matt Margolis comments at PJ Media:

Today we saw just how far academia is going to perpetuate the myth of Obama’s “scandal-free” administration when he was awarded the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government by the University of Illinois. Not since the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has Obama been so undeserving of an award. But, I submit that this award is even worse than the Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t deserve. In 2009, the Nobel committee was at least ignorant of what Obama’s record would turn out to be. There is simply no excuse in 2018 for Obama to be receiving an Ethics in Government award. … The Paul H. Douglas Award is now forever tainted.

What, exactly, did the committee at the University of Illinois think Obama did to earn an Ethics in Government award? The Obama years were plagued by scandal and defined by a hyper-partisan government.

Last month I cited six Obama scandals where a special counsel should have been appointed to investigate but was not. Unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Obama’s attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, were partisan lackeys who did everything they could to protect Obama from being held accountable. Obama, Holder, and Lynch knew that if they left the investigating to Republicans in Congress they could write them off as partisan witch hunts and use any and all tactics possible to obstruct and stonewall those investigations, or in some cases, run their own sham investigation that cleared them of any wrongdoing.

I document thirty different scandals in my book The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama. Each scandal on its own makes the idea of Obama receiving an ethics award laughable. All of them together make this award blasphemous. From the moment Obama took office he was under a dark cloud of scandal, having been involved in illegal negotiations with [the condemned criminal] Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to give him a cabinet position in exchange for Blagojevich nominating an Obama-preferred candidate to his vacated Senate seat … yet Obama just received an Ethics in Government award? What a joke!…

There are plenty of well-known scandals that the committee that decided to award Obama had to have been aware of but chose to ignore. There was the Fast and Furious scandal, which involved sending guns to Mexico in the hopes of tracking them to drug cartel leaders. Not only did they lose track of a large number of guns, but one gun was found to have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The Obama administration tried to cover it up, and they stonewalled a congressional investigation, resulting in Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents. Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois?

The Obama administration also abused the Espionage Act to target reporters and their sources. They even spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources.  Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois? …

There were also –

The Solyndra scandal [see here], the Benghazi cover-up, Uranium One, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the covering up of thousands of deaths of veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals, manipulating intelligence, paying ransom money to Iran, Project Cassandra [see here], spying on Donald Trump, the Hillary email scandal, which I should add, also implicated Obama, who communicated with Hillary via her private email address and used a pseudonym himself.

It’s bad enough when Obama claims he was scandal-free. But, when he receives an ethics in government award, it diminishes the meaning of ethics. It’s time to stop pretending Obama was scandal-free or ethical. … I’ve only scratched the surface of Obama’s scandalous and unethical presidency. 

The only reason why Barack Obama was elected president was that he was black. He had nothing else to offer. A sufficient number of white Americans voted for him to get him into the White House for no better reason than that they needed to feel good, to prove to themselves, and the country and the world, that they were not “racist“.

Barack Obama, for all his expensive education, was ill-informed and strangely ignorant – and he embraced ideologies inimical to America. He seemed not to know how many states there were in the country he governed. He thought Austrians spoke a language called Austrian. He did not know how to pronounce “corpsman”. And he was a follower of the Communist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky, and a lackey of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He lied and commanded others to lie. Under his leadership, his party worked an elaborate plot, which it still pursues, to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump with false and slanderous allegations of treason.

If prizes were awarded for lying, Obama would deserve them all.

The illiberal Left 12

Pat Condell talks about the intolerant religion of Marxism/Progressivism.

 

Many of our Pat Condell videos have been removed by YouTube.

We wait to see how long this one, in which the good, brave, atheist conservative praises the truly liberal values of the Enlightenment and condemns the intolerance of the now extremely illiberal Left, will be allowed to stay.

Posted under Leftism, Marxism, Progressivism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 1, 2018

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The North American Venezuela 28

The choice is becoming increasingly clear. Stark would be an even better word for it.

Voters can choose between –

Keeping the Republic set up in 1787 and prospering now as never before under the leadership of President Trump, by voting for his Republican followers.

Or changing into the North American Venezuela by voting for the other major political party forming rapidly to replace the Democratic Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, under the leadership of an old communist, Bernie Sanders, and a young communist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The North American Venezuela. It is a vision hovering in the spacious skies over the purple mountains and the fruited plain.

AP reports:

A week ago, Maine Democrat Zak Ringelstein wasn’t quite ready to consider himself a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, even if he appreciated the organization’s values and endorsement in his bid to become a U.S. senator.

Three days later, he told The Associated Press it was time to join up. He’s now the only major-party Senate candidate in the nation to be a dues-paying democratic socialist.

Ringelstein’s leap is the latest evidence of a nationwide surge in the strength and popularity of an organization that, until recently, operated on the fringes of the liberal movement’s farthest left flank. As Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.

“I stand with the democratic socialists, and I have decided to become a dues-paying member,” Ringelstein told AP. “It’s time to do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”

There are 42 people running for offices at the federal, state and local levels this year with the formal endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America, the organization says. They span 20 states, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas and Michigan.

The most ambitious Democrats in Washington have been reluctant to embrace the label, even as they embrace the policies defining modern-day democratic socialism: Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition and the abolition of the federal department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congress’s only self-identified democratic socialist, campaigned Friday with the movement’s newest star, New York City congressional candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old former bartender who defeated one of the most powerful House Democrats last month.

Two-head Communism

Her victory fed a flame that was already beginning to burn brighter. The DSA’s paid membership has hovered around 6,000 in the years before Trump’s election, said Allie Cohn, a member of the group’s national political team. Last week, its paid membership hit 45,000 nationwide.

There is little distinction made between the terms “democratic socialism” and “socialism” in the group’s literature. While Ringelstein and other DSA-backed candidates promote a “big-tent” philosophy, the group’s constitution describes its members as socialists who “reject an economic order based on private profit” and “share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships”. 

Note that, voters. Even private relationships will be monitored by the planners of the social order. It completes the totalitarian vision. 

Members during public meetings often refer to each other as “comrades”,wear clothing featuring socialist symbols like the rose and promote authors such as Karl Marx.

Four-head Communism

The common association with the failed Soviet Union has made it difficult for sympathetic liberals to explain their connection.

“I don’t like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history,” said Kansas congressional candidate James Thompson, who is endorsed by the DSA and campaigned alongside Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, but is not a dues-paying democratic socialist. “There’s definitely a lot of their policies that closely align with mine.”

Thompson, an Army veteran turned civil rights attorney, is running again after narrowly losing a special election last year to fill the seat vacated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Even in deep-red Kansas, he embraces policies like “Medicare for all” and is openly critical of capitalism.

In Hawaii, 29-year-old state Rep. Kaniela Ing isn’t shy about promoting his status as a democratic socialist in his bid for Congress. He said he was encouraged to run for higher office by the same activist who recruited Ocasio-Cortez.

“We figured just lean in hard,” Ing told the AP of the democratic socialist label. He acknowledged some baby boomers may be scared away, but said the policies democratic socialists promote — like free health care and economic equality — aren’t extreme.

Republicans, meanwhile, are encouraged by the rise of democratic socialism — for a far different reason. They have seized on what they view as a leftward lurch by Democrats they predict will alienate voters this fall and in the 2020 presidential race.

The Republican National Committee eagerly notes that Sanders’ plan to provide free government-sponsored health care for all Americans had no co-sponsors in 2013. Today, more than one-third of Senate Democrats and two-thirds of House Democrats have signed onto the proposal, which by one estimate could cost taxpayers as much as $32 trillion.

The co-sponsors include some 2020 presidential prospects, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Those senators aren’t calling themselves democratic socialists but also not disassociating themselves from the movement’s priorities.

Most support the push to abolish ICE [the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency] which enforces immigration laws …

… and want to abolish national borders.

So not even a North American Venezuela?

No nations, no nation-states. No national governments, no voting, no political parties, no law to enforce.

The hovering vision fades.

If the comrades have their way, the reality will be even worse than Venezuela.

Socialism rising for demons and dummies 4

 

Commenting on what is said in this video, John Hinderaker writes ironically, shockingly, and accurately at PowerLine:

[The] entertaining video of Tucker Carlson and Cornel West … offers a good explanation of why socialism always fails, from the perspective of the vast majority. … Tucker asked West: If democratic socialism works, why doesn’t Venezuela have toilet paper?

Of course West’s answers are lame –“real” socialism has never been tried, blah, blah, blah. You could infer from this that West is an idiot and, if he were arguing in good faith, that would be a fair assessment.

But I think the truth is worse. I think the leaders of the socialist movement are perfectly well aware that the inevitable result of socialism is tyranny and mass poverty. But for them, this isn’t a bug, it is a feature. In fact, it is the whole point. Socialism is now, and always has been, a pretext under which power-mad psychopaths seize power and terrorize their fellow humans.

Viewed with cold realism, socialism works very well for those who bring it about. It worked for Lenin and Stalin. It almost worked for Trotsky, but socialism is like Game of Thrones – it is a risky business. It didn’t work for the Old Bolsheviks for the same reason: they lost out to the more vicious and more power-crazed socialist, Stalin. It worked for Yezhov, Yagoda and Beria, although they, too, lost out after years of demented revels. It worked for Khruschev, Brezhnev and Andropov.

Socialism worked for Mao. It worked for Fidel Castro. It worked for Erich Honecker and Nicolae Ceaușescu, until the very end. It worked for Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, again with sad ends that didn’t inflict anywhere near enough pain to negate the years of glory and power that went before. It worked for Hugo Chavez, who like Castro, parlayed socialism into a multi-billion dollar fortune, and it has worked so far for Nicolas Maduro. All of these psychopaths, and many others, got exactly what they wanted out of socialism. From their point of view, it is a successful ideology.

While the vast majority suffer under socialism, such suffering is by no means universal. Any number of commissars, Stasi informants, Cuban snitches, petty apparatchiks with dachas, etc., have parlayed their sadistic tendencies into good livings and what they want most, power over others. If you follow Twitter, or generally pay attention to the American Left, you see an army of would-be commissars who yearn for the day when they can accuse a neighbor of wrongthink and have him sent to an American Gulag. In the meantime, they settle for mob action, “doxxing,” and so on.

Socialism isn’t misguided, it is evil. Socialism isn’t a failure, any more than the Black Death was a failure. Sadly, it has worked all too well for more than a century. 

Those cunning human demons who get power, riches, and sadistic satisfaction out of imposing Socialism, need dumb believers to let them impose it.

Kurt Schlichter, a master of sardonic derision, writes at Townhall:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is less hideously unattractive than the usual Democrat potentate or potentatette and has therefore been anointed the new face of her pathetic party. This dumb woman, who looks like Huma Abedin without the pedohubby and the weird relationship with Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit, took advantage of her even dumber New York district in order to get elected to Congress by calling herself a “socialist”.  Yeah, the subject of a thousand Trader Joe’s house brand chardonnay toasts is a proud adherent of the ideology that butchered 100 million people in the last century. …

Ocasio-Cortez is an idiot, like all adolescent socialists, so she qualified to be the Great Pinko Hope for a party in decline. Here’s how bad she is – she apparently went to college, got a degree in economics, and still ended up a socialist. If she went to med school, she would have probably left a chain smoker.

As for life experience, she was a bartender. Now, being a bartender is an important occupation that provides demonstrable social benefits, and everyone should have at least one crappy job on their resume because it builds character, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you’ve ever done if you want to be in Congress. …

It was only a fun job for her anyway. Not a necessary one. Contrary to what she pretended – in typical socialist style – she did not grow up in the Bronx (though she was born there). She is the daughter of a successful architect and grew up in one of the richest counties in America.

The left is always trying to make [Socialism] happen. It’s not going to happen, not least of which because us militant Normals have about 400 million or so guns and we aren’t super excited about giving up our stuff or our freedom to a bunch of Marxist weirdos who think we should work harder so their voter base doesn’t have to. But they keep trying to sell us this polished fecal matter of an ideology. In 2009, they put Obama’s smug mug on the cover of Newsweek and announced “We’re all socialists now, but it soon became obvious that we aren’t anything like socialists now. And, in fact, Newsweek is barely anything at all now, though under socialism, instead of teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it would be nationalized and we’d all be working to subsidize it so its hack staff could keep their loser sinecures.

A few years later, they tried again by releasing Bernie Sanders from the Old Commies Home to nearly beat Stumbles McMyTurn. That failed and now it’s this nitwit’s turn to spray perfume inside the outhouse.

Naturally, the Pink Dummy was summoned to make the rounds of MSNBCNN in the wake of her win over some other liberal tool. This avatar of a failed nineteenth century death cult was hailed as the future of the Democrats because as the leftist precincts in New York City go, so goes America. She did the same tap dance about socialism that all these twits do – see, socialism isn’t scary. Why, “socialism” is just another word for things we all do together, except when the socialists are in charge they kill you if you defy them. …

Pampered spawn of history’s most prosperous and freest society, these goofs are really excited about something they can barely articulate, so they sputter and spit out words like “justice” and “equality” and then get on their iPhones to call their disappointed dads because they are short on cash …

It’s amusing that so many of us Normals understand socialism better than the socialists do not only in terms of what Marx said, and what history says, but in terms of firsthand knowledge. A lot of us Normals have seen socialism up close and personal. Guys like me actually went and lived in its ruins. If you spent significant time, as I have, in the former Yugoslavia, or Ukraine, or even helping to guard the West German border from those friendly fraternal socialist dudes to the east, you’ll be stripped of any illusions about that garbage ideology.

Socialism is about taking your stuff and your freedom and killing you if you complain. They try to pass it off as just Liberalism 2.0, but then you usually don’t call something by a name unless you mean it. If they don’t mean “socialism” why do they call themselves “socialists”?

They use the term, counting on the stupidity of people educated in public schools (Yah government!), but they are coy about what they really mean. They always point to Sweden and Denmark and Norway when they talk about “socialism”, as if those were their role models … Yet, how come we always see the most excited champagne socialists trekking off to visit the dictators in Havana and Caracas and not the elected leaders in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo?

Venezuela is the socialist paradise that dare not be spoken of. I guess when people are so equal they all have to break into the zoo to eat the zebras, equality stops sounding so awesome.

But see, Venezuela isn’t true socialism. Nothing is ever true socialism, which is super convenient since any country that has ever dabbled in socialism tends to run short of food, medicine, and toilet paper. But I bet smart people like Gulag Barbie can totally make socialism work this time, and you’ll be prosperous and free and have your own pet unicorn.

They are always sure to stick the “democratic” in front of the “socialism” when they try to sell it to the suckers, but that’s a grift. Do they contend that if we vote in socialism and find that it sucks – as every single country that has tried it has found – we can vote it out again? Yeah, uh huh. Seems legit.

[But] Socialism is a train that, once you board, never stops except if you derail it – which we would have every moral right to do if this hateful creed were imposed upon us.

You see, socialism is the doctrine [by which] people like you and I get to slave away for the benefit of the people those in charge decide are worthy – especially those in charge. …

Socialism means what’s theirs is theirs and so is what’s yours. Our private property – what we have worked for and accumulated over decades – is no longer ours. It’s theirs, to be done with – to be redistributed – as those in power wish. And if you object, they will send people with guns to make you comply.

In contrast, in freedom and capitalism, the people with guns protect you from having what’s yours taken.

They don’t say it, but we Normals are the engine that they intend to power their socialism. We’re supposed to continue working and building and creating just as hard as we did when we kept the rewards. Note how the recipients of socialism – the elite, the bums, the hipster doofuses with their stupid Che T-shirts – never seem to expect that they might be asked to sacrifice too? We’re supposed to give up our property and labor to benefit them, but what do they contribute? New grievances? …

Marxgirl wants to start off with free college, which means you pay for other people’s college too. Notice how there’s no expectation that her fans contribute toward the benefit they are receiving? And then she’s for free health care, which means you pay for other people’s doctors too. Again, the recipients are not expected to work for their own benefit. Want to guess what she wants to do with the means of production? And with private property? And the rights of people who oppose her schemes?

Oh, and she’s also for banning guns. Gee, I wonder why.

The Left’s destructive agenda 5

Professor Jordan Peterson clearly describes the lethal ideology of the Left:

Posted under Leftism, Marxism, Progressivism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 20, 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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