Canada: an obituary 4

Whatever Canada may once have been and whatever the talking heads may incessantly proclaim, Canada is no longer a viable political construct. It is a dead country walking.

So writes the Canadian writer David Solway at PJ Media.

Canada is presently in the throes of social and political disintegration. A left-leaning electorate has once again empowered a socialist government promoting all the lunatic ideological shibboleths of the day: global warming or “climate change,” radical feminism, indigenous [people’s] sovereignty, expansionary government, environmental strangulation of energy production, and the presumed efficiency of totalitarian legislation. Industry and manufacturing are abandoning the country in droves and heading south.

The link leads to another article of his, at American Thinker (February17, 2020), in which he gives details of the totalitarian legislation:

Bill C-25 seeking to impose “diversity” on all corporations; financial penalties against organizations that do not comply with government programs; a teeming brigade of government surveillance “inspectors” — that is, spies: wage spies, speech spies, feminist spies, pay equity spies, Human Rights spies; paralegal bodies known as Human Rights Tribunals with the power to levy crippling fines, bankrupt families, and shut down businesses, impose prison time for contempt of court, and compel conformity via “re-education”.  …

Bill C-16 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression …  The bill effectively mandates that citizens address others by their preferred pronouns and transgender fantasies — or else! It’s “zir,” “ze,” “zem,” or “zeir,” or you’re done for.  …  There are other laws on the books, bills such as C-59,  C-75, and C-76, that reduce and even criminalize freedom of expression, infringe on privacy rights, compromise due process, and render government transparency a thing of the past.

The assault against normalcy, common sense, civil rights, and charter freedoms gives no indication of relenting.  Bill S-202, an act to amend the Criminal Code now before Parliament, would outlaw what the government misleadingly calls “Conversion Therapy” — that is, by criminalizing parents, lawyers, physicians, and church leaders who object to state-compelled hormone-drugging and genital mutilation procedures, the bill would effectively prevent minor children [who are] undergoing forced transgender operations, surgical and hormonal, from receiving the help they need. “This whole agenda to sterilize and mutilate children,” write the editors of Action4Canada, “is pure evil and in violation of … the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as a physician’s ethical commitment promising to ‘First, do no harm'”.

Not satisfied with … conducting dodgy prosecutorial attacks on individuals whom the party wishes to intimidate, silence, or arrest, Trudeau’s Liberals are considering a motion requiring all news content–creators to procure a government license for approved content, thus controlling public access to information. …

Not content with such despotic measures, the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) proposes to identify news sites that are “accurate, trusted, and reliable” with the intent to enhance the “diversity of voices”.  Truth be told, there are precious few “accurate, trusted, and reliable” news sites in Canada. … Moreover, we know that emphasizing “diversity of voices” is equivalent to the imposition of the grievance-driven identity-group and social justice model on public broadcasting while constraining factual reporting and bridling the dissemination of genuine news.  It is … tantamount to a government monopoly on information

All of Canada’s political parties signed on to Bill C-76, which … imposes further restrictions on third-party speech during extended election periods. …  Every political party steers to the Left, including, as noted, the Conservatives, who are essentially Liberal Lite.  Trudeau is simply the most visible embodiment and effective bellwether of the political virus infecting the country.

He cites the case of Omar Khadr (see our post and the video here) as an example of the inverted values of the governing elite.

He characterizes the form of government as “soft totalitarianism”:

Soft totalitarianism is a considerable way from hard totalitarianism.  …

But the soft leads to the hard, and is doing so:

To say it can’t happen here … is an expression of overweening confidence and lack of historical awareness.  One does not have to think back to the demise of the Weimar Republic in Germany.  A mere glance at the European Union’s unelected, bureaucratic authoritarianism, or a recognition of what the Democrat Party is demonstrably planning for the United States, should awaken us to the danger.  To be awakened, we might remark, is the opposite of being woke.  Canada stands as a vivid illustration of what would be in store for the U.S. under a Democrat administration.

It can happen here, and it is happening right now, right here, in Canada.

He continues in his PJ Media article (written on February 24, 2020 – one week after his American Thinker column):

Canada is now reaping the whirlwind. The Red-Green Axis consisting of social justice warriors, hereditary band chiefs, renewable energy cronies, cultural Marxists, and their political and media enablers have effectively shut down the country. The economy is at a standstill, legislatures and City Halls have been barricaded, blockades dot the landscape, roads and bridges have been sabotaged, trains have been derailed (three crude-by-rail spillages in the last two months), goods are rotting in warehouses, heating supplies remain undelivered, violent protests and demonstrations continue to wreak havoc—and the hapless Prime Minister, who spent a week swanning around Africa as the crisis unfolded, is clearly out of his depth and has no idea how to control the mayhem. No surprise here. A wock pupper [? – woke puppet?] politico in thrall to the Marxist project and corporate financial interests, Justin Trudeau is generally baffed out when it comes to any serious or demanding concerns involving the welfare of the people and the economic vitality of the nation. Little is to be expected of him in the current emergency apart from boilerplate clichés and vague exhalations of roseate sentiment.

Still, Trudeau may have been right about one thing when he told The New York Times that Canada had no core identity—although this is not what a Prime Minister should say in public. Canada was always two “nations”, based on two founding peoples, the French and the English …  But it may be closer to the truth to portray Canada as an imaginary nation which comprises three territories and ten provinces, two of which, Quebec and Newfoundland, cherish a near-majoritarian conception of themselves as independent countries in their own right. Newfoundland narrowly joined Confederation only in 1949 and Quebec held two successive sovereignty referenda that came a hair’s breadth from breaking up the country.

The latest entry in the exit sweepstakes is oil-rich but hard-done-by Alberta, a province which suffered under the National Energy Program introduced in 1980 by the current PM’s father Pierre Trudeau, and is currently struggling under a concerted left-wing campaign, sponsored by Green-progressivist foundations (American consortiums masking via proxies as Canadian coalitions), clueless Nobel laureates at their virtue-signaling best, and a Liberal government ideologically aligned with the NDP (New Democratic Party) and the Greens, to prevent the development of its vast oil reserves. Alberta has always resented the indifference to and domination of the Canadian West by the so-called Laurentian Elite comprising “the political, academic, cultural, media and business elites” of central Canada. There is now a Wexit movement gathering momentum.

It might just as plausibly be argued that Canada is composed of a veritable congeries of competing, self-identified mini-nations—English, French, Islamic, Chinese, Sikh, native tribes with multiple patrimonies and unpronounceable names, and sundry political constituencies affiliated with the global left. Contributing factors like indiscriminate immigration from dysfunctional countries, metastasizing socialist doctrine verging on nascent totalitarianism, a state-funded national broadcaster and a deeply compromised print media subsidized by the Liberal government added to the destabilizing brew. Meanwhile, to quote lawyer and former philosophy professor Grant Brown, “the education system invites Extinction Rebellionkooks into the classroom to terrify the children”. … An army of little Gretas will carry the country-killing revolution even further.

It is often noted that America is a nation evenly divided between progressivist and conservative populations, a civil dilemma not easily resolved. But Canada is divided approximately 65-35 by these constituencies, and if one considers that the federal Conservative Party in its present manifestation can fairly be described as Liberal Lite, the breakdown is more like 95-5. This means there is no chance of reconciliation between our political disparities, such as they are, and Canada is doomed to plummet down the esker of every failed socialist experiment that preceded it and, indeed, that is presently on display in various foundering nations around the globe—North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and counting.

Trudeau père invoked the War Measures Act in 1970 to quell the Quebec separatist movement, the Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ), after a series of bombings and murders. It is obvious that the son has neither the political smarts nor the strength of character to act decisively against those who are busy reducing an already patchwork country into a heap of shards and rubble.

Nor, it would seem, the will. Is Justin Trudeau not the leading  destroyer of the country which he believes never had a “core identity” anyway?  

And there we find the proof that, whatever Canada may once have been and whatever the talking heads may incessantly proclaim, Canada is no longer a viable political construct. It is a dead country walking.

What hope have the remaining good Canadians? Perhaps they could hope that President Trump will make an offer on behalf of the US to buy the remains of Canada from the Queen, at the bargain price the corpse is now worth, and resurrect the nation as Canadian North Americans, annexed to the Republic, happy, prosperous, and free.

Posted under Canada, Leftism, Multiculturalism by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Revolution? 4

Is America in the throes of a revolution? Are we sliding unstoppably into totalitarian communism?

Angelo Codevilla writes at American Greatness:

Some conservatives, rejoicing that impeachment turned into yet another of #TheResistance’s political train wrecks and that President Trump is likely to be reelected by a bigger margin than in 2016, expect that a chastened ruling class will return to respecting the rest of us. They are mistaken.

Trump’s reelection, by itself, cannot protect us. The ruling class’s intolerance of the 2016 election’s results was intolerance of us.

Nor was their intolerance so much a choice as it was the expression of its growing sense of its own separate identity, of power and of entitlement to power. The halfhearted defenses with which the offensives of the ruling class have been met already advertise the fact that it need not and will not accept the outcome of any presidential election it does not win. Trump notwithstanding, this class will rule henceforth as it has in the past three years. So long as its hold on American institutions continues to grow, and they retain millions of clients, elections won’t really matter.

Our country is in a state of revolution, irreversibly, because society’s most influential people have retreated into moral autarchy, …

Autarchy, or autocracy, is rule by a dictator. Has any Democrat proclaimed a desire for a dictator, or to be a dictator? If so, we missed it. The Democrats want absolute power in their own hands, but have’t yet wished up a Stalin or a Mao. It’s highly likely that Bernie Sanders would like to be an American Stalin, but has he admitted it?

Besides which, there is not a single Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States who could run a poll in Iowa, let alone the country. 

Moral autarchy? Not sure what that means. But okay, let’s accept the term in order to follow the writer’s argument.

… have seceded from America’s constitutional order, and because they browbeat their socio-political adversaries instead of trying to persuade them. Theirs is not a choice that can be reversed. It is a change in the character of millions of people.

Does character change? Does the character of a people – a nation – change? What characterizes any nation must by definition be what does not change about it. For a country to change its character it would have to have its population replaced by a different population – as is happening rapidly in Sweden, France, Spain, and Germany.  The Democrats seem to like the idea of America becoming more “Hispanic” than “Anglo”, but it hasn’t happened yet, and might never happen.

There has been a change in America over the last 70 years or so. It is not a change of character. In all their variety, Americans are recognizably the same as they were 100 years ago. What has changed in America are ideas about values and morals, about what matters and what doesn’t.

And that is what the article under discussion is really about.

The sooner conservatives realize that the Republic established between 1776 and 1789—the America we knew and loved—cannot return, the more fruitfully we will be able to manage the revolution’s clear and present challenges to ourselves. How are we to deal with a ruling class that insists on ruling—elections and generally applicable rules notwithstanding—because it regards us as lesser beings?

The resistance that reached its public peaks in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the impeachment imbroglio should have left no doubt about the socio-political arbitrariness that flows from the ruling class’s moral autarchy, about the socio-political power of the ruling class we’re forced to confront, or of its immediate threat to our freedom of speech.

Chief Justice John Roberts, presiding over the Senate’s impeachment trial, was as clear an example as any of that moral autarchy and its grip on institutions.

Pursuant to Senate rules, Senator Rand Paul sent a written question through Roberts to House Manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) regarding the extent of collaboration between Schiff’s staffer Sean Misko and his longtime fellow partisan, CIA officer Eric Ciaramella in starting the charges that led to impeachment. Roberts, having read the question to himself, declared: “The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted.”

The chief justice of the United States, freedom of speech’s guardian-in-chief, gave no reason for declining to read Paul’s question. The question was relevant to the proceedings. It violated no laws, no regulations. The names of the two persons were known to every member of the House and Senate, as well as to everyone around the globe who had followed news reports over the previous months. But the Democratic Party had been campaigning to drive from public discussion that this impeachment stemmed from the partisan collaboration between a CIA officer and a Democratic staffer.

“Collaboration” is the polite term for it; “conspiracy” the more accurate one.

Accordingly, the mainstream media had informally but totally banned discussion of this fact, supremely relevant but supremely embarrassing to Schiff in particular and to Democrats in general. Now, Paul was asking Schiff officially to comment on the relationship. Schiff could have explained it, or refused to explain it. But Roberts saved him the embarrassment and trouble—and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spared senators the problem of voting on a challenge to Roberts’s  ruling. The curtain of official concealment, what the Mafia calls the omertà, remained intact. Why no reason?

Just as no dog wags his tail without a reason, neither did Roberts wag his without reason. Neither the laws of the United States nor the rules of the Senate told the presiding officer to suppress the senator’s question. Why was Roberts pleased to please those he pleased and to displease those he displeased? In short, why did this impartial presiding officer act as a man partial to one side against the other?

This professional judge could hardly have been impressed by the ruling class’s chosen instrument, Adam Schiff, or by Schiff’s superior regard for legal procedure. Since Schiff’s prosecution featured hiding the identity of the original accuser—after promising to feature his testimony—and since it featured secret depositions, blocked any cross-examination of its own witnesses, and prevented the defense from calling any of their own, it would have been strange if Chief Justice Roberts’s bias was a professional one.

Is it possible that Roberts favored the substance of the ruling class claim that neither President Trump nor any of his defenders have any right to focus public attention on the Biden family’s use of public office to obtain money in exchange for influence? That, after all, is what Washington is largely about. Could Roberts also love corruption so much as to help conceal it? No.

Roberts’s professional and ethical instincts incline him the other way. Nevertheless, he sustained the ruling class’s arbitrariness. Whose side did he take? His dinner companions’ side? The media’s? His wife’s? Roberts’s behavior—contrary as it was to his profession, to his morals, and to his political provenance—shows how great is the ruling class’s centripetal force.

The sad but inescapable consequence of this force is that conservatives have no choice but to follow the partisan logic of revolution—fully conscious of the danger that partisanship can make us as ridiculously dishonest as Adam Schiff or CNN’s talking heads, into rank-pullers like John Roberts, and into profiteers as much as any member of the Biden family.

Do conservatives have no choice but to go along with “the revolution”, with the abandonment of the values that inspired the Constitution, with corruption as a matter of indisputable but unchangeable fact?

The writer then seems to change his mind. He suggests there is a choice:

And yet, revolution is war, the proximate objective of which is to hurt the other side until it loses the capacity and the will to do us harm. That means treating institutions and people from the standpoint of our own adversarial interest: controlling what we can either for our own use or for bargaining purposes, discrediting and abandoning what we cannot take from our enemies.

Opposing them by the means they choose, the weapons they use? That – so the writer suggests – is our best recourse?

Unlike our enemies, our ultimate objective is, as Lincoln said, “peace among ourselves and with all nations”. But what kind of peace we may get depends on the extent to which we may compel our enemies to leave us in peace. And for that, we must do unto them more and before they do unto us.

Which is true? Do we have no choice but to join “the revolution” – a change from a free open society of self-reliant individuals into a government-controlled, race and sex obsessed, doom prophesying, totally organized community? Or are we still in control of our destiny? And if we fight our revolutionary enemy, must it be with their weapons, or ours? On their terms, or ours?

We do not see that there has been a revolution – though the Obama administration tried to make one. We do not think the only way to save America from totalitarian one-party rule is by following the rules laid down by the Gramsci-Alinsky school of sedition and the Cloward-Piven blueprint for chaos. (See here and here and here and here.)

By great good luck we have President Trump leading us in another direction, showing us another way, prioritizing better (characteristic) values: freedom, individual enterprise, innovation, industry, competence, patriotism, strength, ambition, self-confidence, prosperity. For a few more years at least. During which the Left revolutionaries may, in the fury of their frustration, stamp themselves into the ground.

Retreat from the Enlightenment 8

France is submitting to Islam.

“Voltaire fades before Muhammad, the Enlightenment before Submission.”

 – Giulio Meotti quotes and comments in his article at Gatestone:

“Five years after the killings at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher, France has learned to live with the Islamist threat,” wrote Yves Thréard, deputy editor at the daily newspaper Le Figaro.

Not a month goes by… without a murderous attack with the cry of “Allahu Akbar” taking place on our soil…. But what is the point of fighting the effects of Islamism if we do not tackle the origins of this ideology of death? On that front, however, denial continues to compete with naiveté. Nothing has changed in the last five years. On the contrary.

In the name of diversity, non-discrimination and human rights, France has accepted a number of blows to its culture and history… Islamists are a hot-button issue. They continue the fight which, even without weapons, has all the allure of a war of civilizations. Is the famous “Charlie spirit”, which some people thought was blowing after the January 2015 attacks, just an illusion?

France has been marking the fifth anniversary of the deadly jihadist attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which took place on January 7, 2015. Last month, French Senator Nathalie Goulet warned that more attacks were likely. “In France we have a serious problem and we need to do more to prevent extremists from acting. As it stands, there will be more attacks,” Goulet said. There are believed to be 12,000 radical Islamists on France’s terror watch-list, “however only a dozen are thought to be under 24-hour surveillance”.

This week was marked by yet a new string of Islamist terror attacks: police injured a knife-wielding man on a street in the northeastern city of Metz, two days after a suspected Islamist radical in the Paris suburb of Villejuif stabbed a man to death, an act that prosecutors are treating as a terror attack. In both incidents, the assailants shouted “Allahu Akbar.” This type of attack was dubbed “ordinary jihad” in a Le Figaro editorial this week.

On January 7, 2015, the cartoonists and journalists Cabu, Charb, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski, the psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat, the economist Bernard Maris and the policeman Franck Brinsolaro fell under the bullets of the jihadist brothers Chérif and Saïd Kouachi. Charlie Hebdo‘s 2020 anniversary issue commemorated the massacre and slammed the “new gurus of monolithic thinking” who are trying to impose politically correct censorship.

The outburst of indignation of the French people, gathered in Paris for a massive demonstration on January 11, 2015, was not enough to awaken the spirit of resistance of the French leaders and elites against Islamism and its collaborators. “The seriousness of the Islamist political fact in France is strongly underestimated,” says the lawyer Thibault de Montbrial, president France’s Center for Internal Security Studies.

In a country that used to stand for freedom of expression, self-censorship is soaring. “For the humorists in France, it’s always easy to make fun of the Pope and the Catholics, it’s always easy to make fun of Jews, it’s always easy to make fun of Protestants,” confesses a long-time Charlie Hebdo columnist, Patrick Pelloux. For Islam, it is not easy. “We feel that this religion is scary. The word Islam is scary, and on that, the terrorists have won.”

While French prisons have become a breeding ground for jihadists, the Islamization of the cities’ suburbs, the banlieues, is proceeding full tilt. The weekly Le Point recently devoted a cover story to the “territories conquered by the Islamists”. In many of these areas, violence rages; 1,500 cars were torched there on New Year’s Eve. In recently published book, “Les territoires conquis de l’islamisme” (“The Territories Conquered by Islamism”), by Bernard Rougier, a professor at the University Sorbonne-Nouvelle and director of the Center for Arab and Oriental Studies, he explains that Islamism is an “hegemonic project”, splintering working-class neighborhoods. These “ecosystems”, he states, work on a “logic of rupture” of the French society, its values and institutions, and are built on mosques, bookstores, sport clubs and halal restaurants. …

“Today,” said the president of the Ministry of Education’s Conseil supérieur des programmes, Souâd Ayada, “the visibility of Islam in France is saturated by the veil and the jihad.”

Souad Ayada is a Muslim, a spécialiste de la spiritualité et de philosophie islamiques, so it’s doubtful that she was complaining. (If those in charge of education in France all think so badly, no wonder the nation is fading away. “Visibility” cannot be”saturated”. Veils cannot saturate anything. Nor can “the jihad”. )

While Islamist preachers and recruiters are out on the streets, seeking out the weak minds that will form the first line of their holy war, political Islam also forms electoral lists in France’s suburbs.

French President Emmanuel Macron opposed banning these political groups.

“France is a budding Islamic republic,” noted the Algerian novelist Boualem Sansal. In those “territories”, he said, live many of the terrorists who attack France, from the Kouachi brothers of Charlie Hebdo to the jihadists who murdered [and tortured – ed] scores of people at the Bataclan Theater.

Islamists have, in addition, recruited dozens of French soldiers and ex-servicemen who have converted to Islam. Many have come from commando units with expertise in handling weapons and explosives.

France is turning into a “society of vigilance” in its fight against the “Hydra” of Islamist militancy, as Macron said. …

He said that? But will do nothing to stop the influx of Muslims whose holy duty it is to wage jihad? Or even ban known “political groups”? “Vigilance” may not be quite enough.

Last October, an Islamist struck in one of France’s most secure buildings: the monumental Paris Police headquarters near Notre Dame cathedral, where he murdered four of his colleagues. … “It is hard to believe that the police on which we rely to protect us and which is supposed to be our last rampart against terrorism, can itself be the victim of terrorism, with throats slit in the holy of holies of the Police Prefecture.” 

In the wake of the attack, seven police officers, “suspected of radicalization”, had their guns confiscated.

And without their guns they can do no harm? Their brother jihadists in London could teach them how to use knives and mechetes to inflict death and injury. But come to think of it, they know how. They used knives in the Bataclan Theater. “The French Parliamentary report contains details of how victims’ bodies had been mutilated, such as by eye-gouging, disemboweling, castration, and beheading,” Wikipedia reports.

“I have the impression that our immune defenses have collapsed and that Islamism is winning,” says the French writer Pascal Bruckner.

There’s an observant citizen!

He is quoted further:

[Islam’s] main demands have been met: nobody dares to publish caricatures of Mohammed anymore. Self-censorship prevails…. Hate is directed against those who resist obscuring information rather than against those who obscure it. Not to mention the psychiatrization of terrorism, in order better to exonerate Islam. If we had been told in the early 2000s that in 2020, around 20 French cartoonists and intellectuals would be under police protection, no one would have believed it. The threshold of servitude has increased.

“Sunk” is what he means: the threshold has been lowered, made easier to get over. To enter into servitude. The easy choice for the French now is to submit to Islam.

Five years after the terrorist murders at Charlie Hebdo, free speech is less free [read “gone” – ed] in France. “No one today would publish the cartoons of Muhammad,” said Philippe Val, the former editor of Charlie Hebdo, recently.

“For the past five years, I’ve been going to the police station every month or so to file a complaint about death threats, not insults, death threats,” says Marika Bret, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo today.

In Paris, five years after the murders at Charlie Hebdo, there was a big march to protest not terrorism, but “Islamophobia”.

“Voltaire fades before Muhammad, and the Enlightenment before the Submission,” wrote the author Éric Zemmour.

In 2017 … a Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was tortured and murdered in her Paris apartment by her neighbor, Kobili Traoré, who was yelling “Allahu Akbar”.  A court of appeals recently ruled that Traoré, because he had smoked cannabis, was “not criminally responsible” for his actions.

And so he was acquitted.

Which means that anti-Semitism, even when it results in murder, is licensed in France.

Actually, anti-Semitism is a grand old French tradition. But now it is not merely tolerated and quietly practiced in the land of “liberty, equality and fraternity”, it is an aim, a cause, a duty. Because it was commanded – and an example of the mass murder of Jews set – by Muhammad himself.

France has capitulated to Islam. The EU has capitulated to Islam. In all the countries of western Europe, the peoples are condemning themselves to live in fear. In subjection. And in  sorrow. For in Islam there is no laughter, and no singing and dancing. And no wine, mon frère, no wine. No beer, mein Bruder, no beer.

Standing almost alone in the Western World against this retreat from the Enlightenment is America. At least for as long as Donald Trump is president.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the FAIREST of us all? 5

The defeat suffered by the far-left Labour Party in a recent general election in Britain was so decisive, it forces left-wing parties on both sides of the Atlantic to reconsider their policies, and encourages conservatives to hope it is symptomatic of a decline and fall of the Left everywhere.

When we were in the grip of that wild hope, an article in Areo by Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay titled The Left is Having an Identity Crisis drew our close attention.

The title is ironic, intentionally or not, because the Left has been primarily concerned with “identity” ever since Karl Marx drew rigid lines between the classes of the Western world. Your identity in the Marxian view was defined by your class. You were either bourgeois which was bad because you supported the status quo, or you were proletarian which was good because you were destined to make violent revolution. (In his personal life Marx was a social snob, always putting his wife’s aristocratic name and title on his visiting card.) When the proletariats of Europe disappointed the Left after the Second World War, becoming well-off, indistinguishable in their outlook from the bourgeoisie and plainly uninterested in making revolution, a New Left arose with a revised ethic of identity. Henceforth it was the Lumpenproletariat, a vagabond underclass that Marx had despised, that must play the revolutionary role. Their class, the “unemployed and unemployable” (as Herbert Marcuse wrote) was augmented by les misérables of the Third World (Frantz Fanon’s “wretched of the earth”) and others who were powerless and exploited by the bourgeois patriarchy; notably women and the sexually deviant, and even (sotto voce why not?) felons. These “sections” of society would unite under the red banner of socialist revolution, which no longer had to be violent. Instead the Left would advance to power by taking control over the institutions of the Western democracies – or where that proved impossible, by discrediting them. The author of the plan, Antonio Gramsci, described it as “the long march through the institutions”.The sections, united in purpose throughout the world, would get the levers of power in their hands and then change our world that has evolved over millennia, our world of many nation-states, of European and male supremacy, of capitalism and private ownership and unequal wealth, into One World of material equality and moral beauty.

In this drama, your identity according to the categories of the New Left is what matters about you. You are black, female, homosexual, or in the nostalgia of the theorists a worker, so you are expected to take part in, or at least assist, the long march. You are expected to be on the Left.

And now the Left itself is having a crisis of identity? What is it about its Leftness that is troubling it?

Pluckrose and Lindsay, who declare themselves to be liberal and not socialist or “identitarian”, reflect on what is happening in and to the Left in Britain and America, and set about defining, diagnosing, and prescribing a cure for the problem:

The Left is in crisis. We no longer present a cohesive movement, and we no longer form coherent political parties. We are a fractured and ill-defined mess, our goals are diffuse and scattered, and we are hemorrhaging supporters from what should be our base—the working class, liberals, and racial and sexual minorities. It is not clear that left-wing parties and movements are currently listening to that base or have its best interests at heart.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent British election, which was disastrous for the left. Labour lost key seats, including in areas that have voted left for close to a century, and experienced its worst drubbing in four decades. An outright majority was won by surely the least credible Tory Prime Minister in living memory.

That’s Boris Johnson they’re talking about. A man who was born to be Prime Minister of England, very possibly a good one. He has sworn to take Britain out of the European Union which is  a corrupt and undemocratic political darling of the Left, so of course the Left abominates him. To persons on the Left, he is almost as bad as our great President Trump.

It seems uncomfortably likely that this disaster is soon to be mirrored in the US by the re-election of Donald Trump for a second term, despite the fact that the American public has had four years—beginning with his 2015 campaign—to notice how manifestly unfit he is to be the leader of the western world. The pressing questions at the moment are, what’s going on? and what, if anything, can we do to stop it?

They do some quite credible analysis of what’s going wrong on their side:

Let’s start with what isn’t going to work. It simply will not do to blame these electoral results on the idea that the majority of the population is ignorant, hateful, or unaware of their own best interests. This is the attitude—made popular throughout the educated left by a growing commitment to elitism and critical theories—that got us into this mess in the first place. This attitude is particularly worrying because it leads leftist activists to double down on exactly those things that are killing the left.

If left-leaning parties around the world hope to have any future electoral success, they need to ditch both elitism and identity-based theory and develop some self-awareness. They need to start listening to the people they are supposed to represent so that they can understand what people actually want from a left-wing party. Only in this way can the left heal its fractures and form a strong and principled movement, with political parties that the general public can trust and respect.

The policies of left-wing parties need to come from the people—not represent revolutionary ideologies most do not share or appreciate having imposed upon them for their own good. The public will not stand for this—nor should they. It is absolutely right to reject the social engineering projects of theorists, activists, and the privileged elite who, like self-appointed philosopher kings, want to order society according to their ideological vision of how things should be rather than how they are or realistically could be.

People who reject the ideologues’ vision are not all racist, sexist, and xenophobic bigots or radical capitalist absolutists. Liberals and working people, who form an overlapping majority, generally have strong opinions on what will make their lives better and society fairer, and they are increasingly deciding that right-wing parties are closer to providing this. Barely electable as those might be, that’s still miles better than being totally unelectable. This is a point our left-wing parties seem utterly unable to grasp—as our elections keep demonstrating. This calls for humility and introspection from the left, rather than doubling down and denigrating the masses for their wrongthink.

Ah, yes. It seems that whenever the workers are given a chance to express their political preference, they choose wicked but rewarding capitalist conservatism over morally beautiful but materially deficient socialism.

But Pluckrose and Lindsay, and probably all Leftists, assume that “most people” really want a left-wing government. One that is not too radical.

So Left-wing parties must strive to keep themselves from becoming too radical. But it’s not easy for them:

Left-wing parties and movements generally have a harder job maintaining consistency and cohesion than conservative ones because of their progressive nature. Progress requires change, moving with the times, and finding new directions. It requires fighting for certain advances and then, when these are achieved, fighting for new ones. Conservatives generally have an easier time with continuity because they seek to conserve aspects of society that they see as good, as well as upholding consistent principles, rooted in consistent moral intuitions of individual responsibility, respect for tradition and authority, cultural cohesion, and family. While differences do exist within conservatism—especially between libertarian fiscal conservatives and religious and/or social conservatives—there are natural limits as to how much principles can change and evolve when they are firmly rooted in the drive to conserve.

Progressives, on the other hand, are always trying to move forward and address new injustices and inequalities. The drive to progress necessarily manifests in many different directions at the same time and these can even contradict each other. One good example of this is the vitriolic conflict between the radical feminists, whose rejection of gender is rooted in an adaptation of Marxist class struggle, and the self-ID trans activists, whose conception of gender is rooted in postmodern queer theory. These groups are both decidedly left-wing and yet they do not agree.

Another such conflict came to light when Goldsmith University’s Feminist Society endorsed the Islamic Society’s protests against communist feminist, Maryam Namazie, due to her criticism of Islamism. For progressives to make progress, their competing aims therefore need to be balanced within a consistent ethical framework—a liberal framework—that can prevent the left from repeatedly fracturing because of incompatible aims and conceptions of the world.

… [There is a] current deadlock between the three main elements of the left [which are]: the radical (or socialist), identitarian (“Social Justice”), and liberal left. She argues that the  liberal left must strongly champion liberalism, as an overarching principle by which the valid concerns of the other strands of the left can be judged. Neither socialism nor identity politics can win back the voters who have gone over to the right because most people support regulated capitalism and universal principles of fairness and reciprocity, regardless of identity. This is perfectly compatible with profound concern about the disadvantages people face because of their class, race, sex, or sexuality.

The socialists—who prioritise the material realities of economic and class issues—and the identitarians—with their myopic and obsessive focus on race, gender, and sexuality as social constructs perpetuated in language—cannot easily cooperate with each other, without a broader framework that is neither socialist nor identitarian. The left needs to focus on both economic and identity issues. … [R]ight now most people want a combination of center-left economics and center-right stability. We can achieve this by restoring liberalism to the heart of left-wing politics and rejecting the lure of illiberal alternatives.

Liberalism, in its essence, seeks incremental reform to address social injustices, and it does so on the level of the individual and the universal. That is, liberalism seeks to produce a society in which every individual has access, in principle, to everything society has to offer, regardless of economic background, race, gender or sexuality. Liberalism is not (as its socialist and Social Justice critics claim) a belief that society has already achieved that aim and a corresponding denial of any continuing disadvantages caused by economic inequalities or prejudice.

On the contrary, by insisting on the rights of the individual and universal principles of non-discrimination we can oppose the barriers impeding any social group. This is the approach taken by the Civil Rights Movement, liberal feminism, and gay pride—with great success. … Critics of liberalism are right to warn us that focusing only on the individual and the universal can lead us to overlook issues disadvantaging specific groups. But we can address these criticisms most effectively by appealing to a broader liberal framework, not by attempting to overthrow it.

We have moved into a new stage of history. The battles the left fought over the past half-century have largely been won. We cannot go back to focusing on miners’ rights and trade unions, or on securing equal pay for women, outlawing racial discrimination, or legalizing homosexuality: we have won those wars. In fact, much of the right supports these advances now too.

So far, not much to make us feel irresistibly compelled to argue.

But next they explain what liberalism means to them:

We have new battles to fight. These include combating climate change, securing our place on the world stage and within the global economy, and fostering a cohesive multiculturalism, free from moral relativism and enforced conformity. The left now finds itself pulled in many directions at once. This is the source of its profound identity crisis.

The intractability of the problem facing the left was made abundantly clear by the recent UK election. Constituencies such as Grimsby and Blyth voted Conservative after decades of being staunchly Labour. As Aditya Chakrabortty points out, this is largely due to changes in working class political identity:

While the party bigwigs threw their weight about, the mines and the manufacturers, the steel and the shipbuilding were snuffed out. With them went the culture of Labourism: the bolshy union stewards, the self-organised societies, most of the local newspapers. Practically any institution that might incubate a working-class provincial political identity was bulldozed.

Workers have other concerns now, and it seems they did not feel that Labour was addressing them. In areas that were long-term Labour strongholds—and which have now turned Tory—a majority of working people also voted Leave in the Brexit referendum. This points to a deep and fundamental rift that cannot easily be ignored—and some of the responses to this division highlight many of the same issues that triggered working-class support for Leave in the first place.

[Jeremy] Corbyn’s Labour Party was torn between honoring the wishes of the many working people who wanted to leave the European Union and those of its liberal and cosmopolitan supporters, who strongly supported Remain. After dithering on the issue for a couple of years, Labour finally compromised by calling for a second referendum, a solution that, by calling Mulligan on the results of the first Brexit referendum, seems not to have mollified its working class base in the least. Since then, a YouGov survey found that Labour voters were more likely to think the next Labour leader needed to be more centrist and that the general population overwhelmingly did not care for identity politics, at least in the realm of gender.

The Economist has described Labour as out of touch with the working class, particularly in the north. …

While the issue of Brexit is far more complicated than a simple left-right divide, it highlights a profound disconnect between the old, class-conscious left and the new identity-conscious (read: identity-obsessed) left. By attempting to satisfy both of them at the same time, Labour is tearing itself apart. We can also see this in the anti-Semitism that now plagues the party, which is a consequence of attempting to come to terms with postcolonial guilt by acknowledging Britain’s role in the current tensions across the Muslim world. As a result, Labour often supports conservative Muslims over liberal ones, and condones—or actively endorses—the sexism, homophobia, and antisemitism that comes along with that position, leaving British Jews in a very vulnerable position. These deep inconsistencies have led many centrist and liberal voters in the UK to believe that the Tories better represent their interests than can Labour.

These political challenges are not confined to the UK. In the US, the Democratic Party is flailing, as it attempts to satisfy both its economic and identitarian wings, in the run-up to the 2020 elections. While the majority of the left and center—and a significant part of the right—hope that a reasonable, electable presidential candidate will emerge from within the Democratic Party, they’re forced to stare wild-eyed as the vast majority of the current and past hopefuls catalogue their pronouns in their Twitter bios and declare that “the future is female” and “the future is intersectional”.

Meanwhile, the activist base—the only ones interested in these displays—write articles fixated on the identity politics surrounding these candidates. Joe Biden is just one more old, white man who needs to step aside (even though he has tremendous support among black Americans, as does that other old white man, Bernie Sanders, who is polling in second place). If you don’t support Elizabeth Warren, even as she panders endlessly to the far-left fringe, it’s because you’ve bought into systemic misogyny (or condone Trump’s allegedly racist mockery of her as “Pocahontas”). Pete Buttigieg, who would be America’s first openly gay president if he were elected, isn’t gay enough. He may be married to a man but, we’re told, he isn’t really gay because he’s straight-passing and not a queer activist. …

Note of possible relevance: Pete Buttigieg’s father, Joseph Buttigieg, translated into English the works of no less a Communist Superhero than Antonio Gramsci himself.

This leaves left-wing parties in a quandary. They need to move with the times but are currently unsure where those times are going.

“The times”, aka History, is seen by theLeft as an agent with a purposeful will. It – not human thought and action – shapes events. Human beings are the tools of History – though its ultimate purpose is their perfection. A Marxian thesis which still lingers with the Left.

Marx believed his envisioned revolution was inevitable – though also in need of action by the “revolutionary class”.

A contemporary Labour MP, Jess Phillips, believes the working class needs a Labour government, even if it is not revolutionary. She writes in the Guardian:

The truth is, there are corners of our party that have become too intolerant of challenge and debate. The truth is, there is a clique who don’t care if our appeal has narrowed, as long as they have control of the institutions and ideas of the party.

We’ve all got to discover the courage to ask the difficult questions about the future of our party and the future of the working-class communities who need a Labour government. Because the alternative is that the working-class voters who, in despair, lent the Tories their votes on Thursday, never take them back.

It is time for the left to acknowledge this wake-up call. If the election of Donald Trump in the US and the catastrophic collapse of Labour in the UK haven’t made it obvious that we have a problem, it is unclear what will. The left cannot continue to try to impose a set of ideological values held by only a tiny minority of the left-leaning public and then blame that public for not electing a left-wing government. While trying to find its footing in today’s society and address the injustices and concerns of most of its natural base, the left has fallen into the trap of listening to noisy ideologues rather than average liberal and leftist working people. How much more evidence do we need that this does not work? When will we start listening to what people overwhelmingly want—a society that meets their material needs and feels fair and ethical? When will the left commit to being liberal again?

We ask: for what do “working class communities need a Labour government”? If the (somewhat) right-wing governments elected in the United States and Britain meet their material needs – and in the US at present the Trump administration is amply doing so – and if that seems “fair and ethical” to the voters, what can a reformed right-shifted left-wing government do for them? Can such a government, with redistributionist welfare policies designed by “noisy ideologues” to achieve fairness as an ethical ideal, meet material needs more amply?  No. That’s the whole point. Planned economies do not work. Equality of wealth, equality of power, equality of talent, equality of achievement, all that is meant by “social justice”, will never be brought about by History, nor can it be made to happen by ideologues, whether noisily by revolution or silently by their gaining control of the institutions of democracies.

The Left is failing because Leftism as such, whether “liberal” in the contemporary sense (“combating climate change, securing our place on the world stage and within the global economy, and fostering a cohesive multiculturalism … meeting material needs and feeling fair and ethical”), or uncompromisingly socialist, or defiantly “identitarian”, cannot succeed.

The law, by treating all sane adults equally, may sometimes be “fair”; but nature will not be, nor History, nor any political party.

Progressive theocracy? 4

“Progressivism” – which is to say, Leftism – is a secular ideology, hostile to religion.

Doctrinaire and intolerant as it is, it can reasonably be classed as a religion itself – but essentially godless. (Which accounts for its superficial appeal to many atheists.)

Yet in recent years the Left has been in alliance with Islam. How can this be explained? How do the theoreticians of the Left condone it? How do the theologists of Islam excuse it?

In an important article for City Journal, republished in an expanded form for the Middle East Forum, Sam Westrop, Director of Islam Watch, discusses this weird phenomenon of political cognitive dissonance, examining it from the Muslim side of the illogical equation:

In 2018, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress – Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib – did so with the help of both Islamist and progressivist bases. For years, critics have thought the collaboration between Islamist groups and sections of the Left to be a cautious, temporary ideological alliance. In fact, a growing section of American Islamism has sincerely embraced progressivist politics, despite its clear contradictions with theocratic ideals.

Writing recently in the New York Times, Cato Institute fellow Mustafa Akyol argues that America’s “Muslim community”, far from campaigning for theocracy (as claimed by “Islamophobes”), is in fact being swarmed by a powerful, welcome “creeping liberalism”.

Liberalism now embraced by Muslims in America?

On the face of it, it seems he has a point. Prominent Muslim voices lead Women’s Marches in cities across America and argue for “intersectional feminism”. Groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – just 10 years ago named by federal prosecutors as part of an enormous terror finance network – now spend a great deal of time publishing social media items about Black Lives Matter while also campaigning for “social justice”, prison reform and higher minimum wages. Leading Muslim clerics are to be found praising Malcolm X as “our prince”, and protesting Trump’s immigration plans at the southern border. And a few Muslim campaigners even express solidarity with transgender and “queer” activists, and publicly dream, as the prominent Islamist-linked activist Linda Sarsour puts it, of “a world free of anti-black racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, sexism, and misogyny.”

All of which would seem to be listed hypocritically. Is this a display of taqiyya – the lying that is permitted to Muslims if it benefits their faith? So merely a ruse, an expedient ploy?

If Sarsour is still a believing Muslim – and as she always appears in a hijab she surely wants us to know that she is – the hypocrisy is glaring. In Africa, blacks – even if they’re Muslims – are intensely despised by Arabs. Their anti-black racism  is enshrined in their language, the word for a black, “abd”, being also their word for a slave. “Islamophobia” – irrational fear of islam – does not exist, since fear of Islam is entirely rational. Islam, not America, is xenophonic. And Islam is doctrinally antisemitic. So homophobic is Islam, that Islamic law requires homosexuals to be killed. As women are subordinate – virtual slaves – in Islam, it is systemically misogynistic, quintessentially sexist. And its homophobia and sexism implies intolerance of “transphobia”. As for “ableism” and “ageism”, they are probably thrown in to accentuate how totally tolerant these deeply intolerant liars are.

Sam Westrop considers the question of Sarsour’s sincerity – at least in wanting to sing the same song as the Left. (Which is itself intensely hypocritical – for instance when it claims to be against antisemitism).

This is not, however, a broad creeping liberalism; it is, more specifically, a creeping progressivist narrative – and it is changing the face of American Islamism.

But is this genuine progressivism? Or is this just part of the perennial debate among Islamists living in the West: in the effort to advance a theocratic agenda using lawful means, to what extent should Islamists dilute their message to fit Western political narratives?

The conversion, or concession, of some American Muslims active in politics to the “progressivist narrative” is opposed by some outspoken imams. Do they represent only a minority opinion?

Standing against the march of progress, Akyol observes, is a minority group of “conservative” Muslim clerics. He quotes a few from extreme Salafi circles, but there is in fact a much broader array of contending ideas among America’s Sunni Muslims – and its Islamists – on the question of whether progressivist politics pose a threat or afford an opportunity.

Many of those who oppose the progressive trend are not bearded Wahhabis in Arab dress. Ismail Royer, for instance, is a former jihadist who claims to have moderated and now works for the multi-faith Religious Freedom Institute in D.C. Although he claims to regard Islam as a “vehicle for social justice”, he firmly rejects progressivism, and urges an Islamic alliance with conservative Christian movements – even writing pieces in Christian publications in support of the evangelical opposition to gay marriage.

Islamists will, however, find a limited supply of sympathy from American evangelicals.

Sections of the Left, meanwhile, have a long history of welcoming Islamist activists into their tent. But it is the very eagerness of the Left to co-opt American Islam that concerns certain leading Islamists.

Traditional, purist Salafi and Wahhabi clerics condemn those modernist Salafis trying to “westernise Islam” by appealing to progressivist impressions of Islam. The modernist Salafis use progressive rhetoric about Islamophobia and the Black Lives Matter movement, but also warn about the dangers of support for feminism and homosexuality within Muslim Students Associations, which are supported and funded by organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, the Muslim Student Associations (when taking a break from those intersectional solidarity marches) debate fractiously whether to “de-platform” either the “regressive” Salafi clerics, or those extra-progressive Muslims who seem just a little too committed to working with Jewish groups or advocating for gay rights.

There is no doubt that some of the more ascetic Islamists reject all ideological alliances. Some may engage in some barebones interfaith activities, but they do so while warning against accepting the “validity” of other religions and preaching that “Islam in the West is a resistance movement against totalitarian liberal ideology”. …

But there are many, especially within modernist Salafi networks, who have observed the growth of political activist Islamist movements in America, such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-e-Islami, and partly ascribe their success to the adoption of modish political trends. Much of the progressivist rhetoric that emanates from these modernist Salafis, however, is manifestly deceitful.

In their private sermons before Muslim audiences, modernist Salafi clerics rail against the evils of apostate ideologies. Yasir Qadhi, a leading cleric of the AlMaghrib Institute, for instance, denounces the theology of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam (NOI) as heretical and “perverted’. In public, however, Qadhi’s clerical colleagues eulogize Malcom X – a progressivist darling — and praise NOI leader Louis Farrakhan as a great radical hero. This may be ideologically incoherent, but it is tactically shrewd.

Other duplicity is more plainly apparent. The Texas-based imam Omar Suleiman, for instance, has been an active voice in the protests against the Trump administration’s immigration. In March 2018, he was arrested at the Capitol after “civil disobedience” to demand “protection for young immigrant Dreamers”. And yet before a Muslim audience, Suleiman has warned young girls, without condemnation, that if they are “promiscuous” they may be killed by a family member.

Or look at Islamist media: Al Jazeera’s social media channel AJ+ broadcasts documentaries on transgender rights and the wickedness of misogyny, homophobia and other bigotries; while its Arabic parent station broadcasts sermons by Muslim Brotherhood clerics advocating the killing of gays, and offering husbands permission to beat their wives.

Some Islamists have sought to explain American Islamist institutions’ partial-embrace of progressivism as a response to “Islamophobia”. Shariq Siddiqui, an official of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), has written that “Islamophobia makes it difficult for ISNA and Muslim Americans to determine which positions are centered on their religious values and which positions are based on political necessity. … For example, in 2003, ISNA was opposed to gay marriages, but now ISNA is part of a coalition working in favor of gay marriage.”

Others have made it clear that non-Muslim progressivists are dispensable partners. As Counter Islamist Grid director Kyle Shideler recently discovered: newly-elected Virginia General Assembly Member Ibraheem Samirah (who was recently exposed as a virulent anti-Semite) has explicitly compared the Islamist alliance with progressivists to the decision of the Islamic prophet Muhammad “to form treaties with his enemies. He had to form alliances with people who weren’t necessarily believers of his message, who would later on become people who would be his enemies.” (Samirah also served as a senior campaign official for freshman Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.)

So expediency is indeed a motive for Muslims echoing progressive – and essentially un-Islamic – ideas. And imams are not comfortable with the tactic.

[A]n increasing number of clerics and Muslim thinkers have begun to regret their forays into progressivist politics. Leading modernist Salafi clerics such as Yasir Qadhi now appear deeply shocked that Muslim students have moved from carefully taking advantage of progressivist trends to openly supporting “LGBTQ” campaigns on campuses.

They can accept going along with the progressive Left hypocritically, but not sincerely.

And indeed, at one end of the spectrum, there is a rising group of activists from Islamist circles who seem to believe in this fused progressivist-Islamist creed. Across America, branches of the Council on American-Islamic Relations are today staffed with young hijab-wearing graduates of Muslim Students Associations, who appear to have reconciled working for terror-linked extremists while also publishing transgender rights petitions on their social media accounts. …

Such as Linda Sarsour:

Sarsour is a harbinger of a broader trend. Whether American Islamist movements intended to embrace progressivism authentically or not, many Islamist groups are now so firmly entrenched in the progressive movement that a generation of young American Muslims is growing up convinced that the progressivist social justice and sexual identity narratives are intrinsic components of the Islamist agenda.

No wonder some traditional Islamists speak out so forcefully against “liberal ideology”, or caution against too tight an embrace of progressivist allies – their own radicalism is being supplanted.

American Islamists are conflicted. Some reject the embrace of left-wing politics entirely. Others clearly exploit progressivist organizations to advance their cause. And then there are some, a new generation of intersectional Islamists, who seem to have found a genuine way to advocate for, or warily justify, “queer”-friendly politics. It looks like the progressivist rhetoric of Islamist activists such as Sarsour, or politicians such as Ilhan Omar, is sincere – even if it seems patently confused and inconsistent to any rational observer.

This poses a new sort of threat. These intersectional Islamists – these theo-progressives – are part of a broader radical undertaking that has a much greater chance of imposing extremist ideas on American society than the Muslim Brotherhood or Wahhabis ever did.

On their side, the Progressives have made concessions to Islam to secure the alliance – by, for instance, refusing to censure its misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and racism. The international Left in general supports the Muslim demand that criticism of Islam be banned, and the UN is working on it. (See here and here.)  Finding fault with Islam must be deemed “hate speech”. To protect Islam from it, freedom of speech can be – must be – sacrificed. The American Left endorses the demand.

But there is no hypocrisy in that. The American Left is in any case unhappy with the First Amendment.

At least on this issue Progressivism and Islam are in genuine accord: freedom is not to be tolerated.

Diversity, disparity, fatuity 1

There are NO benefits to Europe (or America, or Canada, or anywhere) from mass Muslim immigration.

Mass Muslim immigration brings terrorism, death, destruction, decay, injustice and despair.

“Diversity is our strength” is a  fatuous slogan.

Paul Joseph Watson dares to say so:

 

Posted under Austria, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, immigration, Islam, jihad, Multiculturalism, Muslims, Poland, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Thursday, December 12, 2019

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What is conservatism? 40

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicholas Fuentes is a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are none of those things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing else is essential to our conservatism.

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

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

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

Matthew Boose writes:

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

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

Do we agree with them?

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

To worshiping Jesus Christ, no.

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

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

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

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

What’s to be done with a traitor? 22

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

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

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

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

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

Plainly they all committed treason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016

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

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

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

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

2017

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

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

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

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

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

2018

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

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

2019

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

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

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

What is to be done with Hoda Muthana?

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

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

What does she deserve?

A monocultural thing 7

Are we all characterized chiefly and most importantly by our race?

The Left insists that we are. 

They who constitute the Left – the Marxists, socialists, feminists, anti-racists, structuralists, poststructuralists, deconstructionists, postmodernists, historicists, cultural studies professors, semioticians, postcolonial heterologists, critical theorists, multiculturalists, cultural relativists, environmental warmists, diversity evangelists, and a posse of newly elected Congressional Democrats – also insist that the white race has done more harm than any other, and the only proper and decent posture for whites is one of abject self-abasement. 

All other races or tribes or ethnic groups (except maybe the Jews) are equally redeemed from all censure by the suffering that the white race has inflicted on them. This doctrine is called “intersectionality”.  Persons of abnormal sexual proclivity are included among the categories of victims redeemed by their suffering at the hands of white patriarchs, supremacists, colonialist and imperialists. White women if they sincerely believe in intersectionality (and are not Jewish) can apply for a pass.  

“Relativists” (those who believe there are no moral principles or modes of thought shared by all human beings) hold that “cultural diversity will return to regain its place as the natural condition of humanity. It is this hope that nurtures the multicultural political movement of today”.

We quote from The Killing of History, an excellent book by the Australian historian, Keith Windschuttle.*

He goes on to demolish that romantic expectation. It will not happen, he explains, because it cannot happen, for the same reasons it never has happened.     

[T]he  historical record does not support the thesis. For the past ten thousand years at least, indigenous cultures on every continent have been subject to a process of change that has varied from merger and absorption into other cultures to complete obliteration by a conquering power. Every culture that exists today has been subject to either violent or peaceful amalgamation and absorption of earlier smaller communities … [W]hether we like it or not, we are all the inheritors  of cultures that have been forged out of  a long process of suppression and absorption of the cultures that arose before them.

And he points out that if the relativists’  and multiculturalists’ dream could be realized, it would not be a good thing according to their own valuation:

A revival of cultural exclusiveness [whether territorially or within a multicultural society] would mean a return to differentiating between human beings on the basis of genealogical blood line, in other words, on racial grounds. … It is a great irony that the cultural relativist  and multicultural movements gain most of their support from those people of European descent who want to avoid derogatory attitudes towards the people and cultures of other races. …

His contention, which he amply proves, is that all cultures are not equal, and that just one culture has provided all humankind with the only “genuinely valid style of knowledge … the Western scientific tradition”.

Western science has trumped all other cognitive styles.

[It has] proven , historically, so overwhelmingly powerful – technologically, economically, militarily and administratively – that all societies have had to make their peace with it and adopt it.

Science is not just a Western mode of thought neither more nor less valid than the modes of thought of any another cultural tradition, it alone “works, and none of the others do with remotely the same effectiveness”.

The asserting of the “absolutism and non-relativism of Western scientific method …  is quite separate from any question about the ranking of the inhabitants of Western societies. It has nothing whatever to do with a racist, or any other, glorification of one segment of humanity over another”.

Although the scientific style of knowledge “emerged in one social context” – the West – “it is clearly accessible to all humanity”.  

Far from being bound by Western culture, Western science belongs to the whole of humanity.   

And Western technology, the daughter of Western science, will belong to the whole of humanity if only the whole of humanity can manage to buy it, which it is passionately eager to do. Computers, the internet, the cell phone –  above all, the cell phone! – you can see – look about you wherever you are … these are the joys of humankind’s desiring. All humankind. Regardless of all the cultural relativism in all the ethnic studies departments of all the academies in all the world.  

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*The Killing of History  by Keith Windschuttle, The Free Press, New York, 1996. Our quotations come from pages 278-281.

The end of the nation state? 15

“Open borders” means no borders. “No borders” means no nation-states.

Philip Carl Salzman writes at the Middle East Forum about the ideas of borders and multiculturalism mainly as they affect Canada. His observations are applicable much more widely:

The idea of “open borders” is to open one’s heart and arms to everyone in the world, open one’s country to all comers, to encourage everyone to come. “Open borders” is an increasingly popular idea in the West. Mainstream politicians of the European Union and of the largest countries of the Union have thrown open their borders and admitted all comers. So too in North America. Canada has welcomed anyone who infiltrates the partially unguarded border as well as returning Islamic State terrorists. In the U.S., the Democrat Party increasingly opposes enforcing border protection and removing “illegal aliens” (to use the official government term), called “dreamers” by Democrats as they chant “abolish ICE” (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

The writer finds “three lines of political thought”, flowing together, gave rise to “the new enthusiasm for open borders”. They are “multiculturalism, utopianism, and ‘social justice'” – each one of them in itself “ill advised”. He examines their respective effects on the disastrous “progressive” idea of open borders. The whole article needs to be read in full, but we are only concerned here with cultures – high, low, and forced into co-habitation.

Of multiculturalism in Canada he writes:

In the past, people in Western countries wished to protect and preserve their ways of life, their cultures. It was therefore common for immigration policy to encourage those from similar backgrounds and to limit those from different backgrounds. But in recent decades Western countries have shifted from “nationalism” to “multiculturalism.” The multicultural view, as the current prime minister of Canada has said, is that there is no mainstream culture in Canada, that Canada is a “post-national” state. The “progressive” elites of other Western countries, especially in western Europe, accept the multicultural perspective and have opened their doors to floods of Middle Easterners — most of whom bear cultures incompatible with traditional Western culture.

Western political and educational elites see multiculturalism as authorizing people of every culture around the world to come to Canada, the U.S., and Europe, and continue to live in their language and culture. Cultural relativism, the view that all cultures are equally good and valuable, is assumed and defended. So there is no reason to defend borders, or even to have them, because it would be fine to have unregulated flows of people from anywhere and everywhere. In fact, the “progressive” view is that the more people from many cultures that come, the better, because “diversity” is somehow “enriching”.

All of these arguments in favor of multiculturalism are false. First, different cultures — different languages, beliefs, values, rewards, and punishments — are incompatible and cannot exist in the same society. You cannot drive both on the left and on the right; you cannot have both male supremacism and gender equality. Some immigrants are actively hostile to European, Canadian, and American culture, and some have acted and others will act against their adopted society.

Second, immigrants in North America cannot live in the languages and cultures from their countries of origin. Canadian law and practice are based on European culture. The official languages are English and French. Every Canadian must speak one or the other, preferably both, to function effectively in Canadian society. Canadian law is based on British common law and French civil law. Furthermore, Quebec officially rejects multiculturalism in favor of “interculturalism”, which guarantees primacy of French culture.

Third, some 68% of Canadians expect immigrants to conform to mainstream Canadian culture. Canada and the United States are successful countries because their many immigrants, early and recent, have largely assimilated to mainstream Canadian and American culture.

Fourth, all cultures are not equally good and valuable, if considered by Western criteria of practical success and human rights. Are not immigrants leaving their home regions in favor of Western countries voting with their feet about which countries are better and which worse?

Fifth, exactly how “diversity” is enriching is rarely specified, and never demonstrated in any systematic or definite fashion. Was the Tower of Babel “enriching”? Nor do the champions of “diversity” ever advocate diversity of opinion — quite the contrary. Western universities no longer allow diversity of opinion, and have hired “diversity and inclusion” officers to suppress all but politically correct views. What the Western elites mean by “diversity” is a population of all colors, sexualities, and ethnicities, all saying exactly the same “progressive” things.

They inculcate their orthodoxy.

The ultimate aim of the globalists (“Glozis” is an apt word for them coined by our British associate, Chauncer Tinker, editor of The Participator) is world government.

As orthodoxy would need to be enforced, they would do their utmost to make it totalitarian world government.

But the problem of how any system of world government could actually be organized and administered is formidably challenging. Has any globalist tackled it? Not that we have heard.