On being free or having free stuff 1

Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek were two great 20th century thinkers who argued for freedom. They differed on one point: Popper held freedom to be in itself the highest value; Hayek thought freedom is valuable, indeed essential, because it enables innovation.

Innovation comes from the minds of individuals. A government controlled society in which the individual’s only – and enforced – duty is to serve the collective, does not allow origination. The organized mass is sterile. It cannot invent. That’s why it’s wrong to call socialism, communism, any shade of leftism,”progressive”. A socialist society cannot advance. It can only stagnate.

That’s why Communist China has had to steal new ideas and devices from countries in which free thought and its expression are permitted.

What many people who live in countries that are still comparatively free find attractive about socialism is that it promises “free stuff”. Vote the socialists into power and you will get free school, free health care, free housing, free strawberries with free cream. Well, okay, maybe not the cream. And maybe also not the strawberries. And maybe you will have to share a house. And the health panel will decide whether you may live or must die. And what you’ll be taught will be adherence to doctrine not search for truth. But still – it will all be free. At the time it is dispensed to you, whatever it is, you will not have to pay for it. The rest of your time you’ll be working for it.

Natan Sharansky was born in Soviet Russia and lived the first decades of his life there. He eventually escaped to live in freedom in Israel.

He writes about the torture of the mind in the prison of Communism:

My father, a journalist named Boris Shcharansky, was born in 1904 in Odessa, the cultural and economic center of the Pale of Settlement, where the Russian empire stuck most Jews. He studied in the Jewish Commercial Gymnasium, because most other gymnasiums accepted very few Jews, if any. By the time he was 16, he had already lived through the Czarist Regime with its anti-Semitic restrictions, the “February” Socialist Revolution, the “October” Bolshevik Revolution, and the years of civil war when power in Odessa seesawed back and forth from faction to faction, as hunger, pogroms, and destruction decimated the population.

When the Soviets finally emerged from the chaos, therefore, my father was hopeful. The Communists promised that a new life of full equality was dawning, without Pales of Settlement, without education restrictions, and, most important, with equal opportunities for all. Who wouldn’t want that? … [He]  was excited about building a world of social justice and equality closer to his home. …

Lucky for him, Odessa was emerging as a center for a new cultural medium—cinema. As silent Charlie Chaplin-type movies started evolving into more scripted sketches, my father put his storytelling talents to work. …

Of course, to succeed in his career as a screenwriter, he had to follow certain rules. His scripts, like every other work of art, had to follow the script of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, seeing the world through the lens of class struggle and class exploitation. As Karl Marx argued, and the Bolsheviks now decreed, “the history of all hitherto-existing societies is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight”.

Thankfully, in its final stage of class struggle, following Karl Marx’s teaching, the proletariat had seized power from its masters, establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat who would build a classless society of equals. So-called bourgeois freedoms, minor matters like civil liberties and human rights, were nothing more than facades for exploiting others. The old world and its retrograde values had to be destroyed in order to bring forth social justice. Today, such a singular vision might be called Critical Class Theory—or maybe The 1917 Project.

Everything had to serve Communist ideology: every institution, every medium, every art form. Lenin particularly appreciated the propaganda potential of movies, declaring, “Cinema for us is the most important of the arts.” So while all creative artists had to subordinate plot, character, and complexity to advancing the Bolshevik political agenda, movie-makers endured extra scrutiny. The term “politically-correct“, which is popular today, emerged in the late 1920s, to describe the need to correct certain deviants’ thought to fit the Communist Party Line. Any positive characters with bourgeois origins had to eventually check their privilege, condemn their past as oppressors, and publicly take responsibility for their sins.

At first, True Believers who championed the Revolution’s noble aims easily accepted these restrictions. But as the Red Terror grew … the number of True Believers kept shrinking …

I was born … in 1948. My father had fought as a soldier in the Red Army in World War II for four years, and had returned a hero. … (Our] family which had lost so many friends and relatives in the Holocaust, then watched so many friends suffer during Josef Stalin’s political and anti-Semitic purges …

Every day, my father went to work [as a journalist] …  seeking interesting stories. But, when it came to writing them up, his imagination had to shrink, his mouth had to be wired shut, his hand had to clamp tight, as he produced what the Party required. He knew the handicapped journalism he created was not true journalism, the art that resulted was not true art, the thoughts triggered were not real thoughts and the conversations surrounding it all were not real conversations. Yet my father remained a storyteller at heart—and now he had an audience—my older brother by two years and me.

When my father came home from work, he could leave the suffocating grey false universe he helped to create behind, and welcome his beloved family into a full-color world. From the time we were very young, he would tell us stories on three levels—explaining to us what the author said, what the author wished to say, and what the author could not say. When we started, from a very young age, our ritual of weekly outings to the movies, he would recreate the movie for us on the way home, filling in what the screenwriter probably wanted to write, and explain what he could not write. …

No [professional writer] was ever quite sure what would be permitted or not, what red line they might cross tomorrow; what “macro-aggression” or “micro-aggression” they might suddenly be found guilty of committing. To be a man of letters in a sea of fear was to worry about drowning constantly. …

Looking back at the history of Soviet literature, it’s hard to find any of the thousands of writers [who conformed] … who wrote anything worth reading or remembering. Their books, published on a massive scale—often selling millions—simply disappeared. … Eventually, their lies consumed both the characters and their authors, leaving nothing behind.

By contrast, the works that lasted defied Stalinist orthodoxies in the service of truths, both immediate and internal. Stalin killed some of these honest writers, like the poet Osip Mandelstam. Some killed themselves, like the poet Marina Tsvetaeva. Some lived daily with the fear of arrest, or under the shadow of purges, like Anna Akhmatova. Some, like the novelist Mikhail Bulgakov, accepted the fact that their books would go unpublished in Russia—his classic The Master and Margarita didn’t see the light of day for decades. Others, like Boris Pasternak, who smuggled Dr. Zhivago to the West, sought readers elsewhere and paid the price back home ….

By my generation there were few True Believers left. Your field of vision had to be very narrow indeed to still see the crumbling society around us as some kind of Communist paradise.

I spent my high school years as an academic grind, drowning in problem sets, working around the clock to amass five out of fives in mathematics and physics. Because I knew that I had to follow a very specific script to get the character reference I needed from the local Komsomol authorities, I also spouted the right slogans, participated in the right youth activities, and sang the right songs. Yet even after I fulfilled my young dreams and made it to MFTI—Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the Soviet equivalent of MIT—the scrutiny continued. We math and science students had to keep paying lip service to the Soviet gods, like everyone else. We kept taking tests on Marxist doctrine every semester, even when studying at the postdoctoral level. …

Our professors subtly encouraged us to brush such annoyances aside. We were the elite, they kept telling us, racing toward a golden future. It was all worth it. I was luxuriating in the sanctuary of science, an asylum protected from the daily insanity the Soviets imposed on nearly everyone else. I decided that the deeper I was into my scientific career, the less stressful this double life would be.

It was a comforting illusion—until I read Andrei Sakharov’s manifesto.

Sakharov was our role model, the number one Soviet scientist sitting at the peak of the pyramid each of us was trying to climb so single-mindedly. In May 1968, this celebrity scientist circulated a ten-thousand-word manifesto that unleashed a wrecking ball which smashed my complacent life. “Intellectual freedom is essential to human society,” Sakharov declared. Bravely denouncing Soviet thought-control, he mocked “the ossified dogmatism of a bureaucratic oligarchy and its favorite weapon, ideological censorship.”

Sakharov warned that Soviet science was imperiled without “the search for truth”. … At the time, there were few who could understand the depths of this critique. The Soviet Union wasn’t just relying on its scientific wizards to develop nuclear weapons; we now know that the research ran in tandem with an elaborate spying operation that stole as many of America’s atomic secrets as it could.

The message was clear for us. Sakharov helped us realize that the Soviet restrictions on free thought ran deep. You not only have to control your political opinions, but every interaction with your colleagues, every new insight, has to be checked and rechecked, for fear of ideological implications that could destroy a career in this world where even entire fields of inquiry were cancelled for being politically incorrect. Soviet scientists spent so much time looking over their shoulders and in their rear-view mirrors that they could not plunge ahead and catch up with their Western peers.

Long before most others, Sakharov saw in the Soviet scientific community the equivalent of the literary mediocrity we all saw in Soviet Realism. … Life in a dictatorship offers two choices: either you overcome your fear and stand for truth, or you remain a slave to fear, no matter how fancy your titles, no matter how big your dacha.

Natan Sharansky made the decision to stand for truth.

He applied to emigrate to Israel.

As a result of both decisions, he was jailed for nine years.

Once I had done it, once I was no longer afraid, I realized what it was to be free …

And that was why, during nine years in prison, when the KGB would try tempting me to restore my freedom and even my life by returning to the life I once had, it was easy to say “no”. …

Over the last three decades in freedom, I have noticed that … the feeling of release from the fear … is universal across cultures. This understanding prompted the Town Square Test I use to distinguish between free societies and fear societies: Can you express your individual views loudly, in public, without fear of being punished legally, formally, in any way? If yes, you live in a free society; if not, you’re in a fear society.

[Today] nearly two-thirds of Americans report self-censoring about politics at least occasionally … despite the magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights

To preserve our integrity and our souls, the quality of our political debate and the creativity so essential to our cultural life, we need … a test [that] asks: In the democratic society in which you live, can you express your individual views loudly, in public and in private, on social media and at rallies, without fear of being shamed, excommunicated, or cancelled?

A lot of American voters – even if not as many as the socialist Democratic Party claimed in order to seize power –  recently voted against freedom. They voted for the political party that promised free stuff. And already masters of the social media, most of them politically correct social justice warriors, refuse to let opinions they disagree with be expressed on their forums. Free speech is deeply unpopular with the Leftists now in power in America. Freedom itself is not valued. Those “magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights” are being swept aside.

You will not be free – and the stuff you get from government won’t be free either.

Anything that costs you your freedom, costs too much.

America goes 4

As the Catholic Church did in ages past, and Islam still does, the Left strives to bring every nation, and every last member of every nation, under its rule: a rule not of law but of lawyers, law-makers and law-breakers; bureaucrats, bankers, communication controllers, billionaires.

In America there are still tens of millions who refuse to comply, and they are being treated as heretics, infidels, and pariahs. If you are a Trump supporter, or in the least degree opposed to the Leftists who have seized the executive branch of government and now control both houses of the legislative branch, you are likely to be forced into conformity and unquestioning obedience. The means to be employed will be cutting you off from the services you need to live a normal life.

Through institutions of government and enormously powerful corporations, the heresies of patriotism, populism, anti-tribalism, individualism, and defiant defense of free speech, private property, arms bearing, and the teaching of reading writing reckoning and history to your children, will be punished.

You will be denied the services of banks, credit card companies, the internet, social media, insurance companies, the national health service, schools, universities. It will be very hard for you to find a job.

There will be degrees of deprivation. If you are a mild offender, you may be allowed some health care, for instance, and a low-paying job. If you are a grave offender – one who goes so far as to persist in speaking well of Donald Trump – you may face long imprisonment. An active attempt to reinstate him could be ruled a capital offense.

If you capitulate and submit, your life will not be easy. Your record will be held against you.

Even if you always supported the Left and voted the totalitarians into power, you will receive only the information that the rulers choose to allow you. You will have no way of knowing – unless by chance you personally witness a reported event – whether what you are being told is true or false.

Bruce Bawer writes at Front Page:

I’ve been ranting for years about the perfidy of the left. At times I’ve been accused of exaggerating. On rare occasions I feared – or hoped? – that perhaps I was exaggerating. In fact I can now see that these people are worse than I ever imagined. Worse than most of us ever imagined.

Worse than even Donald Trump “with all his insight” imagined.

He went into office determined to clean up the swamp. He was tireless. But not tireless enough. No mere mortal could have been tireless enough. Trump had denounced the swamp in apocalyptic terms, but it proved to be even deeper and more extensive than he knew. It reached into the upper echelons of the intelligence community and the military, into cabinet departments and the judiciary.

Not only did the Democrats try to derail his campaign and then his presidency. Even people whom he appointed to White House jobs proved unreliable. Far from being too suspicious, he’d been too trusting. He’d appointed two-faced D.C. insiders. He’d trusted people who turned out to be snakes in the grass.

The news media, with very few exceptions, made it their task to thwart his progress and poison his name with a constant flow of disinformation. They said Trump had told people to drink bleach. They said he’d called neo-Nazis “good people”. They said many other outrageous things that they knew were outright lies. They relentlessly repeated the charge that he did nothing but lie, lie, lie, when in fact it was they, the media, who were constantly feeding us lies. …

When enemies of Trump, and of freedom, created violence and mayhem in cities around the country, they were whitewashed, protected, and even praised by the media, by Democratic politicians, and by police officials. In a debate with Trump, Biden said Antifa was an idea, not an organization. Congressman Jerrold Nadler called it a myth.

Meanwhile Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave BLM $3 million. While the leftist gangsters went unpunished, citizens who tried to protect their homes and businesses from destruction by them were arrested by the police and demonized in the media. If you tried to spread the truth about all this on social media, you were shut down by Silicon Valley bosses who said you were lying.

And then the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Republican officials in the states affected by the steal sat on their hands. State legislatures, ditto. Even the justices he’d named to the Supreme Court refused to hear Texas v. Pennsylvania, absurdly maintaining that a state didn’t have standing to challenge the conduct of a presidential election in another state.

Trump’s supporters, ever civilized, waited patiently while every possible means of stopping the steal was dutifully exhausted. When it came down to the final vote certification in Congress, an army of [between 600,000 and 2,000,000!) MAGA folk gathered peacefully in Washington to show that they had Trump’s back.

Then a tiny percentage of them foolishly entered the Capitol building. And a tiny percentage of that tiny percentage – at least some of whom seem to have been Antifa goons – caused minor damage. Most of them appear to have milled harmlessly around the building, leaving paintings and statues untouched. The contrast with the conduct of Antifa and BLM insurgents during the previous year could hardly have been more striking. …

One of those people, an Air Force veteran named Ashli Babbitt, was shot dead by a Capitol Hill policeman. She didn’t do anything to provoke the shooter. It was impossible not to think of George Floyd, the career criminal who, on May 25 of last year, died while resisting arrest after committing a crime. Floyd was black; the arresting officer was white. In the ensuing months, Floyd’s death was used to justify rioting, arson, and vandalism by Antifa and BLM agitators, none of whom ended up being killed by a cop.

But nobody’s making a martyr out of Ashli Babbitt.

I’m not saying anybody should. I’m just saying that after four years of reportage that routinely demonized Trump, sugarcoated his opponents, and cruelly mocked his supporters, and after an election that was blatantly stolen yet described in the media as eminently fair, those supporters could hardly be expected not to explode – especially since they’d seen, during the previous few months, one leftist explosion after another rewarded with praise.

But they did not explode.

On January 6, Biden, oozing faux solemnity, addressed the ongoing situation on Capitol Hill. After months of referring to Antifa and BLM thugs as “protesters”, he called the non-violent people who’d entered the Capitol a “mob” of “domestic terrorists” who, in an action bordering on “sedition”,  had made an “unprecedented assault…on the citadel of liberty….This is not dissent, it’s disorder”.

He wasn’t alone. In one voice, people who’d spent months cheering leftist violence expressed horror at the breach of the Capitol building and blamed it on Trump. Once the Capitol was secured, the planned challenges to the vote steal were scuttled and the election of Biden and Harris duly certified.

Whereupon the left – and not just the left – moved with the swiftness of lightning.

Accusing Trump of having incited the Capitol breach, [Speaker] Pelosi and [Senate minority leader] Schumer raised the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to deny him his last few days in office …

And she absurdly introduced a proposal to impeach him for a second time, though he had only a few days more as president. .

Republicans who were never strong Trump supporters to begin with were quick to profess outrage at Trump’s purported provocation. Cabinet members Elaine Choi and Betsy DeVos quit. The Wall Street Journal called on Trump to resign. Senator Pat Toomey gave a thumbs-up to impeachment. Forbes warned companies not to hire anybody with a Trump connection.

Both Twitter and Facebook deplatformed Trump, and when he shifted from his personal Twitter account to the POTUS account, Twitter silenced that one, too. Other enemies of the left were also kicked off social media – among them Sidney Powell, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon. Facebook ejected the WalkAway movement, in the process deleting countless heartfelt posts by ordinary citizens explaining why they’d quit the Democratic Party. YouTube took down a video by Rudy Giuliani. Amazon, Google, and Apple removed Parler, a “free-speech” alternative to Twitter and Facebook, from their app stores. The CEO of Mozilla, developer of the Firefox browser, wrote an essay entitled “We Need More than Deplatforming.”

(Yet the social-media accounts of the Chinese Communist Party and Ayatollah Khamenei remained untouched.)

Pelosi tried to get the military to stop taking orders from the President. …

She urged the Chiefs of Staff to mutiny against their commander-in-chief! (They refused.)

The director of ABC News spoke of “cleansing” the Trump movement after January 20, whatever that might mean. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, who’d taken the lead in challenging the vote steal, to be expelled from the Senate. Simon & Schuster canceled Hawley’s contract for a book about cancel culture. Biden likened Cruz to Goebbels. …

There’s no intrinsic magic about America that protects it from becoming Mao’s China or Stalin’s Russia. Only utopians believe in the perfectibility of man. People are people. And some of the people who are now, or are about to be, in power in the United States would, if accorded enough power, do far more to those of us who falter in loyalty than merely take away our social-media accounts.

Indeed, as scary as the situation may be right now, one thing’s for certain: worse is on its way. The Democrats now control both houses of Congress and are about to be handed the executive branch. The totalitarian-minded elements in that party are on the ascent, backed up by Silicon Valley, the legacy media, and much of corporate America.

Bruce Bawer thinks that by “listing, arresting, and imprisoning ‘enemies of the state'” – as, he reminds us, was done in the terrible reign of Stalin, and under the brutal tyranny of Mao –

These people will overreach. Their lists will grow so long, their cancelations so widespread, that, as happened with the Reign of Terror, everyone who isn’t clinically insane will finally realize that things have gone too far and will, in one way or another, put an end to the madness.

He asks:

But how far will things have to go before that happens? How long will it take? And how many lives will be destroyed before it’s over? These, alas, are the all too sobering questions that have yet to be answered.

In the meantime, those of us who care about liberty will simply have to do our best to keep enduring the daily tsunami of evil ideology, fake news, and contempt for decent people, and to continue hoping that the true and good will yet prevail.

Much as we would like his optimism – such as it is, sorrowful and tentative – to hearten us, we are less sure that such a realization will come, or that “the true and good will yet prevail”.

What has happened seems to us to demonstrate that there is a tragic weakness in freedom and tolerance. They permit those who value neither to exploit them to gain the power to abolish them. 

Next, the wrecking of our language 1

It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought … should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent  on words.  –  George Orwell, 1984

*

Ideologues and activists of the Left have wrecked everything in our Western civilization as they roll on to the moment – very close now – when they can destroy civilization itself.

The record of their destruction must be headed by the annihilation of hundreds of millions of human beings.

In addition, they have succeeded in changing for the worse everything that makes people’s lives worth living and their freedom protected, including: the plastic arts, architecture, music, the family, free speech, the press, publishing, broadcasting, theatre, films, higher middle and lower education, judiciaries, civil services, intelligence services, armed services, law enforcement, representative government …

And now, in America, the English language.

And it’s not just about forcing the use of silly made-up [by whom?] pronouns – though that is there and de rigueur.  (See chart below. Take special note of “they likes themselves” and understand that grammar is a tool of white oppression and must be abandoned.) It’s a banning of words; words that sin against a current obsession of Leftist ideologues; words that convey the sex of a person referred to.

Using George Orwell’s novel 1984 as an instruction manual, they are now decreeing the vocabulary that will be accessible to future generations, selected and controlled so that no one can  articulate, or even think, thoughts that are not approved by Big Comrade and nir/vis/eir/hir/zir/xyr scaly batwinged cohorts.

Alana Mastrangelo writes at Breitbart:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) unveiled the rules for the 117th Congress … which contain “future-focused” proposals, including the elimination of gendered terms, such as “father, mother, son, and daughter”.

“This package, which will be introduced and voted on once the new Congress convenes, includes sweeping ethics reforms, increases accountability for the American people, and makes this House of Representatives the most inclusive in history,” said the House Committee on Rules in a statement.

The Democrats will not confine themselves to legislating law; they will legislate morality. That is what they have chosen as their chief function.

By “morality” understand “immorality”. (On George Orwell’s model of “Ministry of Truth” being the bureau of official lies.)

By “inclusive” understand “exclusive“.

House Speaker Pelosi went on to say she is “pleased to join Chairman Jim McGovern in introducing this visionary rules package, which reflects the views and values of the full range of our historically diverse House Democratic Majority.”

By “historically” understand “now”.

“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent, and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” said Pelosi.

By “bold” understand “compulsory”.

By “accountable” understand “arbitrary”. By “transparent” understand “secretive”. By “effective” understand “oppressive”. 

“These future-focused proposals reflect our priorities as a Caucus and as a Country,” the House Speaker added.

Within the proposals are the creation of the “Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth,” which would require Congress to “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral.”

In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, gendered terms, such as “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or granddaughter” will be removed.

In their place, terms such as “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild” will be used instead.

 

Learn this chart. (Don’t quibble about the errors – wrong words in the headings, bad grammar in the examples.) There will be a test.

Posted under education, Ethics, government, Leftism, Progressivism by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 3, 2021

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

Advertisement for totalitarian communism 6

By Ida Auken, Member of the Danish Parliament, from the World Economic Forum (“Davos”) – an annual meeting of billionaires and other members of Big Virtue:

Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, “our city”. I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.

First communication became digitized and free to everyone. Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly. Transportation dropped dramatically in price. It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car. Now I can hardly believe that we accepted congestion and traffic jams, not to mention the air pollution from combustion engines. What were we thinking?

Sometimes I use my bike when I go to see some of my friends. I enjoy the exercise and the ride. It kind of gets the soul to come along on the journey. Funny how some things never seem to lose their excitement: walking, biking, cooking, drawing and growing plants. It makes perfect sense and reminds us of how our culture emerged out of a close relationship with nature.

“Environmental problems seem far away”

In our city we don’t pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.

Once in awhile, I will choose to cook for myself. It is easy – the necessary kitchen equipment is delivered at my door within minutes. Since transport became free, we stopped having all those things stuffed into our home. Why keep a pasta-maker and a crepe cooker crammed into our cupboards? We can just order them when we need them.

This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span. Everything is designed for durability, repairability and recyclability. The materials are flowing more quickly in our economy and can be transformed to new products pretty easily. Environmental problems seem far away, since we only use clean energy and clean production methods. The air is clean, the water is clean and nobody would dare to touch the protected areas of nature because they constitute such value to our well being. In the cities we have plenty of green space and plants and trees all over. I still do not understand why in the past we filled all free spots in the city with concrete.

The death of shopping

Shopping? I can’t really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don’t really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

For a while, everything was turned into entertainment and people did not want to bother themselves with difficult issues. It was only at the last minute that we found out how to use all these new technologies for better purposes than just killing time.

“They live different kinds of lives outside of the city”

My biggest concern is all the people who do not live in our city. Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all this technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over big parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it. They live different kind of lives outside of the city. Some have formed little self-supplying communities. Others just stayed in the empty and abandoned houses in small 19th century villages.

Once in awhile I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. No where I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.

All in all, it is a good life. Much better than the path we were on, where it became so clear that we could not continue with the same model of growth. We had all these terrible things happening: lifestyle diseases, climate change, the refugee crisis, environmental degradation, completely congested cities, water pollution, air pollution, social unrest and unemployment. We lost way too many people before we realized that we could do things differently.

Remorse 1

As comment on “The Great Reset”, and in particular on the post Advertisement for totalitarian communism, here is an extract from L: A Novel History by Jillian Becker.* It is set in England in the 20th. century, but is precisely applicable to this moment of political choice in the US:

Here the (fictitious) historian relates what one or two enthusiasts for totalitarian communism discover when they get it:

At first the Winsomes had rejoiced in the revolution. It was what they had hoped for, worked for, and, as long as they could, voted for. “I don’t mind not owning my own house if nobody else does,” Ted Winsome had written cheerfully in his Revolution Issue of the NEW WORKER (which came out six weeks after Republic Day, as his paper, like most others, had been ordered to suspend publication until all newspapers that were to continue had been nationalised, and permits granted to their editors). Had not his wife, in her capacity as Housing Committee chairperson on Islington Borough Council set an example, by compulsorily purchasing more private houses for local government ownership than anyone before or after her (until the revolution made purchase unnecessary)? He was proud that she had been an active pioneer, one of the avant-garde of the socialist revolution.

However, he was less pleased when three families were quartered in his house. And then another was sent by the Chief Social Worker (a sort of district commandant) when his own children, delighted to drop out of school, had left home to join a WSP group and vent righteous indignation on landlords, capitalists, individualists, racists and speculators. All of his fellow lodgers were, in his view, “problem-families” – drunken, noisy, filthy, careless, inconsiderate and rude. (“That,” said the Gauleiter, “is why they were chased out of their last lodgings by angry co-residents on a former Council estate.” She had thought the Winsomes would be “more tolerant”.) Before he could hand over his stereophonic record-player to the local community centre – as he assured those he complained to that he had fully intended to do – one of the problem-children broke it, threw his classical records away, and also deliberately smashed his high-speed Japanese camera. His furniture was soon broken too. Precious antiques which he had restored with his own hands in hours of patient labour, were treated like fruit-boxes, to be stood on, and spilt on, and thrown about. When cups and glasses were smashed, it was he who had to replace them if he was to have anything to eat or drink out of; which meant recourse to the black market, against which he had so often fulminated in his editorials in the NEW WORKER. He started hiding things away in his room, taking special care to keep his carpentry and joinery tools from the hands of those who would not understand how he had cared for them, valued them, kept them sharp, adapted some of them to his particular needs. One of the problem-fathers accused him of “hoarding private property”, and threatened to go to the New Police with the complaint, or call in “some RI people”.

He confided to a woman journalist at his office how he had begun to suspect that “when a thing belongs to everybody, it belongs to nobody”. And he even went so far as to suggest that “as people only vandalise things they don’t own themselves, there is something to be said for private ownership after all”. The woman with whom he shared this confidence was a Miss Ada Corinth, a WSP member. She was also a spy for L, as most WSP members were.

Soon Ted Winsome was no longer editor of the NEW WORKER. Nobody was. Everybody wrote what he was told to write. Ted Winsome felt a secret regret at his loss of power and pride in his position. He began to feel that hierarchies were not such a bad thing. They allowed promotion, advance, a sense of success and reward for effort. “I suppose I really am a bourgeois at heart,” he said, more wistfully than guiltily, to Ada Corinth.

Some weeks passed. The day of hunger descended on the city. The problem-families tucked under their arms as many of the things the Winsomes had once owned as they could carry, and set off to find survival where food grazed, roamed, swam or grew. And one night a WSP posse came and took Ted Winsome away to be treated in a special hospital for holding incorrect opinions.

Marjorie Winsome watched him go, calling out, “Don’t worry, Ted, I’ll go to Downing Street and see Ben or Jason or John Ernesto, or L himself if necessary. They can’t know about this. When they do they’ll have to let you go.”

She set out for Downing Street. Her old friends Shrood, Vernet and Ernesto would not see her; nor would Hamstead or Fist, or any of the others.

L was not at his office. So she walked to Hampstead Heath. As she approached his house, she was stopped by the guards, and she explained what she wanted. They didn’t seem to understand. They hardly seemed to understand English at all. She began to shout, “Comrade L is my friend! Don’t you understand?”

They told her to go away, and pushed her roughly. She shouted louder, “L! Comrade L – it’s me, Marjie, Marjorie Winsome. L, they’ve taken Ted! Can you hear me? L! L!….” and she struggled with the guards, trying to push past them to get through the gate and up the garden path to the front door. One of the guards pushed her away with his Kalashnikov sub-machinegun. She fell hard, but got up feeling stunned, bruised, and very bewildered. “But –,” she began. The man advanced again with his gun held in both hands, and she gave up.

Limping home, she “tried to think what had happened exactly”. She never did work it out, by her own account, though she survived the Republic, and lived to grieve and write a brief memoir. She became a heavy drinker, when spirits could be bought again. She mourned more for “the empty thing [her] life had become” than for her husband and children, all of whom she lost. She wrote sadly that “after the revolution, there was no way one could serve others any more. Except your family, but then families broke apart. You felt you could not build anything, whatever you did was just for that day, that moment.” She came to certain conclusions that her husband had come to: “You couldn’t achieve anything really, or if you did – say you discovered something or made something with your hands – there was no way you could get recognition for it, no feeling that it might be appreciated by other people, or that anyone would thank you or honour you for it.”

Read the book for a full and graphic description of what life would be like under totalitarian communist government as proposed by “The Great Reset”. 

*From Chapter 9: The Floodgates of Chaos pages 261-263

Posted under Britain, communism, Marxism, Progressivism, Slavery, Socialism, Totalitarianism, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 20, 2020

Tagged with

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

What President Trump is protecting us from 2

James Delingpole writes at Breitbart:

#WhyAreTheyDoingThis has become a popular hashtag on Twitter for the increasing number of people concerned at the extraordinarily draconian and often scientifically inexplicable policies being adopted by governments the world over to deal with Coronavirus.

The Great Reset may be the answer.

And if it is the answer — and so if so many world leaders are on board — then my view is that there is only one man in the world who can save us from it.

That man is Donald Trump.

It’s why, in my view, this presidential election is probably the most important political event anyone alive will live through.

On the outcome depend our liberty, our prosperity, our civilization.

Also at Breitbart, Delingpole tells us what The Great Reset is:

The Great Reset is not a conspiracy theory. But lots of useful idiots want you to believe that it is.

Here’s an example [from The Spectator (UK)]:

The phrase has shot throughout the fringes of Right-Wing Twitter like a virus through a karaoke bar. According to Pauline Hanson of the Australian party One Nation it is an attempt to establish a ‘socialist left Marxist view of the world’. James Delingpole describes it as a ‘global communist takeover plan’.

You get the idea. Anyone who imagines that the Great Reset is a serious threat belongs on the crackpot fringe. I hear this a lot and it’s a point that needs addressing because if we’re not careful the bastards will get away with it.

Just as the devil’s greatest trick was to persuade the world he didn’t exist, so it suits promoters of the Great Reset for people to believe they’re not serious about their plan — even despite the fact that every last detail is spelled out on the World Economic Forum’s website.

And in its tweets (unless, like me, you’re blocked).

And on the cover of Time magazine.

And in books like the one WEF founder Klaus Schwab published this year titled COVID-19: the Great Reset.

So why, given the weight of evidence, do so many wiseacres think they know better?

The first reason is cowardice — or squeamishness if you prefer. No-one wants to believe that totalitarian rule is just around the corner (as it will be if the Great Reset is allowed to happen) because that’s a scary thought which many people would prefer not to entertain. It’s the equivalent of burying your head underneath the pillow to make the monsters go away — and lots of people do it long after childhood.

In the late ’20s, for example, lots of supposedly intelligent and informed commentators pooh-poohed the notion that the funny little man with the moustache building a power base in Germany presented any kind of genuine threat. Sure he’d spelled out exactly what he planned in a 1925 manifesto called Mein Kampf. But c’mon — those Lederhosen, that hysterical oratory — no way was he going to lead a level-headed, war-chastened people like the Germans into another insane global conflict…

The second reason is tone policing. Tone policing is a game played mostly by the left but which has been unthinkingly copied by the squishier sort of conservative. It’s a way of closing down arguments you disagree with or which make you uncomfortable. Instead of actually addressing the argument itself, you focus on a rhetorical flourish you consider to be overly dramatic or a word you find inapt — and use that to imply that this invalidates your opponent’s case.

So, in the piece mentioned above, the author invokes the word “conspiracy” to imply that the whole notion is a bit tinfoil hat; and the word “communist” in order argue that the Great Reset is actually more of a “capitalist” endeavour — as if somehow these nitpicking debating points suddenly make the Great Reset OK.

But the Great Reset is not OK. It really doesn’t matter whether you want to cast its masterplan — which remember, ultimately includes the abolition of private property — as communist or fascist or technocratic. The much more important point is that it represents a totalitarian takeover by a small, powerful, oppressive, unelected elite which will leave the rest of us impoverished, immiserated, and deprived of our liberty. …

These people and their ideological confreres have been talking about it for decades. Sometimes it comes under the United Nations codename Agenda 21 (or LA 21), which has now been updated as Agenda 2030. Sometimes it comes under the catch-all phrase — at once vague and extremely dangerous — “sustainability”. Sometimes it’s known as the “fourth industrial revolution” (though “deindustrial apocalypse” would be more accurate).

It’s a plan whose blueprint you’ll find embedded everywhere — in local government policy plans, in speeches by prime ministers, at UN conferences like the annual COP events such as the one at Paris whose Paris Accord President Trump sensibly pulled out of because he knows a rat when he smells one

The reason it has become so pressing and urgent and frightening and newsworthy now is simply that the pandemic of 2020 has been seized, Rahm Emmanuel style, as the crisis the globalists won’t let go to waste

And again he writes:

“Build Back Better” is the slogan of the Great Reset and the man who invented it, Klaus Schwab. Schwab is a bald German in his early Eighties with a strong accent and the sinister air of a James Bond villain who in the 1970s founded what is now known as the World Economic Forum. The WEF holds the annual summit at Davos in Switzerland where, it has been said, ‘billionaires go to lecture millionaires on how ordinary people live.’

Up until recently, Davos has probably seemed like a harmless event: a sort of annual joke in which we all get to laugh at the absurd spectacle of the one percent of the one percent turning up in their private jets and their limousines to expound on the importance of sustainability and saving the planet.

But the events of 2020 have changed all that because COVID-19 has provided the perfect pretext for the kind of co-ordinated globalist takeover which might previously have been little more than an evil glint in Klaus Schwab’s eyes.

By Schwab’s own admission, the world must “act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies” — in short, he says, ever industry must “be transformed… we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism”.

In a warning of the rollercoaster of change we can expect if this plan goes ahead, Schwab continues: “The level of cooperation and ambition this implies is unprecedented. But it is not some impossible dream. In fact, one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has shown how quickly we can make radical changes to our lifestyles. Almost instantly, the crisis forced businesses and individuals to abandon practices long claimed to be essential, from frequent air travel to working in an office.”

As the WEF puts it of the coming technocracy that would rule our lives: “Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.” [See the post above, Advertisement for totalitarian communism.]

There is nothing new about the Great Reset. Schwab and his acolytes have been talking about it for years. Chinese Coronavirus – or rather the draconian, liberty-sapping measures taken by governments in order to combat it – has merely accelerated the process.

As I reported in an earlier piece, Schwab has written several books about his masterplan:

His latest, called Covid-19: The Great Reset, makes no bones about the fact that the chaos of the Coronavirus pandemic represents the perfect opportunity to accelerate the entire world towards a “new normal”. …

That’s why Joe Biden used “Build Back Better” as his campaign slogan. It’s why the UK Conservatives feature the website on their Twitter page. And why UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson inserts the phrase into his speeches.

How many of those who, by their own choice, voted for Joe Biden had the least idea of what they were voting for? Perhaps only those who are themselves members of Big Virtue – the billionaires, the princes, the technology giants. And the decision-makers of the Democratic Party – a cabal that may include Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Obama, Bannen, Clapper, Sulzberger, Soros. (But almost certainly not Joe Biden or Kamala Harris.)

All free men and women who want to remain free are in debt to James Delingpole for informing us of this. Though what we can do about it remains to be thought.

We would argue with only one thing Delingpole says, not because we think it is wrong, but because we think it is understated.  He says: “This presidential election is probably the most important political event anyone alive will live through.” We would go much further and say that this is the most important presidential election since the Enlightenment freed the Western world from the tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church and inspired the founding of the free American republic.

The case could not be put more succinctly and accurately than Delingpole puts it when he says of this election:

On the outcome depend our liberty, our prosperity, our civilization.

District Pimp of Seattle 2

The Democrat-governed city of Seattle has appointed a pimp to take the place of a police force.

Posted under Progressivism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink

Reality incorruptible 2

One of the best things about having a human brain is that you can use it to anticipate the results of certain actions, such as walking off the edge of a high cliff, or jumping into deep water if you cannot swim, or drinking from a bottle labelled Poison, and so not take those actions if you want to avoid the ensuing fatal calamity.

In theory, every living human being can choose to avoid foreseeable danger.

In practice, however, it seems that some human brains lack the ability to anticipate.

And the condition is not as rare as might be supposed. By what would seem a remarkable coincidence, a whole group of well-heeled, literate, fully grown Leftists, all sadly lacking the power of anticipation, came to live in the same leafy district in Minnesota. They agreed with each other that the police were morally unacceptable and unnecessary, they would never need them, so they would never call them to come into their pleasant, peaceful neighborhood.

Very soon the peaceful, pleasant neighborhood was no longer peaceful or pleasant.

John Nolte writes at Breitbart:

Anyone worried about this anti-police madness somehow taking hold need only look at Powderhorn Park, Minnesota, where a bunch of affluent, white leftist women have agreed to not involve the police in property crimes …

The far-left New York Times reports that what had been a clean and safe neighborhood, an enclave of activist leftists located just a few blocks from where George Floyd died while in police custody, has quickly fallen apart in just a few weeks.

The residents are now stressed, worried for their own safety, but are still desperately trying to make it work.

“Two weeks ago, dozens of multicolored tents appeared in the neighborhood park. The multiracial group of roughly 300 new residents seems to grow larger and more entrenched every day,” according to the Times.

And with the homeless comes all the problems associated with the homeless, including “heavy car traffic into the neighborhood, some from drug dealers”.

There have already been two overdoses in the encampment, and that encampment was once a leafy park where everyone felt safe.

Was nostalgia stirring up memories of the bad old days when police officers guarded the ladies as they walked their children and dogs on the paths between the well-kept lawns and flowerbeds?

“I’m not being judgmental,” one woman told the Times, but she no longer allows her young children to play in the park. “It’s not personal. It’s just not safe.”

Be judgmental? Be “personal”? Good grief no, never that! Not of the homeless, anyway. They might mug her, but you won’t hear her say that mugging is wrong. Only of the police it’s okay to be judgmental. And personal. Whatever they do they’re wrong –  and she’ll dare to say so loud and clear. Caring about safety doesn’t have to involve the police.

One woman said she stopped walking her dog through the park because the catcalls are so humiliating and now her “emotions change every 30 seconds”.

Imagine it: compassion, loathing, compassion, disgust, compassion, contempt, compassion, revulsion, compassion, fury …

When one resident found a man passed out in the elevator of his apartment building, he tried calling a community activist but she did not pick up. He ended up calling a cop, who he then criticized for kicking the guy out, even though the cop offered to take the vagrant to a hospital.

After he was carjacked at gunpoint by two black teens, one Powderhorn Park resident called the police, an act he later came to regret.

“Been thinking more about it,” he told the Times. “I regret calling the police. It was my instinct but I wish it hadn’t been. I put those boys in danger of death by calling the cops.”

The bottom line, though, is this:

The influx of outsiders has kept Ms. Albers awake at night. Though it is unlikely to happen, she has had visions of people from the tent camp forcing their way into her home. She imagines using a baseball bat to defend herself.

Not being able to call the police, as she has done for decades, has shaken her.

“I am afraid,” she said. “I know my neighbors are around, but I’m not feeling grounded in my city at all. Anything could happen.”

And she’s not the only one:

Angelina Roslik burst into tears, explaining that she had spent the past four years fleeing unstable housing conditions and was struggling more than she cared to admit with the chaos the camp had brought into the neighborhood.

Many in the neighborhood, who were already beleaguered from the financial stresses of the coronavirus, now say they are eager for the campers to move on to stable housing away from the park.

Nolte calls these residents a “group of lunatics”. They include, he says,”a woman who attended classes to challenge her own white privileges and came to see her decision to buy a home in the neighborhood as potentially preventing a person of color from doing so”.

A conscience on the rack!

But it seems that some in the group have been frightened into sanity, and with it the realization that “their lifelong political beliefs are a joke”.

What caused the fright? The market value of their houses has crashed. Predictably of course, but remember they are not capable of prediction. 

How many Powderhorn Park  residents saw their homes as their future? How many invested everything into their homes — not just the purchase, but renovations and landscaping? Look at how quickly that investment dropped to zero. Those homes are worthless now. No one’s going to purchase property in a neighborhood plagued with hundreds of homeless, where no one calls the cops, where the criminals now know they can pretty much get away with anything.

Sadly, everything  Powderhorn Park is dealing with was predictable to anyone who knows anything about the real world.

What’s also predictable is how things are going to get worse. Someone’s going to get raped, someone’s going to get killed, someone’s going to suffer a home invasion…

The bottom line is people, even these idiots, will only stand for this for so long before they are either forced to flee, give up and get those police cruisers patrolling again, or are hurt themselves. …

Reality is reality. … Eventually, the reality becomes so dangerous, you have no choice but to acknowledge it.

Bluff yourself and others as you may, demand your ideal world as feelingly as you may, reality goes on forever accruing its consequences.

Reality makes no concessions, heeds no argument, has no compassion.

Posted under Progressivism, revolution, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tagged with , ,

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink

Censorship here and now 1

Facebook will not allow us to post this statement of fact quoted from The Religion of Peace with the link to that website’s comprehensive list of proofs of its truthfulness:

Given the recent interest in assessing historical characters by
their views on slavery, it bears mentioning that Muhammad,
the prophet of Islam, owned and traded African slaves.

Details in Islamic scripture here.

It is not difficult to guess why Facebook rejects it. Any criticism of Islam, any mention of something not in its favor, is now taboo in the social media, the mainstream media, articles, books, videos, films.

“Progressives”, the friends of Islam, overrule the First Amendment wherever they have the power to do it.

A huge victory for Islam against the still-fairly-free world.

Posted under Islam, Progressivism, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 11, 2020

Tagged with

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

Atheism and politics 18

There seems to be a general assumption that atheists are on the Left.

Why?

In America it may be because the militant atheists who protest against crosses, the Ten Commandments, and the motto “In God We Trust” being displayed in such public places as government offices and law-courts, are on the Left. At least we are never told that they are conservatives. And they probably are not, because conservatives by definition respect relics of the past, even those they don’t like.

It may also be because there is another widespread assumption that the Right is religious and the Left is not.  “The Religious Right” is a shadowy body created and invoked by progressives. It consists, in their minds, of hicks who “cling to their god and their guns”, to recall Barack Obama’s memorable declaration of contempt for millions of American voters who did not vote for him.

So it is not surprising that when American Atheists undertook to conduct a “Study of Atheists in America”, they did not bring their questions to us atheist conservatives. We probably do not exist in their minds. Or we exist only as an oxymoronic cabal that doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

No members of Republican Atheists were consulted. Their president, Lauren Ell, wrote on their Facebook page, May 6, 2020:

I am seeing a lot of content being posted about a recent “secular survey” American Atheists conducted. American Atheists never contacted Republican Atheists about this survey, and we were unaware of it. If AA did not take the time to contact atheist groups outside of its circle about the survey, I consider it to not be reflective of the US atheist community, but more so AA’s following, and groups associated with AA.

Towards the end of an article titled 6 Takeaways from the Largest-Ever Study of Atheists in America by Hemant Mehta at the Leftist website Friendly Atheist, these sentences appear:

At some point, Democrats need to recognize we’re a valuable voting bloc and stop avoiding us. It’s to their advantage to engage with us and support our (fairly mild, totally sensible) policy issues.

So we learn that the Left’s concept of “intersectionality” does not go so far as to recognize atheists.

The Right is far more tolerant. A representative of the still young organization Republican Atheists was warmly received at CPAC this year:

For the first time Republican Atheists attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), one of the largest conservative-oriented political events in the United States. CPAC took place February 26-29, 2020, in National Harbor, Maryland. This was a great opportunity for the organization to network and connect with recognized speakers and organizations in the conservative arena.

According to a chart drawn by Pew Research, both parties have very nearly the same number of atheist supporters.

Here’s their chart:

Generational cohort among atheists by political party

% of atheists who are…

Party affiliation Younger Millennial Older Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer Silent Greatest Sample Size
Republican/lean Rep. 28% 16% 32% 20% 4% < 1% 143
No lean 30% 25% 28% 14% 2% < 1% 146
Democrat/lean Dem. 27% 21% 27% 18% 6% 1% 793

 

But other charts of theirs give a far higher percentage of atheists to the Democrats. Follow the link to find the whole story.

Is the contradiction explained by the imbalance of the sample sizes? (Why do pollsters so often consult far more Democrats than Republicans?)

There is nothing about atheism as such that places it logically on either the Left or the Right.

Posted under Atheism, Conservatism, Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 10, 2020

Tagged with , , , ,

This post has 18 comments.

Permalink
Older Posts »