The decline and fall of South Africa 1

Fertile, mineral rich, naturally glorious, splendidly developed, constitutionally orderly South Africa, with equality under the law and a relatively free economy, is fast becoming just another African hellhole.

It is now in a sharp and probably irreversible decline caused by the misrule and corruption of the ANC (African National Congress), which has been in power since exclusive white rule ended in 1994.

Its first black president, Nelson Mandela, was a communist who saw the sense of keeping the country capitalist. It seemed set fair to prosper – even though free enterprise was hampered by labor-protection laws made to conciliate the powerful trade unions.

The ANC, Mandela’s party, promised jobs and good housing for all. But unemployment grew, largely because of the laws protecting black employment, and shanty-towns remained, worsened, and proliferated.

As the ANC continued to rule in callous arrogance (and still does), the power-stations became unreliable and electricity cuts ever more frequent; roads were not repaired; water-supplies and the postal service became unreliable; hospitals were closed; education was rotten. The government looted the country. Civil servants and politicians took bribes for favors. (Recently, Covid relief money never reached anyone to provide relief, it simply “disappeared”.)

Mandela was succeeded in 1999 by Thabo Mbeki, whose deputy president for six years was Jacob Zuma. Mbeki dismissed him in 2005 because his reputation had become scandalous for rape and corruption. Zuma was nevertheless elected leader of the ANC in 2007, and as such became president of South Africa in 2009. His presidency ended in 2018 and Cyril  Ramaphosa’s began.

After he left office, sixteen criminal charges were brought against Zuma for fraud, racketeering, money-laundering in connection to illegal arms-dealing. He tried to get them struck down but failed. He refused to appear before a commission investigating government corruption when ordered to do so by the Constitutional Court. So on June 29, 2021 he was sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt of court and given until July 7 to turn himself in. When he did not, the police went to his home to arrest him. They found huge crowds of his supporters surrounding his house.

Jani Allan, ex-South African journalist now living in the US, describes the scene, writing at RT:

Thousands of his supporters traveled at the weekend to Zuma’s home village of Nkandla in Kwa-Zulu Natal, to form a human shield to prevent him from being arrested … Zulus wearing traditional garb and carrying shields and knobkerries toyi-toyi’ed and sang ‘struggle’ songs.

But Zuma surrendered to the police and was taken to jail.

On July 9 , the high court of  the province heard and rejected his challenge to the fifteen-month sentence, which he brought on the grounds that he was 79 years old and jailing him in the midst of the Covid epidemic was tantamount to a death sentence.

Protests against his imprisonment erupted, and quickly became violent. Looting, arson, and massive destruction followed, not only in the province of KwaZulu-Natal but also in Guateng, in and near Johannesburg.

R. W. Johnson, emeritus fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, who lives in South Africa and has written extensively about it, writes at Quillette:

The explosion of violence followed the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma on a charge of contempt for refusing to appear before the Commission of enquiry into the wholesale looting of the state which took place under his presidency. Nobody seriously doubts that Zuma stole millions, probably billions of Rands and he still faces a long list of charges for racketeering, money-laundering and sundry other crimes. But Zuma still has a large following among his Zulu followers and effectively threatened to make the country ungovernable if the government dared to jail him.

Once the rioting and looting of shops and hijacking of trucks on the highway began, with the police clearly scared and ineffective, word rapidly spread that you could go “shopping without money”, creating huge excitement among the ranks of the millions of poor and unemployed Zulus who inhabit the townships and squatter camps around Durban and Pietermaritzburg, and from there spreading into every small town of the province. Most of the looters and miscreants were unconcerned about Zuma’s fate. They simply heard along the grapevine that trouble was going on and realised that opportunity was staring them in the face.

They flocked in huge numbers to the shopping malls and began to loot them. Quickly the spree spread to Johannesburg, home to many more Zulus—though many others joined in. It was a whole-of-community thing: most of the looters were poor and on foot but not a few arrived in cars, sometimes very expensive cars. Some even came with vast trailers to haul away freezers, fridges, and cookers. Huge queues of cars swamped the freeways, all heading for the malls, and other forms of criminality blossomed—protection rackets, attacks on and thefts from other motorists, anything that offered a quick buck.

In a sense this had been coming for a long time. When the ANC was first elected in 1994 its posters promised “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” but paid little heed to that once they were elected. In 1995 the average number of unemployed, according to official figures, was 1,698,000 or, if one took the expanded definition of unemployment, including those who had given up looking for a job, the figure was 3,321,000. With only a few exceptional periods to the contrary, that figure has grown steadily and hugely to surpass 11.4 million today. Since the unemployed have little or no income, this has also meant a huge growth in both poverty and inequality. The ANC has routinely deplored poverty and inequality but it has generally tried to pretend that this is part of the “apartheid inheritance”. As the figures show, this is the opposite of the truth.

If you assume that each of those 11.4 million has two or three dependants, we are talking of households comprising 30 million people—half the entire population or even more. They are, for the most part, sitting in shacks, cold, hungry, without alcohol (banned as part of the COVID lockdown), insecure, with nothing to do and with almost no hope of a job. It is a picture of pure misery. These are the greatest victims of ANC misrule. Many of them are young people who have never worked in their life and who have given up hope that they ever will. For the young women among them prostitution is almost their only hope of an income. One looter, when interviewed on TV, frankly admitted that he stole every day because otherwise his 15 year old sister would “have to sleep with a grandad”. 

In practice the plight of the unemployed and poor has been ignored. The government is far more concerned with the “haves” within its coalition—the BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) capitalists, the public sector workers and the trade union bosses. …

Government is attentive to the trade unions of those in work but all it has for the unemployed is crocodile tears. … South Africa’s tight labour laws greatly privilege those in employment, giving the unemployed little opportunity to compete for jobs. Moreover, the huge weight of endemic corruption together with inept policy choices means that South Africa is now in its seventh consecutive year of falling real per capita incomes. People are getting steadily poorer and COVID lockdowns have increased the misery, costing many jobs.

If people who are ignored and treated like this are told that the time has arrived for shopping without money, how can one be surprised that they respond in such numbers and with such enthusiasm? That sort of shopping is fun and exciting and you end up with food, drink, and a new TV.

There are also clearly political elements trying to make the country ungovernable by attacking key pieces of infrastructure—there have been attacks on reservoirs, over 120 attacks on electricity sub-stations, and the road leading to the Sapref refinery in Durban (which produces one third of all South Africa’s petrol) has become so dangerous due to continuous attacks on vehicles that the refinery has had to close down completely. Already there are huge queues at garages and a major fuel crisis is building. Moreover, as soon as a shop, warehouse, or factory has been looted it is set on fire. None of these crimes produce money and the destruction of such buildings is bound to cost jobs and lead to many more people going hungry in future. …

There is general indignation that the police have been so passive, usually just standing by and watching the looting going on. They are, of course, hugely outnumbered, though they are armed. There are many cases of the police themselves operating protection rackets and demanding “favours” from the public. …

Ramaphosa finally ordered 2,500 troops in to support the police but they make no difference: they too stand passively by as looting goes on, for the government is clearly terrified of the optics of a black government firing on poor black people. In any case, South Africa is a big country and the troops are far too thinly spread. Yet the looting goes on day after day and right before the government’s eyes the country is being destroyed, investor confidence is being undermined, and any hope of South Africa emerging from its economic crisis is vanishing. While only two provinces are affected, Gauteng is the country’s economic heart, producing 40 percent of its GDP, and Durban is the major port. The highway between Durban and Johannesburg is the country’s main economic artery and that has been closed for many days now.

With the forces of law and order so weak and inactive, vigilante militias have sprung up to protect many suburbs and, typically, to protect their local mall or supermarket on which that suburb depends. Often these vigilante groups are multiracial but usually they depend on white ex-members of the security forces. They are armed and determined to stop looting spreading to their homes. …

Already food and fuel shortages are developing. No one is going to resupply malls that have been burned or, indeed, any shop that is vulnerable to looting. So even if the looting stops as the looters run out of targets, there is bound to be a major hunger crisis—which could drive people to even more desperate acts: the big worry is attacks on private homes. But ATMs have been destroyed, pharmacies ransacked, and drink shops pillaged so there will be shortages of medical and other supplies as well. …

The Rand has dropped sharply and could fall more.

What the riots point to is the colossal failure of ANC governance. It has emphatically not brought a better life for poor Africans.

The outlook is for terrible crises of hunger, and shortages of fuel and medical supplies. A great deal of social infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed—some 400 malls were attacked, including many pharmacies. The ANC is more divided than ever and the economy has taken an enormous blow. Without doubt real incomes will continue to fall.

This is what the ANC has achieved after 27 years in power. … For years in opposition it boasted of how it would improve the life of the African masses, but it has found that the task of governance was a whole lot more difficult than it imagined and it is steering South Africa steadily towards the status of a failed state.

 

Update

Breitbart reports:

South Africa’s “looting death toll” from violent rioting reached 337 on Thursday July 22, 2021. Public health officials confirmed 79 deaths in Gauteng province and 258 in KwaZulu-Natal.

Posted under Africa, corruption, Crime, Revolt, South Africa, trade unions by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 22, 2021

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Evil intentions and verbal atrocities 5

… of the teachers’ unions.

This is from a longer post at PowerLine:

America’s teachers’ unions are the country’s single most malign influence. They do more to promote leftist extremism, and do it more effectively, than anyone else. The teachers’ unions dominate the schools of education, from which most teachers come, and they control school board elections in most districts. In effect, they run the public schools, which is the main reason why the public schools are so bad.

How radical are they? The National Education Association boasts that it is not just the largest teachers’ union, but the biggest labor union in the U.S. One of the NEA’s top priorities is promoting the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the public schools.

The NEA is currently holding its annual meeting. [These clauses are from] Item 39 of New Business:

The NEA will, with guidance on implementation from the NEA president and chairs of the Ethnic Minority Affairs Caucuses:

A. Share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory (CRT) — what it is and what it is not; have a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members as well as their community members.

B. Provide an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society, and that we oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.

In addition to their evil intentions, these NEA authors commit verbal atrocities: “critiques” “anti-Indigeneity” “ableism” “cisheteropatriarchy? No person who does that to the English language should be allowed to teach.

For as long as the teachers’ unions continue to exist, all public schools need to be kept closed.

Posted under education, Leftism, Race, Sex, trade unions, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 9, 2021

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Fairness, racism, compassion, and the hungry (repeat) 4

This article was first posted on June 27, 2012, before the worst president in American history, Barack Obama, was elected – unaccountably – for the second time. We think it bears repeating now, as the defeated Left moans on about racism in particular.  

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Cruelty and sentimentality are two sides of the same coin. Collectivist ideologies, however oppressive, justify themselves in sweet words of sharing-and-caring. Disagree with a leftie, and she will lecture you in pained tones on how a quarter of the children of America “go to bed hungry”. Or say that you are against government intervention in industry, and she’ll describe horrific industrial accidents, as if bureaucrats could prevent them from ever happening. Collectivists believe that only government can cure poverty by redistributing “the wealth”, not noticing that, if they were right, poverty would have been eliminated long ago in all the socialist states of the world – the very ones we see collapsing now, under the weight of debt. 

However rich the crocodile weepers of the Left may be (and many of them are very rich and passionately devoted to redistributing other people’s wealth, such as John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros), they are likely to tell you that they “don’t care about money”. They despise it. (“Yucks, filthy stuff! Republicans with their materialist values can think of nothing else!”)  Or if they are union members, and demand ever higher wages and fatter pensions, they express the utmost contempt for the producers of wealth. To all of these, we at TAC issue a permanent invitation. If you feel burdened by the possession of wealth, we’re willing to relieve you of it. We have a soft spot for money. The harsh words said about it rouse our sincere compassion. We promise to welcome it no matter where it comes from, and give it a loving home. [No, we are not asking for donations.]

In regard to the hard Left and its sweet vocabulary, here are some quotations from a column by the great political philosopher Thomas Sowell. He writes (but sorry, the page is no longer there to link to0):

One of the most versatile terms in the political vocabulary is “fairness”. It has been used over a vast range of issues, from “fair trade” laws to the Fair Labor Standards Act. And recently we have heard that the rich don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. …  Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.

“Racism” is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama. Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word “racism” is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything — and demanding evidence makes you a “racist”. 

A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is “compassion”.  But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that will increase the spender’s chances of getting reelected. If you are skeptical — or, worse yet, critical — of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: “mean-spirited”. A related political label is “greedy”. 

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be “greedy”,  while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give them to others (who will vote for them in return) show “compassion”.  

A political term that had me baffled for a long time was “the hungry”. Since we all get hungry, it was not obvious to me how you single out some particular segment of the population to refer to as “the hungry”. Eventually, over the years, it finally dawned on me what the distinction was. People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as “the hungry”. Those who meet this definition may have money for alcohol, drugs or even various electronic devices. And many of them are overweight. But, if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are “the hungry”. 

Beware the Compassioneers: even as they pick your pocket they try to pluck your heartstrings.

Posted under CommentaryEconomicsgovernmentliberalismProgressivismRaceSocialism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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Posted under Commentary, Leftism, Refugees, Socialism, trade unions, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 10, 2017

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A mass murderer typically idolized by the Left 4

It’s not easy to find obituaries of Fidel Castro that do not include some praise of the monster. Such is the parlous condition of the Fourth Estate. He deserves only excoriating condemnation.

We did, however, find this just assessment at Investor’s Business Daily:

With Fidel Castro’s death at 90, the encomiums are rolling in, especially from what remains of the American Big Media. But in fact, Castro during his 58 years of dictatorship was an evil man, a communist who tortured, killed and imprisoned with no remorse, a tyrant who tore a once-beautiful country apart and sent its finest citizens into exile.

Yet, the media might as well have been going around with black arm bands following Castro’s death.

He was the “George Washington of his country,” said Jim Avila of ABC’s “Nightline”. He “will be revered” for bringing education, social services and health care to Cubans, gushed MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. CNN’s Martin Savidge hailed Castro for “racial integration”. 

Elsewhere, in print, The New York Times recounted how he “dominated his country with strength and symbolism” — another way of saying he ruled through oppression and relentless propaganda.

Of course, all of these things are the kinds of lies and euphemisms used by left-leaning journalists to cover up for Castro’s many crimes against humanity. And it’s not limited to these few recent examples.

ABC’s talk-queen Barbara Walters had what amounted to a middle-aged school-girl crush on Fidel. Film maker Oliver Stone … revered Fidel’s macho swagger and made a much-derided documentary about him, Comandante. And Michael Moore, in his film Sicko, swallowed Cuba’s propaganda about its health care system hook, line and sinker.

We could go on. The list is long.

What you won’t hear from any of these media mavens is that, at his death, Fidel Castro leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost [?] every way than the one he took over in 1958.  His brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. Cuba has improved under him, but not much.

After taking power in 1958, the then-youthful revolutionary Fidel vowed that no Cuban mother would “shed a tear” over violence from then on. But once he consolidated power after defeating Cuba’s then-leader Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro set out on a course of extraordinary revolutionary violence.

He murdered thousands upon thousands. The late R.J. Rummel, a University of Hawaii professor who tracked mass-killings by governments around the world, estimated as many as 141,000 people were murdered by the Castro regime. And that was  just through 1987. Since then, of course, thousands more have been killed.

Genocide Watch says it “holds the Castro regime responsible for the death of thousands of people (executed and died trying to flee the regime).” Both Belgium and Castro’s homeland, Spain, have leveled genocide charges against the Jefe Maximo.

Sadly, Castro’s Cuba isn’t at all unusual for Communist regimes, as noted by Rummel. “Clearly, of all regimes, communist ones have been by far the greatest killer,” he said.

What’s especially galling is the suggestion — present in almost every story on Castro’s demise — that he took an impoverished, oppressed nation and turned it into a kind of socialist paradise, with education, social services and health care for all.

This is an utter and complete lie. …

Cuba has the worst economy in Latin America, outside Haiti and Nicaragua. …

[It depended on] massive subsidies from the former Soviet Union, which traded badly needed oil to Cuba for sugar at highly favorable exchange rates. …

Before the revolution, Cuba had the 13th-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. It was lower than France, Belgium and West Germany. Today, it ranks about 40th. That still looks respectable, until you consider how it was accomplished: Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. At the first sign of any trouble when a woman is carrying a baby, it is aborted – regardless of the parents’ wishes.

That’s why their infant mortality rate isn’t even worse.

But surely health care for all is a major accomplishment, right?

No. As has been noted in many other places, Cuba has three separate health care systems. One for paying customers from places like the U.S., who go to Cuba for discount treatments of cosmetic surgery and the like.

There’s another for Cuba’s ruling Communist elite, also a good system. This is the health care system visiting journalists are taken to see, and that they later glowingly report on.

But there’s still another system for the rest — the average Cubans. It is abysmal, and even that might understate how bad it is.

“Cubans are not even allowed to visit those (elite) facilities,” according to the Web site The Real Cuba. “Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.”

It goes on: “In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”

As for doctors, well, they make an average of about $25 to $35 a month. Many have to work second jobs to make ends meet, using substandard equipment. Drug shortages are rife. As a result, one of Cuba’s ongoing problems is that doctors leave as soon as they can for other countries, where they can make a decent living.

The country has over 30,000 doctors working overseas officially. Why? Out of kindness? No. The Castro regime earns an estimated $2.5 billion a year in hard currency from doctors working elsewhere, which means Cuba’s poor must go without decent care or access to doctors.

As for “universal literacy,” please. Primary and secondary schools are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, where students are taught only what the state wants them to know. That’s how they keep people quiet.

As for Cuba’s higher education, “universities are training centers for bureaucrats, totally disconnected from the needs of today’s world. To enter the best careers and the best universities, people must be related to the bureaucratic elites, and also demonstrate a deep ideological conviction,” notes Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo, of the PanAm Post, a Latin American news site.

Nor is it “free.” In fact, those who graduate from college must work for a number of years for the government at a substandard wage of $9 a month. They are in effect slave labor. As with most “free” things the socialists offer, the price is very high and nonnegotiable.

In sum, Castro took a healthy country and made it sick. Those who glorify him deserve the scorn they get for propagating such a longstanding lie.

“A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered (Cuba’s pre-revolution economy) a golden goose landing in his lap,” wrote Humberto Fontova, a Cuban exile and author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. “But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy.”

How about race relations? By Cuba’s own estimates, roughly 36% of the country is black or “mixed.” Other estimates put it much higher, as high as 50%.

Nonetheless, a study five years ago by the online journal Socialism and Democracy found “black and mixed populations, on average, are concentrated in the worst housing conditions” and tend to work in lower-paying, manual-labor jobs.

We’ll save for a later date Castro’s many crimes and 58 years of silent war against the U.S.,  his allowing Soviet nuclear missiles on his soil in order to threaten the U.S., his repeated intervention in other countries, his assassinations, and his obscene theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of Cubans’ wealth to line his own pockets.

Suffice it to say, as Castro departs the scene for the last time,  he leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost every way than the one he took over in 1958.

Donald Trump, with his impeccable anti-PC skills, summed it up about right, calling Castro a “brutal dictator”. 

“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said in the statement. Exactly right.

Fidel’s brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. He’s done little better.

So, for now, though Fidel is dead, there is little hope of change.

“Compassionate totalitarianism” 4

President George W. Bush was probably the most maligned president of modern times (though fans of President Obama make that claim for him).

Last night Rudi Giuliani, the great former mayor of New York, said in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, that President George W. Bush had kept Americans safe after the Muslim mass-murder attack of 9/11, and for that America owes him honor and gratitude. We agree. In practice President Bush did a good job.

Where we did not agree with President George W. Bush himself, was on a matter of theory: his political philosophy of “compassionate conservatism”. (It’s a sentimentality that Governor John Kasich now puts in his shopwindow as he advertises himself for the Republican presidential nomination.)

Compassion is an emotion. Individuals feel it or hold it as a moral value. But the state has no emotion. A government has no heart. Government is for protection – of the nation by means of a strong military defense, and of the individual by the rule of law strictly and indiscriminately applied. Government is not a father or mother or nanny or sugar daddy. In conservative philosophy, it has no duty to provide for the people it protects. It has no means to do so. It is not the nation’s money earner. It ought not to be an agency that forces some people to give it money so that it can hand it to other people. .

But in socialist philosophy, providing for the people’s needs is government’s chief function. Socialist government starts by “redistributing” private wealth: taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who have not. The long-term plan is for government (euphemistically, “the people”) to “own the means of production, distribution and exchange”. In plain words, to own everything. A socialist government is in loco parentis. The people are its children whom it must house, feed, educate, medicate, and make all decisions for. It knows what is best for you, and your duty is to obey it. It will give you what it judges you need – or withhold it if you step out of line. If you are disobedient, you will be punished. If you put your personal interests above the government-ordained interests of the collective “All”,  you may find yourself provided with no house, no food, no schooling, no doctoring, and – once the grip of a socialist regime has become absolute, as in Russia in the last century – no means by which you can supply these needs for yourself.

Socialists, Communists, Marxists – let’s say Leftists in general – believe that History (a sort of god whose prophet was Karl Marx) is moving humankind in a certain direction it has pre-ordained. Towards a world in which people live without private possessions. Where each is concerned only with the good of All. (Invention, which is essentially an individual enterprise is thus made impossible, so no actual advance is ever made.) Moving towards that utopia is what Leftists mean by “progress“. 

That’s why they call themselves “progressives”.

Professor Walter Williams writes at Townhall:

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders seek to claim the “progressive” mantle. Both claim the other is not a true progressive. Clinton teased Sanders as being the “self-proclaimed gatekeeper for progressivism”. Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton can’t be both a moderate and a progressive and that most progressives don’t take millions from Wall Street. But let’s talk about the origins of progressivism. It’s only historical ignorance that could explain black affinity for progressivism.

The Progressive Era is generally seen as the period from 1890 to 1920. President Woodrow Wilson, a leading [Democrat and] progressive, had a deep contempt for the founding principles of our nation. Progress for Wilson was to get “beyond the Declaration of Independence”,  because “it is of no consequence to us”. President Wilson implored that “all that progressives ask or desire is permission – in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word – to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine”.

President Woodrow Wilson was a believer in notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He was so enthralled with D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation movie, which glorified the Ku Klux Klan, that he invited various dignitaries to the White House to view it with him. … When President Wilson introduced racial segregation to the civil service, the NAACP and the National Independent Political League protested. Wilson vigorously defended it, arguing that segregation was in the interest of Negroes. Booker T. Washington wrote during Wilson’s first term, “I have never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time.”

President Woodrow Wilson’s predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, was another progressive captivated by the notions of racial inferiority. He opposed voting rights for black Americans, which were guaranteed by the 15th Amendment, on the grounds that the black race was still in its adolescence. …

The Progressive era gave birth to the “separate but equal” doctrine that emerged from the Supreme Court’s notorious 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that symbolized Jim Crow racism. Progressives were also people who attacked free-market economics. Along with muckraking journalists they attacked capitalistic barons. They were advocates of what might be called “scientific racism” that drew from anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, eugenics and medical science. …

Legal scholar Richard Epstein concludes that progressivism sought to grant the state vast new authority to manage all walks of American life while at the same time weakening traditional checks on government power, including private property rights and liberty of contract, two principles that progressives hold in contempt. Epstein notes, “The sad but simple truth is that the Jim Crow resegregation of America depended on a conception of constitutional law that gave property rights short shrift, and showed broad deference to state action under the police power.”

It is clear that today’s progressives have the same constitutional contempt as their predecessors. I hope they do not share the racial vision. Black voters ought to demand, at a minimum, that progressives disavow their ugly racist past.

They should re-label themselves to something other than progressives, maybe compassionate totalitarians. 

Barack the Bad unending 3

“Less than a year to go to the election of a new president.”

“Only 14 months more of this disastrous presidency.”

And then …?

Obama’s malign effect on the nation will be ended and undone?

Not if Obama can do anything to prevent it – and he can, and he will, and he’s doing it.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

After making America poorer, weaker, less free, more race-obsessed and balkanized throughout his tumultuous presidency, Barack Obama is gearing up to use his two tax-exempt nonprofits to continue attacking what remains of the republic’s civil society after he leaves office in 14 months.

Obama’s presidency “has been pockmarked by rioting, looting and protests”, as he “encouraged the nonstop civil unrest exhausting the nation”, writes the Hoover Institution’s Paul Sperry. Obama and his “army of social justice bullies” are going to make things worse before he leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017.

Our indefatigable Community Organizer-in-Chief is planning to use Organizing for Action (OfA) and the Barack Obama Foundation to continue punishing America for its imaginary sins and to promote manufactured controversies long after he leaves the White House.

Chicago-based OfA has trained “more than 10,000 leftist organizers, who, in turn, are training more than 2 million youths in [Saul] Alinsky street tactics,” according to Sperry. This “army of social justice bullies” will carry on Obama’s campaign to fundamentally transform America. 

OfA is a less violent version of Mussolini’s black shirts and Hitler’s brown shirts, or of the government-supported goon squads that Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Cuba’s Castro brothers use to harass and intimidate their domestic opponents. OfA units brought muscle to the 2011-12 fight in Wisconsin over that state’s out-of-control government labor unions. OfA has bludgeoned Democrats that Obama deemed insufficiently left-wing, especially red-state congressional Democrats who had been wavering on the issue of Obamacare. …

Will the OfA be less violent than its forerunners? It would be a mistake to assume or expect that to be the case.

OfA, however, is only part of the picture.

Obama’s presidential foundation … may end up eclipsing OfA as a locus of destructive, nihilistic, antisocial activism in the post-Obama era. Obama intends to use his foundation, based at the planned Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side, to continue wreaking havoc in America and around the globe.

A “scaled down” version of OfA will reportedly reside at the Barack Obama Foundation whose website states ominously, “As President Obama has said, the change we seek will take longer than one presidency.  Obama’s historic candidacy was never simply about winning an office; it was about building a movement to tackle challenges that would define a generation. This work will live on in the Obama Foundation, which will inspire citizens across the globe to better their communities, their countries, and their world.”

But at least until the foundation is fully operational, Organizing for Action will remain Obama’s primary nonprofit vehicle for subjecting the American people to the community organizer-style terrorism that got him where he is today.

Sperry notes that OfA holds “organizing summits” on college campuses and uses social media to “mobilize flash mobs against ‘biased cops’, ‘climate-change deniers’,  ‘Wall Street predators’ and ‘gun extremists’.”  It organizes rallies against conservative opponents of same-sex marriage, expanded LGBT rights, abortion, and amnesty for illegal aliens.

During the nationwide battle over Obamacare, OfA sent out a mass email attacking the good faith of opponents. Those who questioned the wisdom of Obamacare weren’t Americans who sincerely disagreed with the president, but “Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders”. …

OfA was created because the White House could not lawfully use the 13 million e-mail addresses that the campaign compiled in 2008. The Democratic National Committee set up the allegedly grassroots movement as an in-house project to continue to proselytize on Obama’s behalf between elections. It was previously called Organizing for America but that name was jettisoned, probably because it sounded too pro-American.

Organizing for Action is a 501c4 nonprofit “social welfare” organization formed in January 2013. …  At the end of 2013 it reported $26 million in total revenue, 197 employees, and 27,282 volunteers.

OfA … runs something it calls the Community Organizing Institute which conducts “documentary film screenings, panel discussions and receptions with distinguished guests”.

Obama has also used taxpayer money to train “hundreds of thousands of junior agitators through AmeriCorps, a Clinton youth program he’s dramatically expanded”, Sperry writes, “and through My Brother’s Keeper, the ‘racial justice’ initiative he launched in the wake of the 2012 death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin”.

Obama openly supports the violent Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements, which are “coordinating activities with nonprofit ACORN clones, who are being secretly bankrolled through Justice Department subprime settlement funds extracted from banks”. …

Obama is leaving behind a generation of militant jerks — collectively known as his “family” — to continue to proliferate protests and militate against everything and nothing. These irritating, self-absorbed, belligerent brats will “hands-up, don’t shoot” themselves into every cobwebbed corner of society, and the liberal media will give them the national bullhorn to amplify their hatred every time.

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Posted under Collectivism, communism, Leftism, Marxism, Race, revolution, Socialism, Totalitarianism, trade unions, Treason, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 19, 2015

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A one signatory deal 5

Obama is the man who shakes hands with himself.

Amir Taheri writes at Gatestone:

Sometime this week, President Obama is scheduled to sign an executive order to meet the Oct. 15 “adoption day” he has set for the nuclear deal he says he has made with Iran. According to the president’s timetable the next step would be “the start day of implementation”, fixed for Dec. 15.

But as things now stand, Obama may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself.

The Iranians have signed nothing and have no plans for doing so.

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has not even been discussed at the Islamic Republic’s Council of Ministers. Nor has the Tehran government bothered to even provide an official Persian translation of the 159-page text.

The Islamic Majlis, the ersatz parliament, is examining an unofficial text and is due to express its views at an unspecified date in a document “running into more than 1,000 pages”, according to Mohsen Zakani, who heads the “examining committee”.

The changes we seek would require substantial rewriting of the text,” he adds enigmatically.

Nor have Britain, China, Germany, France and Russia, who were involved in the so-called P5+1 talks that produced the JCPOA, deemed it necessary to provide the Obama “deal” with any legal basis of their own. Obama’s partners have simply decided that the deal he is promoting is really about lifting sanctions against Iran and nothing else. So they have started doing just that without bothering about JCPOA’s other provisions.

Britain has lifted the ban on 22 Iranian banks and companies blacklisted because of alleged involvement in deals linked to the nuclear issue.

German trade with Iran has risen by 33 percent, making it the Islamic Republic’s third-largest partner after China.

China has signed preliminary accords to help Iran build five more nuclear reactors.

Russia has started delivering S300 anti-aircraft missile systems and is engaged in talks to sell Sukhoi planes to the Islamic Republic.

France has sent its foreign minister and a 100-man delegation to negotiate big business deals, including projects to double Iran’s crude oil exports.

Indian trade with Iran has risen by 17 percent, and New Delhi is negotiating massive investment in a rail-and-sea hub in the Iranian port of Chah-Bahar on the Gulf of Oman.

With help from Austrian, Turkish and United Arab Emirates banks, the many banking restrictions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program have been pushed aside.

“The structures of sanctions built over decades is crumbling,” boasts Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Meanwhile, the nuclear project is and shall remain “fully intact,” says the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi. We have started working on a process of nuclear fusion that will be cutting-edge technology for the next 50 years,” he adds.

Even before Obama’s “implementation day”, the mullahs are receiving an average of $400 million a month, no big sum, but enough to ease the regime’s cash-flow problems and increase pay for its repressive forces by around 21 percent. …

The mullahs see the “deal” as a means with which Obama would oppose any suggestion of trying to curb Iran.

“Obama won’t do anything that might jeopardize the deal,” says Ziba Kalam, a Rouhani adviser. “This is his biggest, if not only, foreign policy success.”

Let’s pause and contemplate that for a moment! This farce of a deal, this green light to one of the most  oppressive regimes on earth to go ahead and become a nuclear power, is  – Obama’s “biggest, if  not only, foreign policy SUCCESS”!  

More follows on this success:

If there have been changes in Tehran’s behavior they have been for the worse. Iran has teamed up with Russia to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, mocking Obama’s “Assad must go” rhetoric. More importantly, Iran has built its direct military presence in Syria to 7,000 men.

Tehran has also pressured Iraqi Premier Haidar al-Abadi’s weak government to distance itself from Washington and join a dubious coalition with Iran, Russia and Syria.

Certain that Obama is paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent “deal” the mullahs have intensified their backing for Houthi rebels in Yemen. Last week a delegation was in Tehran with a long shopping list for arms.

In Lebanon, the mullahs have toughened their stance on choosing the country’s next president.

And in Bahrain, Tehran is working on a plan to “ensure an early victory” of the Shiite revolution in the archipelago.

Confident that Obama is determined to abandon traditional allies of the United States, Tehran has also heightened propaganda war against Saudi Arabia, now openly calling for the overthrow of the monarchy there.

The mullahs are also heightening contacts with Palestinian groups in the hope of unleashing a new “Intifada.”

They have done so. (See yesterday’s post, immediately below.)

“Palestine is thirsty for a third Intifada,” Supreme Guide Khamenei’s mouthpiece Kayhan said in an editorial last Thursday. “It is the duty of every Muslim to help start it as soon as possible.”

Obama’s hopes of engaging Iran on other issues were dashed last week when Khamenei declared “any dialogue with the American Great Satan” to be “forbidden”.

“We have no need of America” his adviser Ali-Akbar Velayati added later. “Iran is the region’s big power in its own right.”

Obama had hoped that by sucking up to the mullahs he would at least persuade them to moderate their “hate-America campaign”.

“Death to America” slogans, adorning official buildings in Tehran have been painted afresh along with US flags, painted at the entrance of offices so that they could be trampled underfoot.

None of the US citizens still held hostages in Iran has been released, and one, Washington Post stringer Jason Rezai, is branded as “head of a spy ring “in Tehran. Paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent deal, Obama doesn’t even call for their release.

Government-sponsored anti-American nationwide events are announced for November, anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran.

The annual “End of America” week-long conference is planned for February and is to focus on “African-American victims of US police” and the possibility of “self-determination for blacks.”

Iran is inciting rebellion and treason among Americans.

According to official sources “families of Black American victims” and a number of “black American revolutionaries” have been invited.

Inside Iran, Obama’s “moderate partners” have doubled the number of executions and political prisoners. Last week they crushed marches by teachers calling for release of their leaders. Hundreds of trade unionists have been arrested and a new “anti-insurrection” brigade paraded in Tehran to terrorize possible protestors.

The Obama deal may end up as the biggest diplomatic scam in recent history.

We want vengeance 7

There is lkely to be a Republican president in 2017, but perhaps more because the Democratic Party has dissolved into its own corrupt mess and has no plausible candidate to offer even to the vast uninformed section of the electorate that usually votes for it, than because the GOP has a really good candidate to nominate.

We are quoting this almost in full because we like it:

From Townhall. Kurt Schlichter questions the GOP candidates for the presidency:

CNN’s Republican debate on September 16th will be conducted with dignity and gravitas by questioners like Hugh Hewitt and Jake Tapper, who will treat the candidates with a level of respect and courtesy that many of them just don’t deserve. They have to. I don’t.

On behalf of all infuriated conservatives, I demand the right to interrogate the candidates myself. I get to ask a question and a follow-up, and here are the rules. First, answer the damn question. It insults me when you think I’ll somehow forget what I asked, so bewitching is your oratory. Second, answer, then stop talking. If you use more words than the Gettysburg Address (272) you are so, so very wrong. Third, no clichés. If you use the phrase “for the children,” I get to slap you.

Here goes:

Jeb! Bush:

You support amnesty and Common Core, you won’t undo the Iran sellout of Israel on your first day in office and – as we always expected – you’ve come out in support of more gun control. Since you have adopted Hillary’s platform, why are you running as a Republican?

Why are you so damn special that despite there being 320 million other Americans, we can’t do any better than a third Bush?

Dr. Ben Carson:

You’re proud of not being a politician, but what makes you think D.C.’s establishment won’t chew you up and spit you out?

You’re a guy with tremendous accomplishments, morals, and character. Why do you even want to go to Washington?

Jim Gilmore:

Can you name one person you aren’t related to who wants you to be president?

In fact, are you even supposed to be here on stage tonight?

Chris Christie:

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room – what the hell were you thinking snuggling up to Obama?

Other than talking incessantly about killing terrorists – which is cool – in what way are you even remotely a conservative?

Carly Fiorina:

You’re the only female running in the GOP primaries. Would you even be on this stage if you were a dude?

You were a senior officer in a huge corporation that did a lot of government work. Why should we conservatives believe you won’t be just another crony capitalist shafting us and stealing our money for the benefit of your corporate pals?

Lindsey Graham:

Conservatives detest you, and the feeling is mutual. Are you in this as some sort of establishment stalking horse to make sure a real conservative doesn’t derail Jeb! by snagging South Carolina’s delegates?

Anything else interesting that you’d like to tell us tonight?

John Kasich:

You decided to go along with Obamacare in Ohio. Why, as a conservative would I ever support you in the primary over someone committed to the destruction of that socialist atrocity?

Like many, even most, conservatives, I think you’re a smug, sanctimonious jerk who hides his self-righteousness behind a vague, unfocused aura of pseudo-Christian progressivism. Why should I allow you to spend four to eight years in my face telling me how I don’t measure up to your allegedly Jesus-inspired standards?

George Pataki:

Since I really have no idea why you’re running, let me just ask you this: Who’s more badass, Captain Kirk or Picard?

Marco Rubio:

My family is half Cuban, and we loved you and your life story until you lied to us about amnesty – no, that’s not an invitation for you to try to convince us how your past embrace of amnesty was not really an embrace of amnesty. You lied to me once – why should I ever believe anything you ever say again?

Here’s your chance to be clear – do you agree with me and most conservatives that America has zero moral obligation to illegal aliens, that they should receive no government benefits, and that they should leave our country?

Ted Cruz:

I think you are a genius lawyer and a true conservative, but you are off-putting to people who aren’t movement conservatives … Do the math for me – how can you possibly win 270 electoral votes?

Wouldn’t you better serve conservatism as Chief Justice Ted Cruz?

Rand Paul:

[As with] your father, I can listen to you for a couple minutes, find myself nodding in agreement, and then BAM! you say something nutty, usually about foreign policy. How can I be sure you will do the most important thing a president must do – relentlessly and ruthlessly kill America’s enemies?

Chemtrails. Are they a thing?

Scott Walker:

The idea behind your campaign seemed to be that you’re a normal guy who would return us to normalcy, but we conservatives don’t want normalcy anymore. We want vengeance. Will you commit to ruthlessly annihilating liberalism wherever you find it?

More specifically, will you commit to destroying all federal government employee unions?

Mike Huckabee:

You combine a love of big government with a kind of religious paternalism that evokes an unholy love child of LBJ and Elmer Gantry. Can you sketch me out a scenario where you win the general election that doesn’t involve someone releasing tapes of Hillary gleefully vivisecting corgi puppies?

You play bass. Really, is that a president’s instrument?

Bobby Jindal:

[Tell us] as an Asian-American, can the GOP win over that growing minority group by addressing the systemic racism they face because of Democrat-dominated universities’ admissions policies?

I think you’d be a good president, but I don’t think you can win. Shouldn’t you agree to come on board with someone up here on stage who might win and agree to be his/her HHS secretary?

Rick Santorum:

You lost your Senate seat in Pennsylvania back in 2006, meaning you have failed in every election campaign since 2000. Why is this time different?

My country is falling apart and, like most conservatives, that’s my No. 1 priority. Why should I vote for you and re-fight the gay marriage battle that we’ve already decisively lost instead of saving our Constitution from these leftist creeps?

Donald Trump:

Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun watching you make the GOP establishment wince by raising subjects like illegal alien thugs that the elite wants hushed up. We’ve had some laughs. But if you are elected president, you will be the commander-in-chief. This is a no gotcha question – I led soldiers for 27 years, so this is personal to me and to millions of conservatives whose sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers serve. Can you give me one good reason why you are worthy of our trust to lead and to safeguard the lives of the incredible men and women of our armed forces?

I don’t have a follow-up to that question, because at the end of the day, no other question really matters.

Yes, an avatar of vengeance – that’s what America needs now.

Look – here comes the loony lefty likely Labour leader 1

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It would be a most desirable thing, a sweet dream for all mankind, if the evil Left were to perish.

Its years of power in the West may be over. The “long march through the institutions” brought it to the peak of power – the presidency of the USA. And there it has failed. Of course.

There are signs of its demise in America, what with corrupt old Hillary’s pathetic dance, and voters waking up to Obama’s treachery, and someone (Trump) daring to defy political correctness at last.

And in Britain, the dream may be about to become true.

Steven Hayward writes at PowerLine:

More fun than watching the Hillary meltdown and the Democratic Party rage against the results of the Obama regime is to cast your gaze over to Britain, where the Labour Party seems to have forgotten the lesson of their 1983 election platform (which included a call for unilateral nuclear disarmament) which UK political junkies referred to as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Labour was crushed in that election, and having not been chastened by the recent election rout at the hands of the Conservatives and the Scottish nationalist party seems to be hankering for a repeat of 1983. By all accounts, the Labour Party is set to choose as its next leader Jeremy Corbyn, a deep-left radical who is generally regarded as completely unelectable [by Tony Blair] if he indeed heads the Labour Party into the next election.

I can’t do better than Boris Johnson, the colorful Tory mayor of London, who posted the following on his Facebook page a few days ago. Since it’s on Facebook and there’s no general link, I’ll just report the entire piece here:

It begins with a look of slow and wondering amazement – as if he hardly dares believe his luck; and then the certainty builds, millisecond by millisecond. Then the eyebrows go up even higher, and the mouth gapes and the eyes pop and the epiglottis vibrates as he lets out a long, whooping yell of sheer incredulous ecstasy.

That is how police chief Brody reacts in the last reel of Jaws when, by some fluke, he manages to shoot a bullet right into the oxygen tank in the mouth of the shark, and the ravening fish improbably explodes. That is frankly how we in the Tory party feel as we watch what is happening in the Labour movement today.

If these polls are right (and that is a pretty big if these days) then we are at that preliminary stage in Roy Scheider’s masterful portrait of the joyful police chief. We aren’t yet whooping, but our eyebrows are twitching north in incredulity. We are filled with disbelief that this can really be taking place, a distrust of the evidence of our senses.

If all these forecasts are right – the polls, the betting markets, the pundits – then that fearsome New Labour machine is in the process of some kind of violent, unexpected and hilarious disintegration. It really looks as though it might be the end for the ruthless beast that won three election victories and struck terror for so long into Tory hearts. Can it be true? Can this be happening? Are they really proposing that Her Majesty’s Opposition should be led by Jeremy Corbyn?

It is not just that he has next to zero support among mainstream Labour MPs in the Commons; it doesn’t matter that he has rebelled against the party leadership ever since he has been in the House. Indeed, it doesn’t matter that he sometimes identifies the right problems – low pay, underinvestment in infrastructure, or whatever. It is his solutions that are so out of whack with reality.

This is a man whose policies are way, way to the Left even of the last Labour leader –[Ed] Miliband – a man who in the end was resoundingly rejected by the electorate for being too Left-wing. … He would take this country back to the 1970s, or perhaps even the 1790s. He believes in higher taxes and a bigger deficit, and kowtowing to the unions, and abandoning all attempts to introduce competition or academic rigour in schools – let alone reforming welfare.

He is a Sinn Fein-loving, monarchy-baiting, Israel-bashing believer in unilateral nuclear disarmament. … Never in all his wildest dreams did he imagine that he might be leader of what has been – until this year – one of the major parties of government; and now he is having greatness thrust upon him. …

The armies of Labour rank and file … honestly seem to think that this might be the way forward. Yes, there really are a few hundred thousand people who seriously think that we should turn back the clock, take huge swathes of industry back into public ownership and massively expand the state.

The problem for Labour is that they do not represent the majority of people in this country. That is the real lesson of this campaign so far: that the mass of the Labour Party is totally out of touch with reality and common sense. How should we Tories react?  … We watch with befuddlement and bewilderment that is turning all the time into a sense of exhilarating vindication: I told you they were loony. 

And Alex Massie writes at The Spectator (UK):

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Willie Horton and Michael Dukakis. That’s what Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to prominence will do to a fellow. Horton, you will remember, was the convicted murderer who never returned from a weekend furlough granted to him while Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts, and subsequently kidnapped a couple in Maryland, stabbing the husband and repeatedly raping the wife.

He became the star of George Bush’s 1988 presidential election campaign. Lee Atwater, Bush’s most pugnacious strategist, had vowed to “strip the bark” from Dukakis and promised that “by the time we’re finished they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running-mate”.  The Willie Horton ads were ugly … but, by god, they were effective. They gave Bush a message: he wasn’t the other guy. The guy from the most liberal corner of the most liberal state in the Union, the guy who opposed the death penalty, who disapproved of … the Pledge of Allegiance, the guy who let a first-degree murderer out of jail, not once, but ten times. The same murderer, Willie Horton, who invaded a suburban home and raped a woman. The Willie Horton who said “Obviously, I am for Dukakis” (it didn’t matter that he didn’t vote just as the other nuances of the issue didn’t matter at all).

By the end of it all it was a bloody business. In the second presidential debate Dukakis was asked if he’d still oppose the death penalty for someone who raped and killed his own wife. He said he would. Game over. Dukakis never understood what hit him.

Of course it was ugly and of course it was merciless and sometimes it was unfair too. But that didn’t matter.

All his bark was stripped.

So the question is, How many Willie Hortons does Jeremy Corbyn have? 

An astonishing number. Not just ISIS, not just his support for an inquiry into supposed Jewish influence on government decisions, not just the platforms he’s shared with a remarkable number of unsavoury types. Not just his suggestion Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. Not just his willingness to blame Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on NATO. Not just his instinctive support for anyone opposed to anything proposed by either the United States or the United Kingdom. Not even just his suggestion, in 2013, that Argentina be permitted a say in the governance of the Falkland Islands. Not just these things, but all or any of them.

Most of these, frankly, should disqualify him from serious office.

And so too should his record on Northern Ireland. A vast amount of guff is now being peddled by Corbyn’s supporters on this. If we are to believe them, Corby’s willingness to talk to Sinn Fein and the IRA in the 1980s just showed how he was ahead of the game. After all, the British government eventually did so too, didn’t it?

This misses the vital point. Corbyn might have wanted peace’ but he wanted it on the IRA’s terms. He wanted Sinn Fein and the IRA to win.

People genuinely interested in peace – and cross-community dialogue – back then didn’t speak at Troops Out rallies. They didn’t invite convicted IRA bombers to the House of Commons two weeks after the IRA attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister and the rest of her cabinet in Brighton. (A bomb, remember, that killed five people.) …

Even now he cannot actually bring himself to condemn IRA atrocities, weaselling out of suggestions he do so by condemning all atrocities. But normal people know that condemning IRA murders does not mean condoning Loyalist murders or, for that matter, the excesses of the RUC and British Army. Corbyn, however, still prefers to sing from the [Irish] Republican song-sheet. …

Far from being ahead of the game, Corbyn was, at best, deluded, and at worst, marginally complicit in the murderous actions of a terrorist organisation that targeted his fellow citizens.

That none of this seems to trouble his supporters says all you need to know about the mess Labour finds itself in.

If – and perhaps this is unlikely – Corbyn makes it to 2020 even the most ludicrous, improbable, Tory could beat him. Running an anti-Corbyn campaign would be the greatest turkey shoot in the history of modern British politics.

The only difficulty would be deciding which of Corbyn’s Willie Hortons it would be most effective to focus upon. Bark-stripping will never be easier.

Choosing Corbyn is worse than a blunder, it’s a crime.

Not if his leadership means the end of the British Labour Party.

We hope Corbyn is easily beatable in a general election. We hope the campaign against him will be managed as effectively as Bush’s campaign against Dukakis was managed.

We hope the British Laboour Party is a spent force. Forever.

And we hope that will be the beginning of the end of the evil Left as a force in national politics in the West.

But we are skeptical and rather pessimistic through experience, and will not be surprised if we are disappointed.

The Bolsheviks: bourgeois fascist utopians 1

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Today we re-discovered a 2012 essay, by the economist Steven Plaut, on the Bolsheviks who took power so disastrously in Russia in 1917.

The essay is titled: Just What Was Fundamentally Wrong with Bolshevism?

We choose these passages to quote, but the whole thing needs to be read here.

As great believers in Marxist theology, [the Bolsheviks] advocated the imposition by the “proletariat” of urban workers of “its” will upon the country, including upon the agricultural laborers who constituted the bulk of the population.  Even if the Bolshevik party could seriously be thought to represent the urban “proletariat,” they would still have constituted a movement representing only a very small portion of Russian society.  

The Bolsheviks represented a movement seeking to impose the interests of this minority “class” over the interests of the bulk of Russian society (and later over non-Russian populations in the Soviet empire).

The Bolsheviks … claimed to represent “the working class” of urban workers, but never considered it necessary to allow those same members of the “proletariat” a say in what they themselves considered their “class interests” to be.  The communist party leaders claimed to represent the proletariat automatically, supernaturally, by dint of their having studied Marx and Engels.  Under their theology they could automatically divine from the dusty 80 year old writings of Marx what served the interests of the Russian “working class,” without having to ask any actual workers, and in most cases without having to engage in actual work.  Party leaders, led by Lenin and Trotsky, lived bourgeois lives even in the most difficult days of the Russian Civil War, often living in luxurious royal apartments inside the Kremlin (which had been the royal residence before the Revolution).  Soviet leaders were attended by large numbers of servants, and Trotsky himself never went anywhere during the Civil War without both his large flock of servants and a 35-member military band.   Bolshevik leaders (Trotsky in particular) generally had never done a day of honest labor in their lives in any factory or farm; their entire “careers” consisting of political activism.

The Bolsheviks believed that they could divine the answers to what the “workers” collectively needed in much the same way that Church clergy could conjure up the agenda of God, by reading the holy scriptures.   And like other manifestations of theology, the Bolsheviks tended to bicker and break up into small factions over minor questions of belief.  Like in the Church, the factionalism was suppressed by means of the proclamation of official dogma approved by the party’s Pope.  It was the beginning of the thought police system, later perfected by Mao.

In the case of communists, these scriptures meant Marx and Engels, and later Lenin.  The problem of course was that Marx and Engels never spelled out the nitty gritty details of what “workers” would need, and basically had no understanding whatsoever of economics.  They can hardly be excused for this ignorance on grounds of writing before the advent of modern economic understanding, because it was already well on the course of development at that time.

As just one example of the problem, should the price of shoes in a “workers’ state” be high in order to benefit shoe workers producing shoes, or low to benefit workers who are consumers?  And if the representatives of the proletariat cannot make up their minds about the price of shoes, then how the Devil can they decide what constitutes “worker interest” in thousands of other dilemmas.  Asking the workers themselves what they wanted was quickly ruled out by the Bolsheviks as a counter-revolutionary nonstarter.

The solution of the early Soviet regime was essentially to suppress and terrorize urban workers, not just the peasants. …

In fact, the “alienation” of the “urban workers” by the party had occurred even earlier.  The Bolshevik coup and the storming of the Winter Palace were uprisings of the “working class” only in party mythology.  The bulk of those rising up in support of the Bolsheviks were soldiers in the Czarist or Kerenski armies, who supported the party because of the promise by Lenin to surrender to the Central powers and end all fighting and mobilization of troops.

The Bolshevik banner may have featured the hammer of the urban worker with the sickle of the peasant, but at the time of the Revolution it was little more than a party of disgruntled soldiers and sailors, most from rural background, reluctant to be sent back to the World War I front to defend Russia.  Their opportunistic support for the Bolsheviks largely vanished in thin air as soon as the party tried to mobilize them and send them out to fight the “whites” during the civil war.  Trotsky was forced to recruit ex-czarist officers to serve as commanders in the Red Army.

The main groups of soldiers supporting the party with enthusiasm were non-Russians desiring the end of Russian domination over their native lands, like the brigades of Latvian riflemen who served as Lenin’s praetorian guards.  By 1921, the same Kronstadt sailors who had been critical in bringing the Bolsheviks to power in 1917 were shooting them and organizing a massive mutiny, brutally suppressed by the communists.  The suppression of the rebellion led Whittaker Chambers to label bolshevism a form of fascism  

Bolshevik thinking in the early days carried strong features of theology.  The Bolsheviks believed that if they were to follow the precepts of Marx to the letter, and pronounce the correct incantations, then magic would take place and socialist revolutions would spring up all over the world like adorable leprechauns.  This voodoo Marxism eventually led to the rise of Stalin and totalitarian “socialism in one country”.  And an ice pick in the skull of Trotsky.

Most Bolshevik leaders had no skills or experience in government administration, management, business, or anything else.  Their only claim to legitimacy was their assertion that they understood the needs of the “proletariat”.  Trotsky believed in command control and central “planning” of the economy until his last breath, and he was hardly alone.  Within days of seizing power in their coup d’etat, the Bolshevik leaders were seeking to impose their “dictatorship of the proletariat”, by which they meant the dictatorship of those party officials, more often than not from middle class backgrounds, claiming to represent the proletariat.  The Russian economy imploded under their rule.  Output of Russian factories and mines in 1921 was only a seventh of what it had been under the Czar in 1913.

Their understanding of foreign powers and diplomacy was even more pathetic than their ignorance of economics, and was also dominated by belief in magic.  During the first years of the Soviet regime, its leaders quite seriously expected communist revolutions to break out all over Europe.  And they were truly surprised when none did, except pathetic attempts – quickly suppressed – to install bolshevism in Germany and Hungary.

Part of their problem was that Marx and Engels were themselves wrong with regard to just about everything.  They were wrong, first and foremost, with regard to the claim that there exists some sort of monolithic “working class” with some sort of uniform set of “class interests.”   Urban workers share no common interest, as the above example involving shoe prices illustrates.   Urban workers indeed were a “class” with a common interest only in the most tautological sense, only in the sense that all those assigned to any “class” would favor increases in the incomes and wealth for all members of that “class.”   By the same token, people with curly hair constitute a “class,” because any proposal to raise incomes for all those with curls would be supported by them.   But regarding any other issue that would arise, the curly headed would have no common interest.  Ditto for urban workers.  And in the exact same sense, there is no capitalist class.  An assembly of the “capitalist class” would similarly be incapable of agreeing over whether shoe prices should be high or low.

And just why were urban “workers” even considered to be politically superior to everyone else in society?  Marx, Engels and the Soviet leadership had great difficulty conceiving of anyone doing productive work unless they were making “things”.  And heavy “things” were more valuable, important, and productive than light “things”.  Certainly producing services was not understood by them as productive labor, explaining why the quality of services of all sorts in the Soviet block remained abysmal all the way down to the fall of communism.

But just what was a “worker”?   Do not bankers and teachers and dentists and engineers and pharmacists work?   In many cases, they work longer hours than factory workers.  Marx and Engels had insisted that urban factory workers must seize political control of society, and they must do so by means of a dictatorship by the party claiming to speak in their name.  In any case, Marx and Engels were pretty sure that peasants did not really provide important “work”.  After all, they just produce food.  So they need not really be part of any revolutionary regime.

Peasant reluctance to deliver food products to the urban “masses” without getting paid was “counter-revolutionary” and could be resolved by starving them to death, terrorizing them, and locking them up in non-productive collective farms.  There food production would prove too low even to feed the peasants themselves, let alone export food to the cities. …

At least in the early stages of the “Revolution”, [the Bolsheviks] were truly captivated by utopian delusions.  The problem of all utopians is that they advocate systems and ideas that can only work with imaginary idyllic humans, but never with real human beings.  When they discover that real human beings refuse to knuckle under and behave according to utopian expectations, the utopianists respond with violent rage.  The greatest strength of capitalism is that it actually works with real human beings, people who are lazy, base, narcissistic, self-indulgent, foul-smelling, mean-spirited, and unsophisticated.  Capitalism does not require idyllic fictional humans in order for it to work.

The most violent terrorists and oppressors of others have always been the utopians.  The French Revolution turned violent and the guillotine was introduced to attempt to terrorize actual humans into behaving according to the expectations of the utopianists.  The leaders of the Soviet Revolution were no slower or more squeamish in following the same route.

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