America’s Red Guard 12

We often quote Daniel Greenfield because we often like what he says and how he says it.

Here he is writing about America’s Red Guard (we quote his article in part):

As the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution approaches some of the former students who participated in its Red Guard terror have been trying to make amends to their victims. If China’s former leftist fanatics feel some remorse for the atrocities they participated in, the same can’t be said of their American counterparts.

Even as the Cultural Revolution was dying down in China, it flared up in the United States. The Weather Underground drew inspiration from China’s Red Terror. Their founding manifesto cited the Red Guard as a model for a “mass revolutionary movement.”

Bill Ayers, among others, had signed a letter, “Long live People’s China. Long live Comrade Mao.”

The American counterparts of China’s Red Guard remain largely unrepentant because here the  Cultural Revolution never ended. Instead it went mainstream. Its members were never disavowed and their acts of terror continue to be celebrated, minimized and whitewashed by a left that finds them alternately embarrassing and thrilling.

The terrorists became celebrities and the radicals became part of the system and set the rules. There was less violence, but more authoritarianism. Instead of carrying on a futile campaign of bombings and bank robberies, the radicals used the vast wealth and power of the system to train the next generation of the Red Guard. And that next generation did the same thing.

Each wave of the Cultural Revolution in the United States has eroded civil rights and illiberally undermined a liberal society. Though the Red Guards have chosen to work within the system, they are animated by an unmistakeable contempt and hatred for the country and its institutions. Their endgame has not changed. Only their tactics have.

Barack Obama, a child of the Cultural Revolution, is the very model of a modern Red Guard. The mark of a successful revolution is that the revolutionaries no longer need extreme rhetoric since they can do anything they want. The Weather Underground engaged in extreme rhetoric and actions. Obama dispenses with the extreme rhetoric and gets right down to the extreme actions. He is calculating enough to avoid the verbal vindictiveness of an Ayers or a Wright, but he still chose them as his mentors. …

The virtue of the creative individual was displaced by the Red Guard’s virtue of outrage. Its members mistake the thrill of abusing others for the rightness of a moral crusade. They celebrate the elimination of all restrictions that prevent them from punishing their victims as a revolutionary act.

This form of crowdsourced political terror by elites and their pet mobs isn’t new. It’s only new to the United States.

Political outrage is the supreme virtue of both the American and Chinese Red Guard. The denunciations leading from that outrage show off their revolutionary commitment to everyone.

The lines of scapegoats paraded through the media for some petty crime against political correctness are a modern digital version of the Red Guard’s denunciations and humiliations. The politics and the poisoned power motives are the same. The only difference is that the Red Guard lacks the license to commit real violence, as of now, and must instead settle for economic and social violence.

The virtue of outrage leads to a state of authoritarian lawlessness. Legislatures and laws are replaced with an alliance between the executive authority of Barack Obama and the Red Guard activists. The activists demand, the media manufactures outrage and Obama uses executive orders to deliver. …

When outrage displaces the process of the law, what remains is either authoritarianism or anarchy. And despite the occasional Circle-A embroidered on a pricey jacket, the progressive Red Guard are not anarchists. What they are after is not less authority, but more of it. Not more freedom, but less of it. Their rhetoric about banks and corporations disguises what they intend for the rest of us.

They are not fighting against power. They are fighting for power.

The Red Guard, whether it’s the Occupiers or Barack Obama, abide by no rules except those of their own ideology. The United States Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing to them. The rules of their ideology are expressed formally in private, but publicly as outrage or empathy.  …

The momentum of emotion has no room for argument or dissent. There is no possibility of negotiation or compromise. Everything exists in black and white. Reason is not even a factor. There is nothing to debate. Either you agree or you are the enemy.

Under the rule of the Red Guard … freedom of speech and thought are only provided to those who say and think the right things. The same is true for all else. There are no rights, as we know them anymore.  Only a binding mandate of social justice. The right to speak your mind or donate to a political cause is valid only if it serves that mandate. …

“Social justice” of course means injustice. It means government using its monopoly of force to take wealth away from those who have earned it and give it to those who haven’t.

Justice [to the left] is not blind. She’s a community organizer coming out on the side of the social justice faction against the greedy and ignorant majority. The entire system, political, cultural and legal, is a means of enforcing the mandate. Its administrators are an elitist faction whose contempt for the people leads them to believe that tyranny is the only way to equality. …

The artificial and extraordinary force of the Red Guard is a perverse parody of mob rule. Our Red Guard, like many in China’s Red Guard, are the sons and daughters of the elites. Their violence is a ferocious assault of the top against the middle in the name of the low.

They manufacture an elitist populism in order to call for despotism.

In New York City, the sons and daughters of the elite stopped shaving, set up camping tents opposite Wall Street and clamored for the radical change that their parents were already busy implementing.

Occupy Wall Street, like every modern manifestation of the Red Guard in the United States, and like the original Red Guard, was a cynical power move by a ruling elite. The fake populism of 1 percenter brats shrieking about income inequality while campaigning to destroy the middle class and what’s left of the working class was true despotism.

The new Cultural Revolution is aimed at shrinking the already narrow power and prosperity of the majority for the sake of the minority. Not the minority of racial or ethnic minorities, but the minority of elites that is determined to get its way by any means necessary.

The 50th anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution will coincide with a national election in the United States that will serve in part as a final referendum on the Red Guard reign of the previous eight years. Like the Chinese, Americans will be forced to confront the ruin of their institutions, the polarization of their society and the victims of the Red Guard’s political inquisitions.  

50 years from now, will the students eagerly tearing down a liberal society and replacing it with outraged denunciations and media purges also regret their role in the new Cultural Revolution?

We doubt they will. Bill Ayers never matured sufficiently to regret his acts of terrorism, or his admiration for the atrocious regime of Mao Zedong. He comes from the wealthy middle class. He owes all he has, including his comfortable living, his freedom and his celebrity to the open system of capitalist America. A softly-reared child of privilege,  prosperity, and tolerance (extended to extreme indulgence in his case), he wouldn’t last long under actual communism as enforced by Mao or Stalin or Castro.

Unless Americans of his sort are brought to want, hunger, physical wretchedness and real political oppression, they will never comprehend the true nature of communist totalitarianism. And their reduction to those conditions is unlikely to happen despite all their blind efforts to bring about the system that would guarantee them. Capitalism will go on looking after its aberrant children for decades yet, even though the Red establishment will do all it can to hinder it and demonize it. As Daniel Greenfield says, the Red Guards in power are of Bill Ayers sort. Barack Obama himself belongs to the “1%” he and his minions denigrate. So does Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the Clintons.

As we have often done before, we quote Joseph Conrad on the sort of people they are. He is writing here specifically about women. What he says perfectly describes Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Ayers’s wife Bernadine Dohrn, and Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. (See our post Daisyville, April 22, 2013).

For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures. …

She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social class to which she belonged herself. … 

She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions.” 

– Joseph Conrad (The Informer)

Conrad’s scornful portrait of privileged women playing with revolutionary ideas applies equally well to the male of the species.

When innocence is a vice 5

Considering what is done to prisoners in Iran, what American captives have had to endure at the hands of the mullahs, and how women generally are treated under Islamic law, one might say that Sarah Shourd is extraordinarily fortunate to have been let out of prison and allowed to leave that fearful country. Her half a million dollars ransom was almost certainly paid by the US State Department with tax-payers’ money, though that’s unlikely ever to be admitted for the sensible reason that if a state is known to be willing to pay for the release of its kidnapped citizens, more will be kidnapped. So rumors that the Sultan of Oman paid it out of the goodness of his generous heart have been allowed to float.

How did she come to be in Iranian hands? She and two men friends decided to go for a nice long walk somewhere abroad, for recreation, exercise and amusement. Did they look at maps and pictures of various likely resorts for walking vacations? Did they consider Scotland, Canada, New Zealand? Whether they did or not, what they chose was Iraq: a country that has barely if at all emerged from a long war, where every day people are being shot down and blown up. One of the most dangerous places on  earth. And the route they chose was along the border with Iran, another of the most dangerous countries on earth, at least for Americans. They could have picked only one region more dangerous – the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Were they excited by the idea of putting themselves at risk? Were they “playing chicken”? Did they imagine, fear, or get a frisson at the idea, that they might be taken hostage? And did they not understand that if they were, they’d be putting their families and their country over a barrel? Or are they – as many  say they are for loss of a better explanation, and the Iranian authorities insist they are – spies? Shourd denies it, but so she must, whether it’s true or not.

We don’t think the three hikers are spies. We think they’re more likely to be reckless fools. And yet – how did they get to where they were captured? What documents did they need to get into Iraq? Can anyone do it? Are crowds of tourists landing there daily now? Do coaches take parties of Americans sightseeing or bird-watching? How did they get from wherever it was they entered Iraq to the Iranian frontier? On foot? Unchallenged and unmolested? The more one thinks about it, the stranger the whole affair seems, and the more questions present themselves.

Where do Sarah Shourd’s political sympathies lie? Had she ever protested against the Iraq war? Was she trying to prove something?

Does she by character belong in that class of  “privileged, young, white” women from America, Europe and Israel (Jewish and Arab) who are going to the West Bank to protect the Palestinians from Israeli soldiers by interposing themselves between the “murderous” Jews and their hapless victims – and, Phyllis Chesler writes at FrontPage, are being kidnapped, raped, and (in the case of the Arab girls only, presumably) forced into marriage by the subjects of their selfless compassion?

According to one recent and very disturbing report, foreign (American and European) and Israeli Jewish and Arab left-feminists are being routinely harassed, raped, and even forced into marriage by the very Palestinians whom they have come to “rescue.” More shocking is the alleged pressure brought to bear on those activists who wish to press charges about being raped or abducted into marriage; their own movement presumably pressures them not to do so because the alleged Israeli “occupation” of Palestine is far more important than the violent “occupation” of any woman’s body.

The type of girl we’re talking about has been sacrificing herself for noble causes to the annoyance and inconvenience of others, and her own ultimate remorse, since the nineteenth century.

Joseph Conrad wrote about her sort in a story called The Informer:

She went to a great length. She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social classes to which she belonged herself. …She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions. … For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures.

Reckless adventurism and a self-righteous refusal to believe that people can intend to do evil – especially if those people have been selected as objects of pity – are not criminal but they are not blameless. Willful ingenuousness amounts to a vice. A grown-up should know better.

Jillian Becker    September 24, 2010

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iran, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 23, 2010

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Hearts of darkness 12

Ashley Mote, Member of the European Parliament 2004-2009, writes that the European Union turned a blind eye to illegal sales of uranium to Iran (and even possibly paid for them), and so surreptitiously helped the Iranian regime to arm itself with nuclear weapons. The uranium, he says, was shipped from the former Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Joseph Conrad set his famous story of savagery and cannibalism, Heart of Darkness.

Note: Neither the Democratic Republic of the Congo nor the European Union is a democracy.

Two news items in the media over the last day or so oblige me to break silence on Iran’s acquisition of weapons-grade uranium. They have had it for several years.

Today the Daily Express reports that Iran has “two tons of uranium” which “would be enough for two nuclear warheads”. Yesterday the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a report headlined “Iran on the brink of a nuclear bomb.”

Comments on the web this morning are suggesting both stories are exaggerations at least, and fabrications at worst.

I profoundly disagree.

While I was in Brussels between 2004 and 2009 I and others established beyond doubt, with the assistance of retired diplomats from the former Belgian Congo, that weapons-grade uranium was being shipped from the former Belgian Congo direct to Iran, despite a world-wide ban on such traffic.

The Belgian EU Commissioner Louis Michel, supposedly responsible for the EU’s humanitarian aid to the third world from 2003 to 2009, was – at the time – directly related to one of the directors of the company in the Congo making the shipments.

He refused to answer any questions on his links, or to account for the EU funds being sent to the Congo.

Worse, despite the considerable evidence I and others presented to OLAF (the EU’s supposedly ‘independent’ fraud investigation organisation) they refused to look into the matter. The director-general, a former German judge called Bruner, told me in committee that “we do not snoop on our friends”. …

Personally I have not the slightest doubt Iran is determined to have its own atomic bomb and will stop at nothing to get it. What the former diplomats told and showed me let me in no doubt whatsoever. I saw, and still have copies of, bills of lading and other export documents. I am also of the firm opinion that the EU has (perhaps unwittingly, but I doubt it) helped finance Iran’s acquisition of weapons-grade uranium over several years.

If you ask me why key people inside the EU’s secretive supreme soviet might countenance such dangerously de-stabilising mischief, I need only point you towards the almost pathological hatred of the USA to be found amongst almost all its members.