Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our Postmodern Leaders Hit Rockbottom (for now): Queen of England Snubbed for D-Day Commemorations

Of the 121 files on the Articles Blog there isn't one pertaining to snubbed royalty and other breaches of protocol. Not because we consider such matters too trivial, but because those worth the bother simply did not happen ... until today, that is!

I guess we should not be surprised this is happening on these guys' watch! Only they could make such an unprecedented occasion happen. I hope someone makes a point of going to the bottom of this (and I'll eat my hat if it turns out to be the French).

For starters, take note of the 'newspeak' in the following heading:

ITN: "'Queen welcome at D-Day commemorations'" [well, obviously not or the entire article would have been a waste of space]

"Gordon Brown has said he will make it "possible" for the Queen or any other member of the royal family to attend next weekend's official D-Day commemorations in France if they wished to be present." [... the sub heading goes ... only then do we get to the crux:]

"There will be no royal representation at the events to mark the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings after no invitation was received from the French authorities. Instead the Prime Minister will represent the UK alongside British veterans who took part in the 1944 invasion that helped defeat Hitler's Germany. The absence of the Queen from the guest list for the commemorations has been perceived by some as a deliberate snub, though Buckingham Palace has stressed the monarch is not upset about the situation. " (...) [no, I wouldn't extend them that pleasure either].

Brown appears to be blaming the French:

"I have simply done what is my duty as a Prime Minister - I have accepted the personal invitation of (French president) Mr (Nicolas) Sarkozy.

A moment later Brown is kicking the ball into the Mighty Zero's court:

"I think you know that Mr (Stephen) Harper, the Canadian prime minister, is going, and I think in these circumstances, this particular event was one that the president wanted to be for prime ministers and presidents. He added: "But if the Queen wanted to attend these events, or if any member of the royal family wanted to attend these events, I would make that possible."

Then why hasn't he done so in the first place? Why wait until the sht hits the fan? The French meanwhile are returning the compliment to sender:

"Officials in Paris have insisted the Queen is welcome and blamed the UK Government for deciding who should attend what they said was "primarily a Franco-American ceremony". (...) >>>
 [the British vets are going to love this one!]

The whole thing is an unprecedented disgrace. When these pinheads were soiling their diapers, smoking reefers or making otherwise a nuisance of themselves, Elizabeth was actually making a useful contribution when it mattered! She's a vet herself for crying out loud!

I hope this will become a hell of a row and (pin)heads will roll [Gordon's for starters]!


- Here's one explanation: this could be BHO's caustic revenge on the British Empire ...

Mail Online: "Barack Obama's grandfather 'tortured by the British' during Kenya's Mau Mau rebellion"

- Yahoo!News: "Prince Charles to attend D-Day ceremony"

Prince Charles' office said Tuesday that he will attend a D-Day commemoration in France this week after a diplomatic spat over the omission from the guest list of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.  (...) The perceived snub created an uproar in Britain, which lost thousands of troops helping to free France from the Nazis. (...) On Monday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the U.S. wanted the queen to be there, and was "working with those involved to see that it happens." (...)  >>>

Another day, another update: It would appear to be all a misunderstanding, given that the British royals only attend D-Day commemorations every ten years. That said, an article today in FT, "Perils Mount for Besieged Brown", lays a link to present diplomatic dustup and Gordon Brown's increasingly precarious situation after four Cabinet Ministers called it quits. More on the Labour Government's perils and the latest updates on file in "London Calling".

- Filed on Articles in ... ah yes, we don't have a file for outrages of this sort of magnitude (yet) -

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Short History of Bad Ideas (II): Blueprint for Paradise

- Continued from Part I: "The Victims" -

So what is the origin of the terrible ideals that are supposed to deliver us paradise on earth, but give us hell instead?

We need to understand first of all that in Western culture the conceptual framework historically has been based on the ecclesiastical organizational model. God's proxy on earth i.e. the Church, reflects the cosmology of God as the central and omnipotent Ruler of Heaven, while an equally absolute, sacred power governs day-to-day business in the world of humans. In other words, before the invention of clubs and societies, people with paradigm shattering ideas set up rival pseudo religions.

- Caption: dome of St Peter's Basilica, Rome -

This Christian 'cultural DNA' has been the model for a host of alternative philosophies, theories and concepts, aiming to recreate heaven on earth, or at least along the lines of their particular version of Paradise. Schools of thought - sometimes virulently Deist, agnostic or atheist - were recreated in this way, with its particular central theme in the role of the godhead: it gave birth to nationalism for example, in reverence to the nation; statism with the government at the center of worship; while Communism hailed the urban proletarian class, Nazism doted on Teutonic blood and soil; and so on, and so forth. The most 'successful' pseudo denominations cleverly incorporated and cultivated mystical memes into rituals, and social and political theory.

In France in 1842 Auguste Comte completed the ultimate irony in this respect: a vast pseudo religion called Positivism, an irrational, agnostic cult replete with pagan mysticism centered on reason and science (we've written about it some time ago when in search of the origins of postmodern self loathing). Even the fairly innocent fuzziness of Naturism - now categorized a lifestyle - as recently as the last century retained pseudo-religious elements.

- Caption: Dome of the Aghia Sophia, Constantinople: God replaced by Allah after the Ottoman-Turkish conquest in 1453 -

While Utopianism and progressivism are features specific to the Counter-Enlightenment and to a lesser extent to the radical branch of the Enlightenment (more in a later part of this series), striving for the best possible world seems to have been part and parcel of the Western mindset since time immemorial.

Because of its success, building on Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman civilizations, and because discoveries hierarchically rest on earlier evidence - to Westerners the passage of time has the appearance of an endless time-line in which progress seems inevitable. But some who went before us might have burst this particular bubble: historical evidence points in another direction: that every civilization at some time comes full circle (also read "Understanding Change" by Dr Sam Holliday of the Armiger Cromwell Center). Even the megalomaniac Adolf Hitler thought a thousand years was the outside limit of his Third Reich!

Back to our secular pseudo religions, it is hard to draw the line where all these forms of inclusive and exclusive collectivism lead relatively harmless lives - say limited to fund-raising for needy brothers and sisters, ritualistic mumbo jumbo and other such activities - and where precisely the threshold is crossed to more pernicious developments. Where's the point that the hive mentality becomes lethal? The true believers will always advocate the extreme and go beyond the tipping point in seach of their Utopia.

Collectives come in two variations: those who want to keep their club exclusive to those of ethnic, geographical or religious identity or characteristic; the inclusive ones are more universal in nature and seek to forcibly include others in their tribe. For the latter a line definitely not to cross, is moving from voluntary participation to compulsory incorporation; or worse, when submission to the whole becomes the individual's moral duty, in effect making dissent a vice and coercion a virtue. For the exclusive variety a culture of intolerance and supremacy at the expense of others marks the boundary of acceptable behavior. But one might ask the scorpion, why does he sting.

It should be noted that no cultural relativism is required for the rest of us to prevent either variety from spinning out of control. Quite the contrary! Now's the time for defending the good standing between us and potentially evil collectives: liberty!

In the transnational setting a relentless drive is being exerted to shift rights from individuals to collectives. It's a retrogressive trend supported by a coalition of collectivists - Muslim religionists and their postmodern allies. One tactic thrown into the battle is transfering reponsibility away from the citizen to the (nanny) state. It will require ceaseless vigilance if we are to preserve individual freedom for future generations. 

Collectivism can best be understood in terms of a tribe. A tribe is a totalitarian society in miniature. The original purpose of living in 'flocks' is the natural protection of safety in numbers, but then something goes haywire. The bullies take over and become an elite. They say the tribe exists for its own sake or for the sake of the leaders, who by then claim demigod status so they can use the group for their own dark purposes. The personal lives of the hive members - already irrelevant to the whole - are forcibly put into the service of the entire group and its elite.

Now, one particular philosopher of the Counter-Enlightenment - Jean-Jacques Rousseau - had very romanticized ideas about the tribal way of life. Instead he saw advanced civilization as the source of evil: culture only serves to corrupt the naturally good inclinations of man, or so he thought. To Rousseau, no disease ridden hobbit abodes, no mass starvation and elderly, aged thirty; no human sacrifices, head shrinking, scalping, witch hunts, trials by fire and water, or brutal warfare and the ravaging of maidens! Leaving his deluded ideal of man in his primitive state at that, would have been bad enough!

In order to appreciate the evil nature of what Rousseau thought up next, a proper understanding of the following is necessary. What brought him to it we'll never know: the totem or tribal spirit, some mystical notion regarding 'group souls', or a Plato inspired quest for the whereabouts of abstractions perhaps? Enlightenment chronicler Jonathan Israel (“Radical Enlightenment” p. 720) just mentions Rousseau was “elaborating in close dialogue with predecessors”, while underscoring that his is a “far more developed conception” than Spinoza's or Diderot's ...
... Rousseau furnished his collective with a living animus of its own which he called 'common will'. How it might be tapped is unspecified, but it is supposed to find its realization in the context of “civil society under the state“.
At this point it gets worse: Rousseau's animus is not just infallible, it also has the monopoly on moral judgment; moreover, its verdict is absolute. Rousseau fanatically opposed the ethics systems of tradition and revealed religion, but of the moral relativism posited by other Deists, he wanted no part!

Rousseau's public animus, the collective 'common will' is of an altogether different nature than the collective individuals' 'common good': it is the only criterion for moral judgment, leading to the conclusion that man has “the obligation” (meaning that it is enforcible) “to subject himself to the sovereignty of what serves the interests of society as a whole” (p. 720).

Enter the modern, totalitarian collective we heard so much about, specifically during the first half of the last century. Unfortunately for millions and millions of victims (Part I), the human sacrifices to the hive and its leadership, Rousseau's vile idea of an organic, ethical collective has inspired many, including an American hero of environmentalism, as we shall see later on in this series.

- To be continued in Part III - 

- Filed on Articles in "The Dystopia of Paradise" -

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Values Worth Fighting For


- "The Brutal History of Rights"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Short History of Bad Ideas (I): The Victims

Do we truly know the nature of the ideas we believe in? Do we know their pedigree? And what will ensue once implemented? Does it matter if what we tacitly condone or passionately advocate is true, or a figment of wishful thinking? Are the ideals we strive for really what we want? Or do we simply further them because they sound good and the mere intention suggests we have 'ethics' on our side? Does the vocal advocacy of such ideals absolve us from further acting in the real world? And do our good intentions remove the guild if our image of earthly paradise turns out to be a dystopia instead? And do we stand by them nevertheless, and blame their operators, or someone else?

One book helps clarify some of those questions. It is a must read for anyone with an interest in the workings of our world and the terrifying ideals that got us where we are today. “Lenin, Stalin and Hitler” by Robert Gellately, suitably subtitled “The Age of Social Catastrophe” charts the tragic course of history in the first half of the last century (Vintage Books/Random House, August 2008). Gellately is Professor of History at Florida State University and author of earlier books on National Socialism, among others “Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany.” From the Introduction:

“Only weeks after the Russian Revolution the Bolsheviks created secret police forces far more brutal than any that had existed under the tsar [sic]. The Nazis followed suit and were no sooner in power than they instituted the dreaded Gestapo. Under both regimes millions of people were incarcerated in concentration camps where they were tortured and frequently worked to death.”

Clever propaganda set in motion after WWII by the Soviets made Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party the essence of evil, a comparative process in which they themselves came out far better than deserved, while in fact hence one, Lenin and Stalin had set the standard of brutality in waging a relentless class extermination war on their own people that lasted from 1917, until at least Stalin's death in 1953. The Gulags for political prisoners were dismantled only after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.

In what has become a frequent meme in Leftist theory, Stalin's perversion and mismanagement was to carry the can for the political crimes, the willful cruelty and the mass atrocities, while the theory and its main intellectual fathers, Marx and Lenin, came out unblemished: a lofty ideal so badly served by some of its leaders. Some maintain it to this day.

Kant's ethics of good intentions (deontology) did the rest for absolving Socialism and its related isms as ideologies, not tainted with evil, but ligitimate systems of governance. Under the blanket cover of Pragmatism the U.N. and other transnational entities now actively help broker it into power, for instance recently in the Himalaya Mountains nation of Nepal. Thanks to moral relativism President Reagan's Evil Empire has no heir-apparent.

Taking advantage of cheap vacation packages on the subtropical island dystopia of the Castro Brothers is no longer shameful opportunism. Shunning bargain price items made in the People's Hive of Vietnam no longer deemed a sign of moral backbone. The People's Republic of China - its human rights violating regime provided with legitimacy in the process - was awarded the hosting of the prestigious Olympic Games (not to mention trade deals): the Tibetans and their advocacy groups aside, no one batters as much as an eyelid.

In other words, while Rightist collectivism is forever tainted by history, Leftist collectivism came away smelling of roses. De-nazification gave way to mere lustrations, international treaties to protect dissidents made way for communistic apologists reinventing themselves as “the party of liberty”. From moral absolutes, to Realpolitik, to amoral Pragmatism within the course of sixty years.

British Independent Television News recently aired a documentary compiled just after WWII by the renowned suspense film director, Alfred Hitchcock. The work was withheld by the post war government because it was deemed to gruesome to be shown: it is gruesome. The eyeless poison dwarf of Tehran should be tortured with it - Clockwork Orange style - as some reverse aversion therapy against victim envy!

The end of the documentary comes as a shock. The narrative concludes as follows:

“Unless the world learns the lesson these pictures teach, night will fall.
But by God's Grace we will live, will learn.”

Perhaps the biggest drama is yet to come, because we didn't internalize in essence what made these horrors possible: not moral absolutism, but moral relativism; not hard facts, but the subjective denial of them; not reason, but contempt for it; not man as an individual, but his coining in groups; not the defense of the good, but the appeasment of evil: more of it might still be in store; that the millions of victims, and the last generation's defenders of freedom will have died in vain, is a horrible realization on US Memorial Day!

Read here how opinion and the freedom to vent it, are confused with denial of reality - whether the Holocaust happened is apparently a matter of personal taste! Where are the calls for land marks and memorial days, to be held in honor of the Victims of Collectivism, all 110 million of them? 

Where's the outrage over today's human sacrifices taking place in the Dar-al-Islam, Cuba and Kathmandu, to name but a few crisis spots? Thrown under the bus of Pragmatism in the name of the false idealism no one thinks worth fighting for, beyond gratuitously taking the streets to protest those governments that take freedom seriously.

Watching the blank faces of the villagers in complete denial of the pits of hell that were erected just outside their chocolate box villages, the SS men and women as they are confronted with the mass graves and the wretches that survived their evil works, one cannot help wondering, what made these people condone and commit these horrendous acts? Wasn't Germany supposed to be the most educated, most cultured and most sophisticated country in Europe?

The answer is, it was the ideas in their heads that made them do it. This is how vulnerable man is: stray from reality one inattentive moment and the descent into Hades ensues.

In the upcoming posts we will pursue the matter further. Here's Alfred Hitchcock's other “Psycho” (with a word of caution for those reluctant to face facts).


- "Triumph of the Will", a propaganda film directed by German artist and photographer, Leni Riefenstahl featuring the 1934 Nazi rally at Nurnberg.

- To be continued to Part II: "Blueprint for Paradise"

- Filed on Articles in "The Dystopia of Paradise" -

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Coup of State on the Economy in Perspective

In America the organizations who are helping us getting our human heads around the unprecedented, astronomical figures involving the various economic stimuli, are the Tea Party Movement (sites here and here) and Stop Spending our Future.

The latter has published following information in helping us reducing it all to a more or less human scale: fasten seat belts for this one!

In the Netherlands the movement to watch is Stop het Potverteren/Kind van de Rekening, initiated by Cindy Schneider. Keep an eye on the Manifestatie tab for planned demos in The Hague.

Don't forget to sign the available petitions, for what that is worth.

Suggestions and tips are invited from all over the globe! Do let us know what's happening in your corner!

Our children and grandchildren will be lumbered from birth with unprecendented national debts. What will that make them? The empowered generations to ensure the spread of universalism, individual rights, prosperity and liberty around the globe ... or the opposite?

What do you think?

- Filed on Articles in "Economy and Monetary File" - 

Banned From Britain

The policies of Britain's Labour Government Home Secretary Jacqui 'Jackboot' Smith, decreeing who's welcome into the country and who's banned from it, are getting more erratic and haphazard by the day. In an attempt to glean some kind of pattern from issued barring communiques, the Philadelphia-born author Carol Gould - blogging on Pajamas - is making an effort to chart the hate-mongers and demagogues who are already infesting the once great island nation:

(...) there are scores of extremists spouting loathsome views in every corner of the country. Aside from the fact that England was the location for the very first European blood libel and expulsion of Jews after the York Massacre, the stomping ground of the neo-Nazi Dowager Lady Birdwood and Oswald Mosley, not to mention the birthplace of Holocaust denier David Irving, Britain has in recent years nurtured all manner of extremist.

Dr. Azzam al-Tamimi, whom I witnessed rousing an audience of young Muslims to chants of “Jihad!” at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and who has expressed a desire to be a martyr, was used as a “series advisor” by the BBC on The Power of Nightmares, a BAFTA award-winning series by Adam Curtis about the foolishness of the war on terror. By the same token, and as Michael Savage has said as this story unfolds, Britain is also the home of the Magna Carta. Lest one forget Winston Churchill, who stood alone against the Third Reich in the Wilderness Years. (...) >>>

But the posting sets off with a juicy bit about the Labour Secretary drawing attention to her and her husband's inability to distinguish the personal from the business of ruling on immigration policies:

“Jacqui Smith has been embroiled in a scandal involving the purchase by her husband of pornographic films; the media have grabbed onto this story with glee because it is an engaging distraction from the horrendous credit crisis and other world calamities. Because the films were acquired on an expense account, she promised to repay the government. 

Back in March she had been accused of double-charging said government for her accommodation; this story, which also related to other politicians, dominated the news cycle for several weeks. Unfortunately Jacqui Smith seems unable to avoid being news because her very own men and women of Scotland Yard (the British Home Office has governance over the police force) have come under unprecedented fire over beatings and even one fatality at the April G20 protests (...)” >>>

Dutch Islam critic Geert Wilders MP - and therefore judged a rabble rousing racist by the politically correct cohorts - just recently found himself barred from entering Britain and showing his short film “Fitna” on the invitation of the House of Lords. Yesterday he's announced he is planning to travel to London for the Court hearing of his appeal on July 9. 

Word has it, the Labour regime is increasingly embarrassed by their decision to block an EU member state parliamentarian from entering another. And so they should. But witness this week's published
index of “less than welcome individuals” they may be embarrassed, but remain unrepentant on principle. While the list does not contain any Europeans (let alone MPs or MEPs), what to make of the Jackboot's decision to put the US radio talk show host Michael Savage on Britain's index of nefarious hate mongers?

The man doesn't suffer fools gladly (which happens to be the reason he's popular), but to single him out as a clear and present danger to non-existent “community harmony” borders the farcical! As one pundit had it, this is clearly a case of postmodernist racist equivalence, i.e. white, Christian 'padding' for the host of banned Islamic rage boys that are making up the remainder of the hate index.

Jill Putnam, in an open letter on the The People's Cube ads to the British buffoonery, sending it straight into the spheres of satire, where the entire episode clearly belongs if it weren't a clarion call for censorship of the opposition, appeasement in the face of terrorists and bullies, and tolerance of the intolerant! Enjoy ...

The People's Cube: “I want To Be Banned From England Like Michael Savage”

(...) I'll never understand why we broke away from Great Britain and am so grateful to Jackboot Jacqui Smith who, along with Dear Leader Obama, will correct the mistake (...) >>>

And here's Savage's furious response, with the threat of dropping a legal bomb shell in Britain.

- Filed on Articles in "In Defense of Liberty" -

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

What They Don't Teach in School and the Media Won't Tell

On Labor Day 2009, when discerning Leftists are removing themselves as far as possible from the original red folklore dating back to 1889, it is perhaps a good opportunity to expunge a few political fairy tales.

Of course Leftism has not ceased to exist: it has taken distance from the “Cuban jackboot” as some Dutch Social Democrat just expressed it - epitomizing duplicity, and the use of terror against its own people as part of 'Socialist theory' - it has reinvented itself and taken on the Postmodernism mask, a guise few as yet are able to recognize for what it is.
But the time of the classical Left versus Right alignment in politics is well and truly over! In fact, it never existed in the way most observers understood it.

Ever since Europe at the beginning of the last century was confronted with a false dilemma, the choice between either Fascism or Socialism, people have been misled by Rightist and Leftist ideologies that are together responsible for the loss of over 110 million souls - and counting.

What was cleverly and purposely left out of that equation was Liberty. Then - as today - the “capitalist system” is said to have failed. But Liberty is unlike any other political and social system: not only has it lifted humanity out of poverty and enslavement, it is also our birth right! As such to speak of a mere 'system', hardly defines the width and depth of the underlying philosophical principles.

To explode yet another myth, the political domain of Liberty is not situated roughly somewhere between the extremes of the Left and the Right. Both Left and Right deal in collectives: either social or economic class, or ethnic, cultural or religious groups. Liberty - the home of individual rights - is situated at the opposing end of that spectrum, standing firm for true universal equality of all individuals, irrespective to which group one 'belongs'.

Liberty is a corollary of the inalienable rights bestowed upon man by God or by nature. Rights are not generously shared out (or forfeited) by the State for good or bad behavior, but are inherent in the nature of humans as rational beings (this is why collectivists like to deny the existence of reason itself (“just a Western social construct,” or hold that man on the contrary, is a creature of passion).

Collectivists may spun fairy-tales of their hives having a 'living group soul', assuredly a collective - the modern equivalent of the totalitarian tribe - has neither a mind nor a brain, let alone a soul. That is the prerogative of creatures with self consciousness.

Rather than being on the Left or Right side of the political spectrum, the relevant question politicians ought to answer is, do you unconditionally uphold the freedoms of the individual, or should they submit to the will of the collective? In other words, do you swear to uphold the negative rights that represent the narrow boundaries within which the State may act? President Obama would beg to differ, but it's the positive rights of the 'nanny state' that are the velvet chains by which Governments secretly re-shackle the citizens to their collective.

The current Government interventions in the financial systems might well represent a coup toward a new, Pragmatist form of transnational collectivism, and whether it is Left, Right or center, is frankly immaterial. The difference between Hitler and Marx is the collective of choice: ethnic Socialism versus world Socialism.

Most politicians these days subscribe to Pragmatism. It is a basically amoral, relativist philosophy in that it does not recognize any 'right' or 'wrong' way per se of taking care of business: what counts is the expedient in relation to a specific case, in this particular moment in time. To whose and what end we can only guess: this type of politician seldom specifies anything beyond vacuous sound waves like “Change” and “Yes, we can,” the precise meaning of which is in the eye of the beholder.

The result is a cacophony of cognitive dissonance and an ideological hotchpotch in which we find the unpalatable, putrefied remains of the Communist command economy, as well as elements of free market capitalism, all held together by ligaments that have more in common with corporate Fascism than anything else.

The financial sector especially finds itself in a Fascist limbo: not altogether nationalized, but up for commandeering whenever the State sees fit - on behalf of the tax payer, of course, who wasn't asked for his opinion to begin with. It's back to the future once again: the financial sector may well end up like one of these obsolete utilities we just got rid of.

Related, recently diagnosed by Dr Sanity:

- "Capitalism and the Culture War Being Waged Against It"
- "The Nub of the Crux of the Gist of the Problem"
- "Liberal Amnesia = Hysterical Amnesia"

- Filed on Articles in “The Case for Neo Communism” -

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