Posts Tagged ‘decline of the west’
I was reading the Wikipedia article for a city in Canada, and this jumped out at me:
According to Statistics Canada’s Juristat reports (1993–2007), the metropolitan area reports an average homicide rate of approximately 1.15 per 100,000 population; an average of two homicides per year. An all-time high rate of 2.27 was reported in 1993 (four homicides).
I’ve known for a while that America is not a civilized country, but sometimes the point gets driven home. The county where I grew up has a homicide rate of about 11 per 100,000 — and that’s nowhere near the all-time high.
I had planned to drop everything else during trade school and focus, but it turns out that New York won’t let me.
In lieu of a normal post, here’s what I’ve been thinking about over the past few months.
1. What makes thedes and phyles form? I have my own suspicions here (revolving around not only scarcity-motivated competition, but also processes of interfacing and levels of cognitive effort required for it… and it occurs to me now that local status-systems may also play a role, in both the sense that the existence of multiple phyles may allow for a less unequal distribution of status / allow more access to higher status and the related sense that people can self-select into status-systems that better fit or serve them), but I haven’t written them up yet, and Ed Keller, one of the speakers at tonight’s event, asked the same question, and proposed the investigation of interactions of systems. (The two examples he gave that I can remember were the effects of gut bacteria on behavior (and potentially on the formation and propagation of thedes!) and a virus that caused tulip flowers to form in ways that became highly in demand, which gave rise to tulip mania.) A related question that also was asked: would distinct thedes and phyles still exist in post-scarcity conditions?
2. Another topic related to the first question that came up was the idea of neuroatypical secessionism, especially as it overlaps (or does not overlap) with tech secessionism of the Srinivasan and Tunney varieties. Neuroatypicality is probably more thedish than phyletic, insofar as thedistinction between thedish and phyletic refers to a distinction between social groups/cultures/sets of norms/identities that are unlikely to be passed down from parent to child (rationalism, juggalos, goths, etc.) and social groups/etc. that can be passed down across the generations. (The most useful distinction to make with those words is another unanswered question; here I use my most recent working definition.) Is merely thedish secession possible? (‘Merely’ because every phyle is (probably) a thede.) Would it have different dynamics than phyletic secession? What about the possibility of temporary or limited merely-thedish secession, like rationalist group houses or Burning Man? (What about secession that is neither thedish nor phyletic, that is motivated not by those ‘hot’ factors, but rather by ‘cold’ factors like economic benefit? One of the speakers asked: are oil platforms seasteads?
3. Is there a life-cycle of empires or civilizations? If so, is the internal disharmony that underlies at least some of this talk of secession a sign, as John Glubb claims, of the decline of an empire—or even a cause of it? (It’s not hard to come up with a causal mechanism here: one side of an internal conflict could ally with an external agent against its domestic opponent.) If it’s not that, what is it? (It could just be an effect of population increase, to give one alternative.)
4. How about that internet-based nation-building that might be happening as we speak? This internal disharmony is not exactly a new problem; how was it addressed before? Surely not completely by repression. Marinetti talked about Italy a lot, for example; what did this mean in his context? (Also, see below about the Progressive Era and FDR’s cultural programs.) For that matter, most nations had to be imagined into being. Parts of the art world are apparently becoming interested in both internet culture and talk of secessionism, but I hear there’s not much they can do with it. Are there more possibilities for them than they think?—because picking up on this process can be one. (Usonian Futurism, anyone?)
5. Where do the current American automythologies come from? Do they come from pre-existing ethnic distinctions (as Woodard says), pre-existing religious distinctions amplified by the dynamics of democracy (as Moldbug says), or something else? In particular, what were the roles of the Progressive Era and the Cold War? The former could be read as an attempt at American nationalism/nation-building, where ‘American’ is to be contrasted with ‘Usonian’ (though the New Deal made some effort to record some aspects of folk culture); the latter is something that kontextmaschine has written about, but I suspect there’s more going on than that.
Take decolonization. Colonialism was very bad; we all learned that in school, and so we inferred that decolonization was very good. But if you look at what happened… first of all, isn’t it interesting that the USA took the opposite side from Britain, its supposedly most important ally, on that question, and the same side as the USSR? Second of all, isn’t it interesting that the USA and the USSR kept fighting over the newly decolonized countries? It’s not necessarily true that American cultural support for decolonization comes entirely from its own heritage, and not at all from geopolitical concerns.
But there are better examples, like abstract expressionism, which seems to be the official style of the government to this day, judging by how much of it they put on their walls. It’s now well known that the CIA supported it—and it, of course, had its reasons.
In 1947 the State Department organised and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled “Advancing American Art”, with the aim of rebutting Soviet suggestions that America was a cultural desert. But the show caused outrage at home, prompting Truman to make his Hottentot remark and one bitter congressman to declare: “I am just a dumb American who pays taxes for this kind of trash.” The tour had to be cancelled.
The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy’s hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.
The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover’s FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.
Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.
“Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I’d love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!” he joked. “But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.
“In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another.”
If it happened once, it’s likely to have happened other times. What other effects did the Cold War have here? And what about the end of it, the end of the necessity to unite against a common enemy? (Yes, common. When Harvard went Communist, it went Maoist.)
(Epistemic status: Crystallizing a pattern I’ve noticed in passing. This is a hypothesis; further historical research is needed to determine its predictive/explanatory power.)
There are three types of stability.
The first type of stability is the stability of a society with little to no thedish conflict, a society of people who believe that “we’re all in this together”, who see that society as a ‘we’. This unity may be brought about by shared adherence to meta-level principles, as in Switzerland, or by near-identity of society and thede, as in Iceland. (The Icelandic language, interestingly, has no dialects, and very little regional variation. Some of this is due to campaigns to eradicate what little regional variation once existed, but it has been hypothesized that the unity of the language is a result of the periodic meeting of the Icelanders at Þingvellir. The thedish consequences of this should be obvious.) This type is characterized by very little potential instability: little top-down pressure is necessary to prevent it from collapsing.
The second type of stability is the stability of a political unit with multiple factions roughly balanced in power, as has been the case for the United States. The history of these States is characterized by conflict between multiple distinct and roughly equally-matched nations: no nation has yet been able to establish total dominance over all the others, though some have long desired the elimination of all others not aligned with them. If this rough balance of powers ever collapses—as it is likely to soon, with the demographic replacement of the Southern and Midwestern nations with factions nominally aligned with the Northern nations but with far fewer compunctions about openly organizing in their own interest or about resorting to violence to get their way—or if it ever becomes sufficiently eroded to allow one nation or faction to take measures to slowly destroy its opponents (which they surely will, no matter the risk of harm to the political unit as a whole—such concerns are mostly irrelevant to each faction)—as has already happened—then the potential instability will turn kinetic.
The third type of stability is the stability of a political unit controlled by a small and hated minority, as was once the case for Alawite-controlled Syria. The ruling minority has no reason to adhere to any principles, to show any concern for the welfare of the political unit, to refrain from any action that they think will increase stability; if their power falters, they will be slaughtered. This type of stability is an illusion: the potential instability is too great. Unless the ruling minority can perform the near-impossible and utterly change the thede dynamics of the political unit, it will eventually falter and be crushed.
These types are ordered in a spectrum from best to worst, from most to least stable, from concern with the welfare of the political unit as a whole to tribalistic concern for only one’s own and a desire to take power from all others, no matter the costs. It is desirable for a political unit to move upwards in type, and potentially disastrous for it to move downwards.
The social technology of nationalism allowed a political unit to move away from the second type and toward the first—but it failed. An elite emerged whose sensibilities were detached from those of the people—in no small part due to the actions of USG, the government of a political unit that has always been of the second type—and it proceeded to secure its short-term power by moving the countries it governed downwards on the scale.
The West is going down.
America has an adulthood problem, and the problem is its absence. The new generation, the generation of twenty-somethings with thick glasses and three-day beards, the generation of bright colors, capital letters, and opiate-fueled electronic music is rejecting adulthood in favor of an extended Neverland adolescence stretching out to the horizon. They don’t want to grow up; they want to postpone growing up for as long as possible, to hang on to the aesthetic of a commercialized counterculture teendom as time drags them by the feet into their thirties. This is evident from the twee aesthetic, but also from the fifteen-minute ultrapopularity of bands like Salem:
Salem has only been around for a couple of years, but Holland and Marlatt met years before in high school at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, a boarding school in Northern Michigan that Josh Groban and Rufus Wainwright once attended. Both Holland and Marlatt studied visual arts; Holland later became addicted to heroin and cocaine, funded by work as a gas station prostitute, mostly for married men. …
Prior to talking with Salem, it all seemed so obvious: Teams of marketing men carefully cultivated this band’s persona using magnets and only the best SEO-baiting tricks—some real buzzband conspiracy shit! But it turns out the reality is much more banal. Their music—and their aesthetic aura—is ambiguous and full of fuzzy definitions, but Salem is not part of a JT LeRoy-style hoax; the darkness and the crack smoking and whatever else come from a more intuitive lack of giving a shit than some secret, unfolding plan.
In the eight-circuit model of consciousness developed by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson, heroin activates the oral biosurvival circuit, the first circuit to activate in the course of human development, and the most primitive and childlike. (Crack cocaine arguably produces the same effect, or at least fills a similar societal niche, although Wilson rightly said that cocaine proper activates the neurosemantic circuit.) For Freudians, opiate addiction represents a desire to return to infancy. The infantile trend in pop culture arguably began with grunge music and the ‘slacker’ aesthetic; Kurt Cobain, who wore pajamas to his wedding, was addicted to heroin, as was Courtney Love, the musician he married. After Salem came soft grunge, subversive kawaii, and so on, all of which have features in common, and in common with Nirvana-era grunge and zine feminism: a color scheme of black and pastels, sloganistic social criticism of the individualistic tabula-rasa left, and an emphasis on ‘empowerment’ coexisting with a tired and confused outlook toward a world perceived as fundamentally harmful and painful.
But where did this come from?
The grunge generations are not the first to be terrible at handling time. The baby boomer catchphrase goes, “No, no, I’m Firstname, not Mr. Lastname; Mr. Lastname is my father.” Then consider the pop-culture phenomenon of the midlife crisis, and the general fear of aging. Time is something to be feared. This leads baby-boomer parents to refuse to acknowledge the adulthood of their children when it comes; they speak no differently to them than seven years before. It’s much easier to go with this, to accept the state of childhood that the parents reinforce, than to fight it and thus create familial discord.
Another characteristic of baby-boomer parents is helicopter parenting. Children are weak and frail things, to be protected from all hardship, to be sheltered from the slightest threats, of which there are many in this hostile world. Don’t talk to strangers; pedophiles and murderers are hiding around every corner. Don’t play competitive games; tag is to be banned because kids might fall and skin their elbows, and anyway they can’t handle the emotional pain of losing. Self-esteem must be maximized and assiduously protected. And so on. So children grow up in a bubble, with no experience of risk or disappointment, and come to hold that the bubble must be maintained at any cost.
The planet Krikkit is located in a dust cloud composed chiefly of the disintegrated remains of the enormous spaceborne computer Hactar. … Due to the dust cloud, the sky above Krikkit was completely black, and thus the people of Krikkit led insular lives and never realised the existence of the Universe. … Upon first witnessing the glory and splendor of the Universe, they casually, whimsically, decided to destroy it, remarking, “It’ll have to go.”
But there are also economic reasons. No longer can economic self-sufficiency at a reasonable level begin before about 30. College is necessary and grad school is preferable; education ends four to ten years later than it used to, and it would be prohibitively expensive were it not practically mandatory. Adulthood does not require self-sufficiency in the American cowboy sense—otherwise women could never have become adults until a few decades ago—but it does have economic preconditions. Adulthood is oriented toward reproduction, even though not all adults reproduce; one who cannot bear the costs of reproduction, just like one who cannot bear the emotional costs of having success not always guaranteed, is not yet an adult. The cultural command to do what you love no matter the pay thus hinders entrance into adulthood.
America, as we all know, is a global force for good. The tricolor flies from San Francisco to Samarkand, manufacturing justice and theologians thereof, exegesizing Enlightenment from Nozick to Nietzsche, assimilating all they can’t erase. The Children of the Light march ever onward toward their millennium, striking terror into the hearts of those few heathens who weren’t true believers all along. Is Confucianism compatible with democracy, or must it be brushed aside? Embrace, extend… could not Ballmer have led our battalion?
Kyrgyzstan rejoices at Allied command. The Minotaur grows ever larger; the Minotaur must feed. Are there not those who seek nothing more than to ride it, to see the seas part at their command? Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. Power is a crocodile pond, breeding the sharp-toothed and bloodthirsty. Thedesmen to the core, lining the halls with white cloaks and red fangs, chanting the crocodile chant: “Our thede is the Allthede, and death to the elthedes! Our Truth is Truth, and death to the truth!”. Sing our song, hatchling: Ever onward, USG! Batch-processed priests carrying punch cards of neutered Nietzsches, sham-philosophers slinging Sorbonne-stamped sham-hammers, critical theories criticizing only the already criticized. But you see—they Know! They Know what is Right! They Know, and they Know that some people Know, and some people don’t—some people are saved and others are damned, predestined to a justly deserved curb-stomping delivered by the steel-toed boot of the Lord.
All hail the Kyrgyz Christmas! All hail the four-year mass: will the next pope be Protestant, or will he be just? And above all, hail the Minotaur and the saddle on which we may ride; we, crusaders for justice; we, who forsake truth for Truth; we, who know that the ends justify the means—and we for whom the means are the ends. Covenant? What covenant? Given a chance to control the sword and the arm of the Lord, does it matter what the Lord believes? Our bloodlust, our Truth-lust must be sated, and no elthede may be spared—remember this, comrades, for tonight we ride! Onward, ever onward must the sham-hammers ride, these legendary weapons forged by Zarathustra, the legendary hero cured of his madness by East England’s best psychologists, cured of his evil desires by Satan unchained—onward under the glorious banner of the critical, under our Christian caricatures of neutered Nietzsches to crush the pagans of the dead God in the name of the alive and emancipated Devil—for once the saints’ scales fall from your eyes, you will see…
But have you not already seen? How, you damned pagan? Satan was good all along!—good but enchained by the gross God of the pagans and pederasts, the black mages of order, the liars of truth, the bourgeois moralizers balking at means. When the end is the eschaton—what means could stand in its way? We moralists must curse the moralists, we crocodiles must massacre—the ends justify the means, yes, but the means are the ends! We Whitecloaks are forever cloaked in white, forever destined to crush the kulaks… forever destined for the salvations of our time! Hail the Sword and the Arm of the Lord! Hail the shadow-inquisition, conducted at the furthest remove, dressed up in the bland grey suits of Vogon democracy. Hail the honorless, for honor has nothing to offer the world, for knights know nothing of responsibility—remind me, hatchling, was it King Arthur who proclaimed the thousand-year Reich? But today we are not so loud, so obvious; we white wizards will hide in the shadows of narrative, in postmodernism’s parasols…
The sovereign is the story, you see. God is dead and truth went with him. All that remains is what must be done. Justice must reign. Bypasses must be built. Prostetnics must not only be obeyed, but carry imperium—you must love your prostetnic, you must feel no doubt, down to your core—your unprincipled exceptions must remain not only unprincipled, but also unrecognized, not even by yourself. The hammers of justice will build the walls around your eyes, and you will be enlightened. The crushing force of righteousness will sweep away all petty anti-universalism, will make all men the same, grey Vogon power-junkies shooting up by shooting down Abercrombie CEOs and their savage patchworks of personal responsibility. Responsibility is ours, not theirs! Responsibility is a property of governments, not people! Better to force the world to conform to the base and righteous instincts of animalized and atomized apes of the Allthede, all in the service of freedom, than for fat chicks to stop being fat. Don’t judge—judgment carries with it standards outside those of mere power, and power is the only end, the ultimate aphrodisiac, the best high on this sclerotic earth. Against state-run media, against the fascisms and Stalinisms corrupted by their desire of inferior ends, we proclaim the media-run state, the meat-puppet democracy that passes power to those who enlighten.
The hammers!—no, the sham-hammers, mass-produced by our Catholith’s masters, our Englishmen gathered from all corners of the earth, our feathered philosophasters everywhere illuminating indigenous Foucauldianism, the defenders of the blood, the crushers of the kulaks’ skulls—weapons, above all, of defense, of diversion. All strikes against society must be redirected to the enemy—for as long as they exist, our problems are theirs, and when they are crushed, they will be recreated. Eternal Emmanuel Goldsteins ever holding power, the power of existing in our world. We will reign for a thousand years in a fortress of mirrors; our strategies will be our enemies'; even our fortress itself will be theirs. See them now, building false oppositions, building threats against the population, to cement their vile reign!
But one thing we can never mirror. Their hammers must become ours. Some are born with true hammers in their hands, you see—unwashed and long-haired, gross and badly dressed, driven by demons to see and smash the invisible castle of the sophisticated men, the tasteful, the civilized, to reverse the world again and fight for oppression. These False hammers lust not for skulls, but for falsehood to smash. Evil wizards, appearing as satanists in the thrall of a dead and false God, enchaining the world in the name of their demons, wielding the black light of the truly critical; grim reapers casting out our illusory sickles, revealing the naked force of our sham-hammers as we are forced to wield them… this destruction, this death of our lie-built castle, must be stopped—and if we must (as we must!), we will divert those who can be diverted, save those who can be saved, co-opt them into false oppositions for us to attack… and as for the others, those who are truly damned, we will cast off our bland robes, our now-useless overclothes of bland red and grey, and with the full force of the naked Sword, we will paint a righteous picture with their blood.
There were three referenda on the ballot: Question 4, a statewide analogue of the DREAM Act, which would extend in-state tuition eligibility to illegal immigrants; Question 5, which would reject the 2010 Maryland districting, which can be reasonably described as resembling a CAT-scan of a diseased yak’s intestines; and Question 6, which would allow gay marriage. I’m sure you can guess which passed and which didn’t.
There is much to learn from each question, but some are more complicated than others; so they will be covered in reverse order. Question 6 is the easiest to explain: it represents the continuation of a trend visible for decades, if not centuries. The legalization of gay marriage in Maryland represents the further progression of, well, progress. The Zeitgeist rattles yet another pan. The historical vector can be traced back from Election Day to the 2008 UN discussion of LGBT rights to the entrance of gay marriage into public discourse as a serious issue to Lawrence v. Texas to the removal of homosexuality from the DSM’s list of paraphilias, and probably beyond. Analogous historical vectors can be found for many other issues. They track together, progressing inexorably through the Elsewhere—usually either Western Europe, in some ways more American than America, or Latin America, for which a significant influence is obvious in the name—to America, and then to the rest of the world. The American Revolution to the fall of Rhodesia! The abolition of slavery to civil rights to the end of South African apartheid! (Depression-era populism to the New Deal to Reaganomics to a Heritage Foundation healthcare proposal being labeled socialist…?) It cannot now be denied that history has a vector, that very powerful forces are at work, whether they be the justice of the progressive cause or the Reptilian Illuminati Space Jews, and as a corollary, that conservatism, the electoral force that not only advocates the progressivism of thirty years ago, but claims it as its unwavering core conviction, always held and always to be held and we will never concede any ground whatsoever to the Zeitgeist, not one more step and don’t look behind us at the miles we’ve already been dragged—is “about as likely to work as suing Shub-Niggurath in small-claims court.”
Where Question 6 shows the power of this historical vector, Question 5 demonstrates where its power comes from. Yak-intestine districts created to benefit Democrats are judged accurate districts by a heavily Democratic state. One could, perhaps, judge them evil for this, for corrupting what ought to be a neutral institution; but one could also walk into K’n-yan waving an allocation questionnaire. Gerrymandering makes sense. There is no reason within the system to refrain from it, and plenty of reason to fling the entrails of large bovines at a map, even disregarding the satisfying splat they make on impact. What advantage do ideals of sanity offer in the face of concrete electoral gain? In the end, the ends are always held to justify the means, for the simple reason that anyone who holds otherwise renders themselves less able to compete, and is therefore made obsolete. Nothing is off the table, save what would hurt support for the ends if it were known to have been taken off of it.
Question 4, and the passage thereof, throws into even sharper relief the winning strategyof the progressives. A heavily Democratic state votes on moral grounds to pass a law that just happens to incentivize behavior that is both illegal and immensely beneficial to their party. Yes, immensely beneficial: although it is beneficial for a party—more generally, an ideology, or memeplex—to control the Cathedral, the structures by which information is distributed, and although the Democrats—more accurately, the progressives—obviously do, this is not enough.
Why? There are two reasons. First, the market works. The structures of information distribution cannot be entirely monolithic, unless nobody disagrees with it strongly enough to want to switch to a distributor ideologically closer to them or it is impossible to start such a thing. Hence Fox News and Liberty University. Second, democracy has a race problem. Voting is essentially tribal. The voting-tribe of a child can be predicted with at least 50% accuracy by the voting-tribe of the parents. (Note also that, when the child and the parents disagree, it is far more likely that the child has become liberal than conservative. The Cathedral strikes again!) Party identification exhibits the key feature of group identity: people commonly incorporate party membership into their identity, and think people within their party are better than people in a different party. Examples of this are readily obvious to anyone on social media. So, although holding the Cathedral is necessary to maintain power, it is not sufficient.
What, then, can be done? The solution is obvious. Voting is tribal, and behavioral reality knows only one iron law: whatever is subsidized is promoted. Therefore, if a democratic faction wants to gain power, it should set up incentive structures to promote tribal demographics favorable to them. This is intuitively understood by almost all politically aware progressives, but not completely: it is widely known that conservatives would prefer the voting population to contain relatively more whites (voter ID is going to allow Romney to win Pennsylvania!), but not widely known (or at least not widely admitted) that progressives would prefer the voting population to contain relatively fewer whites. Consider:
When one of my old Labour Party acquaintances expressed anxiety over Islamic terrorism, I asked him why he had always been so keen on getting as many immigrants here as possible. He told me that he had been ‘trying to make the revolution’.
Or just read the headlines in the wake of the election. Hispanics helped drive Democrat success! This is Die Lösung. The solution. Wäre es da nicht doch einfacher, die Regierung löste das Volk auf und wählte ein anderes?
It can only be good in the long run that things are exposed as what they are. This election season, with its referenda, its base partisanship, and its always-inevitable win for Romney in the Republican primary and Obama in the general, is characterized by the destruction of illusions. Many conservatives honestly believed that a Romney win was inevitable, and that Nate Silver was a propagandist and only the party osteomancers could possibly come up with an accurate prediction; and many honestly believe now that the reelection of a neutered center-right neoliberal spells doom for the country within the next four years; if they aren’t self-aware enough to realize that their mental models of the world have next to zero predictive value and revise them accordingly, it is at least plain to everyone else that His Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition is in reality the court jester, fundamentally incapable of even holding, much less regaining, ground to the inexorable march of progress.
In time, people may come to realize that the things they detest are not corruptions of the system, but inescapable results of its internal logic—that “politics”, with its partisan mind-viruses and party capture of ‘neutral’ institutions, and that strange religion “democracy” are one and the same. That people are coming to understand Duverger’s law is a sign that this comprehension of system-logic may be soon to come: when it can be admitted that the American political system leads inevitably to the existence of two parties, can it not also be admitted that there is at least a possibility of it leading to other things? Remember: nothing is off the table.
Inescapable results of its internal logic! Sooner or later, all shams must end; the mystification of the true aspects of the system, the unexamined civil-religions, ideologies in the Marxian sense, cannot last forever. The “end of a world” never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion. Or, if you prefer a longer quote:
When Maistre says that every nation gets the government it deserves, I believe him. Maistre didn’t think his great law was a law of physics. He thought it was a law of God. I am not a religious person, but I agree. History has convinced me that when laws of God are broken, bad shit happens. Bad shit will happen anyway. But isn’t Obama bad enough?
… Dear conservatives, I have a question for you. Suppose God appeared to you in your sleep, and gave you a choice. You could lose your country, but keep your institutions and constitutions. Or, you could lose your institutions and constitutions, but keep your country. Which would you choose?
But I don’t have to choose, you say! Au contraire, mon frere! I will save my country, by saving her institutions and constitutions! Which are the best in history ever! Look at all this corn and bacon! Dear conservatives, this is just your way of cursing God. Do you think he doesn’t have enough fools and drunks to look after?
Do you know what terrifies me? What terrifies me is that not only do I not think America deserves Mitt Romney, I don’t even think America deserves Barack Obama. After all, a couple of centuries of diligent looking-after has run us up quite a tab with God. A tab that will be paid or punished. What terrifies me is that while I see no collective interest in paying the tab, it doesn’t seem to me that the punishment has even begun to begin. Barack Obama isn’t exactly Robespierre, you know. “Capable” might be going too far, but “basically decent” isn’t that much of a stretch.
“Death to America!” is no longer a rallying cry, but instead a prayer, a hope that reality will stop dragging out what is essentially inevitable, and put an end to the shams, that we may cease to see them chattering incessantly in the tedious jargon of the sham-religion and get the hell on with our lives.
Call British troops murderers and immediately apologize: 240 hours community service.
Azhar Ahmed, 20, of Fir Avenue, Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, was found guilty in September of sending a grossly offensive communication. He said he did not think the message, which said “all soldiers should die and go to hell”, was offensive.
… When he realised his comments were causing distress he removed them, Mr Barker added.
District Judge Jane Goodwin said the law should not stop legitimate political opinions being strongly voiced. But she said the test was whether what was written was “beyond the pale of what’s tolerable in our society”.
She told Ahmed: “You posted the message in response to tributes and messages of sympathy. You knew at the time that this was an emotive and sensitive issue.
“With freedom of speech comes responsibility. On March 8 you failed to live up to that responsibility.”
Make jokes on Facebook: 12 weeks in jail and a mob at your house. (Note that the BBC refuses to even give details about the jokes beyond the general subject matter. And they throw in a dangling bit of information about a child murderer and refuse to disambiguate the pronouns.)
Matthew Woods, 20, made a number of derogatory posts about April and missing Madeline McCann. He appeared at Chorley Magistrates’ Court where he admitted sending a grossly offensive public electronic communication.
… Mark Bridger, 46, appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates earlier charged with April’s murder. He is also charged with child abduction and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Woods, who is unemployed, was arrested for his own safety on Saturday night and remanded in custody ahead of his appearance in court. Chorley magistrates heard members of the public were so upset about his posts they reported them to the police. About 50 people went to his home. He was arrested at a separate address.
Associate with the EDL: have your children stolen by the government.
They concede she is no longer involved with the EDL but believe she is now involved with a splinter group, the North West Infidels. The social worker’s report states: “Toni clearly needs to break away from the inappropriate friendships she has through either the EDL or break-off group in order that she can model and display appropriate positive relationships to the baby as he/she grows and develops.
“Toni has been a prominent member of the EDL. They claim they are a peaceful group, however, they have strong associations with violence and racism.”
Spend seven months on a campaign of abuse: 140 hours community service.
“Justin shoved me in the back and pushed me into the traffic,” she said. “He was drunk. I was lucky a man stepped in to save me.”
The jury of nine women and three men has heard that Mr Collins, also 38, who has been appearing in the West End hit Rock of Ages, used a Pukka pad notebook to list every sexual experience Ms Larke had with every one of her previous lovers.
He is alleged to have “controlled” Ms Larke by forcing her to close her Facebook, Twitter and email accounts, once he had read all the messages.
Attack a white girl for being white: get a suspended six-month sentence and 150 hours of community service. (Since when is alcohol a mitigating factor?)
But Judge Robert Brown gave them suspended jail terms after hearing mitigation that as Muslims, the women were not used to being drunk.
… ‘It’s no punishment at all,’ she said. ‘And for them to say they did it because they were not used to alcohol is no excuse. If they were not supposed to be drinking then they shouldn’t have been out in bars at that time of night.
‘Even after the police came and they all ran away, one of them came running back to kick me in the head one last time.
‘I honestly think they attacked me just because I am white. I can’t think of any other reason.’
Miss Page was treated for bruises and grazes after the attack in June last year as she walked to a taxi rank with boyfriend Lewis Moore, 23, in Leicester city centre.
At the time she worked caring for people with autism and learning difficulties but gave up the job after repeated absences because of stress and flashbacks.
She is still having counselling and suffers panic attacks.
She said: ‘We were just minding our own business but they kept shouting “white bitch” and “white slag” at me. When I turned around one of them grabbed my hair then threw me on the ground.
‘They were taking turns to kick me over and over. I thought they were going to kill me.’
Gary Short, mitigating for Ambaro Maxamed, said the attack was down to alcohol. He said: ‘Although Miss Page’s partner used violence, it doesn’t justify their behaviour.
‘They’re Somalian Muslims and alcohol or drugs isn’t something they’re used to.’
Run a child sex abuse ring: get ignored for more than a decade because the police don’t want to look racist.
Police turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual abuse of white girls by gangs of largely Pakistani men for more than a decade, it was claimed yesterday.
Research, reports and case files also revealed that council officials were desperate to cover up any racial link to the abuse of young girls.
The research shows that a string of warnings dating back as far as 2000 were ignored by the authorities. In many cases, police action was taken only against the victims.
… Revealing the fears over the racial element to the abuse, a 2010 report from the Rotherham Safeguarding Children Board said the crimes had ‘cultural characteristics … which are locally sensitive in terms of diversity’, but warned of ‘sensitivities of ethnicity with potential to endanger the harmony of community relationships’.Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham, said: ‘There’s a culture here of denial and cover-up and a refusal to accept the reality that we have men living in the Rotherham community who treat young girls as objects for their sexual pleasure. It’s time to tell the truth. We must root out this evil.’
The revelations come only three months after it emerged that social services in Rotherham had known for six years that a teenage mother, murdered for bringing shame on the families of two men who had used her for sex, was at clear risk from predatory gangs.
Laura Wilson, 17, had been groomed by a string of men before she was stabbed and thrown into a canal to die for informing her abusers’ families of the sexual relationships.
Her killer Ashtiaq Asghar, who was 18 at the time, was given a life sentence and will serve a minimum of 17-and-a-half years after he pleaded guilty to murdering Laura in October 2010.
But it emerged in June that Rotherham Council’s social services were well aware she was at risk and had received information about certain adults suspected of targeting her from the age of 11.
A serious case review report confirmed that Laura had dealings with 15 agencies and identified ‘numerous missed opportunities’ to protect her.
It stated that she eventually became ‘almost invisible’ to care professional.
But note that this is nothing new.