I have put up a "Thanksgiving" edition of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Thanksgiving is of course a continuation of traditional harvest festivals. Human beings have always joyously celebrated a successful harvest and given thanks to their Gods for it. It takes the hate-filled modern-day Left to find any fault with that.
More on the emotional difference between Leftists and Rightists
What Thanksgiving has in common with Eton College!
A few days ago, I put up a post which characterized Leftism as the politics of rage. But all I said about conservatives was that they are cautious. But caution is not really an emotion. It is a disposition and some emotions have to go with that but I think I should say a little more about what those emotions are.
What I did mention is that conservatives are always shown in research as being happier than Leftists and that leads into what I think is important. Because conservatives are NOT full of rage, they feel free to enjoy whatever is around them. And one of the great satisfactions in human life is fellowship: Feeling part of a group of people whom you like or respect. So instead of screaming "racism" at every sign of group loyalty, conservatives can simply enjoy their group loyalties. They are untroubled patriots, for instance.
So American conservatives can feel warm inside to be Americans and they can greatly value the fellowship they find in their church. And where conservatives diverge most strongly from Leftists is that they can also feel a sense of fellowship and belonging with their ancestors and forebears. We often see this very strongly expressed among American conservatives when they talk about the "Founders" of the nation and the wisdom the founders bequeathed in the Constitution etc. And such thoughts are of course often to the fore on Thanksgiving day.
And another common expression of solidarity with the past is of course the great respect that conservatives pay to those who have died in war in the service of their nation. In my country, Australia, that day of remembrance (which we call Anzac day) is our only really solemn national occasion. Leftists have tried to laugh at it from time to time but it goes from strength to strength, with young people as well as old participating in the services of remembrance.
And there is no doubt that the army is always one of the most solidly conservative body of people that exists in any community. And the degree of fellowship in the army must be very close to maximal. If you pass a member of your old army unit in the street, you always stop to say a few words at least. There is a lasting bond between men who have fought together that outsiders can only dimly understand. My time in the Australian army was most undistinguished (though very fondly remembered) but I was an army psychologist so perhaps I have a little more awareness of what the army is about than most. I am certainly pleased to say that I have worn my country's uniform.
All these sorts of fellowship that conservatives feel are generally felt pretty strongly. There is often a swelling of pride and gratitude associated with such feelings. And the poor sad old Leftist is basically left out of all that. Their hate and rage bars them from feeling some of the most basic human emotions.
And I now want to give a vivid example of that: Something that Leftists will hate viscerally but which most conservatives should understand and enjoy. I reproduce below the Eton Boat Song. Eton is of course Britain's most elite school and British private schools are famous for fostering a sense of fellowship among their pupils. And you will see that vividly below. Listen to the music as you read the words and I will add a few comments afterwards. The song refers of course to competitive rowing regattas:
Jolly boating weather,
And a hay harvest breeze,
Blade on the feather,
Shade off the trees;
Swing, swing together,
With your bodies between your knees.
Rugby may be more clever,
Harrow may make more row:
But we'll row forever,
Steady from stroke to bow,
And nothing in life shall sever
The chain that is round us now.
Others will fill our places,
Dressed in the old light blue;
We'll recollect our races,
We'll to the flag be true;
And youth will be still in our faces
When we cheer for an Eton crew.
Twenty years hence this weather
May tempt us from office stools:
We may be slow on the feather,
And seem to the boys old fools:
But we'll still swing together,
And swear by the best of schools.
I went to a totally undistinguished school in a small Australian country town but that song does tend to bring a tear to my eyes. It is a powerful expression of being part of something bigger and better, and something that transcends time. I hope some of my readers get that powerful feeling too.
And note that is also a humble song. It talks of pride in a great identity but without any thought of dominating others -- which is the Leftist preoccupation. It talks of the singers as being "old fools" sitting on "office stools". There is no Fascist aggression there at all. In characteristically English style, it actually spends quite a lot of time talking about the weather! No egotistical "Tomorrow belongs to me", "We are the people we have been waiting for" or "Yes we can" there.
Yet it is a song that expressed a powerful feeling. British officers in World War I were known to go "over the top" in the dreadful charges of that war singing the Eton Boat song. That to me is a sort of nobility which I know that no Leftist egotist will ever understand.
Leftists do of course still have the normal human need for fellowship so when they do at last find an outlet for it that passes muster with them we get the completely over the top hysteria of Fascism, Nazism or Obama-worship. (Anybody who has been conned into believing that the National Socialist Hitler and the Marxist Mussolini were Rightists should read here and here)
Note: The above is a slightly expanded version of the original post
45 Years for a Joke: "If I did not laugh I should die," Abraham Lincoln once remarked. It's a concept the people of Burma understand well. One of their most famous celebrities is a comedian known for his antiregime jokes who goes by the name Zarganar, or "Tweezers." The junta that rules the country, however, doesn't appreciate Zarganar's sense of humor. Last week, he was sentenced to 45 years in jail for using the Internet to spread "disaffection" toward the government. Translation: laughing at your leaders can be a crime. More than 2,000 political prisoners are in jail in Burma, nearly double last year's number, according to human-rights workers. Zarganar is one of about 100 pro-democracy activists, monks, lawyers and entertainers who have been sentenced this month. The harshest sentences have gone to monks who helped organize the Saffron Rebellion last year, but no one has gotten off light -- one antigovernment blogger got 20 years."
Will Obama rein in America's farm stupidity? "Barack Obama yesterday introduced his new White House budget director, Peter Orszag, vowing to conduct a "line by line" review of the federal fisc. Most incoming chief executives promise that sort of thing. But here's a detail that really caught our eye: As part of his plan to kill government programs "that have outlived their usefulness," the President-elect singled out farm subsidies for the rich. If he really means it, this would be big news. Mr. Obama cited a recent Government Accountability Office report that found that of the 1.8 million people receiving farm payments from 2003 to 2006, nearly 3,000 had incomes above $2.5 million, which ought to make them ineligible for aid. Nevertheless, they cashed in to the tune of some $49 million. Having written 40,000 or so editorials against this corporate welfare over the years, we'd love to see a Democrat join the fight."
Liberalism = Genius? : "If there is a dreadfully overused word in the giddy countdown to the Obama inauguration, it is "smart." Not just "smart," but also its stronger cousins like "brilliant" and "genius." These words have been offered shamelessly for nearly every person assigned a role by President-Elect Obama. They are assembling an "all-star cabinet." This was not an honor for those having attended all the right schools, but a tribute to people who have all the "right" ideas. Liberals are smart because they're liberals. Conservative beliefs are honed from having been dropped on your head as an infant."
Google feeling the pinch (great to hear): "The company is is cutting back its workforce - although not the permanent staff. Instead, it is reducing its 10,000-strong army of contractors, who are not entitled to the same benefits as full-time employees. A spokesman for Google said: "We have been thinking for some time, before the acute phase of the economic crisis, about significantly reducing the number of contract workers." The contract staff, who are easier to shed, amount to about a third of Google's workforce and include not only programmers but service staff, such as canteen workers and campus bus drivers. As yet, the company will not specify how many will go as it tries to cut a cost base that hit $3.9 billion in the three months to September 30. "
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)