Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Trump has saved us -- temporarily? -- from a mental Gulag
A useful technique for anaesthetizing the individual citizen and rendering him compliant is the erasure of authentic historical knowledge. We’ve remarked the success of this approach in the U.S. with the “history from below” or “people’s history” movement, associated with Howard Zinn, and the foregrounding of a bowdlerized version of Islamic history in American schools.
Canada is no different. Eric McGeer, author of Words of Valediction and Remembrance: Canadian Epitaphs of the Second World War, writes: “In my last years of high school teaching I was increasingly infuriated and disgusted at the portrayal of Canada in the history textbooks assigned for use in our courses. There was no sense of gratitude in the textbooks, no empathy with the people of the past or an attempt to see them in their own terms, no sense of the effort people made to create one of the few truly liveable societies on earth.
You would have thought that this country was nothing more than a racist, bigoted, this or that-phobic hotbed. My first lesson involved taking the book and dropping it into the waste paper basket and advising the students to do the same.” The study of history, McGeer concludes, is nothing now but a progressive morality tale and a mechanism of social engineering. Sounds a lot like Title IX. Pride in one’s nation, its accomplishments and sacrifices, is contra-indicated. There is more than one way of burning the flag.
The center-right consensus that has characterized Western nations has been under attack for some considerable time as nation after nation in the once liberal West gravitates progressively leftward. Robert Conquest’s Second of his Three Laws of Politics states that “any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.” The consequence of Conquest’s Law is, inevitably, what Robert Michels in Political Parties called “The Iron Law of Oligarchy,” which formulates how democratic institutions tend to succumb to the rule of an elite—in our day, a progressivist camarilla that controls government policy and media outlets, and harnesses the energies of dissenting associations and cabals. In many countries, the democratic process has become or is on the road to becoming a mere formality.
The oligarchic agenda can be detected in the disastrous nationalization of the health care system; the decadence of an academy which indoctrinates rather than educates; the rise of destructive feminism and the feminization of the culture; the transgendering of everyday life—in Canada, for example, Bill C-16 has been tabled, making “gender expression” a prohibited ground of discrimination and potentially mandating non-binary pronouns such as zhi or hir, as is already the case in New York City where astronomical fines are levied for contravention; the special status ascribed to the incursions of anti-democratic Islam; the “abolition of the family,” as Marx and Engels urged in The Communist Manifesto; and the regulatory strangling of the free market economy and the conjoint attrition of the middle class.
Additionally, the leftist project is materially facilitated by the growing prevalence of kangaroo courts run by committed activists of every conceivable stripe and in which no provision whatsoever is made to assist those too often falsely accused of discrimination or being in violation of some obscure code or policy of sanctioned conduct. The judgments handed down against those who have offended the sensibilities of favored identity groups will often involve harshly punitive forms of retribution that may cost a defendant his employment and his livelihood.
A Romanian friend who suffered through Nicolae Ceaușescu’s dictatorship in his home country tells me that in many ways the situation in the “freedom loving” West is actually worse. In Romania, as in the Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern Bloc, most people knew that the regime was founded on lies and that the media were corrupt, time-serving institutions. Here, on the contrary, people tend to believe that the government is relatively, if not entirely, trustworthy, that the judiciary is impartial, and that the media actually report the news.
Citizens are therefore susceptible to mission creep and are piecemeal deceived into a condition of indenture to socialist governance, an activist judiciary, a disinformative, hireling press corps, and left-wing institutions. People will vote massively for the Liberal Party in Canada and the Democrats in the U.S., not realizing they are voting themselves into bondage, penury and stagnation.
The process operates insensibly and takes longer to embed itself into the cultural mainstream, but the result is alarmingly effective and durable. My friend has never read F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom or George Orwell’s 1984, but his layman’s insights and practical experience bear out Hayek’s scholarly analysis and Orwell’s dire warnings.
A totalitarian regime will control its citizens through propaganda, censorship, and outright violence, modes of oppression that are at least publicly demonstrable, evident to most. But knowing that the enchainment of the spirit is ultimately more reliable than the enchainment of the flesh, a democratic polity veering towards oligarchy will focus on propaganda and censorship as well, but in a far more subtle form. It will function mainly through public shaming rituals, social ostracism, rigid speech codes, Orwellian disinformation, and legal or quasi-legal assault. It does not need to depend on physical violence.
Fear of social rejection, the lure of groupthink, the pestilence of political correctness controlling what one may say and think, public apathy, historical ignorance, and especially the Damoclean sword of selective hiring, job dismissal, and financial reprisal go a long way to subdue a people to the will of its masters and consign them to a Gulag that may be less observable a such, but one that is nonetheless socially and economically crippling to individuals, families and businesses.
In the last analysis, this system of subjugation looks to be even more effective than the cruder techniques of its tyrannical counterparts. In the absence of public awareness and concerted pushback, we will have sold our birthright for a mess of political pottage.
The Left have no shame and no humane values
Even a brutal Communist butcher and dictator is OK if he is of the Left. Power is their only value and they will say anything to get it
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire for hailing Fidel Castro as 'larger than life' and a 'legendary revolutionary and orator' after he died on Friday.
Trudeau praised the former Cuban president in a tribute that focused on his family's close ties to Castro and made no mention of his history of ruthless suppression.
'It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba's longest serving President,' Trudeau said in his statement, which was released on Saturday.
'While a controversial figure, both Mr Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for "el Comandante'".
Trudeau celebrated Castro's 'significant improvements' to Cuba's education and healthcare systems and said his own father was 'very proud to call him a friend'.
'On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr Castro,' he concluded.
'We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.'
Trudeau's father met Castro in 1976, during a controversial trip that took place at the height of the Cold War.
Wonderful to see the Leftist knowalls prove that they know nothing.
Trumping the Media: Donald Continually Confounds the MSM
"The Master Persuader"
Looking back on it now, who do you think provided the best commentary on the run-up to the election?
And a related question: who has provided the most insightful commentary on the aftermath, i.e. "Why Trump Happened," "What His Victory Means," "What the Protesters and Crybullies Want"?
It's amusing now to replay the scenes of those Important People who assured us that Trump, the clown, could never win. My favorite headline was from The Nation: "Relax, Donald Trump Can't Win."
But if the MSM was almost exclusively a source of schadenfreude, who was out there telling the truth?
There were several percipient commentators. But I want to mention one who may be overlooked because the public regards him as an entertainer, not a sage. I mean Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. Adams, at his blog, has been providing some of the most original and most penetrating commentary on the whole Trump phenomenon.
I was, I admit, a little taken aback when I first encountered his description of Trump as a "Master Persuader" (see here, for example, or here), but the more I think about it, the more right I think he is. Trump on the stump was not articulate in any traditional sense. He was repetitious, digressive, given to stumbling about in sentence fragments. But he honed a message that resonated deeply with the voters.
Adams noted the following in a column posted yesterday:
"If you believe Trump’s skill for persuasion wasn’t the key variable in his win, you have to imagine some other candidate beating Clinton with the same set of policies as Trump. Personally, I can’t imagine it"
I commend Adams' blog to you: among other things, he shows that the people who are protesting against Trump are not really protesting against Trump. They're protesting against a hallucination they call "Trump" that has almost nothing to do with the man who is now the president-elect.
"How," Adams asks, "do you explain away Trump’s election if you think you are smart and you think you are well-informed and you think Trump is OBVIOUSLY a monster?"
You solve for that incongruity by hallucinating -- literally -- that Trump supporters KNOW Trump is a monster and they PREFER the monster. In this hallucination, the KKK is not a nutty fringe group but rather a symbol of how all Trump supporters must feel. (They don’t. Not even close.)
In a rational world it would be obvious that Trump supporters include lots of brilliant and well-informed people. That fact -- as obvious as it would seem -- is invisible to the folks who can’t even imagine a world in which their powers of perception could be so wrong. To reconcile their world, they have to imagine all Trump supporters as defective in some moral or cognitive way, or both."
I think this correct. And I am delighted to see Trump circumventing that hallucination so skillfully.
Forget about the Soros-funded protests: those are already dissipating. Perhaps there will be a brief recrudescence at the inauguration, but the street action is already looking sillier and sillier as Trump is acting more and more presidential.
The really important action is with respect to the MSM. Just yesterday, Trump convened an off-the-record meeting with anchors and executives from the top five networks to complain about the unfair coverage he had been receiving.
CNN reported that this meant Trump was off to a "rocky start" with the media. That's hilarious. Why? Because no one cares what CNN thinks about its relationship with Donald Trump.
To prove the point, Trump circumvented the media altogether yesterday when he released via YouTube a clip of him outlining some of the things he hoped to accomplished in his first 100 days. It all revolved around a "simple core principle," i.e., "putting America first."
What a novel idea, but not one that Wolf Blitzer or Chris Matthews can get his head around.
The latest from two fun ladies
CHRIS BRAND has had a relapse and we may well lose him this time. I am upset at the thought of losing such an independent mind
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:19 AM