Sunday, April 27, 2008

WW2-the Cold War-the Results

The source of this diary is from this post at the Gates of Vienna website June 14, 2006. The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report as a guest-post at Gates of Vienna. I posted a comment with the link on gamecock's most recent North Carolina Face to Face blog. After a good night's sleep I decided to post in more detail about this topic of political correctness. Fjordman got opinions on this subject from a wide variety of sources, and no, gamecock, none of these are suffering from a Southern superiority complex. All but one believes political correctness is just an alias for cultural marxism. The one believes that political correctness is a geo-political result of a decadence in the West that will disappear with the rise of eastern powers, China and India. I think political correctness is an intellectual sickness that must be challenged.

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple:
The simple fact is that we never won the Cold War as decisively as we should have. Yes, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union collapsed. This removed the military threat to the West, and the most hardcore, economic Marxism suffered a blow as a credible alternative. However, one of the really big mistakes we made after the Cold War ended was to declare that Socialism was now dead, and thus no longer anything to worry about.

We never had a thorough de-Marxification process after the Cold War, similar to the de-Nazification after WW2. We never fully confronted the ideology of Marxism, and demonstrated that the suffering it caused for hundreds of millions of people was a direct result of Marxist ideas. We just assumed that Marxism was dead and moved on, allowing many of its ideals to mutate into new forms and many of its champions to continue their work uninterrupted, sometimes filled with a vengeance and a renewed zeal for another assault on the capitalist West.

Although the viable economic alternative to capitalism didn’t work out, their hatred for this system never subsided, it merely transformed into other forms. Multiculturalism is just a different word for “divide and conquer,” pitting various ethnic and cultural groups against each other and destroying the coherence of Western society from within.

Karl Marx said “The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism,” a sentiment that corresponds almost exactly to the Islamic idea that “peace” means the absence of opposition to Islamic rule. Cultural Marxism — aka Political Correctness — and Islam share the same totalitarian outlook and instinctively agree in their opposition to free discussion, and in the idea that freedom of speech must be curtailed when it is “offensive” to certain groups.

Ali Sina:
“There is very little difference between the Left and Islam. What is lacking in both these creeds is the adherence to the Golden Rule. Just as for Muslims, everything Islamic is a priori right and good and everything un-Islamic is a priori wrong and evil, for the Left, everything leftist is a priori oppressed and good and everything rightist is a priori oppressor and evil. Facts don’t matter. Justice is determined by who you are and not by what you have done. Political correctness is an intellectual sickness. It means expediently lying when telling the truth is not expedient. This practice is so widespread and so common that it is considered to be normal.”

Vaclav Klaus:
We can probably confidently say that its “hard version” – communism – is over.” However, “fifteen years after the collapse of communism I am afraid, more than at the beginning of its softer (or weaker) version, of social-democratism, which has become – under different names, e.g. the welfare state – the dominant model of the economic and social system of current Western civilization. It is based on big and patronizing government, on extensive regulating of human behavior, and on large-scale income redistribution. The explicit socialism has lost its appeal and we should not have it as the main rival to our ideas today. These ideas are, however, in many respects similar to it. There is always a limiting (or constraining) of human freedom, there is always ambitious social engineering, there is always an immodest “enforcement of a good” by those who are anointed on others against their will. The current threats to liberty may use different ‘hats’, they may better hide their real nature, they may be more sophisticated than before, but they are – in principle – the same as always.”

Vladimir Bukovsky:
“There were no Nuremberg-type trials in Moscow. Why? Because while we won the Cold War in a military sense, we lost it in the context of ideas. The West stopped one day too soon, just like in Desert Storm. Just imagine the Allies in 1945 being satisfied with some kind of Perestroika in Nazi Germany — instead of unconditional surrender. What would have been the situation in Europe then, to say nothing of Germany? All former Nazi collaborators would have remained in power, albeit under a new disguise. This is exactly what happened in the Soviet Union in 1991. Communism might have been dead, but the communists remained in power in most of the former Warsaw bloc countries, while their Western collaborators came to power all over the world (in Europe in particular). This is nothing short of a miracle: the defeat of the Nazis in 1945 quite logically brought a shift to the Left in world politics, while a defeat of communism in 1991 brought again a shift to the Left, this time quite illogically. It is no surprise, therefore, that despite the defeat of communism, the radical Left in the West still arrogates the moral high ground to itself.”

“When the Nazis lost the Second World War, racial hatred was discredited. When the Soviets lost the Cold War, the tenet of class hatred remained as popular as ever. Having failed to finish off conclusively the communist system, we are now in danger of integrating the resulting monster into our world. It may not be called communism anymore, but it retained many of its dangerous characteristics. . . .Until the Nuremberg-style tribunal passes its judgement on all the crimes committed by communism, it is not dead and the war is not over.”

William S. Lind:
“Political Correctness wants to change behavior, thought, even the words we use. To a significant extent, it already has. Whoever or whatever controls language also controls thought. Political Correctness is in fact cultural Marxism. There are major parallels between classical and cultural Marxism. Both are totalitarian ideologies. The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness can be seen on [University] campuses where ‘PC’ has taken over the college: freedom of speech, of the press, and even of thought are all eliminated. Today, with economic Marxism dead, cultural Marxism has filled its shoes. The medium has changed, but the message is the same: a society of radical egalitarianism enforced by the power of the state.”

“While the hour is late, the battle is not decided. Very few Americans realize that Political Correctness is in fact Marxism in a different set of clothes. As that realization spreads, defiance will spread with it. At present, Political Correctness prospers by disguising itself. Through defiance, and through education on our own part (which should be part of every act of defiance), we can strip away its camouflage and reveal the Marxism beneath the window-dressing of “sensitivity,” “tolerance” and “multiculturalism.”

Antonio Gramsci:
“It was necessary first to delegitimize the dominant belief systems of the predominant groups and to create a “counter-hegemony” (i.e., a new system of values for the subordinate groups) before the marginalized could be empowered. Moreover, because hegemonic values permeate all spheres of civil society — schools, churches, the media, voluntary associations — civil society itself, is the great battleground in the struggle for hegemony, the “war of position.” — all life is “political.” Thus, private life, the work place, religion, philosophy, art, and literature, and civil society, in general, are contested battlegrounds in the struggle to achieve societal transformation.”

John Fonte:
“The primary resistance to the advance of cultural Marxism in the USA comes from an opposing quarter, “contemporary Tocquevillianism. Its representatives take Alexis de Tocqueville’s essentially empirical description of American exceptionalism and celebrate the traits of this exceptionalism as normative values to be embraced. Americans are much more individualistic, religious, and patriotic than the people of any other comparably advanced nation. Unlike other modernists, Americans combined strong religious and patriotic beliefs with dynamic, restless entrepreneurial energy that emphasized equality of individual opportunity and eschewed hierarchical and ascriptive group affiliations.”

“Tocquevillians and Gramscians clash on almost everything that matters. Tocquevillians believe that there are objective moral truths applicable to all people at all times. Gramscians believe that moral ‘truths’ are subjective and depend upon historical circumstances. Tocquevillians believe in personal responsibility. Gramscians believe that ‘the personal is political.’ In the final analysis, Tocquevillians favor the transmission of the American regime; Gramscians, its transformation.”

“While economic Marxism appears to be dead, the Hegelian variety articulated by Gramsci and others has not only survived the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also gone on to challenge the American republic at the level of its most cherished ideas. For more than two centuries America has been an ‘exceptional’ nation, one whose restless entrepreneurial dynamism has been tempered by patriotism and a strong religious-cultural core. The ultimate triumph of Gramscianism would mean the end of this very ‘exceptionalism.’ America would at last become Europeanized: statist, thoroughly secular, post-patriotic, and concerned with group hierarchies and group rights in which the idea of equality before the law as traditionally understood by Americans would finally be abandoned. Beneath the surface of our seemingly placid times, the ideological, political, and historical stakes are enormous.”

Anthony Browne:
“The Politically Correct are more intolerant of dissent than traditional liberals or conservatives, since Liberals of earlier times “accepted unorthodoxy as normal. Indeed the right to differ was a datum of classical liberalism. The Politically Correct do not give that right a high priority. It distresses their programmed minds. Those who do not conform should be ignored, silenced or vilified. There is a kind of soft totalitarianism about Political Correctness. Because the politically correct believe they are not just on the side of right, but of virtue, it follows that those they are opposed to are not just wrong, but malign. In the PC mind, the pursuit of virtue entitles them to curtail the malign views of those they disagree with. People who transgress politically correct beliefs are seen not just as wrong, to be debated with, but evil, to be condemned, silenced and spurned. The rise of political correctness represents an assault on both reason and liberal democracy. Political Correctness is an ideology that classifies certain groups of people as victims in need of protection from criticism, and which makes believers feel that no dissent should be tolerated.”

“Political correctness is essentially the product of a powerful but decadent civilisation which feels secure enough to forego reasoning for emoting, and to subjugate truth to goodness. However, the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, and those that followed in Bali, Madrid and Beslan, have led to a sense of vulnerability that have made people far more hard-headed about the real benefits and drawbacks of Western civilisation.”

“To some extent, the rise of the eastern powers, China and India, will ensure in coming decades that western guilt will shrivel: finally having equal powers to compare ourselves to, the West will no longer feel inclined to indulge in self-loathing, but will seek to reaffirm its sense of identity. (…) in the long-run of history, political correctness will be seen as an aberration in Western thought. The product of the uniquely unchallenged position of the West and its unrivalled affluence, the comparative decline of the West compared to the East is likely to spell the demise of political correctness.”

Mahfooz Kanwar:
“Multiculturalism has been bad for unity in Canada. It ghettoizes people, makes them believe, wrongly, that isolating themselves and not adapting to their new society is OK. It is not. Political correctness threatens us because we can’t fight something we refuse to label and understand. The amount of political correctness during the arrests of 17 Muslims in the Toronto area was “sickening. Political correctness has gone too far. Political correctness threatens our society. It is the responsibility of the minorities to adjust to the majority, not the other way around.”

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ayaan's opinion of Dutch politicians fits some US politicians

I am reading this book, The Caged Virgin - An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam, written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in 2004. I am halfway through it, and I recommend it hightly. I got excited just reading the preface, especially this passage
Some Western critics disapprove of United States policies and attitudes but do not criticize the Islamic world, just as, in the first part of the twentieth century, Western socialist apologists did not dare criticize the Soviet labor camps. Along the same lines, some Western intellectuals criticize Israel, but they will not criticize Palestine because Israel belongs to the West, which they consider fair game, but they feel sorry for the Palestinians, and for the Islamic world in general, which is not as powerful as the West. They are critical of the native whiter majority in Western countries but not of Islamic minorities. Criticism of the Islamic world, of Palestinians, and of Islamic minorities is regarded as Islamophobic and xenophobia.

I cannot emphasize enough how wrongheaded this is. Witholding criticism and ignoring differences are racism in its purest form. Yet these cultural experts fail to notice that, through their anxious avoidance of criticising non-Western countries, they trap the people who represent these cultures in a state of backwardness.

My own criticism of Islamic religion and culture is felt by some to "harsh," "offensive," and "hurtful." But the attitude of the cultural experts is, in fact, harsher, and more offensive and hurtful. They feel superior and do not regard Muslims as equal discussion partners, but as the "others" who should be shielded. And they think that criticism of Islam should be avoided because they are afraid that Muslims can only respond to criticism with anger and violence.

Now let's flash forward from 2004 to March 31, 2008 when AEI resident and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote this article, Fitna Is an Embarrassment for the Dutch Cabinet. I also recommend that you read this article in its entirety. She makes 3 major points in the article.

1. The Dutch Cabinet is embarrassed because the majority of publicity for the movie originated from the Cabinet. If, when PM Wilders made known his intention to release this movie they had not spoke out against him there would not have been a worldwide festering controversy.

2. The Dutch cabinet is is suffering a severe loss of face because it has shown that freedom of speech is not safe in its hands. By acting as if it was a worthwhile endeavor to investigate whether the movie should be banned (either before or after its release), the cabinet improperly reversed its constitutional position with regard to the Second Chamber of Parliament.

In the Netherlands, the cabinet governs, and Parliament controls the cabinet. In relation to MP Wilders, however, the cabinet has improperly set itself up as the controller. The Dutch cabinet has actively sought to silence an elected member of parliament. That the parliamentary opposition did not intervene against this appalling attempt at censorship, is more distressing than any possible movie about Islam could be.

3. This is the most major point of all, which I quote from the article
Fitna laid bare just what a distrustful image this Social-Christian cabinet has of Muslims. It considers Muslims as half-savage beasts, [a bit like Bokito, Holland's most famous gorilla] who will jump over the fence of reason at the slightest provocation and who in a collective frenzy disrupt the public peace.

They can only be kept in check by not engaging them as mature reasonable adults, by not contradicting them, not presenting them with difficult questions about their religion, by talking positively about it; all the while creating myriad emergency response plans through full crisis scenarios, because a film happens to be made about their holy book. It is just as in the case of Bokito the gorilla, who was put behind high bars in a zoo but was feverishly petted. This attitude is called "respect", towards Muslims. I wonder what Muslims think of being regarded in this way?

I wonder too what Muslims think of being regarded this way. I also think this hypocritical respect is noticed by folks in the US who hear their elected officials speaking about the ignorant unwashed hicks from small towns that end up in Iraq because they can't go to college. These folks that are bitter from not being wealthy so they turn to guns and God. These people that Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Reid thinks stink. This kind of "hypocritical respect" deserves no place in the government.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Duly Noted Brussels Journal Nuggets

I stumbled across this article in the online Brussels Journal that lists 17 underrated issues that might deserve attention. Of these 17, items 2, 10, 11, and 17 especially caught my eye. I encourage everyone to read the entire article, and perhaps for some other numbered items may be of more importance.

Item #2:
According to Vremya Novostei (8 April) Russia’s top election official is prepared to send election monitors to America. The candidates there have no equal access to the mass media, which “does not exist” in the US. How will the Republicans thank Moscow for supporting the case they make about their coverage by a biased press?

One thought I had reading this is...WoW! What chutzpah for Russia's top election official to complain about how the candidates here in the US have no equal access to the mass media. But then giving it further thought is there anyone who has more first hand knowledge about candidates not having equal access to the mass media than a top election official in Russia? more popcorn, please.

Item #10:
Some immigrants might assert that their entry into advanced countries is their basic, therefore undeniable, right. At the risk of the accusation of prejudice, some of these must be reminded of another self-evident right. It is that the natives prefer “to live differently.” Therefore, they do not wish to adjust to the life-style that invited or uninvited guests try to force upon them. This is so even if the claim is shrewdly raised that submission is a test of the hosts’ tolerance.

I have read at RS Paul Cella and other write voluminously about this issue, but I certainly appreciate how this item says so much about this issue in so few words.

Item #11:
A small news item told that out of 37 spies in the US 17 were ideologically motivated. In earlier years, the traitors for money were the majority. The numbers suggest that we can find here a symptom. It reflects the erosion of values and of the undermining of the sense of citizenship that is advocated by the relativists that control the pulpit, the schools and much of the media.

Just visit or lately and discover a treasure trove of news stories that show how much the moral relativists are speaking out from the pulpit, classroom, and MSM.

Item # 17:
The radicals that govern Gaza demand that Israel open the common border. If this is not done, their wards are in danger of “suffocating.” We might have a remarkable case wrapped into this demand. It is not unusual that a party commits openly to the destruction of another state. When such an entity demands that, to survive, it be allowed to have access to its chosen enemy, we seem to have entered the realm of the surreal.
PS. It is reported (12 April) that from Gaza Hamas has subjected an Israeli refinery to a rocket attack. It so happens that this is the refinery that delivers Gaza’s fuel. The deliveries are interrupted. Wait for news that Hamas protests the hardship created for innocents by the lack of gas.

I heard about the attack on the Israeli refinery on my car radio yesterday, and my very first thought when I heard it is the last sentence, Chutzpah is Yiddish, but one obviously need not be Jewish for it to be applicable.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Big Oil President

I hear this canard at my office a lot about how Bush and Cheney are in cahoots with BIG OIL, and these oil execs are makin’ a killer of a profit from ripping us off every time we put gas in our vehicles. I usually just walk away without talking to them and mutter to myself “pffft if only we had a BIG OIL President.”

The real story is that for over seven years there has been a BIG OIL president, only this is not the POTUS. No, the BIG OIL president has been Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. I let Google be my friend again, and I found a table of oil production throughout the world. I especially noticed a pattern of the US and Russia from 1992 to 2000, and from 2001 through 2005. Sorry, I could not find data later than 2005.


For every year except a slight uptick in 1997 both the US and Russia were in decline in oil production.

Now let’s take a look at the data from 2001 thru 2005


For every year in this time frame US is in significant decline in oil production and Russia is significantly increasing oil production.

I found a recent article with the headline “Exploration Drilling in Russia Increased over Twenty Percent in 2007.”

An article in November of 2007 is a very interesting read keeping in mind what has occurred since the article was written.

Thanks to energy and the new Russian brand of “state capitalism” it supports, Putin has returned his country—not long ago considered the invalid at Europe’s doorstep—to center stage. Vast energy resources have also allowed Putin to set about making genuine governmental reforms, root out corruption, and pour money into social services.

And all of it—his despotism and benevolence alike—has left him wildly popular. While George W. Bush endures approval ratings of about 30 percent as his presidency sputters to a close, approval ratings for Putin, who is due to step down in March, hover around 70 percent.

Please do not misunderstand me. I do not approve of or applaud the ruthless authoritarian tactics that Pres. Putin employs. I actually think that had American exceptionalism been given a chance we could have increased the US energy resources as much as Russia has without suppressing the media and dissenters.

An interesting part of the November article is describing how the Russian guys, ex-soviet managers, look at the environmental regulations and concerns. There is a lot of new oil production occurring on Sakhalin Island just north of Japan by Exxon/Mobil. The article mentions how one of these Russian guys walked into their office one day and he said to the manager
If we were doing this, it would be done by now. The problem is you’re trying to do it legally.

The article also mentions how the Kremlin used concerns about the environment.

Environmental groups had been on Sakhalin Energy’s case since it began operating in the late 1990s, but the Russian government mostly ignored them. Then in 2006, after negotiations to give Gazprom a minority stake in Sakhalin II fell apart, Russian authorities began citing Sakhalin Energy for alleged violations. One example: Excessive logging of the pipeline corridor and poor terracing of its perimeter were creating severe erosion problems all along the pipeline route. And international environmental groups, the World Wildlife Fund among them, complained bitterly that Sakhalin Energy’s construction activities in Aniva Bay, including an undersea pipeline, had disrupted fish and whale populations. Using such charges as leverage, Russian authorities revoked permits and demanded work stoppages. According to a Sakhalin Energy employee, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk police set up shop outside the company’s headquarters and checked work visas. Shell was threatened with a $50 billion lawsuit.

It was from the Kremlin, everyone suspects, that an offer came: Sell majority control of Sakhalin II to Gazprom and the trouble will cease. So that’s exactly what Shell did. It handed over half its shares to Gazprom, which also acquired half the shares of Shell’s Japanese partners, Mitsubishi and Mitsui & Co., giving Gazprom 50 percent of Sakhalin Energy plus one share.

Obviously the disruption of fish and whale populations was not quite the principle to Kremlin that it is to the World Wildlife Fund folks. I think the prospects for having a BIG OIL POTUS are bleak at the present time, and there is plenty of blame to go around for why this is the case. I just look in the mirror if I am only interested in blame. Still I have got to hope that one day enough Americans will be mugged by reality, and reject the politically correct meme that all of us Americans must suffer hardships to promote tourism and a better world for whales and fishes.