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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1700 on: March 08, 2017, 05:16:47 PM »

January 2003

Why Feminism Is AWOL on Islam
Kay S. Hymowitz
 

U.S. feminists should be protesting the brutal oppression of Middle Eastern women. But doing so would reveal how little they have to complain about at home.

Argue all you want with many feminist policies, but few quarrel with feminism?s core moral insight, which changed the lives (and minds) of women forever: that women are due the same rights and dignity as men. So, as news of the appalling miseries of women in the Islamic world has piled up, where are the feminists? Where?s the outrage? For a brief moment after September 11, when pictures of those blue alien-creaturely shapes in Afghanistan filled the papers, it seemed as if feminists were going to have their moment. And in fact the Feminist Majority, to its credit, had been publicizing since the mid-90s how Afghan girls were barred from school, how women were stoned for adultery or beaten for showing an ankle or wearing high-heeled shoes, how they were prohibited from leaving the house unless accompanied by a male relative, how they were denied medical help because the only doctors around were male.

But the rest is feminist silence. You haven?t heard a peep from feminists as it has grown clear that the Taliban were exceptional not in their extreme views about women but in their success at embodying those views in law and practice. In the United Arab Emirates, husbands have the right to beat their wives in order to discipline them??provided that the beating is not so severe as to damage her bones or deform her body,? in the words of the Gulf News. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot vote, drive, or show their faces or talk with male non-relatives in public. (Evidently they can?t talk to men over the airwaves either; when Prince Abdullah went to President Bush?s ranch in Crawford last April, he insisted that no female air-traffic controllers handle his flight.) Yes, Saudi girls can go to school, and many even attend the university; but at the university, women must sit in segregated rooms and watch their professors on closed-circuit televisions. If they have a question, they push a button on their desk, which turns on a light at the professor?s lectern, from which he can answer the female without being in her dangerous presence. And in Saudi Arabia, education can be harmful to female health. Last spring in Mecca, members of the mutaween, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue, pushed fleeing students back into their burning school because they were not properly covered in abaya. Fifteen girls died.

You didn?t hear much from feminists when in the northern Nigerian province of Katsina a Muslim court sentenced a woman to death by stoning for having a child outside of marriage. The case might not have earned much attention?stonings are common in parts of the Muslim world?except that the young woman, who had been married off at 14 to a husband who ultimately divorced her when she lost her virginal allure, was still nursing a baby at the time of sentencing. During her trial she had no lawyer, although the court did see fit to delay her execution until she weans her infant.

You didn?t hear much from feminists as it emerged that honor killings by relatives, often either ignored or only lightly punished by authorities, are also commonplace in the Muslim world. In September, Reuters reported the story of an Iranian man, ?defending my honor, family, and dignity,? who cut off his seven-year-old daughter?s head after suspecting she had been raped by her uncle. The postmortem showed the girl to be a virgin. In another family mix-up, a Yemeni man shot his daughter to death on her wedding night when her husband claimed she was not a virgin. After a medical exam revealed that the husband was mistaken, officials concluded he was simply trying to protect himself from embarrassment about his own impotence. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every day two women are slain by male relatives seeking to avenge the family honor.

The savagery of some of these murders is worth a moment?s pause. In 2000, two Punjabi sisters, 20 and 21 years old, had their throats slit by their brother and cousin because the girls were seen talking to two boys to whom they were not related. In one especially notorious case, an Egyptian woman named Nora Marzouk Ahmed fell in love and eloped. When she went to make amends with her father, he cut off her head and paraded it down the street. Several years back, according to the Washington Post, the husband of Zahida Perveen, a 32-year-old pregnant Pakistani, gouged out her eyes and sliced off her earlobe and nose because he suspected her of having an affair.

In a related example widely covered last summer, a teenage girl in the Punjab was sentenced by a tribal council to rape by a gang that included one of the councilmen. After the hour-and-a-half ordeal, the girl was forced to walk home naked in front of scores of onlookers. She had been punished because her 11-year-old brother had compromised another girl by being been seen alone with her. But that charge turned out to be a ruse: it seems that three men of a neighboring tribe had sodomized the boy and accused him of illicit relations?an accusation leading to his sister?s barbaric punishment?as a way of covering up their crime.

Nor is such brutality limited to backward, out-of-the-way villages. Muddassir Rizvi, a Pakistani journalist, says that, though always common in rural areas, in recent years honor killings have become more prevalent in cities ?among educated and liberal families.? In relatively modern Jordan, honor killings were all but exempt from punishment until the penal code was modified last year; unfortunately, a young Palestinian living in Jordan, who had recently stabbed his 19-year-old sister 40 times ?to cleanse the family honor,? and another man from near Amman, who ran over his 23-year-old sister with his truck because of her ?immoral behavior,? had not yet changed their ways. British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels reports that British Muslim men frequently spirit their young daughters back to their native Pakistan and force the girls to marry. Such fathers have been known to kill daughters who resist. In Sweden, in one highly publicized case, Fadima Sahindal, an assimilated 26-year-old of Kurdish origin, was murdered by her father after she began living with her Swedish boyfriend. ?The whore is dead,? the family announced.

As you look at this inventory of brutality, the question bears repeating: Where are the demonstrations, the articles, the petitions, the resolutions, the vindications of the rights of Islamic women by American feminists? The weird fact is that, even after the excesses of the Taliban did more to forge an American consensus about women?s rights than 30 years of speeches by Gloria Steinem, feminists refused to touch this subject. They have averted their eyes from the harsh, blatant oppression of millions of women, even while they have continued to stare into the Western patriarchal abyss, indignant over female executives who cannot join an exclusive golf club and college women who do not have their own lacrosse teams.

But look more deeply into the matter, and you realize that the sound of feminist silence about the savage fundamentalist Muslim oppression of women has its own perverse logic. The silence is a direct outgrowth of the way feminist theory has developed in recent years. Now mired in self-righteous sentimentalism, multicultural nonjudgmentalism, and internationalist utopianism, feminism has lost the language to make the universalist moral claims of equal dignity and individual freedom that once rendered it so compelling. No wonder that most Americans, trying to deal with the realities of a post-9/11 world, are paying feminists no mind.

To understand the current sisterly silence about the sort of tyranny that the women?s movement came into existence to attack, it is helpful to think of feminisms plural rather than singular. Though not entirely discrete philosophies, each of three different feminisms has its own distinct reasons for causing activists to ?lose their voice? in the face of women?s oppression.

The first variety?radical feminism (or gender feminism, in Christina Hoff Sommers?s term)?starts with the insight that men are, not to put too fine a point upon it, brutes. Radical feminists do not simply subscribe to the reasonable-enough notion that men are naturally more prone to aggression than women. They believe that maleness is a kind of original sin. Masculinity explains child abuse, marital strife, high defense spending, every war from Troy to Afghanistan, as well as Hitler, Franco, and Pinochet. As Gloria Steinem informed the audience at a Florida fundraiser last March: ?The cult of masculinity is the basis for every violent, fascist regime.?

Gender feminists are little interested in fine distinctions between radical Muslim men who slam commercial airliners into office buildings and soldiers who want to stop radical Muslim men from slamming commercial airliners into office buildings. They are both examples of generic male violence?and specifically, male violence against women. ?Terrorism is on a continuum that starts with violence within the family, battery against women, violence against women in the society, all the way up to organized militaries that are supported by taxpayer money,? according to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, who teaches ?The Sexuality of Terrorism? at California State University in Hayward. Violence is so intertwined with male sexuality that, she tells us, military pilots watch porn movies before they go out on sorties. The war in Afghanistan could not possibly offer a chance to liberate women from their oppressors, since it would simply expose women to yet another set of oppressors, in the gender feminists? view. As Sharon Lerner asserted bizarrely in the Village Voice, feminists? ?discomfort? with the Afghanistan bombing was ?deepened by the knowledge that more women than men die as a result of most wars.?

If guys are brutes, girls are their opposite: peace-loving, tolerant, conciliatory, and reasonable??Antiwar and Pro-Feminist,? as the popular peace-rally sign goes. Feminists long ago banished tough-as-nails women like Margaret Thatcher and Jeanne Kirkpatrick (and these days, one would guess, even the fetching Condoleezza Rice) to the ranks of the imperfectly female. Real women, they believe, would never justify war. ?Most women, Western and Muslim, are opposed to war regardless of its reasons and objectives,? wrote the Jordanian feminist Fadia Faqir on OpenDemocracy.net. ?They are concerned with emancipation, freedom (personal and civic), human rights, power sharing, integrity, dignity, equality, autonomy, power-sharing [sic], liberation, and pluralism.?

Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking, is perhaps one of the most influential spokeswomen for the position that women are instinctually peaceful. According to Ruddick (who clearly didn?t have Joan Crawford in mind), that?s because a good deal of mothering is naturally governed by the Gandhian principles of nonviolence such as ?renunciation,? ?resistance to injustice,? and ?reconciliation.? The novelist Barbara Kingsolver was one of the first to demonstrate the subtleties of such universal maternal thinking after the United States invaded Afghanistan. ?I feel like I?m standing on a playground where the little boys are all screaming ?He started it!? and throwing rocks,? she wrote in the Los Angeles Times. ?I keep looking for somebody?s mother to come on the scene saying, ?Boys! Boys!? ?

Gender feminism?s tendency to reduce foreign affairs to a Lifetime Channel movie may make it seem too silly to bear mentioning, but its kitschy naivet? hasn?t stopped it from being widespread among elites. You see it in widely read writers like Kingsolver, Maureen Dowd, and Alice Walker. It turns up in our most elite institutions. Swanee Hunt, head of the Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard?s Kennedy School of Government wrote, with Cristina Posa in Foreign Policy: ?The key reason behind women?s marginalization may be that everyone recognizes just how good women are at forging peace.? Even female elected officials are on board. ?The women of all these countries should go on strike, they should all sit down and refuse to do anything until their men agree to talk peace,? urged Ohio representative Marcy Kaptur to the Arab News last spring, echoing an idea that Aristophanes, a dead white male, proposed as a joke 2,400 years ago. And President Clinton is an advocate of maternal thinking, too. ?If we?d had women at Camp David,? he said in July 2000, ?we?d have an agreement.?

Major foundations too seem to take gender feminism seriously enough to promote it as an answer to world problems. Last December, the Ford Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundation helped fund the Afghan Women?s Summit in Brussels to develop ideas for a new government in Afghanistan. As Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler described it on her website, the summit was made up of ?meetings and meals, canvassing, workshops, tears, and dancing.? ?Defense was mentioned nowhere in the document,? Ensler wrote proudly of the summit?s concluding proclamation?despite the continuing threat in Afghanistan of warlords, bandits, and lingering al-Qaida operatives. ?uilding weapons or instruments of retaliation was not called for in any category,? Ensler cooed. ?Instead [the women] wanted education, health care, and the protection of refugees, culture, and human rights.?

Too busy celebrating their own virtue and contemplating their own victimhood, gender feminists cannot address the suffering of their Muslim sisters realistically, as light years worse than their own petulant grievances. They are too intent on hating war to ask if unleashing its horrors might be worth it to overturn a brutal tyranny that, among its manifold inhumanities, treats women like animals. After all, hating war and machismo is evidence of the moral superiority that comes with being born female.

Yet the gender feminist idea of superior feminine virtue is becoming an increasingly tough sell for anyone actually keeping up with world events. Kipling once wrote of the fierceness of Afghan women: ?When you?re wounded and left on the Afghan plains/And the women come out to cut up your remains/Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains.? Now it?s clearer than ever that the dream of worldwide sisterhood is no more realistic than worldwide brotherhood; culture trumps gender any day. Mothers all over the Muslim world are naming their babies Usama or praising Allah for their sons? efforts to kill crusading infidels. Last February, 28-year-old Wafa Idris became the first female Palestinian suicide bomber to strike in Israel, killing an elderly man and wounding scores of women and children. And in April, Israeli soldiers discovered under the maternity clothes of 26-year-old Shifa Adnan Kodsi a bomb rather than a baby. Maternal thinking, indeed.

The second variety of feminism, seemingly more sophisticated and especially prevalent on college campuses, is multiculturalism and its twin, postcolonialism. The postcolonial feminist has even more reason to shy away from the predicament of women under radical Islam than her maternally thinking sister. She believes that the Western world is so sullied by its legacy of imperialism that no Westerner, man or woman, can utter a word of judgment against former colonial peoples. Worse, she is not so sure that radical Islam isn?t an authentic, indigenous?and therefore appropriate?expression of Arab and Middle Eastern identity.

The postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault, one of the intellectual godfathers of multiculturalism and postcolonialism, first set the tone in 1978 when an Italian newspaper sent him to Teheran to cover the Iranian revolution. As his biographer James Miller tells it, Foucault looked in the face of Islamic fundamentalism and saw . . . an awe-inspiring revolt against ?global hegemony.? He was mesmerized by this new form of ?political spirituality? that, in a phrase whose dark prescience he could not have grasped, portended the ?transfiguration of the world.? Even after the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and reintroduced polygamy and divorce on the husband?s demand with automatic custody to fathers, reduced the official female age of marriage from 18 to 13, fired all female judges, and ordered compulsory veiling, whose transgression was to be punished by public flogging, Foucault saw no reason to temper his enthusiasm. What was a small matter like women?s basic rights, when a struggle against ?the planetary system? was at hand?

Postcolonialists, then, have their own binary system, somewhat at odds with gender feminism?not to mention with women?s rights. It is not men who are the sinners; it is the West. It is not women who are victimized innocents; it is the people who suffered under Western colonialism, or the descendants of those people, to be more exact. Caught between the rock of patriarchy and the hard place of imperialism, the postcolonial feminist scholar gingerly tiptoes her way around the subject of Islamic fundamentalism and does the only thing she can do: she focuses her ire on Western men.

To this end, the postcolonialist eagerly dips into the inkwell of gender feminism. She ties colonialist exploitation and domination to maleness; she might refer to Israel?s ?masculinist military culture??Israel being white and Western?though she would never dream of pointing out the ?masculinist military culture? of the jihadi. And she expends a good deal of energy condemning Western men for wanting to improve the lives of Eastern women. At the turn of the twentieth century Lord Cromer, the British vice consul of Egypt and a pet target of postcolonial feminists, argued that the ?degradation? of women under Islam had a harmful effect on society. Rubbish, according to the postcolonialist feminist. His words are simply part of ?the Western narrative of the quintessential otherness and inferiority of Islam,? as Harvard professor Leila Ahmed puts it in Women and Gender in Islam. The same goes for American concern about Afghan women; it is merely a ?device for ranking the ?other? men as inferior or as ?uncivilized,? ? according to Nira Yuval-Davis, professor of gender and ethnic studies at the University of Greenwich, England. These are all examples of what renowned Columbia professor Gayatri Spivak called ?white men saving brown women from brown men.?

Spivak?s phrase, a great favorite on campus, points to the postcolonial notion that brown men, having been victimized by the West, can never be oppressors in their own right. If they give the appearance of treating women badly, the oppression they have suffered at the hands of Western colonial masters is to blame. In fact, the worse they treat women, the more they are expressing their own justifiable outrage. ?When men are traumatized [by colonial rule], they tend to traumatize their own women,? Miriam Cooke, a Duke professor and head of the Association for Middle East Women?s Studies, told me. And today, Cooke asserts, brown men are subjected to a new form of imperialism. ?Now there is a return of colonialism that we saw in the nineteenth century in the context of globalization,? she says. ?What is driving Islamist men is globalization.?

It would be difficult to exaggerate the through-the-looking-glass quality of postcolonialist theory when it comes to the subject of women. Female suicide bombers are a good thing, because they are strong women demonstrating ?agency? against colonial powers. Polygamy too must be shown due consideration. ?Polygamy can be liberating and empowering,? Cooke answered sunnily when I asked her about it. ?Our norm is the Western, heterosexual, single couple. If we can imagine different forms that would allow us to be something other than a heterosexual couple, we might imagine polygamy working,? she explained murkily. Some women, she continued, are relieved when their husbands take a new wife: they won?t have to service him so often. Or they might find they now have the freedom to take a lover. But, I ask, wouldn?t that be dangerous in places where adulteresses can be stoned to death? At any rate, how common is that? ?I don?t know,? Cooke answers, ?I?m interested in discourse.? The irony couldn?t be darker: the very people protesting the imperialist exploitation of the ?Other? endorse that Other?s repressive customs as a means of promoting their own uniquely Western agenda?subverting the heterosexual patriarchy.

The final category in the feminist taxonomy, which might be called the world-government utopian strain, is in many respects closest to classical liberal feminism. Dedicated to full female dignity and equality, it generally eschews both the biological determinism of the gender feminist and the cultural relativism of the multiculti postcolonialist. Stanford political science professor Susan Moller Okin, an influential, subtle, and intelligent spokeswoman for this approach, created a stir among feminists in 1997 when she forthrightly attacked multiculturalists for valuing ?group rights for minority cultures? over the well-being of individual women. Okin admirably minced no words attacking arranged marriage, female circumcision, and polygamy, which she believed women experienced as a ?barely tolerable institution.? Some women, she went so far as to declare, ?might be better off if the culture into which they were born were either to become extinct . . . or preferably, to be encouraged to alter itself so as to reinforce the equality of women.?

But though Okin is less shy than other feminists about discussing the plight of women under Islamic fundamentalism, the typical U.N. utopian has her own reasons for keeping quiet as that plight fills Western headlines. For one thing, the utopian is also a bean-counting absolutist, seeking a pure, numerical equality between men and women in all departments of life. She greets Western, and particularly American, claims to have achieved freedom for women with skepticism. The motto of the 2002 International Women?s Day??Afghanistan Is Everywhere??was in part a reproach to the West about its superior airs. Women in Afghanistan might have to wear burqas, but don?t women in the West parade around in bikinis? ?It?s equally disrespectful and abusive to have women prancing around a stage in bathing suits for cash or walking the streets shrouded in burqas in order to survive,? columnist Jill Nelson wrote on the MSNBC website about the murderously fanatical riots that attended the Miss World pageant in Nigeria.

As Nelson?s statement hints, the utopian is less interested in freeing women to make their own choices than in engineering and imposing her own elite vision of a perfect society. Indeed, she is under no illusions that, left to their own democratic devices, women would freely choose the utopia she has in mind. She would not be surprised by recent Pakistani elections, where a number of the women who won parliamentary seats were Islamist. But it doesn?t really matter what women want. The universalist has a comprehensive vision of ?women?s human rights,? meaning not simply women?s civil and political rights but ?economic rights? and ?socioeconomic justice.? Cynical about free markets and globalization, the U.N. utopian is also unimpressed by the liberal democratic nation-state ?as an emancipatory institution,? in the dismissive words of J. Ann Tickner, director for international studies at the University of Southern California. Such nation-states are ?unresponsive to the needs of [their] most vulnerable members? and seeped in ?nationalist ideologies? as well as in patriarchal assumptions about autonomy. In fact, like the (usually) unacknowledged socialist that she is, the U.N. utopian eagerly awaits the withering of the nation-state, a political arrangement that she sees as tied to imperialism, war, and masculinity. During war, in particular, nations ?depend on ideas about masculinized dignity and feminized sacrifice to sustain the sense of autonomous nationhood,? writes Cynthia Enloe, professor of government at Clark University.

Having rejected the patriarchal liberal nation-state, with all the democratic machinery of self-government that goes along with it, the utopian concludes that there is only one way to achieve her goals: to impose them through international government. Utopian feminists fill the halls of the United Nations, where they examine everything through the lens of the ?gender perspective? in study after unreadable study. (My personal favorites: ?Gender Perspectives on Landmines? and ?Gender Perspectives on Weapons of Mass Destruction,? whose conclusion is that landmines and WMDs are bad for women.)

The 1979 U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), perhaps the first and most important document of feminist utopianism, gives the best sense of the sweeping nature of the movement?s ambitions. CEDAW demands many measures that anyone committed to democratic liberal values would applaud, including women?s right to vote and protection against honor killings and forced marriage. Would that the document stopped there. Instead it sets out to impose a utopian order that would erase all distinctions between men and women, a kind of revolution of the sexes from above, requiring nations to ?take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women? and to eliminate ?stereotyped roles? to accomplish this legislative abolition of biology. The document calls for paid maternity leave, nonsexist school curricula, and government-supported child care. The treaty?s 23-member enforcement committee hectors nations that do not adequately grasp that, as Enloe puts it, ?the personal is international.? The committee has cited Belarus for celebrating Mother?s Day, China for failing to legalize prostitution, and Libya for not interpreting the Qur?an in accordance with ?committee guidelines.?

Confusing ?women?s participation? with self-determination, and numerical equivalence with equality, CEDAW utopians try to orchestrate their perfect society through quotas and affirmative-action plans. Their bean-counting mentality cares about whether women participate equally, without asking what it is that they are participating in or whether their participation is anything more than ceremonial. Thus at the recent Women?s Summit in Jordan, Rima Khalaf suggested that governments be required to use quotas in elections ?to leapfrog women to power.? Khalaf, like so many illiberal feminist utopians, has no hesitation in forcing society to be free. As is often the case when elites decide they have discovered the route to human perfection, the utopian urge is not simply antidemocratic but verges on the totalitarian.

That this combination of sentimental victimhood, postcolonial relativism, and utopian overreaching has caused feminism to suffer so profound a loss of moral and political imagination that it cannot speak against the brutalization of Islamic women is an incalculable loss to women and to men. The great contribution of Western feminism was to expand the definition of human dignity and freedom. It insisted that all human beings were worthy of liberty. Feminists now have the opportunity to make that claim on behalf of women who in their oppression have not so much as imagined that its promise could include them, too. At its best, feminism has stood for a rich idea of personal choice in shaping a meaningful life, one that respects not only the woman who wants to crash through glass ceilings but also the one who wants to stay home with her children and bake cookies or to wear a veil and fast on Ramadan. Why shouldn?t feminists want to shout out their own profound discovery for the world to hear?

Perhaps, finally, because to do so would be to acknowledge the freedom they themselves enjoy, thanks to Western ideals and institutions. Not only would such an admission force them to give up their own simmering resentments; it would be bad for business.
The truth is that the free institutions?an independent judiciary, a free press, open elections?that protect the rights of women are the same ones that protect the rights of men. The separation of church and state that would allow women to escape the burqa would also free men from having their hands amputated for theft. The education system that would teach girls to read would also empower millions of illiterate boys. The capitalist economies that bring clean water, cheap clothes, and washing machines that change the lives of women are the same ones that lead to healthier, freer men. In other words, to address the problems of Muslim women honestly, feminists would have to recognize that free men and women need the same things?and that those are things that they themselves already have. And recognizing that would mean an end to feminism as we know it.

There are signs that, outside the academy, middlebrow literary circles, and the United Nations, feminism has indeed met its Waterloo. Most Americans seem to realize that September 11 turned self-indulgent sentimental illusions, including those about the sexes, into an unaffordable luxury. Consider, for instance, women?s attitudes toward war, a topic on which politicians have learned to take for granted a gender gap. But according to the Pew Research Center, in January 2002, 57 percent of women versus 46 percent of men cited national security as the country?s top priority. There has been a ?seismic gender shift on matters of war,? according to pollster Kellyanne Conway. In 1991, 45 percent of U.S. women supported the use of ground troops in the Gulf War, a substantially smaller number than the 67 percent of men. But as of November, a CNN survey found women were more likely than men to support the use of ground troops against Iraq, 58 percent to 56 percent. The numbers for younger women were especially dramatic. Sixty-five percent of women between 18 and 49 support ground troops, as opposed to 48 percent of women 50 and over. Women are also changing their attitudes toward military spending: before September 11, only 24 percent of women supported increased funds; after the attacks, that number climbed to 47 percent. An evolutionary psychologist might speculate that, if females tend to be less aggressively territorial than males, there?s little to compare to the ferocity of the lioness when she believes her young are threatened.

Even among some who consider themselves feminists, there is some grudging recognition that Western, and specifically American, men are sometimes a force for the good. The Feminist Majority is sending around urgent messages asking for President Bush to increase American security forces in Afghanistan. The influential left-wing British columnist Polly Toynbee, who just 18 months ago coined the phrase ?America the Horrible,? went to Afghanistan to figure out whether the war ?was worth it.? Her answer was not what she might have expected. Though she found nine out of ten women still wearing burqas, partly out of fear of lingering fundamentalist hostility, she was convinced their lives had greatly improved. Women say they can go out alone now.

As we sink more deeply into what is likely to be a protracted struggle with radical Islam, American feminists have a moral responsibility to give up their resentments and speak up for women who actually need their support. Feminists have the moral authority to say that their call for the rights of women is a universal demand?that the rights of women are the Rights of Man.

Feminism Behind the Veil

Feminists in the West may fiddle while Muslim women are burning, but in the Muslim world itself there is a burgeoning movement to address the miserable predicament of the second sex?without simply adopting a philosophy whose higher cultural products include Sex and the City, Rosie O?Donnell, and the power-suited female executive.

The most impressive signs of an indigenous female revolt against the fundamentalist order are in Iran. Over the past ten years or so, Iran has seen the publication of a slew of serious journals dedicated to the social and political predicament of Islamic women, the most well known being the Teheran-based Zonan and Zan, published by Faezah Hashemi, a well-known member of parliament and the daughter of former president Rafsanjani. Believing that Western feminism has promoted hostility between the sexes, confused sex roles, and the sexual objectification of women, a number of writers have proposed an Islamic-style feminism that would stress ?gender complementarity? rather than equality and that would pay full respect to housewifery and motherhood while also giving women access to education and jobs.

Attacking from the religious front, a number of ?Islamic feminists? are challenging the reigning fundamentalist reading of the Qur?an. These scholars insist that the founding principles of Islam, which they believe were long ago corrupted by pre-Islamic Arab, Persian, and North African customs, are if anything more egalitarian than those of Western religions; the Qur?an explicitly describes women as the moral and spiritual equals of men and allows them to inherit and pass down property. The power of misogynistic mullahs has grown in recent decades, feminists continue, because Muslim men have felt threatened by modernity?s challenge to traditional arrangements between the sexes.

What makes Islamic feminism really worth watching is that it has the potential to play a profoundly important role in the future of the Islamic world?and not just because it could improve the lot of women. By insisting that it is true to Islam?in fact, truer than the creed espoused by the entrenched religious elite?Islamic feminism can affirm the dignity of Islam while at the same time bringing it more in line with modernity. In doing this, feminists can help lay the philosophical groundwork for democracy. In the West, feminism lagged behind religious reformation and political democratization by centuries; in the East, feminism could help lead the charge.

At the same time, though, the issue of women?s rights highlights two reasons for caution about the Islamic future. For one thing, no matter how much feminists might wish otherwise, polygamy and male domination of the family are not merely a fact of local traditions; they are written into the Qur?an itself. This in and of itself would not prove to be such an impediment?the Old Testament is filled with laws antithetical to women?s equality?except for the second problem: more than other religions, Islam is unfriendly to the notion of the separation of church and state. If history is any guide, there?s the rub. The ultimate guarantor of the rights of all citizens, whether Islamic or not, can only be a fully secular state.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1701 on: March 09, 2017, 10:39:38 PM »


http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/the-terrifying-truth-behind-the-trump-russia-mess
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 01:28:40 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1702 on: March 10, 2017, 09:37:23 AM »

"But I submit that Trump hatred has become a serious danger of its own. Trump inspires in his foes a revulsion so severe that even people who normally know better, and behave better, seem to feel the ends justify the means in getting rid of him."

switch the name Trump with Clinton, or Pelosi, or Reid, or Schumer, or may of the Hollywood liberals and we have the same conclusion.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1703 on: March 15, 2017, 03:15:18 AM »


Connectivity, Not Primacy, Is the Way of the World
Global Affairs
March 8, 2017 | 08:56 GMT Print
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As emerging markets form more connections in all directions, they're becoming less reliant on the developed world. (EKAPHON MANEECHOT/Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: The Global Affairs column is curated by Stratfor's board of contributors, a diverse group of thinkers whose expertise inspires rigorous and innovative thought. Their opinions are their own and serve to complement and even challenge our beliefs. We welcome that challenge, and we hope our readers do too.

By Parag Khanna

As surprising as it may seem, speaking of "deglobalization" as an unstoppable trend became fashionable long before Donald Trump was elected the United States' 45th president. Citing the persistent after-effects of the 2008 financial crisis, such as lower cross-border interbank lending, rising tension in Asia and pressure to bring manufacturing back within America's borders, the arguments for "peak globalization" held a certain appeal before Trump's "economic nationalism" agenda of tearing up trade agreements took center stage this year.

But as in every previous episode, the rumors of globalization's demise have been drastically overstated. Today's reality — and the megatrend of the 21st century — remains a massive expansion in the volume of cross-border connectivity within and across the regions of the world, and in the scale of movements of people and transactions of goods, services, capital and data. Globalization is alive and well. The question that really matters for American strategists is whether the United States is being left out of the loop as the rest of the world's regions deepen their connections with one another.
Get on Board or Get Left Behind

Trump's worldview rests on the belief that America's economic might gives it almost unlimited leverage — and that the rest of the world will need to play ball if it wants access to American customers and finance. That may have been true once. But a closer look at just how global trade has been realigning suggests that it's likely to keep growing with or without the United States.

An example already in the public eye is former U.S. President Barack Obama's signature international economic effort, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After the previous administration proved unable to push it through Congress and Trump ditched it in one of his first executive orders, most of the TPP's other signatories are moving ahead anyway with a "TPP minus one" format. In fact, though America will be absent when the new TPP constellation of negotiating countries comes together in Chile in March, China will be present for the first time. This is quite a reversal of fortune for a trade agreement that was initially pitched to Congress as a way to contain China's rise.

Even more important, more than a dozen Asian countries have rekindled their efforts to advance an alternative megadeal — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — centered not on the United States but on China. If the RCEP moves forward, it will integrate Asian markets in a way that will make them even harder for American firms to penetrate. Indigenous Asian firms will quickly move up the value chain and start occupying spots that U.S. companies are used to having for themselves. This is why America's biggest corporations aren't so keen on Trump's efforts to erect barriers that would keep manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and other sectors at home. Not only would "border adjustment taxes" raise the cost of their imports, but without the TPP's push to open markets, multinational companies' declining profits abroad will mean less capital to invest in competing for the high-growth markets where the majority of their revenues come from.

What is Global Affairs?

As Americans, it's easy to assume that global trade still depends on the United States as the consumer of last resort. But that's no longer true. In fact, the bulk of trade in emerging-market nations is with one another, not with the United States. In 1990, emerging economies sent 65 percent of their exports to developed peers like the United States and Europe, and only 35 percent to other developing countries. Today, that figure is nearly reversed. This rising emerging-market trade is a multidecade trend that many Western economists neglect. China's annual trade with Africa is nearing $400 billion per year — more than U.S.-Africa trade — and its trade with Latin America is almost $200 billion, about the same as trade between Latin America and Europe. Emerging markets won't decouple from advanced economies, but as they connect more in all directions, they're becoming less reliant on the developed world.

This is only natural given their geographic proximity to one another. Consider that most of the world's oil now flows between the Middle East and Far East, across the Indian Ocean and through the Straits of Malacca to China, Japan and South Korea. A full 80 percent of China's oil and natural gas imports traverse this route, along with roughly 66 percent of China's imported and exported goods. Even if China diverts some of these flows to Arctic routes, for example, this is a shift in trade geography, not a decline in trade overall.

It's become trendy among globalization skeptics to point out that global trade growth is decelerating relative to global gross domestic product growth. But given how fast Asian economies are expanding in consumption and services, this isn't surprising. By most estimates, consumption in China now represents two-thirds of China's output and contributes 75 percent of its growth. Yet China has also continued its investment binge in infrastructure and real estate, which are keeping commodities imports steady. And remember that as they grow, wealthier societies tend to import more, borrow more, spend more and travel more — which means Asia's rising middle class will likely be a driver of international trade even as its companies reduce their dependence on the West.

Which brings us to the largest coordinated investment program in history: the construction of "One Belt, One Road," a China-driven infrastructure project meant to weave many new and sturdy Silk Roads across the Eurasian landmass. For the past quarter-century since the Soviet Union's collapse, Europe has been steadily rehabilitating its former Warsaw Pact and Soviet republic neighbors with modern infrastructure, while China has begun to do the same with the dozen countries on its western periphery, turning most Central Asian states into supply chain colonies and passageways to the Near East and Europe. In the next quarter-century, they will meet in the middle, fusing the Eurasian supercontinent into an integrated commercial zone encompassing over two-thirds of the world's population.

But we don't need to wait until then to see the potential: Europe's trade with Asia — including China, Japan, India, Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — already exceeds trans-Atlantic trade at more than $1 trillion per year, and that's even before most of these high-speed railways, pipelines and other corridors are built. No wonder European governments (and their construction companies) were tripping over themselves to join the Chinese-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, despite America's objections. Germany's record trade surpluses aren't going to be absorbed in the sluggish eurozone, or by a protectionist America. Thus, for all of today's uncertainty, this undercurrent is clear: Europe and Asia are brushing aside America's unpredictability and getting on with the business of building a new world order. As I wrote in Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, "Connectivity across Eurasia now competes with culture across the Atlantic."
An Opportunity of Global Proportions

This is not "balancing behavior" to counteract the economic hegemony of the United States; the world is not aligning against America. It still uses the American financial system where necessary and American technology when convenient. But there is a law of history far more powerful than the United States' geopolitical primacy: supply and demand. American officials talk about accommodating China's rise as if the global system has an entrenched preference for American leadership. But the logic of history has no such sentimentality. The system wants only one thing: more connectivity. It doesn't care which power is the most connected, but the most connected power will have the most leverage. It will supply the security, infrastructure and other public goods that the world desires. China has become a welcome and popular power in Africa and Latin America because it has sold them (and often built for them) the foundations of better connectivity. They have demand for infrastructure and China supplies it. Ethereal concepts such as "soft power" are a pale substitute for the power of connectivity.

The new trade and financial links across the regions of the world signal the birth of a more distributed global economy with many major regional anchors including the United States. All sizable economies have benefited massively from exploiting comparative advantages with one another, and even the limited regionalization of supply chains won't undo this positive interdependence.

This more distributed globalization is also a significant opportunity for moribund Western economies. America is a debtor nation, but Japan and Germany (along with China) are the world's largest creditor nations, generating profits from reviving global lending and trade finance. Emerging markets' faster growth rates and weaker currencies have inspired some of the world's largest pension funds, from Canada to Norway, to expand their portfolio allocation to Asia, Latin America and Africa. The Norwegian pension fund recently announced a big switch in its focus from bonds to equity, meaning it is investing more in multinational corporations with exposure to emerging markets. The long money is still betting on globalization. Rather than try to stop it, America should get on the right side of history.

Indeed, the United States remains not only the most powerful state in the international system but also one of the most connected. America is the world's largest oil producer, and it increasingly exports oil to China and liquefied natural gas to Europe. The American dollar provides liquidity to the global financial system; American foreign investment drives capital formation in emerging markets; America's network of military alliances provides security guarantees; and of course, American software exports and digital services are craved universally.

American competitiveness therefore isn't enhanced by isolating itself. U.S. companies rightly favored the TPP and other trade agreements because they've long since outgrown even their own giant domestic market. Without substantial margins abroad, they cannot invest at home. Trump's punitive measures are self-defeating because they hinder America from competing in a world of growing opportunity. Not only should America redouble its efforts to open markets for American goods, services and investment, but it also must be equally aggressive in reforming its own tax, infrastructure, technology, immigration and education policies so that investing at home becomes more attractive.

If this is what Steve Bannon meant by "economic nationalism," that would be fine. But Trump's brand of "America First" ignores the simple fact that tens of millions of American jobs are linked to exports, and protectionism invites reciprocity in the form of countervailing measures that will surely destroy jobs, raise prices and slow the economy. There is still time to course-correct and ensure that globalization follows a win-win path. Most of the rest of the world sees it that way, and perhaps America should too.
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« Reply #1704 on: March 15, 2017, 10:31:50 AM »


Connectivity, Not Primacy, Is the Way of the World
Global Affairs
March 8, 2017 | 08:56 GMT Print
Text Size
As emerging markets form more connections in all directions, they're becoming less reliant on the developed world. (EKAPHON MANEECHOT/Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: The Global Affairs column is curated by Stratfor's board of contributors, a diverse group of thinkers whose expertise inspires rigorous and innovative thought. Their opinions are their own and serve to complement and even challenge our beliefs. We welcome that challenge, and we hope our readers do too.

By Parag Khanna



He is a CNN Global Contributor and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School. Edit -Lee Kuan Yew is a portion of the  National University of Singapore - added for clarity.

Just to better undertsand his formation and school of thought.

"Khanna was born in Kanpur, India. His childhood was spent between India and the United Arab Emirates before his family moved to New York City. For his final year at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, New York, Khanna moved to Flensburg, Germany, as an exchanged student and attended the Altes Gymnasium, where he completed the requirements for an Abitur degree."

As an American, I don't necessarily like non-americans, or Americans that are first generation, telling me what my country should be doing.

That should, IMO, be left to Americans to decide.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 10:37:21 AM by DDF » Logged

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« Reply #1705 on: March 15, 2017, 10:57:02 AM »

Stratfor printed this as an "op-ed" piece.

The arguments it makes are ones we should be familiar with and have thought about. 

This is a powerful book:

https://www.amazon.com/Nonzero-Logic-Destiny-Robert-Wright/dp/0679758941%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q%26tag%3Dduckduckgo-ffsb-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0679758941
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 01:09:01 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #1706 on: March 15, 2017, 01:05:38 PM »

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/camille-paglia-discusses-her-war-on-elitist-garbage-and-contemporary-feminism
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« Reply #1707 on: March 19, 2017, 11:31:17 PM »

http://www.hoover.org/research/end-identity-politics

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« Reply #1708 on: March 21, 2017, 07:37:24 AM »

and a battle of cultures by VDH as only VDH can do:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445934/political-culture-backlash-americans-retreat-when-theres-no-escaping-politics
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« Reply #1709 on: March 27, 2017, 12:30:05 PM »

http://www.voices4hillary.com/even-if-you-dont-read-maureen-dowd-read-this-donald-this-i-will-tell-y-2331030492.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb&ts=1490576743
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« Reply #1710 on: March 29, 2017, 10:59:11 AM »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/28/us/politics/right-and-left-partisan-writing-you-shouldnt-miss.html?emc=edit_ta_20170328&nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=1
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« Reply #1711 on: April 17, 2017, 06:21:10 AM »

 By Peggy Noonan
April 13, 2017 7:36 p.m. ET
495 COMMENTS

My late friend Bill Safire, the tough and joyous New York Times columnist, once gave me good advice. I was not then a newspaper columnist, but he’d apparently decided I would be. This is what he said: Never join a pile-on, always hit ’em when they’re up. Don’t criticize the person who’s already being attacked. What’s the fun in that, where’s the valor? Hit them when they’re flying high and it takes some guts.

So, in the matter of Steve Bannon :

I think we can agree he brings a certain amount of disorder. They say he’s rough and tough, and there’s no reason to doubt it. They say he leaks like a sieve and disparages his rivals, and this can be assumed to be correct: They all do that in this White House. He is accused of saying incendiary things and that is true. A week into the administration he told Michael Grynbaum of the Times the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.” “I love a gunfight,” he reportedly said in the middle of his latest difficulties. When he tried to muscle members of the Freedom Caucus to vote for the ObamaCare replacement bill, a congressman blandly replied, “You know, the last time someone ordered me to do something I was 18 years old, and it was my daddy, and I didn’t listen to him, either.” When I said a while back that some of the president’s aides are outlandish, and confuse strength with aggression, he was in mind.
Opinion Journal: "The White House is a pressure cooker."
Former White House Speechwriter Bill McGurn on his experience of White House political battles. Photo: Associated Press

But there’s something low, unseemly and ugly in the efforts to take him out so publicly and humiliatingly, to turn him into a human oil spot on the tarmac—this not only from his putative colleagues but now even the president. “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Mr. Trump purred to the New York Post’s Michael Goodwin.

    Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected

    Peggy Noonan writes about Donald Trump and the rise of the protected, made up of figures in government, politics and media who are struggling to make sense of the world they created.

    Click to Read Story

    Trump Was a Spark, Not the Fire

    Peggy Noonan: The establishments, both media and conservative, failed to anticipate how they’d be consumed.

    Click to Read Story

    The Republican Party Is Shattering

    Peggy Noonan: The Republican party is shattering and whether Republicans stop Donald Trump or unite behind him, nothing will ever be the same.

    Click to Read Story

    Advertisement

    A Wounded Boy’s Silence, and the Candidates’

    Peggy Noonan: “I hate war,” FDR declared 80 years ago. Why can’t today’s politicians say so?

    Click to Read Story

    Shining a Light on ‘Back Row’ America

    Peggy Noonan writes about Chris Arnade, a photographer whose travels and pictures reveal an America that is battered but standing, a society that is atomized but holding on.

    Click to Read Story

    No More Business as Usual, Mr. Trump

    Peggy Noonan writes Donald Trump has to abandon his company in order to deal on the country’s behalf.

    Click to Read Story

    Advertisement

    Imagine a Sane Donald Trump

    You know he’s a nut. What if he weren’t?

    Click to Read Story

    The Year of the Reticent Voter

    Peggy Noonan: People seem to feel that if they express a preference, they’re inviting others to inspect their souls.

    Click to Read Story

    Remembering a Hero, 15 Years After 9/11

    Peggy Noonan: “With this bandanna,” Welles Crowther said, “I’m gonna change the world.” And he did.

    Click to Read Story

    Advertisement

    That Moment When 2016 Hits You

    Peggy Noonan: ‘I felt a wave of sadness,’ said one friend. This year’s politics have that effect on a lot of Americans.

    Click to Read Story

Peggy Noonan: Pulitzer Prize Winner for Commentary 2017

So let’s take a look at something impressive Mr. Bannon has done. I’ve been meaning to write of it for a while. In 2014 he did a live Skype interview for a conference on poverty at the Vatican. BuzzFeed ran it during the campaign under the headline “This Is How Steve Bannon Sees the Entire World.”

It shows an interesting mind at work.

The West is currently facing a “crisis of capitalism,” he said. The world was able to recover after the world wars in part thanks to “an enlightened form of capitalism” that generated “tremendous wealth” broadly distributed among all classes. This capitalism was shaped by “the underlying spiritual and moral foundations . . . of Judeo-Christian belief.” Successful capitalists were often either “active participants in the Jewish faith” or “active participants in the Christian faith.” They operated on a kind of moral patrimony, part tradition, part religious teaching. But now the West has become more secular. Capitalism as a result has grown “unmoored” and is going “partly off track.”

He speaks of two “disturbing” strands. “One is state-sponsored capitalism,” as in China and Russia. We also, to a degree, see it in America. This is “a brutal form of capitalism” in which wealth and value are distributed to “a very small subset of people.” It is connected to crony capitalism. He criticizes the Republican Party as “really a collection of crony capitalists that feel they have a different set of rules of how they’re going to comport themselves.”

The other disturbing strand is “libertarian capitalism,” which “really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost.” He saw this strand up close when he was on Wall Street, at Goldman Sachs . There he saw “the securitization of everything” and an attitude in which “people are looked at as commodities.”
Opinion: The FBI, Billy Bush and the Upset of 2016
Peggy Noonan breaks down the components that ultimately undid Hillary Clinton.

Capitalists, he said, now must ask: “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us . . . to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”

With both these strands, he says, the middle class loses ground. This has contributed to the “global revolt” of populism and nationalism. That revolt was fueled, too, by the financial crisis of 2008. None of those responsible on Wall Street were called to account: “No bonuses and none of their equity was taken.” The taxes of the middle class were used to bail them out.

There’s more in the conversation, which lasted 50 minutes and included the problem of racist and anti-Semitic overtones in populist movements. But it’s a thoughtful, serious talk, and its themes would reverberate in the 2016 election.

You can see Mr. Bannon’s basic or developing political and economic philosophy as half-baked, fully baked, or likely to explode in the oven. And it is fair to note his views haven’t seemed to gel or produce very much in the first dozen weeks of the Trump era.

But what Mr. Bannon offered in the interview was a point of view that was publicly declared and could be debated.

What will take its place if he leaves the White House or recedes as a figure? What worldview will prevail, to the extent Mr. Trump does worldviews? Policy changes accompanying Mr. Bannon’s diminishment this week included the president’s speaking approvingly of the Export-Import Bank and NATO, declaring that China isn’t a currency manipulator after all, suggesting the dollar may be too strong, and hitting Syria and Afghanistan.

None of that sounds like Candidate Trump.

It is possible what we are seeing is simply the rise of a more moderate or conciliatory or establishment Trump White House. But it also looks like the rise of the Wall Street Mr. Bannon painted as tending to see people as commodities. Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, is said to be Mr. Bannon’s most effective internal foe. He is the new rising figure. There are many Wall Street folk—some from Messrs. Bannon and Cohn’s old stomping ground, Goldman Sachs—in influential administration posts. They don’t come across as the kind of people who exhaust themselves pondering the meaning of the historical moment or tracing societal stresses and potential responses.

Will all these changes, in policy and perhaps personnel, hurt Mr. Trump? Probably a little. But nothing dramatic right now, because his supporters knew they were making an unusual choice in making him president, and they will give him time.

But if the Trump White House is itself changing dramatically, we’ll look back on this week as the moment the change became apparent.

I end with Safire, who’s been gone eight years. I still miss him, and I thought of him this week when I received good news. He’d received the same news 39 years before. I think he’d be happy, clap me on the back, call me kid. And I’m telling you the first chance he got to take a deserved shot, he’d take it. And if instead I’d endured some personal or professional loss, he’d be first one on the phone.

He had style. Style is good.

Beautiful Easter and Passover to my readers, who wrote in this week and reminded me how beautiful they are. I know that’s corny, but sometimes life is corny.
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« Reply #1712 on: April 17, 2017, 09:00:42 AM »

Full text of the Bannon talk on poverty and capitalism here:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world?utm_term=.fyL3Ypgya#.eto3JBpOP
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« Reply #1713 on: April 17, 2017, 04:46:04 PM »

Rush pointed out how more attention was paid to Bannon then possibly any other WH advisor in history:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2017/04/17/nyt-media-manipulated-steve-bannons-image-drive-wedge-trump/
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« Reply #1714 on: April 20, 2017, 11:08:53 PM »

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/07/ten_reasons_i_am_no_longer_a_leftist.html
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« Reply #1715 on: April 20, 2017, 11:37:28 PM »

Plenty here I do not agree with, but some genuine insights as well:

https://fee.org/articles/left-wing-economics-is-no-match-for-alt-right-resentment/
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« Reply #1716 on: April 28, 2017, 12:16:30 AM »

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/west-has-done-bad-things-so-has-every-other-culture


The West Has Done Bad Things… But So Has Every Other Culture
10

Daniel Lattier | April 25, 2017

It has become common for many Americans and Europeans to denounce the West because of its past sins. As David Brooks recently pointed out in his New York Times column, students in history courses are often taught that “Western civilization is a history of oppression.” 

This argument against the West usually takes the following form:

1) Western people in the past have committed violent atrocities based on a perceived religious or cultural superiority.

2) Therefore, Western civilization is not worth preserving. 

But from a logical perspective this argument is missing a premise, namely, that every civilization or people that has committed violent atrocities based on a perceived religious or cultural superiority is not worth preserving.

According to philosopher and social critic Jacques Ellul, if one believes that this (usually unstated) premise is true, then not one civilization or people that has ever existed would make the cut.   

In The Betrayal of the West, Ellul agrees that Westerners need to acknowledge the sins of their past. There has been blood, and it does no good for the future of the West to deny it.

But Ellul does not believe it follows from this acknowledgement that one must therefore scorn the West:

    “Am I therefore to become a masochist and reject everything western, deny all the values of our world? No! I take a middle ground; I admit the accusations in their full extent, but I do not accept the rejection of the West in its entirety. I accept responsibility for the evil that has been done, but I deny that only evil has been done. I know our civilization is built on bloodshed and robbery, but I also know that every civilization is built on bloodshed and robbery. In the face of the pseudo-revolutionary speeches, the sensational news of people joining the guerrillas, the contempt for ‘white culture,’ and the inflamed desire to destroy everything that made us great, I reaffirm the value of the West we have known.”

Ellul goes on to provide pages of historical reminders that other cultures cannot exactly cast stones at the West. Among the reminders is this paragraph:

    “Let me begin by recalling some facts. We have been colonialists and we are now imperialists. Granted. But we did not invent colonialism and imperialism, nor are we the sole actors in these dramas. When the Arabs invaded the whole northern section of black Africa, what was that but colonialism, and indeed something worse than colonialism? And what of the Turkish invasions that created the Ottoman empire? and the Khmer invasions that created the Khmer empire? and the Tonkinese invasion that created the Tonkin empire? and the terrible conquests of Genghis Khan, which were doubtless the most terrible conquests of all, since Genghis Khan probably slaughtered some sixty million people in the course of his reign, or more people than Hitler or even Stalin? and the Bantu invasions that created new invader kingdoms in two-thirds of the black continent? What of the Chinese invasions of a third of Asia? and the Aztec invasions of their neighbors that led to what we are told was the wonderful Aztec kingdom that the fearsome conquerors destroyed, but which was itself in fact nothing but a frightful dictatorship exercised over crushed and conquered peoples?” 

And regarding the West’s unique role in human history, Ellul has this to say:

    “[T]he essential, central, undeniable fact is that the West was the first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom. Nothing can rob us of the praise due us for that. We have been guilty of denials and betrayals… we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.”

Perhaps it’s also time for Westerners today to leave behind a childish loathing of their past that remains blind to its very real and important achievements. The conclusion to Brooks' aforementioned column is also fitting here: “All I can say is, if you think [Western Civilization] was reactionary and oppressive, wait until you get a load of the world that comes after it.” 

Dan is the Vice President of Intellectual Takeout. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (MN), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find his academic work at Academia.edu.

E-mail Dan
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« Reply #1717 on: April 28, 2017, 12:17:50 AM »

second post

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/04/12/the-deconstruction-of-the-west/
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« Reply #1718 on: May 08, 2017, 04:28:38 PM »

Well Rockefeller did live to 99.  I am sure he lived better in 1916 then most live today.

But for all the advances made who do we have to thank - white men:   wink

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447386/health-care-living-conditions-poor-americans-beat-those-billionaires-past
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« Reply #1719 on: May 15, 2017, 12:13:36 PM »

https://medium.com/@KeriSmith/on-leaving-the-sjw-cult-and-finding-myself-1a6769b2f1ff
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« Reply #1720 on: May 24, 2017, 04:26:15 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447864/trump-critics-left-right-want-him-removed
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« Reply #1721 on: June 07, 2017, 11:59:31 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448320/hypocrite-democrats-lecture-country-exempt-themselves-resemble-jimmy-swaggart
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« Reply #1722 on: June 15, 2017, 01:43:10 AM »

http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/the-cold-civil-war/
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« Reply #1723 on: June 20, 2017, 01:48:33 PM »

http://gatesofvienna.net/2017/06/are-we-approaching-the-end-game/
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« Reply #1724 on: June 20, 2017, 03:54:09 PM »


Yes. Next question?
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« Reply #1725 on: June 21, 2017, 11:15:34 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8Q4EWVPNOE&feature=share
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« Reply #1726 on: June 22, 2017, 03:32:41 PM »



http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448800/douglas-murray-book-excerpt-roots-european-crisis-post-war-immigration
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« Reply #1727 on: July 04, 2017, 02:22:09 PM »

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=260

Gramscian damage
Posted on 2006-02-11 by Eric Raymond

Americans have never really understood ideological warfare. Our gut-level assumption is that everybody in the world really wants the same comfortable material success we have. We use “extremist” as a negative epithet. Even the few fanatics and revolutionary idealists we have, whatever their political flavor, expect everybody else to behave like a bourgeois.

We don’t expect ideas to matter — or, when they do, we expect them to matter only because people have been flipped into a vulnerable mode by repression or poverty. Thus all our divagation about the “root causes” of Islamic terrorism, as if the terrorists’ very clear and very ideological account of their own theory and motivations is somehow not to be believed.

By contrast, ideological and memetic warfare has been a favored tactic for all of America’s three great adversaries of the last hundred years — Nazis, Communists, and Islamists. All three put substantial effort into cultivating American proxies to influence U.S. domestic policy and foreign policy in favorable directions. Yes, the Nazis did this, through organizations like the “German-American Bund” that was outlawed when World War II went hot. Today, the Islamists are having some success at manipulating our politics through fairly transparent front organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

But it was the Soviet Union, in its day, that was the master of this game. They made dezinformatsiya (disinformation) a central weapon of their war against “the main adversary”, the U.S. They conducted memetic subversion against the U.S. on many levels at a scale that is only now becoming clear as historians burrow through their archives and ex-KGB officers sell their memoirs.


The Soviets had an entire “active measures” department devoted to churning out anti-American dezinformatsiya. A classic example is the rumor that AIDS was the result of research aimed at building a ‘race bomb’ that would selectively kill black people.

On a different level, in the 1930s members of CPUSA (the Communist Party of the USA) got instructions from Moscow to promote non-representational art so that the US’s public spaces would become arid and ugly.

Americans hearing that last one tend to laugh. But the Soviets, following the lead of Marxist theoreticians like Antonio Gramsci, took very seriously the idea that by blighting the U.S.’s intellectual and esthetic life, they could sap Americans’ will to resist Communist ideology and an eventual Communist takeover. The explicit goal was to erode the confidence of America’s ruling class and create an ideological vacuum to be filled by Marxism-Leninism.

Accordingly, the Soviet espionage apparat actually ran two different kinds of network: one of spies, and one of agents of influence. The agents of influence had the minor function of recruiting spies (as, for example, when Kim Philby was brought in by one of his tutors at Cambridge), but their major function was to spread dezinformatsiya, to launch memetic weapons that would damage and weaken the West.

In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:

There is no truth, only competing agendas.
All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.
As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia.

The Soviets consciously followed the Gramscian prescription; they pursued a war of position, subverting the “leading elements” of society through their agents of influence. (See, for example, Stephen Koch’s Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Munzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals; summary by Koch here) This worked exactly as expected; their memes seeped into Western popular culture and are repeated endlessly in (for example) the products of Hollywood.

Indeed, the index of Soviet success is that most of us no longer think of these memes as Communist propaganda. It takes a significant amount of digging and rethinking and remembering, even for a lifelong anti-Communist like myself, to realize that there was a time (within the lifetime of my parents) when all of these ideas would have seemed alien, absurd, and repulsive to most people — at best, the beliefs of a nutty left-wing fringe, and at worst instruments of deliberate subversion intended to destroy the American way of life.

Koch shows us that the worst-case scenario was, as it turns out now, the correct one; these ideas, like the “race bomb” rumor, really were instruments deliberately designed to destroy the American way of life. Another index of their success is that most members of the bicoastal elite can no longer speak of “the American way of life” without deprecation, irony, or an automatic and half-conscious genuflection towards the altar of political correctness. In this and other ways, the corrosive effects of Stalin’s meme war have come to utterly pervade our culture.

The most paranoid and xenophobic conservatives of the Cold War were, painful though this is to admit, the closest to the truth in estimating the magnitude and subtlety of Soviet subversion. Liberal anticommunists (like myself in the 1970s) thought we were being judicious and fair-minded when we dismissed half of the Right’s complaint as crude blather. We were wrong; the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss really were guilty, the Hollywood Ten really were Stalinist tools, and all of Joseph McCarthy’s rants about “Communists in the State Department” were essentially true. The Venona transcripts and other new material leave no room for reasonable doubt on this score.

While the espionage apparatus of the Soviet Union didn’t outlast it, their memetic weapons did. These memes are now coming near to crippling our culture’s response to Islamic terrorism.

In this context, Jeff Goldstein has written eloquently about perhaps the most long-term dangerous of these memes — the idea that rights inhere not in sovereign individuals but identity groups, and that every identity group (except the “ruling class”) has the right to suppress criticism of itself through political means up to and including violence.

Mark Brittingham (aka WildMonk) has written an excellent essay on the roots of this doctrine in Rousseau and the post-Enlightenment Romantics. It has elsewhere been analyzed and labeled as transnational progressivism. The Soviets didn’t invent it, but they promoted it heavily in a deliberate — and appallingly successful — attempt to weaken the Lockean, individualist tradition that underlies classical liberalism and the U.S. Constitution. The reduction of Western politics to a bitter war for government favor between ascriptive identity groups is exactly the outcome the Soviets wanted and worked hard to arrange.

Call it what you will — various other commentators have favored ‘volk-Marxism’ or ‘postmodern leftism’. I’ve called it suicidalism. It was designed to paralyze the West against one enemy, but it’s now being used against us by another. It is no accident that Osama bin Laden so often sounds like he’s reading from back issues of Z magazine, and no accident that both constantly echo the hoariest old cliches of Soviet propaganda in the 1930s and ’40s.

Another consequence of Stalin’s meme war is that today’s left-wing antiwar demonstrators wear kaffiyehs without any sense of how grotesque it is for ostensible Marxists to cuddle up to religious absolutists who want to restore the power relations of the 7th century CE. In Stalin’s hands, even Marxism itself was hollowed out to serve as a memetic weapon — it became increasingly nihilist, hatred-focused and destructive. The postmodern left is now defined not by what it’s for but by what it’s against: classical-liberal individualism, free markets, dead white males, America, and the idea of objective reality itself.

The first step to recovery is understanding the problem. Knowing that suicidalist memes were launched at us as war weapons by the espionage apparatus of the most evil despotism in human history is in itself liberating. Liberating, too, it is to realize that the Noam Chomskys and Michael Moores and Robert Fisks of the world (and their thousands of lesser imitators in faculty lounges everywhere) are not brave transgressive forward-thinkers but pathetic memebots running the program of a dead tyrant.

Brittingham and other have worried that postmodern leftism may yet win. If so, the victory would be short-lived. One of the clearest lessons of recent times (exemplified not just by kaffiyeh-wearing western leftists but by Hamas’s recent clobbering of al-Fatah in the first Palestinian elections) is that po-mo leftism is weaker than liberal individualism in one important respect; it has only the weakest defenses against absolutist fervor. Brittingham tellingly notes po-mo philosopher Richard Rorty’s realization that when the babble of conflicting tribal narratives collapses in exhaustion, the only thing left is the will to power.

Again, this is by design. Lenin and Stalin wanted classical-liberal individualism replaced with something less able to resist totalitarianism, not more. Volk-Marxist fantasy and postmodern nihilism served their purposes; the emergence of an adhesive counter-ideology would not have. Thus, the Chomskys and Moores and Fisks are running a program carefully designed to dead-end at nothing.

Religions are good at filling that kind of nothing. Accordingly, if transnational progressivism actually succeeds in smothering liberal individualism, its reward will be to be put to the sword by some flavor of jihadi. Whether the eventual winners are Muslims or Mormons, the future is not going to look like the fuzzy multicultural ecotopia of modern left fantasy. The death of that dream is being written in European banlieus by angry Muslim youths under the light of burning cars.

In the banlieus and elsewhere, Islamist pressure makes it certain that sooner or later the West is going to vomit Stalin’s memes out of its body politic. The worst way would be through a reflex development of Western absolutism — Christian chauvinism, nativism and militarism melding into something like Francoite fascism. The self-panicking leftists who think they see that in today’s Republicans are comically wrong (as witnessed by the fact that they aren’t being systematically jailed and executed), but it is quite a plausible future for the demographically-collapsing nations of Europe.

The U.S., fortunately, is still on a demographic expansion wave and will be till at least 2050. But if the Islamists achieve their dream of nuking “crusader” cities, they’ll make crusaders out of the U.S., too. And this time, a West with a chauvinized America at its head would smite the Saracen with weapons that would destroy entire populations and fuse Mecca into glass. The horror of our victory would echo for a thousand years.

I remain more optimistic than this. I think there is still an excellent chance that the West can recover from suicidalism without going through a fevered fascist episode and waging a genocidal war. But to do so, we have to do more than recognize Stalin’s memes; we have to reject them. We have to eject postmodern leftism from our universities, transnational progressivism from our politics, and volk-Marxism from our media.

The process won’t be pretty. But I fear that if the rest of us don’t hound the po-mo Left and its useful idiots out of public life with attack and ridicule and shunning, the hard Right will sooner or later get the power to do it by means that include a lot of killing. I don’t want to live in that future, and I don’t think any of my readers do, either. If we want to save a liberal, tolerant civilization for our children, we’d better get to work.

UPDATE: My original link to Protein Wisdom went stale. I’m not certain the new one is the same essay, but it is on many of the same ideas.
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ccp
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« Reply #1728 on: July 04, 2017, 03:35:24 PM »

in news today on our day of Independence and the anniversary of TJs death:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/quarters-jefferson-apos-slave-bore-081036373.html

Like in previous GM post anything good about our founding has to be countered with evil white people etc........
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« Reply #1729 on: July 08, 2017, 12:19:15 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/449313/trump-western-civilization-defense-left-response?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=170707_G-File&utm_term=GFile
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« Reply #1730 on: July 08, 2017, 12:29:56 PM »


The left hates us, they really, really hate us.

Plan accordingly.
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« Reply #1731 on: July 09, 2017, 12:57:51 AM »

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/07/its-true-liberals-hate-western-civilization.php

POSTED ON JULY 8, 2017 BY JOHN HINDERAKER IN LEFTISM, LIBERALS
IT’S TRUE: LIBERALS HATE WESTERN CIVILIZATION


President Trump’s superb speech in Poland has been praised by most observers, including Paul. On the Left, however, Trump’s speech has been criticized for its principal virtue, the president’s spirited defense of Western civilization. Here are some of the many such instances.

Amanda Marcotte writes at Salon: “Trump’s alt-right Poland speech: Time to call his white nationalist rhetoric what it is.”

Trump argued that Western (read: white) nations are “the fastest and the greatest community” and the “world has never known anything like our community of nations.” He crowed about how Westerners (read: white people) “write symphonies,” “pursue innovation” and “always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers,” as if these were unique qualities to white-dominated nations, instead of universal truths of the human race across all cultures.

Why, exactly, should we “read white people”? Trump said not a word about race in his speech. While the peoples that developed Western culture were of course predominantly white, Western civilization is not limited to one race. Just ask, say, Thomas Sowell or Yo-Yo Ma. The obsession with race is the Left’s, not Trump’s.

He also portrayed this Western civilization as under assault from forces “from the South or the East” that “threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.”
***
And yet, even though Trump was fairly begging to be labeled a fascist with his speech painting the purity of white civilization as under threat from racialized foreigners….

But wait! Doesn’t the threat from the East come from Russia? And aren’t Russians white? On the Left, facts are always secondary, at best, to the Narrative. Finally, this howler:

Breitbart gushed about how Trump was calling for “protecting our borders” and “preserving Western civilization,” and bizarrely compared the speech to Ronald Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech, even though the Berlin Wall is the gold standard in the kind of border security and cultural “preservation” that Trump has made his political career calling for.

Great point, Amanda! Just like Trump’s wall on the southern border, the East Germans built the Berlin Wall to keep out the throngs of West Berliners that were trying to get in illegally.

Next, Sarah Wildman at Vox: “Trump’s speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto.”

In his address, Trump cast the West, including the United States and Europe, on the side of “civilization.” With an undercurrent of bellicosity, he spoke of protecting borders, casting himself as a defender not just of territory but of Western “values.” And, using the phrase he had avoided on his trip to Saudi Arabia, he insisted that in the fight against “radical Islamic terrorism,” the West “will prevail.”

Is this what is meant by “alt-right”? I am so old, I can remember when 95% of Americans would have thought that such propositions verged on the self-evident.

Common Dreams (“Breaking News & Views For the Progressive Community”): “‘Disturbing’ Undertones Detected in Trump’s Bizarre Poland Speech.”

Honing in on Trump’s repeated emphasis on “the will” and his declaration that “our civilization will triumph,” many made connections between the speech and an infamous 1935 Nazi propaganda film titled “Triumph of the Will,” which was directed by Leni Riefenstahl and based on the 1934 Nuremberg Rally.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Peter Beinart in The Atlantic:

In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.
***
The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.

But Israel is pretty universally regarded as Western, and Western values derive largely from Jewish history and culture.

The most shocking sentence in Trump’s speech—perhaps the most shocking sentence in any presidential speech delivered on foreign soil in my lifetime—was his claim that “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.” … Trump’s sentence only makes sense as a statement of racial and religious paranoia. … A direct line connects Trump’s assault on Barack Obama’s citizenship to his speech in Poland. In Trump and Bannon’s view, America is at its core Western: meaning white and Christian (or at least Judeo-Christian). The implication is that anyone in the United States who is not white and Christian may not truly be American but rather than an imposter and a threat.

Like Trump’s daughter and son-in-law? Beinart’s rant verges on the insane.

Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post: “Trump’s white-nationalist dog whistles in Warsaw.”

This is the same crowd that brays about the superiority of “Western civilization” and its contributions in the history of the world conveniently ignores (or perhaps is just plain ignorant about) what we’ve adopted from Muslims and the Middle East. Those symphonies Trump says “We write” (ahem) would be real lame without the influence of the Middle East and Muslims. According to Salim al-Hassani, chairman of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization and editor of “1001 Inventions,” which chronicles “the enduring legacy of Muslim civilization,” told CNN years ago that the lute, musical scales and the ancestor of the violin are all part of that legacy.

Carlyn Reichel, former speechwriter for Joe Biden, in Foreign Policy: “Trump Has Reshaped Presidential Rhetoric Into an Unrecognizable Grotesque.”

Like staring into a fun-house mirror, the trappings of an American president delivering a landmark speech abroad were there — certainly there were deliberate echoes of President John F. Kennedy’s historic speech in Berlin — but it was all reshaped into an unrecognizable grotesque.

With each paragraph, strong statements about defending freedom and standing against the forces of oppression were replaced by a narrow vision of the world rooted in an even narrower ideology. For Trump, the boundaries of “civilization” only extend to those who share his definition of “God” and “family” — that is, a Judeo-Christian worldview and power structures that continue to be dominated by white men.

So you can’t celebrate or defend Western civilization without being denounced by liberals as a white nationalist, a fascist, and so on. It is good to know where they stand.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1732 on: July 10, 2017, 11:59:40 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422104/historys-complexity-should-discourage-liberals-cheap-retroactive-morality-victor
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« Reply #1733 on: July 12, 2017, 08:11:53 PM »

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/02/13/shoving-alinskys-rules-for-radicals-right-back-in-the-lefts-ugly-face-n2284892

Shoving Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Right Back in the Left’s Ugly Face
Kurt Schlichter |Posted: Feb 13, 2017 12:01 AM 
 


The Left is getting massively out-Alinskyed, and the hilarious thing is that this band of withered hippies, unemployable millennial safe-space cases, and unlovable + unshaven libfeminists don’t even know it. Oh, their masters sure know it. Soros is bitterly having to ramp up his infusions of blood money to keep his community-organized “grassroots” movements afloat. The less dumb ones among the lying dinosaur media are panicking as their influence fades, and Chuck Schumer is enduring such a non-stop parade of serial humiliations that if the Senate were a penitentiary, he’d be McConnell’s prison Mitch.

The Leftist mafia godmaleidentifyingparents pulling the strings of the Marxist Muppets know the score – they are losing. And it’s awesome. Because, finally, the Right has taken Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and shoved it up where #TheResistance don’t shine.

Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. You yelled “Follow me!” and led a movement that had previously been dominated by doofy wonks and bow-tied geeks over the top in a glorious bayonet charge against the paper tiger liberal elite. The Left hadn’t taken a good, solid gut punch since Ronald Reagan turned the Oval Office keys over to the wimpcons who found fighting Democrats uncouth because conflict made for awkward luncheons down at the club. Bizarrely, the guy who picked up the standard and carried it forward when our beloved commander was felled by fate was a New York billionaire with no identifiable ideological foundation who instinctively understood the one thing that could make up for his other failings: He knows how to fight liberals and win. For Donald Trump and the revitalized conservative movement, Alinsky's book isn’t some dusty old commie tome - it’s a lifestyle.

Alinsky’s Rules are relatively simple, and they make sense when you are fighting a conventional opponent with an interest in maintaining the status quo. The Rules are terrific for dealing with an old-school conservative guy who drives a Buick, enjoys gardening, and doesn’t want any trouble. They aren’t so effective against conservative brawlers who like to punch, and who aren’t too fussy about whether it’s with tweets or with fists.

The Rules are not some magic incantation; they are simply some tactical principles that work in certain kinds of fights against certain kinds of opponents – particularly ones willing to unilaterally disarm in the face of an unprincipled enemy. But once the secret is out, it’s relatively easy to turn them around on an enemy that is so stupid it thinks it’s going to gain widespread acceptance among normal Americans by dressing up as genitalia. That’s why the thirteen classic Alinsky Rules are playing out right now in a way the Left did not expect.

Rule 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Actually, we now have a lot of power. No, we don’t have direct power over liberal bastions like Hollywood, the media and academia, but by threatening to use governmental levers of power to impact their tax breaks, copyright laws, and subsidies, we can pound them into submission. And Trump is clearly willing to use all his powers to beat the living liberalism out of our enemy.


Wait, this is where the Fredocons loosen their bow ties and stutter, “Why…we can’t…Professor Wellington Wimpenheimer IV would not approve…it’s so mean…oh, well I never!”

Wake up. Man up. If you ever want to win (and maybe someday even kiss a girl) you need to get real. They hate us, and we either win or we spend the rest of our miserable lives as Boxer the Horse, slaving away to fund the welfare state under the lash of the Left until it decides it’s time to pack us off to the glue factory.

Rule 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people” and Rule 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Stupid GOP wonkcons want to fight to where the liberals are strong, like on entitlements. Trump is smart enough to fight where liberals are weak, like on the economy. And he’s going to throw down some serious jujitsu by doing a liberal thing – infrastructure spending – in a conservative way. He's a developer – he knows how to build stuff, and he will freak the Left out by delivering concrete results (not the least of them, a wall) where liberals (for whom “infrastructure” means giving our money to their deadbeat constituents) never actually build stuff anymore. As a conservative, I’m not thrilled about “infrastructure” spending. But as a conservative insurgent who wants to see the Left on its collective collectivist back, twitching like a dying roach, I’m thrilled.


Rule 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” This is not so much about pointing out the lies and hypocrisy that constitute Leftist orthodoxy – the vicious racism they deny is racism because it’s anti-white, the racism against non-whites who refuse to serve a liberal master, the sexism against women who think babies should be actually be born, and so on. It’s about not letting them tie us into knots by using our morals and values as bear traps to immobilize and neutralize us. Fortunately, most of us have discovered how losing our superficial “political values” helps us regain our freedom. We have embraced the power of not #caring. And liberals have no idea what to do when they shout “Trump is a meanie,” and we shrug, smile, and bust out with an impromptu interpretive dance to celebrate Neil Gorsuch.


Rule 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Actually, the AR15 a more potent weapon, but ridicule will do as long as the Left doesn't try to make good on its countless threats of violence and tyranny. Regardless, we finally we have a conservative corps that is willing to mock the members of that motley collection of pompous, inept, lying jerks we call the Democrat Party and its media catamite corps. When they turn around and try to mock us back, well, we aren’t watching their late night hack comics anymore, and frankly they can make all the jokes they want. The punchline is still going to be “And then the Republicans repealed Obamacare.”

Rule 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” I’m having fun watching the liberals lose. How about you?

Rule 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” I don’t know – I doubt I am ever going to be tired of so much #winning.

Rule 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Remember the Trump outrage du jour a couple days ago when we were supposed to be on the verge of war with Australia? Well, Down Under’s kangaroos and giant scary spiders still wander freely, and we’ve long since moved on. President Trump has been busy owning the news cycle with appointments, executive orders, and the occasional squirrel-sighting tweet that sends the media chasing off on a rodent-seeking tangent. Oh no, Kellyanne Conway said to buy Ivanka’s stuff – if I ever cared (and I never did), I’ve already moved on to giggling about the progressive freak out over ICE being allowed to do its job again.

Rule 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” No, Alinsky was wrong. The thing itself is much, much worse – as Democrats will find out when President Trump signs the law mandating national concealed carry reciprocity.

Rule 10: “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” Democrats are trying to do the massive resistance thing again, and it’s going about as well as when they tried the massive resistance thing against integration. It may arouse libs in blue cities and on soon-to-be-defunded college campuses, but normals are getting tired of the nonstop Leftist nonsense. See Rule 7. Conversely, Trump’s nonstop series of orders, appointments, and policies seems to be helping him – mostly because they are popular.

Rule 11: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Unhinged Leftist obstruction, including violence, is driving people right. However, leftist harping on Trump’s rough edges seems to be backfiring – instead of “Oh my, what a brute!” people seem to be saying “Good. He fights.”

Rule 12: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Trump has a program and it’s popular. What’s the Democrats’ program? “Give us more of your money so we can buy votes from welfare cheats, and then we’ll lecture you on your privilege?”

The Democrats have no meaningful policies because their entire focus is on them regaining and keeping power – that’s their desired end state, not a country made great again, and that’s why they get no traction anywhere on the map outside of the dysfunctional blue spots. Watch for then to eventually seriously propose secession by the liberal states – after the last few months, I’ve been tempted to move my novel People’s Republic, about California ignoring the admonition to never go full Venezuela, over to the nonfiction section.

Rule 13: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Well, they try to. They try to make Trump a demonic chimera composed of bits and pieces of Hitler, Mussolini, and more Hitler, and he just doesn’t care. We don’t care, because we know what they are really saying is that we normals are the monsters, that it’s not Trump governing that is illegitimate but that it is we normals having a voice in governing ourselves that is illegitimate.

And now we are woke, as the ridiculous Left would put it, to the Left’s tired Alinsky antics. We see it’s all a lie. It’s all a scam. And we aren’t playing the game by their rules anymore.
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ccp
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« Reply #1734 on: July 15, 2017, 10:43:11 AM »

I am pleased to read piece by McCarthy on the great one's .

Sadly the conclusion is not unexpected:

"But he has rightly come to the conclusion that the cause is lost absent the renewal of first principles. As Rediscovering Americanism illustrates, the need is acute and the hour is late."


by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY   July 15, 2017 4:00 AM @ANDREWCMCCARTHY

The Constitution safeguards the liberties that the Declaration of Independence represents but did not create. Is there an enduring American character? For those who view our nation as at a tipping point, the question is urgent. Others scoff, “Why?” After all, if the American character is truly enduring, it will endure — the ship eventually will right itself to the extent it is off course. And if not, history will inevitably evolve it into something better, right?

My friend Mark Levin would counter that this is the wrong way to look at it. The foundation of Americanism, he posits, is natural law. That does not just spontaneously appear, nor passively persevere. Understanding our natural-law roots, reaffirming our attachment to them in the teeth of the progressive project to supersede them — this is hard work. Necessary work, though. Discovering natural law is a prerequisite to rediscovering Americanism, an aim that, not coincidentally, is announced in the title of Mark’s ambitious new book, Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism. It is ambitious not merely because it endeavors to outline what it takes to grasp natural law, never an easy proposition and made all the harder by two centuries of contrarian political philosophy — with modern opinion elites poised to drive the last nail in the coffin.

Levin further undertakes to acquaint the lay reader with the political philosophers and theorists in the competing camps, in their own words. Locke himself would have cautioned that this is an uphill climb. Not one he shied away from, of course. As philosophy students who have plowed their way through his much-debated oeuvre will recall, Locke divided his readers into the “hunters” and those “content to live lazily on scraps of begged opinions.”

Levin, with his wide reach as a popular talk-radio host, bestselling author (yet again), and constitutional litigator, is not just looking for hunters. He’s trying to create them. Or at least enough of them to stem the tide of change — change being the radical antithesis of reformation, the restorative enterprise Levin channels Burke in championing. As Levin reads Locke, “the fact that every person has the ability to reason and discover natural law . . . does not mean that all people will do so.” A critical mass of them must try, though. We are a deeply divided nation, and the prospect of that’s easing any time soon is dim.

The solution, as Levin sees it, is for lovers of America not merely to feel patriotic fervor but to become knowledgeable of and conversant with the ideals on which it is founded. That means going to the sources. It all goes back to natural law because of the Declaration of Independence, which is not the foundation but the reflection of the American character, already formed. So says none other than Jefferson, the Declaration’s principal author. Reflecting on his handiwork nearly a half-century later, Jefferson explained (in a letter to Henry Lee) that the founders were striving “not to find out new principles,” nor to say things never said or thought before, but to set down “an expression of the American mind.” Levin’s point is that there was — and is — an America that pre-existed and gave essential content to the American nation. Levin’s point, the same one made in Paul Johnson’s magisterial A History of the American People, is that there was — and is — an America that pre-existed and gave essential content to the American nation.

It is an interesting observation given the heavy emphasis on the primacy of the Constitution in much of Levin’s work. But the march is straightforward: The Constitution promotes the principles and safeguards the liberties of the Americanism that the Declaration represents but did not create. The Declaration is impelled by “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” the force that drove the American people “to assume among the powers of the earth, [their] separate and equal station.” Why the laws of nature? Why not simply nature itself? Because nature has fitted us out with needs and drives that can lead to destructive as well as to beneficial behavior. It is natural law that points us to human flourishing: the application of human reason to the forces of nature. Yet, not the autopilot kind of reason that Locke described as our “faculty of understanding which forms the trains of thought and deduces proofs.” That is, not the everyday kind, innately exercised by everyone. The lamp of natural law, Locke elaborated, is right reason, “certain definite principles of action from which spring all virtues and whatever is necessary for the proper molding of morals.”

Here, Levin finds the 18th century’s echoes of Cicero: “True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting.” It is reason that learning has cultivated for the pursuit of happiness. It is not a sensor distinguishing pleasure from pain. It is reason that assimilates what is in the highest interests of beings of our immutable nature. Right reason is what Aristotle saw as “this divine element of human nature,” thanks to which there is a “natural justice and injustice common to all, even to those who have no association or covenant with each other.” Natural law thus leads to the discovery of what the founders memorialized as our “unalienable rights.” It also requires the restraint of the state so that these rights to live freely and happily may be pursued by every person. This calls for a civil society that respects the rights and equal dignity of all, within the framework of traditions and customs derived from our nation’s accumulated experience.

Natural law is the basis for our conceit that no one may rule over another without his consent. It forms what Lincoln called “the great principles on which the temple of liberty was built” — the principles of the Declaration that inexorably demanded the end of slavery. In the absence of natural law, we would be left to the tyranny of will — arbitrary morality and rights, dictated by those who had muscled their way to dominance.

For Levin, rationalizing such a muscular state is the 20th-century progressive project spearheaded by Herbert Croly, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John Dewey, and their progeny. They built on the utopian foundation of the “philosopher-kings”: Rousseau’s radical egalitarianism, Hegel’s historicism, Marx’s economic determinism and class struggle, and so on. After a century’s ascendancy, this project has transformed the governing system, the federalist balance of power, and our core assumptions about government: its role, form, competence, and relationship to the citizen. The rights of self-determination, self-governance, and private property — the blessings of liberty that are the heritage of natural law — are in peril, if not of extinction, at least of irreversible atrophy. Mark Levin has not been content to inveigh against statism. In the last few years, he has offered concrete plans to roll it back, including a campaign for a convention of the states under Article V of the Constitution, aimed at stripping down Washington from without, since it will never reform itself from within. He is clearly frustrated by the lack of progress against “progress.” But he has rightly come to the conclusion that the cause is lost absent the renewal of first principles. As Rediscovering Americanism illustrates, the need is acute and the hour is late.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449531/mark-levin-rediscovering-america-tyranny-progressivism-natural-law-declaration-independence
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« Reply #1735 on: July 18, 2017, 07:57:26 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449594/fifth-american-war-blue-state-vs-red-elites-vs-populists-egalitarianism-vs-liberty

Trump is the one of the only champions for us , another Ted Cruz ,  but both have flaws and do not have the support of the majority of Repubs

It looks grim at this point

Proof we are done for :

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/huh-43-percent-of-conservatives-say-handouts-trump-tax-cuts

check mate

because of stolen election in Minn.  by that creepy Senator the LEFT has won.


« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 08:05:04 AM by ccp » Logged
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« Reply #1736 on: July 23, 2017, 09:06:00 AM »

Bezos bought Wash Post to leverage Washington.  Makes sense.   Interesting that the US Postal Service in actuality is subsidizing Amazon!!!!!   shocked

https://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2017/07/22/the-amazon-washington-post-and-why-it-needs-to-be-destroyed/
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« Reply #1737 on: July 23, 2017, 01:07:13 PM »

Bezos bought Wash Post to leverage Washington.  Makes sense.   Interesting that the US Postal Service in actuality is subsidizing Amazon!!!!!   shocked

https://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2017/07/22/the-amazon-washington-post-and-why-it-needs-to-be-destroyed/

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/postal-service-broke-federal-law-and-showed-institutional-bias-by-letting-workers-help-clinton-campaign-watchdog/article/2629083
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« Reply #1738 on: August 17, 2017, 03:26:57 PM »

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/164297628606/how-to-know-youre-in-a-mass-hysteria-bubble

How To Know You’re In a Mass Hysteria Bubble
Posted August 17th, 2017 @ 12:36pm

History is full of examples of Mass Hysterias. They happen fairly often. The cool thing about mass hysterias is that you don’t know when you are in one. But sometimes the people who are not experiencing the mass hysteria can recognize when others are experiencing one, if they know what to look for.

I’ll teach you what to look for.

image
A mass hysteria happens when the public gets a wrong idea about something that has strong emotional content and it triggers cognitive dissonance that is often supported by confirmation bias. In other words, people spontaneously hallucinate a whole new (and usually crazy-sounding) reality and believe they see plenty of evidence for it. The Salem Witch Trials are the best-known example of mass hysteria. The McMartin Pre-School case and the Tulip Bulb hysteria are others. The dotcom bubble probably qualifies. We might soon learn that the Russian Collusion story was mass hysteria in hindsight. The curious lack of solid evidence for Russian collusion is a red flag. But we’ll see how that plays out.

The most visible Mass Hysteria of the moment involves the idea that the United States intentionally elected a racist President. If that statement just triggered you, it might mean you are in the Mass Hysteria bubble. The cool part is that you can’t fact-check my claim you are hallucinating if you are actually hallucinating. But you can read my description of the signs of mass hysteria and see if you check off the boxes.

If you’re in the mass hysteria, recognizing you have all the symptoms of hysteria won’t help you be aware you are in it. That’s not how hallucinations work. Instead, your hallucination will automatically rewrite itself to expel any new data that conflicts with its illusions.

But if you are not experiencing mass hysteria, you might be totally confused by the actions of the people who are. They appear to be irrational, but in ways that are hard to define. You can’t tell if they are stupid, unscrupulous, ignorant, mentally ill, emotionally unstable or what. It just looks frickin’ crazy.

The reason you can’t easily identify what-the-hell is going on in the country right now is that a powerful mass hysteria is in play. If you see the signs after I point them out, you’re probably not in the hysteria bubble. If you read this and do NOT see the signs, it probably means you’re trapped inside the mass hysteria bubble.

Here are some signs of mass hysteria. This is my own take on it, but I welcome you to fact-check it with experts on mass hysteria.

1. The trigger event for cognitive dissonance

On November 8th of 2016, half the country learned that everything they believed to be both true and obvious turned out to be wrong. The people who thought Trump had no chance of winning were under the impression they were smart people who understood their country, and politics, and how things work in general. When Trump won, they learned they were wrong. They were so very wrong that they reflexively (because this is how all brains work) rewrote the scripts they were seeing in their minds until it all made sense again. The wrong-about-everything crowd decided that the only way their world made sense, with their egos intact, is that either the Russians helped Trump win or there are far more racists in the country than they imagined, and he is their king. Those were the seeds of the two mass hysterias we witness today.

Trump supporters experienced no trigger event for cognitive dissonance when Trump won. Their worldview was confirmed by observed events.

2. The Ridiculousness of it

One sign of a good mass hysteria is that it sounds bonkers to anyone who is not experiencing it. Imagine your neighbor telling you he thinks the other neighbor is a witch. Or imagine someone saying the local daycare provider is a satanic temple in disguise. Or imagine someone telling you tulip bulbs are more valuable than gold. Crazy stuff.

Compare that to the idea that our president is a Russian puppet. Or that the country accidentally elected a racist who thinks the KKK and Nazis and “fine people.” Crazy stuff.

If you think those examples don’t sound crazy – regardless of the reality – you are probably inside the mass hysteria bubble.

3. The Confirmation Bias

If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, you probably interpreted President Trump’s initial statement on Charlottesville – which was politically imperfect to say the least – as proof-positive he is a damned racist.

If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble you might have noticed that President Trump never campaigned to be our moral leader. He presented himself as – in his own words “no angel” – with a set of skills he offered to use in the public’s interest. He was big on law and order, and equal justice under the law. But he never offered moral leadership. Voters elected him with that knowledge. Evidently, Republicans don’t depend on politicians for moral leadership. That’s probably a good call.

When the horror in Charlottesville shocked the country, citizens instinctively looked to their president for moral leadership. The president instead provided a generic law and order statement. Under pressure, he later named specific groups and disavowed the racists. He was clearly uncomfortable being our moral lighthouse. That’s probably why he never described his moral leadership as an asset when running for office. We observe that he has never been shy about any other skill he brings to the job, so it probably isn’t an accident when he avoids mentioning any ambitions for moral leadership. If he wanted us to know he would provide that service, I think he would have mentioned it by now.

If you already believed President Trump is a racist, his weak statement about Charlottesville seems like confirmation. But if you believe he never offered moral leadership, only equal treatment under the law, that’s what you saw instead. And you made up your own mind about the morality.

The tricky part here is that any interpretation of what happened could be confirmation bias. But ask yourself which one of these versions sounds less crazy:

1. A sitting president, who is a branding expert, thought it would be a good idea to go easy on murderous Nazis as a way to improve his popularity.

or…

2. The country elected a racist leader who is winking to the KKK and White Supremacists that they have a free pass to start a race war now.

or…

3. A mentally unstable racist clown with conman skills (mostly just lying) eviscerated the Republican primary field and won the presidency. He keeps doing crazy, impulsive racist stuff. But for some reason, the economy is going well, jobs are looking good, North Korea blinked, ISIS is on the ropes, and the Supreme Court got a qualified judge. It was mostly luck.

or…

4. The guy who didn’t offer to be your moral leader didn’t offer any moral leadership, just law and order, applied equally. His critics cleverly and predictably framed it as being soft on Nazis.

One of those narratives is less crazy-sounding than the other. That doesn’t mean the less-crazy one has to be true. But normal stuff happens far more often than crazy stuff. And critics will frame normal stuff as crazy whenever they get a chance.

4. The Oversized Reaction

It would be hard to overreact to a Nazi murder, or to racists marching in the streets with torches. That stuff demands a strong reaction. But if a Republican agrees with you that Nazis are the worst, and you threaten to punch that Republican for not agreeing with you exactly the right way, that might be an oversized reaction.

5. The Insult without supporting argument

When people have actual reasons for disagreeing with you, they offer those reasons without hesitation. Strangers on social media will cheerfully check your facts, your logic, and your assumptions. But when you start seeing ad hominem attacks that offer no reasons at all, that might be a sign that people in the mass hysteria bubble don’t understand what is wrong with your point of view except that it sounds more sensible than their own.

For the past two days I have been disavowing Nazis on Twitter. The most common response from the people who agree with me is that my comic strip sucks and I am ugly.

The mass hysteria signals I described here are not settled science, or anything like it. This is only my take on the topic, based on personal observation and years of experience with hypnosis and other forms of persuasion. I present this filter on the situation as the first step in dissolving the mass hysteria. It isn’t enough, but more persuasion is coming. If you are outside the mass hysteria bubble, you might see what I am doing in this blog as a valuable public service. If you are inside the mass hysteria bubble, I look like a Nazi collaborator.

How do I look to you?



I wrote a book about how to persuade yourself to success. Based on reader comments, it is working.

My upcoming book, Win Bigly, tells you how to persuade others. (For good.) That comes out October 31st.
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« Reply #1739 on: August 19, 2017, 05:13:48 PM »

Confederate Statues Honor Timeless Virtues — Let Them Stay

by ARTHUR HERMAN   August 19, 2017 4:00 AM @ARTHURLHERMAN

Don’t let extremists on both sides destroy honor and valor, even as they seek to destroy everything else. There are times when I wonder if we’re coming to the harsh, bitter end of the American experiment. The weekend of August 12 was one of them. My wife and I have lived in Charlottesville for the past 14 years, and on Saturday we got to see the sick political culture that’s infected this country for the past couple of decades sweep over our fair city, leaving three dead and many more seriously injured. Beth and I like to run in the mornings, and that Saturday morning we headed over to the big four-story parking garage at John Paul Jones Arena, which we sometimes use as our running track when it’s raining or it’s very hot and sunny. Usually the garage is completely empty; that Saturday every bay was filled with a Virginia State Police car, with dozens of other police cars and vans parked along the side. Seeing them gave us both an eerie feeling filled with foreboding; I’d felt the same eeriness that Friday night, when white supremacists held their torchlight vigil at the University of Virginia, in a scene reminiscent of Nazi-party rallies in the 1930s.

Yet even with all these policemen in riot gear, no one could control the violence when extremists from the left and extremists from the right battled each other in the streets in Charlottesville — or the national political firestorm it set off. And all this happened because our city council decided in June it could score some liberal points by having the statue of Robert E. Lee removed from a park downtown, and by changing the name from Lee Park to Emancipation Park. UP NEXT UP NEXT UP NEXT UP NEXT UP NEXT CBS News figure Misrepresents Facts on Terror 00:57 01:00 Powered by They’re not alone, of course; they’re part of a trend that’s sweeping — or, I prefer to say infecting — the country right now, and not just in the South. I’ve heard many arguments as to why statues commemorating Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and other Confederate war heroes should come down in Charlottesville; and not many why they should stay, except from white supremacists who have no honest or rational views on the matter. So maybe it’s time for someone who is a scholar, a historian — a Pulitzer Prize finalist historian, and the New York Times–bestselling author of nine books — and a lifelong Civil War buff to rehearse the reasons why they should remain, and why, if they come down now under violent pressure from the Left, we may be losing a lot more than statues of dead Confederate heroes. these are not ‘Confederate monuments.’ They are monuments to the dead, soldiers who fought and often died for the Confederate cause. First of all, these are not “Confederate monuments.” They are monuments to the dead, soldiers who fought and often died for the Confederate cause. They were erected years after the Civil War.

For example, the bronze Lee statue in Lee Park dates to 1924. It was begun by a French sculptor, completed by an Italian-immigrant artist, and then cast by a company in the Bronx. These monuments were dedicated to memorialize the courage and sacrifice that these Southern men and, in some cases, women (one of the sculptures in Baltimore pulled down earlier this week was dedicated “to the Confederate women of Maryland”) brought to a cause that they believed at the time deserved the same “last full measure of devotion” that their Northern counterparts brought to theirs. Of course, some of those who paid for and erected these statues also believed that cause had been right, not wrong. (I’ll say more about that in a minute.) But in the final analysis, they are monuments to timeless virtues, not to individuals. Nor are they monuments to “traitors.” Abraham Lincoln set that issue aside as soon as the war ended, by making it clear that there would be no trials or punishments for the rebels who had fought for the Confederacy and that the national agenda would be reconciliation, not retribution, in order that Americans might come together again as one nation, indivisible. And that has been the lasting legacy of the Civil War, ever since. It is in fact the true face of American exceptionalism, that we Americans could fight a savage and bloody civil war, in which more than 600,000 died and thousands more were maimed and wounded, and still be able to honor the heroes of both sides.

That never happened with other civil wars. It didn’t happen in Ireland or Spain or Russia, and it won’t happen in Iraq. This is a personal issue for me. My great-great-grandfather fought for the Union in that war and was severely wounded at the Battle of Stone’s River. (I still have the rebel Minié ball the medics pulled out of his knee.) But I know that neither he nor the men he served with in his Wisconsin regiment would want, 150 years later, to change those parks’ names — any more than would Ulysses S. Grant or Lincoln, who after the war famously spoke of the need for “charity to all and malice towards none.” Lincoln sought “to bind the nation’s wounds” in the aftermath of America’s bloodiest conflict. It was a process of reconciliation and healing, which the Left is now determined to tear up and destroy. This is why making Lee the target of these attacks is both ironic and tragic. Just before the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, one of his officers proposed instead that they draw off into the hills to continue the fight against the Federals in a guerilla war. Lee firmly said no. The South had fought its war and lost; after the surrender, he wanted his men to return to their homes and return to being Americans. As any reader of Jay Winik’s book April 1865 also knows, after the war Lee also worked for reconciliation between black and white, in hopes that together they could build a new South now that the slaveholding version was gone forever. It’s true that Lee failed. His dream of a new South descended into Jim Crow after he died. This is in fact the best argument that those who want these statues gone can make: that the “reconciliation” between North and South was done on the backs of blacks, and that the end of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow were the price America paid to have peace in the aftermath of civil war. From a historical point of view, it’s almost convincing, even though what American blacks suffered under segregation was nothing compared to what liberalism has inflicted on them since the 1950s, as it destroyed their families, their schools, and their young men and women’s lives through drugs and guns and the gangster-rap culture “lifestyle,” which is really a death style. It’s a deceptively specious proposition. We must remove these statues, is how the argument goes, as a form of symbolic reparation to African Americans who suffered not only slavery but its Jim Crow aftermath. The monuments may be to the right people — men who served with honor, dedication, and valor — but they were too often erected for the wrong reasons, not to close the books on a bitter war but to open a new chapter in a segregationist South. They are monuments to Southern heroes, symbols of Southern courage and heroism.

The subtext was: When the South rises again, it will produce heroes like these again. But again, this argument runs up against the monuments themselves. They’re not to leaders of the Ku Klux Klan or the architects of segregation or to George Wallace or Lester Maddox. They are monuments to Southern heroes whom the segregationists could cling to as unexceptionable symbols of Southern courage and heroism. The subtext was: When the South rises again, it will produce heroes like these again. Instead it got Theodore Bilbo and George Wallace and Robert Byrd; but that was not Lee or Jackson’s fault, any more than an American flag displayed at a KKK rally is a reason to ban the Stars and Stripes. In that sense, one could say that these statues and monuments were vice’s tribute to virtue, and Jim Crow’s tribute to dead heroes, because even Jim Crow knew they represented human qualities — duty, honor, valor, sacrifice — that transcend race, color, and political ideology. *** That is, of course, what those who want the statues torn down deny. Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and sundry activists who gathered to do battle in Charlottesville that day believe that there are no intrinsic human virtues, only politics and power. They are our totalitarian Left: Their ideological roots run much deeper than Ferguson. Reared on Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, they see America as the Evil Empire and the Confederacy as a face of that evil. The people who led the destruction of the statues in Durham, for example, were members of the World Workers Party, a Communist faction that supported the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 and of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The party’s latest cause happens to be defending North Korea. Tearing down statues of dead Confederates is just one more means to their Marxist end. Those who convince themselves that removing these monuments will calm political passions and make the issue go away know not with whom they are dealing. The totalitarian Left is just getting warmed up. To them this is not a campaign about racism or slavery; it’s one more step in transforming America by effacing and defacing every aspect of its history, going back to the founding. Once Lee and Jackson are gone, attention will turn to Thomas Jefferson. (It already has here in Charlottesville, where he made his home at Monticello, and at the University of Virginia, which he founded). Jefferson was a slaveholder, after all, who actually knew it was wrong; why are so many statues and highways named after him, and likewise after his fellow slaveholders James Madison and George Washington? Clearly we need to start correcting that. And what about Lincoln himself? How would he pass the latest litmus test on what constitutes racism? Or how would many or even most of the men who wore blue and fought for the Union, including my great-great grandfather? They may be heroes for now, but when Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has ordered removing the names of Lee and Jackson from street signs because New York “stands against racism,” where does that leave most Americans born before the Second World War?

The truth is that, while Cuomo, Black Lives Matter, and the Workers World Party claim to hate racism, what they really hate is America. America is a country where the process of conflict and reconciliation, combined with the passage of time, brings out and embeds the qualities that make the United States one people and one community. That process includes the Civil War. This is not my insight, it was Abraham Lincoln’s. He believed that the Southerners who had left the Union in 1861 and had fought a war with every ounce of savagery and bitterness could be welcomed back in 1865 and that the nation could made whole again, because the virtues (not the vices) the South displayed in that conflict — honor, valor, sacrifice — were in fact American virtues. Now 150 years later, extremists on both sides have brought the anger and bitterness back, deliberately. When I think about the riots in Charlottesville, I hear these lines from Dover Beach: “We are here as on a darkling plain / Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight / Where ignorant armies clash by night” — and while statues of dead heroes watch impassively overhead. So when should those statues come down? I’d say when honor, valor, and sacrifice no longer count for anything in this country. Until then, let them stay. Don’t let extremists on both sides destroy the virtues they stand for, even as they seek to destroy everything else. — Arthur L. Herman is Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of the forthcoming 1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder and Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450622/virginia-confederate-statues-robert-e-lee-stonewall-jackson-virtues-honor-sacrifice-valor?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Saturday%202017-08-19&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
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