Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Left and the Prison of the Past

One of the many sad things about the Left is that it is hopelessly stuck in the past. Modern leftists are the heirs of 19th century ideologies and they seem to be unaware that the 19th century is over.

They still see politics in terms of the class struggle, a Marxist belief that had been well and truly exploded by the time of the First World War when the workers of the world conspicuously failed to unite to throw off their chains.

Trades unions still view employers as Dickensian villains who force children to work in coal mines. Feminists still believe that conservatives want to force them to wear corsets and keep them in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. Gay activists still believe that conservatives want to turn back the clock to the days when gays really were an oppressed minority.

Conservatives have long since moved on. Leftists have not. Leftists still want to fight battles that were either won half a century ago (or in some cases a century ago), or were never relevant in the first place.

The reasons for this backwardness in thinking are not difficult to find. The stronghold of the modern Left is the university, where they are safely shut off from the real world. Leftwing university lecturers whose experience of real life is exactly zero can still happily pontificate about the state of the world without ever having to apply the test of reality to their theories.

For the Left the Culture Wars are merely a means to an end. The end has never changed. It is still viewed in terms of the socialist utopia imagined by 19th century thinkers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

unrecognised threats to our rights

One of the most dangerous threats to our freedoms comes from the proliferation of quasi-government authorities and tribunals. Many of these “tribunals” have truly terrifying powers. They are dangerous because the dangers they present are not widely recognised.  We take them for granted and often do not realise the extent of the powers these bodies wield.

We also do not realise that they represent an innovation - they have the powers that courts have but if you’re unlucky enough to come before them you swiftly discover that you have few if any of the protections that you enjoy in a court of law. More often than not you discover that you’re guilty until proven innocent.

They operate as judge, jury and executioner and most operate in a rather informal way compared to a court of law, even though they have sweeping legal powers. This informality means there is an absence of the protections that an accused person has in a regular court of law, such as the right to legal representation. The informality is also used as a way of disguising the iron fist in the velvet glove. By the time you discover the unpleasant truth it is most likely too late.

Regular law courts operate in a very formal way because this is the best possible guarantee of fair play, and the best way to guarantee the individual’s rights. Government, especially (but unfortunately not exclusively) those of a leftist persuasion dislike courts of law because they give the individual too many rights for the government’s liking.

If the government wants to strip its citizen of yet more time-honoured rights then tribunals are a very attractive option.

It’s just another example of creeping totalitarianism.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

another good news day

It looks like the beginning of the end for Australia's premier whining leftist newspapers, with both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to become tabloids. And they may cease publication altogether in the near future. So it's all good news today!

And it's not just 1900 jobs that will go - many of the job cuts will be in the editorial area. Some of the luvvies will now have to get jobs in the real world.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

the end of national sovereignty

There are few threats facing our civilisation that are more serious that the erosion of national sovereignty.

Not that ordinary people would ever be dumb enough to do such a thing. It is our elected representatives willingly signing away our freedoms to monstrous multi-national entities like the United Nations and the European Union. In the case of the UN, to a completely unelected and unaccountable body.

The mystery is, why would any politician be stupid enough to do something like this? We expect our politicians to be cynical, but not stupid. And yet they are happily signing away their own powers.

In the case of the US they are signing away powers to a body that is not only corrupt and unaccountable, but violently and fanatically anti-US.

In Australia it comes as no surprise to find the far-left loonies of the Greens being in the forefront of this move. We expect the Greens to be motivated by hatred of their own country. It becomes really worrying when mainstream political parties do the same thing.

This is nothing short of treason. There is no other word for it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

the green nazis' plans for humanity

This is the chilling future the green nazis have in mind for us. We will be expected to embrace the idea of living lives of poverty, filth and misery, without heating and with very little food. And we will be expected to welcome this as a good thing. We must all reduce our "ecological footprint" to the level of the poorest nations on Earth. And the poor nations must resign themselves to remaining poor for ever, in the interests of "biodiversity."

This is the agenda of the hardline eco-fascist World Wildlife Fund. What they are planning is nothing less  than the greatest crime against humanity in human history. This is evil on a scale the Nazis could only dream of. They intend to take away all hope from the human species. This is a hate crime, make no mistake about it.


Friday, May 18, 2012

losing touch with our cultural traditions

The de-christianisation of society has other results other than the obvious ones - it’s also one of the reasons people today are so disconnected from the western cultural tradition. It's not just that Christians are in a minority; many people today know nothing whatever about Christianity. You can't appreciate Renaissance painting or 16th century English poetry if you have no idea who the figures in biblical paintings are, or if you have no concept of what things like grace mean.

I’m not suggesting that one has to be a Christian or that one can only appreciate our art and our literature if one is a Christian, but de-christianisation has now progressed so far that many people are not even familiar with the Bible as literature. And the King James version of the Bible is great literature, whether you’re a believer or not.

Of course the churches haven’t helped by substituting new translations for the KJV, translations that remove all the poetry and beauty.

This is a double victory for the cultural Marxists, since by alienating people from their cultural heritage you alienate them their history and from their traditions.

And anyone who's read their Orwell knows the State doesn't want us to know our own history.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

health is the new morality

There was a time when the measure of morality was sexual behaviour, getting married and raising kids, being honest and generally treating people decently. Now the measure of morality is physical health.

If you’re obese, or even overweight, that’s seen as somehow immoral. If you don’t conform to some nonsensical body mass index you’re a bad person. If you don’t exercise you’re wicked. If, God forbid, you drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes (both perfectly legal activities) you’re beyond the Pale. Even smoking in the open air is now immoral.

If you eat cheeseburgers and fries instead of tofu and mung beans, and drink coffee instead of carrot juice, you’re committing health-crime. It’s regarded in the same way that sexual deviance was regarded in the 50s. Pretty soon you’ll have to buy your cheeseburger in a plain brown wrapper and sneak it home to eat in private so no-one will witness your perverted behaviour.

Even worse we are increasingly prepared to let the government tell us what we should eat and when we should exercise. Leftists love this idea because it’s all about control and it gives the government more power. And it provides opportunities for new bureaucracies to  be set up. Bureaucracies that will be inefficient, wasteful, intrusive and totally unnecessary - everything the Left loves.

Of course as with anything the Left embraces with enthusiasm there’s always an anti-capitalist agenda in there somewhere. In this case it’s the hysteria about fast food. Leftists hate fast food because it’s fast, convenient, cheap, nourishing and it tastes good. Fast food companies make money because they’re efficient and they give customers what they want. That goes against everything the Left stands for. Fast food is great for families and the Left is not exactly big on the idea of families.

There’s a reason why there’s a Burger King but no Tofu King. It’s because burgers taste great while tofu tastes like cardboard. Eating a burger is enjoyable so it must be bad. The Nanny State should do something about this. And it will. If we let it. And it appears that we will.

Patrick J. Buchanan's The Death of the West

The Death of the West Even among conservatives Patrick J. Buchanan is a somewhat controversial figure but his 2002 book The Death of the West is a pretty good account of how our civilisation is being destroyed from within. 

Demographic collapse and massive Third World immigration are the most obvious threats but Buchanan also takes aim at the climate of political correctness and the self-hatred of liberal elites. 

He provides a good rundown on the long history of cultural marxism which is of course the real key to the decline of our civilisation. Also in his sights are modernist artists with their agenda of misery, ugliness, degradation and hared of the West (an agenda shared by modern Hollywood). 

Unusually (and pleasingly) for a book of this type Buchanan includes some tips on how to fight back.

Friday, May 11, 2012

first they came for the bloggers...

The Thought Police in Britain are now pursuing bloggers who do outrageous things like expressing support for heterosexual marriage, which ironically happens to be the law of the land. It's another attack on what little remains of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech has aleady gone by the board in Australia as evidenced by the persecution of Andrew Bolt. Now it seems that Britain is going down the same slippery slope.

Monday, May 7, 2012

girls, bullying and feminism

Melanie Phillips has an interesting article up on girls and bullying. While it's fashionable to blame facebook I personally suspect the real culprit is feminism which has given us angry hate-filled women who are just looking for someone or something to lash out at because they've been brainwashed into seeing themselves as perennial victims.

race is whatever liberals want it to mean

Sarah Maid of Albion has an excellent post on Reassigning Races - the way both government and the media are desperately trying to cover up the true extent of crime committed by ethnic minorities. Just turn the ethnic minorities into whites when they commit crimes. We can't have people thinking that Designated Victim Groups might actually be the perpetrators rather than the victims of crime.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

no future for democracy if environmentalists get their way


Anyone naïve enough to think the Left believes in democracy should read Peter C. Glover’s recent article The Rise of Leftist Eco-Fascism. Prison or possibly even execution for global warming sceptics and an end to democracy - that’s the Green Left’s agenda.
It looks like the greenies will be re-opening Belsen soon. And no, I'm not joking. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

voter rage

One thing that the political class in the west has not yet figured out is that voters no longer vote for a major political party. They simply vote against whoever happens to be in power. Voters are not motivated by enthusiasm for the party they vote for but by anger (in fact rage rather than mere anger) with the party they are voting against.

This is the pattern we’ve seen in recent Australian elections. The voters have not been expressing any great love for the LNP Coalition but they have been expressing a profound disgust and hatred for the incumbent Labor governments and for the Gillard Federal Labor government.

This is also what we’ve seen in the recent local government elections in Britain. If Ed Milliband thinks the result was a ringing endorsement of New Labor he’s living in a fantasy world. The result is simply a reflection of the electorate’s intense dislike of the New Tories (who are almost indistiguishable these days from New Labor). The defeat of Ken Livingstone in London does not indicate that people love Boris Johnson. It merely shows that if you put up a sufficiently bad candidate (and it would be hard to find a worse candidate than Red Ken) you can still lose even if the nationwide trend is on your side.

Similarly if Mitt Romney wins the US election (which seems unlikely but just barely possible) it will not be a sign that Romney has captured the imagination of the electors but a sign of the extent to which Obama has angered Americans.

What Australia, Britain and the US have in common is the lack of a clear alternative to the major parties. The Liberal Democrats can clearly no longer be taken seriously in Britain and while the UKIP has improved significantly on past results it has not yet convinced most Britons that it’s a viable alternative. The strong showing by Marine Le Pen in the French presidential elections and the success of the Freedom Party in the last Dutch general elections both serve to show that if a viable alternative does present itself then a significant number of voters will abandon their allegiance to the major parties. In fact a larger and larger proportion voters no longer have any true political allegiance - they simply choose the lesser of two evils.

It is clear that there is an opportunity in Britain, the US and Australia for a true conservative party should one ever arise.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Victims of Communism Day

If you’re a communist May Day is a day for celebration. If you’re a decent human being on the other hand then it’s more appropriate to join Ilya Somin in renaming it Victims of Communism Day. A day to remember the 80 to 100 million people killed by communism.

It’s even more appropriate since this evil ideology is not dead. Far from it. It has simply gone under cover. It has adopted a number of disguises. The communist threat is as real as ever but today the threat comes from communist and Trotskyist fronts like the Occupy Wall Street movement and the “green” movement. The threat comes from the cultural marxists in our schools and universities, in our governments and our bureaucracy, and in the mainstream media. Communism is more dangerous than ever.

Their agenda has not changed. Their use of apparently innocuous front organisations has not changed.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Is it art or porn? Nanny will decide

Leda
The major problem with censorship (apart from its Nanny State connotations) has always been that it leads to silliness. Drawing the line between art and pornography is not always easy (as I discovered when the image hosting service I used to use for my 19th century art blog decided that almost the whole of the western art tradition is nothing more than filth that Nanny needs to protect us from).

The Metropolitan Police in London clearly share these Nanny State views, ordering the removal of this photograph (by Derrick Santini) from a London gallery. Trying to explain that Leda and the Swan had been a favourite subject for artists from the Renaissance onwards cut no ice with the Met. They decided this was bestiality and that Londoners could not possibly be allowed to make up their own minds whether they liked the photo or not.

It’s another example of the push for censorship coming mostly from the Left these days (and anyone who doesn’t think that police forces are becoming the enforcers of Political Correctness hasn’t been paying attention). Apparently no-one had complained about the photograph but that didn’t stop the plod from taking immediate action.

Lucky the gallery hadn’t been rash enough to display a print of Correggio’s 16th century version. Perhaps they might want to alert their opposite numbers in Berlin to remove this disgusting filth from the Gemäldegalerie where it currently resides.

Personally I think the photo is a reasonably effective modern rendering of the myth, and certainly preferable to most of the stuff that gets classified as art these days.
Correggio, Leda with the Swan, 1531-32
Correggio, Leda with the Swan, 1531-32

Thursday, April 26, 2012

art as a hate crime


No-one who’s ever been unlucky enough to wander into a museum of modern art could doubt that art since the Cubists has had an obsession with the rejection of beauty. To many modernist and postmodernist artists and critics ugliness seems to be synonymous with Serious Art. 

Artists who continued to pursue the ideal of beauty in the 20th century found themselves marginalised and scorned.

This is not accidental. It reflects an entire worldview, a belief that there is nothing to celebrate in western civilisation, and that the purpose of art is to attack our own civilisation. There is an agenda to make art depressing, negative, squalid and generally miserable, a celebration of victimhood rather than a celebration of truth and beauty.

The purpose of what has passed for art since the early 20th century is to demoralise the popluation of the west. Modern art is in fact a hate crime against western civilisation.

In 1932, Stalin directed the Communist Party apparatus in the U.S. to "cultivate the ugly, futuristic and aberrant in art, literature, the drama and music. Every sick-brained fanatic must be used, every talented artist must be discouraged. Control all juries of selection, but by a bare majority. Never shut out the regulars entirely. Give the prizes to the worst, most hideous and worthless paintings or sculpture in the show. Keep rational art out of all public exhibitions, allow only empty or distorted art to be shown in museums, dealers' exhibits. Eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms. 

"It is astonishing what we have been able to get away with. Even our most experienced experts directing operations can scarcely believe it. No good citizen wants to be the first to step up and protest! It is almost a shame to take advantage of these silly, cowardly people."

The worst part is that much of this so-called art is paid for for by the taxpayer. If these overgrown babies want to throw their toys out of the pram let them do so, but they should buy their own toys and their own prams.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a free market in education


It appears that the new conservative government in NSW may follow Victoria’s lead in introducing a “student entitlement” system for vocational training which allows people to choose either the public system or private colleges. 

This sounds like an excellent plan. If the state-run colleges cannot compete in a free market with private colleges then they have no right to survive.

Predictably teaching unions are up in arms, which merely confirms the excellence of the plan. Real educational reform will not be possible until the power of the teaching unions is broken, and this seems like a positive first step.

Personally I think it should be extended to school education, with an end to direct funding of state schools. Instead give parents vouchers so they can choose either public or private schools. If the public school system finds itself without pupils and therefore without funding then perhaps the teachers might consider a move towards actual education rather than political indoctrination. 


A true free market in education would surely be better than the present system.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

how totalitarianisms fail

The two great dystopian novels of the 20th century were George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Both were in their own ways remarkably prescient and the differences between them are fascinating, Orwell’s novel being a portrayal of Soviet-style hard totalitarianism, Huxley’s novel showing us a 21st century-style soft totalitarianism on the model of Europe, Australia and the US. The weakness of both books is that they failed to predict how such societies would die.

That both systems are destined to die is now obvious, but the cause of death will be different. We know that both systems are doomed to collapse because we have real-world examples with which to compare their fictional counterparts.

By the time the year 1984 actually rolled around Soviet-style communism had less than a decade of life remaining to it. It still gave the appearance of strength and its western cheer squads in the universities and the media were entirely oblivious of the coming collapse but it was already in its death throes.

The totalitarian state of Orwell’s 1984, like the Soviet Union, failed to provide its citizens with even the necessities of life. Orwell showed us a world of ever-declining living standards and chronic shortages, a society that could not even provide its people with decent food and razor blades. In the Soviet empire lengthy queues to buy the pitifully inadequate supplies of such basic necessities as shoes had been a feature of the Worker’s Paradise for decades.

Soviet communism broke down not because it was evil, repressive and inhuman but because it was evil, repressive and inhuman and also hopelessly inefficient. Had it at least been able to produce sufficient economic growth to bribe its citizens with material goods it might have had a chance of survival. Its inability to do this led to despair but also to sullen resentment. By the 1980s the unlucky inhabitants of the eastern bloc countries were not merely resentful, they were angry and rebellious. Strikes broke out in countries such as Poland over increased prices, falling wages and declining living standards. These strikes gave birth to protest movements demanding freedom, but the precipitating factor was the falling standard of living.

By the late 80s hatred of these regimes among their own people was almost universal. The Soviet Union could not intervene militarily to prop up its puppet regimes in places like Poland because it could no longer trust its army. The Kremlin was faced by the strong possibility that Soviet troops would refuse to fire on Polish strikers and protesters. The Polish government could not use its own troops to maintain its control for the same reason. Nobody was going to risk death to defend communism. The power of communism proved to be an illusion and collapse followed swiftly.

Huxley shows us a society that maintain its control over its citizens in more subtle ways. It’s not the boot in the face that maintains the ruling elite in power, it’s consumer goods, drugs and unlimited sex. Rather like the western world today, except that we have Prozac rather than soma.

Huxley thought this would allow them to maintain power indefinitely but our own experience in the socialist utopias of today suggests otherwise. Cellphones, plasma TVs, internet porn and Prozac are not enough to give people a reason to live. Modern western societies have instead chosen civilisational suicide. We have simply stopped breeding.

The official figures for fertility rates in the western world are alarmingly enough but the true situation is much worse. The official figures are inflated by the very high fertility rates of huge immigrant populations. The fertility rates for the actual European populations are in many countries not much more half the replacement rate. The situation in the US by comparison seems less catastrophic but that is mostly because of the extremely high fertility rates among Hispanics.

These low fertility rates can be attributed to variety of cause, but the most likely one is that westerners no longer believe their own civilisation has a future. Even worse, they no longer believe their own civilisation has a right to a future. They are crippled by irrational guilt, hatred of their own culture and fear.

The only answer to this seems to be massive immigration from the Third World. But it won’t work. The immigrants are from cultures that are implacably hostile to the West. These immigrants will not and do not wish to assimilate and they are not becoming productive citizens; they are becoming an additional drain on already overburdened welfare systems. But still they come, both in the vain hope that they will offer a magic solution to thew West’s intractable economic problems and to assuage liberal guilt.

The liberal socialist utopias will not survive mass Third World immigration. The immigrant communities, once they gain political power, will systematically overturn the policies of Cultural Marxism. The western women who refuse to have children because it might interfere with their freedoms will then find all of their freedoms taken away from them. The very Cultural Marxism that allowed the creation of the soft totalitarians of the West will destroy them.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Left and the war against the Catholic Church

It’s been obvious for several decades now that the Left is determined to destroy Christianity. They are of course practising this intolerance for diversity in the name of tolerance of diversity. It’s also clear that their main target is the Catholic Church.

This was an agenda that was also pursued enthusiastically by the Soviet communists and the German National Socialists in the 1930s. Leftist hatred for the Catholic Church is nothing new. Interestingly enough the Italian fascists were much less keen on destroying Christianity, just as they were relatively indifferent to the idea of persecuting Jews (at least in comparison to other totalitarian regimes).

All totalitarian regimes are however basically hostile to any structure that is capable of acting as a focus of loyalty to anything other than the state. This is as true of today’s soft totalitarianism, the totalitarianism of political correctness, as it is of the hard totalitarianisms of the past.

Totalitarianism essentially means that every aspect of life is political, so therefore everything is the business of the state. If there is an organisation that stands against that view, it must be destroyed. And Christianity by its very nature has to take the view that some things are not the business of the state. Christianity by its very nature has to oppose the social engineering so beloved of the Left.

The Catholic Church was (and is) one of the few organisations with the moral authority to stand against the relentless growth of the power and pretensions of the State. And in the 1930s it not only had the necessary moral authority, it had the courage and the will to do so, as it has today. For those on the Left committed to the limitless expansion of State power, either in the 1930s or today, the Church represents a major obstacle. It must therefore be destroyed.

The Left faced a particular problem from 1978 onwards. The Catholic Church had as its head not only a strong and courageous Pope, but a very popular one. John Paul II won the respect of the entire free world for the part he played in destroying the evil of Soviet communism. And most importantly, he was no doddering bumbling do-gooder. He was an intelligent man who understood politics. Suddenly the Catholic Church was looking like a very dangerous enemy indeed for the Left.

Interestingly enough, the methods used in the 1930s were the same as those used today - allegations of excessive wealth and allegations of sexual misconduct against priests.

While some accusations of sexual misconduct against priests are undoubtedly true there is no question that the Left has a huge incentive to magnify and if necessary to manufacture such accusations. In the case of the allegations made by the National Socialists the vast majority were untrue. That is almost certainly the case today as well.

When false accusations of sexual impropriety are rewarded (and they are lavishly rewarded these days) then there is not the slightest doubt that the numbers of such false accusations will be very high indeed.

The other method favoured by the Left today is one that it embraces with fanatical fervour - the rewriting of history. The fact that both Pius XI and Pius XII vigorously opposed both Soviet communism and German National Socialism is conveniently removed from history, as are the courageous efforts by the Vatican to save Jews from the Holocaust. The Church continued in these efforts after the Nazis occupied Italy and the Vatican found itself isolated in the midst of the enemies of civilisation. The Left certainly doesn’t want us to know about the huge number of priests and even bishops who were martyred in the struggle against these evil regimes.

The not inconsiderable part played by Pope John Paul II in bringing down the Soviet empire is another inconvenient truth that the Left would like us to forget. They don’t even like the idea of discussing the fall of the european communist regimes unless they can spin it as a example of American wickedness.

The even more inconvenient truth that the trades unionists in Poland who toppled that particular communist dictatorship were mostly devout Catholics must also be suppressed.

I am not personally a Catholic but to ignore these truths is both dangerous and intellectually dishonest.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

temporal stereotyping

I get very annoyed by the sorts of attitudes towards the past that are all too common these days. The arrogant assumption that the people of the past (whether it be the 1950s, the 1930, the Victorian age or whatever) were bigoted and stupid compared to our own gloriously enlightened era. I get particularly irritated by condescending statements like, “Those were simpler times.” No they weren’t. Life has never been simple, and if human beings had been more naïve and more stupid than the people of today they would never have survived.

These attitudes always include the assumption that the beliefs and values of people in the past were less valid and less enlightened than the beliefs and values of today. They weren’t. They were simply different.

Those people of earlier eras may have believed in ideas like the sanctity of marriage, ideas that are treated with derision today, but they had perfectly good reasons for believing in such things. And when you survey the wreckage of western civilisation in the 21st century it becomes very difficult to argue that our contemporary values are obviously superior.

These attitudes toward the past of course imply an almost complete ignorance of history. If you don’t know any history then you’ll accept this sort of temporal stereotyping without question.

And that’s exactly what it is. The people who espouse such contemptuous attitudes towards people who lived in earlier periods of history are the sorts of people who would become filled with righteous indignation at any hint of racial or sexual stereotyping and yet they are quite happy to stereotype the people of the 1950s or the 19th century. This kind of what might be called temporal stereotyping is naturally very congenial to the agenda of Cultural Marxism.

One gets used to liberal hypocrisy but it never ceases to irritate.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power

Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power is an important book with some important truths to tell, but it is also a deeply flawed and deeply problematical book. The problems with the book can be laid at the door of its author’s inability to understand that a left-liberal pro-feminist critique of feminism is likely to miss the point.

Farrell was a self-identified and active feminist for several decades before supposedly recognising in the early 90s (this book came out in 1993) that men were being victimised by feminism. He is now a proponent of a rather wobbly theory he calls gender transition which he believes will rectify the problems with feminism and lead us all to the Promised Land of gender equality, fairness and justice.

The key to Farrell’s thesis is firstly that traditional sex roles did not discriminate against women, that men had apparent power but this was balanced by responsibilities to protect women and children, often at the cost of men’s lives. Men and women had different areas of responsibility and exercised power in different spheres and in different ways. Much of this still remains in today’s feminist world. Men are still expected to die in defence of women and children, and they still do. Most obviously they do this as soldiers and in other highly dangerous jobs such as fire-fighting. Less obviously practically every dangerous job, from truck-driving to commercial fishing, was and to a great extent still is male-dominated. Men are ten times more likely than women to be killed at work, and infinitely more likely to suffer disabling injuries, often in overlooked jobs such garbage collection where the hazards can be terrifying. All of this is most certainly true.

The second strand to his argument is that feminist claims that women are still discriminated against are nonsense. Even the argument that men earn on average more money turns out to be a myth since men are saddled with much greater financial responsibilities in areas like child support. Men might earn more money but a large proportion of their income ends up in the hands of women. Again this is most certainly true.

Men also face savage legal discrimination. Farrell identifies a dozen different defences that women can and do use when arrested for a crime, defences that are available only to women. The result is that men are much more likely to go to prison, even for committing the exact same crimes as women, and they are likely to serve much longer sentences, again even for committing exactly the same offences. In the US men are much much more likely to receive the death penalty, and once again this applies even when the crimes are identical. Again this is unquestionably true.

Men face further hazards. Divorce and child custody laws are biased against men, and when it comes to dating men walk a legal minefield where one unwise or even unlucky move can lead to imprisonment for sexual assault, in many cases on the basis of extremely dubious evidence.

So far there is nothing to disagree with here. The problems come when Farrell proposes solutions. Solutions such as “gender transition” and “Stage II” marriages. This sounds worryingly like woolly-minded liberal pop psychology feel-good thinking.

Farrell is unable to escape from the prison of his own left-liberal bias. As a result his criticism of feminism is superficial. He clings to the belief that feminism can somehow be made less hostile to men, that a kinder, gentler feminism is possible. This is a fantasy. Feminism is an ideology of hate. Not just hatred of men, but hatred of women. Especially hatred of women. Feminism confounds equality with sameness, just as liberalism in general does. Feminism therefore wants men and women to be the same. It cannot accept that a fair and just society might be a society in which men are free to be men and women are free to be women. Men and women must be made the same. The idea that men and women might be of equal value but fundamentally different is anathema to feminism.

Farrell is unwilling to challenge feminism at fundamental levels. He is a feminist who believes that a bit of tinkering can fix feminism and then everyone will be happy and free in the caring sharing and nurturing Brave New Word of Liberal La-La Land.

Farrell remains at heart a male feminist and like almost all male feminists he is deeply uncomfortable with his own masculinity and with masculinity in general. And being a feminist he is terrified of the concept of femininity. He wants to emasculate men, but in a nice way. A caring and sharing way. Ideally men should emasculate themselves and then learn to love their new emasculated selves.

While his argument that pre-feminist society was not anti-woman is sound, he takes it for granted that any kind of pre-feminist society was bad and wicked and needed to be changed. He is unwilling to confront the possibility that traditional sex roles may have been

His belief in a Liberal Disney World view of reality leads him to further egregious errors. Since men have been killed at a disproportionate rate in war, he seems to think that war should simply be eliminated. Because it’s wicked and liberals find it upsetting. Good luck with that Warren. Admittedly he was writing in the 90s, when the uncompromising nature of Islamic jihadism was less obvious and pacifist ideas were slightly less absurd than they are now.

He cannot accept organising a society taking into account traditional sex roles might in fact be a saner and more successful way of organising a society and might in fact have made people happier than our current hate and guilt-riddled socially engineered world. He cannot being himself to accept that the social engineering of the past half-century has been catastrophic not because it was done the wrong way, but because it was done at all. being a liberal he clings to the delusion that everything is a social construct and therefore everything that liberals don’t approve of can be magically eliminated thus ushering in a happy-clappy future.

I don’t want to be too hard on Farrell. For anyone to question any of the sacred cows of Political Correctness takes courage these days and very few academics today possess that courage. There are within our universities many many people who are sceptical of Political Correctness but most are far too cowardly, too frightened or too attached to their cushy academic jobs to speak out. Farrell has, predictably, been savaged by the attack dogs of academic feminism and to his credit has not backed down.

He has much to say in this book that is important, truths that are being energetically suppressed by our political and academic elites and by the mainstream media. His arguments about the discrimination faced by men are well-documented and backed with copious references. These things need to be said. It’s just a pity that he doesn’t take his arguments far enough and that the solutions he proposes are fuzzy and woolly-minded.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

the thin end of the PC wedge

What's worrying about the The Australian Communications and Media Authority's recent action against Sydney shock jock Kyle Sandilands is not just that it's yet another attack on freedom of speech. It's the vagueness of the ruling, and the secretiveness of it. He's been ordered "not to say anything that could be regarded as offensive or demeaning to women or girls." Now what on earth does that mean? It sounds suspiciously like offensive or demeaning can mean anything this particular totally unnecessary bureaucratic waste of time wants it to mean.

The fact that The Australian Communications and Media Authority won't reveal what it means adds to the suspicions.

Whatever this guy said is not worth yet more restriction on Australians' freedom of speech. He might be an ignorant arrogant yobbo. But if we won't defend his freedom to speak we will all lose. Freedom of speech must include the right to offend, otherwise it's meaningless.

And it's yet another yard of lost ground for defenders of freedom of speech. For defenders of freedom of speech everywhere, not just in Australia. The Thought Police operate internationally. If they get away with restricting freedom in one place they will use it to attack freedom somewhere else. Even the US with its constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech is not immune. If freedom of speech disappears in other countries the Thought Police will argue that the US is "out of step with the international community" and that Americans must accept limitations on this right as well. That "out of step with the international community" line is one of their favourite arguments to extend the global reach of Political Correctness.

It’s also one of their favourite arguments to extend other aspects of their political agenda. If they get abortion on demand or gay marriage in some places they then tell other people that they are now "out of step with the international community" if they don’t allow such things.

With the PC lobby you always have to beware of the thin end of the wedge.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the Greens and world government

From Australia’s moonbat-in-chief, Greens leader Bob Brown, comes a proposal for a global parliament for the people of the Earth based on the principle of one person one vote one value.

Interesting idea. Now let’s do what Bob Brown hasn’t done, and think this through. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that this global parliament will have 1,000 members. That’s probably unworkably large but it’s a nice round number.

Now how many representatives would Australia have? About three. The European Union would have about 71 and the US about 45. Canada would have five seats. Eco-friendly politically correct Sweden would have one. North America, Europe and Oceania combined would have fewer than 200 representatives. Add South America and you could say the western world would have around 240 seats. China would have 200 and India about 172. Based on the fact that there are around 1.62 billion Muslims in the world (some sources believe that to be a considerable under-estimate) we could expect to see around 231 Muslim representatives in the global parliament. Given the results of the elections in supposedly moderate Egypt it’s fairly safe to assume we’d see a solid bloc of hardline Islamists that would have at least 150 seats, possibly a good many more. They’d outnumber of the entire representation of the EU and the US combined.

How many seats would Green candidates win? In Australia the Greens could muster less than half the votes required to win a single seat. They might win one in ten of the EU seats. Say seven seats. Let’s be generous and double that.

OK, left-wing parties that are broadly supportive of the green agenda would win a lot more seats. They might win half of the western world’s 240 seats. Say 120.

Now given that the extremist environmentalist policies favoured by Bob Brown and his Green followers really only appeal to white midde-class university-educated westerners how much support could green proposals expect to get in a world parliament? Probably about 120 votes. If a green member of this earth parliament were to put forward the kinds of draconian environmental legislation that get Bob Brown excited, how many votes would they get? The answer of course would be, 120 at the most.

And what about the social causes so dear to the hearts of people like Bob Brown? Things like homosexual marriage. How may votes would that attract in a global parliament? I suspect that a proposal to make homosexuality a world-wide criminal offence would get more votes.

In fact a world parliament would be likely to be very hostile indeed to the leftist social agenda.

If I was a radical greenie or a radical leftist a “global parliament for the people of the Earth based on the principle of one person one vote one value” would be my worst nightmare. So the question is, is Bob Brown more deluded than we thought he was? Or is he really pushing for something quite different from the democratic world government he wants us to think he supports? Is it merely window dressing for a true agenda to dramatically increase the powers of the present unelected, unaccountable, corrupt, bureaucratic horror that is the UN?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

psychiatry as religion

Chesterton famously said that when people cease to believe in God, they don't believe in nothing; they believe in anything. I’ve talked before about environmentalism and leftist politics in general as a substitute religion. One of the most dangerous of all substitute religions is psychiatry.

Religion attempts to provide answers to many questions. Apart from spiritual matters religion tries to answer questions in the social and personal spheres. Why does evil exist? Why do people suffer? How can I find happiness? How do I make my marriage work? Unfortunately the answers psychiatry provides are bogus and often destructive.

Firstly we need to dispose of the idea that psychiatry has some connection with science. It doesn’t. That’s very obvious in the case of psychoanalysists like Freud and Jung. They were clearly working in the realm of imaginative literature (or possibly speculative fiction might be closer) rather than science. Freud was a brilliant man in many ways but he was making leaps of intuition, not doing science. Modern psychiatry is no more scientific than Freud.

I’m not arguing that mental illness doesn’t exist. There’s ample scientific evidence for the existence of a handful of conditions such as schizophrenia. But the hundreds of “disorders” listed in the DSM-IV are merely vague descriptions of collections of personality traits and behaviours. They change radically with each edition which is a valuable clue that we are not dealing with matters of science. Many of these personality traits and behaviours are in fact quite normal.

They get listed as “disorders” in the DSM if they are socially disapproved of, or if they are perceived as inconvenient. The classic case is ADHD. It used to be accepted that boys tend to be mischievous and extremely active and that they have a tendency to get into trouble. That’s what raising children is all about - teaching them to behave in a civilised manner. Today when boys behave like normal boys they can’t be disciplined because that would be oppressive. So they get medicated instead. And instead of learning to take responsibility for their own behaviour they learn to take a pill because it’s not their fault, they have a mental disorder.

People used to get sad and unhappy sometimes. That’s not allowed in the new religion of psychiatry. Unhappiness is a mental disorder. It’s depression. They have a pill for that as well. The notion that maybe unhappiness is something we all have to learn to deal with is no longer acceptable. That would mean taking responsibility. The core of the religion of psychiatry is that no-one has to take responsibility. We are told that we are facing an epidemic of depression. What we are really facing is an epidemic of sef-pity.

Or take addiction. It used to be thought that alcoholics were people who drank too much, and that drug abusers were people who used drugs to evade reality and responsibility. Now we’re told they suffer from a disease - addiction. And just about every anti-social behaviour, from promiscuity to gambling, is now a disease as well. Theodore Dalrymple has exposed the nonsense of all this in his excellent book Junk Medicine.

The result of all this is to concentrate a great deal of power in a new priesthood of doctors and therapists. Dr Tana Dineen reminds us of the dangers of this in her book Manufacturing Victims.

Crime used to be considered to be selfish or destructive behaviour that required laws and police in order to protect society. Psychiatry has been increasingly used to medicalise crime, so that now criminals are victims who need treatment.

The problems of evil, of sin, of suffering, are now seen as evidence of mental disorders that can be solved by taking the right pill. That not only allows people to evade responsibility, it also makes us a society that is increasingly unable to cope with the challenge of the real world.

Now I have nothing against religion, but a religion that merely offers excuses for vicious behaviour and that encourages us to wallow in self-pity, a religion that infantilises us, is not a healthy religion. A religion should give us the strength to come to terms with suffering and to confront evil. And a religion that goes on steadily increasing the powers of its priesthood is a danger to society. Psychiatry is simply a failed religion masquerading as science.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cultural Marxism and the long war against civilisation

We should never forget that we are engaged in a war to the death to save civilisation. The enemy is Cultural Marxism. That has been the most dangerous enemy since the 1920s. It is the enemy within, the cancer cells slowly multiplying within the body politic.

And Cultural Marxism’s strategy is a very long-term one. They have been waging war against civilisation for the best part of a century and they are prepared to go on fighting for another century.

We are dealing with fanatics. In the long term they will accept nothing short of complete unconditional surrender to their agenda, which is the destruction of our civilisation.

Each battle they fight is merely a prelude to the next one. Each retreat we make gives them a new position from which to continue their offensive. Never ever believe a cultural marxist who seems to be prepared to compromise. They take your compromise, and then go straight back on the attack again for more.

If you look at gay marriage, they started out saying that all they wanted was for homosexuality to be decriminalised. Just one tiny concession, surely that was not too much to ask? When they got that they said that all they wanted was the removal of legal disabilities attached to homosexuality. Just one tiny concession, surely that was not too much to ask? Then they wanted civil unions. Then they wanted gay marriage but they assured us that churches wouldn't be forced to conduct such marriages. Once they get that, they will start pushing for churches to be compelled to perform such marriages.

They started out in most countries just wanting abortions in special circumstances, and only in the early stages of pregnancy. Then the push was on to extend the “right” to abortion, step by step.

And we must never lose sight of the bigger picture. Each battle is part of a wider campaign, each campaign is just another battlefront in their war. Every beachhead they establish is the jumping-off point for another offensive. The foot-soldiers of Cultural Marxism are often unaware of all this. They’re just the Useful Idiots. They don’t need to know the overall campaign strategy.

That's why it's a mistake to go on the defensive. We have to force them onto the defensive. You have to start attacking the gains they've already made. We have to destroy their beachheads.

That might seem hopeless, but the task of Cultural Marxism seemed hopeless 80-odd years ago. Even in the 1960s no-one seriously thought that western civilisation could be brought to the brink of destruction. Now they're within sight of final victory. Every retreat we make from this point on brings them closer to that final victory. We have very little ground left to give up. Unless we regain some of the lost ground we cannot win.

Recent events in Australia (see my most recent post) show just how vulnerable the Left is when it’s on the defensive. There is an immense but unfocused rage out there amongst ordinary people at the slow strangling of our society. That rage just needs to be focused.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

a good news day in Australia as the Left gets kicked in the teeth

An extraordinary election result in Queensland today. After almost 14 years in office the Labor Party was not merely swept from power. It was annihilated. This is not an exaggeration. Labor, which won 51 seats in the previous election, may be left with as few as seven seats in the 89-seat Queensland Parliament. Prior to this Labor had won eight consecutive elections in Queensland.

The Labor Party may not even be able to form an official Opposition. Minor parties holding fewer than ten seats are not formally recognised as parties in the Queensland Parliament. And Labor is now very much a minor party in Queensland.

This electoral train wreck follows hot on the heels of Labor’s humiliating NSW election débâcle last year in which the party lost 32 of its 52 seats and was consigned to the political dustbin.

This makes the defeat of the Federal Labor government even more likely, even assuming that their tottering and much-hated minority government survives until the next scheduled general election in 2013. Federal Labor’s deeply unpopular extremist environmental policies such as the absurd carbon tax undoubtedly contributed to their disasters in both NSW and Queensland. Their immigration policies which have effectively opened the floodgates to unlimited Moslem immigration have been another factor in making the Labor Party stink in the nostrils of ordinary Australians.

The Queensland result today is the most overwhelming defeat the Labor Party has suffered since Federation in 1901. It is the most devastating political setback the Australian left has ever experienced.

And the news gets even better. The Greens vote was down as well. They won a mere 7.6% of the vote.

So it’s definitely been a very good news day in Australia.

Friday, March 23, 2012

the clueless generation

Feeling the need for some light entertainment I decided to watch some Penn and Teller. From 2004, from their TV series Bullshit. The first episode I caught was the one on PETA. Certainly not light entertainment, but illuminating.

I’m sure everyone reading this blog already knows how crazy, evil and dangerous this organisation is but there were some remarks that were particularly perceptive and thought-provoking. And amusing. Like the talk-show radio host who said of one statement by a PETA supporter that, “The foolishness of that comment is so deep that I can only ascribe it to higher education. Only someone who had been to college could say something that stupid.” Sad but true.

He said something much more interesting though. That we are dealing with a generation that has no experience of evil, so they are unable to comprehend it. They have never known the threat of Nazism or communism. They don’t know what true evil is.

I think there’s a great deal of truth in that. The generation (or by now generations) that have grown up since the fall of the Berlin Wall truly have no sense of perspective, or sense of proportion, when it comes to evil. That’s why an organisation like PETA can compare the sufferings of chickens to the Holocaust, and the teenagers and twenty-somethings of today find nothing bizarre in that comparison.

That’s also why privileged white middle-class college kids can convince themselves that the modern United States is one of the most repressive regimes in history. That’s why privileged white middle-class women can persuade themselves that they suffer oppression on a sale comparable to the worst tyrannies in history. They have never suffered real oppression. They have never suffered at all. They have never encountered genuine evil. They have no idea what such concepts truly mean.

They also, thanks to the benefit of modern educational methods, have no understanding whatsoever of history. Even events as comparatively recent and as cataclysmic as the Second World War are mysteries to them. They may have heard of such events, but the scale of those events, the issues at stake, the nearness of civilisational collapse and the sheer scale of the horrors are meaningless to them. As for the Cold War, they simply swallow the left-liberal line that communism stood for social justice and freedom in opposition to the wickedness of capitalism and western imperialism.

They cannot distinguish between things that were real dangers to civilisation like Soviet communism and imaginary monsters like the patriarchy. Just as they cannot distinguish between the imaginary oppression that women and homosexuals suffer in the modern United States and the terrifyingly real oppression represented by Islam.

It’s the same in Australia. We are dealing with generations that have grown up on a steady diet of self-liberal propaganda and liberal guilt and that honestly believe that imaginary genocides like the “Stolen Generations” are directly comparable to genuine horrors like the Holocaust. They believe because they do not understand.

When their professors tell them that the “Stolen Generations” was genocide (even though not a single person was deliberately killed and the Aboriginal population was in fact increasing rapidly during this so-called genocide) or that the situation of women is equivalent to slavery they buy it because they have not the remotest understanding of what words like genocide and slavery mean. They are merely abstract concepts.

We have to face the frightening challenge of dealing with the clueless generations.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

symbolic victories, and hesitation as censorship

One of the reasons the Leftists are winning the culture wars is that they understand the importance of symbolic victories. They know that symbols matter. That’s why they’ll fight so hard for things that initially appear not to matter very much. Because they do matter. Words and symbols are important, and making us feel hesitant about using certain words or performing certain symbolic acts matters very much. They also understand the importance on instilling fear. Not physical fear, but the fear of offending, the fear of being labelled as racist, sexist, etc.

The flag is a good example when it comes to symbols. When President Obama’s political mentor Bill Ayers gets away with literally trampling the American flag (and gets to keep his well-paid job at an American university) a significant symbolic victory has been won for the Left. It’s not a flag that is being trampled, it’s a set of beliefs. Beliefs about loyalty, honour, duty, sacrifice.

Similarly when a leftist Australian academic tells us that it’s racist to fly an Australian flag the same beliefs are being attacked.

Words matter even more. Back in the 70s when feminists started to demand than manhole covers should be renamed personhole covers we laughed. We were wrong. It was part of the long-term strategy of the Cultural Left - to put certain words and certain ideas out of bounds. To make us hesitate before expressing our thoughts, our opinions.

They have succeeded. Can there be any conservative blogger (or conservative journalist or conservative politician or even just conservative citizen) who has not at some time caught themselves in the act of self-censorship? You’re about to write something, or say something, but then you ask yourself - am I going to be accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, cultural insensitivity, fascism, neocolonialism, ableism or any other forbidden act if I say that?

Once that happens our right to freedom of speech is in grave jeopardy. Indeed all our rights as free citizens are in grave danger.

As Peter Hitchens puts it in a slightly different context, the boundaries of public discussion are being steadily narrowed.

Recently we’ve seen moves by feminazis and other politically correct types to add terms such as feminazi and political correctness to the index of forbidden expressions. If there’s one thing Leftists hate it’s having their own weapons turned against them. For years they’ve tried to stifle debate by throwing out words such as racist, sexist and fascist as soon as the start to lose an argument. When conservatives hit back by using words like ecofascist and feminazi it turn out that Leftists have a glass jaw.

The ideal censorship is the censorship we impose on ourselves. That was the objective of the Party in Orwell's 1984, the reasoning behind Newspeak - that eventually the Thought Police would be unnecessary because people would no longer be capable of Thought Crime. They would no longer have the words to express dissent and everyone would have inside their own heads their own internal Thought Police.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

my mirror blog

Just letting people know that given the increasingly hostile climate on the internet towards bloggers who don't toe the politically correct line I have a mirror of this blog at Wordpress. I think it's an increasingly bad idea to have all your blogging eggs in one basket, so to speak. The leftist campaign against freedom of speech is gathering momentum in Australia but the biggest danger is internet corporations that practise "self-censorship" by caving in to pressure from lobby groups that whine about "offensive content" - and we should never forget that the Left regards anything that contradicts their political line as offensive.

This sort of covert political censorship is going to become more and more common as the Left becomes more and more aggressive and more and more determined to crush dissent, so I urge anyone who has a conservative blog to consider setting up a mirror blog at another site. It's quite easy to do - it's very simple indeed for example to import your Blogger content to a Wordpress blog.

My Wordpress blog can be found here.

I will of course continue to blog as actively here as before. It's just an insurance policy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

why the arts community is so important

NSW taxpayers are no doubt currently overjoyed that their government is flushing down the toilet wisely investing more millions of their hard-earned dollars in grants to the arts community. About another $15 million. Including $91,600 to the De Quincey Company Ltd, a group of parasitical drones artistic visionaries who have given the world such important works as this:



Now I know that to you it might just look like a clown with his head inside a rubbish bin but it's actually making an important statement about....something. No-one knows what, but it's undoubtedly a highly significant statement. Because, you know, it's art.

And to think that governments used to fritter away public money on unimportant trifles like roads, schools and hospitals. While the arts languished. Creative individuals with important things to say were unable to do so because they couldn't get the funding to buy rubbish bins. Now thanks to the government's stupidity visionary policies thousands more worthless arty spongers artists will be able to afford rubbish bins so they can express themselves.

Of course some of those taxpayers may feel like expressing themselves in slightly different terms about all this but that just shows the mindless philistinism the arts community has to deal with (poor darlings). If those taxpayers all had the benefits of arts degrees they'd see at once just how much the arts community contributes to this country. Without the arts community where would we find people to stick their heads inside rubbish bins?

Rubbish bins are a vital creative tool. They express so much. In fact they express rather neatly the value of the arts community.

Friday, March 16, 2012

thoughts on Huxley's Brave New World

The two most famous anti-utopian novels ever written are of course George Orwell’s 1984 (published in 1948) and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (published in 1932). There are many similarities, especially in the structure. Looking deeper however there are striking differences in both the tone and in the ideas being put forward.

In both cases you have a totalitarian society in which there appears to be no dissent, in both cases you have a hero who rebels, in both cases we discover there are actually quite a few hidden dissenters although they have no hope of changing things, in both cases someone at the top reveals the actual workings and motivations behind the societies. Clearly 1984 was influenced by Brave New World. But the two writers, while they may have shared some of the same fears, had radically different agendas.

You can understand 1984 without knowing anything about Orwell or about the time at which it was written. You have no chance at all of comprehending what Huxley is on about without knowing at least something of the man and of the era in which he wrote it.

Brave New World was a response to the First World War, the Great Depression and what seemed to many people at the time to be the threat of imminent social collapse. The chaos of war followed by economic chaos scared people badly. Democratic institutions appeared powerless to avoid catastrophe.

It was a time when intellectuals were giving way to despair, and were tempted by various panaceas. Intellectuals were throwing themselves at the feet of totalitarian dictators like Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. Many put their faith in illusions like world disarmament, pacifism, eugenics, the League of Nations, world government. Intellectuals, being intellectuals, believed that only they could see what needed to be done. If world government was needed, it would clearly need to be a world government run by intellectuals. Some even deluded themselves that people like Stalin were just itching to put intellectuals into positions of power. In fact of course the only place Stalin was going to put intellectuals was in front of a wall to be shot.

Aldous Huxley was not immune to all this. He flirted with various loopy ideas from pacifism to eugenics. And not just flirted. He took this sort of stuff seriously.

Huxley saw other dire threats to civilisation as well. In 1926 he had visited the United States and had been extremely distressed by what he saw. America was apparently full of people who were enjoying the fruits of material prosperity, buying fancy clothes and cars, going to speakeasies, dancing the Charleston, listening to jazz, going to the movies and generally having fun. For Huxley this was a glimpse of a nightmare future world.

Like most intellectuals Huxley was horrified by the lower orders. Given the choice they’d prefer dancing to reading Aldous Huxley novels. Huxley had been hanging around with the Bloomsbury set where being part of the artistic avant-garde was far more important than having fun.

Huxley was also prone to spiritual yearnings. He saw modern life as meaningless, and this he could not accept. Of course an ordinary person would have simply gone to church but intellectuals find such simple solutions deeply unsatisfying. Huxley needed a Spiritual Quest. It would eventually lead him into the foetid swamp of new age mysticism and drug-induced visionary silliness (and make him a hero to the drug-addled hippies of the 60s).

All of this accounts for the ambivalent tone of Brave New World. Yes, he does think the future world of the Year of Our Ford 632 is a nightmare. But he doesn’t see it as a nightmare because it’s a totalitarian state in which dissent is not permitted. He sees it as a nightmare because there’s no room for God or for suffering. Huxley was suspicious of both communism and capitalism because they seemed to leave no room for God. It’s not the lack of freedom that bothers him so much as the excess of fun. And it’s the wrong sort of fun. The people of the future are busily playing games like centrifugal bumble-puppy and electro-magnetic golf. Instead of reading Aldous Huxley novels. It’s too much like the horrors of jazz and the movies and the Charleston. It’s hideous lower-class fun. The novel is saturated with snobbery and anti-Americanism.

It might sound like I’m doing a thorough hatchet job on both Huxley and Brave New World. That’s not my intention. It’s simply that this is not a straightforward condemnation of totalitarianism in the sense that 1984 is. It’s a complex book and it contains many profound insights. It’s just that they’re mixed in with some very dubious ideas and a certain amount of arrant nonsense.

Like so many intellectuals Huxley was tempted by the idea of a kind of soft totalitarianism, a totalitarianism with a smiling face, a totalitarianism for our own good. The Controller, Mustapha Mond, is not a bad man. He genuinely cares about the happiness of his people and he honesty believes that stability is more important than freedom. He’s a benevolent dictator, a concept that many intellectuals find irresistibly attractive. Most of them are convinced that they personally would make excellent benevolent dictators.

One gets the feeling that the book is not so much a warning of a horrific future as a warning that this is a future that might become necessary if we don’t behave. If we don’t listen to Nanny she will force us to listen. In a kind and caring way of course.

A horrifying number of Orwell’s predictions have already come true. We already have Newspeak and Thought Crime in the form of Political Correctness. History is routinely rewritten to make it more politically correct. We already have a constant series of manufactured crises to justify restrictions of our freedoms. In Orwell’s novels the crises came in the form of never-ending wars. In our case they come in the form of never-ending threats of environmental catastrophes to which intellectuals react in the way intellectuals reacted to the crises of Huxley’s day - they call for world government run by intellectuals. Democracy can’t be trusted to deal with such grave matters. We should let the Experts take over.

Huxley’s predictions are coming true as well, although perhaps in less immediately obvious ways. One of the most interesting and most penetrating of his insights was that sexual freedom could be used as a means of social control. Sexual freedom in effect becomes a prison. By undermining marriage and the family (in the Year of Our Ford 632 supplanting those things altogether) people are left with only one loyalty, one source of emotional comfort - the state. Today we confronting the same situation as the Nanny State takes over from the family and we are experiencing the paradox that the more sexually free we are, the less free we are in every other way.

That’s really the great strength of this novel - it predicted soft totalitarianism long before anyone else had even considered the idea. It’s the first appearance in print of the now-ubiquitous Nanny State. Huxley was also prescient in seeing that a world without God could only survive by becoming a world of children. The infantilising of the population, the avoidance of any responsibility, the obsession with immediate gratification, all of which are now almost universal, was a major insight. The idea that a population could be infantilised by offering them unlimited sexual gratification was an exceptionally brilliant prediction.

So despite its ambiguity, its ambivalence, its woolly-minded mysticism, Brave New World is essential to an understanding of the nightmare world of the modern west.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

gay marriage, the gay agenda and the swinging voters

The gay lobby is fond of telling us that sexuality isn’t a choice. It’s become one of their key arguments in favour of homosexual “marriage” and it’s a major justification for their aggressive pursuit of the entire LGBTI (and whatever other letters have been added this week) agenda, particularly pro-homosexual propaganda in schools.

The truth of course is that human behaviour, including sexuality and “gender identity,” is much too complex to be reduced to such cut-and-dried terms. Maybe some people are born with an inherent propensity to such behaviour but cultural factors unquestionably play a role as well. That’s why the cultural marxists are so interested in this issue.

I’ve certainly met women who have become lesbians for political reasons, and I’ve met women who have later either become bored with the tediousness and hatred of political lesbianism or have simply realised they were living a lie, and then became heterosexual. For male homosexuals the “we were simply born this way” argument may apply to the majority, but for women sexuality certainly can be a choice. Indeed sexuality is one of the many areas in which men and women are quite different (despite strident feminist propaganda to the contrary).

There may be people who are and always will be either homosexual or heterosexual, just as there are people who are and always will be either supporters of left-wing political parties or right-wing parties. But in the middle there is a large pool of swinging voters. The ones who get counted in opinion polls as “undecided”. Politics is all about winning those swinging voters. And it’s reasonable to assume that the gay lobby works the same way. They want those swinging voters, or in this case those who are sexually “undecided.”

This is especially true of political lesbians. Political lesbianism is very much a proselytising religion.

Anyone who is young and/or confused and/or troubled is vulnerable to the appeal of finding a group to belong to. Teenagers are quite rightly regarded as being extremely vulnerable to peer pressure. Those who fall into that “undecided” category are vulnerable to pro-homosexual propaganda. Just as they are vulnerable to any kind of propaganda. That’s why the cultural marxists always regarded taking control of education as a very high priority indeed. And sadly they have succeeded. What passes for a school system in most western countries today is little more than a political indoctrination system. Our universities are even worse.

With celebrities making homosexuality or bisexuality seem glamorous and exciting teenagers are even more at risk. Celebrity trash have played a large part in the spread of other self-destructive behaviours such as drug-taking.

I’m not arguing that sexuality is always a choice but for some people it is, or can be. Just as “gender identity” can be a choice for those who are confused and vulnerable. That’s the danger of the homosexual agenda.

Monday, March 12, 2012

winning the culture wars

If you’re a conservative it’s easy to lose heart and to believe the culture wars are unwinnable. But at least one crucial battle is being won. That battle is the battle against the global warning alarmists.

Ten years ago the alarmists were in the box seat. They had governments and the media dancing to their tune. Today even the Europeans are becoming sceptical of nonsense like wind power. The warmist juggernaut is running out of steam.

As little as five years ago Tim Flannery was regarded as an unquestioned “expert” on “climate change” - today he’s little more than a national joke.

The reason this battle is being won is that the climate change sceptics have not been content to remain on the defensive. They have vigorously and energetically attacked the claptrap being peddled by the warmist true believers.

Windfarms were once a proud symbol of the triumph of the environmentalist doomsayers. These days even greenies are starting to find them an embarrassment. The appalling slaughter of wildlife by these useless monstrosities hadn’t helped the greenie cause. It has exposed the hypocrisy of the greenies.

There is a lesson in all this. The whole leftist agenda is as absurd, irrational and unworkable as wind power. Their agenda can be contested. It can be demonstrated to be a farrago of nonsense. Multiculturalism is just as vulnerable to attack, since it is demonstrably as unworkable as windfarms. The entire agenda of the Left is based on the same combination of liberal guilt, irrationalism, wishful thinking and self-hatred.

The Left has become over-confident and arrogant. Most people have been cowed into silence by the barrage of propaganda from the media and the intimidation of the Thought Police, but that doesn’t mean they are convinced by the Left’s loopy theories and it doesn’t mean they enjoy being bullied. There is plenty of resentment out there at the Left’s bullying tactics, and there’s plenty of scepticism. It just needs to be harnessed.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

stories you won't find in the mainstream media - the white genocide in South Africa

A story you won't hear about from the mainstream media - the continuing genocide of whites in South Africa. You won't hear anything about the two Afrikaner old-age pensioners who were tortured for two hours in Blackheath. You won't hear about the 3170 white victims of racist murders since 1994.

There are places though where you can learn the real story of the wondrous triumphs of freedom and democracy in South Africa. Blogs like Sarah Maid of Albion, Censorbugbear, and Mike Smith's Political Commentary.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Islamicisation from within and the moral squalor of the west

The alienation of men from Christianity is but one of the factors that threatens to give Islam a dangerous appeal in the western world. The other major factor is the general atmosphere of moral squalor of the modern west.

When academics blithely discuss the killing of inconvenient babies and describe it as merely “after-birth abortion” it is clear that the process of moral decline is well advanced. The weasel-like attempts of the “ethicists” concerned to argue that they were merely playing hypothetical intellectual games are irrelevant. They have put infanticide on the political agenda. The push for homosexual “civil unions” has led inevitably to the push for homosexual “marriage” and the acceptance of abortion must lead just as inevitably to the idea that it is acceptable for all inconvenient persons to be “terminated.” So the west slides even further into the moral slime.

There is also feminism’s war on women. Feminism rejects not just traditional femininity but any manifestation whatsoever of femaleness. Feminists want to be men and they want to turn all women into men. Yet another “ethicist” has suggested that pregnancy must be abolished because it is sexist.

So where does this leave women who actually want to be women? Again the danger is that Islam may seem to be the only viable alternative.

In a society where sexual perversion is merely a lifestyle choice, where criminals are treated as the victims, where human life has no value if it is “inconvenient” it is surely only a matter of time before huge numbers of men and women go looking for an alternative. That alternative may turn out to be a very dangerous alternative indeed.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

the dangerous allure of Islam

One mistake that I think Leon J. Podles makes in his fascinating book The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity (which I blogged about recently) is that while he’s quite correct in pointing out the dangers to society caused by the alienation of men from Christianity, he’s pinpointed the wrong dangers.

He’s many decades out of date on this point and he’s also demonstrated a dangerous tendency to accept the assumptions of liberalism. It’s a widespread error but a serious one. He thinks that men who feel alienated from Christianity mat turn to fascism. In fact it’s far more likely that many will turn to Islam.

This is especially the case with men from the older working-class neighbourhoods and industrial cities who are frustrated and angry about what they perceive as society’s contempt for them. Islam has been making converts among black American males for decades and this is likely to accelerate.

There’s also a real danger that many middle-class men will also defect to Islam. Including intellectuals (who are notoriously prone to silly ideas). Islam will offer them not just a positive role as men but also will allow them to indulge their hatred for their own society.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Church Impotent

In his 1999 book The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity Leon J. Podles attempts to answer the question - why have men abandoned Christianity?

It’s an intriguing and thought-provoking book and it certainly sheds a great deal of light on the extent of the problem and points to many of the causes. Ultimately though it fails to put forward a satisfactory solution.

Part of the problem is that the author often gets very close to the heart of the matter but then seems to lose his nerve and draw back. He often does this, frustratingly, just at the point where a little more boldness might have achieved a breakthrough.

Having said that, there is still a great deal of pertinent and important material here and Podles certainly demonstrates much greater courage in pursuing the question than the contemporary leaders of Christian churches.

One very interesting point that is made early on is that it’s not that religion has inherently less appeal to men than women. Even in the modern world both Islam and Judaism do not suffer from this problem of not being able to attract men. Even more interestingly, nor does Orthodox Christianity. Unfortunately while he does pursue this point he doesn’t pursue it far enough.

An easy explanation would be that there is something wrong with men. He explores this in considerable depth and comes to the correct conclusion that the fault lies not with men but with the churches. He does mount a spirited defence of masculinity, which is refreshing.

A large part of the trouble clearly lies with the feminisation of our society in general. If there is no place for men in society then clearly men will feel that there is no place for them in a Christianity that reflects modern society. If men no longer have a role as fathers, and if men no longer have a meaningful relationship with their children, then they are unlikely to find much use for religion. This is an issue that I feel that he needed to explore much more aggressively.

He points out that the disparity in numbers between men and women is not a recent phenomenon but dates back at least a couple of centuries, possibly even as far as the Reformation. This is hardly surprising since the forces that are destroying western civilisation have been at work at least since the French Revolution - the evils of socialism, liberalism and feminism. He makes some interesting points about the anti-male bias of 19th century movements dominated by women such as the Temperance movement, movements that were among the primary sources of modern feminism. He seems reluctant though to accept that liberalism is fundamentally anti-Christian. Liberalism will either seek to destroy religion, or tame it to the point where it becomes merely another variety of feel-good do-goodism.

Although he touches on the problem he doesn’t really fully confront the truth that modern feminised Christianity is not Christianity at all. For the women who still attend church Christianity is either seen as a branch of feminist politics or as one of many vaguely spiritual options. Modern Christianity is just fuzzy new age spirituality with a few Christian props.

One point that he surprisingly overlooks is that modern churches are losing everyone, not just men. While men may have deserted the fold in larger numbers it’s clear that modern Christianity has only marginally greater appeal to women. He does acknowledge that the desperate attempts by modern churches to become even more feminised have only exacerbated the problem and alienated men even more completely. Men already feel that modern society is anti-male. They feel that modern churches are even more anti-male.

A very important point made by this book is that churches are not just failing to attract men. They are failing spectacularly to attract heterosexual men. The men they do attract are either homosexual or they’re emasculated men, men riddled with guilt over their own maleness. They’re homosexual wannabes or men so enthusiastic to get in touch with their inner femaleness that they’ve abandoned their maleness entirely. This is reflected in the many cowardly attempts to create a new revisionist female-centred non-sexist homosexual-friendly Christianity.

Despite not going far enough (in my personal opinion) this is still a very important and provocative book and I recommend it very highly. And not just to Christians, but to anyone concerned with the suicidal tendencies of present-day western civilisation.

Earthly Powers, Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh’s Earthly Powers is a fascinating history of religion and politics from the French Revolution to the First World War. It was published in 2005 and followed in 2006 by a second volume, Sacred Causes, taking the story up to modern times.

Burleigh is an academic who has taught at Oxford among other places. How a non-Marxist like Burleigh ever got a teaching job at modern British university remains a mystery. He is also open-minded and not hostile to Christianity, which adds to the mystery.

For anyone who thinks the culture wars are a modern phenomenon this book will come as a revelation. The culture wars started in earnest with the French Revolution. And raged throughout the nineteenth century. Most bitterly of all in France where anticlericalism became a kind of secular religion, but also in Italy and in Germany and indeed the whole of Europe. The main theme of the book is the rise of secular substitutes for religion, most notably the idea of the state as a focus for religious devotion.

Some religious leaders, most notably some of the nineteenth century popes, fought back, but mostly the nineteenth century saw the Christian religion not merely on the defensive but adopting the kind of defeatist attitudes that have become so characteristic of mainstream Christianity in our own day. Most fatally the century saw Christianity implicitly accepting the new superiority of the state and falling back on a species of vaguely Christian socialism or do-goodism or various other compromises with the rising tide of liberalism.

Bismarck’s war on Roman Catholicism, the kulturkampf, was a key struggle.

The end result was the exaltation of the state as an alternative religion, a development that would have catastrophic consequences in the twentieth century. The willingness of the disciples of Reason to resort to mass murder (a quarter of a million people were slaughtered in the suppression of counter-revolutionary revolts in the Vendée during the French Revolution) was a particularly chilling foretaste of the future.

In the nineteenth century though the culture wars mostly followed the pattern we are familiar with today - bitter struggles to control the education of the young and to undermine the family.

A superb and fascinating book presenting an almost unique view of the history of the nineteenth century as essentially a religious struggle.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

the end of freedom of speech in Australia?

If the current Australian government implements the recommendations of the Finkelstein Report it will effectively spell the end of freedom of speech in Australia. And given this government's track record there is every reason to believe they will do so.

It's not just newspapers that will be affected. Bloggers will be targeted as well.

The Labor Party in Australia has already progressively eroded freedom of speech. This is just another step on the road.

Friday, March 2, 2012

it’s big government that corrupts, not big business

We hear constant complaints from whining leftists about the corruption of big business, but what they fail to understand is that it’s not big business that has corrupted government, it’s big government that has corrupted business. It’s big government that has corrupted everyone.

People are always generous with other people’s money and when you have government ballooning out of control what you have is an enormous trough full of public money. So naturally you have a similarly enormous number of pigs fighting to get their snouts into the trough. With so much taxpayers’ money being thrown around it’s hardly surprising that the business sector figures it might as well join in.

In Australia we have a truly incredible number of totally unnecessary government ministries. We have a Minister for School Education, and a Minister Assisting School Education, and a Minister for Tertiary Education. All this in spite of the fact that in Australia education is the responsibility of state government! We have a Minister for the Arts, and a Minister for Sport. We have a Minister for Health, and a Minister for Indigenous Health, and a Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform.

We have a Minister for Social Inclusion! We have a Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. A Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. A Minister for Employment Participation and Early Childhood and Childcare. A Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. A Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs. A Minister for the Status of Women.

All of which are about as useful and necessary as a Ministry for Silly Walks. All of them have their own bureaucracies. At least half of those ministers could and should be sacked and their worthless government departments shut down. They simply represent opportunities for even more snouts to be thrust into even more troughs. They all have practically limitless public money to give away. All of which attracts lobbyists like bees to a honey pot. All of which creates an ever more corrupt society. And opportunities for individuals and businesses to help themselves to taxpayers’ money.

Given all this it is inevitable that businesses will line up along with everyone else to get their share of the handouts.

The climate change hysteria represents the biggest opportunity of all for the taxpayers’ pockets to be rifled. Label whatever it is that you’re doing as part of the “green economy” and watch the subsidies come pouring in.

Our federal capital, Canberra, has a population of 345,000. Canberra is an artificial city created to serve the federal government. It serves no other purpose. At least three-quarters of those 345,000 people are merely useless mouths gorging themselves at the taxpayers’ expense. It is a parasite city.

The practice of business employing lobbyists is certainly a pernicious and dangerous practice. But those lobbyists would not exist were it not for the ludicrous expansion of government activity. Business lobbyists exist to protect business from unnecessary regulation and to ensure that their industries get a share of the spoils robbed from the pockets of ordinary Australians. Non-business lobbyists exist merely to ensure that their organisations get their share of the stolen money.

Reduce the size of government and the majority of lobbyists would simply disappear. They would become parasites without a host to feed on.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

politics and the mob

The French Revolution did not invent the mob, but it did perhaps invent the political mob. Or at least the mob as a tool of those with a political agenda. The French Revolution led to chaos, mass murder and eventually tyranny. The mob’s record has not improved since then.

The Communist and National Socialist gangs who battled it out on the streets of Weimar Germany were the direct descendants of the thuggish sans-culottes of the French Revolution. The appearance of the mob rarely leads to happy results. The mob is essentially fascistic. Violence and intimidation are its methods. Mobs represent the triumph of irrationality and hate. Those who believe in democracy, free debate and political freedom are the victims of mobs, not the instigators. Those who see mobs as demonstrations of “people power” inhabit a dream world.

The student radicals of the 60s were part of the same historical pattern. Once again their methods were violence and intimidation. They were not motivated by a desire for open debate. Their objective was to shut down opposition, not to promote the free exchange of ideas. They were the instruments of the hard left.

The hard left has always gravitated towards political thuggery. They have routinely used mobs as a weapon against freedom of speech. Indeed they have played a major part in transforming universities into bastions of intolerance where dissent is ruthlessly suppressed.

The most recent descendants of the Revolutionary mob are the thugs of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The only real difference is that the OWS mobs are dirtier than most. They are as fascistic as their forebears.

The reason that Tea Party rallies do not descend into thuggery is that violence and intimidation are not the natural weapons of those who believe in freedom. They are the natural weapons of those behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. Unwashed hippies are always fascists at heart.