No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Communists

Freedom and other anti-government slogans

Sheesh, no sooner do I give some plaudits to a couple of MSM sources for actual journalism and Speaking Truth To Power, than the usual suspects return to their true beliefs.

I’m sure your first take on reading that title would be to assume that it’s just me having a bit of mocking fun against our Superior Betters who are constantly trying to run our lives for us (drugs and sex aside).

But no. It derives from protests that have erupted in the last couple of days in Cuba:

Yet here’s how Ye Olde New York Times chose to cover the story.

Yes, Freedom is certainly dangerous to totalitarians. The Chinese Lung Rot lockdowns, crap economy and food shortages are symptoms but every living Cuban knows that it’s the Communist system of the country that’s the disease.

Then there’s that phrase “anti-government”. WTF? The word “dictatorship” too strong for the pussies of the NYT? Too truthful is the answer.

Unfortunately one of the potential replacements for our dying MSM, Social Media, is pretty much up there with them on this story, as Twitter showed in reinforcing The Narrative:

There were more than a few American flags flying in the Cuban crowds as well, as was the case with Hong Kong in 2019. They even protested in front of the Communist Party HQ in Havana, and yelled abuse at the officials.

Notably the Miami Herald had a slightly different take on the protests, likely due to the substantial numbers of Cuban escapees living there and the increasingly Republican nature of Florida:

In an unprecedented display of anger and frustration, thousands of people took to the streets Sunday in several cities and towns in Cuba, including Havana, to call for the end of the decades-old dictatorship and demand food and vaccines as shortages of basic necessities have reached crisis proportions and COVID-19 cases have soared.

Cuba apparently developed their own Covid vaccine but then found that they did not have enough syringes for the population. Communism in a nutshell.

But Communist juntas around the world have learned a few things over time, the Number One lesson coming from 1989-1991 where you crush protests as fast as possible and don’t mess around with nonsense like Perestroika, Glasnost and other liberal tomfoolery. As a result the latest news does not surprise:

The communist Cuban dictatorial regime began cracking down on pro-freedom protesters on Sunday that stormed the island nation’s streets. Numerous arrests were reported as widespread internet outages spread across the nation.

Of course more control will just make things worse economically and every other way as well but the junta will survive another day… week… year. In this case the Castroists have not even learned the lesson that Deng Xiaoping did of unleashing capitalism but not democracy. Maybe they think that can only work in a conformist society like China?

Since I started with the NYT on Cuba I’ll finish with them as well by linking to an article about how they helped Castro’s Glorious Revolution back in 1959:

Castro’s group used the articles as proof of their growing strength, and in time both fundraising and recruitment benefited substantially from them. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who was already with Castro in the Sierra when the interview took place, said that Matthews’s work was more important to the rebels than a victory on the battlefield

His heroic portrayal of Castro as a scruffy mountain rebel leading an insurrection of Cuban youths against Batista was the image on which American perceptions of the revolution would be widely based for several years. By highlighting Castro’s promises to restore Cuba’s constitution and hold free elections, his articles and their prominent display in The [NY] Times (two of them on the front page, a third inside, and all three heavily promoted within the paper) increased pressure on Washington to stop shipping arms to Batista.

It’s only mentioned in passing in that academic article but while being interviewed by the NYT’s Matthews, Castro got his small band of troops to march through the camp in a great circle, swapping weapons and clothes to make it appear he was much more powerful and popular than he was. Matthews fell for it, despite being an experienced war reporter. Another aspect of The Narrative: the journalist wants to believe it also.

Gaslighting. Always gaslighting. See Lefty talking points on CRT, Antifa, BLM, etc, etc….

Written by Tom Hunter

July 13, 2021 at 11:48 am

American Billionaires go long on China

This doesn’t shock me of course, but it does sadden me that three men who owe almost everything they’ve got to the American system of capitalism and democracy could be so ignorant of that fact, to the extent that they don’t seem to care if it crashes.

In this case it’s three billionaires in particular, but given the circles they run in you can bet there’s plenty more where they came from.

Charlie Munger

First up is one Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman (net worth $US 2 billion):

The Chinese Communists did the right thing. They just called in Jack Ma and said, “You aren’t gonna do it, sonny.” 

He’s actually talking about Chinese billionaire and entreprenueur Jack Ma, a former schoolteacher who co-founded the gigantic Albaba e-commerce firm. To be fair, Munger does go on to say the following:

I don’t want the, all of the Chinese system, but I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country.

Thank goodness for that much. However, this genius apparently cannot see that you don’t get to have one part of such a system without having the rest. Munger also doesn’t seem to have noticed that if the CCP can take out Jake Ma (net worth $US 50 billion) then they could take out Munger and company too were he to step into areas of disagreement with the CCP.

Michael Bloomberg

Then there’s Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of NYC and 2020 Democrat Presidential candidate (net worth $US 60 billion):

“The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public . . . Xi Jinping is not a dictator.”

If I recall my history correctly even Stalin listened to his critics and would occasionally follow their recommendations – while at the same time putting extra eyes on them, readying them for the counter-revolutionary trials if he felt like it.

Then there’s the richest of the three, Bill Gates ($US 150 billion) giving a thumbs up to China’s Covid-19 response:

“What China did is helping the rest of the world.”

“China did a lot of things right in the beginning,”

China must be over the moon about such things. Who needs the Peoples Liberation Army, Navy and Air Force, or even the Confucius Institutes to help “educate” American youth about China, when you’ve got people like this on your side.

To have the most effective critics of America placed not in Beijing but in America itself; in corporate boardrooms, campuses, newsrooms, Hollywood, Wall Street, and now even the Pentagon. That’s one hell of an achievement and the funny thing is that the Chinese really had very little to do with it.

But they certainly are taking advantage of it:

The opening salvo in this all-out campaign was fired at the U.S.-China summit in Alaska on March 19. The Chinese delegation, besides publicly humiliating the Biden administration, used the summit to accuse the U.S. of “deep-seated” racism. Chinese representatives referred to the propaganda put out by the BLM movement to accuse the U.S. of ‘slaughtering’ Black Americans.

The same day, China used the floor of the U.N. General Assembly to make similar claims. China’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dai Bing accused the U.S of “deep-seated problems of racial discrimination, social injustice and police brutality.”

It’s no surprise that US Secretary of State Blinken sat silently through that Alaskan beating by the Chinese, for what response could he actually make to accusations that his own Democrat Party, indeed his own fucking President, had made about his own nation.

Many of the ideas adopted by the Alinsky-inspired New Left in the 60s and 70s came from the violent Cultural Revolution instigated by Mao Zedong in China between 1966-76. Thus ‘political correctness’ is not a woke concept developed by Western academics in Princeton or Harvard, but a notion rooted in the doctrine of Maoism. Today’s woke mob derives its intolerant instincts to ban ideas, cleanse the language, or purge its opponents from their ideology steeped on genocidal Marxism and Maoism.

Thus comes the full circle.

Still, throughout history, smart people have been notorious for making very dumb mistakes, for there is a difference between being smart and being wise. As the following Spectator article by Melissa Chen points out, the CCP may have recently moved too far and too fast:

But the party’s increasing insecurity about its grip on power led China to turn inward and ultimately, with the rise of Xi Jinping who purged corruption in the politburo to preserve loyalists and removed presidential term limits, it fell back to a personality cult not seen since Mao. Steadily in the last few years and particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, China has turned the world against it by proving itself to be an irresponsible world actor.

After a century of existence, the CCP has made a strategic mistake and played its hand too early, revealing the game and the true nature of the party. How should we respond in the next century?

That last is a question the likes of Bloomberg and company have not even asked from the perspective of 2020/21. They’re still stuck in the early 2000’s with regard to China.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 6, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Gaslighting Critical Race Theory (CRT)

I can only assume that the grassroots fight back in the USA against this racist shite is beginning to bite, because all of sudden the MSM is starting to run stories and articles and news items that are trying to gaslight the whole thing.

The gaslighting is the same as that used against the Tea Party protests in 2009-10, in that it’s “racist” and created by the Republican Party and Fox News as battle-space preparation for the 2022 mid-term elections.

Specifically they’re hitting the following themes:

  • Nobody really understands CRT. It’s just an academic theory.
  • If bad things are happening it’s because “fringe groups” and “some individuals” are twisting the theory to their own purposes.
  • It’s only about “racial justice” and “anti-racism” – and who could be opposed to such good things.
  • It’s not about hating on White People. That’s just crazy talk.

Ok. So instead of fighting the whole “White Boy” fight, let’s turn the argument over to the people for whom this theory is supposed to make life better (“Kill Disparate Impact”).

A Black dad with two medical degrees goes off on Critical Race Theory.

A Black dad with his little munchkin of a daughter, goes off on CRT:

A Black mother goes off on the Loudoun County School Board about CRT

And of course the Black professor of linguistics from Columbia university, John McWhorter.

But if the mantra is that what we need to do to solve black America’s problems is “get rid of systemic racism,” we’re in trouble. That analysis, be it explicit or tacit, is based on a third-grader’s understanding of how a society works. More importantly, that analysis does not help black people and often hurts us

It’s just an academic theory

I see there has been some ruction here in New Zealand about a high school activist group (School Strike For Climate Auckland or SSFCA) breaking itself up because of its inherent White Supremacy.

Apparently the group was “advised” about this problem by Maori and Pasifika groups also engaged in “fighting Climate Change”. I was amused that Chris Trotter covered this story with the title, Losing The “Struggle-Session” Over Climate Change:

The statement released by SSFCA was heart-breaking. To find an historical precedent for the document’s abject self-negation and unqualified acknowledgement of guilt it is necessary to go back to the “struggle sessions” of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of the late-1960s. Or, even further back, to the “confessions” tremulously delivered by the broken victims of Joseph Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. The shaming and vilification required to reduce these idealistic young people to a state of such utter intellectual prostration proves conclusively that human viciousness is not a trait peculiar to those whose skins are white.

That’s because I’ve covered this insanity in a series of posts over the last year titled The Struggle Sessions, and yes, its treatment of humans is “heart-breaking”, although it’s hard to hold back the schadenfreude as the theory now hits some of the very people who wielded it not five minutes ago.

In the light of such occurrences as SSFCA’s it’s quite amazing that we’re suddenly seeing people, particularly the MSM, suddenly blathering about how this is “just an academic theory” that perhaps is being used badly by “fringe groups”.

Bullshit! This is spreading fast and wide through mainstream institutions and pushed by supposedly mainstream groups like teachers, and it is hitting your kids and grandkids. They know it better than you, as shown by the following two examples.

First up is a short speech by some 15 year old kid at a school board meeting for Rosemount High School, located in a suburb of Minneapolis.

At least he had the good sense to tell them he was quitting the school and going elsewhere to be educated in how to think critically.

The next example is a lot sadder. It’s a letter written by a high school student to his former English teacher, who recently resigned from Dwight-Englewood School in protest to the introduction of Critical Race Theory. The letter was released by Columbia university professor of linguistics, John McWhorter (whose take on “systemic racism” I wrote about earlier)

Dear Mrs. Stangel-Plowe,

I truly hope you do read this email, but I understand if you are too busy to. I am extremely grateful that you were my teacher this year, and for the ideas you finally brought to light recently. I hope you realize how big of an impact you made on our community. Unfortunately, all of what you said is true; I know many students that are scared to speak out on their opinions in fear. I have reluctantly prohibited myself from saying certain things in class also in fear of sounding politically incorrect. I see the negative effects of this toxic community in my fellow students and faculty every day.

Namely, my eighth grade English teacher taught us for the first two weeks about pretty much how awful white men are. For two weeks, I did not speak a single word in her class. My fellow white male classmates left the classroom every time feeling the same way. For lack of a better word, those teachings made me feel like horse shit, like worthless scum undeserving of living.

Later during that year, in my history class, my white classmates were constantly using the pronoun “we” when talking about slavery. Eventually, I had to raise my hand and remind them: that “we” were not and are not a part of these despicable acts. Most of our parents were refugees from foreign countries, whose ancestors were also oppressed and persecuted. This year, I have battled with countless generalizing and oppression towards white men. There are girls, whom I am friends with, that genuinely believe that all men are misogynistic. I see movements on social media like #KAM which stands for “Kill all men”; people don’t realize how strongly that affects boys in an extremely negative way.

Even now, I am struggling and frightened to fully express my opinion to my girlfriend, who believes that most white men are oppressive beings. Everyone is talking about your letter, many many students including myself are extremely grateful for what you’ve done. My friends and classmates feel much more comfortable expressing their voices and many minds are changing. So I am once again thanking you for trying to improve our school. I wish I could put into words the extent to which I admire and thank you. I wish I could describe to you the good that you have done. I aspire to be as brave as you some day.

With endless amounts of love and respect,

-Your former D-E student

You can see how this sort of “education” could produce sad, frightened young teenagers like the ones who formed SSFCA, whose actions show that it’s not just US high school kids who are imbibing this garbage.

Oh, and the first thing that second boy needs to do in terms of “bravery” is dump that toxic POS “girlfriend” before she fucks him up permanently.

Grateful and Ungrateful

I don’t know about you but I’ve never walked into a hardware store like Mitre10 or Bunnings and thought to myself how beautiful it is, or that some parts are like a carnival.

But then I’m not from Cuba, whereas the guy in this video is and it documents his first ever visit to a Home Depot store in the USA.

Watching it I’m reminded of a scene from the 1980’s movie Moscow on the Hudson, where Robin Williams, playing a Soviet circus musician who defects during a US tour, is so overwhelmed by his first experience of supermarket shopping that he faints.

Little ordinary things that we all just take for granted in Western democratic capitalist nations.

On the other hand there’s this video from San Francisco that has gone viral in the last few days. It shows a shoplifter just blatantly filling up a garbage bag with stuff from a Walgreens store in daylight and right in front of a security guard, who simply videos the whole event. When the thief cycles out of the place, the guard does make a half-hearted grab for the bag but fails.

The woman beside the guard is also videoing the theft and asks about calling the cops on 911. However, arresting the man would be a waste of time since San Francisco has implemented a policy of not charging shoplifters if they steal less than $950, which has produced daily scenes in the city like this one, as shown in the rest of the video.

The inevitable happened when Walgreens recently closed seventeen of its stores in the city, but blatant shoplifting like this has become a common feature of other large, Democrat-controlled cities as well.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 20, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Burn Loot Murder doesn’t care about Blacks

That’s no surprise to anybody who has studied what they actually do in the inner city areas of the USA.

However, as is usually the case with cults like Antifa, BLM or Stalinists, it takes former members getting woke to the bullshit for other people to start listening, although even then it doesn’t convince the True Believers, or those using it to grift political power, money or even down to the low level of blog comments.

Which is why the following little talk from one Rashad Turner is something to which attention must be paid:

In 2015 Turner helped to found Black Lives Matter in St. Paul, Minnesota. “I believed the organization stood for exactly what the name implies, black lives do matter,” he recounted. “However, after a year on the inside, I learned they have little concern for rebuilding black families and they cared even less about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis.”

Well of course they don’t. BLM was created by “trained Marxists” who see such things as tools by which Western capitalist democracies can be damaged enough to be destroyed. That’s always been the dream of Marxists and it’s always been a massive wank that has failed, as will BLM/Antifa.

But not before such Marxists cash in on the sweet, juicy capitalist loot, property ownership and “systemic racism”, all while causing a lot of damage, aided by people like naive people such as Turner who either did not know or did not care about such foundations.

I’d like to think that Turner’s revelation comes purely from a point of personal good will, rather than what I forecast in 2020, which is that in 2021 Democrats would find both BLM and Antifa no longer useful allies following the defeat of OrangeManBad.

Given the ongoing damage to Democrat cities the following should not be a surprise.

Still, there’s 2024 coming up.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 31, 2021 at 2:00 pm

The Revolutionary Pigs Begin to Walk on Two Feet

US Historian Victor Davis Hanson lives and teaches in California, his lifelong home state. Moreover he remains living in a farm house in the Central Valley built by his ancestors over a hundred years ago, commuting to the coast each week for his lectures. Raised on the farm and with a WWII Vet as a father he is able to see the rural/city divide but also that between the Big Tech class of the Coast and the working classes of the rest of the state and the changes over the decades. He’s not the first or the only one to observe how rapidly that divide is growing, but his experience of university in the 1960’s also allows him to draw the connections from today all the way back to that era, as he does in his article, Our Animal Farm, first setting the scene of more than fifty years ago:

First, remember the 1960s and 1970s agendas of the once impotent, young, and supposedly idealistic leftist revolutionaries. We were lectured 60 years ago that “free speech” preserves were needed on university campuses to be immune from all reactionary administrative censorship. Transparency and “truth” were the revolution’s brands.

The First Amendment was said by them to be sacred, even as the “free speech movement” transitioned to the “filthy speech movement.” Leftists sued to mainstream nudity in film. They wanted easy access to pornography. They mainstreamed crude profanity. The supposed right-wingers were repressed. They were the “control freaks” who sought to stop the further “liberation” of the common culture.  In those days, the ACLU still defined the right of free expression as protecting the odious, whether the unhinged Nazis, the pathetic old-Left Communists, or nihilistic Weather Underground terrorists. 

“Censorship” was a dirty word. It purportedly involved the religious bigots and medieval minds that in vain had tried to cancel ideological and cultural mavericks and geniuses from Lenny Bruce to Dalton Trumbo. “Banned in Boston” was a sign of cretinism. Only drunken “paranoids” like Joe McCarthy resorted to “blacklists.” We were reminded that the inferior nuts tried to cancel the brilliant careers of their betters whom they disliked, or feared.

Snooping, surveillance, wiretaps—all that and more was awful—the purported work of nutty J. Edgar Hoover. His flat-topped, wing-tipped “G-men” usually outnumbered Black Panthers, Weathermen, and SDS members at secret strategy sessions. 

Hollywood went wild in the 1960s and 1970s by warning us about “them.” Endless movies detailed the solo efforts of heroes, who were watched and threatened by the “government,” working hand in glove, of course, with either corporations or the “rich.” In films like “Three Days of the Condor,” “The Conversation,” or “Blowup,” we were warned of the nefarious powers of surveillance. 

Journalists, professors and students were in the forefront of all this, “speaking truth to power”, and so forth, and this was developing well into the 1980’s when I was at varsity. The so-called “neo-liberal” revolutions (technically viewed by the Left as Reactionary counter-revolutions) of Reagan, Thatcher and here in NZ, Roger Douglas, only made the Left-wing fight harder as they they saw all those 1960’s dreams being crushed.

Reporters were either iconoclastic Gonzos or shoe-leather investigators on the scent of deep state overreach. They were obsessed with wrongdoing at the CIA and FBI. Politicians, of course, weren’t to be trusted—given the corporations who pulled their puppet strings.

The enemy of America, we were told, was the “big guys,” especially the international conglomerates like ITT with global reach. The corporationists refined the arts of the cartel, trust, and monopoly. “Small is beautiful” was the antithetical mantra. Radical sons of the Left crusaded against “dirty money” and “the plutocratic rich” with their “concentration of wealth”—as if the Rockefellers or the Gettys posed existential threats to America by their abilities to insert huge amounts of cash to warp elections or to buy officials.

It’s quite the list but all these things did have one focus:

The point of the 1960s, again we were taught, was to tear down the rules, the traditions and customs, the hierarchies of the old guys. The targets were supposedly the uptight, short-hair, square-tie, adult generation who grew up in the Depression, won World War II, and were fighting to defeat Cold War Soviet Union

Ironically, in New Zealand at least, “the rules, the traditions and customs, the hierarchies” torn down included the system of a heavily regulated economy built by those old squares who’d returned from WWII. On the Left you’d get the nuclear warships ban, easier access to abortion and homosexual law reform, as long as you shut up about de-regulation and privatisation. As one of those 60’s youngsters (but also Old Leftie) Chris Trotter bemoans, that deal is still in place. But back to Hanson:

The good guys, the students, and the activists, if they only had power, were going to break up corporations, shame (or “eat”) the rich, and bring in young, hip politicians. Reformers like the younger Kennedy brothers, the John Kerry war hero-resisters, the Bay Area Dianne Feinsteins, and the hip Nancy Pelosis would disrupt the “status quo” of politics.

When Orwell wrote his books, Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm, it was not the totalitarianism of the Nazis or the Fascists that he was attacking but the Stalinism of his era, created by revolutionaries who were going to tear it all down and build a new society. Had Orwell lived a few more years he would have seen the process repeated in China under Mao. Had he lived another three decades he would have seen it again in Vietnam, Cambodia and other nations.

The argument has been made that this only happens when Leftism cuts out democracy, and that the same could be said of any ideology so unfettered – the anarcho-capitalists being a prime example. But what the Left is doing to our democratic societies today is producing a soft authoritarianism so widespread and all-consuming that it is increasingly controlling every aspect of our lives in ways that Stalin and company could only envy – and all without firing a shot – but without establishing any of the Old Left’s dreams of state-owned industries and strong unions with the rest of the private sector heavily regulated by central government.

Instead the likes of Amazon (it’s creator Jeff Bezos being one of the richest men in the world) is fighting hard against the unionisation of their workplaces, and – unlike their stance on the 2020 US election – are completely opposed to union votes by mail-in ballot, claiming it’s too vulnerable to fraud. But they’ll make sure Parler is not hosted by their web services. The so-called Robber Barrons of the US 19th century could only dream of having being able to co-opt their Left-Wing enemies so easily.

Hanson shows where are now with the 1960’s Counter-Culture winners in charge:

… as Orwell predicted, revolutionary pigs began walking on two feet and absorbed all the levers of American cultural influence and power: the media, the bureaucracies, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, publishing, the academy, K-12 education, professional sports, and entertainment. And to them all, the revolutionaries added their past coarseness and 1960s-era by-any-means-necessary absolutism.

We are now finally witnessing the logical fruition of their radical utopia: Censorship, electronic surveillance, internal spying, monopolies, cartels, conspiracy theories, weaponization of the intelligence agencies, pouring billions of dollars into campaigns, changing voting laws by fiat, a woke revolutionary military, book banning, bleeding the First Amendment, canceling careers, blacklisting, separate-but-equal racial segregation and separatism.

Giant corporations and government agencies like the FBI and CIA are now the good guys, to the astonishment of only a few of the Old Left:

Surveillance and spying are now good. How else to ferret out “right-wingers,” “white supremacists,” and “insurrectionists”?  So the FBI and CIA have transmogrified into heroic agencies run by stalwart social activist fighters like John Brennan, the old Gus Hall supporter, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe. They cut to the quick to achieve social justice, without the messy give and take of Congress, or that albatross, the relic Constitution.

Bank of America helps to find out which enemy of the people bought which coffee where. 

Of course once such power is obtained it might not take much to tip over into hard totalitarianism.

They won. They are now one with—but also far, far worse than—what they rebelled against.

‘Twas always thus.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm

The Struggle Sessions – Everyday Life

So far in the Struggle Sessions I’ve looked at where it came from, its effects in Academia, MSM, and even Science.

But it’s beginning to hit home to everyday people as well.

Some of this is obvious, as shown by Matt Taibbi’s article on the MSM:

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who argued for police reform and attempted to show solidarity with protesters in his city, was shouted down after he refused to commit to defunding the police. Protesters shouted “Get the fuck out!” at him, then chanted “Shame!” and threw refuse, Game of Thrones-style, as he skulked out of the gathering. Frey’s “shame” was refusing to endorse a position polls show 65% of Americans oppose, including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support.

Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics. White protesters in Floyd’s Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for “forgiveness… for years and years of racism” are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in “African kente cloth scarves”? 

There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of all, deeply weird scenes,

Heh. What is not deeply weird is the classic feature of Nineteen Eighty Four, in which history is constantly updated, and woe betide anybody who does not keep up:

Even people who try to keep up with protest goals find themselves denounced the moment they fail to submit to some new tenet of ever-evolving doctrine, via a surprisingly consistent stream of retorts: fuck you, shut up, send money, do better, check yourself, I’m tired and racist.

I’ve referred before to Andrew Sullivan’s 2018 piece, We All Live on Campus Now, which pointed out that campus insanity was going to spread beyond universities as people graduated:

Why does it matter? These are students, after all. They’ll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces. The real world isn’t like that. You’re exaggerating anyway. And so on…

The reason I don’t agree with this is because I believe ideas matter. When elite universities shift their entire worldview away from liberal education as we have long known it toward the imperatives of an identity-based “social justice” movement, the broader culture is in danger of drifting away from liberal democracy as well. 

To put it another way: the Culture Wars in the USA matter because their impacts are real and spreading not just across the USA but across the Western world. Sullivan has followed that article up with this one in 2020, Is there still room for debate?:

In the last couple of weeks, as the purges of alleged racists have intensified in every sphere, and as so many corporations, associations, and all manner of civic institutions have openly pledged allegiance to anti-racism, with all the workshops, books, and lectures that come with it, I’m reminded of a Václav Havel essay, “The Power of the Powerless.”

Short answer: NO! With regard to Havel, I thought I’d coined that phrase in 2007 on Kiwiblog. Nuts!

A lot of the crap that’s hitting the corporate world outside of the MSM places Sullivan is writing about, is a nasty little polemic called White Fragility. Back to Taibbi again as he reviews this ludicrous best selling book, Taibbi is not gentle. The book is actually being used as a basis for “training” in the Human Resource departments of US corporations and government departments, hardly surprising given that its author, Robin DiAngelo, is a former corporate consultant. She certainly landed on the gravy train with this one.

DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory…

DiAngelo’s writing style is pure pain. The lexicon favored by intersectional theorists of this type is built around the same principles as Orwell’s Newspeak: it banishes ambiguity, nuance, and feeling and structures itself around sterile word pairs…

Writers like DiAngelo like to make ugly verbs out of ugly nouns and ugly nouns out of ugly verbs (there are countless permutations on centering and privileging alone)…

Put simply, the book is dumber than the average business book of the last forty years, and is certainly having worse consequences than something like the hideous 1980’s tome, In Search of Excellence, which, as just one example, highlighted IBM just before it started going down the crapper. It’s not surprising that White Fragility manages to twist the story of Jackie Robinson completely inside out, arguing that people back in the 1940’s believed that “Robinson finally had what it took to play with whites”. Taibbi really takes issue with this:

There is not a single baseball fan anywhere – literally not one, except perhaps Robin DiAngelo, I guess – who believes Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier because he “finally had what it took to play with whites.” Everyone familiar with this story understands that Robinson had to be exceptional, both as a player and as a human being, to confront the racist institution known as Major League Baseball….

Robinson’s story moreover did not render “whites, white privilege, and racist institutions invisible.” It did the opposite. … Robinson’s story, on every level, exposed and evangelized the truth about the very forces DiAngelo argues it rendered “invisible.” 

It takes a special kind of ignorant for an author to choose an example that illustrates the mathematical opposite of one’s intended point, but this isn’t uncommon in White Fragility, which may be the dumbest book ever written. It makes The Art of the Deal read like Anna Karenina.

Heh! But that’s what you get when dumb theories are applied to the real world, which is the story of Critical Race Theory. Because of his grounding in Old Fashioned Socialism Taibbi spends more time sticking it to the Capitalist Masters using this shite…

For corporate America the calculation is simple. What’s easier, giving up business models based on war, slave labor, and regulatory arbitrage, or benching Aunt Jemima? There’s a deal to be made here, greased by the fact that the “antiracism” prophets promoted in books like White Fragility share corporate Americas instinctive hostility to privacy, individual rights, freedom of speech, etc.

… than he does sticking it to his fellow Lefties who have pushed it for twenty years now. Still, I appreciated this bit:

White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category. If your category is “white,” bad news: you have no identity apart from your participation in white supremacy (“Anti-blackness is foundational to our very identities… Whiteness has always been predicated on blackness”), which naturally means “a positive white identity is an impossible goal.” 

DiAngelo instructs us there is nothing to be done here, except “strive to be less white.” To deny this theory, or to have the effrontery to sneak away from the tedium of DiAngelo’s lecturing – what she describes as “leaving the stress-inducing situation” – is to affirm her conception of white supremacy. This intellectual equivalent of the “ordeal by water” (if you float, you’re a witch) is orthodoxy across much of academia.

Read the whole thing.

And the real-world impacts on people are here, as a former HR person describes how she saw the shift when VP of Diversity and Inclusion for Apple, Denise Young-Smith was forced to resign for saying the following at a conference:

“Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.” Her answer was met with a round of applause at the session. Young Smith went on to add that “there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

Ms Young-Smith is Black and that was in 2015, before the whole White Fragility and Critical Race Theory really got started in the HR departments, as witnessed by the city of Seattle:

In the US this is happening in Federal Departments as well:

The “HR” components in various offices are not run by “political appointees”.  These offices are run by career officials who carry over from one administration to the next.  In my experiences over 22+ years, EVERY such office was stocked by raging left-wing liberals.  Political leadership was largely powerless to “rein them in” because any such action would be seen as being based on the “content” of their HR advocacy, and itself the subject on HR complaint.  The people in those positions are pretty much “independent operators” within the agencies where they work, and the greater workforce is compelled to be silent about their pushing left-wing social policies under the guise of “HR” compliance.

Including – I shit you not – Sandia National Laboratories, a nuclear weapons lab, where it was found that expectations of competence are “devastating” to lesbians and “people of colour.” And where white male employees found themselves subjected to psychological abuse, before being told to issue hand-written apologies, atoning for their maleness and the colour of their skin. I don’t know about you but I very much like people working around nuclear weapons to be competent, although perhaps this is just another Leftie angle at eliminating such weapons?

All of which was why Trump issued an Executive Order to refrain from teaching this racist crap in Federal areas:

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions…. [A]ll agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/”white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.

Naturally this was categorised by helpful propagandists like Chris Wallace of Fox News as merely “teaching racial sensitivity“, and he did that in one of the Presidential debates. Awww…. who could be against something so moderate? The incoming Harris-Biden administration will reverse that EO and put CRT training on steroids. But the same shit is happening in private sector corporations and their “training sessions” as well.

But here is just one of many examples of this how horror is hitting ordinary people outside of HR departments – as it is ultimately intended to:

Last night I talked to a mother who described how her 11-year-old daughter is at a loss to know how to respond to the pressure she faces from her peers and others on Instagram to include a BLM hashtag on her posts. ‘Can I just post a cake that I baked on Instagram?’, she asked. When young children are faced with the demand to conform or else, it is clear that a powerful mood of illiberal intolerance is sweeping our societies. Threatened with being ostracised, children as young as 11 and 12 now feel compelled to fall in line. Suddenly, the term ‘peer pressure’ has acquired a whole new dimension.

Of course even your innocent little kids can’t escape. That’s one of the core aspects of totalitarian ideas. But I’ll leave the last word to Tatinia McGrath:

Candy Bombing without Reindeer

It’s not exactly Santa Claus overflying children and dropping sweet goodies but to the kids of West Berlin in 1948 it must have seemed like it.

The story began with Stalin’s decision to try and lock the Western WWII Allies, France, Britain and the USA, out of the city of Berlin, which lay well inside the domain of East Germany, controlled by the USSR. Stalin’s idea was to starve Berlin into submission by cutting off all road and rail access from West Germany.

But he could not close the skies, and had apparently not realised that the gigantic air fleets of the West were not yet in the scrapyard. Thus was born the Berlin Airlift, which, when it started on June 26, 1948, aimed to bring in 3,475 tones of supplies each day to keep the city alive. By the Spring of 1949 it was bringing in 12,941 tons per day.

Berliners watch a Douglas C-54 Skymaster land at Tempelhof Airport, 1948

The Soviets gave up the blockade on May 12, but just in case they were playing a trick the Allies kept the air lift going until September 30, 1949:

The US Air Force had delivered 1,783,573 tons (76.40% of total) and the RAF 541,937 tons (23.30% of total), totalling 2,334,374 tons, nearly two-thirds of which was coal, on 278,228 flights to Berlin.

The C-47s and C-54s together flew over 92,000,000 miles (148,000,000 km) in the process, almost the distance from the Earth to the Sun. At the height of the Airlift, one plane reached West Berlin every thirty seconds.

One of those pilots was Gail S. “Hal” Halvorsen, and the other day he turned 100 years old.

Halvorsen was 27 years old and a WWII vet. During one of his many, early trips to Berlin he’d got to recognise some of the local kids who would crowd the American pilots seeking candy and cigarettes.

But their access to the airport and the pilots was limited so Halvorsen made a deal with them. On his approach he told them he’d wiggle his wings — a sign that he and his crew were about to throw several small parachutes from his plane filled with chocolate and gum. He did not ask for permission because he knew US Army bureaucracy. But those wheels grind slowly and so came the day…

On his return from Berlin, he was told that Col. James R. Haun, the commanding officer of Rhein-Main Airbase, wanted to see him in his office.

Here, Halvorsen, sitting in his Provo backyard and wearing the same uniform he wore back then, picks up the narrative.

“‘Halvorsen,’ the colonel asked when I came in his office, ‘What in the world have you been doing?’

“‘Flying like mad, sir,’ I told him.

“‘I’m not stupid. What else have you been doing?’”

Here, Halvorsen pauses for effect.

“That’s when I knew they knew. I got chewed out real good,” he says before flashing his trademark smile. “But at the end, the colonel said, ‘That’s a good idea. Keep doing it. But keep me informed.’”

In the space of a year Halvorsen and others dropped about 21 tons of candy to the kids around Tempelhof Airport.

Asked for the secret to living a long time, he says he’s not sure what that is. He has more to say about the keys to a happy life, however. “Always have something to do,” the Candy Bomber advises. “And watch for things you can do that make a difference.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 23, 2020 at 11:16 am

Posted in Aerospace, History, USA

Tagged with ,

The Struggle Sessions – A Soviet Perspective

In the middle of the great tumult of the Woke brigades of the USA, one magazine – The Tablet – had an interesting, disturbing take on them.

The article, The American Soviet Mentality, was written by Izabella Tabarovsky, who grew up in Russia and who specialises in Soviet history.

She begins the article by describing the collective demonisations of Boris Pasternak (his most famous work is Doctor Zhivago) following his being awarded the Nobel Prize in literature:

Within days, Pasternak was a target of a massive public vilification campaign. The country’s prestigious Literary Newspaper launched the assault with an article titled “Unanimous Condemnation” and an official statement by the Soviet Writers’ Union…

…A few days later, the paper dedicated an entire page to what it presented as the public outcry over Pasternak’s imputed treachery. Collected under the massive headline “Anger and Indignation: Soviet people condemn the actions of B. Pasternak” were a condemnatory editorial, a denunciation by a group of influential Moscow writers, and outraged letters that the paper claimed to have received from readers.

She goes into detail about all the aspects of this, including attacks on others like composers Dmitry Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev; writers Anna Akhmatova and Iosif Brodsky; and others, pointing out that the hounding could go on for years and destroyed people’s lives, health and ability to create.

Of course it all sounds awfully similar to the recent Twitter rage mob attacks on writers, reporters and editors described by Taibbi, Sullivan and others. Tabarovsky looks at those as well, but while she compares this situation to the USSR she also makes the point about the ordinary people involved:

But while the policy in the USSR was by and large set by the authorities, it would be too simplistic to imagine that those below had no choices, and didn’t often join in these rituals gladly, whether to obtain some real or imagined benefit for themselves, or to salve internal psychic wounds, or to take pleasure in the exercise of cruelty toward a person who had been declared to be a legitimate target of the collective...

The mobs that perform the unanimous condemnation rituals of today do not follow orders from above. But that does not diminish their power to exert pressure on those under their influence...

Sergei Dovlatov, a dissident Soviet writer who emigrated to the United States in 1979 [said]: “We continuously curse Comrade Stalin, and, naturally, with good reason. And yet I want to ask: who wrote four million denunciations?” It wasn’t the fearsome heads of Soviet secret police who did that, he said.

As a former Soviet herself she understands the mentality that drives these people, even as it threatens them too with ever greater and more precise demands for loyalty to the kollektiv:

Those of us who came out of the collectivist Soviet culture understand these dynamics instinctively. You invoked the “didn’t read, but disapprove” mantra not only to protect yourself from suspicions about your reading choices but also to communicate an eagerness to be part of the kollektiv—no matter what destructive action was next on the kollektiv’s agenda. You preemptively surrendered your personal agency in order to be in unison with the group.

…  How much of your own autonomy as a thinking, feeling person are you willing to sacrifice to the collective? What inner compromises are you willing to make for the sake of being part of the group? Which personal relationships are you willing to give up?

A point also made by Princeton professor Robert George in The Superior Humans of Today. Tabarovsky finishes on a note that I find very depressing as she writes of her adopted home and expresses a grim feeling:

Those who remember the Soviet system understand the danger of letting the practice of collective denunciation run amok. But you don’t have to imagine an American Stalin in the White House to see where first the toleration, then the normalization, and now the legitimization and rewarding of this ugly practice is taking us.

… I used to feel grateful that we had left the USSR before Soviet life had put me to that test. How strange and devastating to realize that these moral tests are now before us again in America.

From my vantage point, this cultural moment in these United States feels incredibly precarious.

So say we all.