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Posts Tagged ‘Woke & Identity Politics

Saturday Morning Transitions

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“Transgenderism” or “gender identity disorder” is based on an actual, rare, psychological condition known as Gender Dysphoria. No one is sure how many individuals are actually afflicted with the condition. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) — the Bible for psychiatry — estimates that about 0.005% to 0.014% of people assigned male at birth and 0.002% to 0.003% of people assigned female at birth are diagnosable with gender dysphoria.

That’s an extraordinarily small number of people, but you wouldn’t know that judging from the way the trans movement has exploded in recent years. Not only that but the movement have their own stats: according to a 2014 survey, 1.4 million American adults identify as transgender. And that survey did not include the parents who are being railroaded into believing their child is transgender by incompetent or politically active teachers, therapists, and psychologists and then allowing the administration of drugs and hormones.

Although there have been recent signs that the Transgender movement is starting to encounter serious grassroots opposition, there’s also no doubt that it is very embedded within the US education system where – thanks to the overwhelming support of the Democrat Party by teachers unions – it’s now part of the political wars in the USA. But there are signs on that front that it may be getting the Democrats in trouble, starting with their loss of the Virginia governorship a few months ago.

You can see why the Washington Post was so keen on trying to destroy the Libs of TikTok account by doxxing the woman behind it, but that’s a story for another day.

This has caused a few – so far only a very few – Democrat activists to start warning about the election losses that may hit the party as a result of jumping on the trans bandwagon. The following Tweet (or rather a Tweet thread) is one such, although to be fair she sounds like she’s also genuinely concerned about what the trans movement is doing to vulnerable children.

Laura Wiley Haynes @haynes_wiley
Attn: Democrats!
We are not in reality about “trans kids.”I am a CASA (Leftie/ Dem/atheist). I am neck deep in the population who is declaring this ID. And I know too much!

1. It is important to know that as recently as 15 years ago, all kids claiming to be in wrong body were given therapeutic support and time, to address the more likely issues that often underlie a child feeling miserable/ out of place in their body.

2. 90% of kids given this approach outgrew their Gender Dysphoria with no meds. 2/3 of them were gay in adulthood. Rapid ‘affirmation’ tells youth they *need* hormones and surgery because they *are* trans. Given the above, ‘affirming’ is basically gay conversion therapy.

3. 80% of trans IDd also have **two or more** mental health disorders, on top of GD. Common: ASD, PTSD, Depression & Anxiety….& these conditions precede the idea of “being trans.” Kids who have these disorders are very unhappy, impulsive & seeking relief. Some are abused and abandoned. Foster youth ID as trans at fifteen times the % of kids at large. This demands we do not reify the presenting ‘gender’ problem but look at the whole child and their mental health needs prior to labeling them/medicalizing them.

4. “Affirmation” supposes that kids are never Wrong about their ‘gender identity.’ That’s opposite of reality! Kids make mistakes!

5. Affirmation = “You’re actually a boy! ok!” = Step 1 in cementing this as ‘reality.’ Step 2 is puberty blockers, and Step 3 is cross-sex hormones. 1+2+3 = a sterile child. One who may never orgasm! With ruined physical health! UNJUSTIFIABLE, when 90% **outgrow** this!

6. The suicide fears used to browbeat parents into unquestioning support are lies. When control group has as many MH disorders as the ‘trans ID ‘ group, the suicide risks are identical, e.g. the risk is from the depression/PTSD/Trauma history not the Trans ID. The moment Trans is affirmed, these other issues (which do cause suicidal thoughts) get ignored. They get attributed to ‘how hard it is to be trans.’ BS!! This is rank dereliction of duty of care to struggling kids. It is indefensible and negligent.

7. Puberty blockers + cross sex hormones not only sterilize child. They leave boys with micro penis. They often cause girls to need hysterectomies in 20’s. Bones do not get stronger, brain development is affected. Cancer and heart risks rise. They need hormones for life.

8. Long term effects are not well-known, but in the countries in Europe who have begun to track them, they have pulled back from medicalizing children due to significant issues, such as osteopenia in 11 year olds! This is experimental and unproved Tx! Not benign!

Democrats: We cannot defend confusing/ sterilizing/ maiming kids who would have outgrown TG if simply supported emotionally. It is indefensible!! We must course correct… Yes, respect and support all kids, without diagnosing or reifying transient claimed identities.

“Trans kids rights” must include:
– The right to be protected from impulsive and dumb permanent choices.
– The right to appropriate trauma care.
– The right to fertility and orgasm in adulthood.
– The right not to be wedged away from parents by well-meaning activists

A few added thoughts. I think most people, left and right, have thought about this issue *barely at all*. T was force-teamed with LBG. T has nothing to do with sexual orientation but by making it “LGBT” many people have assumed it is like sexual orientation and innate. Ppl think, “well, if kid was born that way, if the parents & doctors approve it…” not realizing “affirmation” is dogmatic/immediate/little scrutiny. They think “don’t attack kids for being different.” This describes virtually everyone who is not an activist on this issue.

JK Rowling – author of the Harry Potter wizarding books who has been a target of really nasty threats from trans – shared a video of this clinical psychiatrist talking about the perils of “affirming” kids’ momentary identification with a faddish identity.

That post immediately got the trans attack team, with all the standard bullet points, starting with the classic “Trans woman are women” claim. As well as more of attacks like the one shown here, although it’s nice to see Rowling taking it in stride and with a sense of humour.

Of course Rowling is so wealthy and accomplished that she cannot be intimidated successfully by these maniacs: I doubt the same could be said about an author just getting started in the industry.

BTW Twitter has taken no action against this toxically male psychotic, even as The Babylon Bee gets locked out of their accounts for their satirical take on Rachel Levine being Man of The Year.

If the video above of an Old, White Male clinical psychiatrist is too easily dismissed you might be interested in what Erica Anderson, a transgender doctor, who until recently led the US professional society at the forefront of transgender care, recently told the Los Angeles Times:

“I think it’s gone too far. For a while, we were all happy that society was becoming more accepting and more families than ever were embracing children that were gender variant. Now it’s got to the point where there are kids presenting at clinics whose parents say, ‘This just doesn’t make sense,‘”

It is not a coincidence that the number of young adults who identify as transgender has increased more than twentyfold over the past several years as transgenderism has become more mainstream, but that tells you that it’s a social phenomena rather than a psychological one.

Similarly the Swedish medical community, famous for their pioneering work on transgender surgery decades ago, are now having second thoughts about whether they’re actually helping:

An extensive study conducted in Sweden found that 10 to 15 years after sex-reassignment surgeries, the suicide rate of those who underwent the procedure rose to 20 times that of their peers. Another review  of more than 100 follow-up studies of transgender individuals who underwent sex changes, undertaken by Birmingham University’s Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility, found that none of the studies provided conclusive evidence that gender reassignment benefited the patients. And just a couple of years ago, U.S. researchers were forced  to issue a correction to a major 2019 study that claimed transgender individuals who underwent reassignment surgeries showed significantly improved mental health. The study now states, “The results demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care visits or prescriptions or hospitalizations following suicide attempts.”

Having worked with a couple of trannies back in the 90’s (both trans-woman and BTW that word is now a No No according to the trans community) I can say that they seemed happy with what they’d done. But they didn’t make the transition until they were in the twenties and forties respectively. I don’t accept that this crap is helping teenagers, let alone younger kids.

I’ll leave this with the following interview of a woman who got subjected to all this and is now de-transitioning back to being a woman. It’s a sad tale.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 30, 2022 at 11:44 am

Cancel Kulture and the tools it uses.

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And one of those tools has been Twitter.

Here’s one way that Cancel Kulture can be made to work, and has worked on a number of people, especially in show business.

It’s quite simple: you just reach back into the past of that person, find something that’s “problematic” by today’s standards – problematic is a great word in that it’s not a direct attack but implies that a problem exists with the target of the word – and use that standard combined with a gathering wildfire of outrage on Social Media, followed by the MSM, to force the target into groveling apologies, most of which don’t work, the target gets de-platformed anyway.

This is what happened to Oscars host and comedian, Kevin Hart, three years ago. That was the end of that high profile job, and pretty much his career. The same stunt has been pulled on nobodies as well, like the young woman who lost her university place when a former high school classmate published an old Tweet of her celebrating getting her drivers licence at the age of 16 by repeating the line of a famous rap song (all the rage with her generation at the time) that included The Word That Can Get You In Trouble (unless you’re a rap artist).

Recently it was tried against the famous American comedian Steve Martin, because of a forty year old sketch he’d done on Saturday Night Live. Stephen Green at PJMedia takes up the story:

“Steve Martin” briefly trended on Monday after Silver Age Television tweeted the anniversary of King Tut’s debut on SNL. It trended because some zero-humor wokester forced it to trend. But only briefly. Mediaite did its best to generate heat with this headline yesterday:

Steven Martin’s ‘King Tut’ Sketch from 1978 Sparks Twitter Debate on Cultural Appropriation.

Steven Martin? Anyway, as the story made clear, there wasn’t even so little as a “Twitter debate.” The worst Mediaite could find was two barely-critical tweets by a couple of low-follower Blue Checks.

The Twitter Outrage Machine was cranked to life, then almost immediately ran out of gas. Maybe it’s because Twitter spent Monday outraged about the Elon Musk buyout and didn’t have time to worry about Martin.

Excellent news, but how did that little wokester actually get “Steve Martin” to trend in the first place, lighting a spark as it were?

“They do it,” Dice explained, “to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Twitter manually inserts a topic on the list. People see the topic and think everyone is tweeting about which “caused” it to trend, so people *start* tweeting about it, and *then* the issue goes viral.”

Easy peasy. Japaneasy.

Oooo. Is that racist? Or culturally inappropriate?

Well anyway, after delving into yet another aspect of the grim, toxic underbelly of the politically correct Left, have a laugh at Steve Martin’s original sketch:

Hats Off to (Roy) Harper

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We’re not quite at the point of being able to not talk about the Chinese Lung Rot virus but it’s getting closer.

In the meantime I saw the claim over on Newshub while checking on today’s death count that, “A good rule of thumb is to wear a mask in indoor public settings as we know that mask use halves the risk of spread of COVID-19″

Well, actually it’s 53% according to that British study that Hipkins keeps referring to, which was not a Randomised Control Trial (the gold standard) but yet another observational study that was immediately pointed out as a claim that could not be made based on its own data. To be fair the authors acknowledged that RCT’s would have to be done. To be unfair fourteen RCT’s already have been done over the years, including one during Covid and the conclusions were that masks were useless against such a virus.

You have to wonder if our journalists even read things like the Washington Post, where even they recently concluded that “Mask Mandates Didn’t Make Much of a Difference”, or simply asked how “halving the risk” could be concluded when the case number growth on a chart was almost vertical in NZ, as it was elsewhere. Or looked at something like this:

Perhaps that should have been turned into a t-shirt.

Other data continues to accumulate.

On all aspects of the virus and the vaccination cure. The following is probably just a coincidence, one of those correlation vs. causation questions that pop up all the time in science.

On a different topic this one is a hoot.

If you assume that having a society that’s increasingly tolerant of LGBTQ+ folks is what’s behind the numbers of such people for Gen Z, you’d have to wonder why it’s not lifting the numbers in other generations as people come out of the closet, especially the next closest in time, Millennials. The reason is that Gen Z has been bombarded with this since they were young. The Jesuits once said “give us a child till he’s 7 and we’ll have him for life”, the Libs of TikTok have documented that trans teachers are fanatical about this stuff and…
Can’t.
Stop.
Talking about it.

Maybe that’s Why American Teens Are So Sad:

The United States is experiencing an extreme teenage mental-health crisis. From 2009 to 2021, the share of American high-school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent, according to a new CDC study. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded

With the Disney-Florida shitstorm there was a sudden outburst of people complaining about the Right calling such teachers and their enablers “groomers”. Apparently it’s hurtful and nasty to compare groomers to people who want to talk to small children about sex while keeping that secret from the parents. I appreciated this response, although you have to be familiar with the theory of White Fragility to get it.

I think Disney have chosen poorly,

Especially given that this fight is coming up again, and this time I wouldn’t bet on GOP Senators and members of Congress being quite so friendly to a corporation.

But perhaps Disney doesn’t care about The Mouse anymore:

Disney isn’t for kids anymore. Its movie business is dominated by Marvel blockbusters. Half of Disney+ subscribers, its big bet on the home streaming future, are adults with no children.

What about the theme parks?

60% of Disneyland visitors were adults with no children. Only 36.7% of Disney World visitors had children under 18. The largest demographic for the theme parks, like the movies, are millennials. They are also members of the fandoms who are likeliest to spend money on licensed merchandise, and on toys and movie tie-ins that are Disney’s bread and butter.

Written by Tom Hunter

April 15, 2022 at 7:00 am

It’s a good thing George Carlin is dead

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That was one message from Bill Maher’s take on the impact of Cancel Kulture in his world of using humour to stick it to powerful people.

I haven’t covered The Slap Heard Around The World because it’s just more of Hollywood being awful, but this time in a petty way that amounted to them eating their own as well as being yet another black mark for the Oscars. IMHO it was not as bad as the crap they churn out for us to watch. And now I have Maher referring to it anyway, except that his angle isn’t the screaming about violence, toxic males or the hypocrisy involved but what it says about how the US Left is handling humour nowadays, with another in his series of Explaining Jokes to Idiots (bonus points for the shoutout to the famous Seinfeld episode, The Magic Loogie, with “back and to the left”, itself a Black Comedy parody of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK).

If you think that it trivialises Cancel Kulture in focusing on its effects on jokes instead of Very Serious Ideas then you probably don’t know about this from 2021:

A nonprofit organization that major U.S. tech companies rely on for content moderation is expanding the scope of content it will blacklist on social media platforms.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism will expand its database of terrorist content to cover content shared by white nationalist and alt-right users, Reuters reported Monday. Tech companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter, rely on the forum’s database to automatically remove inappropriate content. Experts worry that the forum’s lack of transparency could cause some users to be unfairly censored.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism was created in 2017 to censor content from U.N.-designated terrorist organizations. The forum’s board is advised by the European Union’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, which recently released a report entitled “It’s Not Funny Anymore: Far-Right Extremists’ Use of Humor.”

More in that link, although it’s mostly not about humour.

The worst is when the comics censor themselves, when they become Woke, which seems to be what’s happened to one of Maher’s famous compadres, Jon Stewart.

The liberal comic retired from his “The Daily Show” perch in 2015, spawning tributes from across the media landscape. He changed the face of late night TV, they cried, and they were right. For better and much worse.

His impact, from his liberal take on the news to his bleeped profanity shtick, became part of the late night playbook.

Hell, I used to laugh along with The Daily Show as well, even as he took shots at the Right (like Maher does) to a far greater degree than he did at the Left.

But I did not appreciate the fact that after basically destroying what was a very good show of Left vs Right political and ideological argument, CNN’s Crossfireby going on it in 2004 and attacking the folks there as unserious hacks, saying it was a show that “hurt America” by treating serious ideas in a (too) humorous way – Stewart’s own show simply carried on pushing little but the Left’s line while the rest of the media environment collapsed into the same echo chamber:

Is the media landscape Stewart helped create better for it, where Brian Williams regularly engages in Stewart-like snark (he called Ron Johnson a Russian asset the other day for reading a Federalist article into the record) and Tucker Carlson is the biggest name as a solo act in cable news?

In a context in which so much ink is dedicated to the concept of silos and the elimination of common space between right and left — and I mean the real right and left, not David Brooks and Maureen Dowd — do we honestly want a world where there is no space where these warring sides meet to do rhetorical battle?

The answer is: of course not. It’s much, much worse. The inability to have a space where such debates play out, and the inability of existing entities to provide such a space, has led directly to a degradation of our political conversation and a lack of familiarity with even the most basic version of the other side’s perspective on the world.

And as Jim Treacher memorably noted of Stewart’s routine:

Once I saw through his Clown Nose Off/Clown Nose On routine — “You should listen to me because what I’m saying is important, but I’ll brush off your rebuttal by insisting I’m just a comedian” — it was like the optical illusion with the cows. It might take you a minute to see it, but once you do, you can’t unsee it.

Since Treacher’s analysis in 2013 people have looked at the famous old Crossfire segment and observed that Stewart was pulling the Clown Nose On / Clown Nose Off routine there as well.

There was some of this also when he recently appeared on an episode of one of his Daily Show proteges, Late Night With Stephen Colbert, and spoke some common sense about the Wuhan Lab Leak theory, which had Colbert back-peddling fast until he finally asked Stewart how long he’d been working for Senator Ron Johnson (boom-tish for Liberal snark – see above).

Sadly he seems to have gone full Clown Nose Off as a result of savage attacks by Woke critics of his old show and more recent works:

The woke mob, which will “resurface” the past to attack people in the present, deemed his “Daily Show” writers room insufficiently diverse. And Stewart, rather than defend his team or their work, groveled for forgiveness. That must have stung, but it’s more likely another moment left a palpable scar on his psyche.

That other moment was a movie called “Irresistible” that Stewart made about politics and which lampooned both the GOP and the Democrats. That was not acceptable:

It’s cowardly to make a film lampooning Democrats as out of touch rather than Republicans as unquestionably evil, but this is what “centrism” is these days, and that’s the “both sides” ideology that Stewart espoused back during his days on The Daily Show, and that’s the shit that doesn’t fly anymore.

War, baby! Götterdämmerung. The final fight between the forces of Good and (Unquestionable) Evil.

This is why his latest show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart” on the Apple+ streaming network, had an episode titled “The Problem with White People.” that ended up with Andrew Sullivan, Mr Gay Mrriage himself, a voter of Obama-Obama-Clinton-Biden in the last few years, being attacked as a racist by Stewart’s guest, with Stewart in full, Clown Nose Off agreement:

I just assumed he wouldn’t demonize or curse at a guest; he would moderate; he would entertain counter-arguments; he would defend fair play. After all, this was the man who had lacerated Crossfire for bringing too much heat and not enough light. He believed in sane discourse. He was a liberal, right?

He is indeed, it’s just that poor old Sullivan, despite writing about Woke issues, still thinks that Liberals fit his stereotype, the comfortable picture he has of them, and of himself:

At that point, it became clear that Stewart was not conducting a televised debate, but initiating a struggle session. The point of the session was not to discuss anything, but to further enforce the dogma he had pronounced. So I found myself in the equivalent of one of those workplace indoctrination seminars — in which any disagreement is regarded as a form of “hate” or “ignorance.” But worse: I was in a struggle session with a live mob sitting in, cheering and jeering, which Stewart led and orchestrated. For good measure, Stewart called me a racist and told me I was not “living in the same fucking country as we are,” and went on to angrily call me a “motherfucker.”

Sullivan also got this treatment from the guest (predictably a Liberal White Woman):

I did not come on this show to argue with another white man. That’s one of the reasons we don’t even engage with white men at Race2Dinner, because quite honestly if white men were going to do something about racism, you had 400 years. You could have done it.

A key attack point. If it sounds familiar that’s because we’ve heard it in New Zealand also, in relation to White Colonialism, and you will hear more of it in the near future. Sullivan finishes his detailed piece on the history of White and Black race in the USA by drawing the obvious parallel with Stewart’s ethnicity:

… the trope of a malign racial force existing through history across time and space is one Jon Stewart might have once recognized before he joined the woke cult. I wonder what he would have said if someone had come on his old show and said, “I did not come on this show to argue with a Jew,” or “every single Jew upholds these systems,” or “it doesn’t matter what a Jew’s politics are, he’s still a Jew, and therefore a racist”. What if she had bragged that her organization wouldn’t even engage with Jews because they were so toxic. And what if that person had looked straight at a Jewish guest of Stewart’s when she said it? What would he have said?

Somehow I don’t think it would be: “If I could finger snap, I would finger snap right now.”

Amid all this fighting was news of a stunning counter-attack. After asking his 80 million Twitter followers what they thought of the status of free speech on the platform, and receiving an overwhelming response that it was poor, Musk bought a 9.2% stake in the company for US$ 2.9 billion dollars, making him the largest shareholder and likely catapulting him onto the Board of Directors.

We’ll have to wait and see what influence he has. While significant, the shareholding is far short of control and BOD members are not management; they don’t manage the day-to-day functions of the company. On top of that, as this article pointed out before Musk pulled the trigger, there are a number of big roadblocks in returning Twitter to being the free speech platform it was a decade ago, and we know they exist because they are what changed it. The article details four steps and shows how they worked before and could work again – possibly destroying Musk in the process.

  1. Blame the platform for its users.
  2. Coordinated pressure campaigns
  3. Exodus of the Bluechecks
  4. Deplatforming

Still it was nice to see that it triggered an immediate meltdown across the Lefty Social Media Sphere, especially among the Twitter workers themselves.

Maybe they should hire Bill Maher to provide worker tension-relief exercises once a week. They might even learn to laugh.

The Happiest Place on Earth?

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When I was a little boy one of my TV highlights every week was The Wonderful World of Disney.

An hour long program screened on early Sunday evenings, just as it was in the USA, it had everything from classic Disney cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck (my favourite because of his bad temper) and their mates, to documentaries on nature and science (some of them also animated), some of which were hold-overs from earlier days but didn’t seem to suffer for that.

Here’s a classic example from 1958, The Future of Transport, which I came across in falling down Interwebby rabbit holes because of the opening of Transmission Gully.

I doubt my parents ever had a concern about me watching such stuff while they got on with other things. It was Walt Disney after all.

But in the year 2022 I find that Disney has gone woke and as former President Trump said, everything woke turns to shit.

Just the other day I briefly covered Disney’s opposition to some legislation in Florida that prevents teachers from talking about sexual matters with kids aged 4-7. The MSM jumped in as well because GOP Governor Ron DeSantis headed up the bill and has defended it – and is seen as a huge threat to Democrat hopes in the 2024 election, so has endured endless amounts of MSM hit jobs. However, Disney and the MSM are truly on the wrong side of this issue:

The Florida bill doesn’t influence parents on how they, as parents, can instruct their own kindergartener on gender. Parents are still free to tell a child who can’t keep crayons inside the lines that “There are 20 genders.” The vast majority of parents will leave that discussion for when their child isn’t just starting to read Cat in the Hat.

Also, the majority of even Democrats agree with Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature. The general public, by a wide margin, sees no valid reason for a stranger to teach a six-year-old girl that she’s “in the wrong body” and needs to be called a boy. That polling is for the voting Democrats. If pollsters asked just parents, the percentage in favor of allowing children to remain children would skyrocket.

But that has turned out to be the least of it. Journalist Christopher Rufo – who has led the charge against woke poison across the USA in the last two years (and has thus incurred the wrath of the Far Left, who blame him for “creating” this particular culture war) – was sent a recording of an in-house, all-hands-on-deck video meeting that shows just how far gone the company is in its senior management levels. You can check out some of the videos at this link, plus more on Rufo’s own Twitter account, but here’s just one example:

Christ! Is there anybody there in management that’s not gay or trans, with gay and trans kids? Is there any limit to how far those assholes will go in pushing their Far Left woke agenda on everybody else?

Is the point of representation not to be representative? Yet, making 50 percent of [animated] characters some mix of LGBT and minority is not that when looking at the demographics of the country. Rather, it’s purposeful indoctrination that is meant to condition children to certain lifestyle choices these adults approve of and want to promote.

Ironically, in the same meeting, Disney’s “diversity and inclusion manager” then brags about de-gendering all of their theme parks, which is actually erasing representation. In other words, if you are a normal person who embraces the sex you were born with instead of entertaining the delusion it can be changed, you don’t deserve any representation. In fact, you need to be completely erased.

The videos also make it quite clear that their objective is absolutely to condition little kids into LGBT ideology at an age when they still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy:

Do you know what I’ve never thought about doing? Injecting sexuality into children’s programming in order to reinforce my adult views on the topic. I’ve never thought about that because I’m not a groomer, and I don’t use that word lightly, but really, what else would you call this? “Adding queerness” into shows that small kids watch is the kind of activism that should shock and appall everyone. Children are not pawns to be used in the pushing of adult sexual ideology. Yet, Disney employees like Latoya Raveneau are consumed by the practice.

I’d like to think that Disney is going to take a big hit over this, if not over their ugly, shitty obeisance to the Chinese Communist Party (which didn’t help them financially anyway). What “mother” or “father” will want to take their kids to Disneyland or DisneyWorld now, knowing that it’s less about fun than about ideological sexual indoctrination.

But it’s just another Culture War that can be ignored, correct?

The Samizdat remains the same

The failure of new generations of Leftists to actually build anything that could be described as Left-wing has started to be noticed by at least some Leftists.

Here in New Zealand the likes of “Bomber” Bradbury have been railing about the uselessness of Ardern’s Labour government to actually solve homelessness, and poverty, despite almost five years in power, the last two with an overwhelming majority in Parliament. Moreover “neo-liberal” capitalism is still here, smashing house prices through the roof and killing young people’s chances of home ownership – with all that implies for starting families.

Moreover, Bradbury notes that even as these failures pile up the fighting over woke politics grows ever more vicious:

I see a woke activist base who act more like a cult protecting dogma than agents of progressive change. I see a Green Party that is next to fucking hopeless on anything other than the delivery of woke empty gestures welded to their own middle class pretensions.

The material issues that truly matter have been dumped in favour of middle class identity politic virtue signals that are parroted by the Twitter mob and anyone who breathes differently gets cancelled.

But it’s a global phenomena. Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger, in his article, What happened to ‘Yes we can’?, bemoans what has happened to the dream of progressives on issue after issue:

For all of my adult life I have identified as a progressive. To me, being a progressive meant that I believed in empowerment…But now, on all the major issues of the day, the message from progressives is “No, you can’t.”

From climate change to drugs to homelessness and racism, Shellenberger sees what Bradbury sees, an ideological and political movement that has gone off the rails:

The reason progressives believe that “No one is safe,” when it comes to climate change, and that the drug-death “homelessness” crisis is unsolvable, is because they are in the grip of a victim ideology characterized by safetyism, learned helplessness, and disempowerment.

This isn’t really that new. Since the 1960s, the New Left has argued that we can’t solve any of our major problems until we overthrow our racist, sexist, and capitalistic system. But for most of my life, up through the election of Obama, there was still a New Deal, “Yes we can!” and “We can do it!” optimism that sat side-by-side with the New Left’s fundamentally disempowering critique of the ­system.

That’s all gone. On climate change, drug deaths, and cultural issues like racism, the message from progressives is that we are doomed unless we dismantle the institutions responsible for our oppressive, racist system. Those of us in Generation X who were raised to believe that racism was something we could overcome have been told in no uncertain terms that we were wrong. Racism is baked into our cultural DNA.

So too does the more hardline Leftist, Matt Taibbi in this article, The Vanishing Legacy of Barack Obama, which starts off in typical Taibbi fashion:

On the road from stirring symbol of hope and change to the Fat Elvis of neoliberalism, birthday-partying Barack Obama sold us all out

Ouch! It only gets nastier from there as he starts with Barack’s fabulous 60th birthday bash in his “Who’s Afraid of Climate Change” $12 million mansion in Martha’s Vineyard:

… advisers prevailed upon the 44th president to reconsider the bacchanal. But characteristically, hilariously, Obama didn’t cancel his party, he merely uninvited those he considered less important, who happened to be almost entirely his most trusted former aides.

There’s a glorious moment in the life of a certain kind of politician, when either because their careers are over, or because they’re so untouchable politically that it doesn’t matter anymore, that they finally get to remove the public mask, no pun intended. This Covid bash was Barack Obama’s “Fuck it!” moment.

I must admit that I laughed out loud at that last bit. Closer observers of Obama had already noticed that aspect of his personality years ago:

Obama was set up to be the greatest of American heroes, but proved to be a common swindler and one of the great political liars of all time — he fooled us all. Moreover, his remarkably vacuous post-presidency is proving true everything Trump said in 2016 about the grasping Washington politicians whose only motives are personal enrichment, and who’d do anything, even attend his wedding, for a buck.

Heh. Trump spoke a great many truths about The Establishment in D.C.

How do these Leftist betrayals keep happening? The thing that Taibbi, and the German Critical Theorists and Gramsci and all the rest of these fabulous Marxist theorists continue to miss is that no matter how you dress up the pig, it’s still a swine, as Tom Wolfe waspishly noted years ago in The Intelligent Co-Ed’s Guide to America, writing about Solzhenitsyn’s coming to America:

With the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the invasion of Czechoslo­vakia in 1968 it had become clear to Mannerist Marxists such as Sartre that the Soviet Union was now an embarrassment. The fault, however, as tout le monde knew, was not with socialism but with Stalinism. Stalin was a madman and had taken socialism on a wrong turn. (Mis­takes happen.) Solzhenitsyn began speaking out as a dissident inside the Soviet Union in 1967. His complaints, his revelations, his struggles with Soviet authorities—they merely underscored just how wrong the Stalinist turn had been.

The publication of The Gulag Archipelago in 1973, however, was a wholly unexpected blow. No one was ready for the obscene horror and grotesque scale of what Solzhenitsyn called “Our Sewage Disposal System”—in which tens of millions were shipped in boxcars to con­centration camps all over the country, in which tens of millions died, in which entire races and national groups were liquidated, insofar as they had existed in the Soviet Union. Moreover, said Solzhenitsyn, the system had not begun with Stalin but with Lenin, who had im­mediately exterminated non-Bolshevik opponents of the old regime and especially the student factions. It was impossible any longer to distinguish the Communist liquidation apparatus from the Nazi.

I always have to laugh at the trajectory that Leftists follow in this descent. People like Gorbachev and Dmitry Volkogonov at least had the excuse of having grown up in a brainwashed system, but not their Western counterparts:

Yet Solzhenitsyn went still further. He said that not only Stalinism, not only Leninism, not only Communism — but socialism itself led to the concentration camps; and not only socialism, but Marxism; and not only Marxism but any ideology that sought to reorganize morality on an a priori basis. Sadder still, it was impossible to say that Soviet socialism was not “real socialism.” On the contrary — it was socialism done by experts!

Intellectuals in Europe and America were willing to forgive Solzhe­nitsyn a great deal. After all, he had been born and raised in the Soviet Union as a Marxist, he had fought in combat for his country, he was a great novelist, he had been in the camps for eight years, he had suf­fered. But for his insistence that the isms themselves led to the death camps — for this he was not likely to be forgiven soon. And in fact the campaign of antisepsis began soon after he was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. (“He suffered too much — he’s crazy.” “He’s a Christian zealot with a Christ complex.” “He’s an agrarian reaction­ary.” “He’s an egotist and a publicity junkie.”)

I vividly recall that this was still the standard take on the man when I was at varsity in the 1980’s.

Solzhenitsyn’s tour of the United States in 1975 was like an enormous funeral procession that no one wanted to see. The White House wanted no part of him. The New York Times sought to bury his two major’ speeches, and only the moral pressure of a lone Times writer, Hilton Kramer, brought them any appreciable coverage at all. The major tele­vision networks declined to run the Solzhenitsyn interview that created such a stir in England earlier this year (it ran on some of the educa­tional channels).

And the literary world in general ignored him completely. In the huge unseen coffin that Solzhenitsyn towed behind him were not only the souls of the zeks who died in the Archipelago. No, the heartless bastard had also chucked in one of the last great visions: the intellec­tual as the Stainless Steel Socialist glistening against the bone heap of capitalism in its final, brutal, fascist phase. There was a bone heap, all right, and it was grisly beyond belief, but socialism had created it.

But the betrayals of Obama and Clinton and Blair and Brown and Ardern (“Wonder Woman”) and Clark and Lange and all the rest, don’t matter. The next leader of the Centre-Left parties will be hailed as the new saviour, and the entire hideous personality-cult-plus-central-control process will start all over again. These are the same people who will tell you earnestly to your face that there’s no way a modern Lenin, Stalin or Mao could arise because the Left would never make that mistake again.

The Zombie Returns

While the USSR collapsed in 1991 – fittingly on Christmas Day as if in a final tip-of-the-hat to the Christianity against which it had so long fought – and while this followed on from the collapse of all its little Mini-Me’s in Eastern Europe a couple of years earlier, there were still plenty of Marxists around, even if they seemed a little “off” from a traditional Marxist perspective:

Nominal communist regimes still exist, but they are knock-offs, systems determined to survive by being different. There is little Marx in China. Cuba also has gone to market to try to save itself. North Korea has enshrined Asian monarchy rather than European philosophy. But no one has attempted to remake Soviet communism.

Aside from those examples True Marxists (self-proclaimed) have soldiered on in the West, even gaining some traction with movements like Antifa and Burn Loot Murder, discontent with “neo-liberal capitalism” and certainly engaging in struggle sessions in many areas.

As this article, Zombie Marxism, makes clear, there’s a lot going on to once more modernise ancient Marxist ideas. That article looks at the two basic pathways to yet another socialist revolution: practical grassroots organising; and destroying a society’s ideas about itself. That last is mainly about Italian communist Antonio Gramsci:

Writing in the 1920s and ‘30s, after the failure by Italy’s workers to set up a communist state in 1918, Gramsci said the proletariat was consenting to his own enslavement. How so? He buys into the cultural trappings of his bourgeois oppressor—the church, the family, the nation-state, etc.

The communists at the turn of the 20th century had struck similar problems as the industrialised nations of Europe failed to undergo “natural” communist revolutions. Lenin’s answer was a Vanguard Party to lead the clueless workers. But Gramsci saw that outside of Russia that wasn’t working either. Something else was needed, and his key insight was that:

popular beliefs and similar ideas are themselves material forces.’ Gramsci upheld the assertion that a successful revolution would ultimately require the overthrow of the bourgeois state…However, because the capitalist hegemony does not function through state violence alone but that it also mobilizes civil society in order to promote oppressed peoples consent to and participation in the system, a successful revolutionary movement would first have to engage in a long-term effort to undermine that consent.

Screw economics in other words, the focus of Marx and Engels. Gramsci proposed that the things a civil society believes about itself, its culture, buttressed by its institutions, all the things that the oppressed foolishly believed in, would need to be torn down and rebuilt embedded with Marxist theory.

Which is where the German Critical Theorists come into the picture. They had the tools to enable the destruction, starting with the harmless, innocuous world of academic Western literature and then spreading beyond that to other parts of academia and from that into society, even into the ranks of the professional/managerial classes – with the NYT’s “educational 1619 Project, designed to tear down the myth of 1776 and replace it, being the most prominent example. As one modern Marxist, Harmony Goldberg, admiringly said:

Revolutionaries would themselves have to engage in the long-term battle of ideas in order to clarify the need for revolutionary transformation.” All-out ideological war is needed. A crisis can be used to overthrow a society, but the long-term subversion of a culture must come first.

Remember that when you strike idiot Right-Wing politicians who insist that “they don’t do culture wars”.

Aside from the ideas needed to destroy all those things there’s also the practical organising – which is where the likes of Burn Loot Murder come into the picture (and here you were thinking they were about Blacks being brutalised by the Police). The creators of BLM are people like Alicia Garza and Patrice Cullors:

 In 1996 Harmony Goldberg founded the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL). This is the same place where, seven years later, Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, then 22, began her Marxist training [in “community organising”].

In Cullors’s case, the ideological mentor was Eric Mann. He is a former member of the Weather Underground who founded the Labor-Community Strategy Center in LA (which Mann jokingly calls “the University of Caracas Revolutionary Graduate School”).

These bastard organisations may die off, as the murderous Weather Underground did after the early 70’s, but their poison lives on to create new horrors like BLM. Mann had already developed the key insight that in America Gramsci’s cultural attack would work best if it was boiled down to racism, the great fault line in America. The training of Cullors, Garza and others like them would also focus on a group of people not necessarily “working class”:

Early on, Mann settled on Los Angeles bus riders as more easily organizable and indoctrinated than factory workers. They were more destitute, more black, Latino, and Asian, and more female, than the average worker. “At a time when many workplaces have 25 to 50 employees, an overcrowded bus has 43 people sitting and from 25 to 43 people standing,” he wrote. “Ten organizers on ten different buses can reach 1,000 or more people in a single afternoon,” That’s why his Center pioneered the creation of a Bus Riders Union.

Remember this also the next time you read the likes of old time Leftist Chris Trotter sneering about the mindless, lower-class of the “lumpenproletariat“, as he did about the Wellington protestors. By contrast Mann and company see such people as equally valuable for their revolution, perhaps more so than the Working Class that buys into the capitalist dream.

So far it’s been quite successful: Critical Theory has laid waste to academic fields, and the most prominent outcome of BLM has been the Defund the Police movement. The article also points out the MSM has been brought into the picture in just the last few years, with a tenfold increase in the use of CRT terms such as “White Privilege”, “Systemic Racism”, “Racial Privilege and so forth. How helpful!

The thing is that the likes of Lenin, while they may not have been as focused on this stuff as a primary driver of revolution, effectively ended up doing the same thing after the revolution, as a rather surprising modern political figure confirms:

Cambodia’s Year Zero was not new or unique.

As much of a concern as these efforts are in their trashing of our Western civilisation, they’ve also turned out to be almost as much of a disappointment as their forebears in building the new Heaven On Earth, luckily without as much blood being split. For example the Defund The Police movement is rapidly collapsing as frightened Democrats back away from the massive surges in crime that have resulted in cities stupid enough to follow the advice of BLM, and US university enrolments are in long-term decline in areas such as English, Sociology, and History where Critical Theory has dominated.

But like old Communism, even as they fail they can be incredibly damaging. In the article Confessions of a student Marxist, we get some insight into this wasteland, as described a man who spent his teenage years “immersed in Marxist and anarchist circles and literature”, before getting to Cambridge University where he’s thrilled to discover others like himself and it all gets very exciting – for a while:

The college was a bucket of crabs and happiness itself suspect, a mark of privilege, as with the rugby lads who had the audacity to actually enjoy themselves. When there was laughter it was heavy and jarring, filled with irony and bitterness, never light or free. …Though we were aware of our enormous privilege we contrived to see our time at Cambridge as some grim fate foisted upon us.

Unhappiness brings with it power over others. Where compassion is the highest virtue, this power is almost limitless. Misery also provides the motive to wield this power, and mental blindness to one’s own culpability in its exercise. 

Eternally oppressed victims. There can be no uglier oppressors. He writes about seeing clips of people expressing their mental distress of oppression – “They are there in the voice, constantly on the point of breaking, in the incredulous, widening eyes, and in the earnestly furrowed brow” – and that when he sees BLM using the same “therapeutic language”, it makes his skin crawl.

Social theorist Mark Fisher described from first-hand experience the manipulation of this scene as a Vampire Castle which “feeds on the energy and anxieties and vulnerabilities of young students, but most of all it lives by converting the suffering of particular groups — the more marginal, the better — into academic capital. The most lauded figures in the Vampire Castle are those who have spotted a new market in suffering — those who can find a group more oppressed and subjugated than any previously exploited will find themselves promoted through the ranks very quickly.” The Vampire Castle recruits on the promise of community and self-healing. The reality is an ouroboros of emotional manipulation…

Emotional manipulation has become the primary, in some ways the only, driver of our politics: Jacinda Ardern is a leading example, including the fact that she is a wealthy, Middle-Class person:

The emotional manipulation developed in elite institutions has developed a motte-and-bailey style of argument (superbly analysed by Jacob Siegel) which is impossible to push back against without seeming callous. And every institution, public or private, has simply buckled.

the embrace of this movement by the rich, and the profound philosophical break it represents with the old order, suggests it has a logic and a momentum of its own and its potential is without limit. It is a politics of negation and renunciation and there is no end-point. There is always more work to be done.

That part about the rich jumping onboard with the bullshit shows both its danger to Western society as well as it weakness. Critical Theory and all the Gramscian stuff is doing a great job of tearing things down, but when it comes time for building they’re still stuck with Marxism, which only builds vast systems of centralised command and control that degenerate and then collapse.

But in this case, the approach has also produced, not a generation of hardened revolutionaries but a bunch of privileged cry-bullies: emotionally fragile people who, like their theories, can tear down but not build.

Seemingly on the cusp of victory (Defund the Police) they crap out in the face of reality (increased crime), and in the case of even the trained Marxists, it turns out that they love money and owning houses, having bought into the cultural trappings of their bourgeois oppressors.


Written by Tom Hunter

March 17, 2022 at 6:00 am

Two takes on China – and what it says about The West.

At present there are quite a few people in the West wittering on about how the 21st century will be China’s century.

A decade or more ago such comments seemed to be coming from the mouths of Right-wingers who fully supported Free Trade with China and who had no problems with the idea of the West shipping all its manufacturing jobs off shore to China. There were also some long-time Lefty haters of the West – haters of the USA in particular – who got off on such visions and the associated decline and fall of Pax Americana.

But in recent times they’ve been joined by a new group on the Right; people utterly disgusted by what they see as a decadent, declining West, spiralling down into gender-fluid militaries and the like. Unlike the previous two groups this crowd are not particularly impressed by Communist China or even Vlad’s Russia when it comes to individual freedoms. They just think that the “freedoms” now being pushed by tiny, extremist groups in the West are not freedoms worth having or worse, ones that include any amount of anti-free, coercive behaviour enlisted and demanded by these groups from corporations like FaceTwit to the government itself.

Thou shalt not misuse thy personal pronouns.

So I thought that two recent articles were of interest as they looked at the influence of these Western ideas on China.

First up is Can Feminism Destroy China?:

The deficit of 40 million female babies is now the specter stalking Communist China.

China’s aggressive military moves against Taiwan and India are a desperate gambit by a corrupt Communist elite facing domestic social instability and millions of men who can never marry.

But while the focus has been on too many Chinese men, it’s the too few women whom the regime is starting to fear. The Communist society is being forced to reckon with the social problem of supply and demand in the marriage market. Women, formerly despised, are now in the driver’s seat, with the bride’s family demanding tens of thousands from prospective grooms.

Oh no. Central planning fucks up yet another nation in yet another way. As recently as the 1980’s there were Westerners, particularly environmentalists, who praised China’s One Child policy. The article gives a potted history of how China seemed to avoid the perils of the USSR, taking in only those Western ideas that would help them build a thriving economy. But it also points out that things are not working quite the way they’re supposed to:

Despite the outward allegiance to Xi and the Communists, the country’s rising middle class is westernized, individualistic rather than collectivist, intent on having fun and stocking up on all the latest consumer gadgets, instead of sacrificing and laboring in the cause of Communism.

The falling marriage and birth rates are the obvious symptom of China’s new social feminism.

Marriage licenses have fallen to a 13-year low and the birth rate has hit a 43-year low. With only 12 million babies born in 2020, the old mathematical joke about the Marching Chinese now falls flat. Like the rest of Asia, China is aging, and its workforce is falling by 0.5% a year.

Second is an article in The New Statesman that asks some rather depressing questions, despite the triumphal headline of, The West isn’t dying – its ideas live on in China:

Western ideologies continue to rule the world. In China Xi Jinping has embraced a variant of integral nationalism not unlike those that emerged in interwar Europe, while Vladimir Putin has skilfully deployed Leninist methods to resurrect an enfeebled Russia as a global power. Ideas and projects originating in the illiberal West continue to shape global politics.

It’s often been pointed out that you don’t get much more Western than having Communism imposed on an Asian society, despite the best efforts of Mao and Pol Pot to pretend otherwise. As the article points out, even the concept of the nation-state itself is a Western conception.

Unfortunately, as the article traces out the path of the West – with specific examples being noted around the retreat of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus Germany’s pitiful reliance on Russian fossil fuels and the supply chain ties between the West and China – we’re declining, even as some Western ideas come to globally predominate. Unfortunately they’re some of the worst Western ideas:

Ideas and projects originating in the illiberal West continue to shape global politics. At the same time, in an intriguing synchronicity, Western liberalism has itself become illiberal.

No better example has been supplied than how the West reacted to the Chinese Lung Rot virus by copying the Chinese strategy of locking down a healthy population, for “only two weeks” to “flatten the curve”. Who in the West can now doubt what our governments are capable of should another “crisis” be declared? Then there are the ideas themselves:

The decomposition of the West is not only a geopolitical fact; it is also cultural and intellectual. Leading Western countries contain powerful bodies of opinion that regard their own civilisation as a uniquely pernicious force. In this hyper-liberal view, which is heavily represented in higher education, Western values of freedom and toleration mean little more than racial domination. If it still exists as a civilisational bloc, the West must be dismantled.

The upshot is that the liberal West is more a subject of historical investigation than a contemporary reality. Those who believe humankind is converging on liberal values overlook the fact that Western societies are fast discarding them. The “arc of history” points to a model that no longer exists.

Take a look at our universities for a start, or the recent, disgusting work of the Royal Society in trying to crush the voices of scientists speaking out against the mythology and creationism inherent in Mātauranga Māori.

Which brings me to this even more depressing note from the article:

Hyper-liberalism is the ideology of an aspirant ruling class that aims to hoard wealth and position while flaunting its immaculate progressive credentials. Intractable culture wars and an epistemic crisis in which key factual and scientific questions have been politicised are a part of a bid for power by these counter-elites. But except in New Zealand and English-speaking Canada, there is no sign of them achieving hegemony.

Do they have hegemony here? Yes, the Royal Society Inquisition has finally been cancelled itself, but the “thinkers” who drove it, like the execrable Dr Siouxsie Wiles, remain, as do the ideas.

When it comes to ideas the Chinese appear to be studying the Western past even as we discard it:

The study of Western classics is actively promoted in Chinese universities. The texts are often taught in their original Latin or Greek (a practice no longer required at Princeton, where some consider it racist). China’s meritocratic intelligentsia is also notable for having a grasp of Western political thought that exceeds that of many in Western universities. The works of Alexis de Tocqueville, Edmund Burke and Thomas Hobbes, as well as 20th-century thinkers such as Michel Foucault, have been closely studied. The German jurist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) has been accepted as having the most to teach regarding China’s political development.

But that last is a warning of what China wants. Schmitt was the key intellectual driver of the legal mechanisms of the Nazi state. He endorsed the burning of books by Jewish authors and although eventually booted from the Nazi Party he never recanted his illiberal theories, which are perfectly suited to Xi Jin Ping’s ambitions.

Mixed in with all of this is the fact that people in the 1990’s – and I’m one of them – who imagined good Western ideas triumphantly rolling forward around the world, have been sorely disappointed by what has transpired in Russia and China. Over at Kiwiblog, DPF sums it up with, Do we need a new international order?, (based on an article by one of the more prominent neo-liberal, globalist journalists, Eli Lake):

I was a huge supporter of the strategy. I was wrong. It has failed. We should start to move with speed to delink our economy from China, so that when it does move on Taiwan, we are not compromised.

But I think DPF is merely thinking of the technical failure of Free Trade to modify China and Russia into being more “liberal”. What these two articles point out is that the failure lies deeper than that, and that the West is staring into the same failures, since they are, after all, our ideas:

Whether Western elites are capable of strategic reasoning at this point is unclear. Many of their key policies are performative in nature. 

A world-view that gripped sections of the Western intelligentsia throughout the modern period and dominated the post-Cold War world is disintegrating. Stories showing humankind evolving towards liberal values are parodies of monotheism in which a mythical logic in history replaces a redemptive providence. Knock away this myth, and the liberal way of life can be seen to have been an historical accident. In time the regimes created by Xi and Putin will crumble. But if the long drift of history is any guide, they will be succeeded by anarchy and new despotisms.

While Western liberalism may be largely defunct, illiberal Western ideas are shaping the future. The West is not dying but alive in the tyrannies that now threaten it. Unable to grasp this paradoxical reality, our elites are left looking on blankly as the world they have taken for granted slips into the shadows.

The article on feminism in China is more concise and blunt:

The Cold Warriors of the eighties were wrong in believing that economic success was impossible without freedom and democracy. But they were generally right in believing that any country that wanted to economically defeat us would have to become us. They just failed to properly understand what becoming “us” really meant. It’s not democracy or freedom.

America, like its other first world counterparts, is becoming less free, and more political. When people say that our politics is downstream of our culture, what it really means is that much of our politics is about a culture rationalizing the way that it wants to live. The abandonment of religion, family, character, and all traditional values, is not just a Marxist conspiracy, it’s the self-indulgent behavior of overgrown children who decided that they never want to grow up.

In the Communist heartland, under a Marxist system built to reinforce the opposite qualities, a surprisingly similar revolution is taking place. The Communist regime, which believed it had total control over the lives of its people, has gone from mandating abortions to offering families the opportunity to have three children. 

Written by Tom Hunter

March 16, 2022 at 1:35 pm

Many factors in Putin’s head

There are a lot of known factors that have driven Putin’s decision to conduct a full-scale invasion of the Ukraine – and perhaps one that has not been considered up until now.

This article by historian Sir Anthony Beevor nails some of them:

In his bizarre and rambling treatise last week immediately before his declaration of war on Ukraine, Putin’s anger against Lenin was very clear. He blamed the Bolshevik leader for having introduced into the constitution of the USSR the idea that the national republics were all equal.

The fact is that he is living in a crazed fantasy world of the imperial past when he declares ‘a hostile anti-Russia is being created in our historic lands’. In his view, no population from the old Tsarist empire has the right to follow its own path.

Putin’s other belief, that the West was largely to blame, came from the rash ambitions of the United States, Nato and the EU in the first decade of the millennium to promote democracy everywhere. It was a dangerously naive crusade.

Then there’s this take from Condoleeza Rice (whose PhD was on the USSR):

After she had left office Condoleezza Rice recalled one of her last meetings with Vladimir Putin. He told our then Secretary of State, “You know that Russia has only been great when it was ruled by strong men. Like Alexander II, like Peter the Great.” Rice said, “I remember thinking, and then is Vladimir the Great supposed to be in that line?” She was too diplomatic to ask. But she went on, “I am sure he’s not wholly rational. He´s a megalomaniac. And you have to deal with the 5% chance that he might in fact be delusional.”

I think we’re well into that 5%.

But the following probably also factors into his mind. Watch these two clips and imagine Putin watching them.

But underlying crap like that are populations that either quietly shrug their shoulders and accept it or agree with such messages.

Also note that another of the Gigantic Democrat Brains, former Secretary of State under Obama, John Kerry raised this big concern about the Ukrainian invasion, which shows just how the West’s Climate Change policies help Russia and China (and why they’re so supportive of Western groups pushing Zero Carbon policies).

Leadership

It seems that there are some new books about the life and times of US President Abraham Lincoln, so it looks like I’m going to have to add to an already overwhelming backlog of reading that I’m churning through. It’s amazing how there’s almost always more history to be squeezed out of the past, even a past as well documented as that of the American Civil War.

There are apparently three recommended in some WSJ column, but that’s likely paywalled so here’s the link to an overview of them from the good folk at Powerline, Lincoln and Chase. Chase was of course Lincoln’s Treasury secretary and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

I was especially struck by this excerpt from one of the books, Lincoln and the Fight For Peace:

On April 8, 1865, Lincoln visited Gen. Grant’s headquarters near Richmond and consoled wounded Union soldiers in a field hospital. When he began walking toward a tent separated from the others, a doctor tried to stop him. Those, the doctor said, were for wounded Confederates. “That,” Lincoln replied, “is just where I do want to go.”

There, too, the president spoke peaceably to the wounded. Years later one of the sick rebels, Col. Henry L. Benbow, recalled Lincoln extending his hand. “Mr. President, I said, ‘do you know to whom you offer your hand?’ ‘I do not,’ he replied. Well, I said, you offer it to a Confederate colonel, who has fought you as hard as he could for four years. ‘Well,’ said he, ‘I hope a Confederate colonel will not refuse me his hand.’ No, sir, I replied, I will not, and I clasped his hand in both mine. I tell you, sir, he had the most magnificent face and eye that I have ever gazed into. He had me whipped from the time he first opened his mouth.”

I’m trying to think of any world leader now or in recent decades who matches up to that. But then our culture increasingly does not value forgiveness, even of past “sins”.

This is a start. If she keeps going like this she’s not going to be an “interim” leader.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 21, 2022 at 11:56 am