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Posts Tagged ‘Woke & Identity Politics

Omens from Chicago

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When looking around the world for trends that may impact us here, we have increasingly looked at the USA over the last fifty years.

Even as a child I could still see in New Zealand many cultural influences from Britain, right down to children’s TV shows like Thunderbirds (although that was a mix) and slang, as well as countless British TV shows in drama and comedy. We were aware of American of course, who could not be with Hannah Barbera cartoons, Disney every Sunday evening and The Roadrunner. The movies were overwhelmingly American. US TV comedies were despised, with exceptions like All In The Family and Barney Miller.

But as I got older and into music it would be fair to say that the British music scene outweighed the American one, largely due to Punk attacking Disco, a distinct appeal to those of us who could not dance like Tony Manero.

Nowadays the cultural influence of America is vastly greater. Even as recently as twenty years ago a person using the word “pissed” was clearly talking about someone who is drunk. The American use of the word (angry) was barely known and a source of bemused puzzlement. Now among young people it’s standard thanks to US cultural spread via the giant new machines of Social Media, which dwarf their predecessors of TV, movies and radio.

The ideas are coming thick and fast too. Old Socialists still bitterly complain about “The Chicago School” of economics that smashed into this nation in the 1980’s. But the main ideas have come from the East and West coasts of the USA.

Still, Chicago can still be a place where ideas, both good and bad, can be seen in their practical, everyday implementation by supposedly solid Midwestern children of the prairie.

On the vibrant diversity front came a story about the wonderful Art Institute of Chicago, one of the great art museums of the world, with probably the finest Monet collection. Like most such places it’s kept afloat by a combination of regular charitable donations, permanent private endowments, and local government support, plus relatively small charges from the visiting public.

Even so, the place could not operate without the help of the docents, about a hundred unpaid guides who guide millions of visitors around the Institute every year, explaining the art. Given the lack of money for doing this, the docents are largely older, White women, and in our age that’s a problem:

The Art Institute of Chicago fired all of its trained volunteers and guides last month, who were mostly older White women, to diversify its team. 

“We were surprised, we were disappointed,” Gigi Vaffis, president of the docent council, said in an interview with radio station WBEZ of the firings. “There is an army of very highly skilled docents that are willing and ready and able to continue with arts education.”

Word to Democrat voting “Liberals” in the Blue Cities and States: you should not be surprised by this.

[The] executive director of learning and engagement, Veronica Stein, sent an email on Sept. 3 firing them all…The firings were apparently sparked by the fact that most of the docent staff was composed of older White, financially well-off women, the outlet reported. Stein said that the museum needed to take a new path:

“… in a way that allows community members of all income levels to participate, responds to issues of class and income equity, and does not require financial flexibility.” 

“Equity” is the new magic word being cast by the 21st Century Left – and they’re not just talking about income or wealth any longer. In fact they’re not talking about that at all as did the old communists. This “equity” applies to all areas of life, as the Chicago docents have just discovered.

Meantime the increasingly doomed Mayor of the town has little time to get involved in such fights – assuming she disagreed with them anyway, which she likely does not – because she’s engaged in bigger brawls, like with the Chicago Police Department over Covid-19 vaccine mandates:

So, what is Lightfoot up to, really, in this petty and vindictive Covid war of hers against cops and firefighters who don’t want to comply with her mandate? She threatened them last week, played her unnecessary game of chicken, and when cops pushed back, she ran to a judge to get a gag order put on the police union boss.

This week, on the day a police officer was shot in the face and survived, she was back at it, all cold bureaucratic vengeance, calling cops in, stripping the non-compliant, even if they’d been vaccinated, of their guns and badges. Police Supt. David Brown began threatening officers who are considering retirement—and there are thousands of them in police department that is down at least 1,000 officers. His memo states “sworn members who retire while under disciplinary investigations may be denied retirement credentials.”

Incredible. She’s actually threatening even the retirement packages of cops who think they can just retire instead of complying. That makes no sense outside of trying to demonstrate raw power. The problem is that Lightfoot does not have the real leverage that provides power, for three reasons. First, she’s already caved to the Chicago Teacher’s Union on various Covid issues. Second the people she’s now attacking were, in 2020, hailed as “heroes”, so it’s terrible PR to now threaten them, and it’s not just cops.

From the outset of the pandemic, as Chicago Public School teachers stayed at home, other city workers, cops, firefighters, paramedics, Streets & San workers, all showed up on the job. They came to work with no Covid protection, no real direction, just City Hall saying get out there and work.

The mayor calls non-compliant cops and firefighters “insurrectionists,” even though they’ve risked their lives for the people of Chicago throughout the pandemic. 

If you’re one of the propagandists about the January 6, 2021 “insurrection”, you’ll love that little shout-out. In the future crafted by the Democrats everybody, including the parents of school kids, will be an insurrectionist and a “Domestic Terrorist” – and probably not just for fifteen minutes.

Third, we’re talking about one third of the CPD quitting or being fired in a city that is already a war zone.

And she’s desperate. She can’t deal with skyrocketing violent crime, in the rough neighborhoods and now violence is in the Loop, on the North Side, everywhere. And now police are issuing warnings about violence on Michigan Avenue. She has no clue. She never had a clue.

The writer is long-time beat reporter, John Kass, long recognised as the inheritor of the world-famous shit-stirring Chicago journalist and writer, Mike Royko. He’s been a supporter of Lightfoot, but is now reluctantly looking elsewhere politically. Elsewhere meaning inside the Democrat Party.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm

When the ACLU has lost itself

The ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union, and the first I’d heard about them was a reference in the 1980 movie, The Blues Brothers. It’s the scene where the American Nazi party is allowed to do a march in Skokie, Illinois (then with a large Jewish population, including many survivors of the Holocaust) and Jake and Ellwood charge their car at the protestors, forcing many to jump off a low bridge into a stream.

The real life event came as a result of the ACLU actually fighting in court for the right of the Nazi party to hold the march. It is considered to be a landmark US case on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

Sadly, the ACLU is not that organisation any longer. There have been internal documents in recent years where they have hedged on defending the US Bill of Rights first amendment, not to mention the 2nd amendment. Clearly, even they’re feeling the pressure of our modern society of Woke.

This was never more obvious than the other day when they decided to “celebrate” former SCOTUS Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s comment on abortion during her 1993 confirmation to the US Supreme Court.

Hmmm…. A “person’s” life”? “Their”?

Here’s the original:

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

Maybe they should have just said “chest feeders” or some of the other trans bullshit terminology that’s currently making its way into government department publications and websites across the Western world.

Funnily enough there was a backlash, as there has been to the equally fucked-in-the-head article in the Lancet.

In both cases apologetics (not really apologies) have been issued but at least in the case of the ACLU you know it’s not serious when its executive director, Anthony Romero said this to the NYT:

“[My] colleagues do a fantastic job of trying to understand a reality that people who seek abortions are not only women. That reality exists.”

Then why apologise? Clearly, if you think that, then the logical next step is to be forced to discuss those other people who get abortions. You know the ones: the bodies with vaginas.

A society that has no grip on reality is in for a hell of a shock sooner or later, likely multiple shocks.

Here’s the good news. It was the Lefty side that pushed back on this bullshit as well as conservatives. This may seem like an inconsequential victory in the “gender identity” and “transgender rights” battles, but it’s not. This walk back by the ACLU and the Lancet Medical Journa are strong signals that the tide is changing ever so slowly, and that we shouldn’t give up this fight, despite whatever you might hear from squishy, useless “moderate” Right WIngers about how “culture wars” should be ignored.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 29, 2021 at 5:41 pm

In the future everybody will be cancelled for 15 minutes

Even scientists with a great pedigree of credentials and research papers.

Like Robert Malone.

But when he began to speak up about the potential downsides of the mRNA-“spike protein” approach to vaccines, that was not acceptable to TPTB, even though it’s his field of expertise.

First he found podcasts involving him getting pulled from YouTube, and then even the supposed business-connecting site LinkedIn took their shot:

Malone pays for the premium version of LinkedIn for the biotech and government consulting business he runs, Just the News reports. That page remains intact, but its last post is three weeks old. 

“He was given no notice, no warnings” before he was removed on Tuesday, his wife Jill said. “He has a 10-15 year old account – has never even had a warning. 6,000 followers.”

“The historic record of what I have done, stated, figured out (and when) etc. over time is a key part of establishing my credibility and track record as a professional,” Robert Malone tweeted Wednesday. “And that has been erased completely and arbitrarily without warning or explanation.” 

Well at least he can still Tweet!

===========================

There was one piece of cancellation news that was funny. There’s an outfit called Right Wing Watch, which is dedicated to posting clips of conservatives saying things in an effort to get those conservatives de-platformed. Unfortunately they were a little too good at their job of pushing YouTube on those rules:

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

My, how schadenfreudialicious that is. Something, something reaping.… something something sowing

But now that they’ve been kicked off of YouTube, they can simply go start their own multi-billion dollar video platform, right? I mean, that’s what the Left has continually told conservatives who complain about censorship online.

I think they’ll be fine. Once YouTube realises the political and ideological mistake of taking out one of their own, RWW will be allowed back.

===========================

The same might also be true for actor Tom Hanks. Early in June, Tom decided to sheer his experience and feelings about racism in American by publishing an op ed in the New York Times entitled “You Should Learn the Truth About the Tulsa Race Massacre,”, in which he confessed that he’d never heard of this during his 1950’s/60’s Whitebread schooling. Hanks has been activist (a quiet one) and a donor to many Democrat Party candidates and causes over the years.

But none of that was good enough for one Eric Deggans’, who used his platform on none other than NPR (National Public Radio, basically the equivalent of the NZR’s National Program) to unload in response, “Tom Hanks Is A Non-Racist. It’s Time For Him To Be Anti-Racist”. Because you can never be good enough, especially in the eyes of a 55 year old Black man who specialises in “issues of race and social justice”:

“The toughest thing for some white Americans … is to admit how they were personally and specifically connected to the elevation of white culture over other cultures,

His work, so often focused on the achievements of virtuous white, male Americans, may have made it tougher for tales about atrocities such as Tulsa to find space.”

The revolution, like Saturn, devours its children.

Perhaps the best response to Deggan’s bullshit is this article from Frontpage by Danusha Goska. It’s lengthy but you should read it. She makes several important points but it was this one that struck me, based on her experience teaching and living in Africa and the reality of limited good:

An insight into why villagers resisted change, including change that might save their own lives, was provided by the fate of one villager, a man I knew personally. When development workers advised the locals on how to improve their agricultural output, he carefully applied every suggestion. His farm prospered and he enjoyed a much higher yield than any of his neighbors.

His neighbors burned his farm down. That’s limited good. This man, by increasing his yield, had monopolized all the good to be had in that village, and his action would result, his neighbors believed, in their farms doing poorly.

It applied to other things in the village too, even beauty. That’s what Deggan is actually putting forward for the US and other Western societies:

Deggans is back to that limited good, zero-sum worldview that insists, falsely, that one man’s success equates to the next man’s failure. If Tom Hanks has two cows, Eric Deggans can’t have any cows. If Hanks’ farm is doing well, Deggans’ farm will wither. If Hanks’ baby is attractive, Deggans’ baby must be ugly.

The “solutions” offered also amount to the same thing; burning the farm to the ground:

For Hanks to atone, he must lower himself, and elevate black people in the place he previously occupied. That’s being an anti-racist. That’s Ibram X. Kendi. That’s the “8 White Identities” chart that says that the only good white is a white who participates in the abolishment of whiteness. And it is a Maoist struggle session. Deggans calls for “Hanks and other stars to talk specifically about how their work has contributed to these problems and how they will change.” This is the self-accusation that occurred during Maoist struggle sessions. The less successful, fueled by their envy, publicly humiliate the more successful.

Goska also makes the point that should be obvious:

Deggans can read white people’s minds. White people all think alike. And Deggans can speak for them. Any similar set of statements by a white man about black people would be taboo.

===========================

Lastly, there are places where the reverse is happening, with opposition ideologues taking over their opponent’s world, as Daniel Greenfield points out:

When Sultan Doughan signed a hateful letter falsely claiming that Israel and Zionism were based on “Jewish Supremacy”, a term popularized by Neo-Nazi leader David Duke, that ugly rhetoric wouldn’t have attracted much attention in an antisemitic time… except for one thing.

Doughan is a Muslim postdoctoral associate at Boston University’s Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Your daily WSW

White Supremacy Watch that is. I’m thinking of making it a series, given how much White Supremacy we’re drowning in across the Western world.

So here’s your first daily dose of this focused news, with two good ones to share. First are fireworks and gun smoke.

Then there’s this from San Francisco, where one of the Liberal Luvvies who’s probably voted Democrat all her life, expresses a Bad Opinion…

… and finds herself in the crosshairs of her very own Democrat Party representative, Kate Chatfield, a senior director at the San Francisco DA’s office.

The DA is one Chesa Boudin, the son of legendary Weather Underground terrorists and convicted murderers, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert. He was raised by their friends, the un-convicted Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn in Chicago. If you’re thinking this might be a John Banks situation you would be wrong. Chesa has swallowed all the theories of Society As The Real Criminal and is trying to decriminalise a lot of crime in SF and release as many prisoners as possible.

Still, the SF crime increase seems to be more around theft of all types, plus muggings and general assault so I think “Michele” is being a bit OTT. In Chicago that’s all regarded as “meh”. If local DA, Kim Foxx, ever gets tired of the job maybe Chesa can swap places, since she thinks the same way as he does about crime and criminals.

They jumped the gun a bit on that and should have checked with the most trustworthy and accurate source for Chicago crime data, HeyJackass.com (“Illustrating Chicago Values”). The toll for the past weekend is now 104 shot and 19 killed. Luckily, when Mayor Lightfoot is not being insane with her staff, she’s on the job explaining how 99% of the questions she gets come from a source of racism and sexism.

NZ Military once more follows the Pentagon’s lead

Except in this case it is a lead that the Left will fully approve of.

A few weeks ago there was a hideous series of Q&A sessions between senior members of the US military and Republican members of Congress.

The hideousness was the revelation that Critical Race Theory and the general theory of Woke have made it into the training sessions of America’s soldiers, and that the Generals and Admirals saw no problem with that, or were denying such teaching despite evidence from whistleblowers in places like West Point.

I’ve read Mao Tse-tung. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s highest ranking military officer, said.

 “So, what is wrong with understanding … having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

That begs the question of whether CRT actually does provide any situational understanding of the USA. Somebody should have nailed General Milley on that and also pointed out that while past US military officers have studied Marxism in its various shades that was done in order to understand the primary enemy of the USA in order to better defend against them. It was not done with an eye to learning how Marx and Lenin’s ideas provided such a great insight into how shitty the capitalism and Republican democracy of the USA was or how it could be improved by taking onboard and applying Marxist theory.

But that is exactly what CRT does. Its condemnation of America as being packed with institutions of “systemic racism”, including the US military, plus the goal of enforcing an “anti-racism” that would set people at eachother’s throats, makes them no less an enemy of the nation than the old Marxists.

Yet rather than treating its proponents as enemies of the USA against which a fight should be made, this twit and others like him, think they’ll actually learn something about the USA and improve it:

It is important that we train and we understand … and I want to understand white rage. And I’m white,”

“White rage”.

That, right there is the sign that he’s not only read the likes of Ibram X. Kendi’s nasty, hate-filled little racist polemic, How to Be an Antiracist, and other such CRT pieces but that he has absorbed them into his everyday thinking as if they’re correct. Kendi and company must be over the moon at none other than the Chairman of the JCS having swallowed a piece of their agit-prop boilerplate language to such an extent that he just blurted it out in front of the Congress. And if he’s gone that far then the “solutions” proposed by Kendi and company cannot be far behind in being implemented at places like West Point.

Put it this way. The West Point graduate below had certainly studied Marx and company, but as an advocate of them within the US Army. That’s General Milley’s approach to CRT.

Incidently, the prick in that photo got booted from the US Army after the photos became public, notably because:

he tweeted them in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was taking heat for kneeling for the national anthem to raise awareness of racism.

“While in uniform, Spenser Rapone advocated for communism and political violence, and expressed support and sympathy for enemies of the United States,”

Of course he did and in so doing he demonstrated the oft-denied connection between Marxist theory and Critical Race Theory. He made a mistake pushing pure Marxism though. Had he kept quiet and hung on, he would have been able to push the equally destructive CRT with the approval of the likes of General Milley.

I have long argued that more attention should be paid to the USA than Kiwis are wont to do – dismissing most US ideas as “silly”, “OTT” and typically “crazy” American stuff – because sooner or later they turn up here. And so they have (H/T Homepaddock):

Can the Army Afford to go Woke, Benign Social Progress or National Security Threat?

That is the title of an essay written by a serving New Zealand Army soldier and it was submitted as part of an essay competition – which it won.

New Zealand Chief of Army Writing Competition Winner of the New Zealand Defence Force Private Writing Category May 2021.

It won despite the writer knowing what waters he was getting into, with this opening paragraph…

I write this essay fully aware of the backlash and, at times, real world consequences afforded to the authors of similar documents in the current socio-political climate. Nevertheless, I would invoke the NZ Army ethos ‘3CI’ – particularly ‘Courage’ and ‘Integrity’ – in defence of the opinion I will express herein. The open discussion of any issue must be possible without fear of repercussions on both sides of the debate if the best outcome is ever to be reached. That is the fundamental value of free speech that permits the free enquiry, self-reflection, self-criticism and peer review that underpin our scientific and academic edifices and, in fact, our entire civilisation.

… and the ending:

I appreciate that if this piece were to win the writing competition, the optics may not be as desirable as one expressing the opposing viewpoint. 

To allow itself to become embroiled in these ‘culture wars’ would be an embarrassment, especially to the older generation of veterans and to the memory of those who paid the ultimate price. The Army should stick to fighting real wars.

As he suspected, the shit hit the fan when he won, but Elle has got the full letter on her blog, just in case it vanishes from the Army’s online archives:

It was removed on Tuesday, five days after it was published following an internal backlash and replaced with a statement from Army Chief Major General John Boswell, who apologised and accepted the decision to award the piece first place was an error.

He said out of the two entries, the essay won because it was “well-written”, but the views were not compatible with the army’s values.

Looks like our Generals are right on to it. General Milley would be proud. Didn’t save them from the wrath of their political masters though:

After questioning from Newstalk ZB, Defence Minister Peeni Henare said he delivered a blunt message to Defence Force chief Air Marshal Kevin Short yesterday.

He told Short his expectations were that “we’re better than that, and have values that don’t align with the essay.”

My advice to Private Dell is that he get the fuck out of the NZ Army quick smart before he finds himself digging latrines for the rest of his career. His thinking is not welcome.

“Magic Stick”

The craziness just isn’t stopping in the culture wars of the USA (and likely here in NZ before you know it).

This time it’s a woman at an upscale LA gym called Wi Spa, who decided to go full “Karen” on the admin staff at the front desk.

Her complaint was not that of some whiny-ass White Woman. No, you can tell by the accent that it’s a Black Lady and she’s pissed big time about … well, a dude deciding to flop himself down in the women’s section with all his junk hanging out because he’s a “trans-women” and that’s the law, as the staff try to explain to her.

That last guy at one point just makes a complete idiot out of himself by indicating that a man would not necessarily have an issue with a woman who identified as a man coming into the men’s locker room and showing their female lady parts, insinuating that because of that women shouldn’t have a problem with men who identify as women flashing their genitalia in the locker room.

Fuck I hate mansplainers (click the link: you know you want to). Judge Holden material.

It’s 2021 and there are now people arguing in a court of law that women should be totally comfortable and not unsafe at all in situations like this, that it should be viewed as perfectly normal.

Raises all sorts of interesting intersectionality questions though. In the video you can see another woman who’s demanding a refund. She’s Asian. Who are the biggest bigotted H8r’s here?

Apparently there have also been moderately violent protests outside this spa in the wake of this. You can guess who has been violent but I’ll give you a hint: it’s the people who know they can get away with it because they’re the best victims. Naturally Antifa are involved, but whether they punched any Black Nazi’s in the face I don’t know. They did apparently scream about “transphobes” but even in these enlightened times that’s tough to do when you’re on the side of defending an adult man exposing his dick to little girls, as one of the woman in that article details:

This woman describing the incident from last year explains in great detail how a naked person with a beard and a penis came where the woman, her six-year-old daughter, and older Korean ladies were — all naked — at the women’s hot tub. The woman explained she was a registered Democrat and it wasn’t about a person being trans but about the exposure to her little daughter and the other women.

The “registered Democrat” is a nice touch but it won’t work. Be quiet and sit down, bigot.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm

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

War is interested in You!

Growing up in the late 70’s and 80’s I could see the point of the Left in battling against the cultural conformity of that age, the age of Muldoon and, frankly, my parents.

A lot of it was stifling and eye-rolling. The Left, at least the New Left that sprang forward in the 1960’s, seemed to offer a lovely world free from such grim constraints.

As much drugs and fucking as you could want. Be free, Man! Don’t worry about the consequences, for without nasty old conservatives around to punish you there are no negative consequences. Just abort the result and walk away to start again in our free and liberal world.

Except that much of it was a lie. Having successfully destroyed the War Generation’s views of how the world should operate, both in terms of relatively rigid economic management and cultural norms, the New Left has gradually turned into exactly the sort of grim enforcers of conformity that they supposedly railed against.

Inside every Progressive is a totalitarian screaming to escape.

Given that the only way to enforce their desires is via such methods that should not be a surprise, yet somehow it always is for every Progressive movement, as many progressives targeted by their own forces soon discover – eh TERFS! Or perhaps the sad White children of the School Strike For Climate Auckland movement.

So I was pleased to see signs of a fightback against the Cultural Stalinists in in this article, The West’s revolutionary chickens coming home to roost, published as most decent stuff now is, on Substack:

Oriel College, Oxford, hastily abandoned its consultation on pulling down its statue of Cecil Rhodes after furious alumni cancelled £1.5 million in donations and threatened to withdraw even more.

When the National Trust started transforming its role from honouring the past to trashing it by hectoring visitors about properties said to be associated with colonialism and slavery, it started haemorrhaging members and its chairman was forced to resign. 

Cambridge University’s vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Toope, who approved a website where students could anonymously report “micro-aggressions” by dons, was forced to retreat after tutors accused him of creating a “police state”.

In Britain, the fledgling TV station GB News, whose mission is to provide an alternative to brainwashed British broadcasting, was hit last week by a campaign of intimidation designed to shut it down as soon as it was launched.

Under the impetus of a social injustice group called Stop Funding Hate, which targeted GB News with instant character assassination, various companies and institutions threatened to pull their ads on the network or were persuaded to hesitate before committing themselves to advertising there. 

They got more than they were bargaining for, however, when the station’s bullish founder, Andrew Neil, used his new network to issue a blistering denunciation and threatened to turn the tables by boycotting them. Faced with the fury of consumers, some of these companies immediately backed down or said with hand on heart that they had never intended a boycott anyway, perish the thought.

But on the downside was this section:

If public figures make such a stand, however, people get braver. Which is why politicians and other high-profile cultural leaders should denounce this agenda. They should show they won’t tolerate it in their own organisations and will stand against those that do.

They are, however, all-too silent, terrified of provoking the inevitable titanic rows and name-calling which they believe would court electoral disaster. What such people fail to grasp, because all they can hear is the cacophonous media screeching about unstoppable cultural change, is that millions are appalled by these developments and will flock to the banner of those who oppose them. 

I’ve highlighted that piece because a few weeks ago in the post about Karl DuFresne ripping into the National Party, former National Cabinet MP, Wayne Mapp made this comment:

Unlike the Republicans, the National Party does not do culture wars. The reason being that National is not nearly as uniformly conservative as the contemporary Republicans. As I am sure you know, National has always been an coalition of Liberals and Conservatives.

As I responded at the time, given the degree of sneering, backhanded contempt that has been exhibited on this blog and elsewhere by “Liberals” like Mapp towards Conservatives, those days of coalition may be coming to an end, especially since one would have to ask exactly what National Party “Conservatives” have conserved about NZ over the last fifty years?

But perhaps a more appropriate quote to deliver to such people would be the one from Leon Trotsky:

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

The Age of Men is over. The Time of The Orc has come.

This will not be news for people who play Dungeons and Dragons, the now almost fifty year old, role-playing game beloved by generations of nerds.

Dungeons and Dragons goes woke.

Well shit! What hasn’t been going woke recently? From the article a bit of background for non D&D’rs.

The science-fiction fantasy game was created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. Players pretend to be fantasy characters who are guided through adventures and scenarios by a dungeon master. 

By the early 1980’s, thanks to some insane and talented coders, I was playing a crude version of it with mates on our university’s computer system: the Digital Equipment Manufacturer (DEC) VAX 11/780, a 32-bit “minicomputer” that was far more attractive to learn on than the more common but huge IBM mainframes with their clunking batch-processing oriented architecture. Naturally we had to play the game in the wee small hours of the morning because 128Mb of RAM only goes so far even with a superb time-sharing OS. Typically for the times, nobody thought of commercialising it. After all, what computers could run such a thing from the comfort of your home?

🤣🤣🤣🤣

Anyhoo, I stopped playing it, whether on computers or in the traditional board version, as soon as I graduated. I thought it had been left behind with the world of nerds. It’s therefore been with baffled amusement that I’ve seen the Millennial and Gen Z generations glom on to it in recent years, with huge online viewing of D&D games on things like the live-streaming site, Twitch. (9 million viewers for one game in 2017: eat that TVNZ).

Because we lived in a vastly less inter-connected world, we weren’t aware for some years that D&D had played a significant role in the great 1980’s Satanic Panic bullshit, all because of one dickhead private “dick” hired by a family to find their missing 15-year old boy genius in 1979 – who just happened to be totally into D&D. There were others:

The panic continued into 1982 when Virginian high school student Irving Lee Pulling II killed himself. Patricia A. Pulling, his mother, claimed the game was responsible and founded ‘Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons.’ In 1984, Missouri teenager, Mary C. Towey, was strangled to death by Ronald G. Adcox and Darren Lee Molitor. What connected both cases? They all played D&D.

As you can imagine, by the time I and other nerds heard about this panic some years later it was merely good for uproarious laughter, scorn and ridicule of the moralising idiots pushing all the panic. It’s probably not surprising that sales went from from thousands per year to millions.

Which brings us to the moralising dickheads of today:

‘Throughout the 50-year history of D&D, some of the peoples in the game — orcs and drow being two of the prime examples — have been characterized as monstrous and evil, using descriptions that are painfully reminiscent of how real-world ethnic groups have been and continue to be denigrated,’ the statement reads. ‘That’s just not right, and it’s not something we believe in.

Oh FFS! What a complete and total load of crap. But it also ties in so well with other such developments, such as the drive to pervert the works of that dreaded Catholic Conservative, J.R.R. Tolkien (from which D&D took much inspiration), with a new Lord Of The Rings spinoff that’s going to employ all that hot and saucy Game of Thrones stuff, no doubt with really cool Elvish sex action among other things.

Ok. Let me think about that last a bit more.

Anyway, the problem with trying to pull this with D&D is that the gamers themselves will subvert it just as thoroughly as they did the “Satanic” bullshit.

‘The beauty of D&D is that players can ignore the official storylines, narratives, maps and characters if they find them ridiculous,’ radio host and D&D junkie Larry O’Connor told The Spectator. ‘So this entire exercise is performative to get attention but the actual players will just look the other way and laugh.’

They already are.

Even that isn’t new. Way back in 2003 McSweeney’s Quarterly took a witheringly precise slice at a supposedly “unused audio of a discussion between Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky”:

CHOMSKY: The film opens with Galadriel speaking. “The world has changed,” she tells us, “I can feel it in the water.” She’s actually stealing a line from the non-human Treebeard. He says this to Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers, the novel. Already we can see who is going to be privileged by this narrative and who is not.

ZINN: Of course. “The world has changed.” I would argue that the main thing one learns when one watches this film is that the world hasn’t changed. Not at all.

CHOMSKY: We should examine carefully what’s being established here in the prologue. For one, the point is clearly made that the “master ring,” the so-called “one ring to rule them all,” is actually a rather elaborate justification for preemptive war on Mordor.

ZINN: I think that’s correct. Tolkien makes no attempt to hide the fact that rings are wielded by every other ethnic enclave in Middle Earth. The Dwarves have seven rings, the Elves have three. The race of Man has nine rings, for God’s sake. There are at least 19 rings floating around out there in Middle Earth, and yet Sauron’s ring is supposedly so terrible that no one can be allowed to wield it. Why?

CHOMSKY: Notice too that the “war” being waged here is, evidently, in the land of Mordor itself — at the very base of Mount Doom. These terrible armies of Sauron, these dreadful demonized Orcs, have not proved very successful at conquering the neighboring realms — if that is even what Sauron was seeking to do. It seems fairly far-fetched.

Politics as Religion

As religion, at least traditional Christianity, declines across the Western nations, other beliefs seem to be filling the resulting vacuum.

Strangely enough it’s not Atheism, which continues to amount to perhaps 2-3% of the population. It would be fair to say that the space is being filled with Agnostics, people who don’t specifically say they don’t believe in a god or gods, but who merely say that they don’t practice any religion.

More specifically perhaps it’s people who just don’t bother to think about religion and god much from any POV: it’s just not part of their life.

However, there do seem to be just as many “spiritual” believers around as ever, people who believe in, have faith in, something beyond themselves, something not always corporeal. For example I’m always surprised at how many crystal worshippers I encounter: I thought it was a hippie thing that died out with the 1970’s. Imbuing nature with spirituality seems to be a thing as well. Attend any Tangi in this country and you’ll soon learn how spiritual Maori are.

Unfortunately it seems that politics is one of those growing religions, as outlined in this clever essay published on substack, Fanatics:

It’s not hard to see why wokeness is so frequently compared to a religion. The metaphors are everywhere: the washing of feet, the prostrations, the proclamations of faith, the sacraments, the martyrs, the confessions, the heretics, the hallowed ground, the Original Sin, the evangelism. Last summer’s protests for racial justice often had the look of a religious movement. Many of its practitioners saw it explicitly in those terms.

The article has links for each of those specific examples if you want to check. There are broader comparisons that work just as well and are more important:

If religion gives meaning to the lives of the faithful, there are a lot more Americans now who lack that meaning than there used to be, and they’re concentrated on the left side of the political spectrum. It’s not difficult to imagine these people seeking the kind of meaning that religion would otherwise have provided them  — a sense of belonging to a larger community; a feeling of collective purpose; an affiliation with a temporal reality that transcends the duration of a single human lifespan — in other things. In their politics, for example.

Actually there’s a specific religion the author has in mind; good old American Calvinism, whose 18th and 19th century aspects he notes before delving into today:

All of these tendencies fit as comfortably into American left-wing social justice culture as they did in right-wing Christian evangelical culture in the 1990s. Liberal Twitter in 2021 is one big digital Calvinist village, everyone trying to out-virtue-signal one another to prove their ever-tenuous membership in an amorphous club of the morally elite, picking over everyone else’s tweets for signs of political heresy, and calling them out to the mob in a desperate attempt to deflect scrutiny from themselves. The same political culture prevails on college campuses, media outlets, and the non-profit industrial complex. Increasingly, it is becoming the norm in Congress.

It does seem awfully familiar, especially when explicit examples of modern political behaviour are seen in Social Media, but:

The problem is that politics is, in important ways, the very antithesis of religion, and in a democratic society, the more politics takes on the shape of faith, the more intractable and dysfunctional it becomes. That’s because politics, when put to its proper use, is the search for what disparate groups share in common, and the bargaining over their differences. Religion is practically its inverse; at its root, it’s tribal. And so as our politics have taken on the character of religion, they have become tribal, too.

He goes on to specifically look at the tribal/religious aspects of Australia’s Aboriginals but also how blending this with politics can only end badly. It’s a lengthy article but worth your time to read.

He’s also not the only one saying this, but unfortunately the trend is speeding up rather than slowing down. Most religious arguments have ended in wars sooner or later, only after which did things settle down in new patterns until the next great uprising. Perhaps that’s the fate of the West again?

Written by Tom Hunter

June 26, 2021 at 9:23 am