Archive for the ‘Freedom’ category

Confessions of a Climate Change ‘Denier’

March 21, 2017

Confessions of a Climate Change ‘Denier’, Spectator, Thomas W. Smith, March 17, 2017

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior. That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

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A few days ago I had a conversation with a very smart university professor of history and somehow the climate change subject came up. Almost instantly he responded to my thoughts by saying: “You must be one of those deniers who rejects the science consensus.”

This is the new form of intellectual bullying and it’s intentionally designed is to stop the conversation not advance it. In the academies it is a technique to close off scientific inquiry.

When the liberals talk of ‎consensus, what consensus are they talking about?  Of whom? About what? Here is John Kay of the‎ Financial Times on the so-called consensus:

Science is a matter of evidence, not what a majority of scientists think…. The notion of a monolithic “science,” meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus.”

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, has noted that too many environmentalists “ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Then he adds: “… there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.… The consensus was reached before the research was even begun…”

Kay and Lindzen are not alone. In an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, 60 scientists urged caution when it comes to any policy with regard to climate:

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formation.… There is no “consensus” among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change.… “Climate change is real” is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural noise.

Patrick Moore, a Ph.D. in ecology, is a fallen-away founder of Greenpeace. The following is from his 2015 lecture, “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

There is no definite scientific proof, through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming in the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age.… The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in a scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.”

The world’s top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is hopelessly conflicted by its makeup and its mandate from the United Nations. It is required only to focus on “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere, and which is in addition to natural climate variability.” So if the IPCC found that climate change was not being affected by human alteration of the atmosphere or that it is not “dangerous,” there would be no need for it to exist. It is virtually mandated to find on the side of apocalypse.

The IPCC states that it is “extremely likely” that human emissions have been the dominant cause of global warming “since the mid-20th century,” that is since 1950. It claims that “extremely” means 95% certain, even though the number 95 was simply plucked from the air like an act of magic. And “likely” is not a scientific word but rather indicative of a judgment, another word for opinion.

“Perpetual repetition.” “Unqualified environmental groups.” “Sensational headlines.” This is what mass movements are all about. From his book, The True Believer, here is Eric Hoffer on mass movements:

Hatred is the most assessable and comprehensive of all the unifying agents.… Mass movements can rise and spread without the belief in God but never without the belief in evil.

By the way, isn’t this what the left accuses the Trump movement to be all about?

Hoffer then goes on to cite the historian F.A. Voigt’s account of a Japanese mission to Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist Movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought. He replied, “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.” This brought a bit of clarity as to why the mass movement, rather brilliantly, wants to label those of us who have questions as “deniers.”

There are two things necessary for a mass movement to succeed: true believers and a well-defined enemy. The enemy of the climate change mass movement is fossil fuels and the Industrial Age, with the “deniers” being the enablers of planetary destruction.

In the past, the term “denier” has been associated with that extreme group who denies the existence of the horrible, tragic historical fact, the Holocaust. Many climate change true believers want the public to put anyone who questions or disagrees with climate change projections in the same category as the Holocaust deniers. But one is a fact, the other a contested projection. Nevertheless, they have been quite successful.

Here is one of the definitions of “denier” found on the Internet: “a person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of the scientific or historical evidence: a prominent denier of global warming.”

Here is Hoffer’s warning on the role of the true believer: “where mass movements can either persuade or coerce, it usually chooses the latter.”

Something we are seeing in spades.

The last paragraph of Friedrich Hayek’s 1974 Nobel Prize address, The Pretense of Knowledge, puts the climate change mass movement and its true believers into frightening perspective:

There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success,” to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will.

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior. That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

Dr. Jasser participates in a panel discussion about the state of the Middle East & ISIS

February 25, 2017

Dr. Jasser participates in a panel discussion about the state of the Middle East & ISIS, AIFD via YouTube, February 24, 2017

(It’s an about thirty-five minute long video about Middle East related topics, including America’s relations with Russia, Islamist terrorism, Islamist nations, the clash between Judeo-Christian and Islamist cultures and what the Trump administration can and should do. — DM)

 

The Trumpocalypse Goes Global

February 2, 2017

The Trumpocalypse Goes Global, Power LineSteven Hayward, February 2, 2017

It isn’t just in the halls of Washington where Trump has everyone in an uproar. In the House of Commons over in Britain, the Corbynite Labour Party had a conniption fit, culminating in this nice exchange between Corbyn and Prime Minister Theresa May, who I must say is reminding me more and more of Margaret Thatcher all the time (about 1:30 long):

There was a similar debate up in Canada this week, too, but much less energetic and colorful, because Canada. (See below.)

Prediction: Trump is going to be a central issue in the upcoming French and German elections. The man’s political brand is going as global as his hotel brand.

What do they debate about in the Canadian parliament? Whether you can say “fart” in debate. Don’t they have a speech and debate clause? (3:38 long.)

Bonus! Nigel Farage gets in on the Trump action in the European Commission:

Gulag, Western Style

November 23, 2016

Gulag, Western Style, PJ MediaDavid Solway, November 22, 2016

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In the last analysis, this system of subjugation looks to be even more effective than the cruder techniques of its tyrannical counterparts. In the absence of public awareness and concerted pushback, we will have sold our birthright for a mess of political potage.

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There are various ways of quashing social and political dissent, some more effective than others. The “Soviet method” practiced in stringently repressive regimes—torture, imprisonment, the ever-expanding Gulag, summary execution—works extremely well in the shorter historical timeframe, until a people rise up in revolt or such demonic societies collapse from their own internal contradictions. Of course, the truly Stygian regimes, closed to the world, indifferent to economic pressures, and under the heavy boot of unbroken military control, such as North Korea, may persist indefinitely or until defeated in war. But generally speaking, the tried-and-true methods of political oppression are sufficient to the task of keeping a population in a state of enslavement for a prolonged historical period.

In the sphere of the liberal West, however, there are other means of subjection to the will of increasingly centralized governments. Because they tend to function gradually and under the radar, these tactics are enormously efficient in their deadening effects, going unrecognized until it is often too late to mount significant resistance. They operate through a process of curricular distortions, social pressure and incremental legislation targeting speech habits, facets of normal behavior, assumptions of what counts as morally legitimate, and financial and job security.

A useful technique for anaesthetizing the individual citizen and rendering him compliant is the erasure of authentic historical knowledge. We’ve remarked the success of this approach in the U.S. with the “history from below” or “people’s history” movement, associated with Howard Zinn, and the foregrounding of a bowdlerized version of Islamic history in American schools. Canada is no different. Eric McGeer, author of Words of Valediction and Remembrance: Canadian Epitaphs of the Second World War, writes: “In my last years of high school teaching I was increasingly infuriated and disgusted at the portrayal of Canada in the history textbooks assigned for use in our courses. There was no sense of gratitude in the textbooks, no empathy with the people of the past or an attempt to see them in their own terms, no sense of the effort people made to create one of the few truly liveable societies on earth. You would have thought that this country was nothing more than a racist, bigoted, this or that-phobic hotbed. My first lesson involved taking the book and dropping it into the waste paper basket and advising the students to do the same.” (personal communication). The study of history, McGeer concludes, is nothing now but a progressive morality tale and a mechanism of social engineering. Sounds a lot like Title IX. Pride in one’s nation, its accomplishments and sacrifices, is contra-indicated. There is more than one way of burning the flag.

The center-right consensus that has characterized Western nations has been under attack for some considerable time as nation after nation in the once liberal West gravitates progressively leftward. Robert Conquest’s Second of his Three Laws of Politics states that “any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.” The consequence of Conquest’s Law is, inevitably, what Robert Michels in Political Parties called “The Iron Law of Oligarchy,” which formulates how democratic institutions tend to succumb to the rule of an elite—in our day, a progressivist camarilla that controls government policy and media outlets, and harnesses the energies of dissenting associations and cabals. In many countries, the democratic process has become or is on the road to becoming a mere formality.

The oligarchic agenda can be detected in the disastrous nationalization of the health care system; the decadence of an academy which indoctrinates rather than educates; the rise of destructive feminism and the feminization of the culture; the transgendering of everyday life—in Canada, for example, Bill C-16 has been tabled, making “gender expression” a prohibited ground of discrimination and potentially mandating non-binary pronouns such as zhi or hir, as is already the case in New York City where astronomical fines are levied for contravention; the special status ascribed to the incursions of anti-democratic Islam; the “abolition of the family,” as Marx and Engels urged in The Communist Manifesto; and the regulatory strangling of the free market economy and the conjoint attrition of the middle class. Additionally, the leftist project is materially facilitated by the growing prevalence of kangaroo courts run by committed activists of every conceivable stripe and in which no provision whatsoever is made to assist those too often falsely accused of discrimination or being in violation of some obscure code or policy of sanctioned conduct. The judgments handed down against those who have offended the sensibilities of favored identity groups will often involve harshly punitive forms of retribution that may cost a defendant his employment and his livelihood.

A Romanian friend who suffered through Nicolae Ceaușescu’s dictatorship in his home country tells me that in many ways the situation in the “freedom loving” West is actually worse. In Romania, as in the Soviet Union and the rest of the Eastern Bloc, most people knew that the regime was founded on lies and that the media were corrupt, time-serving institutions. Here, on the contrary, people tend to believe that the government is relatively, if not entirely, trustworthy, that the judiciary is impartial, and that the media actually report the news. Citizens are therefore susceptible to mission creep and are piecemeal deceived into a condition of indenture to socialist governance, an activist judiciary, a disinformative, hireling press corps, and left-wing institutions. People will vote massively for the Liberal Party in Canada and the Democrats in the U.S., not realizing they are voting themselves into bondage, penury and stagnation. The process operates insensibly and takes longer to embed itself into the cultural mainstream, but the result is alarmingly effective and durable. My friend has never read F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom or George Orwell’s 1984, but his layman’s insights and practical experience bear out Hayek’s scholarly analysis and Orwell’s dire warnings.

A totalitarian regime will control its citizens through propaganda, censorship, and outright violence, modes of oppression that are at least publicly demonstrable, evident to most. But knowing that the enchainment of the spirit is ultimately more reliable than the enchainment of the flesh, a democratic polity veering towards oligarchy will focus on propaganda and censorship as well, but in a far more subtle form. It will function mainly through public shaming rituals, social ostracism, rigid speech codes, Orwellian disinformation, and legal or quasi-legal assault. It does not need to depend on physical violence.

Fear of social rejection, the lure of groupthink, the pestilence of political correctness controlling what one may say and think, public apathy, historical ignorance, and especially the Damoclean sword of selective hiring, job dismissal, and financial reprisal go a long way to subdue a people to the will of its masters and consign them to a Gulag that may be less observable a such, but one that is nonetheless socially and economically crippling to individuals, families and businesses.

In the last analysis, this system of subjugation looks to be even more effective than the cruder techniques of its tyrannical counterparts. In the absence of public awareness and concerted pushback, we will have sold our birthright for a mess of political potage.

America’s First Major Socialist Party Debuts in Philadelphia

July 30, 2016

America’s First Major Socialist Party Debuts in Philadelphia, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, July 29, 2016

(How different would Hillary be from the late lamented el Thugo down in Venezuela? He and his family got rich and his daughter remains the richest person there. El Thugo  was rotten to the core and his anointed successor, Maduro is, if that is possible, even worse. Should she become Obama’s successor, Hillary has much to look forward to. — DM)

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Under cover of a sudden profusion of American flags (borrowed from city hall) and staged chants of “USA” ringing out on the final day, a new party was born in Philadelphia.

Gone are The Democrats.  Welcome, The Socialists.  

Okay, the Democratic Socialists, in deference to Bernie Sanders, whose party it is no matter who was giving the acceptance speech on Thursday. He held the whip hand and will continue to do so to keep his followers on the reservation.

And, yes, there have been more than a few socialist parties in America before – Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas, etc. – but never has one of our two major political parties been taken over to such an extent, not even during the days of George McGovern or Jimmy Carter.

I wouldn’t go quite so far as Dan Greenfield, who wrote the following in a compelling column inFrontPage:

Sinclair Lewis famously said, “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”. More accurately, when Communism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. That’s what the Democratic National Convention was.

So far, as I see it, it’s still socialism.  Hillary Clinton (even under the spell of Bernie ) is closer to François Hollande or some other Eurocrat than she is to Chairman Mao.  But the situation is bad enough and likely to get worse, if she is elected.

Those who think that she will be the second coming of centrist Bill should have their heads examined – or at least watch the reruns of her speech.  Bill was asleep during it.  Call it self-preservation of mind or body, he couldn’t take it either way.  He knew what was coming and it wasn’t going to be a reprise of his most famous line – “The days of big government are over.”  Quite the contrary.  The days of big government are coming as never before.  So he shut his eyes, and not just from whatever health issue he may be harboring.

They should also reread Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, written during the rise of the National Socialist Party, for a clear analysis of why socialism inevitably turns totalitarian.

Which leads me to this:  Many of you think you have the luxury of debating whether Donald Trump is sufficiently conservative or is really a Republican or will carry out all the things he says he will (more of this in a moment).

Sorry, you don’t.  It’s five minutes to midnight for Western Civilization.  Europe, in case you haven’t noticed, is on the brink of going Islamic.  Twenty-five percent of French teenagers already are. Mohammed has been the most popular baby name in the UK for some time. (Thank God, they passed Brexit.) And Ms. Merkel, despite the constant carnage in her country, is doubling down on Middle Eastern immigration.

Hillary Clinton intends to do the same thing here – in the name of human rights, naturally, when, needless to say, it’s about votes.  Economically, if she passes even a third of her proposals, our country will be so far in debt we may never find a way out, ratifying all of Hayek’s predictions as we all become slaves to a desperate state.

Pessimistic, sure.  But we can stop it.  This is a surprisingly winnable election if we pull together.

So for reassurance, let me tell one story from the Republican Convention. It was, as anyone watching television knows, a mostly uninformative event, as virtually all conventions are.  But I did go to a luncheon panel on the economy held by Freedom Works.  Larry Kudlow was the moderator.  I forget everyone on it, but it was a distinguished panel of conservative economists including Stephen Moore and a man named Harold Hamm I had never heard of.  My bad.  It turns out Hamm had more to do with the immediate revival, such as it is, of the US economy than anybody – he is the king of fracking, the developer of the Bakken formation and someone with a net worth at least double Trump’s and closer to George Soros’.

All of the panelist had worked closely, some one-on-one, with Trump on his tax plan, This plan is quite in the mainstream of conservative economic policy with lower, simplified rates across the board, particularly for businesses, which Trump puts at 15%.  (It currently starts at 39%.) Republicans have been calling for this reduction for years to bring our corporations home and generate jobs.

Anyway, midway into the panel, Kudlow asked a question on everybody’s mind – and probably yours too.  Larry wanted to know if the panelists thought Trump would go through with it, if Donald was, to put it bluntly, for real.

The panelists were all emphatic in saying Trump would.  They also gave him high marks for listening, of all things.

Now I know you can rationalize this a lot of ways.  Rich and powerful as these men were, they clearly wanted to be advisers to a man who could be the most powerful in the world.  So factor that in.  And factor in that I have been supporting Trump for a while.  But then ask yourself if you would rather have Hillary…. and socialism.

And I’m not even going to get into the Supreme Court.

Our Eternal War For Independence

July 4, 2016

Our Eternal War For Independence, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 4, 2016

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We were not meant to be a society of sinecures for public servants. We did not come into being to be ruled by bureaucrats. Our birth of freedom was not meant to give way to the repression of a vast incomprehensible body of regulations administered by an elite political class in Washington D.C.

Americans are rebels. And if we are not rebels, then we are not Americans.

We are not a nation founded by men and women who followed the rules. It is not our capacity for obedience that makes us true Americans, but our capacity for disobedience. 

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How will you celebrate the Fourth of July?

With fireworks and parades, hamburgers and hot dogs, sweating bands playing Sousa marches and parades down Main Street? Will you remember the men who fell in the first war and all the following wars that were fought to preserve our political and personal independence from foreign and domestic tyrannies? Will you consider what you might have done in the days when revolution was in the air?

Those are all good things. They remind us to celebrate and what it is we are celebrating.

I sat on the warm grass beneath the shade of a spreading fig tree listening to a band run through a repertoire of everything from Yankee Doodle Dandy to Over There. An elderly disabled veteran with a flag listened intently to the orchestra and a small child clambered awkwardly up a tree as his father worriedly urged him to climb down. It could have been a scene from any century. The Fourth is timeless.

It is timeless because it is still going on. The War of Independence went on underneath that fig tree, it continues on in your town, your city and in your community on this day and on every day.

Independence Day is a commemoration, but it is not a mere commemoration. The struggle is not over.

America became America out of a hatred of powerful central government. The War of Independence was not a battle between two countries. America’s Founding Fathers started out as Englishmen who wanted to preserve their rights from a distant and out of touch government.

The War of Independence was a civil war between those who wanted a strong central government and those who wanted to govern themselves. The fundamental breach between these two worldviews led to the creation of an independent nation dedicated to the preservation of independence. This independence was not mere political independence. It was personal independence.

America as a separate nation did not yet exist. Even the Constitution that embodies its purpose was a decade, a war, a failed experiment in government and many bitter debates away.

Nations come and go. Political unions are created and dissolved. There are nations today named Egypt and Greece that have little in common with the historical entities that once bore those names. The Declaration to which those remarkable men pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor was not for a flag, which then still bore the Union Jack, or for the invention of yet another administrative body, but for the rights of peoples, nations and individuals to be free to exercise their personal and political rights.

The war for these things was fought, but it has not ended. It began then, but it continues today.

It is not a war against King George III. It is the ongoing struggle between the people and those who would govern them that is at the heart of our independence.

There are two visions of how men are meant to live today, just as there were in 1776. Revolutions and wars may occasionally clarify these visions, but they do not permanently resolve them. New governments are quick to adopt old tyrannies. Freedom is a popular rallying cry for rebels. But few rebels wish to be rebelled against. That is what made America unique. That is what still does.

We were not meant to be a society of sinecures for public servants. We did not come into being to be ruled by bureaucrats. Our birth of freedom was not meant to give way to the repression of a vast incomprehensible body of regulations administered by an elite political class in Washington D.C.

Americans are rebels. And if we are not rebels, then we are not Americans.

We are not a nation founded by men and women who followed the rules. It is not our capacity for obedience that makes us true Americans, but our capacity for disobedience.

The Declaration of Independence was a document of rebellion by a band of rebels. “Damned rebels” as the big government monarchists saw them. The men who signed it pledged their lives because they expected to be executed for treason. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were acts of rebellion against the entire order across what was then seen as the civilized world.

American greatness came about because we were willing to break the rules. It was only when we began following the rules, when as a nation we made the maintenance of the international order into our notion of the greatest good and when as individuals we accepted the endless expansion of government as a national ideal that we ceased to be great.

When we think of great Americans, from Thomas Jefferson to the Wright Brothers, from Andrew Jackson to Daniel Boone, from Theodore Roosevelt to today’s true patriots, we think of “damned rebels” who broke the rules, who did what should have been impossible and thumbed their noses at the establishments of the day. American greatness is embodied in individual initiative. That is why the Declaration of Independence places at the center of its striving, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It was for these individualistic ends of freedom that government had to be derived from the consent of the governed, that a war was fought that changed the world and it is these ends that we must celebrate.

Rebellion does not always mean muskets and cannon. Long before the War of Independence, we had become a nation of rebels who explored the wild realms of forests and streams, who forged cities out of savage lands, who argued philosophy and sought a higher purpose for their strivings, who refused to bow to their betters out of an accident of birth. And at our best, we are still rebels today.

When we dissent from the system, we rebel. When we refuse to conform, when we think differently, when we choose to live our own lives instead of living according to the dictates of our political rulers and pop culture arbiters, then we are celebrating the spirit of freedom that animates the Fourth.

When we defy the government, when we speak out against Obama and the rest of our privileged ruling class, when we demand the right to govern ourselves, when we fight to hold government accountable, when we question what we are told and the need to be told anything at all, then we are keeping that old spirit of rebellion alive. We are still fighting for our independence from government every day and every year that we choose to live as free people. That is the glorious burden of freedom.

Freedom is not handed to us. It is not secured for us by politicians. Like the Founding Fathers, we are made free by our fight for freedom. Preserving their legacy cannot be meaningfully recreated through any means other than the committed struggle for the same ideals.

This Fourth of July, celebrate by continuing to be a rebel, question and challenge the left’s worship of government. And don’t stop on the Fifth or in July. Or in any year or any decade or any century.

We here at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and at Front Page Magazine don’t.

Our family of writers, activists and commentators, and that includes you, inspired by David’s courageous spirit continue to question authority, challenge government and fight for the independence of the individual against the tyrannies of the radical left and Islamic theocracy, every day, week and month of the year.

And we welcome you to our revolution.

VIDEO — Geert Wilders: Stand for Freedom!

June 30, 2016

VIDEO — Geert Wilders: Stand for Freedom! Gatestone Institute via YouTube, June 30, 2016

 

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart

June 27, 2016

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, June 27, 2016

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In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

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Long-developing cracks in the Western political establishment’s century-old paradigm suddenly widened this year. In the US Donald Trump, a reality television star and real estate developer, improbably became the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and long-time Senate crank, challenged the Democrats’ pre-anointed nominee Hillary Clinton, who prevailed only by dint of money and un-democratic “super-delegates.” Meanwhile in Europe, the UK voted to leave the European Union, perhaps opening the flood-gates to more defections.

These three events share a common theme: populist and patriotic passions roused by arrogant elites have fueled a rejection of Western establishments and their un-democratic, autocratic, corrupt paradigm.

That political model can be simply defined as technocratic and transnational. Starting in the 19th century, the success of science and the shrinking of the world through technology and trade created the illusion that human nature, society, and politics could be similarly understood, managed, and improved by those trained and practiced in the new “human sciences.” This new “knowledge” said people are the same everywhere, and so all humans want the same things: peace with their neighbors, prosperity, and freedom. The absence of these boons, not a permanently flawed human nature, explains the history of war and conflict. National identities, along with religion and tradition, are impediments to institutionalizing this “harmony of interests.” International organizations and covenants can be created to enforce this harmony, shepherd the people towards the transnational utopia, and leave behind the misery and wars sparked by religious, ethnic, and nationalist passions.

Technocracy, however, is by definition anti-democratic. So how can the foundational belief of Western governments – the sovereignty of free people and their right to be ruled by their own consent–– coexist with an administrative state staffed by “experts” and armed with the coercive power of the state? Quite simply, it can’t. As for the transnational ideal of a “harmony of interests,” it was repudiated by the carnage of World War I, when the Entente and Central Powers sent their young to die under the flags of their nations on behalf of their particular national interests.  Yet the West still codified that transnational ideal in the League of Nations, even as it enshrined the contrary ideal of national self-determination, the right of people to rule themselves free of imperial or colonial overlords.

This gruesome war demonstrated that people are still defined by a particular language, culture, mores, folkways, religions, and landscapes, and that nations have interests that necessarily conflict with those of other nations. That’s why the League failed miserably to stop the aggression of its member states Japan, Italy, and Germany, and could not prevent an apocalyptic second world war that took at least 50 million lives. Yet the Western elites continued to pursue the transnational dream of technocratic rule after World War II, creating the UN as yet another attempt to trump the reality of national differences with some imagined harmony of interests. In reality, the UN has been an instrument used by states to pursue those interests at the expense of other nations.

Still not learning their lesson, the transnationalists created yet another institution that would subordinate the nations of Europe to its control, on the debatable assumption that the carnage of two world wars was wrought by national particularism. They confused genuine patriotism and love of one’s own way of living, with the grotesque political religions of fascism and Nazism, both as much avatars of illiberal tribalism as nationalism grown toxic. Thus was born the supranational EU, which began modestly in 1958 with the European Economic Community, and then relentlessly expanded over the years into today’s intrusive, unaccountable bureaucracy of anonymous technocrats that has concentrated power in Brussels at the expense of national sovereignty.

Similarly, in the US the progressives of the early 20th century began transforming the American Republic based on similar assumptions. They believe that economic, social, and technological progress rendered the Constitution––particularly its separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalist protections of the sovereignty of the states––an anachronism. “The age of enlightened administration had come,” F.D.R. proclaimed, and he set about creating the federal bureaus and agencies that have over the years expanded in scope and power, and increasingly encroached on the rights and autonomy of the states, civil society, and individuals.

But the Eurocrats and progressives forgot one of the most ancient beliefs of the West, and a fundamental assumption behind the structure of the Constitution––that a flawed human nature, vulnerable to corruption by power, is constant across time and space. As Benjamin Franklin wrote during the Constitutional convention, “There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice: the love of power and the love of money,” which when combined have “the most violent of effects.” As much as the democratic mob, any elite, whether of birth, wealth, or education, is subject to power’s corruption and abuse. That’s why our Constitution checked and balanced power: to limit the scope of any part of the government, and thus safeguard the freedom of all citizens no matter their wealth, birth, or education.

In contrast, the conceit of progressives and EU functionaries is that they are somehow immune to the seductions of power. They think their presumed superior knowledge and powers of reason make them more capable and trustworthy than the fickle, ignorant masses and the elected officials accountable to them. History, however, shows that technocrats are as vulnerable to the corruption of power as elites of birth or wealth, and that power is, as the Founders were fond of saying, “of an encroaching nature” and must “ever to be watched and checked.” The expansion of the EU’s tyrannical regulatory and lawmaking power at the expense of national sovereignty is the proof of this ancient wisdom. So too are America’s bloated federal executive agencies aggrandizing and abusing their powers at the expense of the people and the states.

Thus the dominant paradigm that has long organized politics and social life in the West is now under assault, for history has presented this model with challenges it has failed to meet. The resurgence of Islamic jihadism and terror has been met with sermons on Islamophobia and therapeutic multiculturalism. A newly assertive Russia has pursued its national interest with state violence, only to be scolded by our Secretary of State for “behaving in a 19th century fashion.” The financial crisis of 2008 was caused in part by government political and regulatory interference in the market, the same policies that have kept economic growth sluggish for over seven years. Feckless immigration policies have been worsened by a failure to monitor those who get in, and to assimilate those that do. And most important, the redistributionist entitlement regime has weakened the citizens’ character, fostered selfish hedonism, and is on track to bankrupt this country and many in Europe. All these crises have in the main been the offspring of progressives and Eurocrats, whose only solution is to cling to the policies that empower and enrich them, but degrade their own cultures and endanger their own peoples.

Millions of citizens both in the US and in Europe have been watching these developments and living with the baleful consequences that the hypocritical, smug progressive and EU elites seldom encounter in their daily lives. This long-festering anger and resentment of those who smear them as stupid racists, neurotic xenophobes, and fearful “haters,” has now burst to the surface of political life. People can see that the “we are the world,” “global village” cosmopolitanism enriches and empowers the political, cultural, and business elites, but passes on to the people the risks of careless and often deadly immigration policies, and the economic dislocations of a globalized economy. They see that coastal fat cats, who can afford the higher taxes and the costs of environmental regulations, care nothing for the flyover-country working and middle classes pinched by higher electric and gasoline bills. People who live in tony enclaves of white professionals and hipsters support unfettered immigration, while others have to live with the crime and disorder that comes from thrusting into their midst people from very different cultures and mores, including some who have a divine sanction to kill the same people who have welcomed them in.

In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

England has spoken in favor of popular sovereignty and self-government. Soon it will be America’s turn. Our British cousins made the right choice. Let’s hope we do too.

Cartoon of the Day

June 4, 2016

H/t Joopklepzeiker

1984

Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Foreign Policy

April 29, 2016

Turkey’s Islamic Supremacist Foreign Policy, Gatestone InstituteUzay Bulut, April 29, 2016

♦ “We have never been involved in an attack against Turkey … we were never involved in such an action… Davutoglu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava and cover up Turkey’s relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now.” — YPG (Kurdish) General Command.

♦ “Thousands of settlers from Anatolia were shipped in by the Turkish government to occupy former Greek villages and to change Cypriot demography — in the same manner the occupying Ottoman Empire once did in the 16th century.” — Victor Davis Hanson, historian.

♦ Turkey, for more than 40 years, has been illegally occupying the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, historically a Greek and Christian nation, which it invaded with a bloody military campaign in 1974.

♦ What Turkey would call a crime if committed by a non-Turkish or a non-Sunni state, Turkey sees as legitimate if Turkey itself commits it.

Between March 29 and April 2, 2016, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, paid a visit to Washington D.C. to participate in the 4th Nuclear Security Summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama.

In an interview with CNN broadcast March 31, Erdogan said, “We will not allow an act such as giving northern Syria to a terrorist organization… We will never forgive such a wrong. We are determined about that.”

Asked which terror organization he was referring to, Erdogan said: “The YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection Units], the PYD [Democratic Union Party] … and if Daesh [ISIS] has an intention of that sort then it would also never be allowed.”

Erdogan was thereby once again attempting to equate Islamic State (ISIS), which has tortured, raped, sold or slaughtered so many innocent people in Syria and Iraq, with the Kurdish PYD, and its YPG militia, whose members have been fighting with their lives to defeat genocidal jihadist groups such as al-Nusra and ISIS.

The question is not why Erdogan or his government have such an intense hatred for Kurds. Turkey’s genocidal policies against the Kurds are not a secret. Turkey’s most recent deadly attacks are ongoing in Kurdish districts even now. The more important question is why Erdogan thinks that Turkey is the one to decide to whom the predominantly Kurdish north of Syria will belong — or who will not rule that part of Syria.

On February 17, Turkey’s capital, Ankara, was shaken by a car bomb that killed 28 people and wounded 61 others.

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, immediately announced that the perpetrator was a Syrian national with links to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“A direct link between the attack and the YPG has been established,” Davutoglu said. “The YPG attack was carried out with logistical support from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Turkey. Just as al-Qaeda or Daesh do not have seats at the table, the YPG, which is a terrorist organization, cannot have one.” He then once again refused to permit Kurdish YPG participation in U.N.-brokered Syria peace talks in Geneva.

Saleh Muslim, the head of Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), replied via Agence France-Presse: “We deny any involvement in this attack. These accusations are clearly related to Turkish attempts to intervene in Syria.”

The General Command of the YPG also denied any involvement in the attack:

“Under challenging conditions, we are protecting our people from barbaric gangs such as ISIS and Al-Nusra. Countless states and media outlets have repeatedly reported about the support Turkey has been providing to these terrorist groups. Apart from the terrorist groups attacking us, we as YPG have engaged in no military activity against the neighboring states or other forces.

“We would like to repeat our message to the people of Turkey and the world: We have no links to this incident… We have never been involved in an attack against Turkey. The Turkish state cannot possibly prove our engagement in any kind of attack on their side because we were never involved in such an action. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu’s remarks ‘Ankara attack was conducted by YPG’ is a lie and far away from the truth. With this statement, Davutoglu wants to pave the way for an offensive on Syria and Rojava and cover up Turkey’s relations with the ISIS which is known to the whole world by now.”

The Middle East is going through mass murders, kidnappings, rapes, the sexual slavery of women and other crimes. And Turkey’s aggressive and supremacist foreign policy, which does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors, has played a large role in this situation.

Syria and Iraq, Turkey’s southern neighbors, are now the breeding ground of genocidal jihadist groups, foremost the Islamic State (ISIS). Many reporters, experts and eyewitnesses have revealed that Turkey has contributed to the rise of jihadist terrorists in the region — by letting ISIS members get in and out of Turkey and even by providing funds, logistics, and arms for ISIS.

Inside its own boundaries, Turkey has been engaged in an all-out war against its own Kurdish citizens since last August. Turkey has been murdering them indiscriminately and destroying their homes and neighborhoods.

Turkey’s hatred of Kurds is so intense that it also targets Kurdish defense forces in Syria.

On February 13, Davutoglu confirmed shelling the Kurdish YPG group in Syria, after the YPG advanced on the rebel-held town of Azaz in Syria. “We will retaliate against every step [by the YPG],” Davutoglu said. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again.”

The rebels in Azaz and elsewhere in Syria are mostly Islamist jihadists. According to the scholar Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Azaz was mostly controlled in early 2015 by the group Liwa Asifat al-Shamal (“Northern Storm Brigade”), affiliated with the Islamic Front. Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (“Al-Nusra Front”) also had a presence there.

“Azaz is a symbol for Turkey,” said Fabrice Balanche of the Washington Institute For Near East Policy. “Prime Minister Davutoglu fears that if the Kurds capture Azaz, they could start a big offensive from Kobane to the west and from Afrin to the east,” he told BBC.

As widely reported, the crisis in the region reached a peak when a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Air Force Su-24 bomber along the Turkey-Syria border on November 24, killing the pilot, Lieutenant-Colonel Oleg Peshkov. The Turkish government tried to excuse the attack by claiming that the jet was downed after it had violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.

The Russia Defense Ministry, however, denied the aircraft ever left Syrian airspace, and released a video they claimed shows that the Su-24 was not in Turkish airspace when it was shot down.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s neighbor to its West, Greece, has long been a victim of Turkey’s violations of its sovereign airspace. According to data recorded by the Greek military, in 2014 alone, Turkish aircraft violated Greek airspace 2,244 times. On just one day, February 15, Turkish warplanes violated Greek airspace 22 times, according to Athens News Agency.

After Syria, Greece and Russia, Turkey’s next target was its other southern neighbor, Iraq. In December, Iraq’s President, Fuad Masum, said, “The presence of the Turkish Army Forces in Mosul Province without our permission violates international rules. I want Turkish officials to get its force out of Iraq’s territory immediately.”

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also condemned Turkey’s action: “We have not asked Turkey for any force and no one had informed us about the arrival of the force.”

Two neighbors of Turkey, Cyprus and Armenia, have also been victims of Turkish aggression — for an even longer time.

Turkey, for more than 40 years, has been illegally occupying the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus, which it invaded with a bloody military campaign in 1974. According to historian Victor Davis Hanson:

“Thousands of settlers from Anatolia were shipped in by the Turkish government to occupy former Greek villages and to change Cypriot demography — in the same manner the occupying Ottoman Empire once did in the 16th century. … The island remains conquered not because the Greeks have given up, but because their resistance is futile against a NATO power of some 70 million people. Greeks know that Turkey worries little about what world thinks of its occupation.”

Turkey has also been blockading yet another neighbor since 1993: “Turkey and Azerbaijan have effectively been exercising an illegal unilateral economic blockade against Armenia, which has hurt the latter economically,” wrote Armen V. Sahakyan, the executive director of the Eurasian Research and Analysis Institute. “Turkey and Azerbaijan are in clear violation of the Principle of Good Neighborliness, as well as all of the General Assembly resolutions condemning unilateral coercive measures.”

Turkey has been assaulting its neighbors in what appears as outbursts of Turkish Islamic supremacy. What Turkey would call a crime if committed by a non-Turkish or a non-Sunni state, Turkey sees as legitimate if Turkey itself commits it.

When Turkey invaded Cyprus, historically a Greek and Christian nation, it is not called an invasion. Turkey still refers to the 1974 military campaign as a “peace operation.” Senior politicians and military officials from Turkey also participate in the official ceremonies called “the Peace and Freedom Festival,” organized in occupied northern Cyprus on July 20 every year, to celebrate what they “achieved” more than 40 years ago — namely, an ethnic cleansing and colonization campaign that they conducted through many crimes, including mass murders, wholesale and repeated rapes, torture and inhuman treatment, plundering Cypriot cultural heritage and destroying churches, among others.

1569The crumbling buildings of the Varosha district of Famagusta, Cyprus, photographed in 2009. The area lies within Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus. The inhabitants fled during the 1974 Turkish invasion and the district has been abandoned since then. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

If anyone blockaded another state, especially a Sunni state, Turkey would most certainly condemn it. But when Turkey itself blockades a Christian nation, it is always “justified” — most often as a response to some “unacceptable wrongdoing” by the other side.

If a non-Turkish, or non-Sunni state, treated a Turkish or Sunni minority brutally, Turkey would passionately condemn it. But Turkey sees no harm in slaughtering its own Kurdish citizens, and devastating their towns. Turkey claims this is a just way of “fighting against terrorism.”

Turkey can shoot down a Russian plane in the blink of an eye, because supposedly no one can violate Turkish airspace even for a few seconds — or even if no such violation takes place. But Turkey can violate the Greek sovereign airspace countless times as a national sport or hobby whenever it feels like it?

If Western authorities criticize Turkey for its policies, Turkey accuses them of “intervening in Turkey’s internal affairs.”

For instance, when a group of journalists close to the movement of the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen were detained in a mass arrest operation on December 14, 2014 in Turkey, the European Commission, in a joint statement, criticized the police raids and arrests of the media representatives.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and the commissioner heading EU enlargement talks also said the arrests went “against European values.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded in a public speech:

“When we take a step, someone in the European Union immediately comes up and makes a statement. According to what do you make this statement? What do you know?

“Those who have made this country wait at the gate of the European Union for 50 years, do you ever know what this [our] step is? The elements that threaten our national security — be they members of the press, or this or that — will get the required response. It is impossible for us to make them sovereign in this country.

“And when we take such a step, we do not think about ‘what will the European Union say?’ or ‘will the EU accept us [as a member]?’ We do not have such concerns. We will pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. Please keep your intellect to yourselves.”

Erdogan also said that the detentions were not an “issue” of press freedom and claimed that the Fethullah Gulen movement was backed by Israel, which Erdogan referred to as “the country in the south that he [Gulen] loves.”

So, the European Union, of which Turkey is allegedly “striving” to be a member, cannot even issue a critical statement concerning Turkey’s policies because that would “intervene in Turkish steps for national security,” but Turkey can send jihadist fighters, arms or funds into Syria or Iraq and destroy lives and civilizations there?

Turkey seems to believe it always has to be strong and a leading force in the region. But if Kurds — an indigenous, stateless and persecuted people — are to gain a single right anywhere in the world, does Turkey find that unacceptable?

The entire history of Turkey as well as its current policies demonstrate that Turkey believes Kurds are inferior to Turks. Turkey does not even recognize the Kurds’ right to be educated in Kurdish, evidently in an attempt to separate them from their identity.

“The policy of Republican Turkey since its establishment in 1923,” wrote the author Amir Hassanpour, “is a typical case of what has been called ‘linguicide’ or ‘linguistic genocide.’ Forcing the Kurds to abandon their language and become native speakers of Turkish is the primary goal of the language policy.”

Freedom and sovereignty are for Turks only. Kurds are just to be murdered or to be Turkey’s servants. This has been the state policy of Turkey ever since it was founded in 1923.

“The master in this country is the Turk,” said Mahmut Esat Bozkurt, Turkey’s first Minister of Justice, in 1930. “Those who are not genuine Turks can have only one right in the Turkish fatherland, and that is to be a servant, to be a slave. We are in the most free country of the world. They call this Turkey.”