We Are The 99%

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84 comments on “We Are The 99%

  1. Jadehawk says:

    oh, absolutely we need artificial wombs, and not only because having women be physically responsible for childbearing is a massive inequality, but also because heterosexual trans women and gay men should have the same rights and abilities to produce biological children that cis women, straight people, and lesbian women have.

    however, the demographic problems some countries are experiencing as a result of too few babies are entirely racist: there are places in the world who can’t acommodate the population growth they’re experiencing; we could easily fix our demographic deficits by letting them all immigrate. but we don’t, cuz we’re scared of letting them into our prrrecious, prrrecious white countries. And in the long term, the growth economics that require this kind of population growth will collapse anyway; doesn’t matter whether we’re reproducing at replacement rates or not, since plenty of other essential resources aren’t. If we don’t switch to some version of steady state or circular economics, no artificial wombs are going to save us. and at that point, we’d probably be better off dying out by lack of reproduction, anyway.

  2. David Marjanović says:

    And in the long term, the growth economics that require this kind of population growth will collapse anyway

    It’s the inverse in many places: their economies struggle to grow (and thus create jobs) as fast as the population grows (China) or simply fail (most places poorer than China).

    and at that point, we’d probably be better off dying out by lack of reproduction, anyway.

    That would be the dreaded old-people-only society. For decades, maybe a century.

  3. David Marjanović says:

    …And now I dig through Twitter and learn this design is yours! Be a little prouder of your work! :-)

  4. David Marjanović says:

    …Like, sell the T-shirt on Pharyngula!

    What is it about the “Post Comment” button that suddenly makes me think!?!

  5. Jadehawk says:

    I thought it was obvious that I made it *shrug*

  6. David Marjanović says:

    …The lack of a source statement should have made it obvious, yes, but I’m used to pictures on blogs being “I found this and like it”. :-]

    Ecclesiastes 1
    1 Teh werdz ov teh preechur, teh son ov David, King of teh Jerusalem.
    2 “St00pid! St00pid!” Sez teh teechurcat. “Srsly st00pid. Everythingz st00pid.” 3 Wut man getz 4 laburz he toilz @ undur teh sunz? 4 Generashun comez n generashun goez, still same lolcats. 5 Sun rizez n setz, goez bak n rize agin. 6 Teh wind blowz souf n norf, rownd n rownd, alwayz teh sayme. 7 Seaz can has streemz, nevur fullz. Streemz go bak where comez frum. 8 All tingz has DO NOT WANT, more den werdz sez. Lolrus never sez “enuf bucket, kthnx” or kitteh sez “dats good, enuff cheezburger.” 9 Has happen? Gunna be agin. Nuthing new undur teh sunz. 10 Kitteh can not sez “OMFGZ sumthing new!” is jus REPOST!.

  7. Walton says:

    however, the demographic problems some countries are experiencing as a result of too few babies are entirely racist: there are places in the world who can’t acommodate the population growth they’re experiencing; we could easily fix our demographic deficits by letting them all immigrate. but we don’t, cuz we’re scared of letting them into our prrrecious, prrrecious white countries.

    QFT. It always staggers me when xenophobic types assert that we have to restrict immigration in order to prevent “our countries” becoming “overwhelmed” with immigrants… and yet, in the next breath, go on to fearmonger about the “demographic timebomb” of the aging population, and argue that “our people” should be having more children in order to prevent population decline. The racism is blindingly obvious.

  8. David Marjanović says:

    The racism is blindingly obvious.

    Sometimes it becomes explicit: Kinder statt Inder, “children instead of Indians”, was an infamous slogan by a conservative* in Germany a few years ago; that was a reaction to the proposal to introduce a kind of Green Card so that, say, programmers from India could more easily work in Germany.

    * “There must not be a party to the right of my party” conservatives.

  9. Alex says:

    It always staggers me when xenophobic types assert that we have to restrict immigration in order to prevent “our countries” becoming “overwhelmed” with immigrants… and yet, in the next breath, go on to fearmonger about the “demographic timebomb” of the aging population, and argue that “our people” should be having more children in order to prevent population decline. The racism is blindingly obvious.

    It must be blinding indeed because I don’t see it. These immigrants might not be rootless economic units (at least not yet). They might bring their own cultural traditions and practices with them. They might not put “our” in scare quotes. Some of these traditions and practices might not sit comfortably with the native customs. In some cases they might be radically incompatible with the native customs. This might lead to friction and strife. The indigenous population might wish to avoid that happening. That is not racism.

    Hear that arch-racist AC Grayling:

    As the claims of minorities in multicultural settings have increased in frequency and volume with the rise of their members’ numbers, so the public domain has become an arena of competition, in which there is a Babel of claims for exceptions, exemptions, immunities, privileges, the need for larger equalizing disbursements from the public purse for special interests … and so on, to the detriment of the common good and social cohesion. These thoughts suggest that the world has moved beyond the possibility of multiculturalism, and as these words are written a new arrangement waits, with some urgency, to be found.

    QFT.

    (I love that mild, professorial, slightly bewildered “with some urgency”.)

  10. Jadehawk says:

    old, white, straight, well off, British dude against “equalizing disbursements” and multiculturalism? shocking. [/sarc]

    seriously though, for a guy born and partially raised in the British colonies to talk of whom to let into Britain… well, some people are impervious to that kind of irony, I guess.

  11. Alex says:

    seriously though, for a guy born and partially raised in the British colonies to talk of whom to let into Britain… well, some people are impervious to that kind of irony, I guess.

    All the irony in the world doesn’t make him wrong. His central contention in this piece is that “when an immigrant community with a markedly different culture from the majority host culture reaches a certain critical mass in numbers, the nature of difficulties thus posed becomes dramatically more acute”. You mentioned colonialism – well, isn’t that an exemplary instance of the acute difficulties caused by an immigrant community with a markedly different culture from the indigenous population?

  12. David Marjanović says:

    Alex, have you watched Pleasantville?

    Let there be “a Babel of claims”. Let there be a discussion. Have it out in the open, so people need to become conscious of exactly what they want (“be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”) and exactly why they want it, on the solid floor of a constitution that guarantees basic rights and is actually enforced from time to time.

    (This does not prevent discussions of the constitution itself; there should be a way to amend it, just not one that is as simple as in California.)

    If you just suppress the discussion, if you fail to address stupid, ignorant opinions, they keep simmering, for decades if need be, and Yugoslavia falls apart in wars full of atrocities.

  13. Jadehawk says:

    lol. imperial invaders != immigrants.

    also, cultures change regardless of whether this is due to immigration or not, and continuing the lie that immigrants don’t sufficiently assimilate is racist anyway.

  14. Alex says:

    DM

    Alex, have you watched Pleasantville?

    No. I’ve seen Blast from the Past though. ; )

    Let there be “a Babel of claims”. Let there be a discussion. Have it out in the open, so people need to become conscious of exactly what they want (“be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”) and exactly why they want it, on the solid floor of a constitution that guarantees basic rights and is actually enforced from time to time. … If you just suppress the discussion, if you fail to address stupid, ignorant opinions, they keep simmering, for decades if need be …

    Was there any discussion about whether large immigrant populations should be admitted in the first place? No – it decided for us by our leaders as a fait accompli. Once the multicultural experiment had been embarked upon, was any further discussion permitted? No – dissenting opinions were shouted down as racist. It’s a bit late to be calling for a discussion now.

    As for the immigrants themselves, maybe some of them are already “conscious of exactly what they want” and have no interest in discussing it.

    If you just suppress the discussion, if you fail to address stupid, ignorant opinions, they keep simmering, for decades if need be, and Yugoslavia falls apart in wars full of atrocities.

    Maybe Yugoslavia fell apart because it should never have been put together in the first place.

    JH

    lol. imperial invaders != immigrants.

    Except I never equated invaders with immigrants. All I I said was that colonialism provides an instance of the acute difficulties that can arise when two very different cultures collide.

    also, cultures change regardless of whether this is due to immigration or not

    And people die regardless of whether this is due to murder or not.

    continuing the lie that immigrants don’t sufficiently assimilate is racist anyway.

    What counts as “sufficient” assimilation?

  15. Jadehawk says:

    It’s a bit late to be calling for a discussion now.

    you’re confused. multiculturalism is the discussion; monoculturalism is the exclusion of discussion and insistence on a single set of tastes and personal preferences being valid and acceptable.

    Except I never equated invaders with immigrants. All I I said was that colonialism provides an instance of the acute difficulties that can arise when two very different cultures collide.

    which is an equation, in the sense that the sort of “collision” of cultures that happens during invasion is entirely incomparable to what happens when members of a culture immigrate into another culture.

    What counts as “sufficient” assimilation?

    that which does not directly cause a decline in social welfare (i’m excepting indirectly causing such due to a reactionary rise in racist douchebaggery)

  16. Jadehawk says:

    And people die regardless of whether this is due to murder or not.

    cultures have no bodily integrity or bodily autonomy, seeing as they’re not people

  17. David Marjanović says:

    No. I’ve seen Blast from the Past though. ; )

    I don’t know that one. Watch Pleasantville; everyone should.

    No – dissenting opinions were shouted down as racist.

    …Because that’s what they are, unless you want to draw a fine line between xenophobia and racism.

    It’s a bit late to be calling for a discussion now.

    What Jadehawk said.

    As for the immigrants themselves, maybe some of them are already “conscious of exactly what they want” and have no interest in discussing it.

    Because the Muslim fundamentalists you’re probably talking about aren’t discussing it, they don’t notice they haven’t thought things through. Dunning/Kruger effect. Expose them to free speech and let them see a society that evidently isn’t going to hell in a handbasket.

    Maybe Yugoslavia fell apart because it should never have been put together in the first place.

    “Should” is always a difficult term. Slovenia has joined the EU, Croatia will soon follow, Serbia and Macedonia are now official candidates.

    The Czech and Slovak republics parted ways in 1993 and wished each other good riddance. In 2004, both of them joined the EU.

  18. David Marjanović says:

    Argh. Wanted to write “Montenegro”, wrote “Macedonia” instead. The birches in front of my windows are in violent bloom, so I haven’t been sleeping well.

  19. Alex says:

    JH:

    you’re confused. multiculturalism is the discussion; monoculturalism is the exclusion of discussion and insistence on a single set of tastes and personal preferences being valid and acceptable.

    So it’s ‘the discussion that is multiculturalism’ rather than ‘a discussion about multiculturalism’. I thought DM might have meant that, which is why I wrote ‘As for the immigrants themselves, maybe some of them are already “conscious of exactly what they want” and have no interest in discussing it.’

    And that’s the rub, isn’t it? Not only was this discussion itself imposed and maintained without discussion (isn’t a discussion that’s not up for discussion rather alien to the spirit of discussion?) – it also kinda presupposes that all parties just can’t wait to sit round in a great big ol’ circle discussing how we can enrich each other and make everything more vibrant.

    Except I never equated invaders with immigrants. All I I said was that colonialism provides an instance of the acute difficulties that can arise when two very different cultures collide.

    which is an equation, in the sense that the sort of “collision” of cultures that happens during invasion is entirely incomparable to what happens when members of a culture immigrate into another culture.

    Well, I was suggesting it was comparable only in the sense that both can cause difficulties, not that the difficulties were necessarily of the same magnitude or type.

    Having said that, if immigration were to result in a transfer of hegemony from the host culture to the immigrants, that may not be a million miles from colonisation. A couple of years ago I took the family to the local branch of a well-known fast food restaurant. As we entered, my gaze was caught by a sign prominently displayed on the door – a stylised depiction of an Islamic pointed arch with Arabic script underneath and underneath that the English legend: Halal Food Authority. Inside we sat at a table where, alongside the menu, there was a brochure bearing the same symbol. The brochure informed us that “we listen to our customers to help us to evolve our menu and the choices we offer. For some time, we have received requests to provide halal food in parts of the UK and as a result of this, we are running a halal trial within communities where we anticipate a strong demand for halal products”. Curious, I approached a member of the counter staff, showed him the leaflet and inquired whether they were continuing to serve non-halal products. He suddenly looked furtive and admitted that their HFA accreditation required that no non-halal food be prepared on the premises. So, for example, products containing pork would no longer be offered to customers. In other words, this was not a case of an extra option being made available to accommodate the sensibilities of an ethnic minority in the kindly spirit of liberal give-and-take; it was a case of the majority being denied a range of options in order to accommodate the sensibilities of an ethnic minority.

    What counts as “sufficient” assimilation?

    that which does not directly cause a decline in social welfare

    Can you give an example, hypothetical or otherwise, of how insufficient assimilation might have an adverse affect on social welfare?

    (i’m excepting indirectly causing such due to a reactionary rise in racist douchebaggery)

    I assume you mean racist douchebaggery on the part of the natives rather than the immigrants?

    And people die regardless of whether this is due to murder or not.

    cultures have no bodily integrity or bodily autonomy, seeing as they’re not people

    Then how can they engage in a “discussion”?

    In any case, my example was meant in a categorical rather than an analogical sense. Just because some social change might be inevitable and even desirable, it doesn’t follow that all social change is.

    DM:

    Watch Pleasantville; everyone should.

    “Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?!” : D

    No – dissenting opinions were shouted down as racist.…

    Because that’s what they are, unless you want to draw a fine line between xenophobia and racism.

    No I want to draw a clear line between racism and xenophobia on the one hand and the wish to celebrate one’s own culture on the other – and the wish to preserve it from the decline in social welfare that might result from insufficient assimilation (to use JH’s terminology).

    As for the immigrants themselves, maybe some of them are already “conscious of exactly what they want” and have no interest in discussing it.

    Because the Muslim fundamentalists you’re probably talking about aren’t discussing it, they don’t notice they haven’t thought things through. Dunning/Kruger effect. Expose them to free speech and let them see a society that evidently isn’t going to hell in a handbasket.

    Um, isn’t that a mite condescending? They are not liberal pluralists, therefore they can’t have thought things through. (Reminds me of the attitude Orwell imputed to Communists and Catholics – anyone who disagrees with them might be intelligent or honest but not both!)

    Has it occurred to you that they see no need to engage in discussion because they have thought it through and regretfully concluded that Western secular liberalism is incompatible with their religion. This culture permits the consumption of alcohol, the charging of usury and public blasphemy; moreover it degrades its young women by encouraging them to dress like prostitutes. By definition, it has already gone to hell in a handbasket. What would Mohammed (pbuh) do?

    And if they really haven’t thought about it – if they are in fact just knee-jerk fanatics – doesn’t that make the prospects for dialogue even less promising?

    Slovenia has joined the EU, Croatia will soon follow, Serbia and [Montenegro] are now official candidates. The Czech and Slovak republics parted ways in 1993 and wished each other good riddance. In 2004, both of them joined the EU.

    Some people never learn.

  20. David Marjanović says:

    So, for example, products containing pork would no longer be offered to customers. In other words, this was not a case of an extra option being made available to accommodate the sensibilities of an ethnic minority in the kindly spirit of liberal give-and-take; it was a case of the majority being denied a range of options in order to accommodate the sensibilities of an ethnic minority.

    I think that can safely be left to capitalism. Vote with your wallet, go to another fast-food restaurant. :-|

    Then how can they engage in a “discussion”?

    The people in cultures can.

    “Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?!” : D

    ?

    Um, isn’t that a mite condescending? They are not liberal pluralists, therefore they can’t have thought things through. (Reminds me of the attitude Orwell imputed to Communists and Catholics – anyone who disagrees with them might be intelligent or honest but not both!)

    Frankly, I’m a scientist. There is such a thing as a mistake, and there is such a thing as an error. I’m no more immune to making them than most other people, so if I’m actually wrong about this accidentally condescending conclusion, please do point out what evidence I’ve overlooked.

    Even more to the point, the people I’ve encountered on the Internet who weren’t liberal pluralists quite obviously hadn’t thought much of anything through. But that would be an argument from induction, and induction isn’t absolutely reliable. :-)

    Has it occurred to you that they see no need to engage in discussion because they have thought it through and regretfully concluded that Western secular liberalism is incompatible with their religion.

    That counts as not having thought things through. :-) Hey, Western secular liberalism isn’t compatible with any kind of homegrown Christian fundamentalism either.

    What would Mohammed (pbuh) do?

    Proselytize, flee, or wage war. The first cannot help triggering a discussion; the other two aren’t compatible with living here.

    Some people never learn.

    …That’s… an… interesting one. One of the more embarrassing own goals I’ve seen, and that’s before we get to the people who have evidently turned into bricks.

    Is it even genuine?

    I don’t see what your point with it is, though.

  21. Jadehawk says:

    which is why I wrote ‘As for the immigrants themselves, maybe some of them are already “conscious of exactly what they want” and have no interest in discussing it.’

    and you think that addresses anything? Considering the evidence shows that immigrants partially or wholly acculturate by the second generation, you have no point.

    Not only was this discussion itself imposed and maintained without discussion (isn’t a discussion that’s not up for discussion rather alien to the spirit of discussion?) – it also kinda presupposes that all parties just can’t wait to sit round in a great big ol’ circle discussing how we can enrich each other and make everything more vibrant.

    no, it just pressuposes that having the racists and regresssives decide what conversations, symbolic or literal, can happen in a culture is a VERY bad idea.

    seriously, are you not aware how childish “but I don’t wanna talk about it!!!” comes across?

    Well, I was suggesting it was comparable only in the sense that both can cause difficulties, not that the difficulties were necessarily of the same magnitude or type.

    and I’m trying to explain to you, for the third time now, that the difference is in kind, not in scope.

    Having said that, if immigration were to result in a transfer of hegemony from the host culture to the immigrants, that may not be a million miles from colonisation.

    incorrect. the sociopsychological effects of migration are not the same as those of invasion. both these cultural shifts have happened, and the effect only approaches sameness centuries down the road and only if invader and colonized have mingled to the point of becoming a new mongrel race (i.e. pretty much what has happened to Britain centuries after the Viking and the Norman invasions); if the ethnic groups remain distinct, the difference remains stark: the colonized remain powerless (look up internal colonization sometime), while immigration-caused shifts tend to simply extend the concept of cultural belonging to the new group; so even when they become a numerical majority, even a cultural, they carry on large chunks of the formerly dominant group.

    Best demonstration of this difference is the modern situation of Native Americans in relation to non-Natives, vs. the relation of now culturally and numerically more dominant non-WASPS to the culturally fading WASPS, exemplified by the fact that right now, two Catholics and a Mormon can all run on a basically WASPy cultural platform

    it was a case of the majority being denied a range of options in order to accommodate the sensibilities of an ethnic minority.

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware you were entitled to pork products from that particular fast food place? Are you going to complain about the existence of Noah’s Bagels, too? or of vegetarian restaurants (no bacon there, either)?

    If the need for pork products will be large enough, a competitor will spring up that will sell pork-sausage burgers with bacon. just do the same the halal-wanting customers did, and write letters saying that you want a fast-food joint with bacon.

    Can you give an example, hypothetical or otherwise, of how insufficient assimilation might have an adverse affect on social welfare?

    the immigration of large numbers of fundies into Alaska, turning the state from a progressive libertarian state into fundieland by deconstructing progressive laws in that state.

    I assume you mean racist douchebaggery on the part of the natives rather than the immigrants?

    that’s what “regressive” means, honeybunch. racism of immigrants tends to evaporate by the second or third generation, unless acculturation is prevented by racist douchebaggery by the non-immigrants.

    Then how can they engage in a “discussion”?

    are you stupid or something?
    I made a snarky remark about why you can’t compare cultural change to murder, but apparently you need your information spoon-fed to you, so here it goes.

    1)cultures don’t die when they change, so murder is not an equivalent. changing your major and dying your hair is; revamping your diet because of health or weight concerns is; moving to a new town and making new friends is.

    2)even when cultures do die, that’s a symbolic death that doesn’t make the people in it die; which means the cultural death has entirely different, uncomparable psychological effects than the violation of bodily autonomy and integrity that murder (of other people, and of self of course) has.

    3)a cultural discussion on the other hand can actually involve individuals having discussions; usually though, that’s meant figuratively, as a stand-in for symbolic information exchange both between individuals and between groups (see also: fusion cuisine)

    In any case, my example was meant in a categorical rather than an analogical sense. Just because some social change might be inevitable and even desirable, it doesn’t follow that all social change is.

    and…? it’s not like anyone claimed that, after all. but simply assuming that the change currently experienced is negative, often contrary to the evidence, is hardly convincing.

    the wish to celebrate one’s own culture on the other

    oh, don’t lie. you don’t want to “celebrate your culture”, you want it to remain hegemonic. that’s generally racist/xenophobic, with very few exceptions.

    (Reminds me of the attitude Orwell imputed to Communists and Catholics – anyone who disagrees with them might be intelligent or honest but not both!)

    such a shallow thinker you are. in reality, people can be both intelligent and honest, and still not have thought something through. It’s in fact inevitable, since the amount of knowledge currently existing in the world is larger than can be understood and thoroughly deliberated by any given individual.

    Has it occurred to you that they see no need to engage in discussion because they have thought it through and regretfully concluded that Western secular liberalism is incompatible with their religion.

    who is “they”? because that description fits American fundies as much as Islamic fundies, and neither constitutes the majority of either their ethnic group or even their religious group.

    What would Mohammed (pbuh) do?

    the same thing Christ and Buddha did: morph into a new semblance of itself. Religion is man-made and wholly unconnected to reality, and that means that each generation creates its own religion anew from what they already believe and think they know to be true.

  22. David Marjanović says:

    are you stupid or something?
    I made a snarky remark

    He tried to snark back, but because he couldn’t, he tried to change the topic into a word game and pretend that was snarky.

    see also: fusion cuisine

    Like the new national dish of Great Britain: tikka masala. Tikka and masala both come from India, but the idea of combining the meat and the gravy is British and was first implemented on British soil.

    you want it to remain hegemonic. that’s generally racist/xenophobic, with very few exceptions.

    Can you tell me an exception?

    such a shallow thinker you are. in reality, people can be both intelligent and honest, and still not have thought something through. It’s in fact inevitable, since the amount of knowledge currently existing in the world is larger than can be understood and thoroughly deliberated by any given individual.

    Just so that Alex doesn’t misunderstand me: I agree with all of this.

  23. Walton says:

    “Alex” is reminding me of someone I know…

  24. David Marjanović says:

    If he’s the one you’re making me think about*, he’ll make it unambiguous soon enough.

    * “Pinkyyyyyyy! Are you pondering what I’m pondering?!”

  25. Jadehawk says:

    “Alex” is reminding me of someone I know…

    yeah, I know. :-p

    though, his comment in the other thread made me less certain about that again; that might have just been sarcasm or something though.

  26. Alex says:

    DM:

    ?

    Animal Farm reference. Whenever the Pig regime commits an enormity, they reply to the other animals’ grumbling by reminding them how much worse things were before the Revolution. The others accept this and are pacified (even though many are too young to remember the days before the Revolution). Pleasantville basically sounds like communist propaganda.

    the people I’ve encountered on the Internet who weren’t liberal pluralists quite obviously hadn’t thought much of anything through.

    He has.

    Has it occurred to you that they see no need to engage in discussion because they have thought it through and regretfully concluded that Western secular liberalism is incompatible with their religion.

    That counts as not having thought things through..

    In the sense that rejecting Western secular liberalism is incompatible with intelligence? Or that regarding Islam as incompatible with Western secular liberalism is incompatible with intelligence?

    What would Mohammed (pbuh) do?

    Proselytize, flee, or wage war. The first cannot help triggering a discussion; the other two aren’t compatible with living here.

    Actually, the latter is only incompatible with living here if they lose. And while proselytism will trigger a discussion, that’s not always the same thing as a reasoned debate. It might just be the blinding, suffocating dust thrown up by the passage of der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen. It worked for the cultural Marxists.

    …That’s… an… interesting one. One of the more embarrassing own goals I’ve seen, and that’s before we get to the people who have evidently turned into bricks

    Not to mention the unusual orientation of the stars, lol.

    Is it even genuine?

    I believe so.

    I don’t see what your point with it is, though.

    That the EU has as much chance of success as its prototype, lol.

  27. Alex says:

    JH:

    the evidence shows that immigrants partially or wholly acculturate by the second generation

    Yet the radicalisation and politicisation of Muslim youth is an issue of major concern for governments. Meanwhile, non-Muslim black youth conforms to a degenerate strain of American black culture which in turn exercises a powerful spell over white youth. As the (racist, homosexual) historian David Starkey put it, “the whites have become black”. Who’s inculturating whom?

    having the racists and regresssives decide what conversations, symbolic or literal, can happen in a culture is a VERY bad idea.

    seriously, are you not aware how childish “but I don’t wanna talk about it!!!” comes across?

    Yeah I think I’ll just leave those two sentences in juxtaposition.

    Well, I was suggesting it was comparable only in the sense that both can cause difficulties, not that the difficulties were necessarily of the same magnitude or type.

    and I’m trying to explain to you, for the third time now, that the difference is in kind, not in scope.

    I think I’ll just leave those two in juxtaposition too.

    oh, don’t lie. you don’t want to “celebrate your culture”, you want it to remain hegemonic. that’s generally racist/xenophobic, with very few exceptions.

    No lies! Of course I want hegemony. Hegemony is what makes things possible, what gets things done. “The West is the best … get here and we’ll do the rest.”

    Don’t you want your ideas to be hegemonic? Your blog is a way of promoting them, no? You want those ideas to spread far and wide, take root in others’ minds, influence their actions and so, ultimately, influence the culture. Otherwise it’s all just online onanism. After all, if your ideas don’t become hegemonic, others opposed to them might and then where would you be?

    I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware you were entitled to pork products from that particular fast food place?

    No, I’m not “entitled” to it. At least no more than a sociology student is “entitled” to receive public money to finance his indoctrination, er studies. It’s not about entitlement, it’s about the struggle for hegemony. The war goes on, to the victor the spoils and vae victis.

    Are you going to complain about the existence of Noah’s Bagels, too? or of vegetarian restaurants (no bacon there, either)?

    I’ve no complaint about any establishment catering exclusively for minority tastes, ethnic or otherwise. I object when minority tastes are imposed on the majority. That’s an affront to the hegemony.

    If the need for pork products will be large enough, a competitor will spring up that will sell pork-sausage burgers with bacon. just do the same the halal-wanting customers did, and write letters saying that you want a fast-food joint with bacon.

    & DM:

    I think that can safely be left to capitalism. Vote with your wallet, go to another fast-food restaurant.

    Insufficient. As this incident shows, capitalism has no ideological commitment to preserving the cultural hegemony – it just goes where the money is.

    (As an aside, it’s always fun to see leftists rushing to heap praise upon the free market … And so you should. It’s only the unparalleled prosperity brought by capitalism that affords the luxury of supporting an entire intellectual class dedicated to analysing and expounding the latest baroque developments in feminist or genderqueer discourse. Let’s hope it lasts, eh?)

    JH:

    Can you give an example, hypothetical or otherwise, of how insufficient assimilation might have an adverse affect on social welfare?

    the immigration of large numbers of fundies into Alaska, turning the state from a progressive libertarian state into fundieland by deconstructing progressive laws in that state.

    &

    I assume you mean racist douchebaggery on the part of the natives rather than the immigrants?

    that’s what “regressive” means, honeybunch. racism of immigrants tends to evaporate by the second or third generation, unless acculturation is prevented by racist douchebaggery by the non-immigrants.

    So why didn’t these new Alaskan fundies assimilate into the surrounding progressivist culture? Is it just that they haven’t been there long enough? In which case, your bigotry towards these immigrants might be hindering their liberal acculturation. Nice going.

    cultures don’t die when they change

    Unless that change is the change commonly known as “death”. (And if that death is deliberately engineered, that’s murder.)

    even when cultures do die, that’s a symbolic death that doesn’t make the people in it die; which means the cultural death has entirely different, uncomparable psychological effects than the violation of bodily autonomy and integrity that murder (of other people, and of self of course) has.

    i) As I said, I wasn’t speaking analogically, so your objection is beside the point.

    ii) If you insist on interpreting my words analogically, then nobody actually has to die, nor do the psychological effects have to be identical, because it’s just an analogy.

    iii) Your basic assertion – that cultural death does not entail individual deaths – is in any case not always true. The death of the pre-Reformation English Catholic culture involved the deaths of rather a lot of English Catholics as I recall.

    simply assuming that the change currently experienced is negative

    I don’t assume it, I judge it to be so.

    often contrary to the evidence

    “Often” means it is not always contrary to the evidence. How often is “often”? Most of the time? Some of the time?

    such a shallow thinker you are.

    Whereas you plumb the depths. (See, I can do snarky.)

    people can be both intelligent and honest, and still not have thought something through. It’s in fact inevitable, since the amount of knowledge currently existing in the world is larger than can be understood and thoroughly deliberated by any given individual.

    So how come you and DM are so sure you’re right and that the reactionaries (of whatever stripe) are wrong? How come you’re so quick to make grandiose categorical statements about “acculturation” and the “sociopsychological effects” of different cultures interacting in various circumstances?

    Has it occurred to you that they see no need to engage in discussion because they have thought it through and regretfully concluded that Western secular liberalism is incompatible with their religion.

    who is “they”? because that description fits American fundies as much as Islamic fundies

    &

    DM:

    Hey, Western secular liberalism isn’t compatible with any kind of homegrown Christian fundamentalism either.

    When American Christian fundies produce something like this, I’ll start to take them seriously.

  28. Alex says:

    DM:

    see also: fusion cuisine

    Like the new national dish of Great Britain: tikka masala. Tikka and masala both come from India, but the idea of combining the meat and the gravy is British and was first implemented on British soil.

    Urban legend?

  29. David Marjanović says:

    Pleasantville basically sounds like communist propaganda.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Are you afraid of something? :-)

    He has.

    Alas, no sound on this computer. Could you summarize the video?

    In the sense that rejecting Western secular liberalism is incompatible with intelligence? Or that regarding Islam as incompatible with Western secular liberalism is incompatible with intelligence?

    It’s not intelligence alone; it’s intelligence + actually using it + actually having enough data to use it on.

    It worked for the cultural Marxists.

    Please explain.

    Not to mention the unusual orientation of the stars, lol.

    Yeah, that’s a strange perspective.

    That the EU has as much chance of success as its prototype, lol.

    The EU is too big to fail, in the sense that any serious failure would be more damaging, more expensive, than doing something about it. Look, we’re going to get some minimum of a fiscal union – not a day sooner than absolutely necessary, but not a day later either.

    What is its prototype? Have you confused the EU with the UN?

    Yet the radicalisation and politicisation of Muslim youth is an issue of major concern for governments.

    Yeah, but it’s also an issue of easily overblown concern… As always, the solutions lie in education and the prevention of ghettoization. Both of those require effort and money; not a lot, actually, but they don’t always happen by themselves either.

    Who’s inculturating whom?

    Everyone each other.

    What did you expect?

    having the racists and regresssives decide what conversations, symbolic or literal, can happen in a culture is a VERY bad idea.

    seriously, are you not aware how childish “but I don’t wanna talk about it!!!” comes across?

    Yeah I think I’ll just leave those two sentences in juxtaposition.

    *eyeroll* Having the racists & regressives restrict the discussion is a very bad idea.

    It’s not about entitlement, it’s about the struggle for hegemony. The war goes on, to the victor the spoils and vae victis.

    *eyeroll* Paranoiac.

    I’ve no complaint about any establishment catering exclusively for minority tastes, ethnic or otherwise. I object when minority tastes are imposed on the majority.

    Where’s the imposition when one particular fast-food restaurant… does anything?

    Insufficient. As this incident shows, capitalism has no ideological commitment to preserving the cultural hegemony – it just goes where the money is.

    But that’s it. As long as you have money, it goes to you (as well as to everyone else who has money). No ideological commitment needed. (…Unless L. Ron Hubbard’s “Make money. Make more money.” counts as an ideological commitment.)

    (As an aside, it’s always fun to see leftists rushing to heap praise upon the free market … And so you should. It’s only the unparalleled prosperity brought by capitalism that affords the luxury of supporting an entire intellectual class dedicated to analysing and expounding the latest baroque developments in feminist or genderqueer discourse. Let’s hope it lasts, eh?)

    I’m so dreadfully sorry for not fitting into your neat little boxes. You won’t find me (or, AFAIK, Jadehawk) advocating a planned economy anywhere, at any time in our lives. What about “it’s complicated” is so difficult to understand?

    There are things that must not be left – at least not entirely left – to capitalism. Health insurance and education are among those: everyone profits if everyone, no matter how poor, has access to those.

    There are also things that are best left to capitalism. I don’t see why you find that surprising.

    (…BTW, the Soviet Union and even communist Mongolia had “an entire intellectual class”, too, despite their dreadful economies that had trouble fulfilling any but the most basic needs of a lot of people. But that’s beside the point. I’m just being pedantic.)

    Whereas you plumb the depths. (See, I can do snarky.)

    Except it’s way too predictable to be funny…

    So how come you and DM are so sure you’re right and that the reactionaries (of whatever stripe) are wrong? How come you’re so quick to make grandiose categorical statements about “acculturation” and the “sociopsychological effects” of different cultures interacting in various circumstances?

    I’m not quick at all about this. I’ve lived in Vienna, Paris and Berlin. In other words, I’ve seen it work.

    In Paris, every supermarket carries halal meat. It’s marked as such and impossible to overlook. The same supermarkets sell pork, with blood in it “even”.

    …and some of the supermarkets carry 5-kg bags of basmati and of fragrant Thai rice… on rare occasions even 20-kg bags… you can get them elsewhere now, too, but only in 1-kg bags… *wistful sigh*

    When American Christian fundies produce something like this, I’ll start to take them seriously.

    Why don’t you take them seriously when they persuade Fearless Flightsuit to invade Iraq?

    And how old is the mosque in that picture? 1000 years?

    Urban legend?

    Perhaps it was independently invented twice (or 10 times)… but there are other examples anyway. In Italy, spaghetti alla carbonara are cooked with egg, optional bacon, and pepper. The trick is to start with raw egg, so that the egg ends up coating every noodle individually and is cooked there. Elsewhere in Europe, even in Italian restaurants, they’re cooked with lots of sauce that contains lots of cream, optionally egg, and always bacon.

  30. David Marjanović says:

    lots of cream

    And usually cheese.

  31. Jadehawk says:

    What is its prototype? Have you confused the EU with the UN?

    judging from the level of discourse, probably the USSR or the Warsaw Pact :-p

  32. David Marjanović says:

    :-D

    I was thinking of the Roman Empire. :o) Imagine Caesar, Dumnorix, Vercingetorix and Ariovistus sitting in a theater building all night long and discussing exactly how little of their sovereignty to pool! :-D I might pay to watch that. All night long. :-D

  33. Jadehawk says:

    Alex, stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing that triggers my spam filter, if you want your posts to show up. You’re not interesting enough for me to figure out what you screwed up and approve your posts, m’kay?

  34. Alex says:

    Awfully sorry, old thing.

  35. Alex says:

    (As I was saying …)

    DM:

    Are you afraid of something?

    I’m always willing to hear what an intelligent Marxist, Moham, atheist or liberal has to say. Clunking agitprop, not so much.

    Could you summarize the video?

    The speaker is a Scot called Ian Dallas who now rejoices in the name Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi. He keeps a relatively low profile in the English-speaking world but leads a fairly influential movement whose ideas including the re-establishment of the gold dinar and silver dirham as the universal Muslim currency. Here, this well-dressed, well-spoken gentleman recommends entryist rather than revolutionary tactics – where the buffoon Choudary makes inflammatory statements calling for the Queen of England to don the burqa and Buckingham Palace to be converted into a mosque, the Shaykh suggests the Muslim intellectual elite rally to “the weak but potentially strong Monarchy” as an instrument of unifying fractured British society, bypassing the increasingly ineffectual Parliament. He notes Prince Charles’ perennialist tendencies and informed sympathy for Islam and envisages him acting as protector of the Muslims, whom he elsewhere terms “the new Britons” and compares to the Danes and Normans (!). Ultimately he hopes for a “Second Reformation” in which a revived monarchy (“Henrician” in its refusal to accept Romish dominion) will again usher in a “new religion” (no prizes for guessing which).

    It’s probably all a pipe dream, but he’s clearly intelligent and has his eyes on the prize.

    Please explain.

    Orthodox philosophical Marxists may be relatively rare nowadays and political Marxist-Leninism seems moribund, but it could be argued that in cultural terms Marxism has, in a sense, won. Certain vulgarised Marxist ideas continue to form the unacknowledged basis of many widely-held presuppositions in cultural discourse which are uncritically accepted by many impressionable youngsters passing through the education system and dominate particularly in the realms of academia, the arts and the media. For example, the idea that economic inequality is the result of exploitation; that patriotism and religion are control-mechanisms employed by economically exploitative elites; that revolutionary movements are a legitimate and effective means of overthrowing these elites and establishing a just society. (Similarly with Freudianism – few today would describe themselves as orthodox Freudians but widespread popular assumptions about sexuality and the unconscious show the lingering cultural power of that ideology.)

    The EU is too big to fail

    The bigger they come, the harder they fall. “And great was the fall thereof.”

    in the sense that any serious failure would be more damaging, more expensive, than doing something about it.

    You assume something can be done about it. What if there’s nothing to be done?

    Look, we’re going to get some minimum of a fiscal union – not a day sooner than absolutely necessary, but not a day later either.

    A paranoiac might suspects the elites who run the European Union of exploiting the economic crisis to push for greater political union.

    Thankfully: “The Inevitable is not the high tower of the Wise, but merely the sanctuary of the Timid” – Emrys ap Iwan

    What is its prototype? Have you confused the EU with the UN?

    & JH:

    probably the USSR or the Warsaw Pact

    Actually its modern historical prototype would be the artificial nation that inaugurated the ‘New Order of the Ages’, the United States of America; whose government, Washington was at pains to point out, “is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”. But I had in mind the ur-type depicted in the painting which clearly inspired the poster.

    As always, the solutions lie in education and the prevention of ghettoization. Both of those require effort and money; not a lot, actually, but they don’t always happen by themselves either.

    “In radio and television panels, on which I have spent more time than I care to remember, to questions such as: What does the panel think should be done about the rising rate of juvenile delinquency? The answer invariably offered is: more education. I can hear the voices ringing out now, as I write these words; the males ones throaty and earnest, with a tinge of indignation, the female ones particularly resonant as they insist that, not only should there be more education, but more and bettereducation. It gives us all a glow of righteousness and high purpose. More and better education – that’s the way to get rid of juvenile delinquency, and adult delinquency, for that matter, and all other delinquencies. If we try hard enough, and are prepared to pay enough, we can surely educate ourselves out of all our miseries and troubles, and into the happiness we seek and deserve. If some panel member – as it might be me – ventures to point out that we have been having more, and what purports to be better, education for years past, and that nonetheless juvenile delinquency is still year by year rising, and shows every sign of going on so doing, he gets cold hostile looks. If he then adds that, in his opinion, education is a stupendous fraud perpetrated by the liberal mind on a bemused public, and calculated, not just to reduce juvenile delinquency, but positively to increase it, being itself a source of this very thing; that if it goes on following its present course, it will infallibly end by destroying the possibility of anyone having any education at all, the end product of the long expensive course from kindergarten to postgraduate studies being neo-Stone Age men -why, then, a perceptible shudder goes through the other panelists, and even the studio audience. It is blasphemy.” – Malcolm Muggeridge, ‘The Great Liberal Death Wish’

  36. Alex says:

    (contd)

    Who’s inculturating whom?

    Everyone each other. What did you expect?

    It’s wonderful, isn’t it? We’re all so radically different and fabulously diverse and yet at the same time have sufficient shared values to help us all get along as part of one big happy family except for those ghastly types who insist on celebrating being white or European as though it were something to be celebrated after so many centuries of oppression of countless minorities who are now happily sharing their rich and diverse cultures with us lucky white folks in the vibrant multicultural diversity of 21st-century society except when they lash out in perfectly legitimate rage at their systematic disempowerment by the inherently institutionally racist white hegemony which oppresses them and we all live happily ever after.

    Having the racists & regressives restrict the discussion is a very bad idea.

    Sigh.

    If you or JH were to say something like: “Advocates of multiculturalism should be allowed to state their case freely and publicly without restriction. Their articles should not be censored. Their books should not be banned or burned. They should not be marched into the woods by uniformed thugs and shot in the back of the head.” – I would agree. (I want Tim Wise to disappear but not like that.)

    BUT – I was given to understand that when you & JH referred to “the discussion” you did not mean “an intellectual debate about the merits of multiculturalism”. You meant the very process, the fact, of multiculturalism itself. Multiculturalism is the “discussion”, which is a metaphor for the interaction and cross-pollination between different cultures in a multicultural society.

    What, then, does it mean to “restrict” this “discussion”? To restrict immigration? To stop immigration altogether, or even attempt to reverse it? To allow immigration but insist on strict assimilation into the host culture rather than the multicult model? In the case of a monocultural society, to decide not to allow immigration in the first place?

    Surely in order to decide whether any of these are “a very bad idea” we need to have a discussion (a real one) about their merits or demerits. But that discussion has not occurred. It is precisely that discussion that has been restricted – because multicult was, and to a large extent still is, imposed without consent or consultation.

    Paranoiac

    “A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.” – William S Burroughs

    Where’s the imposition when one particular fast-food restaurant… does anything?

    Its a sign that a hostile alien culture has gained a foothold.

    capitalism has no ideological commitment to preserving the cultural hegemony – it just goes where the money is.

    But that’s it. As long as you have money, it goes to you (as well as to everyone else who has money). No ideological commitment needed.

    Cultural hegemony is not domination for the sake of domination, but for the sake of the culture. Ideological commitment is not merely a means of achieving or maintaing hegemony, it is a commitment to a particular culture. As you say:

    There are things that must not be left – at least not entirely left – to capitalism. Health insurance and education are among those: everyone profits if everyone, no matter how poor, has access to those.

    Exactly. So your ideological commitment to socialised healthcare and education would limit the free market to ensure their cultural hegemony.

  37. Alex says:

    (contd)

    I’ve lived in Vienna, Paris and Berlin. In other words, I’ve seen it work. In Paris, every supermarket carries halal meat. It’s marked as such and impossible to overlook. The same supermarkets sell pork, with blood in it “even”.

    The blessings of diversity. Meanwhile the banlieues are no-go areas, true sons of the patrie are gunned down in the streets, and France’s chief rabbi advises Jews not to wear yarmulkas in public. I trust the French feel suitably enriched by the new vibrancy.

    Why don’t you take them seriously when they persuade Fearless Flightsuit to invade Iraq?

    I don’t underestimate the fundies’ ability to wreak havoc, particularly when there’s a dispensationalist element in the saddle. But while they can blow up cities, they can’t build a civilisation. They are only religious sects, whereas Islam is a great religious culture and therefore far more formidable in the long run.

    And how old is the mosque in that picture? 1000 years?

    Less than 400 years.

  38. Walton says:

    Surely in order to decide whether any of these are “a very bad idea” we need to have a discussion (a real one) about their merits or demerits. But that discussion has not occurred. It is precisely that discussion that has been restricted – because multicult was, and to a large extent still is, imposed without consent or consultation.

    It wasn’t and it isn’t. I’m always irked by the claims of the xenophobic Right to be “persecuted” by an imaginary politically-correct elite. As I pointed out last time you said this, plenty of people – including mainstream, influential members of the political and media establishment – fulminate against immigration and against multiculturalism all the time. No one stops them doing so; indeed, they often make plenty of money and/or political capital out of it (cf the Daily Mail, MigrationWatch and UKIP back home, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Steve King, Tom Tancredo and FAIR over here…) I know you wouldn’t regard most of these people as sufficiently conservative for your tastes, but they are definitely opposed to mass immigration, and they are definitely saying so, loudly, within the mainstream discourse.

    When it comes to actually trying to identify anyone who was supposedly “persecuted” for anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism sentiments, you mentioned Ray Honeyford, who, of course, received a glowing obituary in the Torygraph when he died earlier this year. But Honeyford was a school headteacher. It is generally easy to get yourself fired from a teaching job if you wade into political controversy (just ask Katherine Birbalsingh). In Honeyford’s case, he said things that were racist, or at least borderline racist, and that were plainly incompatible with actually doing the job he was employed to do. And it’s not as if he didn’t have vocal defenders in the press at the time; he certainly has plenty now. Other than Enoch Powell, I can’t think of any other mainstream figures whose careers have been ended for expressing anti-immigration sentiments. Indeed, a “tough” stance on immigration has been pretty much mandatory for Home Secretaries (Labour no less than Conservative) for decades.

    And we have incredibly harshly restrictive immigration laws in Britain, these days, for those who come from outside the EEA and don’t have the money to buy their way in. They come at a horrific cost in human lives. I doubt you’d particularly like to trade places with the detainees at Campsfield House or Yarl’s Wood, or with the late Jimmy Mubenga. I don’t know what you want the British state to do that it isn’t already doing: how much more state violence towards immigrants do you wish for?

  39. David Marjanović says:

    Phew. Being tired today and having just read a scientific paper very attentively, I looked for a little distraction (because there’s no place to fall asleep here)… and found a wall of text that should be addressed in detail. I hope I’ll get to it on the weekend.

  40. David Marjanović says:

    I hope I’ll get to it on the weekend.

    Well, I didn’t. So, piecemeal:

    artificial nation

    Hm. Is there a nation that is not artificial?

    I mean, with the USA it’s particularly obvious, and a lot of fanfare was made around its founding. But, minus the rhetoric, many other cases are a lot more similar than people used to be aware of. The peoples of the Migration Period have been summarized as “ethnicity is not fate but goal”; it isn’t much of a simplification to describe them as one guy saying “I’ll go plunder/settle in this direction, who comes with me?”. Hence their sometimes fanciful names and their almost complete lack of connection to the names of tribes/people recorded by Caesar and Tacitus. And that’s before we get to modern European countries that consist of the lands some king happened to inherit without regard to the language, culture, whatever of the people who lived there.

    You assume something can be done about it. What if there’s nothing to be done?

    Then we’re going to find out soon enough. Why shouldn’t we try?

    Frankly, no cure that’s realistically going to happen can be worse than that disease.

    A paranoiac might suspects the elites who run the European Union of exploiting the economic crisis to push for greater political union.

    The elites who run the European Union are the prime ministers of the member countries, each very strongly devoted to appearing as a hero to their own voters by means of giving away as little national sovereignty as possible, much to the chagrin of the still very weak European Parliament and much to the detriment of the subsidiarity principle.

    The elites who run the European Union push against greater political union as long as they think they can get away with it.

    And we have incredibly harshly restrictive immigration laws in Britain, these days

    And not just in Britain. Two words: “Fortress Europe”. The xenophobes haven’t become the strongest party anywhere (IIRC), but they drove the conservatives and the social-democrats before them throughout the 90s and beyond, all over the place.

  41. David Marjanović says:

    One more thing I can address quickly:

    But I had in mind the ur-type depicted in the painting which clearly inspired the poster.

    Huh? The ancient Mesopotamian empires were just that, expansionist monarchies ruled by kings who wanted to style themselves “King of the Four Parts of the World”, “King of Sumer and Akkad, King of Babylon and Assur” and all that jazz. No political or other vision behind them.

    And those big buildings had temples on top and were meant to please the gods, not to give them the finger. That’s something the fictionalization in the Bible has got majorly wrong.

    I can’t tell if the Biblical misunderstanding of bab-ilu is a deliberate pun.

  42. David Marjanović says:

    Fusion cuisine:

    In Germany, Wiener Schnitzel are always served with gravy. That’s not original (beyond a bit of the oil you fried them in). The meat is already juicy; that’s the point of the batter.

    A few days ago the cafeteria here served Putenschnitzel nach Wiener Art. Well? Turkey schnitzel exists, but it’s prepared in a wholly different way in Austria; in particular, it’s never battered. The batter is probably what the “à la viennoise” part referred to. …And, yes, there was gravy with it.

    I’m obligated to mention that Wiener Schnitzel was imported from Milan at most a few centuries ago. It’s at least sometimes called escalope milanaise in France.

    Fusion beer:

    In Vienna you can get Turkish beer (brand name Efes) and Kurdish beer (Roj). Well, perhaps that’s an independent return to medieval interpretations of Islam that said “it’s not the alcohol itself that’s forbidden, what’s forbidden is getting drunk”, but contact with the West is a much more parsimonious explanation.

    Fusion song & dance:

    In parts of Vienna the streets are littered with ads for disco/clubbing/whatever nights with Turkish or “Balkan” (Serbian/Bosnian) pop/whatever starlets/bands. So I wasn’t surprised to see such an ad in a tube station here in Berlin a day or two ago, in Turkish, containing 4 photos of singers or bands… and one of them featured a Kurdish name and a Kurdish title, in unadultered Kurdish spelling, plus “KURDISH FOLK MUSIC” in small blurry print in a corner. Huh. I bet that’s nigh unthinkable in Turkey.

  43. David Marjanović says:

    (Plenty of wine was produced in Morocco and Algeria in the Middle Ages till the fundies stopped it. French colonisation restarted it, of course, but I don’t know how much of the production is just for export & tourists.)

  44. Alex says:

    DM:

    Is there a nation that is not artificial? I mean, with the USA it’s particularly obvious, and a lot of fanfare was made around its founding. But, minus the rhetoric, many other cases are a lot more similar than people used to be aware of.

    Rhetorical fanfare signifies conscious intent.

    The elites who run the European Union are the prime ministers of the member countries, each very strongly devoted to appearing as a hero to their own voters by means of giving away as little national sovereignty as possible, much to the chagrin of the still very weak European Parliament and much to the detriment of the subsidiarity principle.

    I thought subsidiarity was about diffusing power locally, not centralising it?

    those big buildings had temples on top and were meant to please the gods, not to give them the finger.

    You mean the ones you know about. In any case, trying to “please the gods” displeases God. (I don’t imagine He’s too impressed by this either.)

    That’s something the fictionalization in the Bible has got majorly wrong.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that the events described in the Bible (the nature of the structure and the intentions of its builders) never took place exactly as described, then I would say the biblical account should be read as an edifying myth or fable. Myths and fables are not “incorrect history” (incorrect through ignorance or deliberate lying). They are ways of imparting moral or spiritual truths through the dramatic medium of storytelling. Any elements of historical fact are appropriated, altered or discarded as required.

    If this is the case, to say the Bible has “got it wrong” here is like saying the story of Little Red Riding Hood “got it wrong” because people couldn’t survive being ingested by a wolf and anyway wolves can’t swallow people whole. (In fact I seem to recall a discussion on Pharyngula in which you expressed dissatisfaction with a piece of figurative art because it was not anatomically correct!)

  45. Alex says:

    Walton:

    I’m always irked by the claims of the xenophobic Right to be “persecuted” by an imaginary politically-correct elite. As I pointed out last time you said this, plenty of people – including mainstream, influential members of the political and media establishment – fulminate against immigration and against multiculturalism all the time. No one stops them doing so; indeed, they often make plenty of money and/or political capital out of it (cf the Daily Mail, MigrationWatch and UKIP back home, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Steve King, Tom Tancredo and FAIR over here…) I know you wouldn’t regard most of these people as sufficiently conservative for your tastes, but they are definitely opposed to mass immigration, and they are definitely saying so, loudly, within the mainstream discourse.

    When it comes to actually trying to identify anyone who was supposedly “persecuted” for anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism sentiments, you mentioned Ray Honeyford, who, of course, received a glowing obituary in the Torygraph when he died earlier this year. But Honeyford was a school headteacher. It is generally easy to get yourself fired from a teaching job if you wade into political controversy (just ask Katherine Birbalsingh). In Honeyford’s case, he said things that were racist, or at least borderline racist, and that were plainly incompatible with actually doing the job he was employed to do. And it’s not as if he didn’t have vocal defenders in the press at the time; he certainly has plenty now. Other than Enoch Powell, I can’t think of any other mainstream figures whose careers have been ended for expressing anti-immigration sentiments. Indeed, a “tough” stance on immigration has been pretty much mandatory for Home Secretaries (Labour no less than Conservative) for decades.

    And we have incredibly harshly restrictive immigration laws in Britain, these days, for those who come from outside the EEA and don’t have the money to buy their way in.

    Disagree. In the first place, even if everything you say were true, the fact remains that it is all after the event. Mass immigration was originally imposed without consultation or consent. It was a fait accompli and no-one in the “mainstream establishment” was able or willing to stop it at the time.

    Powell is not someone who can be glossed over. He wasn’t a marginal, cranky figure but a politician of distinction and strong contender for the leadership of the Tory Party. Being cast into outer darkness by Ted Heath (a mediocrity in everything except treason) sent a very clear signal that the establishment was not prepared to tolerate dissent on this issue. I can assure you that throughout the 1970s and particularly the 1980s to question immigration was to invite a storm of calumny. You were a racist, end of discussion. Not to publicly recant was professional suicide. Ray Honeyford may have got a “glowing obituary” in one conservative newspaper, but that’s cold comfort considering he was hounded out of his job after a despicable show trial. (And I challenge you to produce a single statement of his that can reasonably be considered “racist” or even “borderline racist”.)

    I’ll grant that the atmosphere is now in some respects less oppressive. It’s true a few columnists might get away with saying things in certain ghetto conservative publications that they would not have got away with a few decades ago. But this isn’t because of the establishment’s gracious willingness to engage in honest debate. It’s because of factors outside the establishment’s control – the fact that Muslim arrogance and the extent of black criminal violence have become impossible to ignore and the fact that, In the UK, much of the disquiet about immigration under the NuLabour regime concerned white immigrants from Eastern Europe, thus making it harder to demonise dissenters as motivated by racial prejudice against blacks or Asians. So, yes, opposition to multiculturalism has become a little more socially acceptable (even Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality quango, acknowledged multicult was a busted flush). On the other hand, the only permitted alternative to multiculturalism is a slightly more robust integrationism – outright opposition to immigration itself is still pretty much beyond the pale. (And while multicult might be dead, it hasn’t stopped moving. Every official or quasi-official mouthpiece still quacks the duckspeak mantra of “vibrant diversity” and every public- or private-sector organisation employs a cadre of dedicated Diversity Officers.)

    You also neglect to mention that outlets like the Telegraph, or even the Mail, are small fry compared to the cultural clout wielded by the BBC. That institution, supported by a compulsory public levy and piped into every home, undoubtedly qualifies as a liberal elite – it admits as much. To see its bias in action, consider this recent news story on its website. See how there is zero mention of the wider context in which these events took place. The casual reader is left in no doubt that this was a case of innocent vibrants suffering unprovoked attacks by mobs of racist fascist white chav thug scum. (Note the artful touch of the anonymous “white friends” who gallantly stood up for the enrichers against their degenerate fellow whites – the equivalent of the “good German”.) I am not an apologist for mob violence by anyone but a little googling makes it abundantly clear that this was a case of cause and effect – but you wouldn’t know that from reading the original account of the disturbances. And of course the BBC’s bias in news reporting is complemented by its drama productions, which may well have an even more insidious cultural influence. Over on ACAK I gave an example of a police thriller in which a Christian fanatic beheads an innocent Muslim. (Happens all the time, right?)

    As for the UK’s “incredibly harshly restrictive” immigration laws, the politicians may have ramped up the rhetoric as a sop to placate an increasingly restless public, but the reality is that immigration remains at historically record levels, despite the coalition’s vague talk of a “cap”.

    I doubt you’d particularly like to trade places with the detainees at Campsfield House or Yarl’s Wood, or with the late Jimmy Mubenga. I don’t know what you want the British state to do that it isn’t already doing: how much more state violence towards immigrants do you wish for?

    Strawman. I am opposed to mass immigration. That doesn’t mean I endorse inhumane conditions at detention facilities or the lethal manhandling of individuals. Hard cases make bad law and there is no necessary connection between opposition to immigration and such occurrences.

  46. David Marjanović says:

    (I know there are several points that I haven’t addressed yet. Haven’t had time. Next week at the latest.)

    Rhetorical fanfare signifies conscious intent.

    So?

    I thought subsidiarity was about diffusing power locally, not centralising it?

    Both. It’s the idea that decisions should be made at the level where it makes the most sense for that particular decision. In the Platonic ideal of a centralised country, all decisions are made at the national level; for some decisions, that makes sense, but others are better made at regional or local levels, and yet others are better made at continental or global levels.

    You mean the ones you know about.

    …You’re not seriously trying to claim that “the” Tower of Babel ever existed. Perhaps you’re trolling, but you’re not serious.

    I don’t imagine He’s too impressed by this either.

    LOL! Well, in any case, I’m not too impressed by that kitsch! :-D

    then I would say the biblical account should be read as an edifying myth or fable.

    OK, fine. I thought you wanted to use some kingdom that really existed, like Ur III, as “the ur-example” of the EU.

    In fact I seem to recall a discussion on Pharyngula in which you expressed dissatisfaction with a piece of figurative art because it was not anatomically correct!

    Yeah, well, when there’s no reason to get it wrong, why not get it right?

    Powell [,,,] wasn’t a marginal, cranky figure but a politician of distinction and strong contender for the leadership of the Tory Party.

    The part behind the “but” means he wasn’t marginal – but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t a crank!

    Over on ACAK I gave an example of a police thriller in which a Christian fanatic beheads an innocent Muslim. (Happens all the time, right?)

    No, but, frankly, given the levels of fatwā envy I’ve seen in some corners of the Internet, it’s just a question of time. Already we had Breivik gunning down people who didn’t hate Muslims violently enough for his standards.

  47. Walton says:

    I can assure you that throughout the 1970s and particularly the 1980s to question immigration was to invite a storm of calumny. You were a racist, end of discussion.

    I sincerely wish this were still the case. Sadly, I have grown up in a period where hatred and fear of immigrants is increasingly the norm, where the Sun and the Daily Mail exert great sway over public opinion, and where – while few people will admit to being racist – racist sentiments are disturbingly widespread.

    (And I challenge you to produce a single statement of [Honeyford’s] that can reasonably be considered “racist” or even “borderline racist”.)

    Let’s see:

    ‘Cultural enrichment’ is the approved term for the West Indian’s right to create an ear splitting cacophony for most of the night to the detriment of his neighbour’s sanity, or for the Notting Hill Festival whose success or failure is judged by the level of street crime which accompanies it.
    At the schools’ level the term refers to such things as… the determined efforts of misguided radical teachers to place such as the following alongside the works of Shakespeare and Wordsworth:
    Wi mek a lickle date
    fi nineteen seventy eight
    An wi fite and wi fite
    An defeat di state.
    (From ‘Inglan is a Bitch’, Linton Kwesi Johnson)

    Here, Honeyford engages in sneering denigration of other cultures’ music and poetry. Apparently the work of a West Indian poet can’t possibly be as valuable as the works of dead white men; apparently Mr Honeyford’s own uncomprehension of a poem’s cultural context, and the unfamiliarity of its language to him, means it cannot possibly be worthy of being treated “alongside the works of Shakespeare and Wordsworth”. He assumes that because it doesn’t convey deep meaning to him, that because it doesn’t resemble the literary language with which little middle-class English boys were raised in his generation, it is therefore degenerate and valueless. He does not even bother to consider the possibility that other people whose lived experiences have been very different from his, whose cultures are not his own, might have different feelings about the meaning of a poem.

    Incidentally, I doubt you would seriously claim that the works of John Agard and Benjamin Zephaniah – both of which I studied in school – lack literary merit. They’re both great poets. (Indeed, I recall liking both of them better than Wordsworth, whom I always found pretentious, shallow and tiresome.)

    We in the schools are also enjoined to believe that creole, pidgin and other non standard variants have the same power, subtlety and capacity for expressing five shades of meaning, and for tolerating uncertainty, ambiguity and irony as standard English. A generation of cultural relativists in the field of linguistics has managed to impose on the schools the mindless slogan ‘All languages are equally good’.

    It is racist to exhibit this kind of contempt for other people’s languages and speech-patterns. Again, Honeyford simply seems to believe that languages should be measured by their difference from, or similarity to, the “proper” English with which his generation of middle-class white boys were raised.

    These people [Pakistani immigrant families], who now so vehemently accused the authorities of denying them a right which, in reality was a privilege no other parents enjoyed, and no other group of immigrants had contemplated claiming these same people enjoyed rights, privileges and aspirations unheard of in their country of origin.
    Pakistan is a country which cannot cope with democracy; under martial law since 1977, it is ruled by a military tyrant who, in the opinion of at least half his countrymen, had his predecessor judicially murdered. A country, moreover, which, despite disproportionate western aid because of its important strategic position, remains for most of its people obstinately backward.

    Corruption at every level combines with unspeakable treatment not only of criminals, but of those who dare to question Islamic orthodoxy as interpreted by a despot. Even as I write, wounded dissidents are chained to hospital beds awaiting their fate.
    Pakistan, too, is the heroin capital of the world. (A fact which is now reflected in the drug problems of English cities with Asian populations.) It is not surprising that such a country loses more of its citizens voluntarily to other countries than any state on earth. How could the denizens of such a country so wildly and implacably resent the simple British requirement for all parents to send children to school regularly?

    Here, he is being unequivocally racist. He’s apparently wholly ignorant of the fact that Pakistan’s unstable situation and supposed “obstinate backwardness” is in large part the legacy of British imperial domination, in which the Indian subcontinent was plundered and exploited; he instead insinuates that the problem is some intrinsic “backwardness” among the Pakistani people. His attempt to blame Asians for drug problems, without furnishing any concrete evidence, is likewise a typical racist one.

    And why is the political situation in Pakistan even remotely relevant to the complaint he is making – a complaint, I gather, about some parents of South Asian origin removing their children from school? It seems to be nothing more than a crude attack on the Pakistani people, an attempt to paint them as “backward”, lawless, and drug abusers. That’s the very definition of racism.

    As for the UK’s “incredibly harshly restrictive” immigration laws, the politicians may have ramped up the rhetoric as a sop to placate an increasingly restless public, but the reality is that immigration remains at historically record levels, despite the coalition’s vague talk of a “cap”.

    The politicians can’t limit immigration from within the EEA because they have treaty obligations (which, of course, some right-wingers would like to get rid of). However, if you come from Bangladesh, or Pakistan, or Nigeria, or Ghana, or Malawi, or the developing world in general, it is now pretty hard to migrate to Britain. Even those whose spouses or partners are British citizens have to jump through a number of hoops; they can get “limited leave to enter” for a probationary period of two years, during which time they are required to have “no recourse to public funds”, which means very limited access to public services. If the relationship breaks down in that two-year period, they are ordinarily deported. Those who have no spouse or partner in Britain, and no higher education or highly-marketable job-skills that would qualify them under the “points system”, face an uphill struggle if they want to migrate at all.

    And if you are an asylum-seeker, fleeing from violence that has been directed against you because of your political views or your ethnicity or your gender or your sexuality, you can look forward to being locked up somewhere like Campsfield or Yarl’s Wood and treated as though you were a criminal. If you’re unsuccessful in making your asylum claim – in a system which is hostile to asylum-seekers and suspicious of their motives – then you face either deportation to a country where you may be tortured or killed (if you’re fortunate enough not to die in transit), or, in the alternative, destitution on the streets in Britain. If you’re lucky enough to be successful, you can look forward to being left somewhere to fend for yourself.

    Under the present regime, it is easy to migrate to Britain if you’re affluent, white, from a developed country, and have a degree. It is not easy if you are none of these things.

    Strawman. I am opposed to mass immigration. That doesn’t mean I endorse inhumane conditions at detention facilities or the lethal manhandling of individuals. Hard cases make bad law and there is no necessary connection between opposition to immigration and such occurrences.

    It’s not a strawman. If you want immigration controls, you will inevitably need people with guns to enforce them; you’ll need to put people in detention for violating the immigration laws, and to ship them out of the country by force, where applicable; and you’ll need to apply this regime to all immigrants who don’t comply with the law, including pregnant women, torture victims, children, the sick and the disabled. It’s a short step from this to making conditions deliberately harsh, in order to deter unlawful migration and in order to save the taxpayers’ money. And when armed men are given power over people who are powerless to fight back, there will inevitably be violence and abuse.

    In a world where vast numbers of people are desperate to migrate, there is no way of having a restrictive immigration regime without using violence to enforce it. What you should be asking is why so many people are desperate to leave their countries of origin in the first place – and the answers are many: poverty and destitution, the vast economic inequality between the developed and the developing worlds, political instability and violence (often fuelled by Western-made weapons, and funded by the Western demand for illegal narcotics), oppressive regimes (often backed and kept in power by Western countries), and so on.

  48. Walton says:

    (On second thought, I was a little unfair to Wordsworth; I do like some of his work. But I digress.)

  49. Walton says:

    Me:

    It’s not a strawman. If you want immigration controls, you will inevitably need people with guns to enforce them; you’ll need to put people in detention for violating the immigration laws, and to ship them out of the country by force, where applicable; and you’ll need to apply this regime to all immigrants who don’t comply with the law, including pregnant women, torture victims, children, the sick and the disabled. It’s a short step from this to making conditions deliberately harsh, in order to deter unlawful migration and in order to save the taxpayers’ money. And when armed men are given power over people who are powerless to fight back, there will inevitably be violence and abuse.

    Not to mention that families are inevitably split apart, people are separated from their spouses, children are left without parents, lives are destroyed. If you think that immigration controls can be enforced without inflicting human suffering, you’re kidding yourself. In reality, when the state employs a force of armed people to exclude people by force from a country, and detention centers to hold those it wishes to exclude, there will be violence and there will be abuse. That is reality.

    From the US, here’s a horrible example of what immigration enforcement really means in practice, first-hand, from one of the women arrested in the infamous New Bedford raid in 2007. Watch the video.

  50. David Marjanović says:

    Argh. The latest Firefox version can’t cope with the comment window.

    Alex, are you gone, or are you waiting for me to expound on the remaining points? I finally have time now.

    If this is the case, to say the Bible has “got it wrong” here is like saying the story of Little Red Riding Hood “got it wrong” because people couldn’t survive being ingested by a wolf and anyway wolves can’t swallow people whole.

    Incidentally, the entire ending is a late addition to Little Red Riding Hood. In the French original (or anyway the version printed by Perrault, the closest thing to an original that’s preserved, 115 years before Grimm), she’s eaten, and the tale is over!

    While I’m at it, why is it “riding hood” in English? In both French and German, it’s just a generic small cap.

  51. Alex says:

    Expound expound

  52. David Marjanović says:

    (I have now expounded at such length that the comment is in moderation. Given that Jadehawk hasn’t even tweeted in 3 weeks, I’ve saved the comment as an e-mail; if it’s not approved for too long, I’ll post it in several parts.)

  53. David Marjanović says:

    Huh. Breivik now says he wanted to behead… not a Muslim, but Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former prime minister of Norway, live on camera.

  54. David Marjanović says:

    Ha.

    My translation of this dpa (Deutsche Presseagentur) article:

    Breivik wanted to create al-Qaida for Christians

    The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik claims to have been inspired to his cruel assassinations by the terror organisation al-Qaida. ‘I have learnt much from al-Qaida’, said Breivik in court.

    The organisation, he says, is so successful because it uses ‘martyrs’ (suicide assassins). The problem with militant Islamists, however, is according to him that they rely too much on explosives and not on amok runs with guns. Nonetheless, he says, he had studied the organisation on the Internet and via films for hundreds of hours and wanted to create a sort of ‘al-Qaida for Christians’.

    For his compendium he had compared other terror organisations as well, he says. ‘The weakness of (the Basque underground organisation) ETA is that they fear death and don’t believe in life after death. This is the weakness of Marxist movements. The advantage of al-Qaida is that they glorify martyrdom’, said the mass murderer.

    In order to be psychically capable of his assassinations, he had completely encapsulated himself in isolation, claimed the 33-year-old. ‘You have to be emotionally numbed, you have to train that.’ Till 2006, he says, he was a normal human being. Then, he says, he dehumanized himself for several years. His technical language during the auditions, too, was a tool, he says. ‘You can’t kill anybody if you’re not mentally prepared’, said Breivik. However, he says, he is not a Narcissus who loves himself first of all. ‘I feel a great love for this country. This is not normal, but that’s how I am.'”

    Unfortunately, he’s not quite right about Marxists fearing death. The Stalinist PKK has had suicide terrorists. All that’s needed to turn people into suicide terrorists is to convince them that there’s something worth killing and dying for; if you can convince them there’s something worth actually dying for, as opposed to basically just sleeping till resurrection, even people who don’t believe in an afterlife will die for a cause.

    (I do wonder about people who believed in ancient Mesopotamian religions where the shadow of everyone who isn’t immortal goes to the same dark, depressing underworld, eats mud and lives in depression forever. But those people waged so many wars that apparently even this didn’t make it impossible for them to risk death for a cause.)

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

    I’ll post the long comment on Monday if Jadehawk doesn’t return till then.

  55. David Marjanović says:

    Part 1 of probably 2:

    That the EU has as much chance of success as its prototype, lol.

    …Wait. If that prototype is the Tower of Babel, are you saying the EU can only be brought down by a miracle!?! Even I’m not that optimistic :-D

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

    I wrote:

    Yeah, but it’s also an issue of easily overblown concern… As always, the solutions lie in education and the prevention of ghettoization. Both of those require effort and money; not a lot, actually, but they don’t always happen by themselves either.

    You wrote:

    “In radio and television panels, on which I have spent more time than I care to remember, to questions such as: What does the panel think should be done about the rising rate of juvenile delinquency? The answer invariably offered is: more education. I can hear the voices ringing out now, as I write these words; the males ones throaty and earnest, with a tinge of indignation, the female ones particularly resonant as they insist that, not only should there be more education, but more and bettereducation. It gives us all a glow of righteousness and high purpose. More and better education – that’s the way to get rid of juvenile delinquency, and adult delinquency, for that matter, and all other delinquencies. If we try hard enough, and are prepared to pay enough, we can surely educate ourselves out of all our miseries and troubles, and into the happiness we seek and deserve. If some panel member – as it might be me – ventures to point out that we have been having more, and what purports to be better, education for years past, and that nonetheless juvenile delinquency is still year by year rising, and shows every sign of going on so doing, he gets cold hostile looks. If he then adds that, in his opinion, education is a stupendous fraud perpetrated by the liberal mind on a bemused public, and calculated, not just to reduce juvenile delinquency, but positively to increase it, being itself a source of this very thing; that if it goes on following its present course, it will infallibly end by destroying the possibility of anyone having any education at all, the end product of the long expensive course from kindergarten to postgraduate studies being neo-Stone Age men -why, then, a perceptible shudder goes through the other panelists, and even the studio audience. It is blasphemy.” – Malcolm Muggeridge, ‘The Great Liberal Death Wish’

    Is juvenile delinquency increasing? If so, where?

    How could education increase crime?

    I won’t deny that education is easier said than done. But that it can help is empirically obvious, as far as I can tell. Look at the sharp decrease in antisemitism in the Western world, particularly in German-speaking countries, since 1945. You mentioned antisemitism in France – the antisemites are almost exclusively immigrants with no education in history or comparative religion for that matter. Look at the increasing care about the environment in Europe in the last few decades, separation of garbage for instance. How do you think all this happened?

    You further wrote:

    The blessings of diversity. Meanwhile the banlieues are no-go areas, true sons of the patrie are gunned down in the streets, and France’s chief rabbi advises Jews not to wear yarmulkas in public. I trust the French feel suitably enriched by the new vibrancy.

    What I said above. Little if anything was done to prevent ghetto formation, and the youth in the ghetto have no future – not just because there are few jobs in general, but because xenophobia is rampant among employers. Not long ago, someone sent applications with the same qualifications, biography etc. to a lot of employers, once with a French name, once with an Arabic one; the applications with the Arabic name were accepted a lot less often.

    Most of the time I lived “in Paris”, I actually lived just outside, in the banlieue. Never had a reason to be afraid for myself or others or any property. That’s what I mean by “easily overblown”.

    The people that set the cars on fire… what made them so angry was that they are French but weren’t treated as such. “On est français, quoi !

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

    I’m always willing to hear what an intelligent Marxist, Moham, atheist or liberal has to say. Clunking agitprop, not so much.

    Pssst… Pleasantville doesn’t advocate, or mention, or allude to, public ownership of the means of production or any such economic issue – yes, even though the reactionaries are called the Chamber of Commerce, no commerce occurs, the reactionaries are reactionary on purely social/cultural issues. There are no poor people in the film at any time. Nor does it advocate, or mention, or allude to, the Democratic Dictature of the People *barf*.

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

    The speaker is a Scot called Ian Dallas who now rejoices in the name Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi. He keeps a relatively low profile in the English-speaking world but leads a fairly influential movement whose ideas including the re-establishment of the gold dinar and silver dirham as the universal Muslim currency.

    The gold standard? Influential? (Outside of American libertarians?)

    Here, this well-dressed, well-spoken gentleman recommends entryist rather than revolutionary tactics – where the buffoon Choudary makes inflammatory statements calling for the Queen of England to don the burqa and Buckingham Palace to be converted into a mosque, the Shaykh suggests the Muslim intellectual elite rally to “the weak but potentially strong Monarchy” as an instrument of unifying fractured British society, bypassing the increasingly ineffectual Parliament. He notes Prince Charles’ perennialist tendencies and informed sympathy for Islam and envisages him acting as protector of the Muslims, whom he elsewhere terms “the new Britons” and compares to the Danes and Normans (!). Ultimately he hopes for a “Second Reformation” in which a revived monarchy (“Henrician” in its refusal to accept Romish dominion) will again usher in a “new religion” (no prizes for guessing which).

    It’s probably all a pipe dream, but he’s clearly intelligent and has his eyes on the prize.

    Having his eyes on the prize won’t get him there, no matter how intelligent he is. What miracle* does he imagine will produce enough Muslims in Britain to bring that about? How intelligent, indeed, can he be when he completely missed where the trend is going – the Christians don’t convert to Islam (with a handpicked few exceptions like himself), they deconvert. I haven’t got numbers for the UK, so those for la fille aînée de l’Église will have to do (1, 2; pay attention to the last paragraphs of both.)

    * There. I just answered my own question.

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

    Orthodox philosophical Marxists may be relatively rare nowadays and political Marxist-Leninism seems moribund, but it could be argued that in cultural terms Marxism has, in a sense, won. Certain vulgarised Marxist ideas continue to form the unacknowledged basis of many widely-held presuppositions in cultural discourse which are uncritically accepted by many impressionable youngsters passing through the education system and dominate particularly in the realms of academia, the arts and the media. For example, the idea that economic inequality is the result of exploitation; that patriotism and religion are control-mechanisms employed by economically exploitative elites; that revolutionary movements are a legitimate and effective means of overthrowing these elites and establishing a just society. (Similarly with Freudianism – few today would describe themselves as orthodox Freudians but widespread popular assumptions about sexuality and the unconscious show the lingering cultural power of that ideology.)

    Point taken.

    But don’t overlook that a stopped clock is right twice a day. Economic inequality is not always and not automatically, but most commonly the result of present or recent exploitation; patriotism in anything like the 20th-century sense developped in the late 18th and early 19th century around the French revolution and the western German reaction to Napoleon, it’s not some kind of human universal; and while I don’t think religion was deliberately invented as a control mechanism*, it and patriotism have very often been used as control mechanisms, consciously (by liars) and unconsciously (by believers, even believers in their own propaganda), by economically and otherwise oppressive elites.

    Attitudes to revolution and even to small protests in the street are more nuanced than you imply. In Austria, the revolution of 1848 was brutally suppressed, and nothing like it has ever been tried again; it has become cultural to grumble in private but do little that is visible. In Germany, there’s a tradition of marching in the streets – the totalitarians (Nazis and communists) did it a lot between the wars, so people have become rather careful about risking being associated with that tradition! The French protest enthusiastically, because their revolutions have a habit of working, even though it took three revolutions and a resoundingly lost war till they were rid of monarchy for good.

    One thing I find important is that Lenin famously asked “how are we supposed to make a revolution without shootings”. The last revolution that resulted in a head of state being taken behind the woodshed and shot was the one against Ceauşescu. Revolutions don’t automatically trigger a Reign of Terror, and they often result in improvements.

    * BTW, I have no idea what any kind of Marxism teaches about that question.

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

    It’s wonderful, isn’t it? We’re all so radically different and fabulously diverse and yet at the same time have sufficient shared values to help us all get along as part of one big happy family except for those ghastly types who insist on celebrating being white or European as though it were something to be celebrated after so many centuries of oppression of countless minorities who are now happily sharing their rich and diverse cultures with us lucky white folks in the vibrant multicultural diversity of 21st-century society except when they lash out in perfectly legitimate rage at their systematic disempowerment by the inherently institutionally racist white hegemony which oppresses them and we all live happily ever after.

    Well… I simply don’t attach that much emotion to the issue. I don’t celebrate diversity, or for that matter my hair color (which I like).

    Case in point: a few times in Vienna and Berlin, I’ve seen male friends greeting each other in an apparently Turkish way, even though no Turks were necessarily involved: first a very firm handshake, then – instead of letting go – they pull themselves towards each other till they collide with their shoulders or nearly so, then a robust hug is completed, then optionally two kisses on the cheeks, and then they let go with their hands. I’ve been told (though haven’t observed) that such buddies sometimes call each other moruk, “brother” in Turkish, which is particularly remarkable because I’m not aware of any other Turkish loanwords in youth culture. – Well. Definitely not something I’m used to. I see no reason to celebrate or decry that. Where’s, after all, the harm? Bruises from colliding with the shoulders too hard?

  56. David Marjanović says:

    Part 2 of 2:

    BUT – I was given to understand that when you & JH referred to “the discussion” you did not mean “an intellectual debate about the merits of multiculturalism”. You meant the very process, the fact, of multiculturalism itself. Multiculturalism is the “discussion”, which is a metaphor for the interaction and cross-pollination between different cultures in a multicultural society.

    I think I meant both multiculturalism and the discussion about it.

    What, then, does it mean to “restrict” this “discussion”?

    When the ads by political parties, the newspapers, the TV, and the parliament all go along with Ausländer raus in more or less explicit ways, and opposing voices are shouted down/ridiculed as Gutmenschen, for instance… yes, that is “good person” used as an insult, “good” explicitly in the sense of, well, caritas.

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

    Where’s the imposition when one particular fast-food restaurant… does anything?

    Its a sign that a hostile alien culture has gained a foothold.

    The fear is strong in this one. Where do you get “hostile” from? Even granting that, are you aware that the slippery-slope argument you’re implying with “foothold” is a logical fallacy?

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

    Exactly. So your ideological commitment to socialised healthcare and education would limit the free market to ensure their cultural hegemony.

    It’s not an ideological commitment, it’s an empirical conclusion. If the American model of health insurance worked, I’d have no problem with it – instead, people go bankrupt by the thousands every year from things like breaking an arm. If education could be provided by private schools alone, why should I have a problem with them – but before public schooling was introduced, most people had next to no education even in the richest countries.

    Really. I’m not a philosopher. I’m a scientist. I don’t just turn things over in my head till I decide I’ve become convinced. I let the facts outside my head play table tennis with my opinions.

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

    Why don’t you take them seriously when they persuade Fearless Flightsuit to invade Iraq?

    I don’t underestimate the fundies’ ability to wreak havoc, particularly when there’s a dispensationalist element in the saddle. But while they can blow up cities, they can’t build a civilisation. They are only religious sects, whereas Islam is a great religious culture and therefore far more formidable in the long run.

    Islam isn’t a monolith any more than Christianity is. You know the “civilisation” that the Taliban “built”…

    Less than 400 years.

    So, older than Wahhabism, even.

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

    Walton wrote:

    And we have incredibly harshly restrictive immigration laws in Britain, these days, for those who come from outside the EEA and don’t have the money to buy their way in. They come at a horrific cost in human lives. I doubt you’d particularly like to trade places with the detainees at Campsfield House or Yarl’s Wood, or with the late Jimmy Mubenga.

    Or the late Charles Omofuma, who died while being deported from Austria. He was restrained so hard he couldn’t breathe; the police flatly ignored his known medical condition. And after his death, the biggest newspaper and the xenophobe party treated him like the American right now treats that Trayvon guy – as if that would change anything!

    What was the name of the guy who died when a police officer stood on him in a park in Vienna…

    Or Arigona Zogaj. She’s alive and well now, but, man, the sheer amount of evil concentrated in a few bureaucrats and cabinet members is dumbfounding, as is the fact that they kept it up for years and years.

    I’m sure there’s information in English available online on all of these cases and more.

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

    Return of the repressed.

    Gah. What a sickening article. It doesn’t even mention the scary, petty, paranoid, ridiculous restrictions to the freedom of the press that the new Hungarian constitution contains.* Those are the reason for all the uproar, not something purely symbolic like whether Hungary calls itself a republic.

    Instead, the article makes a long digression through history, consisting of a chain of half-truths. Example: “At the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, Woodrow Wilson robbed Hungary of 71 per cent of its territory, 66 per cent of its population and its only seaport.” Taken literally and without context, that’s all true**, but, people, that territory consisted of all the lands that the Hungarian monarchs (native, Luxemburg, Anjou, Habsburg) had inherited in the thousand years before. This includes all of what is now Slovakia and almost all of what is now Croatia. (The latter was bequeathed to them when the ruling dynasty of Croatia died out and the king of Hungary was the next of king, er, kin.) Yes, there are now Hungarian minorities outside the present borders of Hungary (all of them in a pretty good shape, AFAIK); yes, this should have been handled differently (say, with referenda) than simply by vae victis***; but to portray it as arbitrarily cutting Hungary up out of spite or something is grossly misleading.

    And then, “Frankfurt Marxists”. FFS. Frankfurt am Main, the Central Business District of which is called Mainhattan, is where the European Central Bank is located. That’s just… it would be like Rick Santorum calling Ron Paul a Marxist.

    Really, if that kind of “journalism” is where you get your information from, I’m not surprised you seem so half-educated sometimes.

    * The very worst ones have been taken out because of, well, financial blackmail by the EU. Fortunately.
    ** Well, I don’t know exactly how influential Wilson personally was in this, but that’s beside the point.
    *** “The war to end all wars” was ended by “the peace to end all peace [for the next 27 years]”.

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

    Walton quoted:

    An wi fite and wi fite
    An defeat di state.

    I think that part shut Alex’s brain down. Well, if “fight” is meant literally and “defeat” is given a violent interpretation, the poet is Not A Nice Person At All. But is there a reason not to adopt a more charitable interpretation along the lines of “yes, we can”?

    We in the schools are also enjoined to believe that creole, pidgin and other non standard variants have the same power, subtlety and capacity for expressing five shades of meaning, and for tolerating uncertainty, ambiguity and irony as standard English. A generation of cultural relativists in the field of linguistics has managed to impose on the schools the mindless slogan ‘All languages are equally good’.

    Excuse me, it’s empirically true. :-|

    The way linguists use the term, “pidgin” means a minimal language that has no native speakers and is used for limited purposes (trade in particular) between people who have no other language in common; the vocabulary is very small, and the grammar is genuinely simple. Such languages are, at least usually, not capable of a lot of nuance.

    When a pidgin becomes the everyday language of a community and is learnt by children as their native language, it becomes a creole (as linguists use that term). Because it’s used for all purposes that languages are used, it quickly acquires as much vocabulary and grammar as a naturally grown language. Don’t be fooled by the fact that creole grammars are always highly isolating, not, say, inflecting like Latin – the grammar is simply encoded in other features, particularly word order; it “moves around like a lump in the carpet”.

    It’s of course true that a language occasionally has a word or fixed phrase for something that would take long-winded circumscriptions to express in another language. But this is not more often the case in, say, long-standardised written languages than in creoles; and no known language, other than pidgins in (presumably) some cases, is incapable of providing at least such a long-winded circumscription.

    Walton wrote:

    Here, he is being unequivocally racist. He’s apparently wholly ignorant of the fact that Pakistan’s unstable situation and supposed “obstinate backwardness” is in large part the legacy of British imperial domination, in which the Indian subcontinent was plundered and exploited; he instead insinuates that the problem is some intrinsic “backwardness” among the Pakistani people.

    What’s worse: as far as I can tell, he implies that the emigrants from there are the same people as the heroin cartel bosses or at the very least the poppy farmers. If this is not racism, its the exact same mistake as racism: the logical fallacy that because people have something in common (like geographical origin or skin color or sex), they have everything in common.

    (…And I thought it was Afghanistan, not Pakistan, where all the heroin comes from? But I digress.)

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

    Multi-culti: yesterday I saw someone walking in the street who sported the long, well-groomed, almost rectangular beard of an especially pious Muslim from the Caucasus or thereabouts, combined with the expected well-groomed short hair. And yet, he was bareheaded. WTF?

  57. David Marjanović says:

    Oh, on the “hostile” part I should have added what I saw on public transport recently: an ad by this Islamic splinter group. Part of their logo is “love for all, hatred for none”. The big text on the ad was: “The best one among you is the one who treats his wife best. The Prophet Muhammad” followed by a superscripted abbreviation that probably means “pbuh”.

    Some strains of Islam are hostile to, well, everything. Others are “mostly harmless”. How common are they each among immigrants to Europe?

  58. David Marjanović says:

    More multi-culti: saw a young woman in the tube today. Face-wise she looked Arabic. Head completely wrapped so as not to show a single hair; richly ornamented headscarf that somewhat obscured the shape of her chest; sleeves that ended just below the elbows. WTF?

    She also wore very tight jeans and no socks, but the former is common and the latter downright normal among head-wrapped Turkish women in Vienna that wear coats in summer, so these features may not be attributable to the irresistible lure of the Golden Arches. Bare forearms, on the other hand…

    …aren’t all that traditional in the West either. Salvador Dalí: “A woman’s feet and forearms must be of exhibitionist beauty.”

  59. johannes says:

    Why don’t you take them seriously when they persuade Fearless Flightsuit to invade Iraq?

    I don’t think evangelicals had much of a role in the decision to invade Iraq and turn it from a Sunni dominated country into a Shi’ite dominated one. Twelvers, with their cult of martyrdom, sacrifice, tortured flesh, semi-divine holy men and strictly organised clerical class are about as un-evangelical as you can be within the limits of an Abrahamitic religion. AFAIK, there was, and is, next to no evangelical missionary activity in post Ba’athist Iraq, not even among non-Muslims like Yezidis, Mandaeans or Christians (but I will meet v.d. Osten-Sacken, who actually lives in Iraq, on 6/6, and if anybody is actually interested to hear about evangelical activity, or the lack thereof, in Iraq, I can ask him)

    Look at the sharp decrease in antisemitism in the Western world, particularly in German-speaking countries, since 1945.

    It hasn’t actually decreased, it just changed its line of argumentation from racial woo (they are subhuman) or religeous woo (they have killed baby Jesus) to geopolitical woo (they stole the Arab land) conspirational woo (east coast capital/AIPAC/lizardmen are responsible for – insert war of your choice – ) or plain woo (Gaza has too much/not enough Viagra, I have heard both versions simultanously). In certain sections of Western media, academia and the UN and NGO beaurocracies, some degree of anti-Semitism is still required for a career. Galtung has just recommended the protocols http://hurryupharry.org/2012/05/01/peace-activistjew-hater/
    And remember the current Hungarian government, and its Jobbik frenemies.

    While I’m at it, why is it “riding hood” in English? In both French and German, it’s just a generic small cap.

    At the time when Perrault wrote it down, the original meaning of the term “chaperon” – the turban-like headgear of 15th century Burgundian courtiers and Italian enaissance men http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Philip_the_good.jpg – was no longer understood, hence the
    confusion.

    And then, “Frankfurt Marxists”

    The disciples of Adorno and Postone that I know are Anti-German, often Alevites of Turkish or Kurdish origin, pro Israeli, pro American and about as fond of Multiculturalism and Islam as the English Defence League is.

    Some strains of Islam are hostile to, well, everything. Others are “mostly harmless”. How common are they each among immigrants to Europe?

    The former has been supported since 1914 by the most reactionary elements of German imperialism, gets supported by Saudi oil money, gets supported by the UMG and their Aggro Berlin Djihadist gangster rap label, and by pretty much everybody who thinks the neoliberal state should abandon poor and/or non-white people to the authority of unelected “community leaders”. The latter is the private matter of a few working class immigrants. Guess what strain has more power and influence?

  60. David Marjanović says:

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    If that exceedingly cute call for bloody martyrdom is all you can say in reply to me, all I can do is celebrate the violence-free French election with this, which is sadly not on YouTube.

    and no socks

    (Or tights or anything else between her wide-open shoes and her skin, I mean.)

  61. johannes says:

    Alex, do you get the irony that Jihadism is heavily influenced by right-wing French Catholic thought? Sayyid Qutb copy-and-pasted a lot from Alexis Carrel.

  62. Alex says:

    DM:

    Rhetorical fanfare signifies conscious intent.

    So?

    Conscious intent signifies moral responsibility. So the Almighty has particular reason to be displeased with the impious project launched by the founders of the USA. What was it Woodrow Wilson said? “America has a spiritual energy in her which no other nation can contribute to the liberation of mankind. Democracy is a religion. Americans are now missionaries to the world, its President a priest!”

    It’s the idea that decisions should be made at the level where it makes the most sense for that particular decision.

    Put like that, subsidarity seems a largely empty concept. Who decides what is the desirable balance between centralisation and localisation? Presumably these national leaders believe the EU is violating the principle of subsidarity by arrogating too much power to itself.

    In the Platonic ideal of a centralised country, all decisions are made at the national level; for some decisions, that makes sense, but others are better made at regional or local levels, and yet others are better made at continental or global levels.

    Effective decisions can only be made at a global level if there’s a recognised global authority, surely? And none such exists.

    …You’re not seriously trying to claim that “the” Tower of Babel ever existed. Perhaps you’re trolling, but you’re not serious.

    As someone (it may have been Tom Baker) once put it, I can believe anything provided it’s sufficiently implausible. Maybe the Tower existed, maybe it didn’t. Maybe the story of the Tower is a prophecy of what is yet to come. Maybe it was even a prophecy of the United States of America! In any case, the moral of the story is clear enough.

    In fact I seem to recall a discussion on Pharyngula in which you expressed dissatisfaction with a piece of figurative art because it was not anatomically correct!

    Yeah, well, when there’s no reason to get it wrong, why not get it right?

    Fair enough in the case of a textbook illustration, but an artist may have very good reasons to get it “wrong”. He might wish to abandon anatomical accuracy for the sake of idealisation; to communicate emotional intensity; or to distinguish between the different roles and relative importance of the figures depicted.

    given the levels of fatwā envy I’ve seen in some corners of the Internet, it’s just a question of time. Already we had Breivik gunning down people who didn’t hate Muslims violently enough for his standards.

    It seems to me a precondition of fatwa envy is fatwas … I remember going into work the day after Anders did his thing. My colleagues were all card-carrying liberals and I expected to find the office ringing with angry denunciations of those horrible murderous Islamophobic right-wing fascist Christians and impassioned paens to multicultural democracy. Instead everyone spoke in quiet tones and seemed a little subdued. To my astonishment, no-one so much as mentioned the massacre throughout the entire course of that day. Thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the dominant mood had been one of resignation, the sombre awareness that something like this was bound to happen.

  63. Alex says:

    DM:

    Is juvenile delinquency increasing?

    It would seem so.

    If so, where?

    All around us. “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

    How could education increase crime?

    The modern system of compulsory universal education forces children with no aptitude for learning into the classroom, palliating their natural resentment with unrealistic promises of social advancement which intensify the resentment when they fail.

    The modern system of compulsory universal education is simultaneously technocratic (schooling enables you “to become a productive member of society”); narcissistic (schooling allows you “to fulfill your potential”); and liberationist (schooling encourages you to “think for yourself”). Each of these in isolation would tend to weaken a young person’s moral fibre: together they’re deadly.

    I won’t deny that education is easier said than done. But that it can help is empirically obvious, as far as I can tell. Look at the sharp decrease in antisemitism in the Western world, particularly in German-speaking countries, since 1945. You mentioned antisemitism in France – the antisemites are almost exclusively immigrants with no education in history or comparative religion for that matter.

    “The antisemites are almost exclusively immigrants” … Almost as bad as Jadehawk’s Alaskan fundies!

    If Jew-hatred, or the open expression thereof, has declined in Europe since 1945, maybe it owes less to “education in history and comparative religion” than to the fact that the National Socialist regime and its allies suffered a crushing military defeat? Just a thought.

    Little if anything was done to prevent ghetto formation, and the youth in the ghetto have no future – not just because there are few jobs in general, but because xenophobia is rampant among employers. Not long ago, someone sent applications with the same qualifications, biography etc. to a lot of employers, once with a French name, once with an Arabic one; the applications with the Arabic name were accepted a lot less often.

    Is that Hatred for the Other or just Liking for the Alike? I daresay many Arabic employers in Arabic countries prefer to employ people with Arabic names rather than European names. Nobody cries about that, and why should they?

    The people that set the cars on fire… what made them so angry was that they are French but weren’t treated as such. “On est français, quoi !”

    Dare one invoke the Maurrassian distinction between pays légal and pays réel?

    Pleasantville doesn’t advocate, or mention, or allude to, public ownership of the means of production or any such economic issue – yes, even though the reactionaries are called the Chamber of Commerce, no commerce occurs, the reactionaries are reactionary on purely social/cultural issues. There are no poor people in the film at any time. Nor does it advocate, or mention, or allude to, the Democratic Dictature of the People

    Communism has things to say about social/cultural issues as well as economic ones. “Communism is liberalism in a hurry”.

    The gold standard? Influential? (Outside of American libertarians?)

    Could be.

    What miracle* does he imagine will produce enough Muslims in Britain to bring that about?

    He might point to birthrates, but I rather suspect he’d say it’s not a numbers game. A committed minority elite can exercise influence over a supine majority. “God is not on the side of the big battalions, but of the best shots.”

    How intelligent, indeed, can he be when he completely missed where the trend is going – the Christians don’t convert to Islam (with a handpicked few exceptions like himself), they deconvert.

    They don’t have to convert to Islam. Falling away from Christianity gives Islam all the opportunity it needs.

    opposing voices are shouted down/ridiculed as Gutmenschen, for instance… yes, that is “good person” used as an insult, “good” explicitly in the sense of, well, caritas.

    Perhaps it refers ironically to priggish self-righteousness, like the Scots unco guid.

    The fear is strong in this one. Where do you get “hostile” from?

    The history of Islamic-Christian relations over the centuries.

    Even granting that, are you aware that the slippery-slope argument you’re implying with “foothold” is a logical fallacy?

    “Slippery slope arguments” are not usually logical fallacies because they don’t usually claim to be propositions of logic in the first place. Rather, they are predictions based on experiential observations of human nature. There is no “logical” progression from the child torturing and killing small animals to the adult torturing and killing other human beings, but I’m told it’s a not uncommon progression in the development of serial killers.

    It’s not an ideological commitment, it’s an empirical conclusion. If the American model of health insurance worked, I’d have no problem with it – instead, people go bankrupt by the thousands every year from things like breaking an arm. If education could be provided by private schools alone, why should I have a problem with them – but before public schooling was introduced, most people had next to no education even in the richest countries.

    Really. I’m not a philosopher. I’m a scientist. I don’t just turn things over in my head till I decide I’ve become convinced. I let the facts outside my head play table tennis with my opinions.

    Alas, it’s not that simple. It might be possible, in a spirit of disinterested scientific inquiry, to determine which elements of which politico-economic system most favour the establishment of universal education or healthcare on the modern model. But to advocate those things as you do, to regard them as desirable, is to align yourself with an ideological position (a distinctively modern one). You may not be a conscious ideologue but you’re committed to an ideology all the same. And that in turn will be based on certain presuppositions about the nature and end of man, about value and “the good”, which are philosophical through and through. You’re right when you say “I’m not a philosopher” – but that’s not because your opinions are philosophy-free (nothing is). It’s because you leave your opinions’ philosophical foundations unexamined because they seem self-evident to you.

    Islam isn’t a monolith any more than Christianity is. You know the “civilisation” that the Taliban “built”…

    Islam isn’t a monolith, it’s a mighty tree of which the Taliban are merely one twisted little branch.

    What a sickening article. It doesn’t even mention the scary, petty, paranoid, ridiculous restrictions to the freedom of the press that the new Hungarian constitution contains.* Those are the reason for all the uproar, not something purely symbolic like whether Hungary calls itself a republic. (* The very worst ones have been taken out because of, well, financial blackmail by the EU. Fortunately.)

    “This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit” is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws — in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.

    Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again?

    The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books. It may be enough to consult the laws of the fifth Council of the Lateran on this matter and the Constitution which Leo X published afterwards lest “that which has been discovered advantageous for the increase of the faith and the spread of useful arts be converted to the contrary use and work harm for the salvation of the faithful.” This also was of great concern to the fathers of Trent, who applied a remedy against this great evil by publishing that wholesome decree concerning the Index of books which contain false doctrine. “We must fight valiantly,” Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, “as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames.” Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books. The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it.” – Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, 1832.

    And then, “Frankfurt Marxists”. FFS. Frankfurt am Main, the Central Business District of which is called Mainhattan, is where the European Central Bank is located. That’s just… it would be like Rick Santorum calling Ron Paul a Marxist.

    I would guess the author is using ‘Marxist’ as a generic term of abuse for anything on the left, much as vulgar leftists make indiscriminate use of ‘fascist’. Insofar as the European Central Bank is an EU institution, it’s part of the left. Or maybe by “Frankfurt Marxists” the author was referring to the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School, implying a connection or affinity with EUology.

    I think that part shut Alex’s brain down. Well, if “fight” is meant literally and “defeat” is given a violent interpretation, the poet is Not A Nice Person At All. But is there a reason not to adopt a more charitable interpretation along the lines of “yes, we can”?

    Given the poem’s less-than-irenic title and its author’s Black Panther affiliation, I would say such an interpretation is less charitable than gullible.

  64. Alex says:

    DM:

    The French protest enthusiastically, because their revolutions have a habit of working, even though it took three revolutions and a resoundingly lost war till they were rid of monarchy for good.

    “There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered …”

  65. Alex says:

    johannes:

    Alex, do you get the irony that Jihadism is heavily influenced by right-wing French Catholic thought? Sayyid Qutb copy-and-pasted a lot from Alexis Carrel.

    Carrel is an interesting figure but is he representative of ‘right-wing French Catholic thought’?

    (Strange bedfellows.)

  66. Alex says:

    Alex, do you get the irony that Jihadism is heavily influenced by right-wing French Catholic thought? Sayyid Qutb copy-and-pasted a lot from Alexis Carrel.

    Come to think of it, Ian Dallas/Shaykh Abdalqadir allegedly counts Carl Schmitt as an influence … but he also points to Wagner, Nietzsche and Rilke as heralds of a Western Islam and hates Catholicism. Post-conciliar ecumenism is a popish plot to sow discord among Muslims, apparently. (Shades of the OTO poohbah who denounced liberation theology as a cunning stratagem to destroy Marxism from within.)

    On the other side, I know of no noteworthy Catholic rightist who gets dewy-eyed over the jihadis, unless you count Leon Degrelle and Derek Holland. There are a fair few who subscribe to the Ecclesia vs Synagoga paradigm but they aren’t about to kiss the kaaba. If anything it was elements of the conservative-centrist JPII brigade who wanted to forge an alliance with the Mohams against the forces of secularism, but that fantasy didn’t survive 9/11.

  67. David Marjanović says:

    Sorry. I’m busy. I’ve come up with replies to most or all points on which I don’t need to look anything up, but I have no time to write them down systematically. There’s no point in making hit-and-run comments on just a few things at a time. Probably next week.

  68. David Marjanović says:

    Still sorry. I’m still busy. I’ve kept thinking about this, but I won’t have time before early July to write anything down.

  69. AtomX says:

    Sorry to butt in like this, but too much SIWOTI:

    Alex :

    How could education increase crime?

    The modern system of compulsory universal education forces children with no aptitude for learning into the classroom, palliating their natural resentment with unrealistic promises of social advancement which intensify the resentment when they fail.

    The modern system of compulsory universal education is simultaneously technocratic (schooling enables you “to become a productive member of society”); narcissistic (schooling allows you “to fulfill your potential”); and liberationist (schooling encourages you to “think for yourself”). Each of these in isolation would tend to weaken a young person’s moral fibre: together they’re deadly.

    Nice theory. I hate saying this but, citations please.

    Not long ago, someone sent applications with the same qualifications, biography etc. to a lot of employers, once with a French name, once with an Arabic one; the applications with the Arabic name were accepted a lot less often.

    Is that Hatred for the Other or just Liking for the Alike? I daresay many Arabic employers in Arabic countries prefer to employ people with Arabic names rather than European names. Nobody cries about that, and why should they?

    You don’t say. Except its both false and a false equivalence.

    False in that there’re vast numbers of migrant workers in the Arabic world, mainly in the Oil and Construction industries; unskilled to low or medium-skilled labour from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, South-East Asia and Africa; skilled Westerners working on large technical projects all over the Middle-East. Arabian countries import both unskilled cheap labour and highly skilled professionals from outside due to a shortfall in the local labour market to meet demand. This is due both to Middle-Eastern governments contracting multinationals, who then bring in labour from all over the World, and Gulf companies themselves directly employing immigrants. GCC countries are among nations with the highest numbers of immigrants measured in percentage of national population, while simulataenuously having a net negative migration rate(!).

    That said, immigration appears not to be perceived as much of a problem in Gulf societies as in Western ones though, partly because their economies require labour so badly, they can’t afford to not import migrant workers despite extant xenophobia among locals and also partly because its likely that permanent immigration/residency isn’t desired by most of the working expats, who’re mostly temporary migrants in it for the money, given how unattractive Arabian societies tend to be to immigrants generally(hence the negative net migration rate), which brings us to the false equivalence.

    Which is to say, progressive, globally cosmopolitan, relatively free, rich, developed Western societies with high HDIs =/= regressive, insular, corrupt, despotic, poor low HDI third world societies. So you daresay nobody cries because there aren’t a lot of them crying; the gradient of immigration is from the latter to the former, in case you havent noticed.

    “Slippery slope arguments” are not usually logical fallacies because they don’t usually claim to be propositions of logic in the first place. Rather, they are predictions based on experiential observations of human nature. There is no “logical” progression from the child torturing and killing small animals to the adult torturing and killing other human beings, but I’m told it’s a not uncommon progression in the development of serial killers.

    lolwut? Slippery slope is a logical fallacy. Consequently your serial killer analogy is a meta non-sequitur re: the definition of slippery slope. (I love
    catching nested logical fallacies.)

    If Jew-hatred, or the open expression thereof, has declined in Europe since 1945, maybe it owes less to “education in history and comparative religion” than to the fact that the National Socialist regime and its allies suffered a crushing military defeat? Just a thought.

    lolwut part deux? And just how exactly do you s’pose “the fact that the Nationalist Socialist regime and its allies suffered a crushing military defeat” contributed to decline in Jew-hatred in the post war generations? Conscientious reflection on the part of European societies aka Education in history . By definition.

  70. David Marjanović says:

    Sorry to butt in like this, but too much SIWOTI:

    Thank you! And don’t worry, you left enough for me ;-)

    lolwut part deux?

    Exactly. That was one of the two really unrestrainedly stupid parts.

  71. AtomX says:

    David :

    Thank you! And don’t worry, you left enough for me ;-)

    Have at it at leisure. As you said, there’s enough here to pick apart for a few more rounds at least :-)

  72. AtomX says:

    Also, I wrote :

    GCC countries are among nations with the highest numbers of immigrants measured in percentage of national population, while simulataenuously having a net negative migration rate(!).

    I should’ve said Middle-eastern instead of GCC and the bolded part is only true for Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Oman while Qatar, the U.A.E, Bahrain and Cyprus have among the highest net migration rates with Qatar topping the list of all countries(!). All others have zero net migration with the exception of Turkey which has a rate of 0.5.

    Among the Arabian / GCC countries only Oman and Saudi Arabia have negative net migration rates, while Qatar, U.A.E and Bahrain have very high positive net migration rates with Kuwait having zero net migration.

    Source : Wikipedia

    Which, of course, doesn’t diminish my point in any significant way.

  73. Alex says:
    Have you confused the EU with the UN?

    judging from the level of discourse, probably the USSR or the Warsaw Pact :-p

    lolol

  74. David Marjanović says:

    Hi. I haven’t forgotten about this thread, but I still haven’t found the time to reply – or to watch the video.

    I will say, though, that… well… YouTube: literally anyone can put up any craziness there and claim to speak for any number of people. If you can think of it and nobody has reported it as spam/sex/violence, it’s on YouTube.

  75. Alex says:

    Hi.

    Hi too.

    I haven’t forgotten about this thread, but I still haven’t found the time to reply

    No worries. As I once said to our mutual friend Walton, I regard a reply as a privilege, not a right.

    I will say, though, that… well… YouTube: literally anyone can put up any craziness there and claim to speak for any number of people.

    Very true. That video – which has gone viral – caught my eye because it looked more professionally put together than a lot of nationalist stuff. Same goes for the Generation Identitaire website.

    As for their real-world significance… well, they’ve caused quite a stir in France with their commemoration of 732 in Poitiers. They seem more than just Internet blowhards.

  76. David Marjanović says:

    I regard a reply as a privilege, not a right.

    I’m not going to reply to you. I’m going to reply to your points. Your points are wrong on the Internet, and that must be rectified.

    Seriously – if it helps, pretend I’m from Vulcan. :-)

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