Friday, May 26, 2017

Lather, Rinse, Repeat...

There is not much that can be said anymore in the wake of the Moslem terrorist attack in Manchester, England.  This website has discussed at some length both the roots of Islamic terrorism and the reactions to it.  Aside from the physical location of the atrocity, every single syllable of the Westminster Bridge Is Falling Down post applies fully to this one, too.  A couple of further points can be made though.

The first concerns the, um, leader of what passes for the main opposition party in Britain.  The avowed Communist Jeremy Corbyn has proposed that Moslem terrorism owes at least in part to the West's "foreign policy," in particular the various wars and alliances such as the quagmires of Afghanistan and Iraq, the support for Israel, the tolerance of the likes of Egypt's Al-Sisi, and so forth.  Now, Corbyn himself can be easily dismissed as, to put it charitably, a total fruitcake: He said not that long ago that labeling the Islamic State troglodytes as terrorists was a subjective value judgment, hence undesirable.  Yet, his contention about the West's putative share in the responsibility for terrorism is not an altogether novel argument.  That canard and variations on the theme have been doing the rounds for years.  "Poverty" causes terrorism"Discrimination" causes terrorism.  Even "climate change" causes terrorism.  Yes.  Seriously.  Deadly seriously.  Naturally, such assertions are readily recognized as risible tripe by the sensible majority but what is interesting is how mired in racism (for want of a better word) they are.  They are rooted in the premise that Moslems are beasts who act on animalistic reflexive instinct.  They see something on the news they dislike and their reaction is "I'll blow up a pop concert full of teenage girls."  They are thus, redolent of the view of the Mandatory mindset of the League of Nations, essentially children, devoid of free agency and mental capacity to be either able to act rationally or be held responsible for those actions.  They need the Leftist "white saviors" as surrogates for their personhood, in the way a group of schoolkids on a field trip are chaperoned and protected from strangers by their teachers.

That view is also supremely offensive to the billions of people, past and present, who endured untold privations, pestilence, oppression, injustice, and other types of suffering, but who forbore from channeling their misery in savagely destructive ways.  The fine people of Congo were horrifically brutalized by the Belgians.  The peoples of Latin America were decimated by the conquistadors.  The folks in West Africa and India suffered unspeakably, for centuries, at the hands of the British colonists.  The less said about Viet Nam (first the excesses of the French, then America and Agent Orange), the better.  Yet, not a single one of those people ever shot up a theater in Brussels, suicide bombed a restaurant in London, took an elementary school hostage and executed hundreds of the kids in Madrid, or blew up an airliner over New York.  What a collective indictment of Moslems, then, that they are considered to be incapable of expressing anything but the basest, caveman behavior...  What an even more severe indictment of the Left, which forever virtue-signals about how anti-"racist" it is and hectors those it deems not to be...

The second point relates to the eye-rollingly predictable cheap platitudes expressed by the West's "leaders": the "unity," "standing together," "no Islamophobia," "nothing to do with Islam," and the other well-rehearsed banal cliches.  It is becoming plain as day that such claims made by the elites (the governments, media, academia, professional activists, &c.) and the observable reality are wider apart than ever before.  Indeed, the chasm between the two is so prodigious that there are few if any points of reference common anymore to the elites versus the general public.  The proverbial ivory towers in which dwell the elites are easily as removed from the quotidian realities experienced by us peasants as they were in Louis XVI's France before the Revolution broke out.  This constatation does not merely make for a neat rhetorical tableau; it entails practical repercussions also.  In a democracy, the people are governed by consent, which is in turn engendered by a respect for and belief in the system.  When there occurs an irreconcilable disconnect between the government and the governed, two scenarios can come to pass.  Either the system collapses in part or in whole (as has happened in the West's history quite a few times in the wake of various scandals, such as Watergate) or the government transitions into a ruling class that maintains its position through force, intimidation, and repression.  The emergence of "managerial politics" and phenomena such as asiktskorridor (on both of which more in a future installment) have been a part of that transition for a while now, as has what can only be termed as persecution of law-abiding people by an ideologically-driven police, but their tactics are reaching an unprecedented crescendo.  The British prime minister put military troops on the streets--unthinkable in a democracy as well as utterly pointless--, and has openly and most unapologetically presented plans for a "new" Internet, monitored and censored by the--benevolent, of course!--government.  Indeed, she has termed the Internet the "new battlefield" in the fight against "online extremism."  One would have to be supremely naive to believe that such schemes are designed with solely Moslem terrorists in mind.  After all, this is the same woman who less than four months ago designated the readers of Breitbart News as "extremists" to be targeted in a $75million campaign against online "hate speech."

It (almost) makes one hope that Corbyn dufus wins in the forthcoming British elections...

© 2017 Michael L.S.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Three-Ring Circus at Airport "Security"

That did not take long, did it!  Nary but six weeks ago the U.S. government banned laptops being taken on board aircraft, in carry-on, on flights to America originating in a few airports in the Near East.  It was obvious then that it was only a matter of time before the prohibition was extended to other airports, and moves are indeed afoot to do precisely that.  It makes sense: Abdullah Al-Jihadi could easily circumvent the original rule by flying from, say, Istanbul to Germany (Germany famously lets anybody in), have a short layover, and proceed on to the States, an explosive-laden laptop always in his carry-on backpack.  The only way to forestall that possibility is to ban laptops, etc. in carry-ons on all flights to the U.S., which is almost inevitable to happen sooner than later.

It will not stop there though.  Surely, if America believes it necessary to take this step, then the threat must be real, and, betimes, all other countries will do the same.  The ban on liquids is instructive in this regard, and regulations only ever get tightened, never relaxed.  For it is not enough that people get routinely harassed, humiliated, sexually abused, and generally treated like criminals by the jumped-up semi-literate clowns at airports' "security" checkpoints.  "You, peasant, take off your belt and shoes!"  "What is this fluid in the baby-bottle, ma'am?  Your breast milk, you say?  Drink it!"  "Sir, yes you, the 90-year-old egg-timer with the walker!  Step on over here so we can swab your crotch for traces of explosives!"  "You, little toddler too young to talk: Crawl through this body scanner!  Unaided!!"  Evidently, even more ways to inconvenience travelers are needed.  The long put-upon passengers will have two choices.  The first is to pack their laptops, tablets, cameras, etc. (soon enough it will be cellphones, too) in their hold luggage, cross their fingers and toes, and hope for the very best.  Mishandling of people's luggage, with it being tossed around like throw-pillows, as well as thievery among luggage personnel are legendary, so putting in anything worth more than fifty bucks is a crapshoot.  The second option is to travel without.  Being that most people need Internet access and cameras to record their escapades even on brief vacations, it is unclear if that is a viable option at all.

T.S.A. groping travelers' breasts

Two things come to mind though.  Is this really about security?  The more conspiratorially-minded might suspect this is rather aimed to bolster the insurance industry.  Few people will put their $1,500+ laptops in their suitcases, knowing what fate might befall them.  What about those who travel only with carry-on to save on the costs of checked bags?  They will now have to spring for one, which will certainly gratify the airlines.  The elite tin-foil-hat brigade might even suspect there may be a desire to dissuade people from traveling at all in the name of combating "climate change."

This though is the nub of the issue: It is clear why this is happening, even assuming it is motivated by genuine security concerns.  When the Western society and the wider world consistently refuse to even name the threat (that would be Islam and Moslems), let alone address it, the only alternative left is to victimize everyone.  Everybody's convenience, time, dignity, and honor are routinely sacrificed on the altar of political correctness, which mandates that Moslems must not be profiled, even though they are the only ones carrying out terrorist attacks against airliners.

T.S.A. officer investigating man's nude crotch

Here comes the worst part.  People take it.  They stand on line like pathetic sheep at T.S.A. checkpoints and let themselves be denigrated and dehumanized.  They then vote for the same managerial politicians, indistinguishable from one another, who enable it.  They partake in the vilification of those very few who dare to point to a better way.  Quite a few shrug and aver matter-of-factly: What's the big deal, just buy insurance.  Many denounce the naysayers with that trite old canard "better be safe than sorry."  But since terrorists have already found ways to conceal explosives inside their bodies, what will all these right-on Dudley Do-Rights say when, in a not-too-distant future, passengers begin to get a probe introduced into their backsides?  "I quite enjoyed that; thank you for keeping us safe," most likely.  After all, people who are happily shafted by their "leaders'" policies metaphorically will surely not mind it being done physically.

© 2017 Michael L.S.

Friday, April 21, 2017

"No strategy" is not a strategy

One of the responses to a previous post on here--the one showing that 30% of British Moslems support the Islamic State and bemoaning the British government's steadfast refusal to combat Moslem terrorism by, inter alia, calling it Moslem terrorism--observed that the Western governments' apparent impotence in the face of Islamic terrorism and extremism owes to their desire to not alienate the (probably? hopefully?) 70% of the Moslems who do not support the I.S.  Even though support for the I.S. is just one measure of the nomos of the Moslem communities and societies worldwide--and other criteria yield far more depressing statistics, well exceeding a half of the Moslem populations--, that statement is essentially correct.  The Western governments do not want to alienate the Moslems living in their countries who, even if they hold abhorrent views, do not actually go out bombing, raping, running over, and hacking up people.  They also do not want to incense those who, while neither engaging in nor supporting such acts, are Moslem in name and do take pride in their Islamic heritage.  That much is understandable and even commendable.

The problem, however, is that the Western governments are not doing much of anything.  (And no, pretending and contending that terrorism is a bane upon everyone, that "far-Right" "extremism" is as much a danger as Moslem terrorism, and that the answer is more unity, more diversity, and more love does not count as doing something.)  Essentially, those governments do not wish to alienate their Moslem communities--or the global Islamdom--but they are simultaneously bereft of any vision of how to approach the Moslems living in the West, which includes endeavoring to coopt them in the fight against terrorism.

The first step, surely, would be to acknowledge that terrorism is rooted in the Moslem community and, indeed, that it is rooted in the ideology to which the members of that community overwhelmingly subscribe.  That does not need to be an indictment of the entire community or of Islam but there has to be a recognition that, sometimes, something goes wrong there and that it is largely that community's responsibility to ensure it does not.  After all, Moslems generally have a propensity to both hold Westerners collectively accountable for our "foreign policy" as well as boast of their strong family ties that contrast favorably with the hedonistic individualism of the wretched infidels.  It would surely not be too much to insist they took better care of their much more nuclear and close-knit communities.

How to encourage the Moslem communities to take point in battling the terrorism emanating from them is another matter.  There is not much of a carrot to dangle in front of them.  Despite the occasional howls of hysteria about "Islamophobia," Moslems in the West are not discriminated against in any palpable way.  They have free and ready access to the same education and employment opportunities as anyone else.  The stick approach would not be necessarily more desirable because it both would effectively criminalize and marginalize the entire Moslem community--and collective punishment is instinctively wrong to the modern Western psyche--and would necessitate immense resources to monitor millions of people scattered throughout a country.

The only realistic option left, then, is the proverbial if jaded "battle for the hearts and minds."  The Moslems of the West must be persuaded of the virtues of the classical liberal worldview, including the rule of law, the separation of church and state, the equality of the sexes, the protection of minorities, the freedom of conscience, the freedom of expression, and so forth.  That persuasion must be confident and resolute.  The inevitable pushback--from segments of the Moslem communities as well as the inevitable Leftist professional activists screaming about "racism"--must be confuted unapologetically and with ever-renewed vigor.  Naturally, doing so requires repudiation of the poisonous cultural relativism credo and rediscovery of pride in the Western classical liberal thought.  The toxic self-flagellation by the Western society over the past half a century or so has resulted in a dispirited, mentally-feeble, morally-rudderless majority people.  Such demoralized Westerners are no match for the more assertive and aggressive cultures.

The first step in answering how to foil the germination of terrorism in the Western Moslem communities is therefore to bolster the fundaments of the Western society.  The second step is to essay to extend those ideals to the Moslem communities, too.  It may or may not be effective, but one thing is certain: Failure to take this path will ultimately result in repression of the entire society by governments anxious to get a handle on rampant terrorism, and that will in turn eventuate in everyone losing the benefits of the civil liberties listed above.

© 2017 Michael L.S.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Westminster Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down...

Another Moslem terrorist plot, this one successful, unfolded in London a few days ago.  Adrian Elms became Khalid Masood and, as in so very many cases when a Christopher turns into an Abdullah, decided he hated the West, the Jews, the gays, the liberated women, and so forth... - and that they deserved to die... - and he was going to make it happen.  (That rather contrasts with converts to Buddhism simply shaving off their heads and changing their diet, converts to Hare Krishna going around banging on bongs, and converts to Judaism getting a separate set of crockery for meat and milk dishes.)  Such attacks are intercepted and thwarted by the dozen all over Europe and the West every single week.  They are so commonplace that they are not even being given much airtime or attention anymore.

What transpired in London, then, was not overly surprising.  Nor were the exhaustingly predictable and risible public reactions that followed.  The inane Twitter hashtags, the imbecilic heart-shaped hand gestures, the facile slogans, the insipid props (flowers, candles, and teddybears)...  If that does not petrify the dime-a-dozen Johhny B. Jihadis lurking and scheming all over Britain and the West, or alternatively convince them of the error of their ways, then surely nothing will.  The crowd of saps in London's main square was conspicuously devoid of more than a handful of Moslems, in extremely stark contrast to the tens of thousands of them who come out every few weeks to rage about something or other in "Palestine."  Indeed, more Moslems turn out to flag-burning events than were present at the laughable wake in Trafalgar Square.

Also inevitable were the vacuous protestations about how London had survived the Nazi onslaught so these ragtag terrorists did not have a chance.  The folktales of London's stoic endurance of the Blitz bombings are unfailingly trotted out every time some misfortune befalls London, be it a terrorist outrage such as this or when a bunch of avaricious subway or railroad workers decide to hold millions of passengers for ransom in order to bilk out a few extra thousand pounds on top of their already ludicrously inflated salaries.  A high-profile British newscaster went on a defiant rant on the theme, highlighting London's defeat of the German airforce.  What neither he nor anyone else regurgitating this jaded trope mentioned were a few facts that should be pertinent when attempting to draw analogies.  For one thing, Britain did not defeat the Nazis by holding fatuous candle-lit vigils; rather, it sent manpower and firepower the Nazis' way.  Britain also identified the Nazis as the enemy rather than as some indeterminate aberration that had no connection to anything else happening in the world at the time.  Winston Churchill made no assertions that the Luftwaffe was "not really German" or that it was no better or worse than any other old airforce.  Nor did Britain allow millions of Germans to roam around the country freely--despite serous double-digit percentage of them having unambiguous Nazi sympathies*--and besmirch those who objected as "racists."  Londoners did not elect a Nazi mayor who proceeded to lecture them how being bombed to kingdom come by his fellow travelers was normal: "part and parcel" of living there.  Analogies are very useful, both scholastically and rhetorically, but they need to be accurate.  The London of the early 1940s bears little resemblance by any criterion to the London of 2017.

Meanwhile, the explanation for Adrian-cum-Khalid's terrorist atrocity?  Yep, you guessed it: "racism."  The lunacy marches on.

* For those tempted to reel off the usual canards about Islam being a religion of peace and "the overwhelming majority of Moslems are tolerant," etc., a few home truths would not go amiss.  Firstly this,

Secondly: More granular statistics are just as unequivocal and even more damning.  This site lists a comprehensive overview of the research done into the Moslems' views and attitudes, but some of the highlights include:
  • 25% British Muslims say 7/7 bombings were justified.
  • 35% of young Muslims in Britain believe suicide bombings are justified.
  • 25% of young Muslims in Britain (and 20% overall) sympathize with those who fight for ISIS.
  • 66% of Muslims in Britain would not report terror plot to police.
  • 48% of British Muslims would not report a person "linked to terror."
  • 18% of British Muslims would be proud or indifferent if a family member joined al-Qaeda.
  • 1-1/2 Million (30%) British Muslims support the Islamic State.
  • 36% of British Muslim students believe anyone who leaves Islam should be killed.
  • 78% of British Muslims support punishing the publishers of Muhammad cartoons.
  • Hardcore Islamists comprise 9% of Britain's Muslim population, another 29% would "aggressively defend" Islam.
  • 11% of British Muslims find violence for religious or political ends acceptable.
  • Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, 27% of British Muslims openly support violence against cartoonists.
  • 40% of British Muslims want Sharia in the UK; 23% support the introduction of Sharia in the UK "instead of British Law."
  • 28% of British Muslims want Britain to be an Islamic state.
  • 68% of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam.
  • 21% of British Muslims decline to condemn stoning adulterers (5% openly support them).
  • 1 in 3 Muslims in the UK strongly agree that a wife should be forced to obey her husband's bidding.
  • 10% British Muslims support killing a family member over "dishonor."
  • 20% young British Muslims agree that "honor" violence is acceptable.
  • Only 34% of British Muslims believe the Holocaust ever happened.
  • 51% of British Muslims believe a woman cannot marry a non-Muslim; Only 51% believe a Muslim woman may marry without a guardian's consent.
  • Up to 52% of British Muslims believe a Muslim man is entitled to up to four wives.
  • 61% of British Muslims want homosexuality punished.
  • 62% of British Muslims do not believe in the protection of free speech.
  • 58% of British Muslims believe insulting Islam should result in criminal prosecution.
  • 11% of British Muslims find violence for political ends acceptable.
  • 18% of British Muslims believe homosexuality should remain legal.

The figures are as bad or even worse in other parts of the West, not to mention the rest of the world.  Surely these data are strongly indicative that "Houston, we have a problem."  One wonders in bewilderment what purpose it serves to studiously ignore these figures and/or denounce those who publicize them while persistently promoting diametrically opposite claims.  Yes, if 30% of British Moslems support the Islamic State, it (probably) means up to 70% of them do not.  Is that cause for jubilation though?  Firstly, a million and a half British Moslems think there is nothing wrong with walking up to a stranger kneeling on the floor, grabbing a fistful of their hair, and slowly slicing off their head with a kitchen knife.  Let that sink in.  Secondly, it is worth recalling that only up to 18% of the Germans were members of the National-Socialist (Nazi) Party, and very, very few of those 18% were actually pulling triggers on machine guns or levers in concentration camps.  What difference did the 82%+ non-Nazi Germans make and was their culpability for the Nazi atrocities any less?  The answers are surely in the negative.  Yet, the threat of Moslem terrorism, arguably more potent and much more long-lasting than that of Nazism, is approached with almost no strategy or resolution of the mindset.

Indeed, the British interior ministry announced early February that it would be essaying to "address the threats of 'far-right and extreme right-wing narratives.'"  Yes.  Really.  Though tempting to view such pronouncements as hailing from a parallel universe, they conform perfectly to the prognostications many, including the present author, made a while back, scilicet, that repeated terrorist atrocities perpetrated by Moslems will be countered by increased prosecution against general, abstruse "extremism."  "Extremism," like "hate speech," is an amorphous, subjective notion and by its very nature eludes objective definition.  As such, it is simply begging for misuse and abuse by those in power.  As is already happening, "Islamophobia" (defined as anything ranging from throwing some bacon rashers at a mosque to publishing data such as those above) incurs as astringent legal prosecution and sanction as acts of terror by Moslems.  The Canadian parliament just passed a motion condemning, exclusively, criticism of Islam"Extremism" is beginning to receive similar treatment.  The "racism" label has been overused to the point that it has lost much of its potency whereas "hate speech" is not catching on, at least in America where the First Amendment is too inextricably ingrained in the citizens' psyche to be watered down by such an alien concept.  Cue "extremism."  The only "acceptable"--which is another increasingly normalized purely subjective criterion whereby to judge speech and behavior, including in semi-legal contexts--response to the savagery, destruction, genocides, humiliation, and misery wrought by Moslem terrorists will be otiose public piety and virtue signaling.  Such displays must invoke "tolerance," "respect," "coexistence," and all the other vapid, make-feelgood buzzwords so beloved of the peddlers of the politically-correct multiculturalist credo who, invariably, live detached and removed from the areas where that credo has been put into practice in the earnest.  In their environs of leafy suburbs and safe-space campus echo-chambers, "racism" and "global warming" are the biggest problems in the world, Moslems are the biggest victims of injustice including "discrimination," "lone-wolf" terrorism is not connected to any ideology--least of all Islam--and is a product of mental disorder, and--for a great many of them--the Islamic State are "really" Israeli secret service agents and 9/11 was an "inside job."  As bizarre as such a platform is, it is espoused by all "mainstream" politicians, regardless of their supposed factional stripes.  Those who endeavor to follow a different path--such as President Trump, Geert Wilders, Viktor Orban, Marine le Pen--are vilified and demonized, and, if they are fortunate, only their characters are assassinated.  The "little folks" are treated the same: Those who dissent from the "acceptable" narrative are banned from the social media, doxed and hounded by assorted professional "activists" and the media, arrested in dawn raids, fired from their jobs, fined, and jailed.

As the crescendo of Moslem terrorism intensifies, so will those tactics by the authorities.  Eventually though, as more and more people get groomed (q.v. Rotherham, England) and raped, deliberately run over by a truck or a car, hacked up with an ax or a machete, executed in a restaurant or a theater, gunned down on a train, blown up on a plane, there will come a straw that breaks the camel's back.  When it does, all the "narratives" and normative imperatives and laws and treaties and crowds with candles will go out the proverbial window.  It is often said that every few generations need to experience a good old-fashioned bloody war in order to appreciate peace.  Perhaps this will be the West's next war...

© 2017 Michael L.S.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

UPDATED: Five Minutes to Midnight

This entry is being written as the results of the U.S. Presidential election are streaming in.  It certainly promises to be a roller-coaster ride, just as the entire year leading up to the election has been.  In reality, the outcome of the election is not as important as it is made out to be.  If Mr. Trump wins, many of his grand plans will be severely stymied by the Congress, even if both the House and the Senate emerge Republican-controlled.  If Secretary Clinton prevails, she will encounter similar obstacles.

The election is but an exiguous piece in a much larger puzzle, which concerns the survival of the Western civilization.  Europe, Canada, and Australia--and, if Clinton has her way, America, too--are being inundated with millions of migrants.  Carefully vetted immigration is to be encouraged and, indeed, it is precisely on the talents, diligence, and sheer numbers of immigrants that the Western civilization emerged to be dominant and prosperous.  However, it hardly requires much divination or analysis to understand that permitting the importation, wholesale, of millions of individuals who live and breathe tribalism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, nepotism, polygamy, and other habits that the West abjured eons ago will end in conflict.  Certainly, some of those migrants will renounce their cultural values and nomos, and they will do so of their own accord and--lamentably--contrary to the exhortations of the assorted bien-pensants in the West.  The latter still persist in their preposterous belief that all cultures are equally valid or, worse, that the Western values should defer to minority norms in the name of "diversity."  These days, one observes, everything is relativized and open to debate; every absolute of old must be challenged.  While it is assuredly laudable to question and to doubt, leering to the extreme of discarding everything once cherished is foolhardy and outright foolish.  Rule of law is better that authoritarian caprice.  Equality of the sexes is better than institutionalized misogyny.  Democracy is better than autocracy.  Separation of church and state is better than theocracy.  Ultimately, individualism (including individual human rights) is better than collectivism.  Therefore, the prevailing precepts upon which the Western civilization rests are better than those practiced in, say, the Near East: be it Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran or Yemen or the supposedly more enlightened Lebanon, Morocco or Malaysia.

While some migrants, accordingly, will embrace the liberal democratic values of their new host states, many will not.  Those who do not will do one or both of two things: Withdraw to their self-imposed ghettos and procreate or bomb and shoot up the rest of the population.  Even if they do merely the former, they will only do so until their numbers grow sufficiently to engage in the civil unrest that inevitably arises with ghettoization.  In either case, civil strife is unavoidable.

Once that societal upheaval materializes, two scenarios can come to pass.  A section of the population (commonly derided as "nationalist" by the soi-disant opinion-formers) may decide to proverbially take matters into its own hands.  The people being insulted for wearing certain apparel, harassed for drinking alcohol, assaulted, attacked and killed may well reason that they can no longer rely on the authorities to protect them and so resolve to do so themselves.  The authorities, such as there are and will be, may accept that, without resolute measures aimed at filtering out the destabilizing elements in the society, said society faces an imminent collapse, and they may or may not assist the popular uprising.  Alternatively, the governments may use the societal instability as a pretext for arrogating to themselves enormous powers, such as not seen in decades, even centuries.  Such governments--bigger and stronger than for many a generation--would ineluctably engage in blanket repression of the general population, migrant and nonmigrant, under the guise of restoring and maintaining public order and security.  Put simply, what today happens at airport "security" would be extended to almost every facet of life.  One needs to be only a casual student of history to know that suppression of dissent can successfully last for only a limited time before the population revolts.  That would in turn trigger the first course of events detailed earlier.

The upshot of the foregoing is that, unless the migrant invasion of the West is not stanched immediately, the question of war is going to be a matter of when rather than if.  Whatever the corollary of that war, it would shake the Western world to its core and undoubtedly abrogate the West's cultural, political, economic, military, and other dominance.  While some elements in the West--particularly among the elites--may exult at such a possibility, they would do well to reflect on whether they would rather live in Pakistan, Venezuela, Congo or Laos than in their comfortable ivory towers in the West.

This being an international law platform, it behooves to examine the role legislation and jurisprudence might play in the above context.  The answer is: enormous.  International law pertaining to refugees and human rights is hopelessly anachronistic.  It was designed decades ago and was not envisioned to cater for scenarios such as the one unfolding in the United States and in Europe at this time.  The laws on the books were passed in order to protect the most vulnerable, destitute people fleeing for their very lives: women, children, and the elderly escaping by the skin of their teeth an almost certain death and ensconcing themselves, mostly temporarily, in the nearest shelter they could find.  Those laws did not foresee millions of healthy young men storming national borders thousands of miles from their domiciles because they heard welfare and other freebies would be doled out there.  Nor were those laws meant to provide for the fact that a fair many of the said millions would endeavor to change their new host lands into the image of the decrepit third-world despotisms and theocracies whence they came.

With that in mind, it is high time for alterations of the relevant laws to be effected without delay.  The most salient and pressing of these are:
  • The refugee law has to be clear that an asylum application lodged anywhere other than the nearest safe state to the asylee's will be automatically denied and followed with an immediate deportation.  That means that e.g. an Afghan can only hope to receive asylum in Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan, but not Sweden, Germany or even Turkey.  An Eritrean--insofar as Eritrea can be deemed unsafe at all--can get asylum only in Djibouti, Ethiopia or Sudan, not in Italy, Greece or England.  In practice, since the European Union does not border any state that can be considered unsafe, all asylum applications made in an E.U. member should be ipso facto rejected, with extreme prejudice.  The same applies to the U.S.
  • Dovetailing off the previous point, deportations of failed asylum seekers have to be rendered at the time the refusal is issued.  There should certainly be an appeals process--except when the rejection is based on the grounds from the first point--but it cannot be dragged out for months and years, all the while allowing the asylee to roam around at will.
  • Human rights cannot be invoked by a failed asylee as a means of circumventing the refugee law and stay in the host country.  It very frequently happens that someone whose asylum claim has been rejected then launches a suit preventing his or her deportation on the basis that, say, they already formed a family in the host state or that, though their life might not be in danger in their home state, they might nonetheless get arrested there and wind up in a prison without a T.V. and Xbox in the cell.
  • Technicalities must likewise not preclude the operation of the law, the foremost of which is an asylee lacking identity documents or a failed asylee's home state refusing to accept them.  Those two arguments thwart both processing of asylum applications as well as deportations in alarming numbers of cases.  States that refuse to admit failed asylees have to be subjected to extreme pressure, including economic and other sanctions, with a view to making them amend their ways.
  • Similarly to the preceding point, political correctness must not be permitted to impede investigations into the validity of asylum claims.  An asylee professing to be underage (which attracts more lenient treatment as well as conferral of more generous entitlements) has to undergo whatever tests are necessary to ascertain the veracity of his or her claim regarding age.  It is unforgivable that, as recently reported, 29-year-olds are admitted into a country as "child refugees" because conducting examinations into their age would be "intrusive" and breach their "right" to "privacy."  Similarly, those not in possession of identity documents must be interviewed and interrogated, with skepticism and at length, to determine where it is they come from.  Making false claims about one's background has to be disincentivized.
  • While their claims are being processed, asylees must be housed in secure accommodations.  They cannot be allowed to wander around the country (or, indeed, the whole Schengen area) together with their flashy sneakers and latest smartphones, all the while being in receipt of hundreds of dollars of monthly maintenance.  Further, those accommodations have to conform to the domestic legal standards, meaning that incidents such as that reported recently in Denmark, where an asylee was allowed to live as a married couple with his underage "wife," must not occur.
  • Asylees who are successful and thus legally become refugees do so on the understanding that (1) their stay in the host country is temporary, and (2) their status applies exclusively to them.  That means that there is no pathway to citizenship, but only to permanent residence, and even that only after the best part of a decade has elapsed.  Moreover, a successful asylee cannot be permitted to "bring in" (i.e. sponsor) any current or new family members to the host country.  It is egregious that a single asylee--even before having his/her asylum claim approved--is allowed to bring in a half a dozen family members, too, on the grounds of family unification. 
  • Refugees, although their sojourn in the host state is temporary, are to be expected to fully integrate with and practice the host state's cultural, social, and legal values.  That, in the West and many other places, includes, but is not limited to, speaking the language, abandoning the burka, abjuring the sharia, earnestly looking for work, participating in the civic life, respecting and promoting individual liberties (including in and for own family's), etc.
  • Migrants rescued from dingy, sinking ships on the high seas, most often in international waters, should be given basic immediate assistance, such as some food provisions, blankets, and clothing.  They should then be sailed back to the shores they had set off from and left there.  There is no justification for transporting migrants who shipwrecked a few dozen miles off the coast of Libya 500 miles to Italy.
  • Probably the most commonsense point of all: An asylee who commits any legal infraction--even jaywalking, let alone rioting or rape--is, if need be, incarcerated, and deported with a lifetime immigration ban.  The sight of hordes of asylees who (1) illegally snuck into a country thousands of miles away from their home, (2) are lavished with munificent benefits paid for by the host country's taxpayers, (3) show overt disdain for the host state's citizenry and culture, and then (4) engage in rioting, sexual abuse or terrorist activities is enough to make anybody's blood boil.
The antecedent constitute the bare minimum necessary to save the Western civilization from not only civil war with the battalions of migrants and their descendants but also from the populism, jingoism, virulent nationalism, xenophobia, and bigotry that will inevitably arise betimes if such measures are not taken.  The measures above, and the sentiments behind them, may sound callous.  I personally do not blame the asylees for trying all kinds of tactics to make it to the West.  I know that if I had been born--through no fault of my own--in a part of the world where I knew I would never have any prospects for a better life regardless of whatever I did, I might well essay to go elsewhere by any means necessary.  I also do not blame the terrorists and other enemies of the civilized world for exploiting the refugee and other laws to form a fifth column in our midst and attack us.  As they say: All is fair in love and war.

I do, however, blame the Western governments for not patching up those laws and commissioning other methods of combating illegal immigration. 

Just as it is not the fault of a Honduran, Pakistani, Sudanese, Syrian or Senegalese that they were born where they were, neither is it ours.  Nor is it our fault that we happen to live in much nicer and all-around better places.  Life is unfair and just because not everyone can partake in the quality of life and other privileges we in the West have does not mean we, too, should be stripped of them by allowing ourselves to be swamped by millions of people who share neither our demographics nor--far more importantly--psychographics.
©2017 Michael L.S.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

You the Schmucks...

With the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)--who calls himself a "democratic socialist"--the term "socialist" has been somewhat normalized and has firmly entered the mainstream discourse as something approaching a respectable epithet.

Without examining Sen. Sanders' platform in great detail--beyond reproducing a popular online meme below--it is the notion of socialism itself that merits scrutiny.
If you cut military spending by 100% and taxed all $1million+ earnings at 100% for ten years, you STILL wouldn't pay for Bernie's promises.

The instant analysis will, in the first instance assimilate socialism with Communism, Marxism, Maoism, Stalinism, Leninism, and any other similar -ism.  "Communism" will initially be employed as a catch-all term for the foregoing.  Foremost attention will be given to the global experience and rational deductions rather than technical economic theories and calculations.

The first, ineluctable, observation that has to be made is that Communism has been an abject failure everywhere in the world it has been implemented and operated.  The Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact states, pre-1990s India, Cuba, Venezuela, Viet Nam, and dozens of countries at different times in Central and Latin America, Africa, and Asia all experienced Communism and, given a chance, all, down to the state, resolutely spurned it, after years or decades of iron-fist Communist rule.  Despite that, there are still fervent advocates for Communism, not least among the self-styled intelligentsia on college campuses in the West.  (The supreme irony is that intellectuals were almost always the first to face the Communist purges and firing squads, but, then, logic and intelligentsia are these days not always in the happiest of marriages.)

Tomes upon tomes of academic and popular material has been written examining, pontificating about, and apologizing for the causes of the disintegration and invalidation of Communism.  The most fundamental explanation is very simple, however.  The theory of Communism fails to take into account human nature.  The average person wants to own things.  The average person wants to own nice things.  The average person wants to own nicer things.  The average person wants to wear nice clothes and visit nice places and reside in nice houses.  The average person wants to get wealthierThe average person wants to express his/her individuality.  The average person wants to compete.  The average person wants to improve him/herself.  The average person wants to get better: better autonomously (self-actualize) and better than othersThe average person does not want to be a mindless automaton, an anonymous cog in a nondescript wheel, one in millions of such wheels, without a personality, without anything to work toward, purposed only with playing a minuscule part in making the whole plod along.

That is what Communists do not understand wherefore, whenever the Communist theory came to be enacted in practice, it encountered the brick wall of indomitable human nature.  The Politburo's functionaries' answer to this conundrum was predictable: endeavor to change human nature.  That was invariably done in several stages:
  1. Relentless propaganda and brainwashing: "Yes, we want to be gray, mindless drones!  We want to be an amorphous mass called the Working Class!  We want to fight the endless [though the "endless" part was never openly admitted] fight to create a People's Utopia!"  En passant, it is always amusing and telling how Communist regimes feel the need to prefix just about everything with the possessive "people's": the "people's" army, the "people's" republic, the "people's" assembly, the "people's" museum, theater, supermarket, etc.  The chuckle-worthy part is that The People under Communism have about as much stake in the above as they do under an absolute monarchy.
  2. Fear: "Enemies external and internal are chomping at the bits to subvert our glorious struggle!  Capitalist, imperialist swine lurk in the shadows--indeed, possibly in every shadow--scheming to make you their slaves!  Resist!"
  3. Threats: "Better watch what you say and do, or we just might start thinking you might be one of those enemies we talked about!"
  4. Coercion and force: blacklists, punishing entire families, show trials, disappearances, gulags.
There is not one single Communist society that did not adhere to the given paradigm.  Yet, despite having the most extensive surveillance and oppression apparatuses humanity ever saw, one after the other, the Communist regimes collapsed.  Stirring images of East Germans attacking the odious Berlin Wall with their bare hands, the fire of FREEDOM blazing inextinguishable in their eyes, are Communist ideologues' worst nightmare: That is the threat they are forced to continuously--and ultimately in vain--try to forestall.

There is also the small matter of the Communist economics, which are antiquated and irrelevant to the modern world.  The vaunted Working Class, insofar as it even exists anymore, no longer encompasses the majority of those in gainful employment of a country nor are countries (especially the developed world) anymore replete with tractor drivers, assembly-plant workers, and coal miners.  Manual labor is of marginal importance in the today's knowledge-based economy and information-based society.  The service sector does not require a Revolution!, and the call center workers, Walmart shelf-stackers, and McDonald's burger-flippers will be replaced with robots and online processes within the next decade anyway.  Other than the permanently unemployable, Communism has nothing to offer to an increasing proportion of people with jobs or those willing and able to secure one.

Two retorts are commonly given to the above: (1) That was not real Communism, and (2) Communism is one thing; socialism is quite another.  They will be addressed in turn.

#1: The U.S.S.R., China, Cuba, Nicaragua, India, Viet Nam, Laos, Angola, Mozambique, North Korea, dozens of Soviet satellite states, Yugoslavia, El Salvador, Albania, Argentina, Bolivia, and several dozen others were not a genuine representation or faithful reflection of an unadulterated form of Communism.  Whatever the system those places had may have been, it was at best a warped, perverted version of the true ideology of Communism, which is nothing if not humane and humanistic.  If that sounds familiar, it is because the selfsame assertion is trotted out with tiresome frequency in an attempt to whitewash the indelible link among Islam, the dozens of Moslem terrorist groups worldwide, and the tens of millions of active supporters and sympathizers (also, of course, Moslems) of those groups.  Indeed, it seems that the more destructive, barbaric, and brutal an ideology is, the more vocally this argument is propounded.  It is, however, fundamentally wrong.
  • Firstly, it is the archetypal, textbook-perfect No True Scotsman fallacy.  If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has little ducklings for offspring, then chances are extremely good it is indeed a duck rather than an elephant wearing a duck costume.  The various iterations of Communism globally can be safely adjudged to have been "genuine" enough.
  • Secondly, even if it be accepted that, somewhere along the process of implementing the said system, the protagonists deviated from the [insert favorite Communist dogmatist]'s vision, it is indisputable that their initial design fully was to implement Real Communism®.  It would be ludicrous to suggest that millions of revolutionaries and their leaders, all across the globe, were only paying lip service to Communism, all the while plotting to establish a grossly bastardized version thereof.
  • If, therefore, it is the case that, in spite of the best intentions of the comrade leaders, one nation after another after another fell victim to a phenomenal misapprehension of
    Real Communism®, then the logical corollary must be that Real Communism® itself is fundamentally flawed.  Surely a viable, feasible, practical ideology would be more immune to corruption than Real Communism® has consistently, yea exclusively, demonstrated itself to be.
  • The risible and pitiable cheerleaders for Communism, however, breezily ignore all the antecedent.  Their gambit is, in essence: Relinquish your freedoms, liberties, wealth, individuality, personality, ambitions and dreams, forget history, and just let us take yet another crack at setting up this system sure to rectify so many wrongs and benefit all.  In other words: Hand over your money, shut up, and... - revolution, comrade!.

#2: Communism is altogether different than socialism, so criticism of the former does not--can not--apply to the latter.

There is some merit to this rebuttal.  On paper, socialism and Communism are indeed quite dissimilar.  Communism is an all-pervasive, intrusive, control-freak-y regime, which seizes and maintains an ironclad grip on every facet of individual and collective lives, education, commerce, politics, law, the economy, and even philosophy.  Socialism, on the other hand, is a collection of so-called "social programs" that is large enough--yet unquantifiable--to merit being labeled as socialism.  It is unquantifiable because, while to many the eponymous ObamaCare warrants the label socialist, to others even trippling all the current federal programs would not constitute socialism.

In practice, however, this protestation rings hollow.  The more "social programs" are instituted, the larger the bureaucracy and machinery necessary for operating them.  That in turn requires a bigger government and a more bloated public sector in general, as well as more material resources.  All that ultimately leads to having to take more money from the working people.  Unremitting raids on the taxpayers' pockets sooner or later call for indoctrination, which the more observant of the readers will recognize as the first step in establishing a Communist hegemony.  One would certainly not wish to commit the slippery-slope fallacy by proposing that socialism invariably evolves into Communism, and examples to the contrary do abound.  It is, nonetheless, beyond controversy that socialism is close on the ideological spectrum to Communism and that the difference between the two is not conspicuously demarcated.

#3: Bonus argument: The Scandinavian states are social democracies, so surely America can be, too.  The Left in America likes to flaunt Scandinavia as an example, indeed paragon, of many desiderata: from anti-gun laws to multiculturalism to the socio-polito-economic system.  Yet, if comparing Communism and socialism be a false analogy, then so is comparing Scandinavia and the United States.  The Scandinavian states' combined population is around 7% of America's and, until very recently, they were all highly homogeneous demographically and, crucially, psychographically.  In other words, those countries had comparatively few people and they were all, colloquially speaking, "on the same page" as regards their values, including diligence, interdependence, taxation, etc.  America's population as well as inimitable diversity--most importantly in values and lifestyles of its inhabitants--mean that replicating the Scandinavian system would be implausible.  Indeed, following the unprecedented and seismic changes (read: prodigious non-Western immigration) those states experienced in the past decade or two, reports are now plentiful of the social democratic system bursting at the seams.  Warnings, each more dire than the previous, are coming thick and fast about the working Scandinavian population no longer being able (or even willing) to support its unemployed, unemployable, and employment-averse counterparts.  This, to anyone who ever participated in a group project of any sort, will be unsurprising: Five motivated people get along fine and work like a well-oiled machine.  Twenty people working on the same thing, and with varying levels of motivation, evidence a considerable incidence of "freeloading," sometimes to the extent of making the group unworkable or causing it to disintegrate beyond the committed core.

If the foregoing has veered between scholarly and demotic in tone, it is only because it is difficult to ascribe full seriousness to this type of topic.  In 2015 no-one except the ignorant, the indolent or the malevolent should be extolling or prescribing Communism, socialism, fascism, or any kind of an oppressive, forcibly-collectivist ideology.  The fact that so many do means that the lovers of freedom must remain vigilant because the battle for common sense is never-ending.

©2015 Michael L.S.