Thursday, September 28, 2017

Where is the Refuge in Post-Obama America?

In 1989 Zbigniew Kazimierz Brezezinski, a premier theorist of totalitarian political systems, published The Grand Failure: The Birth and Death of Communism in the Twentieth Century. He lived a long and eventful life and unfortunately sold the services of his formidable Polish intellect to the likes of Lyndon Johnson and the feckless, attempted rabbit slayer, James Earl Carter Jr. (For those taken with odd coincidences, Brezezinksi was awarded his Harvard Ph.D. with a dissertation on Lenin’s terror-command state in 1953, the same year Stalin turned room temperature, leaving his second-string in charge of the one Lenin had created.)

One also cannot help but wonder whether Brezezinski ever came to regret that portion of the sub-title he gave to his book – the “Death of Communism” – having died in 2017, a couple of months after Barack “Mugabe” Obama was done with the “transformation” he had earlier promised of the United States of America back in 2008. In his mistitled book, Brezezinski made an observation that really jumps out at a discerning reader: “Communism thus appealed to the simpletons and the sophisticates alike…” Yes, except for the past-tense of the verb. Moreover, these days it can be a challenge to separate the sophisticates from the simpletons.

This insight does help to dispel the mystery of Obama’s rapid ascendency – from a no-account, back-bench, corrupt state senator to “heal the planet” President of the United States. Obama is a simpleton who passed himself off as a sophisticate with a great deal of assistance from high placed, fake-sophisticates like New York Times columnist, David Brooks. Recall, that it was Brooks, who after interviewing candidate Obama, was so smitten with the combination of his blackness and well-pressed slacks, gushed that that he was destined be a great President. Then, of course, there was Senior Newsweek Editor, Evan Thomas’s comment on Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech: “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Here is a clue as to how it unfolded, how Obama rose to divinity, happily documented for us by, again, the New York Times long before the thin, street agitator from South Chicago, Hawaii, Indonesia, or wherever he was from, proclaimed himself as The One. 

BOSTON, Feb. 5, 1990 — The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago's South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.
''The fact that I've been elected shows a lot of progress,'' Mr. Obama said today in an interview. ''It's encouraging.” 

What the NYT scribblers omit in this article, one of their typical “first black fill-in-the-blank” panegyrics, is more interesting and relevant than what we get to read. But skipping through the boiler plate, reverential tripe, here, luckily, we have Obama captured, unaware, on record as the self-promoting simpleton he is and has always been. “The fact that I've been elected shows a lot of progress…. It’s encouraging.” Perhaps, but the little we know about Harvard and the lot we know about Obama suggest that this election had nothing to do with what most people think of as “progress.”

His remarks in fact do tell us all we need to know about the career path Obama had in mind and the fake sophistication that would be layered around him as he hustled his way up to the highest ring on the boss-ladder. “Progress” is a gem of Obama-Speak, one that captures the solipsistic equation of his personal advancement with “that arc of the moral universe that bends toward justice.” Recall, this was a Martin Luther King apothegm, a favorite of OHB, used during his reign to keep reminding those “folks” out there that the course of his presidency and the “moral arc of the universe” were pretty much on the same track. This sort of theatrical moralizing yourself into the woven fabric of the universe is a common adolescent trait, usually forgivable because most adolescents grow up and wise up. Obama did neither and ended up convinced that the banalities that always seemed to be popping into his head and out of his busy mouth were profound moral revelations. “If you're walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.” Ok, well maybe this inspiration came to Obama after channeling that old Nancy Sinatra tune: “These boots are made for walking and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you,” which, when you think about it, is what happened to the American people when Obama started walking down his path.

But, on to “It’s encouraging.” Always the master of misdirection and condescension, even at 28 years old Obama was already posing as the sage elder who has divined the “right way” everyone needs to go and, if politely asked, is willing to point in that direction.

It was certainly encouraging for Obama, enabling him to tout himself later in quest of another presidency as a constitutional law scholar even though during his tenure as editor of this “most prestigious” journal he skipped on one of the standard expectations for appointment to the post, never publishing a single paragraph on the law or anything remotely related. In fact, he never published anything other than two books about his favorite subject, himself, and there is ample reason to suspect that, even with those, he had a lot of help. All of this was fairly common knowledge, but for the sophisticates in journalism and the commentariat (Brezezinski’s sophisticates, including his airhead daughter, Mika, it seems) it was time for white America to atone for its racist past. Obama was the right black, platitude-polishing slickster to make it happen, endorsed by the illustrious Senator Harry Reid for his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

We are in the post-Obama era, the bad news being that the eight- year-long lobotomy he performed on the country was successful. How else to explain that in the 2016 Presidential election campaign, the Obama-endorsed candidate, who was under a federal criminal investigation with a decades long history of graft, influence peddling and subornation, got almost 66 million Americans, the plurality in the country, to vote for her. 
Obama’s Presidency with its culmination in Cult-Marx, identity politics vastly expanded the population of Brezesinski’s simpletons who swoon when the “free stuff for everyone guy” comes along and says things like “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Identity politics, crudely reductionist in its approach and primitive in its emotional appeal, makes the natives even more restless. The mad scramble is on. All the incentives are to join, if you can, one of the communities of the marginalized and oppressed, articulate your grievances, agitate for revenge and demand the assistance of the state in taking it. If none is immediately available for membership more are under development, and barring that, you can resort to being a self-flagellating advocate for one of them. There are many self-serving options.

The moralists who call the shots now are all about structuring this new social order so as to protect and reward the oppressed, and then punish the oppressors after they are outed. Most importantly, in such an order it is obviously neither healthy nor prudent for anyone to risk being branded as an oppressor of any sort, or even suspected as such. Which is why in the post-Obama era not-being-a-racist certification has become the most coveted social prize. “Please, really, I am not a racist. How can I convince you? I’ll do anything.” Consider for a moment the power dynamics in play here, and then you quickly understand why political resistance has almost completely collapsed to the moral-extortion racketeering that Obama and his minions institutionalized and now operates openly in both parties.
In her great work, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt wrote: “Society is always prone to accept a person offhand for what he pretends to be, so that a crackpot posing as a genius always has a certain chance to be believed.” Written long before the arrival of The One, it is comforting to believe that if she had been alive to contemplate the crackpot of Hope and Change, she would have been a one of the few sophisticates who did not fall for the scam.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Post-Charlottesville: We Are on Our Own

We on the right owe something to the leftist mob that, with the assistance and connivance of the state and local authorities, assaulted the lawfully and peacefully assembled protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia last August 13th. Thanks to the Antifas, whatever fleeting illusions or fantasies we may have nurtured about living in a society where there are institutions to protect people who dissent from the prevailing orthodoxy have evaporated. Charlottesville was a watershed 21st century moment revealing that the Sovietization of the U.S. (21st century style) is nearly complete.

Since the official interpretation of this Virginia riot seems to one of a resurgent fascism raising its ugly head, it may help to remember how the Soviets in their heyday used “fascism” to keep their fact-free storyline intact and tighten the party’s suffocating grip on the throat of even the puniest of opposition. During those days when the CPSU was calling all the shots on behalf of the Russian proletariat, they relied on an impregnable ideology that happened to explain just about everything that needed explaining. Facts, figures, the reality of empirical discovery and confirmation were secondary to the “reality” in the form of a creation myth fashioned by the CPSU philosophers. It was continuously embellished and promulgated to keep the vodka-besotted peons from beginning to realize that things in the promise land were not quite right and that the people in charge were an assortment of liars, psychopaths and criminals.

The myth in a nutshell was that Lenin, Stalin and their ensemble of good guys at just the right moment of history had taken power on behalf of oppressed toiling masses and were building the socialist workers paradise that Karl Marx had predicted eventually would be installed everywhere. On the way, these good guys encountered some very bad guys – Hitler, Mussolini, the faces of fascism and enemies of humanity – who temporarily disrupted the grand march of progress to abundance and equality. For a while the future did not look so good for Stalin’s utopian pretentions, but with the help of a naïve and enfeebled FDR and a cynical Churchill, the General Secretary got to watch Hitler, Mussolini and the fascist world they threatened to impose come crashing down and see himself emerge victoriously as the world’s greatest anti-fascist, pieces of Hitler’s chard skeleton retrieved by the Red Army from the Fuhrer bunker in Berlin as his most prized trophy. Historically, symbolically and politically, fascism was dead, but fascists of a certain sort could now be permanently featured as key performers in the governing ideology, enemies of progress ready to be summoned for duty when they were most needed. Fascism, as it turns out, had never been completely vanquished and whenever and wherever things went wrong, the reincarnated Hitlers and Mussolinis appeared on cue triggering, of course, the resurgence of anti-fascist brigades to stomp them down once again and modestly proclaim their own courage and heroism.
If the recent history of the Charlottesville debacle and its frenzied media aftermath were somehow to be dubbed into Russian and tweaked a bit, the entire sorry episode could easily be imagined to have been staged somewhere in Brezhnev’s U.S.S.R. Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson who was, now brace yourself and grab a teddy bear for comfort, a slave owner. His famous home, Monticello, is just outside the city. Soon expect him to be thrust into the cultural Marxists’ rouges gallery of once great Americans because his life did not meet the moral standards set by the likes of Al Sharpton and Maxine Waters. Only in a society completely slipped off its moorings and ruled by a mafia-style clique of pretend champions of the oppressed could cretins like Sharpton and the mobs he leads into the streets be seriously attended to by the mainstream media and courted by the power brokers.

Jefferson’s UVA is now a festering academic cesspool of cultural Marxism, about as a hospitable a venue for right-wing protestors as Berkeley, Madison or Ann Arbor. Just thinking the wrong thoughts in places like this can get you assaulted. The “Unite the Right” (UtR) protestors were the perfect patsies in this pathetic “morality” drama. They were set up to be the chief (the only) villains by the power players ranging from Virginia Governor Terry “Mr. Clintonista” McAuliffe, Charlottesville Mayor, Michael Signer, an understudy of Hillary Clinton-handler, John Podesta, and their police stooges who perp-walked the hapless UtR protestors into the teeth of the masked, club-wielding Antifas, who, incidentally, unlike the patsies, had no permit to assemble. The rioting ensued, people were beaten up and a woman was killed by a man, James Fields, in his car attempting to escape the rampaging antifas. Fields, has now experienced an American-style show trial (prosecutor, defender and judge all working in concert) and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

How then did those who run the opinion-shaping, attitude-adjusting organs of mass media, the major instruments of mediation and interpretation of events like this, explain to the American people what had happened? Predictably, they seemed to have had no inclination to look carefully at the facts and circumstances and raise questions that might have led to more than the usual predicable fascist, racist smear of people who don’t necessarily believe that white racism pulsates from every crevice of American life and justifies the recreational burning down of the cities. This rampant racism, apparently, not only infects people and institutions but stone and marble as well, and the professional grievance mongers and the rabble they arouse are now assaulting the statues and monuments they reckon to be contaminated.

President Trump provoked hysteria from the “virtue professionals” posing as journalists when he refused to parrot the lines from the Pravda-like scripts of the New York Times, Washington Post and the cable news networks rejecting their standard “fascists-evil/anti-fascists-good” trope dating back to the early days of Stalin’s masterful political dramaturgy. His Soviet Union was always locked in mortal combat with fascists of some sort, but who they were depended on whom he had it in for at the particular moment. In the run up to Hitler’s chancellorship they were “Social Fascists” the German Social Democrats who, by playing by the rules of constitutional politics, were obstructing the path to world revolution. When Hitler finished strangling the Weimar Republic, Stalin switched to the Popular Front and the Social Fascists became needed democrat allies in opposition in the face of German rearmament. The British were fascists until the summer of 1941 when Hitler, then Stalin’s partner in the rape of Poland and the Baltic states, double crossed him and launched Barbarossa, after which they became his allies.  How one becomes a fascist, you might say, is situationally dependent on the left’s current priorities.

The fury over Trump’s rejection of the Pravda script and his refusal to sanctify the criminality of masked, armed thugs simply because they were self-proclaimed “anti-fascists” became part of a greater on-going setup, a stepping up of the relentless efforts of the left to de-legitimate his election. Don’t forget: during the 2016 Presidential campaign Trump himself was routinely denounced by columnists in the major outlets, as well as Democrats and Republicans, as a fascist. Post-election, the “resistance” was born; the “fascist” motif never for a moment abates. Trump’s supporters, recall, were consigned by Hillary Clinton late in the campaign to the moral trash heap as “irredeemables” because they were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it.” Well, yes, you can probably go on with the naming game for a long time – there is always a new victim group to be identified and cultivated with its own unique “-ism” or “-phobia”, one more target of “hate” – but “fascist” probably captures the generic essence of bigotry that can be manifested in so many recondite forms.  

Charlottesville became the perfect storm and fueled the left’s continuing paranoid fantasy of an impending fascist America. Ignored is the fact that Klansmen, neo-Nazis and neo-Fascists supposedly on the verge of taking over are such a fringe element in American society so far removed from any sources of power and influence that without the left to constantly raise them to the status of a threatening political force they would probably disappear altogether. But the Southern Poverty Leadership Conference needs them to sustain their fund raising and luxury Birmingham, Alabama digs, and the broader left needs them with all of their crude imagery to smear the right and as a fulcrum for their hysterical moral posturing.

The Democrats always burst orgasmic anytime a real live Klansman or neo-Nazi sallies out from the shadows and gets some attention which means they can pretend that hooded lynch mobs are lurking on every corner and that every conservative is Bull Connor or George Lincoln Rockwell. Not to be outdone, the Republican traveling carnival of gelded hacks – Marco Rubio, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and, of course, Mitt Romney – did not hesitate to join the chorus of Democrat trained seals sounding like they had just emerged from a “white privilege” indoctrination session led by Barack Obama. Marco Rubio, the classic empty suit, with no intention of the irony tweeted: “When an entire movement built on anger & hatred towards people different than you, it justifies & ultimately leads to violence against them.” Little Marco, apparently, is unable to grasp meaning of psychological projection.

It is tempting to say that it could be worse, that with a shift in a few tens of thousands of votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin last November Hillary Clinton would be staggering around the White House plotting her revenge on the “basket of deplorables,” another “wise Latina” or a Black Lives Matter savant would be on the Supreme Court, and “hate speech” legislation would be wending its way through Congress. This is not much comfort, however. Trump, whatever his intentions may have been, will never “drain the swamp” and his Presidency is no serious threat to the cultural Marxist hegemon. It is a temporary bump in the road that will probably end very badly before the next scheduled election.  

There is no part of the establishment – the political parties and the Federal behemoth, the courts, the MSM and the entertainment industry, public schools and the universities – that has not embraced the mindless orthodoxy that equates any and all resistance to the cultural Marxists’ program of white guilt indoctrination, with its de rigueur confessional and self-flagellating rituals, as a form of fascism that must be extirpated. There seems to remain no serious institutional, political or legal obstacles to the escalating predations of the left’s shock troops, Black Lives Matter and the Antifas who, like Mao’s Red Guard of the 1960s and 70s are mounting a cultural revolution and marauding with a destructive fury that promises a complete ruination of what is left of traditional America. An avalanche of slander, lies and abuse is raining down from all corners, and a mailed fist in full force is falling on the resistance to it; we are on our own.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Words, Weapons and Rituals of the Left, and a Nod to J. L. Austin

 Image result for how to do things with words

 Anyone today who attempts to understand what is happening in the West (America, Europe) – the collapse into a cloaca that is the solipsistic Face Book pop culture, the avalanche of nihilism, the ciphers and the soft-totalitarian apparats, now seemingly unimpeded, closing their long, velvet-covered fingers around our necks – might wonder how a resurrected George Orwell would reflect on the rampant corruption that has greased the slide into this sewer.  

In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

Well, yes. This is, indeed, “our age,” politicized right down to the dictated pronoun assignation of transgendered whatever they fantasize they are and their restroom privileges, and you find yourself chocking on the daily output of the “mass of lies” from the sneering, self-infatuated pygmies resting on their glorified perches in the government, journalism, the entertainment industry, the NGOs and tenured professorships. Not to forget the social justice warrior CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg or the vapid, preening Hollywood celebrities who never tire of massaging their bloated egos and publicly wallowing in their invincible ignorance.  

The aftermath of the recent leftist-inspired mob violence in Charlottesville with the Pravda-like organs of the mass media in high dudgeon has given us a clear and terrifying vision of the cultural Marxist monopolized control and manipulation of language that is used to shape the public perception of social conflict.

To get a better sense of what the left is all about with the relentless labeling of any and all opposition as fascist, racist, proponents of hatred, etc., and in the spirit of Orwell to try to understand how language in the service of ideology has become so corrupted, it might be helpful to consider the notion of “performative utterances” (hereafter, performatives) as developed by J. L. Austin, a British language philosopher from the last century.

From: How to Do Things with Words, ed. J. O. Urmson and Marina Sbisá. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1962.

[Defining the Performative]
Utterances can be found… such that:
·      They do not ‘describe’ or ‘report’ or constate anything at all, are  not ‘true or false,’ and
·      The uttering of the sentence is, or is a part of, the doing of an action, which again would not normally be described as, or as ‘just,’ saying something.

Performatives, as Austin explains, are not, logically speaking, propositions, that is, assertions that can be shown to be true or false. They do not attempt to describe the world or to affirm or deny some aspect of reality. They are “utterances,” actions that change the social world. Austin gives a number of examples, but let me offer a couple to demonstrate the point.

A minister or priest performs a marriage ceremony and at the conclusion utters, “I pronounce you man and wife.” A judge at the conclusion of a trial says to the defendant, “I sentence you to ten years at hard labor.” Neither the minister nor the judge with these sentences describe the world; their utterances are socially sanctioned actions that change it. Now married, the couple has a different social status. The man and woman are viewed and treated differently, view themselves differently and have different roles, expectations and obligations than they had before the performative was made. Likewise, the accused now becomes a convicted criminal who is viewed and treated differently after the judge’s performative.

How then does this notion of performatives apply to the current efforts of the cultural Marxists to control and manipulate public perceptions of politics and morals? The left engages in a profound dissimulation that disguises what are actually performatives as demonstrable true propositions or assertions about reality. While they pretend to be describing someone or something, what they are really about is acting in a way that demoralizes and ultimately de-legitimates the status of those who may compete with them for power or resist their incursions into their lives. As employed by the left, these performatives do not inform; they deform people who refuse to conform. They are weapons the left uses to destroy those whom they always perceive as morally inferior beings, their enemies. Think of Hillary Clinton’s horrific “basket of deplorables” slur during the last Presidential campaign.

How, specifically, do these weaponized performatives work for the left? Let’s begin with oldest, the most reliable and the most predictable: “You are a fascist.” The speaker in making what appears grammatically to be an assertion depicting some feature of reality is really acting out in a well-established social ritual that seeks to alter social reality in two mutually reinforcing ways. First, it elevates the speaker’s social status as a morally superior and courageous person who recognizes evil and stands far above and against it. The speaker becomes immaculate. Second, the moral polarity comes into play and the “authority” of the accuser is established. Very good people must be opposed by very bad people, and what catch-all word seems to work best to capture all those malignancies associated with the villains who occupy the imaginations of the folks who write the opinion columns in the New York Times and who blabber on CNN and MSNBC– bigotry, intolerance, sexism, racism, etc.? “Fascist” works very nicely. There is, of course, no room for Fascists anywhere in “our democracy,” as they like to say (“our democracy” being their euphemism for “our invitation-only clubhouse”). Such an individual is morally contaminated, “irredeemable,” “not part of America” in Hillary Clinton’s parlance, someone beyond the pale, whose ideas and beliefs must be extinguished.

“Fascist” is one of the most important words in the lexicon of the left, wrenched from its historical, political moorings, so vague and protean that it is descriptively useless. Bearing only vague, emotional associations, it has been stripped of its referents, and thus serves as an all-purpose, expandable-contractible label for prospective targets who may pose as obstacles or irritants.
Once upon a time there were real flesh and blood fascists, people who were recognized as such because they actually called themselves “fascists,” dressed up in black shirts, took power for a time and talked about how great fascism was as compared to the decadent bourgeoisie. As we know, things turned out badly for them, and Benito Mussolini, the man who brought fascism to the world ended up as a battered corpse hanging upside down from a steel girder above a gas station in Milan next to his mistress, Claretta Petacci in 1945.

That marked the grisly end of fascism as embraced and practiced by people whom everyone, including themselves, recognized as fascists; as an ideology and a movement that attracted a mass following it was kaput, an attraction that has lingered on for a few out on the fringe.

It was Joseph Stalin who recognized the mobilizing power of the word, “fascist” and fashioned an abstract, malleable “fascist,” introducing a being, unlike Mussolini, immortal and ubiquitous (Leon Trotsky was “baptized” by Stalin as one). Fascists who populate the Stalinist universe can only be contained by their antipodes, thus, “anti-fascist,” a word which endows one thus designated with a heroic, moral invincibility. The anarchists during the Spanish civil war who raped and murdered nuns and burned down churches were anti-fascists and thus remain vanquished heroes who fought a losing battle for “democracy.” The antifas who attacked and beat up people recently at Charlottesville and other rallies are lauded predictably by Nicholas Scylla Kristof and Mitt Charybdis Romney as opponents of bigotry and hatred. Stalin’s “fascist” was the gift to the left that keeps on giving and every generation of leftists since his demise has happily and eagerly attached it to whomever displeases them, most recently Donald Trump and his supporters.     

The “You are a fascist” performative is the paradigm for the cultural Marxists’ engagement with all dissent and opposition. It moralizes the speaker, enveloping him with goodness and virtue. As well it immunizes him from (moral) criticism and (legal) accountability and at the same time demoralizes the accused making him into an enemy who represents an existential threat to their fictional “our democracy.” “Politics” for the left is shorthand for conniving at the destruction of the opposition, politically, always, physically, if possible.  

“Racism” works in tandem with “fascism.” “You are a racist” is a weaponized performative camouflaged as a descriptive, yet another one of the expulsion rituals that render the accused “untouchable” while confirming the impeccable moral credentials of the speaker. Like “fascist,” “racist” has migrated from being a word that once perhaps referred to real and distinguishable features of someone to a slippery, nebulous abstraction that means whatever the speaker wants it to mean. This is why racism which has risen to the heights of a raging moral plague has of necessity been metastasizing into various strains such as, “covert racism,” “legacy racism,” “economic racism,” “environmental racism,” “systemic racism,” “institutional racism.” There is no relief, no escape from it; with this the left is refereeing a game of whack-a-mole that never ends.  

No one today accused of racism can prove the accusation to be false. This means that the accuser cannot be held accountable, and because of this, as long as the threat of being accused of racism is widely and commonly resisted and feared, the left will use it with increasing recklessness and indifference to whatever damage it does. It has worked to perfection for them; whenever the threat goes down, the white flag always goes up. So, it is a near certain prediction that the racism that plagues the West will continue to mount toward epidemic proportions.  

What Austin’s performative utterances may help us to understand is that for the left politics in all of its manifestations is war with no Geneva Convention-style restrains, with unconditional surrender as its end game. For them there is no compromise, no loyal opposition, no notion of fair play or rules of a civil society that limit what the players should do. We are the enemy. We forget it at our peril.