Violence in a Civilised Society, part 2

Violence in a Civilised Society, part 2

by Mark Wegierski

Concerning the question of violence against the state or its ruling groups, some would argue that “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” However, are there in fact any right‑wing terrorist groups in the West today, apart from some miniscule fringes? Apropos the “right-wing threat,” many of the incidents of swastika‑daubing in the former West Germany were staged by the Soviet intelligence services and Far Left activists. Some liberals have portrayed the vicious terrorist attacks in Oklahoma City and in Norway as typical of a generalized right-wing and tried to link the Arizona shootings to the Tea Party.

There are a large number of criteria by which a terrorist can be distinguished from a legitimate fighter for national self‑determination or other cultural goals. Especially during the Cold War era, liberals tended to see many groups employing terror as “freedom‑fighters,” while at the same time seeing many quite restrained oppositionists as “terrorists.”

Liberals appear to be less concerned about threats to “social order” and even “civil order” when the threat is posed by the Far Left (e.g. the Red Army Faction) or by criminal elements. But any possible crimes that can be attributed to an unfairly generalized “right-wing,” such as the bombing of abortion clinics or shootings of doctors who provide abortion services (which are clearly carried out by obviously disturbed individuals), are met with the strictest severity, and by attempts to extend permanent blame onto the entire right-wing. Continue reading

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Rise of the New Right

Election Poster, 1950

Rise of the New Right

The Rise of the Right: English Nationalism and the Transformation of Working-Class Politics, Simon Winlow et al., Policy Press, University of Bristol, 2017, reviewed by Allan Pond

The claim that the ‘left’ has replaced traditional socio-economic concerns with ‘intersectional’ issues such as gender and ethnicity is hardly original. Many commentators on both the left and the right have concluded that the left ‘lost the economic battle but won the cultural one’. A set of interviews with supporters and members of the English Defence League (EDL) is the peg upon which the authors hang a larger argument about the decline of the traditional working class left.

The middle class, liberal left preferred adaptation to capitalism rather than its transformation. This caused the working class to feel abandoned and patronized, so they adopted right wing’ ideas instead. That, in a nut-shell, is the authors’ argument. This new left no longer had faith in the working class and looked instead to the ‘fragments’ as the motor of change. The traditional (white) working class were now deemed ‘redundant’ (to use the title of one of their chapters) not only in the sense of being surplus to capital’s requirements, but also in terms of the liberal left’s analysis of agents capable of leveraging change. Continue reading

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ENDNOTES, July 2018

Picasso, Guernica

Endnotes: July 2018, Michael Tippett, an overlooked English composer, by Stuart Millson; Steven Osborne, Martin Kasík, recitals reviewed by Leslie Jones

Sir Michael Tippett – a greatly admired figure in the 1970s and ‘80s, especially during Proms seasons – has fallen from public view in the last 30 years. His huge choral-orchestral work, The Mask of Time, opened the 1984 Proms to great acclaim; and his post-war operatic output rivalled that of Britten. Despite his radicalism and his embracing of liberal causes, Tippett’s fundamental Englishness shone through; and perhaps it was this “cultural DNA” which partly led, in our age of increasing musical nihilism and shunning of national feeling, to his eclipse.

Like Britten, unofficially enthroned at Aldeburgh, Suffolk as the “magus” of English composers, so it was that Tippett – especially in royal tributes, such as his Suite for the Birthday of Prince Charles – became, in the eyes of an unforgiving avant-garde, an English establishment composer.

Michael Kemp Tippett, 1905 – 1998, had a mixture of West Country and Kentish ancestry – his (well-to-do) family exhibiting a strong grain of free-thinking, non-conformist idealism. Early associations with Socialism, with the workers’ educational movement, with Morley College (he was appointed its Director of Music in 1940) placed him, at first, as a figure who seemed to be against the grain of his country. But his music was championed by our conducting knights of pre- and post-war fame – the conservative Sargent and Boult – and latterly by the more progressive Colin and Andrew Davis, and Simon Rattle. Continue reading

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Lindsey Graham’s Lies

President Assad

Lindsey Graham’s Lies

by Ilana Mercer

On just about every issue, in 2016, candidate Trump ran in opposition to Sen. Lindsey Graham. Donald Trump won the presidency; Lindsey Graham quit the race with near-zero popularity, as reflected in the polls.

The People certainly loathe the senator from South Carolina. A poll conducted subsequently found that Graham was amongst the least popular senators. No wonder. Graham is reliably wrong about most things.

But being both misguided and despised have done nothing to diminish Sen. Graham’s popularity with Big Media, left and right. Thus were his pronouncements accorded the customary reverence, during a July 10 segment, on Fox News’ “The Story.” Which is when he told anchor Martha MacCallum that “Putin is not doing anything good in Syria.” Continue reading

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In Memoriam, George Parkin Grant, 1918-1988

Thrift Books

In Memoriam, George Parkin Grant,
1918-1988

 By Mark Wegierski

George Parkin Grant (who usually called himself George Grant) is virtually unknown outside of Canada, and should not be confused with the American conservative writer of the same first and last name. The exploration of the combination of the four words used to describe George Grant – conservative, Canadian, nationalist, philosopher– is the backbone of this essay.

George Grant was not a narrowly partisan politician confined to the day-to-day mud-slinging and hurly-burly of “practical politics” — rather, he was a political philosopher who looked at society from a “world-historical” perspective. Although Grant wanted to be widely understood, his writing is far more abstract and abstruse, and far less crudely biased, than that found in “practical political” discourse.

George Grant was not an analytic philosopher (i.e., he loved broad vistas rather than minutiae); nor was he a political scientist in the sense of the kind of person in political studies who aspires to put on a lab coat to lend themselves prestige; nor was he a student of international relations; and certainly not an administrative or management theorist. By his preference for political philosophy, Grant set himself against the rising tide of disciplines, which are proceeding – despite some exotic postmodern fraying at the edges — in the direction of analytics, the scientific model, a mathematical modelling of international relations, and administrative and managerial approaches. Continue reading

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How to Philosophise with a Hammer

Charles Krauthammer

How to Philosophise with a Hammer

By Ilana Mercer

The late Charles Krauthammer was right about the rules of good writing. The use of the first-person pronoun in opinion writing is a cardinal sin. To get a sense of how bad someone’s writing is, count the number of times that he or she deploys the Imperial “I” on the page. Krauthammer considered a single “I” in a piece to be a failure.

Only use “I” when the passive-form alternative is too clumsy. Or, when the writer herself has earned the right to, because of her relevance to the story. (The story itself, naturally, should have relevance.) The second is my excuse here.

As a legal immigrant to the U.S., now an American citizen, I have a right to insert myself into the noisy narrative. As a legal immigrant who was separated from her daughter, herself a legal immigrant, the onus is on me to share a scurrilous story that is part of a pattern. Continue reading

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Killing Time

Edvard Munch, Between the Clock and the Bed

Killing Time

Bill Hartley, on the weird world of the “Shut In”

Travelling at 49 mph on the bypass (it’s always 49 mph), the Skoda Yeti is heading for the supermarket. This is the vehicle of choice for a certain type of retiree. Squeezing out the maximum fuel economy irrespective of road conditions is a clue to the identity of the driver. Such people reportedly refuse to observe the wide turning circle of an HGV and will squeeze their car through an ever narrowing gap. The lorry driver then has to apply the brakes mid turn and is sometimes left wondering if his 38 tons was even noticed.

Later, Mr Retiree and his wife can be seen in the supermarket, forensically studying the sell by labels on various products, oblivious to the presence of other shoppers. This weekly expedition is likely to be one of the few occasions when the couple will routinely venture further than the local newsagent. Welcome to the world of the Shut In.

The term was originally coined in the US to describe persons who due to illness or gross obesity were confined to their homes. It is, however, as appropriate a description for a section of the British population and where it may ultimately lead isn’t edifying. Continue reading

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Endorsing the Donald’s Creative Destruction

Endorsing the Donald’s Creative Destruction

by Ilana Mercer

Big Media, the policy veterans and the chancelleries across Europe and Britain are constantly complaining: Donald Trump has had the temerity to defy their international order, summit—and seek peace—with their enemies, and mess with the multilateral maze they call agreements. He even declared, early in June, that the US would be far better off if it negotiated bilateral trade agreements.

Or, in Trump speak, “country-on-country agreements.”

But what do an entrenched punditocracy, a self-anointed, meritless intelligentsia (which is not very intelligent and draws its financial sustenance from the political spoils system), oleaginous politicians, slick media and big money care? They’ve all worked in tandem to advance a grand government—national and transnational—that aggrandizes its constituent elements, while diminishing those it’s supposed to serve. Continue reading

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Saving America

Top Vinyl Films

Saving America

By Ilana Mercer

By now, most Americans, for or against, get the idea. All an individual or family need do to live in America, and off the avails of the American taxpayer, is to arrive at an approved port of entry and “lodge a legal claim to stay.”

That’s it.

The same understanding animates an entire, parasitical industry that has arisen to coach the claimants in their claims-making.

The refugee and illegal-migrant racket sprung-up on the backs of the American people is Third World cronyism at its best. “The Trump administration plans to pay a Texas nonprofit nearly half a billion dollars, this year, to care for immigrant children who were detained crossing the U.S. border illegally, reports Bloomberg.”

Did you vote for that?

Brazen border-crossers “rarely hide from border agents,” for they know the rules of the game are that there aren’t any rules. Not for them, not for the lawless.

The law-abiding pay. Continue reading

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Violence in a Civilised Society (1)

David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians

Violence in a Civilised Society (1)

Part one of a two part essay, by Mark Wegierski

Organized social violence is only one of a panoply of coercive controls which society uses to “keep people in line.” A distinction may be drawn here between the use of coercive instrumentalities mainly for the maintenance of civil order, as in some earlier forms of liberal democracy, and their employment for the promotion of a given “world‑outlook.”

In classical liberalism, coercive instrumentalities are most often used for the sake of the maintenance of civil order and this is usually their sole “legitimate” justification. Even today, in many liberal democratic societies, it is usually the normative instrumentalities which are used to “induct” people into various shades of liberalism (most especially through the mass-media, and the mass-education of the young). However, one increasingly sees in supposedly liberal democratic societies that coercive instrumentalities are being used against such things as “hate speech”. The IRS scandal during the Obama administration in the United States is another example of coercive instrumentalities used against dissenters. And, more recently, the “surveillance society” has been instantiated more concretely that at any point in American history. Continue reading

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