What is ‘Cultural Marxism’?

One of the best things about life is that as long as we are breathing, we can continue to learn!

One of the best things about blogging is that the comments I receive are often insightful, well thought out and I can learn from them.  Usually, these just point out the ‘holes’ in my education/knowledge base:  something I appreciate because it points me in the direction of things I need to learn.

Yet, every now and then, there are comments which are an education in themselves!  Below is an excerpt (!) from one such comment:  I thought it so important and informative that I wanted to share it with everyone.  And, having received permission from the author, here is the answer to my question ‘What is ‘Cultural Marxism’?’:

CodeSlinger says:

Cultural Marxism is not Marxism-Leninism (which we usually just call Communism).

Marxism-Leninism is a system of political economics, which results from applying the so-called Marxist dialectic, developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in a process called critical analysis, which uses it to deconstruct Western democracy and capitalism, and to rewrite history in terms of economic class struggle (and we all saw how that turned out).

In the 1920’s, Antonio Gramsci and György Lukács adapted the methods of the Marxist dialectic and critical analysis to the cultural sphere and applied it to the task of undermining Western science, philosophy, religion, art, education, and so on. The result is called the quiet revolution, the revolution from within, the revolution that cannot be resisted by force. This is cultural Marxism.

Now, that was quite bad enough, but then along came a group of sociologists and psychologists — chief among whom being Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Jürgen Habermas — and they combined the Marxist dialectic with Freudian psychology to produce an exceptionally corrosive concoction called Critical Theory, which they use to deconstruct Western culture and values, and to rewrite history in terms of sexual and racial power struggles (and we can all see how that is turning out).

Collectively, these guys are called the Frankfurt School, because they originally got together under Horkheimer at the Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), which was domiciled in a little brick building belonging to the University of Frankfurt am Main in the early 1930’s. They all published their work in the Journal for Social Research (Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung), edited by none other than Horkheimer himself.

Then Hitler consolidated his control of Nazi Germany, so, seeing as they were all Jewish, they fled to the USA, more or less as a group, in 1934. In America, they affiliated themselves with Columbia and Princeton Universities. The Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung was renamed Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, and they really got down to business.

Horkheimer’s key idea was that Critical Theory could be used actively, to change society, in contrast to the traditionally passive role of sociology, which had been merely to understand society. These guys were not your typical academics, whose main interest is the pursuit of knowledge. On the contrary, these guys pursued an agenda: they wanted to find out why the Marxist revolution had failed in the West, and they wanted to remedy that situation. To that end, the group’s research addressed what to attack, how to structure the attack, how to deliver the attack, and how to measure the results of the attack.

Thus, for example, Adorno joined up with Paul Lazarsfeld, founder of the Bureau for Applied Social Research at Columbia, and began studying the effect of mass media on the population, and how to measure it. Starting in 1937, they collaborated on the Radio Project (bankrolled by the Rockefeller Foundation) which, among other things, produced the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast so they could measure its effects, and the Little Annie Project, which pioneered methods that quickly evolved into the Nielsen Ratings and the Gallup Polls.

Another example is the concept of intersubjective rationality, developed by Habermas, which replaces the individual process of reaching a conclusion based on the objective criterion that it follows from valid reasoning and known facts, on the one hand, with the social process of establishing a consensus supported by the subjective criterion that the group feels good about it, on the other hand. In today’s schools, those who do the former are maligned for being judgmental and demanding, while those who do the latter are praised for being good team players.

But, rather than go into pages and pages of detail right here and now, I’ll just list the titles of some of the major works of the Frankfurt School. Given the context, this combination of titles will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck:

Authority and the Family, Horkheimer, 1936
Escape from Freedom&amp, Fromm, 1941
Sex and Character, Fromm, 1943
The Authoritarian Personality, Adorno et al., 1950
Eros and Civilization, Marcuse, 1955
Repressive Tolerance, Marcuse, 1965
Communication and the Evolution of Society, Habermas, 1976

These are just a few of the core works; some are papers, some are books. The total volume of work by these guys, and their followers, is huge. The combined result, as I outlined in my very first post on this blog*, is something like the following:

It includes not only censorship of various kinds, but also the erosion of privacy, the debasement of the schools and the neutralization of the church. It includes the destruction of the family by setting wives against husbands and children against parents. It includes the disarmament of the public, the invalidation of self-defence and the incitement of fear. It includes the promulgation of the culture of victimhood, the promotion of immaturity and the reduction of society to a mob of narcissistic adult children. It includes the dogmatization of the universities. It includes the concentration of wealth, the concentration of ownership of corporations and the concentration of control of the media.

In sum, your description of all this as a descent into a new dark age** is exactly correct. And since you put it in those terms, I highly recommend an article by Michael J. Minnicino, called The New Dark Age: The Frankfurt School and Political Correctness. It speaks your language, and it will make the big picture very much clearer! Another good place to start is The Origins of Political Correctness, which is a transcript of a talk given by Bill Lind at the Accuracy in Academia Conference in 2000.

Update: The reference list above has been updated to also include the following: Escape from Freedom, Fromm, 1941

Xanthippa’s  footnotes:

*  ‘first post on this blog’= ‘first comment’… on my post  ‘Limiting our freedoms – making sense of the ‘big picture’

** reference to my post:  ‘Fight the ‘Forces of Darkness’!

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Randy Hillier would abolish the OHRC

This is one the first hints which might indicate that the tide just might be turning.  May be.  At least a little bit….  Randy Hillier has announced his bid for leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party!

Randy Hillier is not all that well known on the internationals scene.  Yet, in the Ottawa valley, he’s a bit of a hero.

As a co-founder of the Lanark Landowner’s Association, he has fought to bring Canadians property rights:  the Canadian constitution intentionally excludes all property rights.

In 2007, he won a seat in the Ontario legislature as a Conservative.  Today, he has announced that he will run for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party – AND, he announced some of the things he would stand for:

‘Hiller says as leader he would abolish the Ontario Human Rights Commission, force Ontario to elect its federal Senators and introduce a bill allowing workers to opt out of unions or representative groups. He gave the example of physicians, who he says are compelled to join the Ontario Medical Association.’

This is most awesome!!!  In a radio interview, he said he is the ‘pro-freedom candidate’.

From his website, this is what his solution to the Ontario Human Rights Commission would  be:

‘As Premier, Randy Hillier will introduce legislation to place violations of Human Rights in REAL courts where civil rights and due process are not ignored. Human Rights Commissions will become redundant and will be eliminated.

Regular rules of court procedure would apply including burden of proof being placed upon the complainant. If the complainant is able to prove their claim through the provincial court system then the defendant would be subject to a fine levied by the court as well as the legal fees of the complainant. This approach will restrict frivolous complaints while allow true cases of discrimination to be pursued.’

In other words, if elected, he will  FIRE THEM ALL!!!

And that is just the tip of the iceberg…

This makes me hopeful.  People are beginning to wake up to the real threats to our freedom we are facing these days!

Some of the most anti-freedom laws for controlling the internet are ‘being rethought’ (from New Zealand to  the EU).  It’s a tiny little bit, but it is a hopeful beginning!

And now, politicians are beginning to question the oppression by the quasi-judicial ‘Human Rights Commissions’ – and by the laws that force people to submit to unions or similar organizations which interfere between them and their employer.

Finally, a pro-freedom, against-big-government candidate for a major political party!  I sincerely hope he wins and that we will benefit from his reforms.   Yet, even if he does not win, the very fact that he is a serious contender for the leadership of the party will re-frame the debate.  It will bring the classical libertarian way of thinking to the forefront – and introduce people who never considered this way of thinking to it.  And, it will help to expose just how far from ‘the centre’ many of our ‘mainstream’ policies have become!

In other words, it will force the focus of the debate to be more pro-freedom, less pro-regulation and control.  And that can only be a good thing!

I see a black (car) door and I want it painted red?!?!?

California is seriously considering banning ‘black and dark-coloured cars’, on the grounds that since they heat up faster, their carbon footprint is unnecessarily high.

If that were not enough, apparently, they have already done so with their buildings!

All right: I am seriously considering banning California, on the grounds that since they are passing laws like these, their ‘idiot footprint’ is unnecessarily high!

Hat tip:  Dvorak Uncensored

Fight the ‘Forces of Darkness’!

Do you remember reading about ‘The Dark Ages’?

They were called ‘Dark’ for several reasons.

Most of us are familiar with the first one:  because the state of learning had disintegrated so much that most of the people in Europe were plunged back to illiteracy, we have very few written historical records from this time period.  Thus, this era is sunk in ‘darkness’ – as in, ‘absence of knowledge’.

But, there is another reason:  because civilization had declined, most of the people had to eek out a meager existence off the land.  Therefore, they tended to live in small rural settlements, get up with sunrise and go to bed with sunset.  Gone were the parties which lit up the night with joy and revelry! No  longer were people wealthy enough to light up the night – nor would they have much reason to…

Much of Europe had been plunged into a physical, as well as philosophical darkness!

If you are not aware, there is a widespread campaign to plunge the Earth into darkness!

This coming Saturday evening (March 28th, 2009), the new forces of darkness have been guilting people into participating in a creepy, cultish ritual pretentiously called ‘Earth Hour’.

Are you familiar with the methods cults use to ‘break in’ new recruits?  How their brainwashing techniques work?

Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Find a victim: the more intelligent and caring, the better.  Ones who think they are immune to brainwashing make the best targets.
  2. Find or create a vulnerability.  Guilt is an excellent one.
  3. Offer them a solution for salvation (physical or spiritual or both).
  4. Feed them THE answer:  a simple solution, repeated over and over and over.
  5. Do not allow any questioning of the ‘solution’ (dogma).  Those who question it will be shut up or attacked/punished.
  6. Introduce rituals which reinforce the dogma and build bonds of the victim to the cult at large.
  7. Reinforce that adherence to the dogma and the rituals will bring salvation.

Now, please, apply this to the AGW alarmists:

  1. Most of us don’t think we – especially the society as a whole – could possibly be vulnerable
  2. We have THE highest standard of living, ever.  Christianity has filled us with guilt for the very act of living.  It is very, very easy to take these seeds of guilt and manipulate them:  the AGW forces of darkness are not the first, nor the last to exploit this wound on our collective soul.
  3. Salvation:  cut down Carbon Dioxide!  YES!  That is the only way to wash away our guilt for having a nice life!
  4. Humans caused Global Warming through our evil over-consumption!  We must make sacrifices, it will be painful, but we must atone for our sins of living well by destroying the little bits of our economy we still have left and pay, pay, pay!
  5. From David Suzuki (Canada’s AGW grand priest) calling for anyone who questions the AGW dogma to be jailed to hundreds of actual scientists now beginning to speak up (many from the relative freedom of retirement) and describing how their careers and even jobs would have been threatened had they dared speak the truth which was opposed to the dogma… this one is clearly fulfilled!
  6. Start recycling programmes.  Get people to turn out lights.  Simple games, repeatable rituals.  Easy as 3.14….
  7. Introduce ‘Earth Hour’ – and get schools to force kids to push it on their parents.  Those who dissent – well, we all know the story of little Pavlik Morozov…  (OK, so it is not so extreme here now, but… the pressure my 10-year-old has experienced in school to explain to his family why we should all conform to this is truly incredible:  from essays on how good it is, to reports on what their family is doing to ‘pull its weight’ are not just present in his class (actually, his teacher is really great), they are part of a large campaign which is greater than just one school, or one school-board:  with colourful pamphlets which feature ‘friendly characters’ and quote ‘undisputed science’…. it’s enough to make one want to home-school!

If you think I am exaggerating, if you prefer to believe the words of Al Gore, then, here are some of his own words from way back in 1993 (sic):

“Science will not intrude on public policy!”

Yes, the Guru himself knew, as far back as 1993, that science did not support his AGW policy.  But, such minor details were not allowed to interfere with his bid for money and power!  Of course, Gore profits from ‘carbon credit’ trading, having started one of the first such companies….  And, as I write this, more and more evidence is coming out that Obama is also in on the racket.

But, I got sidetracked… please, forgive me.

The beauty of this particular cult is that it reduces the populace’s access to the very things which enable it.  I should explain…

With the advent of the internet – and the ease of access to it – people have found new ways to educate themselves, AND new ways of holding their elected officials accountable.  This threatens a lot of people!!!

People can now communicate, and educate themselves, in an active way – instead of being passive receptacles into which ‘information’ in the form of ‘culture’ is deposited.  Controlling these channels of ‘culture-production’ controlled the evolution of the social culture.  The loss of this control which accompanied the rise of the internet is being addressed now, with the global war against the open internet.

On the governance front – things are no better.  Originally the privelage of very few, now, even ‘regular citizens’ could access the governance structures, the mandarins administeing them and the elected officials who are supposed to control them.  All it takes now is an email (with the ‘electronic fingerprint’ this leaves behind)!

This ‘electronic accountability’ has fundamentally altered our governance structures.  (I’ve spent about a decade evaluating this phenomenon, so I could go on and on about it for days… and, being an Aspie, I don’t know how much I ought to delve into it without boring my audience to death…so, I will simply pass on.  Yet, if you have questions, please, let me know and I will answer them in the comments!  Just, please, specify the level of detail you’d like on this….or it WILL go on and on and on!!!)

One of the most insightful writers ever was Frank Herbert, who wrote the ‘Dune’ series (if you are going to watch it, instead or read it, then watch the 3-part series – not the movie). The man was brilliant.  He was not only a highly skilled writer, he was also extremely insightful in how archetypes affect us – and how they can be used…  How religions arise, evolve, are used – the man was brilliant!

In his book (a bit into the series), ‘God Emperor of Dune’ (whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry missed the point of the book – nay, the series), the previously technologically advanced society of his dystopia (or, is it eutopia – he makes them hard to distinguish) has been reduced to ‘walking’.  High technology is still available, just that much of it has been outlawed and is permitted to be possessed only by ‘the state’ (meaning the Emperor and his minions).

The most wise Emperor, Leto II, says (and, I am paraphrasing, as if I tried to look up the quote, I would end up reading the book again and again, and would not post for weeks…):

“A population that walks is easier to control!”

And, make no mistake:  the symbolic, ritualistic plunging of the Earth into darkness for just one hour, every last Saturday evening in March, is very much and affirmation of the policy of the forces of darkness who fully understand the implications of Emperor Leto’s statement.  It is the first step in plunging the Earth into a much more permanent darkness:  physical as well as philosophical and scientific one, the better to control us all!

Don’t let them.


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Police raid on home of WikiLeaks.de owner

I wish I could say this was a surprise!

Here is the press release (in full):

‘March 24, 2009

EDITORIAL (Wikileaks)

Excerpt raid documentation

Excerpt raid documentation

Shortly after 9pm on Tuesday the 24th of March 2009, seven police officers in Dresden and four in Jena searched the homes of Theodor Reppe, who holds the domain registration for “wikileaks.de”, the German name for wikileaks.org. According to police documentation, the reason for the search was “distribution of pornographic material” and “discovery of evidence”. Police claim the raid was initiated due to Mr. Reppe’s position as the Wikileaks.de domain owner.

Police did not want to give any further information to Mr. Reppe and no contact was made with Wikileaks before or after the search. It is therefore not totally clear why the search was made, however Wikileaks, in its role as a defender of press freedoms, has published censorship lists for Australia, Thailand, Denmark and other countries. Included on the lists are references to sites containing pornography and no other material has been released by Wikileaks relating to the subject.

Some details of the search raise questions:

  • Wikileaks was not contacted before the search, despite Wikileaks having at least two journalists which are recognized members of the German Press Association (Deutscher Presse Verband).
  • The time of at least 11 police detectives was wasted conducting a futile raid on the private home of volunteer assistant to a media organization.
  • Police asked for the passwords to the “wikileaks.de” domain and for the entire domain to be disabled.
  • Mr Reppe was not informed of his rights; police documentation clearly shows that box to be left unchecked.
  • Contrary to what is stated in the police protocol, Mr. Reppe did not agree to “not having a witness” present.

Ultimately, Mr Reppe refused to sign the police documentation due to its inaccuracies.

The raid appears to be related to a recent German social hysteria around child pornography and the controversial battle for a national censorship system by the German family minister Ursula von der Leyen. It comes just a few weeks after a member of parliament, SPD minister Joerg Tauss had his office and private house searched by police. German bloggers discussing the subject were similarly raided.

Mr. Reppe sponsors the Wikileaks German domain registration and mirrors a collection of Wikileaks US Congressional Research Service reports but is not otherwise operationally involved. Mr Reppe is also maintainer of one of the most popular German Tor-proxy servers (morphium.info) but only the connection to Wikileaks was mentioned during the raid.

Wikileaks.de and other Wikileaks domains were unaffected by the raid.

Wikileaks is a non-profit project, sponsored by transparency groups and investigative journalists world wide. To support our defense of this and other cases, see http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Wikileaks

Is this what it has come to?  Are reputable journalistic organizations no longer allowed to report on the facts of censorship, without the fear of having their peoples’ homes searched?  Are police going to be allowed to take ‘shortcuts’ from proper procedures?

It is no co-incidence that the police raid was not carried out against any of the journalists, or that the WikiLeaks office was not notified:  no, picking on the techie volunteer and raiding his home is a deliberate attempt to intimidate!  It is meant to send a clear and unequivocal message:  if you stand up for your rights, we will get you!

Please, make no mistake:  the goal of the state here is NOT to ‘protect children from abuse’ or ‘protect children from pornography’ (as if THAT second one were the state’s role, when it is clearly 100% the parents’ role)!  No, this is a pretext.  The goal is transparently simple:  assert power, normalize the concept that the government has the power to monitor and censor all your communication, until nothing you say, type, read, see or hear will not go unrecorded, un-stored and, if you dare oppose the government, un-used to destroy you completely and totally!

How do I know this?

It is simple reasoning:

How can you make child pornography?  By recording the act of sexually abusing a child, right?

So, if you prevent children from being sexually abused, you will prevent child pornography, on the internet, or anywhere else.  Still correct?

Therefore, if a government is serious about stopping child pornography on the internet, one would expect such a government to strengthen its laws against pedophilia, would one not?

But, the German government, so eager to protect children from child pornography has already stated that it plans to legalize pedophilia!

Hard to believe, but true!  That a government so eager to throw its weight about, pushing around techie volunteers for reputable journalistic organizations – all in the name of protecting children from child abuse – is actually going to enshrine into law that ‘pedophilia’ is a ‘protected grounds’ against which one may not be discriminated against!

Only the constitutional challenge by a lone German MP has prevented Germany from ratifying the Lisbon Treaty, and the German President had, in October 2008, stated his intention to sign the Lisbon Treaty into law by May 2009…

What is the significance of the Lisbon Treaty?  It is the new set of laws which all EU states must submit to, one which clearly and unequivocally includes ‘pedophilia’ as a ‘protected grounds’ on which one is not allowed to be discriminated against!  If you think I am exaggerating, please, listen to someone who is better at expressing this than I am:

So, the next time an EU politician excuses abuse of power in the name of ‘protecting children from sexual abuse’ – you know they are lying!  If they were truly concerned about the kids, they would stop the practice, NOT LEGALIZE IT!!!

Don’t let their pretense at righteousness fool you:  they are after raw power and are doing nothing less than normalizing these abhorrent practices into accepted means of exerting control over their populace!

Hat tip:  Somebody Think of the Children !

P.S.  My own link to the ‘Danish banned list’ stopped working within 24 hours of when I posted it.
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Is Britain a ‘failing state’?

What is a ‘failed state’?

A ‘failed state’ is a state which has completely failed to function.  The exact definition is debated by the experts, but, a ‘failed state’ is often described as having the following characteristics:

  1. inability to maintain its territorial integrity
  2. loss of monopoly on policing and judiciary
  3. failed social structures
  4. corruption of its governance structures (failure of its government to function as it was meant to)

Now, a ‘failing state’ has not quite become a ‘failed state’ – yet – but is certainly heading in that direction.  Some suggest that a failing state may attempt to assert totalitarian-type control over its populace in its last attempts at remaining in control…

Yes, I know, my definitions are not perfect – I don’t have the technical lingo down pat.  Yet, from the little bit of reading I have done, this seems to be the ‘rough’ idea behind the concept.

Britain is not a failed state – yet!  My question is, just how far on the road to becoming one is it?

Let us look at the major characteristics of a ‘failed state’, as per my definition, and see if they are applicable to Britain:

1. Inability to maintain territorial integrity

This is a tough one:  Britain has bartered away the control over immigration to Britain in a series of treaties with the EU:

‘It is therefore actually both impossible and illegal for British immigration officers to obtain hard facts on why people are entering Britain, because an EU passport gives someone from Poland or France as much right to enter this country as I do – no questions asked.’

All right – it is not a ‘failure’ in the ‘classical sense’, but rather the surrendering of responsibility for its territorial integrity to a supranational legal structure.  Yet, it also means that the British government has, in a very real sense, lost the control over maintaining its territorial integrity…

2.  Loss of monopoly on policing and judiciary

Last year, it was revealed that a parallel legal system, based on Sharia law and in no way answerable to the state, had been operating and deeply entrenched in Britain.  In September 2008, acknowledging that they cannot control or abolish this parallel legal system, the British government formally recognized its legitimacy.

Even though this parallel legal system is not based on British laws or traditions, and is completely outside the control of the British government, it is fully functioning and its authority is officially recognized by the British government.

In other words, the British government has failed to maintain a monopoly on its judiciary.

Of course, many people would argue that Britain has also lost its ability to police its society… or even the ability to understand their basic role to charge those who disrupt peace, not those who protest the disruption.  That is not functional policing…

3.  Failed social structures

When a state begins to issue civil court orders known as ASBO (anti-social behaviour order)  against toddlers, it is a rather unequivocal sign that its social structures are failing.

How is an ASBO issued against a person?

Well, according to Wikipedia, the accuser brigns their complaint against the defendant in front of a magistrate (my emphasis):

‘Applications for ASBOs are heard by Magistrates sitting in their civil capacity. Although the proceedings are civil, the court must apply a heightened civil standard of proof. This standard is virtually indistinguishable from the criminal standard. The applicant must prove that the defendant has acted in such a manner beyond all reasonable doubt.’

OK, you might say, so what is the problem?  I know lots of toddlers who display ‘anti-social behaviour’!  Beyond all reasonable doubt, most toddlers DO engage in ‘anti-social behaviour’…  After all, they ARE toddlers.

Yeah, right… But  ASBO is usually issued against ‘football hooligans’ and unruly youths and so on, forbidding specific behaviours.  If the order is broken, and the individual engages in the behaviour prohibited by the order, that individual is subject to arrest.  In other words, it’s sort of a ‘probation’ thingy for specific behaviours.

So, could an ASBO ever be issued to a two-year-old boy?  In England, apparently, it could… and against his sisters, aged 4 and 5 (one of whom is autistic).  From Dvorak Uncensored:

A boy aged two has become the youngest Briton ever to be threatened with an Asbo.

Lennon Poyser received the warning along with his sisters Olivia, five, and four-year-old Megan, after neighbours complained about their behaviour.’

And, yes, the kids had been told they could be arrested if they continued in their anti-social behaviour.  While the whole thing had eventually been cleared up as a ‘mistake’, the fact is that such a complaint did go before a judge, been proven to be true ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ to a standard which ‘is virtually indistinguishable from the criminal standard’ and the order was issued and delivered – ALL IN ERROR?!?!?

Sounds to me like things are seriously breaking down in England…

While all this is going on, what are the local councils worried about?  Are they addressing the breakdown of their society? Are they working hard to plug the holes in their governance structures, so 2-year olds won’t get tossed into jail for kicking a football?

Well, not so much…there is no time for that, because they are busy banning apostrophe’s from public signs and Latin phrases from daily speech!

Of course, these are not the only examples – there are too many to fit into an itty-bitty blog post… One would need a few volumes to even scratch the surface!  And, if THIS is how the local councils are attempting to fix their failing social structures, then, in my never-humble-opinion, England is doomed.

4.  Corruption of its governance structures

Britain is the cradle of our modern-day democracy:  the home of the Magna Carta (or is calling it by its Latin name no longer legal in England?)  Its parliamentary system is designed with checks and balances.  It ought to work!

But, when one unelected parliamentarian can assert his will by threats of terrorism – and do so openly, with impunity, and which no consequences – it is unequivocal that the British government has failed in its function.  It has become corrupted and dysfunctional.

And, if this letter can be interpreted as anything other than a threat of increased domestic terrorism should the British government not submit its foreign policy to the will of the Islamist lobby, then I don’t know what it could possibly be.

So far, I think it has been demonstrated that Britain is slowly but surely advancing on the road towards becoming a ‘failed state’.  Are there any signs that it is behaving according to the patterns of such states?  Is it beginning to attempt to impose some totalitarian, oppressive policies it its desperate attempt to stay in control?

Well, perhaps admitting that the state is unable to keep peace after dark is the reason for the imposition of a curfew which bans all teens from being out at night.  And the populace’s response?  They are squabbling about the ‘how’, not the ‘what’ of the order…

Or, how about this?  The British government not allowed – by EU treaties – to control its immigration, so they are going all out to ‘big brother’ every Briton’s travel plans?

That does not even scratch the surface of the British censoring, choking and monitoring of all internet traffic…some of the blarmiest laws about the internet ever!

If THAT were not enough, now the British government is actively encouraging its citizens to go through each other’s garbage in order to report ‘anything suspicious‘…. and attempting to villify anyone who does not approve of being monitored by cameras 100% of the time!

Having considered the above – how far along the road to ‘failed state’ do you think Britain is?

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Existing laws may already allow ‘Thought Police’

Over the last little while, I have been ranting about the ever-increasing legislation to censor our communication.

Let’s not kid ourselves:  governments today are opposed to information being freely available to their citizens.  ‘Regulating’ things gives governments power over its citizens and collecting fees for ‘regulating’ is an important source of revenue for them.  From UN on, the aim of governments is to ‘regulate’:  it gives them both power and money.

It is only when we, the ‘unwashed masses’, show up – wielding pitchforks – and threaten to our legislators with defenestration* that they will unwillingly and grudgingly step back and allow us to keep some of our inherent rights and freedoms!

Still, when we do, we can make a difference:  the New Zealand government is backing off implementing its controversial ‘Section 92A’ of their copyright law, which would force all ISPs to cut off internet access to anyone even accused of copyright violation!  It looks like the internet petition, protests from all sides (except the movie and music industry) and the loud, loud outcry which echoed worldwide did have some effect:  the government will send that section ‘back to committee’ for re-drafting!  But, the fact that they are re-considering it does not mean they will come to a different conclusion… and passing it quietly, once the fuss had died down.

The fact of the matter is that governments will censor and restrict (sorry, they prefer the term ‘regulate’) as much as we, the citizens, will allow them to!  Once something becomes ‘accepted practice’,  there is grounds for it to become part of our laws, whether we like it or not.

What I’m about to write next is a little bit of ‘reductio ad absurdum’ argument, and I freely admit that.  Yet, it does illustrate what I think is an important principle which we ought not loose sight of…

All around the world, we have accepted that governments have the right to regulate ‘the airwaves’.  Of course, the word ‘airwaves’ is a misnomer:  what is mean by this is the transmission of information using electromagnetic radiation (waves) which travel through the air.  Whether it is the US FCC, Canada’s CRTC, Ofcom in Britain,  ARCEP in France or any other nation’s body – the common thread here is that EVERY governments has established that IT has the RIGHT to regulate the transmission of information vie EM waves through the air.

It is on this basis that it licenses – and censors – radio and television stations. It regulates who is allowed to access which wavelengths, and when, and how.

Most of us have come to accept this as their ‘right’ – if not their outright role, and therefore DUTY.

We seem to have simply ‘accepted’ the premise that governments HAVE the right to regulate the transmission of information using EM radiation.  And, undoing such an assumption will be difficult!

Now, I would like to remind everyone of my first law of human-dynamics:  if a law can be abused, it will be!

How often have our legislators (or the bureaucrats who actually control the implementation of any government policy) passed a law, only to later expand its application in ways the populace never dreamed of – and would not have approved, had they understood just how twisted this law can be?  (If you can’t remember, here is an example from Australia…)

Back to my main point:  how does fMRI work?

Well, in layman’s terms, it is a medical imaging device which measures the EM transmissions of our brain as we think.

As in,when we think, our brain actually converts our thoughts (or, perhaps, makes our thoughts) as a form of EM radiation, which it then transmits these waves outside our brain… where this nifty machine can detect them.

But, did we not just accept that our governments have the right to regulate these???

Please, think about it!

Note:  *defenestration – when talking about ‘open-source code’, the word ‘defenestration’ (meaning, ‘out of windows’) becomes a bit of a pun…
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What an evening!

Tonight (OK, so by the ‘clock convention’, it was ‘last night’ – but the sun has not yet risen when I write this, so, to my ‘regimented mind’, this is ‘tonight’) was awesome!

The Neeje Foundation put on an excellent ‘do’!

And, while I would usually avoid (like the plague) an organization whose name and mission statement appears to be as misandristic as this one appears to be.  Yet, the ‘panel’ – as well as the moderator – were irresistable!

While I knew one ‘ought to’ expect brilliance from Tarek Fatah (he is one of my heroes!!!) – and Barbara Kay is no lightweight (metaphorically speaking), either – the whole panel was most awesome!!!

And, I must admit, the topics on which they spoke (and what the panelists said about it) were very relevant:  both in the realms of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the separation of the mosque (church) and state, but also in the fact that both the female panelists addressed (and lamented) the denigration and disenfranchisement of males in our society!

Since so many awesome and brilliant bloggers (and journalists, too) were there (I sat with Kathy Shaidle – she, too, is one of my heroes!!!), I fully expect that there will be most awesome accounts of what was said tonight, written by people more focused and better at actually writing than I could ever aspire to, very, very soon!

Let me just make some simple observations of my own…not necessarily of what was said, but also of what I made of some of the ‘connections’.  Please, note that the following is my construct – I am not quoting the panelists and I do not want to pretend they said the following ‘stuff’ – this is just my interpretation and musings which are the results of my thoughts in response to what was said tonight…  In other words, my conjecture, this should not reflect negatively on anyone else but me….

We are all aware that in many Islamic countries, women have the legal worth or 1/2 that of a man:  from legal testimony to other aspects of life.  Some of the most Islamist countries legally regard women as 1/2-human:  on par with a boy-child, as far as the legal system is concerned.

Now, this is a very contentious issue:  back in the time of Muhammad – in the region of the world where he lived – to be recognized as 1/2-human was a MAJOR step forward in women’s rights!  And, while I have met Muslims who have ‘frozen’ this interpretation of the status of women in Islam at 1/2 that of a man’s status, I have also met Muslim men who have shown that the eventual ‘goal’ of Muhammad was ‘full equality’ of the sexes – he just had to start somewhere!  And, these Muslims insist that the message of Muhammad was NOT to ‘freeze’ the status of women at 1/2-a-human status, but that by ‘taking the first step’, Muhammad was ordering all Muslims to work towards an eventual equality of the sexes.

OK – so this is NOT the interpretation many Islamists are atuned to.  Granted.  But…

Now, I would like to jump to the ‘other part’ of tonight’s presentation:  the minimization and denigration of the importance of the role of ‘father’ and ‘husband-for-life’….  We all know the popular culture is guilty of this – and the panelists provided some very thought-provoking examples, too.

So, this got me thinking….

What happens if a young man is exposed to BOTH messages???

What happens if he is bombarded with the very palpable social message that he is ‘not necessary’ and that he is ‘weighing down’ his beloved and preventing her from achieving ‘true happiness’ through her own denial for the need of his companionship…..AND he is ALSO bombarded by the message that in the most radicalized forms of Islam, the male (husband, father) is not only an integral part of the family – he RULES it?

Would this combination of ‘denial’ on the one hand, and the exaggeration on the other, have a profound impact on Muslim youths???  Could it not be the very vehicle through which their radicalization could be achieved?

I don’t pretend to have the answers…

In fact, it is rather late at night – following a busy and thought provoking evening.  Yet, if you have ideas of how this combination of social pressures might affect our young people, I would love to hear from you!

UPDATE: Deborah Gyapong has a much better post on what was actually presented and discussed by the panelists at the event.  And, she took pictures!

‘It’s the message that is being censored’

FACT – Freedom Against Censorhip ThailandThought Crime in Bankok and Rangoon-Rule of Lords

I have never heard the principle expressed so clearly and concisely!  (my emphasis)

‘Win Maw, Zaw Min, Aung Zaw Oo and Chiranuch in reality all stand accused of the same crime: a commitment to free speech. Their offences have nothing to do with the technology after which the draconic instruments they purportedly transgressed have been named. The medium offended no one. The stuff that passed through it apparently did. These are not cybercrime laws at all. They are thought-crime laws.

This is an important distinction:  the technology did not offend anyone (well, the very existence of it is threatening to some who would like to control all our thoughts, as well as our actions) – the ideas which were passed through this technology did!

All this ‘internet regulation’ is nothing less than thought-crime legislation.  It’s time we started calling it by its real name.

And remember: if a law CAN be abused in any way, shape or form – it WILL BE!!!

Pat Condell: ‘Free speech is sacred’