The Left’s War on Memory

I’ve always felt sympathy for people – it isn’t any skill of mine: I’ve always had it. Though I can, at times, be cross with people, for the most part I am sympathetic to their plight. Perhaps this is partially an outgrowth of my own melancholy nature, but I can always see things from the other guy’s point of view, especially if they have suffered.

Soldiers suffer, a lot – and, so, have always been an object of my pity. This goes for all soldiers in all times. Doesn’t matter who they fought for: the average man at arms, as it were, always deserves respect simply for the fact that he did his duty, and suffered for it. Commanders get a more subtle judgement. One thing I’ve learned by long study of history is that most people placed in command are simply unfit for it. This is especially true of military command – and the dangers are varied for such people. They can love their men too much, and so waste opportunities for victory. They can also be too contemptuous of their men, and so lead them to unnecessary slaughter. But love them too much, or too little, there still stands the fact that they were the one’s forced to decide life and death issues, and everyone should have something in their heart that goes out to people landed in that. And for those few in command who actually have any business being there, the heart really goes out to them – because they not only have immense responsibility, but they are also, no matter how good they are, going to make some horrific mistakes which will send men to needless death.

I bring this up because we’ve revived the whole Confederate Statue issue via Trump’s recent comments about the Charlottesville incident. All around social media, I’ve seen our liberals really rip on Robert E. Lee: to listen to them, the Waffen SS was morally his superior. Of course, that is just how the left is: when they decide to pour out filth on someone, they go all in. To be sure, there is much to complain about in Lee. He did betray his oath to the Constitution, which was superior to any loyalty he felt for Virginia. While a tactician of genius, he had no strategic sense and so all of his bloody campaigns were fought, as it were, in void, with no real object other than the negative one of getting the Army of the Potomac out of Virginia. He also refused to quit when the game was up, and so prolonged the agony by at least a year. After the war, he more lent his immense prestige to the absurd “Lost Cause” ideology rather than using it to heal the divide (as, for instance, Confederate General James Longstreet did). But, with all that, he still stands as a sympathetic figure to anyone with an ounce of human decency.

There is a grandeur about the man which cannot be denied. It must have been astonishing when he was alive, because if we can be a bit awed by him at this remove, imagine what it must have been like for those around him when he was alive? His troops would have followed him anywhere. I figure every man in Pickett’s Charge knew it was a false position to be in – it was obvious before it happened that it would be a massacre. But, they went anyway – because Lee asked them to. Not many people can command that sort of love and devotion. And he failed, which adds to the pity one feels for him: people who strive at great cost and still come up short always earn at least that: pity.

Additionally, he’s also very long since dead. You can’t do anything to him. Whatever sins you want to lay at his feet, it is all over and done with. He’s dead and God has rendered perfect judgement on him. Wherever he is in the hereafter, it is precisely where he should be. It profits no one to try to attack a corpse – the corpse doesn’t feel it and the attacker gains nothing. This is why, I think, we have the old saying about not speaking ill of the dead: there’s simply no point to it. Only in the matter of general historical study should a dead person be examined for both good and bad, and then not in order to condemn the dead, but the enlighten the living. To take the most evil person you can study: if you are setting out to write a biography of Hitler to show what a rat bastard he was, then you are wasting your time. Possibly even harming yourself by drinking from that cup of bitterness. The only fit thing to talk about regarding Hitler is the object lessons: how did he come to be? Why did he do what he did? This sort of thing allows us to learn and, perhaps, prevent a repeat in the future. But to, as it were, piss on his grave, endlessly, is a pointless exercise.

But pissing on graves is pretty much what the left wants us to do these days – and I perceive it not so much as an attack on flawed historical figures (there’s no other sort, after all), but as an attack on history. On memory, when you get down to it. I’ve no particular concern about the fate of a statue of some long-dead Confederate, but I am intensely concerned that we retain our national memory. As a Conservative, I can view it no other way. After all, the more deeply you dive into Conservatism, the more crucial historical memory becomes. We must know, as best we can, how we came to be – good and bad – or we won’t even know why things are as they are. The left wants us to have no memory of what truly happened. They want a cartoonish view of the world where everything was bad until the left came along and fixed it all up. History began yesterday, when a leftist showed up to help you – don’t even think about digging back further than that! After all, the only reason you’d want to is because you’re hankering for the evil of the past, right? That, at least, is where I think the left is heading with this. Give them enough time and power, and they will topple Washington’s monument and rename our Capitol City…they will wash out everything we ever did, so that they can better rule an ignorant people.

We dare not let them get away with it – or, more accurately, get away with it any longer. Plenty of youngsters these days, after a decade or two in leftist propaganda mills, already have no knowledge of the past (oddly enough, I think this is why so many youngsters fall for various neo-Nazi ideologies: not knowing anything about either the Nazis or those who fought them, they fall easily for clever neo-Nazi lies about the past). The place to start is to draw the line: for a bit of shorthand, I’m insisting that no historical marker of any type, if it has been in place for 50 or more years, should be moved or modified in any way. You can add stuff around it, if you like, but you can’t change it and you can’t take it away. There for 50 years, there forever. The best part about such a program is that it would spark the fight we need to have here – a fight between those who want informed people who remember, and those who want ignorant people swayed by the latest lie. I think we’d win that fight.

Stalinism Comes to America

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now of the Covington Catholic blow up so I won’t go over the specific details. Suffice it to say that it was clearly a planned operation designed to elicit a specific result: Catholics are bad. Outside of the general hatred of Christianity on the left, I think it is all part of a plan (the attacks on Mrs. Pence being part of this) to so denigrate Christianity that when RBG’s replacement is named, the left will feel safe in attacking the nominee on purely religious grounds. But there is more to it than that.

Carried along by their conviction that they are on “the right side of history”, the left has decided to go full Stalinist. They are identifying certain segments of our society as the enemy solely responsible for all of the ills of society – and they are suggesting ever more violent remedies to remove these malefactors from society. That is Stalinism in a nutshell. Unable to provide the Socialist utopia promised – and not particularly interested in providing it in the first place – Stalin hit upon the clever scheme of finding someone to blame for all problems, and then mercilessly going after them. That is what the American left is now engaged in.

In America, the “wreckers and Kulaks” of Stalin’s Russia are now the straight, white Christians – mostly male, but they’ll lump in any woman who doesn’t pledge allegiance to feminism: they are the source of all ills. They have made every problem, on purpose, because they are simply bad and wish to do evil at every opportunity. And we can’t make a prosperous, safe and just society as long as these straight, white Christians are in power. And, furthermore, all they are doing is upholding White Supremacy…so, getting rid of them by any means, fair of foul, is legitimate.

Those Catholic school kids could have been anybody – it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that they can be identified as the enemy. In this case, the identity was created by putting out a short clip of a video which was claimed to show certain, bad actions. That the alleged bad actions didn’t happen – and the larger video clearly shows they didn’t happen – was irrelevant. They only needed their small video clip as proof…and what appears to have been a well-coordinated series of social media sock puppet accounts and previously prepared MSM coverage, immediately took over. In an instant, the boys were evil Catholic racists worthy of having their lives destroyed. That it is all proven false, now, is actually quite irrelevant. The footsoldiers of the left believe 100% in the original Narrative (they won’t even look at the evidence showing it false) while a thrill of fear went through all non-left hearts: if they can do this in an instant to a random group of kids, they can do it to anyone.

We’re going to see more and more of this – a blatant, naked attempt to rile up their troops while at the same time frightening us into silence. They will get their troops riled up – but I’m not sure that they are going to get the silence they expected. When it first came up, I pretty much ignored it – figuring it was just another race hoax of the sort we’ve seen so often lately. But as it unfolded, it became clear that it was more than that. And, at first, most right voices remained silent (while the Never Trump immediately took the left’s side in the fight). It was only after the proof came out that right voices started to rise…and as the monstrosity became fully revealed, people got ever more angry.

Get ready for the most intense, hate-filled political period in American history since the Civil War. This is going to get very ugly, very fast. At stake is all the marbles: either they win, and we’re done for, or we win.

The Necessity of Defending Israel

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been pushing a bill which would protect the States against the so-called Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS groups, whatever they claim, are horribly anti-Semitic groups which seek the utter destruction of the State of Israel (before you ask: yes, there are Jewish members of BDS groups. But, there are also “Catholics for Choice”. For some, political ideology trumps all else). They seek to economically and socially isolate Israel as a precursor to Israel’s destruction. Rubio’s bill is designed to prevent States from being forced to go along with BDS for fear of economic losses. Naturally, plenty of people don’t like this. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) questioned Rubio’s loyalty over his bill. We expect that kind of thing from liberals these days, but I have noted that some on the right are pretty much echoing the same views: wondering, that is, if those pushing for this are in some way controlled by Israel/Jews. I think this a good time to go into just why we must support Israel.

As I’ve said before, opposition to evil (and support for good) are at a nadir these days. For the most part, we allow (and some times encourage) evil. We’re uninterested in battling what is wrong. We are even less interested in defending what is right. We have become, in the collective sense, moral cowards. All most want is just to be allowed to get through the day with a minimum of fuss. The best way to have no fuss is to simply do nothing. Standing up can get you knocked down, after all. There isn’t much left for us to defend, really. Marriage, family, rule of law, public decency – all long gone. But there are a few citadels left, and we daren’t let a single one of them fall. Those few things we have left, must be defended. They are our last line of defense – the place from which we can rally our forces and start the counter-attack. One of the citadels is Israel.

Let us remind ourselves why Israel came to be: because Jews were treated like garbage and then subjected to an attempt at extermination. That’s it, guys: there’s nothing else to it. It was because of the garbage treatment that Jews in the 19th century started dreaming of a place where Jews could live as Jews without let or hindrance from anyone else. The natural place selected was the Jew’s ancestral homeland. And, when queried, the then-ruler of the ancestral homeland, the Ottoman Turks, gave permission for it to happen. Later, after the ancestral homeland came under British rule (via completely legitimate, defensive war against the Turks), the British government, too, gave permission for Jews to move there. That some of the people living there didn’t like it is neither here nor there – it is an irrelevancy. Those with the authority to allow it, allowed it. The end. After the Holocaust, it just became more imperative that the Jews find a place where they could live secure. And by that time, the Jews, themselves, were in the legitimate position of deciding if it was ok for Jews to be there, and whether or not the Jews would form an independent State.

Because of the tolerance of evil, a situation arose where those subjected to the evil sought a solution to their plight. Had the evil done against the Jews been opposed, as it should have been, the solution of an independent, Jewish State would not have arisen. If you want to find out why Israel is there, you need look no further than the tolerance of evil – and a tolerance which emerged long before the Nazis arrived. Think about it: if you were treated as a second class citizen in every nation on Earth and could be subjected in a moment to horrible persecution, what would you do if you found that there was a place you could move to where people like yourselves could obtain the power of self defense? Unless you are craven, you’d be off like a shot. To bottom line it: our failure as a civilization necessitated the creation of the State of Israel.

Now, it is 70 years on. Haven’t times changed? After all, Jews, at least in places like the United States, can live securely as Jews. So, doesn’t this mean that the necessity of Israel is no longer in force? I’d like to say so, but I can’t. When raving anti-Semites are honored in the United States and get elected to Congress, I can only say: we’ve papered over the evil, but we still have not opposed it. In fact, I am quite certain that the destruction of Israel would signal not merely a return to some of the worst aspects of the past about Jews, but a resumption of the very worst aspects. Israel stands in the world for the plain assertion that those who seek evil must not be allowed to do it. That no amount of excuse-making or rationalization can ever be allowed to subvert the core truth that people must be allowed to be what they are without fear. As long as Israel stands, so stands that citadel of our civilization.

This has nothing to do with whatever any particular Israeli government is doing or failing to do. Nothing to do with what any particular Israeli may do or not do. As the Israeli government is staffed by human beings, it is a certainty that the Israeli government will do things that it shouldn’t. As the Israelis are people, it is also just as certain that some of them will be rat bastards. You can bring before me all manner of stories of Israeli government malfeasance and all sorts of stories of this or that Israeli acting like a cretin. And I’ll say: “so, what?”. All of that is entirely besides the point. That they retain the right to be what they are – Jews – in a place where they can be absolutely certain that this fact, their Judaism, will not be held against them is undoubted. And it is a thing we must defend. As I said before, if there was certainty that they could be what they are elsewhere, then this crucial issue would not arise. But, they are not certain of security as Jews anywhere in the world except Israel and, so, Israel must be defended.

Those who seek the destruction of Israel, regardless of what line they take, are entirely illegitimate in their desires. They are seeking to do evil, and a very great evil, at that. Stymied in their military attempts at destruction, they have now switched to the realm of propaganda and political/social pressure. All over the internet are places were the most sick and disgusting anti-Jewish propaganda is broadcast. Other places eschew the grossest aspects of anti-Semitic propaganda in favor of a more subtle version of it which seeks to cast those who seek evil as victims. Various anti-Israel money bags make certain that those who would speak against Israel are given platforms and money. Pressure is brought to bear on regulatory agencies and private corporations to place roadblocks against Israel. You can argue all you want that this or that thing vis a vis American policy towards Israel is ill-advised, but the one thing we can’t do is allow those who seek evil to win even one hand. And that is why Rubio’s bill is a good thing. Maybe it isn’t perfect. Maybe it will even have some Constitutional issues: but anything done to thwart BDS – which wants nothing but evil to happen – is a good thing. And, just maybe, if we learn to fight on this issue, we’ll learn to fight on others, too?

Because we must learn to fight – fight all the time. Fight on all fronts. Never voluntarily yield an inch. Anything we don’t fight for will be destroyed, and then we’ll have just that much less force on our side for the final showdown. You might think, “well, BDS is bad, but they have a right to do their thing”. Well, you’re wrong: BDS is evil, and has no real right to do anything. Sure, they have the ability to do things, but that isn’t the same as the right to do them. People also have the ability to tear down the traditional family – and look where we got because we didn’t oppose them. In the end, it is all a matter of regaining the courage to see things as they are, call them what they are, and then do the right thing. And, right now, an all-down-the-line defense of Israel is crucial.

Thinking About the Ruling Class vs Everyone

Over in Britain, the Brexit vote in Parliament has been delayed – because it probably would have gone down to crushing defeat and forced PM May’s ouster. I have no sympathy – she negotiated a deal which essentially kept the EU in power over Britain…except that, now, Britain wouldn’t even have a say in the EU. This, to me, was a feature, not a bug: the idea being, I’m guessing, that eventually the British people could be convinced that they must rejoin the EU. The plain fact of the matter is that no “deal” needs to be negotiated. All the British government has to do is say, “we’re out” and they’d be done. But that would only have happened if anyone in the British Ruling Class gave a damn about the will of the British people.

Meanwhile, over in France, les Deplorables have been conducting some pretty impressive riots. Seems that the French people have also had it with their Ruling Class selling them down the river. We’ll see how this comes out – personally, I’m hoping it develops into a genuine revolution.

Naturally, the Ruling Class is saying that the Russians are behind the French protests.

Still seeing lots of people speaking in favor of Experts. Ross Douthat has an interesting thing to say on that:

…meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice. The way of the “best and the brightest” at the dawn of the technocratic era and the “smartest guys in the room” decades later, the way of the arsonists of late-2000s Wall Street and the “move fast and break things” culture of Silicon Valley…

Do read the whole thing. Mostly because you won’t agree with all of it. The bottom line is a fundamental irresponsibility. That they really lack merit and are often wrong isn’t the biggest problem: the biggest problem is that they never have to pay a price. Sowell often points this out in his books: those who propose to do all sorts of odd things are never the people who have to suffer the consequences. I came across a sorta-Conservative guy on Twitter (I’m guess he’s at least modestly famous, but I had never heard of him before) and he was arguing that America must take charge of the world! Be strong! Get out there and fight…and then I looked at his picture and saw a fairly fit, young man but his bio didn’t seem to include anything about military service. I suggested “you, first” to him: that if he wants America to flex her muscles in the world, that he go out and be that muscle…and get back to us once he was deployed.

Mixed right in with that was a small debate with a much beloved (and extremely liberal) friend where he was sort of on the side of Experts. I rejoined that the more stupid a person is, the more vital it is that they be consulted on the major issues. Experts build atomic bombs: morons drink beer and eat chips. On the whole, the more beer-drinking and chip-eating we do, the better off we are.

Chesterton once opined that it was disturbing how few politicians are hanged. And there is more in that than the mere healthy desire to kill those in charge from time to time. The larger issue is that a price must be paid for our follies…and every now and again, it would be salubrious to have those who promoted the follies be first up the scaffold. FDR, George C. Marshall and Ernest King are honored in the United States these days…you can find out all sorts of details about them and stand in rapt admiration over their deeds…but, you’ll find out less about the guys who were buried after dying of dysentery in a squalid, Japanese POW camp, even though the people ultimately responsible for those deaths were, precisely, FDR, George C. Marshall and Ernest King. You know: they made horrible, stupid mistakes…and then got other people, less famous, to pay the blood price to repair their errors. It would be simple justice if, every now and again, the FDR’s, Marshall’s and King’s swung from lamp posts.

But getting that done is very difficult. The problem is that you need people who can have a say but who don’t want to say much. Once upon a time, the Catholic Church tried it – at the peak, they managed to have King Henry II of England flogged for murdering St. Thomas Becket. To tell you how that came out, long term, one only needs say that Henry VIII had St Thomas’ bones scattered. The trouble is that people who care deeply about politics are those who tend to rise in politics…and they’re never terribly interested in fixing things; nor can they be relied upon to hang themselves are regular intervals.

So, Revolution is the only way out of this mess. We here in the United States are fortunate in that we have built in mechanisms which allows us alter or to abolish our government without the necessity of engaging in bloody revolution. Unless, of course, we get a situation where the Ruling Class tries an end run around the Constitution by, say, removing a popularly elected President on bogus charges. We’ll see how that plays out.

But make no mistake about it – we are entering, globally, a revolutionary time. It is a complex battle which pits those who make and do against those who consider themselves smarter than those who make and do. It is your local plumber against the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, if you want it in a nutshell. The victory for our side comes when we successfully demonstrate that the Ruling Class is both corrupt and illegitimate – that is when they’ll be turned out of power.

Understanding How Terrible SJW’s Are

Billy Corgan – formerly of Smashing Pumpkins – understands it clearly:

…Corgan expressed his feelings about social media, the entertainment industry, drones, hacking and self-righteous people. “The tactics in the social-justice warrior movement are to stifle and shut down free speech,” he said. “And I would argue in the world that I live in, which is the bareknuckle world, they’re leveraging their position because they don’t have power.”

He also underscored that when he was talking about race and racism, with regard to social justice, he was not targeting and particular groups and that he condemns racism. Nevertheless, he expressed exasperation with the repercussions of saying a word that’s politically incorrect.

“It’s pretty remarkable that I could say one word right now that would destroy my career,” he said, as the screen displayed images of Michael Richards and Paula Deen, both of whom faced derision after using the N-word. “I could use the wrong racial epithet or say the wrong thing to you or look down at the wrong part of your body and be castigated and it’s a meme and I’m a horrible person. Every day through the media, through advertising, we see people being degraded, we see people doing all sorts of things that we should be horrified at as a culture. So we’ve normalized all sorts of things, but we live in a world where one word could destroy your life but it’s OK to, if you’re a social-justice warrior, spit in somebody’s face.”

Social Justice Warriors, as is common in all Progressive word usage, are not for being social, they are not for justice and they are more certainly not warriors. They hide behind online anonymity in social media, they unjustly destroy people who – even if they did do or say something wrong – should be forgiven in 99.9% of the cases, and by doing this they make us a less social people because everyone gets afraid to say something lest one, stray word ruin their lives.

The people who make up the Social Justice Warrior movement are precisely the kind of people who burned books in the 1930’s and who staffed Mao’s Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. All they want to do is express their hatred and shut down any form of civilized speech. I’m glad that more and more people are starting to understand this – and it will take people like Corgan to lead the fight…but when Corgan or someone like him steps in it and makes a statement which is, indeed, wrong then it is up to us regular folks to stand up in defense. We can’t let the SJW’s destroy one more person’s life…in fact, the next time they attack someone, we should do what we can to ensure that the target reaps a gigantic reward simply for being attacked. Nothing will cause this sort of fascist anti-thought to fold up and die than proof that it doesn’t work.

Hat Tip: Ace of Spades

Why is the Left so Vicious?

David Gelernter offers up one explanation:

…Where does the asymmetry come from? American conservatives tend to be Christians or Jews. Liberals tend to be atheists or agnostics. (Yes, there are exceptions—to nearly everything, always; but that doesn’t mean we can stop thinking.) Almost all human beings need religion, as subway-riders need overhead grab bars. The religious impulse strikes conservatives and liberals alike. But conservatives usually practice the religion of their parents and ancestors; liberals have mostly shed their Judaism or Christianity, and politics fills the obvious spiritual gap. You might make football, rock music, or hard science your chosen faith. Some people do. But politics, with its underlying principles and striking public ceremonies, is the obvious religion substitute.

Hence the gross asymmetry of modern politics. For most conservatives, politics is just politics. For most liberals, politics is their faith, in default of any other; it is the basis of their moral life…

Makes sense – so, when we attack their idea of government, we are attacking what they hold to be sacred…and they will come after us heretics.

The Left is Fighting for Total Victory. Are We?

Over at NRO a very good run-down on the D’Souza case and how it changed his views of the left:

…The principal evolution in the author’s thinking involves seeing his political adversaries as, yes, enemies. And as criminals. As a conservative intellectual, D’Souza had assessed progressives as true believers in an utterly flawed ideology. He was a forceful advocate of the conservative counter-case: liberty, limited government, human fallibility, the wisdom undergirding our traditions. Yet implicit in his arguments was the sense of engagement in a real battle of ideas against a bona fide political opponent.

After his harrowing adventure — first, in the crosshairs of a corrupt executive branch that knows that the administration of governmental processes can ruin even the most innocent of men, never mind one who has actually committed an infraction; then, in the company of lifetime criminals whose lives are mainly about taking what is not rightfully theirs — D’Souza has changed. Progressives, he now perceives, are engaged in a massive scheme to “steal America,” meaning all of its wealth and traditions. Their ideas and the foibles of their interest-group politics are often incoherent because they are not actually meant to cohere. They are, instead, a Machiavellian ploy, a pretense to morality (because the public expects it) that camouflages the remorseless acquisition of power needed to rob the public blind…

And the reason they must rob us blind (of our property, our liberty and our beliefs) is because if they don’t, they can’t control us. If you’re sitting there in absolute security for you property, liberty and belief, just what would you care that the Progs out there want “safe spaces”? But you will be made to care – and the method of doing this is to take away what you have and leave you naked in the public square…forced by that circumstance to knuckle under to the dictates of the left.

The left doesn’t want just a few things – it wants everything. Nothing is to be left out of their totalitarian world – we’ll all have to do as we’re told. Unless, that is, we start to fight them – and defeat them. This would actually be quite easy, as the left has only minimal real support among the American people. Maybe 10 to 15 percent of Americans are really on board with the leftwing worldview. The rest of their supporters are brought in by the false impression that leftists care about people, or fear of crossing the left. A genuine fight against these people means we win – but that means, first and foremost, that we have to stop thinking Progressives as people who just have a different idea of how to arrive at a common goal. Their goals are not ours. Not even a little bit. And the Progressives don’t want us as partners, anyways. They want us out of the way – sure, they’ll smile and go along if we help them advance their goals, but when push comes to shove, they’ll show their teeth and they’ll never give up an iota of their desires in the spirit of compromise. For the Progressives, compromise means they get part of what they want right away, the rest of it next year.

As we head into 2016 and beyond, it is worthwhile to keep this in mind. We don’t have to get nasty like the left, but we do have to be firm. Unbending, actually. I doubt much that the current crop of GOP leadership is capable of this – but over time I do think we can get leadership which does. I certainly hope we can – because I’d hate for us to lose the United States by simply refusing to fight for her.