The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: November 2012

The Nihilism of the New Relativity

Why do Western politicians and the Mainstream Media hale and defend Islam? Why do they promote the welfare state? Why do literary critics lionize salacious and third-rate novelists? Why do art critics exhaust Roget’s Thesaurus in their praise of anti-art? Why do politicians and journalists side with the global warming advocates, and then, when global warming has been repudiated, side with “climate change” advocates who promote the same fraud? What makes these paradoxes so common in our culture?

There are several explanations, none of them pretty or complimentary. There are three main culprits: subjectivism, egalitarianism, and relativism.

Let us begin with relativism. Without critiquing Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, that theory somehow infected the realm of thinking in the West. It was attractive to those who were critical of the West and its economic, technological, and scientific achievements. They were drawn to it like moths to a light bulb. Einstein’s theory is an attempt to explain the relationship between gravity and entities with mass and the speed of light. However, there is something alluring about the term “relative” to cultural relativists, multiculturalists, ethical relativists, moral relativists, artistic relativists, and every other kind of relativist. It allows them to discard the Newtonian concepts of time, space, and gravity, to discard the concepts of sensory perception, objective reality, and reality itself. And especially of the volitional nature of man’s mind. It allows them to dispense with absolutes, certainty, values and value measurement.

Relativism is the cowardly form of nihilism, whose end is to destroy man’s cognition and his capacity to hold values by elevating the mediocre, the nondescript, and the irrational.

As Ellsworth Toohey, the arch villain of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, articulated the principal method:

“Don’t set out to raze all shrines — you’ll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity — and the shrines are razed.”

It is for the sake of the mediocre, the nondescript, and the average that the relativists have waged a constant and enervating war.

Subjectivism is the position that no opinion, statement, or observation is more valid (or truer) than another’s. Truth, therefore, is “subjective,” dependent on an individual’s unique “perspective.” Truth cannot be known for a certainty. An individual’s perspective is governed and molded by his cultural “conditioning,” or by his genes, or by his “class,” or by his tribe or voting bloc. His “truth” is different from another individual’s. His mind is but a passive receptor of things around him; he exercises no volition to judge and evaluate things. He is a reactor, not an actor.

Subjectivism is closely linked to egalitarianism, which asserts that, as with political equality, all values are of equal status and importance. All values are alike, and all distinguishing marks or measures applied to them are not only irrelevant, but even immoral, for they infer one value’s superiority over another.

American lives and American treasure must be sacrificed to preserve the stagnant, filthy, mysticism-ruled cultures of Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza and Egypt, because they have every “right” to exist as does America.

Palestinians have every right to hate Israel, because Israel is what they are not.

When you examine the relativists’ arguments, you will see that truth has nothing to do with their concern for truth. Truth is thrown out the window in favor of some unprovable Platonic “form” because, their philosophical mentors have said, the things one sees are but rough, indistinct sketches of those things which exist in their “perfect” forms in another realm not discernible to our senses or which confounds them. Or, as an alternative, they are Kantian defined entities that have no relation to themselves or even to any other-worldly “forms,” because, the Kantians say, our senses so totally warp our perception of things “as they really are” that what we see is nothing at all. According to Kant, our minds are pre-programmed and biased to process sensory data and to assign absurd and completely arbitrary labels to everything we see, hear, touch, or know, because we have this sinful urge to pretend we know things.

Any way we look at it, say the Platonists and the Kantians and their numerous academic and journalistic protégés, it’s sheer, hubristic sophistry, and men ought to be mature enough to concede that they’re nothing but miserable, shapeless forms of random matter with delusions of grandeur.

Consensus plays a role in this brand of relativism. The more people who believe in a certain, opinion, statement, or observation, the “truer” it must be, because so many people agree with it (or disagree with it, so it must be “not true”). This is the popular understanding of “truth.” It raises the concept of “number” to the status of a golden calf or an extrasensory oracle in a trance to be worshipped and heeded and deferred to. Thus, “truth” is determined democratically, by majority rule, because numbers are imbued with some magical efficacy to make things true. Reality, it would appear, is susceptible to stuffed ballot boxes and governed by numerology wedded to astrology.

Reality says that the South Side Chicago criminal gang took care of the North Side gang by inviting them to a peace conference and to a share of the Detroit Purple Gang’s stolen whiskey, but instead lined them up against a wall and machine-gunned them. The liberal/left multiculturalist fantasy world premise says it’s Hamas showering Israel (now cast by Islamists and the Left as a gang) with harmless Fourth of July fireworks, then inviting Israel to a cease-fire and peace talks and a plate of halal cookies fresh from the U.S. and Egypt, and then shooting Iranian-made paint balls at the Israelis, swearing on a stack of Korans that Hamas means no harm.

The doyens of diversity claim that the political aspirations of terrorists, whose means of persuasion include murder and mayhem and destruction, are no less legitimate than those of Israelis, who live in relative freedom and are a productive nation, whom they also charge with murder, mayhem, and destruction. Western pragmatists (another species of relativist) state that Israelis have nothing to fear by being encircled by a Palestinian state and other Muslim states, or even living in a “One State” with millions of Muslim Rodney Kings who just “want to get along.”

Reality says that any works by Jean-Léon Gerome, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Daniel Chester French, or virtually any notable 19th century painter or sculptor (except Rodin, who was a kind of bridge between representational art and the abstract) is superior to anything produced in the 20th century by Warhol, Pollack, Picasso, Giacometti, etc. Relativist esthetic criticism says that no work of art is superior to another, because everyone sees things differently, it’s all relative to one’s culture or genes or class. Rodin’s or Giacometti’s “Walking Man” is just as good as Michelangelo’s “David” or Frédéric Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty.

But relativists do not completely eschew measurement of values in any realm. For example, they would gain nothing by comparing a Kewpie Doll to a Hummel figurine, and claiming that they are of equal esthetic value (which, in fact, they are). What they need is a standard to muddy, sully, and obliterate, and would proceed to assert an esthetic equivalence between a Kewpie Doll and a statue of Leonidas, hero of Thermopylae. This is nihilism in action. Leonidas perishes; the Kewpie Doll survives.

Beauty, they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. But if the beholder doesn’t agree that something is beautiful, in modern culture he is free to spray paint it or take a hammer to it or cover it with a linguistic burqa lest it offend the subjective proclivities of other beholders.

Reality says that you are being of volitional consciousness who can think and make value judgments about what will advance your life and act to secure your happiness as a rational individual. The liberal/left fantasy view says that you are but a cog or a cipher of your class, race, tribe, gender, or group or social environment, a puppet of determinism helpless to be anything but what you are and to do whatever it is you do. Reason and rationality are simply “perspectives” no better or no more valid than psychosis or channeling the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt or believing in witches or Hobbits or Muslim warlords who rode to heaven on white steeds to confer with Allah and the angels.

Reality is taking advantage of the First Amendment and saying anything one likes, as crudely or as elegantly as one wishes, without inviting legitimate charges of slander or libel, and accepting the rewards or the flack for having done so. Fantasy World First Amendment rights, however, must be policed to protect and preserve the feelings, dignity, self-esteem, and image of anyone who is slighted by the least amount of genuine or deserved criticism, particularly groups with political claims to victimhood and discrimination.

Thus, if one demonstrates that Islam and Muslims are out to conquer the world and establish a global caliphate, that proof is not protected by the First Amendment, and one can be harassed, shunned, marginalized, censored, sued or jailed. Muslims who noisily demonstrate in public streets and carry signs that say “Islam Will Dominate the World,” and “Freedom of Speech Go to Hell,” or establish a Facebook page dedicated to discussing how best to roast Jews and apostates, are protected, and are rewarded with continued welfare benefits and special accommodations and the sympathy of a press silenced its own unacknowledged brand of “Islamophobia.”

The best method of bursting any relativist balloon discussed in this column is to inform the relativist: You are making an absolute statement. Isn’t that against the rules? Aren’t you violating your own maxim? How can you be certain that what you’re saying about relativism is true?

But few people realize how easy it is to correct the subjectivist, multiculturalist, or egalitarian. The sharp relativist will reply: How do you know it isn’t true? It’s then that you’ll realize that the relativist is playing mind games with you, and that his chief end is to make you doubt the evidence of your senses, question the efficacy of your reason, and help him negate the supremacy of your values.

It’s then that dialogue should end with the relativist, and it will be up to you to terminate it. Unless you are addicted to the sophistry of an intellectual Möbius strip.

War, Peace, and Wishful Thinking

In one Seinfeld episode, Elaine Benes, the irrepressibly liberal camp follower, promiscuous skank, and social climber – and small screen progenitor of Sandra Fluke – remarks with reckless abandon and shameless gaucheness to a Leo Tolstoy scholar:

“Although one wonders if War and Peace would have been as highly acclaimed as it was, had it been published under its original title, War, What Is It Good For?”

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, is Elaine Benes with arsenic for blood, the air of a bedraggled, whip-wielding dominatrix, and a weight problem that seems to compete with her credibility issues. She does not believe in war. She sees no good in it. War is never “good.” Its causes are irrelevant. War means violence, which may spill over into her own life. War is so scary to her and her ilk that there is no justification to discriminate between the combatants, between the good and the bad, between the aggressor and the invaded, between the civilized and the barbaric and homicidal. If any distinction must be made between the parties, it should be weighted in favor of the underdog, in this instance, Hamas, and not Israel.

If Israel didn’t exist, all Mideast problems would be solved. That is the thinking. Or not thinking. So, because Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, is “small” and is the aggressor picking on the giant, the world comes down on the side of the bold and ugly midget.

Hamas, the midget, can with impunity and global approval hurl rocks and rockets at the giant, Israel. This is because Hamas knows that the whole world hates Israel because it is a giant, a stubborn, recalcitrant one that refuses to go away and leave the midget to his day in the sun over piles of Jewish bodies. So, Hamas and the Palestinians get a pass. It takes a global village to hate one tiny country that simply won’t roll over and play dead for the greater good.

Peace could be secured if Israel would just agree to withdraw to its pre-World War II borders and stop persecuting its marauding persecutors. Then no one need worry about a nuclear bomb-armed Iran. Israel is to blame because Iran cannot tolerate its existence and wants to wipe it out. After all, Iran’s beneficent dictator and font of all wisdom, Mahmud Ahmajinadad, claims the Holocaust never really happened, and he wishes to correct that fiction by making it a reality. If Israel were to immolate itself and just let Hamas and Hezbollah and Fatah and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian zombies have their way with her in ways no one wishes to imagine, all would be peaceful and just. The Mideast would settle down and the only troubles one would hear about in that region would be on a par with the banal disputes of Friends.

One almost expects President Barack Obama to offer Hamas military air support. To judge by his behavior, rhetoric and conduct towards Israel since assuming office, the idea is not too fantastical.

John Rawls, in his notorious A Theory of Justice, among other things proposed that the competent, the able, and the superlative, be hamstrung and penalized so that the incompetent, the disabled, and the mediocre would have an equal chance at “success.” Or at least the latter would be awarded the appropriate handicap points to accomplish the same thing. This was deemed a just system to achieve an equalization of results that would “humanize” competition and preempt the envy, hurt feelings and frustration of the incompetent, the disabled, and the mediocre. It is the same “humanitarian” philosophy responsible for such things as soccer games without scores, overseen by liberal soccer moms concerned about the self-esteem of their kids and at the same time resentful of the boisterous pride of the kids on the other team.

Contrary to the age-old notion and ethics of sportsmanship, the Rawlsian concept of “fair” is not playing by the rules and winning by the rules. “Fair” is the tilting of rules in favor of those unable to comprehend the rules or unable to win by them.

The Rawls notion of fairness is also partly responsible for the theme here, for stopping Israel from achieving a victory over Hamas and any of her past assailants and permanently extinguishing her mortal enemies, thereby achieving some kind of peace that Hamas would never break because it would no longer exist. That those mortal enemies are killers who wish to do to Israel what was nearly done to Lara Logan in Tahir Square – violation in every manner and complete dismemberment and an agonizing death – is of no import to the humanitarians who sweat like hogs to broker a deal between Israel and her enemies.

For the sake of peace, harmony, and international amity, what’s one beautiful woman’s life compared with the existence of hundreds of thousands of burqa-encased women doing their duty to not be beautiful and so not triggering the duty of Muslim men to assault them? What’s the freedom of a single nation compared with the wishes of hundreds of thousands of manqués who do not yearn to be free but rather wish to be led, dominated and exploited as all of Allah’s wingless chillun?

Hamas and Hezbollah and Fatah are merely “freedom fighters” in Halloween costumes, ski masks, and a weakness for Mein Kampf, and we mustn’t judge them because of their questionable habits and psychopathic penchant for totalitarianism. Their feelings are hurt and pent up because the world will not grant them their handicapped justice, never mind that their concept of the kind of “justice” they intend for the Israelis is of the Zulu kind when the latter disemboweled colonial Dutch women and men settlers they happened to have overwhelmed and killed and paraded their children and infants on the tips of their assegais. Perhaps, when they returned to their kraals, they also passed out candy in celebration of their victory.

Lest someone suggest that is a “racist” comparison, I could also cite Vlad the Impaler and what he did to invading Turks, or the Turks and Kurds who savaged the Armenians, or the Apaches and the Iroquois whose methods of torturing and killing whites and other Indians rivaled in cruelty those of the Nazis. And, of course, Islam’s sacred documents describe and report numerous methods of killing and torturing Jews, infidels, apostates, and others who do not submit to all of Allah’s and Mohammad’s dictats.

Daniel Greenfield, in his Sultan Knish column, “War is the Answer,” about the alleged “cease-fire” coerced on Israel by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, mentioned the ethereal character of Immanuel Kant’s plan for “perpetual peace.” Kant is one of Rawls’s intellectual ancestors. It should be pointed out, however, that our humanitarian diplomats are also motivated by one of the Prussian philosopher’s categorical imperatives, to do that which one “feels” is right and to act to make it an ineluctable maxim, to “will” it as a moral law and duty, regardless of the cost to oneself or to others, even if it means engaging in a bit of nihilistic destruction.

Kant’s notion of “peace” is also responsible for the “peace” promulgated by yesteryear’s hippies and peaceniks, a “peace” without morality or conditions, “peace” for the sake of “peace,” regardless of the cost to those who would lose their lives from its enforcement. And yesteryear’s hippies became Rhodes scholars and attained permanent places in political leadership, academic, diplomatic, military, and policymaking circles. Need I mention names?

Hillary Clinton’s notion of a “durable peace” is as ethereal and other-worldly as Kant’s. And she and Obama know it.

Kant’s 1795 idea of a kind of League of Nations that would somehow enforce peace would also depend on the “will” of its members, the “will” amounting to little more than squeezing their eyes shut and, sweating buckets, wishing very hard that governments and dictators and the authors of genocide just stop doing those atrocious things because they’re very embarrassing and give the wishers after peace pangs of conscience and remorse. They’d rather not be bothered.

Thus, the “ceasefire” that is merely a hudna, or temporary truce, will benefit Hamas and allow it to catch its breath and rearm and prepare for the next round of massacring Israelis and perhaps even carry the butchery to the U.S. It’s only “fair,” you see: Hamas is so outgunned by Israel that it needs time to renew its stockpile of rockets and replenish the rocketeers who perished in Israel’s retaliatory bombings, in order to continue its campaign against the giant.

Iran has boasted that it has supplied Hamas with its rocketry with which to pummel Israel into terror and submission. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who “brokered” the cease-fire with much help from Obama, has now assumed dictatorial powers, insulating himself from all legal and political opposition. Morsi, a power in the global caliphate-seeking Muslim Brotherhood, is a child of the late Arab Spring, and the Arab Spring was a child of Barack Obama.

Some pundits will claim that now Obama has a real problem on his hands, in the way of finding a way to contain the ambitions and treachery of Morsi. They will say that it will require the highest art of statecraft and diplomacy. But that is wishful thinking. It is imagining that the conflict is no more serious than a difference of opinion in the fantasy world of Friends. Or in Elaine Benes’s head. Neither Obama nor Clinton views the situation as a “problem.” They seem to be rather content with how things stand. After all, they made Israel cry “uncle.”

To them, war is simply no good at all. The wrong combatant might just win if left alone to win. And that would not be “fair.”

A One-Sided Suicide Pact

Soeren Kern, writing for the Gatestone Institute in his November 16th article, “IslamNeeds a Fair Chance in Germany,” reported a significant development in Germany that portends dire consequences for that benighted nation and for all of Europe: the city of Hamburg signed a “treaty” with organizations representing its Islamic population.

The “treaty” features a series of concessions, not by the Muslims to secular authority, but by the secular government of Hamburg to the Muslims. The “treaty,” which requires ratification by the city’s Parliament, grants Muslims “rights” and “privileges” enjoyed by no other religious group there.

The November 13 agreement, signed by Hamburg’s Socialist Mayor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of four Muslim umbrella groups, is being praised by the proponents of multiculturalism for putting the northern port city’s estimated 200,000 Muslims on an equal footing with Christian residents….

The most controversial part of the accord involves a commitment by the city government to promote the teaching of Islam in the Hamburg public school system. The agreement grants the leaders of Hamburg’s Muslim communities a determinative say in what will be taught by allowing them to develop the teaching curriculum for Islamic studies.

Moreover, Muslim officials will also be able to determine who will (and who will not) be allowed to teach courses about Islam in city schools. In practice, this means that only Muslims will be allowed to teach Islam and that pupils will not be exposed to any critical perspectives about the religious, social and political ideology of Islam.

Under the wide-ranging accord, Muslims in Hamburg will also have the right to take three Islamic holidays as days off from work. Up until now, it has been up to individual employers to decide whether or not to grant Muslim staff religious days off on a case-by-case basis. In addition, Muslim students will be exempt from attending school on Muslim holidays.

The agreement also includes provisions for the construction of more mosques in Hamburg, the upkeep of cultural Islamic facilities, the authorization for Muslims to bury their dead without the use of coffins, as well as the counseling of patients and prison inmates by Muslim clerics.

Moreover, the “treaty” will guarantee “broadcast slots alongside Protestant and Catholic broadcasts on public and private radio and television, as well as broadcasting council seats for Muslims with the northern Germany NDR public broadcaster and Germany’s federal ZDF television channel.”

The German term for treaty, vertag, occurs no less than five times in the article. It occurs in the document itself. In the article, the term agreement occurs fifteen times. But the actual document reads, in a loose English translation, “A Draft Treaty between the Islamic Community and the Municipal Authority of Hamburg.”

However, no matter how many times the term agreement appears in the article, a treaty is what the agreement is. Islam is on a cultural or civilizational jihad against the West and all Western institutions. So, what is a treaty? Is it a “truce” between the secular authorities and the religious Muslims? Is it a “non-aggression pact” between two powers vying for hegemony? Is it the granting to Muslims a “separate butequal” political status?

A treaty is commonly regarded as an agreement between belligerent nations, states, or governments. The Oxford English Dictionary defines treaty as:

3a. A settlement or arrangement arrived at by treating or negotiation; an agreement, covenant, compact, contract.

3b. spec. A contract between two or more states, relating to peace, truce, alliance, commerce, or other international relation; also, the document embodying such contract, in modern usage formally signed by plenipotentiaries appointed by the government of each state.

A treaty between belligerents indicates a cessation of hostilities between the parties. The Hamburg treaty implicitly acknowledges that its Muslim “communities” are part and parcel of the Islamic Ummah, or the worldwide, global “community” of Islam. The treaty has implicitly recognized the Ummah as a state to “treat” or “negotiate” with. So, the “agreement” is called a “treaty.” The German government has not been waging cultural or political jihad against Muslims; it is Muslims, especially those of Turkish origin in Germany, who have been waging all sorts of jihad against non-Muslim Germans in the way of rape jihad, jihad against freedom of speech, and jihad against Jews.

This is the situation in all European countries now, especially in the western European nations of Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Across the Channel, Britain is succumbing to the same phenomena.

Out of a population of about 1.8 million in the city proper of Hamburg, Muslims of various sects, including the Alevi, a Turkish sect, constitute over nine percent.

Again, I think it is significant that this agreement is consistently called a treaty. It acknowledges that Islam has been at war with Western culture, and will continue to be until the “peace” of a global caliphate is achieved. For the time being, in Hamburg, its activists see a short-term gain in minimizing or playing down their necessary and constant hostility. In Islam, this is an instance of Dar al-Ahd, or a temporary truce. The “treaty,” from the Muslim perspective, is also necessarily an instance of what could be called “Grand Taqiyya,” or the Koranic sanctioning of lies and deceit when dealing with the enemy kaffirs and infidels, especially in their own countries.

But these “treaties” will turn out to be nothing but “truces,” when a movement is renewed to exact more concessions from the Germans. Call these “treaties” for what they are: fleeting “non-aggression pacts,” with Islam being the sole aggressor. Regardless of the nature or content of these treaties, Germany will remain Dar al-Harb, the land of the enemy, and Dar al-Kufr, or the land of the kaffirs or unbelievers. It is noteworthy that all the concessions will be paid by non-Muslim Germans as a form of jizya, or “protection” tax. Germans will not “retaliate” against Islamic aggression, for political correctness will silence them for fear of being accused of racism or bigotry.

Islam, however, is first and foremost, from top to bottom, a totalitarian ideology. Its doctrine requires that Muslims and their spokesmen advocate Islam’s own kind of racism and bigotry.

Islam is a nihilist ideology, as well. It is the enemy of all human values. In exchange for submission to it, it promises a paradise after death. Life on earth is merely transitory and not important. The Hamburg “treaty” is an extension of that nihilism; it requires its secular signers to aid and abet the piecemeal annihilation of their values and their culture. The Islamists know what they are doing. Their secular cosigners do not. It seems the “right” thing to do, per a Kantian categorical imperative to pursue an end regardless of, but especially because of, its selfless nature, in the name of what Mayor Scholz called “the strengthening the societal foundation” of Hamburg.

Which is tantamount to injecting the bubonic plague pathogen into a human body in order to “strengthen an individual’s well-being.”

Do the opponents of the treaty take a principled stand against it? No. They remain as clueless about the implications as Mayor Scholz.

The leadership of the opposition Christian Democrats (CDU) has also expressed skepticism about the agreement. Party leader Marcus Weinberg and party chairman Dietrich Wersich issued a joint statement saying that although they welcome the conclusion of the talks, after six years of negotiations there are key issues that remain unresolved: “The agreements contain a number of points, the implementation of which need to be clarified. For this reason, the CDU will not take a final position on the matter until it concludes discussion with representatives of the churches, with scientists and with lawyers. The unresolved questions involve detailed issues such as the regulation of the school day, the teaching of religion in public schools and the holidays.”

The agreement has also been met with vociferous opposition from the classical liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). In a statement, FDP Deputy Anna von Treuenfels characterized the agreement as “an unnecessary and imprecise treaty unacceptably negotiated behind the backs of the citizenry.” She added: “Moreover, this agreement is totally imprecise when accuracy is required more than ever. On the issue of wearing religiously motivated clothing by public servants, especially teachers [sic]. Even the future of the heretofore successful interdenominational model of religious education in Hamburg is being jeopardized. Plus the fact that the lengthy negotiating process and final signature has been carried out without parliamentary involvement is also unacceptable, yet another reason why the FDP rejects this treaty.” [Italics mine.]

Neither group identifies Islam as an ideology antithetical to their notions of democracy. They focus on particular concretes of the treaty, but cannot or will not recognize any links between those concretes and the overall ideology. That would be regarded as “racist” or “defamatory.”

It is noteworthy that all non-Muslim school children attending public schools will be indoctrinated in Islam by Islamic teachers. This is necessary to forestall any future opposition to Islam’s incremental takeover of Hamburg, and then Bremen, and then all of Germany.

Such an agreement implies that one or the other party will eventually be conquered or overcome. A “treaty” implies that one of the parties is guilty of some past aggression, and marks the end of active hostilities between them. A “treaty” of this sort, however, acknowledges a surrender. Which party here is making the concessions? Which party is surrendering, and which party is granting the other the rights and privileges of occupation? Which party has been the actual aggressor?

When has one ever heard of Muslims making concessions to the secular authority of a country they have settled in? “We will stop harassing, beating up, and shooting Jews. We will stop desecrating Jewish and Christian cemeteries. We will stop vandalizing churches and synagogues. We will stop preying on white non-Muslim women and raping them. We will stop demanding that people cease defaming, criticizing, and mocking Islam. We will stop subjecting our women to clitoral amputation. We will stop persecuting gays and apostates. We will stop murdering, maiming, or disfiguring Muslim women who refuse to wear any kind of head covering or veils or any other kind of effacing clothing. We will stop forcing our women into arranged marriages. We will stop the brutal butchering of animals by bleeding them to death while they are still conscious. We will stop demanding that infidels and non-believers respect and observe our holidays. We will stop….”

Well, no, they won’t. Why should they? They’ve got the tiger by the tail, and the tiger is a toothless polecat.

What the Hamburg officials have signed is but a truce, a conditional cessation of active hostilities towards their city. The “truce” will allow the Muslims to establish and solidify a legal occupation of the city. It grants Muslims a “separate but equal” status. The “agreement” acknowledges that, for the time being, there are “reconcilable” differences between Muslims and non-Muslims. New differences, however, will be touted by the Muslims, and more treaties signed.

The “truce” sets a precedent and opens the door to more concessions by the secular government of Hamburg to the Muslims, and the Muslims are certain to demand them. The Hamburg “truce” will serve as a benchmark victory for the invaders and occupiers.

Farewell, Germany.

Getting the Hell Out of Their Way

In one of the climatic scenes in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, the philosopher/scientist who is a prisoner of the government, is taken to a televised banquet in an upscale New York hotel, arranged by the government to show the world its new savior and to hear how he plans to save it. He is prodded, with a gun stuck into his ribs through his tuxedo jacket, to make a speech about how he would go about doing it. After all, his captors believe that because he is a brilliant man, his brilliance can save their lives and the nation. All he need do is think and issue orders.*

The camera moved to Galt. He remained still for a moment. Then, with so swift and expert a movement that his secretary’s hand was unable to match it, he rose to his feet, leaning sidewise, leaving the pointed gun momentarily exposed to the sight of the world – then, standing straight, facing the cameras, looking at all his invisible viewers, he said:

“Get the hell out of my way!”

Galt was expected, urged, and begged to become the nation’s economic dictator. He refuses. His mind cannot be forced to solve a problem he does not wish to solve. Only he has solved this particular one: The world can be saved – and the world can save itself – by allowing him the freedom to think and to act, with no penalties, obstructions, regulations, or force. He does not want to be a dictator. He does not think that he needs anyone’s or any government’s permission to act in freedom. He wants to be left alone to live his own life. What his captors do not understand is that a mind cannot be forced to think. They do not understand that he would not accept an impossible task, such as being Chairman of the Federal Reserve, or Secretary of the Treasury, or an “economic czar” with the power to order, force, or defraud a nation’s citizens to act this way or that way. He refuses out of self-respect and respect for his fellow men.

That is the light side of this column.

On the dark side, we have “Head of State” Barack Hussein Obama, whose snarling leitmotif throughout his whole administration, on the campaign trail and over the last four years, has been another kind of “Get the hell out of my way!”

This is the demand, order, and wish of a tyrant, or of a wannabe dictator. He has his own “plan” to save the nation, to save the world. Reality gets in his way. Private citizens get in his way. He wants reality and those citizens to get out of it. He throws tantrums when he does not get his way, or is asked questions he cannot answer without lying, or when Congress or some “old” thing like an article of the Constitution frustrates his plans. He gloats and smirks when he does get his way with all the panache of streetthug who has “proven” to his ilk that he is an Alpha Male not to be “messed with.”

John Galt, as the novel reveals, is a scientist, inventor, and creator. Barack Obama is a non-entity who has created nothing. Literally. John Galt is a life-giver. Obama is a nihilist and life-taker. Literally.

In truth, Obama has no “plan,” except to impose an authoritarian or totalitarian régime on the country – somehow. He is a nihilist of the pragmatic stripe. Some things he has gotten away with, some he has not. It is too soon to impose complete, one-man rule. He knows that much. But, like all seekers after power, his intelligence is feral, predatory, cunning, and non-conceptual. He is the heir-apparent of a “progressive” disintegration of the rule of law.

Obama can only work from a “feel” for his enemies’ weaknesses, and seek to exploit them. He is a collectivist ideologue who has no idea of how to impose his will on the country, except to cajole it through rhetoric and from a literal “bully pulpit,” with the emphasis on bully. Or force. He has thrashed around for four years experimenting with various kinds of statist policies, largely at the country’s expense, hoping that they would work and prove the efficacy of that force. He has exhibited an affinity for and an empathy with contemporary tyrants, such as Vladimir Putin of Russia and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

That force, after all, according to the altruist code of ethics, was intended to “do good.”

It is appropriate that his practical ideological mentor was not Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, or even Adolf Hitler, but a man who honed his “community organizing” skills and methodology by hanging out with Chicago gangsters, that patron saint of intimidation and isolating and targeting, Saul Alinsky.

He was successful in flattering himself (his characterization) into the Capone organization and became a trusted fellow traveler for “two years” according to his estimate. In fact, the influence of the Capone gang on Alinsky is substantial and lasted for more than two years.

“He introduced me to Frank Nitti, known as the Enforcer, Capone’s number-two man, and actually in de facto control of the mob because of Al’s income-tax rap. Nitti took me under his wing. I called him the Professor and I became his student. Nitti’s boys took me everywhere, showed me all the mob’s operations, from gin mills and whorehouses and bookie joints to the legitimate businesses they were beginning to take over. Within a few months, I got to know the workings of the Capone mob inside out.” Alinsky’s self-identification of Frank Nitti the mobster killer as his “professor” is important. In retrospect one can speculate that Alinsky learned a great deal about pressure and intimidation from his friends in the Chicago mob.

But even more enlightening is that the mob killer Nitti is the anti-thesis of what America is about; amorality and criminality were what Alinsky apparently found so fascinating about Nitti and his gang- they beat “the system” which Alinsky saw as just as corrupt or equally so to the Capone/Nitti gangsters.

This is not a minor, incidental, or arbitrarily juxtaposed point. I stress it because, as criminals and criminal gangs employ force to impose their will on their victims, so do statist governments. The Prohibition or Volstead Act of 1918, for example, sired the creation and growth of large-scale gangs dedicated to violating the ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol. These gangs also intended to “do good” by supplying the nation with alcohol, as well as exploiting other prohibited or regulated realms such as gambling and prostitution (the gangs would later expand into drugs). In every enterprise of these gangs, force, extortion, blackmail, and fraud were their governing “ethics.”

The crucial symbiosis, in means and in ends, between government and “private” force is all too apparent. Differing only in scale, they have ever complemented each other throughout human history.

And, Obama has to his credit several instances of speech that comports with his thuggishleitmotif, among them, “If they bring aknife to the fight, we bring a gun,” and, “Argue with neighbors, getin their face.”

In Atlas Shrugged, the statists bypass – and for all practical purposes, suspend – the Constitution (never actually mentioned in the novel) by enacting Directive 10-289, which freezes all creative and productive activity and expropriates property and wealth for the duration of an “emergency” whose cause is government interventionist policies. I discuss the ramifications of the National Defense Authorization Act in a Capitalism Magazine article from March of this year. Ostensibly, the NDAA simply details how federal expenditures will be distributed. However, a few brief, innocuous, but buried paragraphs in the NDAA grant the government, Congress, and especially the executive branch, dictatorial powers over the entire nation in the name of an undefined “emergency,” and effectively suspend the writ of habeas corpus, the right to a trial, and sanctions indefinite detention – of American citizens.

The most notable precedent for this is when Hitler got the Reichstag to suspend the WeimarConstitution.

After the Reichstag fire of 28 February 1933, clauses of the Weimar Constitution guaranteeing personal liberty and freedom of speech, of the press, of association and assembly, were suspended…The Reich President was authorized, “if public safety and order in the German Reich are considerably disturbed or endangered,” to take steps to suspend “the Fundamental Rights…”

This was the lead-up to Hitler’s much-sought-after “Enabling Law” that would grant him unlimited executive powers.

On 28 February 1933, the Nazi conspirators, taking as their excuse a fire which had just destroyed the Reichstag building, caused to be promulgated a Decree of the Reich President suspending the constitutional guarantee of freedom. This decree, which purported to be an exercise of the powers of the Reich President under Article 48 (2) of the Constitution, and which was signed by the Reich President, Hindenburg, the Reich Chancellor, Hitler, the Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick, and the Reich- Minister of Justice, Guertner, provided in part:

“Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searchers, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”

As Leonard Peikoff has noted, “An executive with unlimited power is the definition of a totalitarian leader.” When everything is permissible by edict, executive order, or legislative fiat, then nothing can or will restrain the employment of government force.

John Galt’s “Get the hell out of my way” is the expression of a man who knows he owns his own life and warns his obstructers and enslavers that they will get nothing from him if they continue their policies of force, sacrifice and destruction. Obama’s “Get the hell out of my way” is the expression of a tyrant and sociopath who wants his wishes and whims realized without reality and men getting in his way. It is the John Galts of the world from whom he demands respect, deference, dependence, and obedience.

And it is the John Galts of the world who will not submit and who will not sanction the Obamas of the world the right to one second of his life.

The question for Americans, now that they face four more years of Obama, is: Are they John Galts, or are they craven submitters counting on being rewarded whatever messes of pottage their masters deign to dole out?

*Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. 1957. p. 1125. Dutton/New American Library, 1992. 35th Anniversary Edition.

A New Kind of Civil War

Now that all the excuses, rationalizations, analyses, number-countings, hand-wringings, finger-pointings, and tear-sheddings have largely passed, I feel that I can say something about why, on November 6th, Mitt Romney lost his bid for the presidency and Obama retained it. It seems that all that is left to do, for someone who realizes that a second Obama term will be more destructive, vindictive, and malicious than the first, is fulminate anew at a succession of fresh assaults on liberty, freedom of speech, property, wealth, standards of living, national security, the military, and on America from without and from within.

I’m guessing that about half the people who voted for Romney voted for him because he wasn’t Obama. The choice can be likened to voting for Barney Fife because he isn’t Hannibal Lecter. That was why I voted for Romney. Other than recommend that everyone who opposed Obama just stay home and let the Obamatons monopolize the polling places, there wasn’t much choice in the way of action. Fife in the White House could have at least stalled the movement to full statism and allowed some serious steam to build up against big government – or of Hannibal Lecter not making a meal of everyone.

But Hannibal Lecter had the Chicago machine working for him and a brainwashed, idolizing fan club that could be counted on to vote for him. They turned out to vote early and often.

Romney’s campaign, on the other hand, was reminiscent of a large-scale drive to get people to buy Girl Scout cookies.

Many who opposed Obama stayed home because Romney waffled on what he really believed and charged Obama with being an “extremist.” Which is exactly why many disliked Obama, because he was an “extreme” advocate of policies and programs that were eating them alive or had targeted them for the cannibal’s cooking pot. They already knew he was a Marxist extremist. What they wanted from Romney was a counter-extremism, one that was point for point the exact opposite of Obama’s ideology. What they heard instead were approximations and equivocations and denials of being an “extremist.”

What many who stayed home observed was that Romney’s touting of financial independence and freedom of choice contradicted his enactment of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, which the administration has confessed served as the boilerplate for Obamacare. What, in these voters’ minds, could be the difference between a state-enforced socialist program and a federally-enforced socialist program? There was no difference, except in scale.

Obama garnered the states with the most Electoral College numbers. Those are what count. And over the years Democrats were “hollering” for the abolition of the Electoral College because they said it was an anachronism and unfair, just as they hollered for and got the popular election of Senators (formerly appointed by the states), which, from a political mechanism perspective, undid the work of the Founders. The Senate was created as a bulwark against populist movements originating in the House. The Senate, as a result of this election, has become an unofficial departmental adjunct of the White House. I’m betting the Democrats are grateful they didn’t succeed. Now it’s the House that will need to act as a bulwark against the Senate and the White House.

But House Speaker JohnBoehner has telegraphed that the House will not stand against Obama and the Senate.

“Mr. President, this is your moment. We’re ready to be led,” said Boehner. “Not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans. We want you to lead not as a liberal or a conservative but as president of the United States of America.

“We want you to succeed,” said Boehner. “Let’s challenge ourselves to find the common ground that has eluded us. Let’s rise above the dysfunction and do the right thing together for our country.”

When I read that, I kept hearing Hitler saying the same thing to masses of uniformly clad zombies held rapt by his oratory. Or Evita Peron addressing her adoring Argentines. Or Mussolini daring anyone to smack his jutting jaw.

The people who voted for Obama are morally corrupt. You would have thought that the Benghazi debacle alone would have convinced voters that he was no good, that he was indeed a nihilist prepared to sacrifice American lives to protect a failed policy. You have to then examine what that means, which is that they don’t mind seeing him destroy things, things on which their lives depend. You must grasp that they don’t know what their lives depend on.

Or don’t care to know. They just want it their way. They see no relationship between Obama being willing to see American lives sacrificed in a pesthole and sacrificing American lives at home. Or, if they do see the relationship, they don’t care to dwell on it, because that would lead them to conclusions about Obama’s character and intentions which are not pretty and which they don’t care to dwell on. One of those conclusions would be that Obama is a moral monster, a Moloch to whom everything must be sacrificed, even their children. And that would imply that they, too, are moral monsters.

They didn’t want to go there. They wanted to believe that Obama and his policies are a causeless cornucopia of free things and social justice and multicultural enrichment and diversification. And if some Americans have to be sacrificed to make their fantasies come true – tough.

You would have thought that the disasters and outrages of the last four years – including the lying and posturing and being stuck with the tab of the First Family’s million dollar vacations – would have somehow penetrated the skulls of the most grotesquely slobbering Obamaton. But you, the individual who had always assumed that you own your own life and are responsible for it – not the state, not the collective – reside in a moral universe that is an anathema to Obama and his Obamatons. They are old and young, stupid and savvy, ignorant and learned, naïve and street-smart, the clueless and shrewd, the educated and indoctrinated – but all beholden to the state, to the collective.

They all want to go Forward, and if that means trampling on your dreams, effort, plans, and life – tough.

They will have nothing to do with reality. TARP, $16 trillion and counting national debt, Solyndra and other “can’t fail” green businesses, Jeremiah Wright, Czars, rising prices at the gas pump and the supermarket, these are all irrelevant. Many voted for Obama because they’re Democrats – can’t you see the tattoos on their wrists? – and because Obama gives them that old-time religion feeling.

They’ll be gathering at the river until it runs dry because you can no longer carry their water or have no more water to pour into the river. They’ll be basking on the beach on your dime and will remark on how pretty the tsunami is on the horizon before it sweeps in and washes them and us away.

And they will blame you for the drought and the tsunami.

You’ve warned them for four years that four more years of Obama will see the collapse of this country. They replied that everyone sees things differently, reality is just a subjective “construct” and that your “perception” of things isn’t any more valid than theirs, but because their perception is “better” they have a right to impose it on you and everyone else. They’re “differently” abled, you see, and you’re just a bigot and a racist and prejudiced against their crippled minds, and you ought to be penalized for it because you’re fully abled and have a duty to respect their flawed metaphysics and warped epistemology and to help make their delusions become true.

To them, it was absolutely imperative to preserve and perpetuate the welfare state and all the premises that sanctioned it. Romney only seemed to threaten it (and he wouldn’t have actually begun to dismantle it, either, because he believes in it). This is in light of the soaring national debt Obama has generated, the failure of his programs, the cronyism of his rich and poor supporters, his thuggish and adolescent behavior, in short, every evil thing that has happened in this country since he took office – you would have thought that any one of those things would have torpedoed his chances for a second term. But none of those things mattered.

The election has revealed not just an electoral division, but a division that goes deeper. The people who voted for Obama in light of and in spite of all his transgressions are the ones of whom one can’t say that they “let it go.” They never had it to begin with.

What is it that they either “let go” or never had?

The American “sense of life.” Decades ago novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand wrote an essay, “Don’t Let It Go.”

Just as an individual’s sense of life can be better or worse than his conscious convictions, so can a nation’s. And just as an individual who has never translated his sense of life into conscious convictions is in terrible danger—no matter how good his subconscious values—so is a nation.

This is the position of America today.

If America is to be saved from destruction—specifically, from dictatorship—she will be saved by her sense of life.

America is now divided between those who have retained that “sense of life” and an alliance of those who did let it go and those who never had it to lose.

Since November 6th, I have severed ties with anyone I know voted for Obama a second time. There was nothing to gain by continuing friendships or even civil relationships with them, because they have shown that they are proof against reason and reality. I know of no other way to demonstrate that I mean it.

Thus making it a philosophical civil war. It’s the children of the Age of Enlightenment vs. the spawn of the Age of Envy and Entitlements.

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