Articles on this Page
- 11/24/12--14:45: _When Good Men Do No...
- 11/30/12--02:18: _Denouement of a Lob...
- 12/14/12--15:35: _It's a Madhouse
- 12/21/12--12:23: _Postscript on a Mad...
- 02/10/13--14:29: _Keepers of the Faith
- 04/07/13--10:48: _The Appeal of Marxi...
- 07/17/13--11:48: _The Appeal of Islam...
- 12/09/13--13:36: _Chickens Come Home ...
- 03/27/14--11:44: _The Final Phase in ...
- 11/24/12--14:45: When Good Men Do Nothing
- 11/30/12--02:18: Denouement of a Lobotomized Nation
- 12/14/12--15:35: It's a Madhouse
- 12/21/12--12:23: Postscript on a Madhouse
- 02/10/13--14:29: Keepers of the Faith
- 04/07/13--10:48: The Appeal of Marxism is to Psychopaths
- 07/17/13--11:48: The Appeal of Islam Is to Psychopaths
- 12/09/13--13:36: Chickens Come Home To Roost on Saint Mandela
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
The other day I posted a quote from Cicero that lamented the decline of Rome into despotism under Julius Caesar because of an indifferent, indolent, disorganized and cowardly society, with a parallel to our own situation since Obama's reelection (though perhaps since his first election).
"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.'" (Marcus Tullius Cicero)A friend who lives in Romania understood this quote very well, since his country is the land of former communist dictator Nicolai Ceausescu, a man who had some parallels to our own Comrade Barack. My friend provided an extremely relevant and important article on Cicero that expands on the Roman parallel perfectly, Standing Up When It is Too Late. I lightly abridge and reformat for emphasis, but I think it is so important that I provide most of the article here for you to contemplate directly:
Footnote:There is a letter by Marcus Tullius Cicero, dated 18 December 50 B.C. This letter was written to his friend Atticus on the eve of the Roman Civil War. He wrote as follows:"The political situation alarms me deeply, and so far I have found scarcely anybody who is not for giving Caesar what he demands rather than fighting it out."To explain the situation in brief, G. Julius Caesar had demanded the right to circumvent the Roman constitution, to break laws with impunity, to extend his command over a large army by using that army to threaten the Senate of Rome."And why should we start standing up to him now?" asked Cicero. The next day he wrote to Atticus: "We should have stood up to him [Caesar] when he was weak, and that would have been easy. Now we have to deal with eleven legions...."Though he hated the idea of civil war, the only course, said Cicero, was to follow "the honest men or whoever may be called such, even if they plunge."
And who were these "honest men"?"I don't know of any," wrote Cicero in the same letter. "There are honest individuals, but [there are no honest groups]." ... "None were frightened of living under an autocracy", he lamented. The capitalists, especially, "never have objected to that, so long as they were left in peace."But civil war occurred nonetheless, because people are not free to be dishonest forever. They must admit to certain responsibilities, and oppose the advance of evil. The previous inclination to look away, to do nothing, to shrug off responsibility, proves in the end to be no more than a delaying tactic. They attempted to put off calamity, Cicero suggested, and made it all the more calamitous. That is all.
Why did the Roman Senate suddenly stand up to Caesar? What triggered their resistance? As with all free people, they began with policies of procrastination and appeasement. They hoped that the problem (i.e., Caesar) would go away. In the end, however, they discovered their mistake. Everyone still hoped for peace, though none believed it was possible. Everyone wanted to avoid war, but nobody saw a way out. Pompey stood before the Senate and gave voice to what everyone thought."If we give Caesar the consulship, it will mean the subversion of the constitution." [said Cicero]In other words, it would mean the end of Rome, the end of the republic, the destruction of their country.
...Why do free people fall into complacency? Why are threats ignored until the eleventh hour?"Surely," wrote Cicero at the end of Caesar's dictatorship, "our present sufferings are all too well deserved. For had we not allowed outrages to go unpunished on all sides, it would never have been possible for a single individual to seize tyrannical power." Caesar's cause was not right, but evil, Cicero explained. "Mere confiscations of the property of individual citizens were far from enough to satisfy him. Whole provinces and countries succumbed to his onslaught, in one comprehensive universal catastrophe.."As for the city of Rome, Cicero lamented, "nothing is left ...the real Rome is gone forever."
Republics are slow to defend themselves against enemies that advance, like Caesar, under camouflage. But make no mistake, republics always defend. Groups and categories of men may not be honest or brave, but when they are finally confronted with the truth -- as individuals -- they see no other course. They stand up and fight. We should not be surprised, therefore, that Caesar was struck down in the Senate and killed by thrusting daggers. It is all too true, of course."We should have stood up to him when he was weak," Cicero lamented.The problem with republican government is its tardiness; or rather, tardiness in the face of danger. As Machiavelli wrote,"The institutions normally used by republics are slow in functioning. No assembly or magistrate can do everything alone. In many cases, they have to consult with one another, and to reconcile their diverse views takes time. Where there is a question of remedying a situation that will not brook delay, such a procedure is dangerous."Machiavelli concluded, therefore, "...that republics in imminent danger, having no recourse to dictatorship ... will always be ruined when some grave misfortune befalls them."
This is the weakness of republican government. Here is the ground on which it dies. An obvious threat, like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor is not the greatest danger. It is the subtle, camouflaged threat, that creeps up from behind. It is this camouflage that gives reluctant men a way out. "We need not fight. We need not make a fuss. There is nothing to fear."
When this is the prevailing view, people who understand a given threat may ask: "What is to be done?"
As long as we are isolated individuals, there is nothing to do. The individual may be honest with himself, but groups are not honest. What prevails overall is an optimistic dismissal. "The threat isn't real."
This is how Hitler got so far. This is how Communism took over so many countries, and continues today under camouflage. There is nothing the individual can do that will sway the crowd. And as we are a republic, our political system operates according to the psychology of a crowd. The majority are caught up in the fads and media trends of the moment. Cynical and empty publicity characterizes much of our public discourse.
Are the Russians and Chinese arming themselves against us? Is Venezuela becoming a military bulwark for Communism in Latin America? Is Mexico being destabilized by the Russian mafia (via the Mexican mafia)? Has Canada been infiltrated by Chinese intelligence allied with Chinese organized crime? Are socialist revolutionaries inside the U.S. government subverting the nation's nuclear deterrent, foreign policy, and border security?
The crowd says "no" because that is what they want to believe. But one day the country will awaken. Then, and only then, Americans will stop going along as if nothing serious hangs over them. Will it be too late? Perhaps it will be too late to save the republic. But it will not be too late to save the country.
Cicero has an extensive fascinating history. From the Wiki, I offer you a sampling:
Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul and constitutionalist. ..Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance... The peak of Cicero's authority and prestige came during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and his impact on leading Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, David Hume, and Montesquieu was substantial. His works rank among the most influential in European culture, and today still constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for the writing and revision of Roman history... Cicero also had an influence on modern astronomy.
"...He is credited with transforming Latin from a modest utilitarian language into a versatile literary medium capable of expressing abstract and complicated thoughts with clarity. Julius Caesar praised Cicero's achievement by saying “it is more important to have greatly extended the frontiers of the Roman spirit than the frontiers of the Roman empire"... Nicolaus Copernicus, searching for ancient views on earth motion, say that he "first ... found in Cicero that Hicetas supposed the earth to move."
"...Cicero the republican inspired the Founding Fathers of the United States and the revolutionaries of the French Revolution. John Adams said of him "As all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united than Cicero, his authority should have great weight." Jefferson names Cicero as one of a handful of major figures who contributed to a tradition “of public right” that informed his draft of the Declaration of Independence and shaped American understandings of "the common sense" basis for the right of revolution."
In Cicero's time,
...Caesar, seeking the legitimacy an endorsement by a senior senator would provide, courted Cicero's favour, but even so Cicero slipped out of Italy... Eventually, he provoked the hostility of his fellow senator Cato, who told him that he would have been of more use to the cause of the optimates if he had stayed in Rome. After Caesar's victory at Pharsalus, Cicero returned to Rome only very cautiously. Caesar pardoned him and Cicero tried to adjust to the situation and maintain his political work, hoping that Caesar might revive the Republic and its institutions.
...Cicero, however, was taken completely by surprise when the Liberatores assassinated Caesar on the ides of March, 44 BC. Cicero was not included in the conspiracy, even though the conspirators were sure of his sympathy. Marcus Junius Brutus called out Cicero's name, asking him to restore the republic when he lifted the bloodstained dagger after the assassination. A letter Cicero wrote in February 43 BC to Trebonius, one of the conspirators, began, "How I could wish that you had invited me to that most glorious banquet on the Ides of March"
Cicero became a popular leader during the period of instability following the assassination. He had no respect for Mark Antony, who was scheming to take revenge upon Caesar's murderers.
...Cicero and all of his contacts and supporters were numbered among the enemies of the state, and reportedly, Octavian argued for two days against Cicero being added to the list.
Cicero was one of the most viciously and doggedly hunted among the proscribed. He was viewed with sympathy by a large segment of the public and many people refused to report that they had seen him. He was caught December 7, 43 BC leaving his villa in Formiae in a litter going to the seaside where he hoped to embark on a ship destined for Macedonia. When his killers – Herennius (a centurion) and Popilius (a tribune) – arrived, Cicero's own slaves said they had not seen him, but he was given away by Philologus, a freed slave of his brother Quintus Cicero.
Cicero's last words are said to have been, "There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly." He bowed to his captors, leaning his head out of the litter in a gladiatorial gesture to ease the task. By baring his neck and throat to the soldiers, he was indicating that he wouldn't resist. According to Plutarch, Herennius first slew him, then cut off his head. On Antony's instructions his hands, which had penned the Philippics against Antony, were cut off as well; these were nailed along with his head on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum according to the tradition of Marius and Sulla, both of whom had displayed the heads of their enemies in the Forum. Cicero was the only victim of the proscriptions to be displayed in that manner. According to Cassius Dio (in a story often mistakenly attributed to Plutarch), Antony's wife Fulvia took Cicero's head, pulled out his tongue, and jabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin in final revenge against Cicero's power of speech.
A few years ago on my blog I linked an interview with a former Soviet KGB defector, Yuri Bezmenov, in which he described, in a 1984 interview on Canadian TV, in chilling detail how the Soviets were working to undermine America with ideological subversion. I'm revisiting this after the election, because the implications of that interview have become so much more significant -- we are on the verge of something so terrible -- as a nation, and as a world -- that I can hardly put words to it. I will let the former KGB man do most of the speaking.
Now, I know what a lot of Objectivist friends will say -- ideas are the primary determinant of the course of a culture, and intelligence and military propaganda efforts are of minor significance -- but remember, ideas determine ideology, and ideology determines psyops (psychological operations). The Soviets were the product of Kant, Hegel and Marx, and so were their military and intelligence operations -- operations which were planned and executed over decades towards the end goal of global domination.
Yes -- the Soviet Union is no longer around. But the effect of their operations are still very much alive, in the sense of zombies. Exhibit A: Barack Obama. Exhibit B: the American education system. Exhibit C: The American mainstream media. Exhibit D: the sanction of victims at every level of our society. Exhibit E: the imminent collapse of our society.
His words are frighteningly prophetic -- in 1984. Don't dismiss this with superficial bromides -- not until you've watched the interview, or read the transcript of what the man said, which I will include parts of to motivate your interest in more. This has direct relevance to what we are now living.
Some excerpts here from Bezmenov -- compare this to what you know today:
BEZMENOV: "...ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare. What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country. It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages...
1. The first stage being "demoralization". It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of [their] enemy. ...So basically America is Stuck, with demoralization; and unless, even if you start right now this minute; you start educating new generation of Americans - it will still take you 15 to 20 years to turn the tide of uh, ideological perception of reality; uh back to normalcy and patriotism.
...The demoralization process in the United States is basically completed already for the last 25 years [he said this in 1984!]. Actually, it's over fulfilled because demoralization now reaches such areas where not even Comrade Andropov and all his experts would even dream of such tremendous success.Seethis video to connect what he says about a people now addicted to "all kinds of goodies": I'm not sure if this video is a gag or not, but it captures the essence of what's happened to our society. This woman describes why the People's State of California is the best state in the country to live in -- because everything is free. She concludes, quite matter-of-factly and earnestly,
...The result you can see -- most of the people who graduated in the 60's, dropouts or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, and educational systems. You are stuck with them. You can't get rid of to them. They are contaminated. They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You can not change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior. In other words [for] these people the process of demoralization is complete and irreversible. To rid society of these people you need another 15 or 20 years to educate a new generation of patriotically minded and common sense people who would be acting in favor and in the interests of United States society.
2. The next stage is destabilization.... this time, subverter does not care about your ideas and the patterns of your consumption. Whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby doesn't matter any more. It only takes 2 to 5 years to destabilize a nation. This time what matters is essentials; economy, foreign relations, [and] defense systems. And you can see it quite clearly that in some... sensitive areas such as defense and [the] economy, the influence of Marxist-Leninist ideas in the United States is absolutely fantastic. I could never believe it 14 years ago when I landed in this part of the world that the process will go that fast.
3. The next stage of course is crisis, which may take only up to 6 weeks to bring a country to the verge of crisis. ...This is what will happen in [the] United States if you allow all the shmucks to bring the country to crisis. To promise people all kinds of goodies, and the paradise on Earth.
"I mean, WHO would want to work in America? This is what the taxpayers are paying for!"
Back to Bezmenov.
4. And, after crisis, with a violent change of power, structure, and economy, you have [the so-called] period of normalization. It may last indefinitely. Normalization is a cynical expression borrowed from Soviet propaganda. When the Soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia in ‘68, Comrade Brezhnev said, ‘Now the situation in brotherly Czechoslovakia is normalized.’He adds,
This is what will happen in [the] United States if you allow all these schmucks to bring the country to crisis, to promise people all kind[s] of goodies and the paradise on earth, to destabilize your economy, to eliminate the principle of free market competition, and to put [a] Big Brother government in Washington, D.C. with benevolent dictators like Walter Mondale, who will promise lots of thing[s], never mind whether the promises are fulfillable or not. He will go to Moscow to kiss the bottoms of [a] new generation of Soviet assassins, never mind... he will create false illusions that the situation is under control. [The] situation is not under control. [The] situation is disgustingly out of control.
Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system trains another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime. False. [The] United States is in a state of war: undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundations of this system. And the initiator of this war is not Comrade Andropov, of course. It's the system. However ridiculous it may sound, [it is] the world Communist system (or the world Communist conspiracy). Whether I scare some people or not, I don't give a hoot. If you are not scared by now, nothing can scare you.
But you don’t have to be paranoid about it. What actually happens now [is] that unlike [me], you have literally several years to live on unless [the] United States [wakes] up.
To destabilize your economy to eliminate the principal of free market competition; and to put a big brother government in Washington D.C.; with benevolent dictators ...Never mind whether the promises are fulfilled or not. He [the dictator] will go to Moscow to kiss the bottoms of a new generation of Soviet assassins. Never mind [nothing to see here, move along], he will create false illusions that the situation is under control.
Sidenote: Obama's first visit overseas after winning his first election? Russia, to meet Putin. It's been announced his next visit overseas after this latest election will be... to visit Putin, who is also a former KGB man. I know this remark will evoke comment from my Russian friends :) Doesn't mean Putin is still a communist.]
"Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system train another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime. False. United States is in a state of war; undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundations of this system. And the initiator of this war is not Comrade Andropov of course - it's the system. However, ridiculous it may sound, [it is] the world Communist system, or the world Communist conspiracy.[Side-side note: I have a friend who was in Berlin in 1984, working Army signals intelligence for NSA, when his group picked up the first coded messages from Moscow that Andropov had died; the world learned 3 days later.]
BEZMENOV: "Whether I scare some people or not, I don't give a hoot. If you're not scared by now, nothing can scare you. You don't have to be paranoid about it. What actually happens now; that unlike myself, you have literally several years to live on unless United States wake up. The time bomb is ticking. With every second the disaster is coming closer. Unlike myself, you will have nowhere to defect to, unless you want to live in Antarctica with penguins. This is it, this is the last country with freedom and possibility.Bezmenov did a lecture in Los Angeles just before these interviews, and said similar things, but also went into some more detail about the nature of Soviet subversive techniques. A sampling:
INTERVIEWER: Okay, so what do we do? What is your recommendation to the American people?
BEZMENOV: Well, the immediate thing that comes to mind is, of course, there must be a very strong national effort to educate people in the spirit of REAL patriotism, number one. Number two, to explain [to] them the real danger of socialist, communist, welfare state, Big Brother government. If people fail to grasp the impending danger; nothing ever will help the United States. You may kiss goodbye your freedoms.... All this freedom will vanish in 5 seconds - including your precious lives.
The moment at least part of [the] United States population is convinced that the danger is real, they have to FORCE their government, and I'm not talking about sending letters, signing petitions, and all this beautiful, noble activity, I'm talking about FORCING [the] United States government to stop aiding Communism....
BEZMENOV: "The highest art of warfare is not to fight at all, but to subvert anything of value in the country of your enemy, until such time that the perception of reality of your enemy is screwed up to such an extent that he does not perceive you as an enemy, and that your system, your civilization and your ambitions look to you enemy as an alternative, if not desirable, then at least feasible. Better Red than Dead. That's the ultimate purpose, the final stage by which you can take your enemy without a single shot being fired. If the subversion is successful. This is what subversion is. As you see, not a single mention of blowing up bridges.Even more chilling is how Bezmenov routinely describes how communists take care of dissenters after they take over:
"The basics of subversion are being taught to every student of the KGB in the USSR and to officers of military academies."
"Subversion can only be successful when the initiator, the actor, the agent of subversion has a responsive target. It's a two-way traffic. The United States is a receptive target of subversion."
BEZMENOV: Most of the activity of the department [KGB] was to compile a huge amount and volume of information on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion. Publisher, editors, journalists, actors, educationalists, professors of political science, members of parliament, representatives of business circles.You might tie that in to this from the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) web site, November 17, 2012 -- their National Committee issued a report celebrating the re-election of Barack Obama:
Most of these people were divided roughly into two groups: those who would tow the Soviet foreign policy, who would be promoted to positions of power through media and public manipulation; [and] those who refuse the Soviet influence in their own country -- [they] would be character assassinated OR executed physically, come Revolution.
Same way as in a small town of Hua in South Vietnam; several thousands of Vietnamese were executed in one night when the city was captured by [the] Viet Cong for only two days; and American CIA could never figure out -- how could [the communists] possibly know each Individual, where he lives, where to get him, [how could they] be arrested in one night basically in four hours before dawn, put on a van, driven out of the city limits and shot?
The answer is very simple. Long before communists occupied the city, there was an extensive network of informers; local Vietnamese citizens who knew absolutely everything about people who were instrumental in [forming] public opinion -- including barbers and taxi drivers. Everyone who was sympathetic to the United States was executed. Same thing was done under the guidance of the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, and same thing I was doing in New Delhi. To my horror, I discovered that in the files were people who were doomed to execution. There were names of pro-Soviet Journalists, with whom I was personally friendly.
INTERVIEWER: Pro Soviet?
BEZMENOV: Simply, because, you see, [they were] useful idiots, the leftists who are idealistically believing in the beauty of Soviet or Communist or Socialist or whatever system; when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies. That's why my KGB instructors specifically made the point, "never bother with leftists, forget about these political prostitutes -- "aim higher," this was my instruction...
INTERVIEWER: But to eliminate the others; to execute the others, don't they serve some purpose -- wouldn't they be the one's to rely on?
BEZMENOV: No, they serve a purpose only [up] to the stage of destabilization of a nation. For example, your leftists in [the] United States; all these professors and all these beautiful civil rights defenders. They are instrumental in the process of the subversion, only to destabilize a nation. When the job is completed, they are not needed anymore. They know too much. ...The moment they serve their purpose, all the useful idiots are either executed entirely, [or sent to a prison camp]. All the idealistically minded Marxists. ...you can get popular like Daniel Ellsberg and filthy rich like Jane Fonda for being a dissident [and] for criticizing your Pentagon. In [the] future these people will simply be [he makes a squishy noise] squashed like cockroaches for criticizing the government.
"We meet on the heels of an enormous people's victory. It was a long and bitterly contested battle in which the forces of inclusive democracy came out on top. The better angels of the American people spread their wings.Pause on a few phrases in there:
"An African American president was reelected to the Presidency, the Democrats unexpectedly strengthened their hand in the Senate and House, new progressive voices, like Elizabeth Warren, are coming to Washington.
"We can be proud of our role in the election. Our contribution was both ideological and practical. Nearly every member and leader was involved. Our work gives us much to build on as we throw ourselves into the post-election battles.
"In every state and city our political relationships are broader and deeper; our presence and prestige are on a new level.
"We come out of this election poised to play a larger role in the unfolding struggles, beginning with the struggle over the "fiscal cliff."
"...Our contribution was both ideological and practical. Nearly every member and leader was involved."Think about that word -- "practical." It means something to a committed communist -- it means, control and violence. This was practically a call to mobilize for violent takeover.
"Our work gives us much to build on as we throw ourselves into the post-election battles. We come out of this election poised to play a larger role in the unfolding struggles..."You must realize that communists take that word "battle" literally. And Barack Obama is a communist. A Stalinist.
Realize -- we have something much worse than mafioso in charge of our country right now.
There is *much* more to either the inteview or the lectures. He's quite matter of fact (and very funny at times), as when he talks at length of how most of the "idealistic" communists would be immediately executed if the Soviets took over. Well, same principle applies if it's not the Soviets: people after power don't tolerate starry-eyed idealists for long.
It's all coming from a man who knew, too well, how the United States was being deliberately undermined for decades, by long-range plan and intention. Yes, the sickness was much wider than Soviet plans. Yes, there was, as Ayn Rand argued, a philosophical sickness poisoning the entire world with wrong ideas, from which communism emerged, and yes, the United States was infected with it even before the Russian Revolution in 1917. (It was.)
But it's one thing to be sick; it's another thing to feed the patient poison to greatly accelerate the sickness. (and the Soviets were part of the sickness)
Ayn Rand also said that the communists -- which as Bezmenov notes were *not* just the Soviets but the entire loosely-knit *internationale* of communists and their sympathizers -- were like maggots feeding off of a corpse. (from memory -- exact phrasing might be corrected). In this case, the maggots that the Soviets begat in the 50's and 60's took on a life of their own even well before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and what we are living with today is the legacy of that.
Another side note: Bezmenov worked for the KGB to subvert India during the 60's. In the late 40's, the post-war architect of Indian socialism was a British diplomat and intellectual named Harold Laski. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Laski) He was openly a socialist, later revealed to be a closet communist -- a Fabian, if I recall, the stealth organization dedicated to incremental implementation of communism, started by Bertram Russell, among others.
But in the 1930's Ayn Rand heard Laski talk, and instantly realized that *he* was the role model for her character of Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead -- a man, whom she had say in the novel (see my post Good Night, America) about the independent, free man:
"I don't want to kill him. I want him in jail. You understand? In jail. In a cell. Behind bars. Locked, stopped, strapped--and alive. He'll get up when they tell him to. He'll eat what they give him. He'll move when he's told to move and stop when he's told. He'll walk to the jute mill, when he's told, and he'll work as he's told. They'll push him, if he doesn't move fast enough, and they'll slap his face when they feel like it, and they'll beat him with rubber hose if he doesn't obey. And he'll obey. He'll take orders. He'll take orders!"This is all related to a point I made in a post a year and a half ago: the problem is bigger than most people realize. Much bigger.
Links to full Los Angeles lecture by Bezmenov:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN0By0xbst8
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoaS6Tt6ODY
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ30f9OfuFs
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX_9kKvyjJs
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bivEvWDWxlI
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgUmpwZiGjg
Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VctBWelXt4
Short video segments of the interview on this page:
Full 81 minute video of Bezmenov interview:
Full interview transcript (in three parts):
Partial transcript of Bezmenov interview may be found here:
He escaped to the West in 1970 after becoming totally disgusted with the Soviet system; and he did this at great risk to his life. He certainly is one of the worlds outstanding experts on the subject of Soviet propaganda; and disinformation and active measures.
[To Bezmenov] ...you spoke before about "ideological subversion" and that's a phrase that I'm afraid some Americans don't understand. When the Soviets use the phrase "ideological subversion" what do they mean by it?
Everyone who was sympathetic to United States was executed. Same thing was done under the guidance of the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, and same thing I was doing in New Delhi. To my horror, I discovered that in the files were people who were doomed to execution. There were names of pro-Soviet Journalists, with whom I was personally friendly.
ED GRIFFIN: And yet these people who have been programmed and as you say [are] in place and who are favorable to an opening with the Soviet concept -- these are the very people who would be marked for extermination in this country?
[Now] you can get popular like Daniel Ellsberg and filthy rich like Jane Fonda for being a dissident [and] for criticizing your Pentagon. In [the] future these people will simply be [he makes a squishy noise] squashed like cockroaches for criticizing the government. Nobody is going to pay them nothing for their beautiful [and] noble ideas of EQUALITY. This they don't understand and it will be the greatest shock for them, of course.
The demoralization process in the United States is basically completed already for the last 25 years. Actually, it's over fulfilled because demoralization now reaches such areas where not even Comrade Andropov and all his experts would even dream of such tremendous success. Most of it is done by Americans to Americans thanks to lack of moral standards. As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him, even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents and pictures. Even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him the concentration camps...he will refuse to believe it.... until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom.
It only takes 2 to 5 years to destabilize a nation. This time what matters is essentials; economy, foreign relations, [and] defense systems. And you can see it quite clearly that in some... sensitive areas such as defense and [the] economy, the influence of Marxist-Leninist ideas in the United States is absolutely fantastic. I could never believe it 14 years ago when I landed in this part of the world that the process will go that fast.
To promise people all kinds of goodies, and the paradise on Earth. Uh to destabilize your economy to eliminate the principal of free market competition; and to put a big brother government in Washington D.C.; with benevolent dictators like  Walter Mondale [2008 Obama] who will promise lots of things - Never mind whether the promises are fulfilled or not. He [the dictator] will go to Moscow to kiss the bottoms of a new generation of Soviet Assassins. Never mind [nothing to see here, move along], he will create false illusions that the situation is under control.
Most of the American politicians, media, and educational system train another generation of people who think they are living at the peacetime. False. United States is in a state of war; undeclared, total war against the basic principles and foundations of this system. And the initiator of this war is not Comrade Andropov of course - it's the system. However, ridiculous it may sound, [it is] the world Communist system, or the world Communist conspiracy. Whether I scare some people or not, I don't give a hoot. If you're not scared by now, nothing can scare you. You don't have to be paranoid about it. What actually happens now; that unlike myself, you have literally several years to live on unless United States wake up. The time bomb is ticking. With every second the disaster is coming closer. Unlike myself, you will have nowhere to defect to, unless you want to live in Antarctica with penguins.
The moment at least part of [the] United States population is convinced that the danger is real, they have to FORCE their government, and I'm not talking about sending letters, signing petitions, and all this beautiful, noble activity, I'm talking about FORCING [the] United States government to stop aiding Communism....
Headline: 20 Children Among 28 Dead In Newtown Elementary School Massacre.
It's too terrible to dwell on the concrete details, which have become far too commonplace. I only note that it was inevitable, and more is on the way.
It's a terrible fact that when the philosophy of a culture becomes utterly irrational, it infects everything. People become utterly irrational when they come to embrace utterly irrational ideas. I've remarked multiple times that the Left has become borderline psychotic, and I mean it. Leonard Peikoff suggested something similar many years ago in his speech, "Modernism and Madness," (1994) which was the source of my own observation, and I've thought about it ever since.
The effect of irrational ideas infects everyone who subscribes to them. What makes the Left's ideas so pernicious, especially those of the so-called "post-modern" Left, who are something of the apotheosis of worship in the Cult of Unreason, is the insidious nature of the un-integrated, unreal ideas they advocate -- ideas developed ultimately with no regard for reality, but not merely no regard -- open, defiant contempt for reality. The ideas they uphold are utterly unintegrated from any rational context by intention, with a brooding leitmotif of loathing for any kind of order to existence, and for any kind of human existence. This expresses itself in the phenomenon Ayn Rand identified as hatred of the good for being the good:
This hatred is not resentment against some prescribed view of the good with which one does not agree. . . . Hatred of the good for being the good means hatred of that which one regards as good by one’s own (conscious or subconscious) judgment. It means hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable.As she noted,
What is the nature of a creature in which the sight of a value arouses hatred and the desire to destroy? In the most profound sense of the term, such a creature is a killer, not a physical, but a metaphysical one—it is not an enemy of your values, but of all values, it is an enemy of anything that enables men to survive, it is an enemy of life as such and of everything living.The effect of irrational ideas has to ripple down through a culture. Putting aside the vocational aspects, our schools today are dedicated to one proposition: destroying the minds of children. The most successful products of our schools now grow up warped and disfigured mentally, in possession of some knowledge here and there -- table scraps for emaciated minds -- but largely shriveled mentally, their cortical folds flattened and disfigured by rabid committments to random eclectic notions bearing no connection at all to reality.
At some level they know they are freaks. The anger wells up. From the start of their grade-school they had stewed for years in a pot of irrationality that washed their brains of any critical faculty and left them inept to live and filled with rationalizations for their metaphysical incompetence -- it's somebody else's fault for their lack of self-esteem or ambition or whatever. The brainwashing was perfect, because they came out of the process not merely unable to recognize their own killers, but admiring them.
With the sanction of a post-modern philosophy that glorifies hatred of anything human, they went home -- to watch post-modern movies or television shows denigrate anything heroic while teaching a mindless amoral violence as the solution to all problems. And then, when bored with that (for the existentialism of boredom surely permeates the post-modern culture) they settled deeper into their couches to play post-modern video games that glorify mindless violence.
Then you add the confines of the straitjacket of statism. All that incompetence and feelings of worthlessness become a suffocating claustrophobic pressure seeking release. With no freedom, no ability to exercise individual judgment and only unchosen duties -- of course something has to give.
This is the pattern of any extreme authoritarianism driven by an insane philosophy. Psychological pressure builds till people start exploding. They go crazy.
It's happened throughout history, though you don't read much about it unless you look for it. Look up the history of any rigidly authoritarian country like the Soviet Union, or Cambodia -- sometimes the people doing the exploding are the ones in control. (Or -- who was the "Pied Piper" of Hamelin? A serial killer of children. Put this one in the context of the stultifying religious authoritarianism of the Dark Ages.)
Freedom is the pressure relief valve of psychosis, in a sense, but more fundamentally, reason is what prevents psychosis and the pressure build-up in the first place -- by developing confident human beings who feel fit to live, who are qualified to live freely and independently, and who cultivate a society that allows people to live freely.
Free, rational societies don't breed mass killers. Authoritarian, irrational societies do breed mass killers. That's why I said: more is coming.
Our society has scorned reason. Under government run, left-wing schools of pure, unadulterated brainwashing, too many children are taught nothing but irrational social and psychological doctrines that disfigure them mentally -- by design.
Ayn Rand explained it in one of her most brilliant essays, The Comprachicos. Quoting Victor Hugo in his novel The Man Who Laughs, she made a comparison:
' …The comprachicos, or comprapequeños, were a strange and hideous nomadic association, famous in the seventeenth century, forgotten in the eighteenth, unknown today.She continued in her own voice:
'…Comprachicos, as well as comprapequeños, is a compound Spanish word that means “child-buyers.” The comprachicos traded in children. They bought them and sold them.
' They did not steal them. The kidnapping of children is a different industry.
' And what did they make of these children?
' Why monsters?
' To laugh.
' The people need laughter; so do the kings. Cities require side-show freaks or clowns; palaces require jesters …
' To succeed in producing a freak, one must get hold of him early. A dwarf must be started when he is small …'
' Hence, an art. There were educators. They took a man and turned him into a miscarriage; they took a face and made a muzzle. They stunted growth; they mangled features. This artificial production of teratological cases had its own rules. It was a whole science. Imagine an inverted orthopedics. Where God had put a straight glance, this art put a squint. Where God had put harmony, they put deformity. Where God had put perfection, they brought back a botched attempt. And, in the eyes of connoisseurs, it is the botched that was perfect …
' The practice of degrading man leads one to the practice of deforming him. Deformity completes the task of political suppression…
' The comprachicos had a talent, to disfigure, that made them valuable in politics. To disfigure is better than to kill. There was the iron mask, but that is an awkward means. One cannot populate Europe with iron masks; deformed mountebanks, however, run through the streets without appearing implausible; besides, an iron mask can be torn off, a mask of flesh cannot. To mask you forever by means of your own face, nothing can be more ingenious…'
The production of monsters — helpless,twisted monsters whose normal development has been stunted — goes on all around us. But the modern heirs of the comprachicos are smarter and subtler than their predecessors: they do not hide, they practice their trade in the open; they do not buy children, the children are delivered to them; they do not use sulphur or iron, they achieve their goal without ever laying a finger on their little victims.
This is the ingenuity practiced by most of today’s educators. They are the comprachicos of the mind. They do not place a child into a vase to adjust his body to its contours. They place him into a “Progressive” nursery school to adjust him to society...She quotes herself in Atlas Shrugged:
He thought of all the living species that train their young in the art of survival, the cats who teach their kittens to hunt, the birds who spend such strident effort on teaching their fledglings to fly — yet man, whose tool of survival is the mind, does not merely fail to teach a child to think, but devotes the child’s education to the purpose of destroying his brain, of convincing him that thought is futile and evil, before he has started to think… “Men would shudder, he thought, if they saw a mother bird plucking the feathers from the wings of her young, then pushing him out of the nest to struggle for survival—yet that was what they did to their children...I strongly recommend her entire essay to expand on what I'm saying here.
So the mental cripples emerging from our schools, realizing they are metaphysically worthless social pawns, become a kind of suicide bomber. They understand only one thing -- that they possess no reading ability, no writing ability, no mathematics ability, no knowledge of history or science or literature, no morals, no principles to guide them, no introspective ability (because that requires all the rest), no capacity to think whatsoever, and no self-respect, because that requires the capacity to think. What can they do?
Explode. They have to explode. It's the only thing they feel capable of doing, and for many the only thing they are practiced in doing, based on long hours ruminating in front of the screen of an imploding culture.
They can't see inwardly, so all they can do is look outward. They see some people who are happy, or who might be happy, and they feel a bubbling resentment. They hear the steady pounding of left-wing culture rap that resonates with the never-ending migraine in their own skulls. Momentarily, they get a brief cathartic release watching other people "solve" their problems on TV or in movies by shooting, stabbing, strangling or blowing someone up. The "anti-heroes" in those shows project no moral purpose to the carnage -- so the message is simply that even if love is the professed theoretical solution, killing is the only practical one.
This is reinforced when the nightly news flashes on-screen to trumpet the celebration of the doctrine at a wholesale level, with new legislation or Presidential edicts that destroy industries or murder Americans in altruistic wars.
Seeing all this indiscriminate killing, disfigured human misfits might flee to the narcotic of a video game to get them through another night of escape with a barrage of simulated killing -- but that drug wears off quickly, leaving them only halucinogenic nightmares of unrelenting terror. Repeated day in and day out, the psychological battering eventually drives some to seek out a stronger drug, the only thing they feel competent to do to redeem the void of their lives-- kill.
The current generation, meanwhile, being fully mentally and permanently disfigured by the Comprachicos of the educational establishment and our culture writ large, have been let loose to stumble around for their survival within the cage of our authoritarian society -- which regulates their every movement and whips them at every turn for any expression of individual judgment or pursuit of any personal happiness. They've no future at all, nothing but random hope for some loose change of an existence.
They see only one way out of the pain of such an existence: death. This becomes a brooding, festering fascination with it, born of resentment and hatred and loathing and envy for every single creature that is worthy of its own existence. This resentment comes to consume the pathetic shreds of their lives, and some of them determine, when the pressure becomes too great, that one last suicidal gasp is all that's left to prove that they are better, as long as no one else is better off. Anyone of any happiness, or any potential for happiness, like a child. Anyone of any ability, any integrity, any achievement, any good in them is a glaring affront to the existence of these metaphysical monstrosities, and must be eliminated, in their psychotic world-view. Destroyed, obliterated from existence.
Such is the development of a mass killer -- anyone who's main goal is to snuff out the lives of everyone who might be happy, solely because they might be happy.
Random shootings are modern philosophy played out in action on a small scale. But modern philosophy is also starting to play out on a much bigger scale -- the recent election was our next "Batman shooter" preparing to enter the theater of the nation by engraved invitation -- and it will soon lead to global destruction unless the government-run schools of indoctrinated madness are shut down, but more fundamentally, only if the philosophies of madness that guide those schools are replaced with a philosophy of reason.
(I don't wish to raise the spectre of politics in this essay given the somber nature of the subject, but some time ago I did a commentary on how this kind of analysis applies to the disfigured creature in the White House. It is a fact that he is closely related in spirit and intention to those who would randomly attack schools or theaters, and this should be borne in mind for the wary.)
I had a private exchange with a friend who remarked,
I had a thought about the Left’s abhorrence of guns. I wonder if part of it stems from a rationalist “principle” of “all killing is bad.” So, it’s not just the murder of innocents that’s evil, but killing in self-defense is really just as bad--and from that contradiction flows all manner of additional craziness.The subject was the madness within our modern society. He quoted Galt in Atlas Shrugged, who said,
"I have said that faith and force are corollaries, and that mysticism will always lead to the rule of brutality. The cause of it is contained in the very nature of mysticism. Reason is the only objective means of communication and of understanding among men; when men deal with one another by means of reason, reality is their objective standard and frame of reference. But when men claim to possess supernatural means of knowledge, no persuasion, communication or understanding are possible. Why do we kill wild animals in the jungle? Because no other way of dealing with them is open to us. And that is the state to which mysticism reduces mankind—a state where, in case of disagreement, men have no recourse except to physical violence."I replied (dovetailing my last post the other day, It's a Madhouse):
It's true that mysticism reduces mankind to the state where disagreements can only (ultimately) be resolved with force and / or violence, but in our society the practical expression of mysticism is self-sacrifice, and I think this is the best starting point to understand the spread of psychosis in our world.
For many on the Religious Right, sacrifice takes a relatively simple form -- God, Country, Charity, etc. But generally, they kind of let you keep half your soul and half your happiness. That's enough to keep most (religious) people grounded enough in reality to survive.
The Left takes self-sacrifice more seriously, though. The root of this, I think, is that they are neurotically driven to seek any gospel that gains them moral superiority over others. Why they are so neurotically insecure about themselves is a different topic (it's much like a rat eating its own tail because it's both taught and reinforced in school and society), but I think the leitmotif of the Left culminates in a neurotic insecurity that becomes driven by the Creed of Self-sacrifice.
The pain of this neurotic self-doubt is compensated by only one thing: power lust. Their desire to control others is rationalized by projecting it through the demands of society, and the really scary part is their unadmitted desire for a dictator to rule them.
Morality, via self-sacrifice, is their kool-aid. The means to control people while inflating their own pseudo-self-esteem... moral superiority = higher perceived self-value. An illusion of self-worth created by the drug of self-sacrifice, because *anyone* can easily find ways to ask *others* to sacrifice. The method comes courtesy of Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, and every religious huckster for the last 30,000 years of human existence.
The more they call for methods of self-sacrifice, the more superior they are, and the addication grows with the number of laws and lobbyists in Washington.
Psychologically, their neurosis leads them to seek out every form of self-sacrifice. Gun control, saving the whales, the planet, the furbish lousewort, sacrificing for racial equality via racism, sacrificing Western Civilization to every barbaric civilization (Islam or any random tribe of indians), even giving up any kind of food that is tasty in the name of any kind of diet that isn't (eg, vegetarianism), prohibiting any modern convenience in the name of technological abstinence -- or the technology that makes conveniences possible, like coal, oil, nuclear, in favor of any quackery that is more costly (wind, solar, etc). And the self-sacrifice is all couched as unchosen duties to thy neighbor, village, city, state, nation, planet, even your own body (don't eat salt!), which is treated as somehow not your own. Ad infinitum.
At the deepest level, they sacrifice reason and reality to any irrational notion they care to concoct out of thin air and turn into a cult or a fiscal policy or foreign policy or a university curriculum. But again, it's all unchosen duties and unchosen "responsibilities" (a word they prefer because it requires less self-examination and allows more equivocation between the chosen and the unchosen) because they want to sacrifice individual judgment, individual values, individual choices to the herd or to the worship of unhuman or inanimate objects.
In an important sense, the Left is that part of human civilization that never stopped worshipping bulls and figurines and sun-gods and other icons; they just reified them in the form of abstractions -- "society", "the planet", and most abstract of all, any floating, disconnected nothingness conceived by an ivory tower academic living off government subsistence, especially those ideas pertaining to human behavior, human psychology, human interactions. Though of course, today it goes far beyond that, right into the "hard" sciences. Any abstract nothingness is in the pantheon of their gods.
As Galt said, they worship the Zero, because that's the ultimate form of self-sacrifice. Zeroes worshipping every Zero, trying to claim a Zero is something because they worship it. Exhibit A: Barack Obama.
Gun control plays into all this, cause it's the sacrifice of innocent victims to armed killers, and the sacrifice of innocent citizens to the government. It nicely plays into their need to control people with a straitjacket of regulations and permissions. You didn't build that, but if you did, we'll tax you out of existence and take credit for it.
Sacrifice of the individual to society embraces most things the Left advocates, though the aberration of environmentalism took that concept a step further to advocate the sacrifice of the individual to even things outside society -- by anthropomorphizing the planet or nothingness (there have been calls to end the littering of space with our "junk").
There's nothing connected to reality in any major agenda of the Left. The only common theme is the unquestioned irrational pursuit of self-sacrifice. It's all insane, and it has to breed insanity. As Galt also said,"Death is the standard of your values, death is your chosen goal, and you have to keep running, since there is no escape from the pursuer who is out to destroy you or from the knowledge that that pursuer is yourself. Stop running, for once—there is no place to run—stand naked, as you dread to stand, but as I see you, and take a look at what you dared to call a moral code."To paraphrase, psychosis is the standard of their values, psychosis is their chosen goal... take a look at what they dare to call a moral ideal -- the creed of self-sacrifice.
Many people condemn them. Most people have no idea what they are.
Put it this way.... define "conspiracy."
Try. For many people, it's equivalent to any uncertain theory that seems too convoluted and implausible to be true. Much scientific work would fall under the definition most people hold for "conspiracy."
That is, for most people, if a speculation or conjecture conflicts with their established notions and isn't simple-mindedly self-evident or absolutely proven with "smoking gun" in-your-face evidence,then it may be dismissed out-of-hand and labeled a "conspiracy theory" to avoid further thought. A form of the fallacy of the "argument from incredulity" (my lack of imagination means I can dismiss you), which is a form of the argument from ignorance (the premise is false because you can't prove it ). (See also this or this.)
Here I would like to discuss the form of argumentum ad ignorantiam which I will label argumentum exconiuratiotheoria -- the argument from conspiracy theory.
This method -- the method of first checking to see if something sounds like a conspiracy theory -- is primarily a means of shutting down legitimate conjecture and rational examination. I emphasize "sounds like."
Speculation qualifies as a true conspiracy theory when at least one of two factors is present:
1.) There is either noevidence whatsoever for the speculation, which consists of arbitrary mental constructs; and
2.) When there is knownevidence which openly contradicts the speculation and which is being consciously evaded by the person(s) doing the speculation.
Technically, I might note, a conspiracy theory isn't a theory at all, since a legitimate theory doesn't contain the elements of (1) or (2) above.
There is also "Occam's Razor," -- the principle of using the least complex hypothesis to explain the known facts -- but too often this is used incorrectly to justify a form of evasion, since by ignoring enough facts and other complexity you can conveniently show that your simpler explanation for things must be the right one. Religious arguments come to mind.
The legitimate application of Occam's Razor is different. It lies in using the Razor to prioritize hypotheses being investigated -- and every hypothesis must try to explain the same body of facts -- that is, all the facts that are known. You start by investigating the least complex hypothesis first; if it fails to explain all the known facts, you dump it and move on to a different hypothesis, choosing the simplest of those other hypothesis. Loop and repeat. (When a hypothesis becomes proven, Occam's Razor no longer applies, because a proven hypothesis is the only one that can explain all the known facts.)
To my observation, people who like to condemn others as conspiracy theorists do it for a number of reasons. The honest ones want to advocate a rational method. The dishonest ones like the moral authority it grants them, and from that, a sense of intellectual superiority and power over others, which they attain by being smarter, wiser. "Keep your conspiracies to yourself" would summarize how the latter approach such things.
I will note: honest anti-conspirialists don't rush to condemn wild-eyed notions; they simply point out the facts that contradict a wild-eyed notion.
"We never make assertions, Miss Taggart," said Hugh Akston. "That is the moral crime peculiar to our enemies. We do not tell--we show. We do not claim--we prove. It is not your obedience that we seek to win, but your rational conviction. You have seen all the elements of our secret. The conclusion is now yours to draw--we can help you to name it, but not to accept it--the sight, the knowledge and the acceptance must be yours." (in Atlas Shrugged)There is a larger issue which most people miss: the logical fallacy of "jumping to conclusions" (hasty generalization, dicto simpliciter) often applies to both sides.
Sometimes there is insufficient evidence to formulate any theory at all. More precisely, when the possible explanations for the known facts are too great, the certainty of any speculation or hypothesis is too low to assert it. It becomes ridiculous to claim anything as an explanation without more facts.
A good example comes from medicine: you feel some stomach discomfort, accompanied by blurred vision, let's say. You go to an online medical database and conclude you've got one of 1000 possible conditions. Which is it? No way to know without more facts, and you pick the most dire one, brain cancer. It could be lack of sleep, but you choose the worst one to worry about.
This erroneous method of cognition is common even in the sciences. (For instance, in the "science" of global warming.)
The same fallacy often applies to many of the people who condemn conspiracy theorists. Even the more honest practitioners of the creed of Anti-Conspirializing often slip into the faux moral indignation of sneering at what they think is an unlikely "theory," hypothesis or speculation by resting on the laurels of mental laziness or social conformity or appeals to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam).
Typically, the anti-conspirialists live in their own unadmitted cloistered world of assumptions and prejudices -- limiting context, knowledge, facts or logical analysis to justify their assertions that "X" or "Y" is a conspiracy theory, they will exclude germane facts to defend their opinions. In some circles, this is known as the method of a self-licking ice cream cone.
For instance -- many people would consider it absurd "conspiracy theorizing" to suggest that Obama is deliberately trying to destroy the United States -- but that would be ignoring (deliberately and willfully) a massive body of context-- not merely his background, but that such destruction is the explicit ideology of Marx. (Thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis in Marxian theory means to tear everything down at the "anti-thesis" level of historical determinism; but for more evidence, you need simply read what all Marxists openly assert they intend to do.)
You point out Obama's Marxist roots, associates, ad infinitum, and they will claim he's not a communist, because no one could be that bad, so he must be a socialist. Or, he's not a socialist, because no American politician could be that bad, so he must be "pragmatic" with a concern for the poor. Whatever.
You point out that all his friends and family and associates are communists, and they'll say communism has never been practiced before, because the failures of the Soviet Union, Mao, Castro, Khmer Rouge prove it wasn't communism, because by definition communism is successful. (These last are the least honest -- this is how communists will answer you before condemning your conspiracy theories.)
Among the more honest who condemn conspiracy theorists (which is more interesting) a social standard is often at work. "It can't be true because most people don't hold that." (On facebook, most often in the form, "it can't be true because Snopes says it's not true.") "It can't be true because I haven't read it yet in a reputable forum or newspaper." "It can't be true because I haven't heard it from an authority or expert." (Global warming advocates love this approach, and explicitly manipulate it.)
Sometimes the standard isn't social but psychological: "It can't be true because it would upset my world-view."
An example of that last one would be: "Voter fraud can't be rampant in the United States because I want to believe we have an honest system of democratic government." But it might also be relevant to a belief in God, or the idea that the government is here to help.
Sometimes the standard isn't social or psychological, but motivational: "It can't be true because it would require a hell of a lot of work on my part to prove it's not true."
These cases of "more honest" people are typically about people who are mentally lazy or evading at a deeper level of psychology -- hence my scare quotes around the phrase "more honest."
Not all speculation is a conspiracy theory, and speculation is not a dirty word -- it's a word that exists for a reason: it's the starting point for explaining anything. It's one of the starting points for any reasoning process that is about forming propositions to explain some body of facts. Not the ending point, the starting point.
An honest person sees facts that have no explanation, and formulates an idea, a speculation about the cause. A rational person keeps his mind open to facts that would disprove or support an unproven speculation, and amends his speculations to account for them -- but especially to facts that might disprove his hypothesis, at least in the early stages of validation, because disproof by the law of non-contradiction is much easier than proving something.
At some point, there may accumulate a sufficient body of evidence to raise a speculation to the level of a formal, precise hypothesis, but the search for new facts continues as before. There is no change in the method, only in the degree of precision of the hypothesis.
As long as (1) or (2) aren't violated, at no time does an unproven hypothesis qualify as a conspiracy theory. It's -- a hypothesis. There's a reason this word exists. It describes a stage in the formulation of any proposition along the path from speculation to tentative hypothesis to unproven theory to fully proven theory.
A note on history: Some people try to claim that there never has been a conspiracy in history that was proven. They cherry-pick their "evidence" (to the extent they have any at all), and show there are no conspiracies to manipulate the price of commodities, or of aliens, or of whatever -- always easy cases to make, or cases that are too complex to easily disprove.
But conspiracies do exist -- there is a reason the word exists.
I return to my first question: what is a "conspiracy"? Definitions vary, but generally, it's a secret plan by a group of people to accomplish some end which is often unlawful or harmful, or to advance their interests.
Would a corporate marketing strategy qualify? Most corporations conceal their plans from competitors. It's done by a group of people in secret. You might say it's lawful -- so it's not a conspiracy. Borderline case.
Would a mass movement like global warming apply? That is, a movement to impose strict sanctions on the use of oil and coal and other hydrocarbons? It's done out in the open -- but it distorts facts and many of the leading proponents conceal their ultimate ends, including the destruction of industrial civilization. It's legal -- but I think it qualifies as a conspiracy because of the concealment and the destructive ends.
Would the spread of Islamic theology and jihad apply? Definitely: the spread of shariah and the methods employed, however explicitly layed-out in the Koran and Hadith, are still secret to most gullible Westerners who know nothing of the methods of Islam (and who don't want to know) -- the proponents count on that. (All you have to do is watch Memri TV to see how news is manipulated in the Islamic world, depending on whether you listen in English or in Arabic.)
Would the intelligence operations of any nation qualify? Well, it's outside the law (being the action of one nation against others), but I think it might qualify as a conspiracy because of the secretiveness, but especially when there is a destructive aspect, as it did with the old Soviet Union.
The Soviets were masters of conspiracies (see, for instance, this blog post of mine), and so were their willing puppets, the communist internationale writ large. The Soviets, according to many defectors, ex-pats and citizens of the former Easter Bloc, had all sorts of conspiracies to manipulate, direct and take over entire governments in Europe or the world over. (The U.S., maybe?) But of course we know of the many spies they did put in place around the world.
Conspiracies exist -- it's a fact. Some ends can't be accomplished except in secret. Some enemies can't be conquered -- except by concealing means and ends.
But the historical part is this: the term "conspiracy theory" didn't become widely used till after the Congressional hearings in the late forties to expose communists in the United States, during the HUAC hearings. In response, the communists concocted a brilliant conspiracy to counter future hearings -- they demonized anyone who suspected their conspiracies... by calling them conspiracy theorists. I note that it follows a method condemned by Ayn Rand:
"There is a certain type of argument which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent’s agreement with one’s undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure... [It] consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: “Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.” . . . The falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality.
"In today’s epistemological jungle, that second method is used more frequently than any other type of irrational argument. It should be classified as a logical fallacy and may be designated as The Argument from Intimidation:
The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: “Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.”
...The tone is usually one of scornful or belligerent incredulity. “Surely you are not an advocate of capitalism, are you?” And if this does not intimidate the prospective victim—who answers, properly: “I am,”—the ensuing dialogue goes something like this: “Oh, you couldn’t be! Not really!” “Really.” “But everybody knows that capitalism is outdated!” “I don’t.” “Oh, come now!” “Since I don’t know it, will you please tell me the reasons for thinking that capitalism is outdated?” “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!” “Will you tell me the reasons?” “Well, really, if you don’t know, I couldn’t possibly tell you!”
All this is accompanied by raised eyebrows, wide-eyed stares, shrugs, grunts, snickers and the entire arsenal of nonverbal signals communicating ominous innuendoes and emotional vibrations of a single kind: disapproval.
If those vibrations fail, if such debaters are challenged, one finds that they have no arguments, no evidence, no proof, no reasons, no ground to stand on—that their noisy aggressiveness serves to hide a vacuum—that the Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.
...Let me emphasize that the Argument from Intimidation does not consist of introducing moral judgment into intellectual issues, but of substituting moral judgment for intellectual argument. Moral evaluations are implicit in most intellectual issues; it is not merely permissible, but mandatory to pass moral judgment when and where appropriate; to suppress such judgment is an act of moral cowardice. But a moral judgment must always follow, not precede (or supersede), the reasons on which it is based.
(In her collection of essays, The Virtue of Selfishness)In the case of rushing to condemn someone as a conspiracy theorist -- without factual evidence or logical arguments -- the same method serves to make someone look smarter, wiser, more knowledgable, less gullible, less wild-eyed in a simple stroke -- hence the appeal of the term to many people. It's an excuse not to think too hard to refute someone, and to distance themselves quickly from someone who might destroy one's social standing as a keeper of the faith -- any faith. Faith in God, faith in Democracy, faith in "accepted" scientific theories, you name it.
That is the legacy we have today -- a term and a method of fallacious argumentation that preserves the canons of the norm and the gospel of the gullible while destroying anyone else's capacity to speculate about new ideas or potential dangers (and any new idea is a potential danger to the advocates of the status quo) -- while the obscurantists, Marxists, environmentalists, Islamists and irrationalists destroy the remnants of our way of life. But hey, that's all just a conspiracy theory.
Rolling Stone provides a typical faux-analysis that makes excuses and doesn't address real causes for the allure of Islamic fundamentalism to creatures like the Boston Bombers. To trace out all the tortured paths pulling people not born into it into a nihilistic religion of mass psychosis would require a book, but fundamentally, the appeal of Islam is to those who seek power over others.
Why power? Because the people Islam attracts are neurotically (and in many cases, psychotically) self-doubting and self-loathing. Power over others is a path to pseudo-self-esteem -- the illusion that they are better, more able, more worthy of living because they can control others, inspire fear in them, kill them, enslave them. More powerful.
This compensates for an intense, and usually well-earned metaphysical inadequacy -- an Islamist or wannabe is at root unfit to live in reality, a congenital incompetent.
At some level, they know it: it is to this psychological substrate of individual self-loathing that the sophistry of cultural self-loathing makes its appeal -- offering the Islamist candidate the opportunity to wallow in all the flaws alleged or real of the Western society he lives in, without any balance of all the immense good of Western culture over all others, giving him the convenient scapegoat of a bunch of amoral sinners for all his personal problems -- provided on a poison-coated silver platter by the post-modern cult of phony toleration and illusory coexistence.
This is what breeds monsters operating under the veneer of the "religion of peace" -- in the West, at least.
There are deeper causes, layers and layers of them. Most fundamental of all are generations of intellectuals -- especially philosophers and theologians -- who concocted massive rationalizations for even more massively irrational ideas -- the insignificance of the individual in existence, or the inefficacy of his mind to help in his struggle to exist, via schools that poison his mind with that irrationality and much more, brainwashing him to follow twisted paths of convoluted pseudo-reasoning, and leaving only knots of confusion, inadequacy, self-doubt, chronic fear and frustration whenever he gropes to think, a metastatic twine ball made of the detonation cord of hatred for anyone and anything he sees as the scapegoats for his tortured efforts to think.
Out of such Frankensteinian bits and pieces do you stitch together a mindless killer and a destroyer.
And then there is Islam, in the shadows, whispering that he's right -- that all his fears are someone else's fault, and offering him the moral rectitude and the power and the reward of 72 virgins in an alternate reality to put things right with a bomb or a gun or an airplane.
The same psychological process of corruption takes place with Marxism, with this interesting variant: where Islam appeals to those who want to shut off their minds, communists (the most dangerous variant of Marxist) appeals to those with megalomaniacal tendencies of alleged superior intelligence -- a different rationalization for the same root disease: feelings of metaphysical incompetence, and the same object: the desire to rule and destroy to prove otherwise.
Except the committed Marxist who believes he is smarter than anyone else aims to achieve rule using somewhat different means -- ie, faux-intellectuality and twisted conspiracies. The end is the same though: absolute rule and death and destruction.
Then we come to Barack Obama -- a communist and a promoter of Islam. QED.
I've always known that the "racism" charge has been an especially pernicious means of promoting the agenda of the Left by disarming people today (not just white) with intense guilt... for things that some other guys did a century and a half ago. But as much as Obama cashed in on it, I thought the scam of its cachet was definitely on a rapid decline.... till Mandela died.
Then I saw an enormous number of people -- not everyone, but way too many -- on the Right (whatever the hell that means anymore), including even more than a few alleged admirers of Ayn Rand, who were jumping on the bandwagon that rationalized -- sometimes in the most egregious ways -- Mandela's lifelong Stalinist communism and murders, as if he was the "great savior" of the incredible evils of South African apartheid -- as if they were worse than, say, Stalin's murder of 10 million Ukrainian farmers, or Pol Pot's murder of 3 million Cambodians, or Mao's murders of 10's of millions of Chinese during the Cultural Revolution, or Castro's destruction of Cuba and summary executions of opponents, or.....
You get the picture. Context-dropping on an epic, planetary scale, from otherwise rational people, from my observation. People willing to claim they don't know nuthin' about Mandela, so hey, let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt, ya know? He just died. Show a little respect.
Or people who cast about with a 5 minute search on Wikipedia and come up with a page doubtless written by Mandela's commie supporters -- but don't bother to check for that (too much work or not enough imagination) -- which engages in wholesale historical revisionism, offering a convenient buy-in to the storyline (and I do mean storyline, one Hollywood could be proud of) promoting the fable that all his years in jail made Mandela a changed man!!
Praise the Lord. Mandela, I'm supposed to hallucinate, saw the light and had renounced his commie ways before he died. Forget the thousands who died because of him. Let's all hail Saint Nelson for saving the world from SOUTH AFRICAN APARTHEID... you know, not slavery, of course, just discrimination here and there. Not captives in a totalitarian state, you know, cause anyone who didn't like it could board an airplane or boat and leave any time they wanted, rather than getting machine-gunned to death crossing the no-man's-land of an East German-like border.
I mean, we're supposed to believe he renounced his commie ways, even if, you know, he didn't renounce his commie wife and commie friends, or chosen commie replacement who openly sings about machine-gunning to death every white in South Africa. Someone must have slipped an old East German mickey or Heinrich in on him.
I see only one explanation for this mass psychosis: the post-modern disease of unearned racial guilt still lives on as viral as ever. In their quest to prove to everyone that they oppose racism, they rationalize... communism, the greatest mass killer ideology in the history of mankind.
You see, to them, racism that was the South African variety of discrimination here or there was obviously far more evil than communism of the, you know -- ten's of millions dead here or there and everyone enslaved from birth to grave.
Brilliant analysis. But tell that to the people of North Korea.
Hey, crappy wages and separate seating areas was clearly worse than anything that goes on in the Middle East today, like Saudi Arabia, which still has slave bazaars, still castrates men into more obedient eunuchs after years of good service as child-prostitutes for sheiks, still stones women to death for "dishonoring" their families by having.... a boyfriend or looking too revealing (maybe).
Well, you can judge a man by his priorities.
In any case, as flags across the U.S. obediently drop to half-mast on the order of Saint Obama, in remembrance of Saint Mandela, while everyone solemnly rubs blue mud in their belly buttons to demonstrate their sanctimonious disdain for racism the world over, the historical revisionists score another field goal and communists advance with the ball, based on nothing more than an opposing team that is too shackled with unearned guilt to try to stop them, too intellectually arrested to ask questions or seek sufficient knowledge to recognize the enemy, too obsessed with proving their moral righteousness to deflect charges of guilt or racial insensitivity, too ready to take on the burdens of evils done a couple centuries ago.
On such basis, or lack thereof, so goes the world.
(P.S.: Some have criticized me for understating the wrongs of apartheid, but my point was deliberate: to make people think about the sheer magnitude of the evil many are sanctioning -- communism -- in praising Mandela for "doing some good". One does not fight a lesser evil with a greater evil. Mandela did no good at all. He was a Stalinist who caused the murders of many people, in the name of enslaving an entire country and murdering many, many more. South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world since his ascendancy, and its economy is in shambles. It will get much, much worse before it gets better there.
One must note: the Left is trying to deify Mandela, and the defication has exactly one purpose: to promote communism. The agenda is that simple. And those suckers who fall for the trap are aiding and abetting untold future horror for the planet, unless the trend is reversed. )
Sub-headline: "And the Surrender of Western Civilization to Barbarism."
This news story caught my eye because it's so preposterous, but then I asked why this story is coming out right now. It's promoting the old KGB psyop from the 70's that started the whole global warming scam -- global cooling from a nuclear war would destroy planet. I had to ask myself why? and why now?
In the 70's, the psychological operation to scare the bejeezus out of the West was intended to promote nuclear disarmament by the West. When the science didn't fly and no unilateral disarmament was forthcoming, even under the administration of the socialist buffoon Jimmy Carter, the USSR morphed the scam into global *warming* by fossil fuels, selling it to the gullible green movement, as a means of crippling the U.S. economy (thereby to cripple funding for defense). People bought it, hook, line and sinker.
But now we are brought full circle:
DENVER (CBS4) – With an estimated 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world... Even a relatively small regional nuclear war, like a conflict between India and Pakistan, could spark a global environmental catastrophe, says a new study.
...Firestorms would belch over 5 million tons of ash into the sky. "The ash would absorb the sun’s rays, causing deadly cooling on the surface.
Global temperatures would plummet my nearly 3 degrees Farenheit on average, with most of North America experiencing winters that would be colder by 4 to 10 degrees. Lethal frosts would cover the Earth and reduce the growing seasons bu about a month for several years."So you see... global cooling once again. To scare us. It's preposterous because one single volcanic eruption can belch more ash into the sky than 17,000 nuclear weapons, but they're using those same "simulations" that have failed to correctly predict global warming.
In 2009 I wrote (not the first time) about Obama's real agenda: unilateral disarmament of the United States nuclear deterrent. This CBS story, coming out at this time, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, near where I live, strikes me as being of *high* probability as preparing the public for Obama's first strike on our nuclear arsenal. The timing is right, and I'd bet the authors have a connection through the communist internationale back to the White House.
As I wrote in April 11, 2009 ("The Next Phase in Obama's Rush Towards Unilateral Disarmament"),
"First Obama announces in Prague his goal of unilateral nuclear disarmament. Now, as part of arms control negotiations, he is nominating someone who wants the U.S. to eliminate our conventional arms, as well."...Obama has steadily been doing both for 6 years. The new START treaty signed in his first year in office mandated 30% cuts in our nuclear deterrent while allowing the Russians to increase and modernize their deterrent. He has eliminated almost every new weapons modernization program we have, and is unilaterally eliminating one squadron of our ICBMs (on his word only, mind you), and is in the process of reducing our army and navy to the lowest levels since before World War 2.
I have predicted that he will order the elimination of the entire U.S. nuclear deterrent. This is his raison d'etre -- his reason for being in that job. His *only* reason. I have said you can predict his every action based on what Putin wants. "Tell Vladimir I will have more flexibility after the election", he told Russian President Medvedev, as caught on an open mike.
This is not a statement of a man loyal the the U.S. This is the statement of a man dedicated to destroying the U.S. This is the statement of a fifth columnist, a man planted in that job by the enemy.
So my prediction once again: this CBS story is to scare and prepare the public for Obama's announcement that he intends to unilaterally eliminate the entire U.S. nuclear deterrent as a threat to the planet. Stay tuned. More is coming.