Ethics Reflections, Post Christmas, 12/26/2018: Quotes, Dummies, Movies And Scams

Still Merry Christmas.

1. Quotation ethics. The church next door has a message out front this week that says, “The time is right to always do the right thing”—Martin Luther King.

That’s not the quote. Misquotes get into the public lexicon that way; it’s unethical to go around posting sloppy versions of quotes on message boards. Stated like that, the quote is a tautology: if you always do the right thing, of course the time is right to do what you do anyway. Not that King’s actual quote is one of his best. The actual quote—“The time is always right to  do the right thing” is pretty fatuous, and incorporates  Rationalization #60. The Ironic Rationalization, or “It’s The Right Thing To Do” by assuming that what is the right thing to do is intrinsically obvious. Sometimes the right thing is to wait. Sometimes the right thing is yo be sure what you think is the right thing really is. King was dangerously arming ideologues and the self-righteous who think they are the ultimate arbiters of what is “right.”

Davey Crockett’s quote is better: “Be sure you are right, and then go ahead.”

2. Is it political correctness to point out that Jeff Dunham’s act is racist? After being told by my wife that I couldn’t watch any more holiday movies or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, my channel surfing today took me to Comedy Central and Christmas-themed performance by ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. Dunham’s low-brow act makes Charlie McCarthy seem like Oscar Wilde, and I cannot watch him and his howling audiences without thinking about this scene in “Blazing Saddles”…

He began his set with “Walter,” his bitter old curmudgeon dummy, whose face is perpetually scowling and whose arms are crossed in disgust with the world. To my amazement, Walter launched into an extended section ridiculing black speech, black slang, hip-hop, Kwanza and the Black Entertainment Network, and the huge, apparently all-white mid-West audience roared with laughter. How ugly and disturbing. These were jokes of denigration, about people who weren’t there. This was never anything but hate-mongering humor, not in 1948, 1958, 1968, or now. It’s an audience laughing at other people for simply being different than they are.

I kn ow, I know: how is this different from what Stephen Colbert, or Bill Maher, or Samantha Bee does in every performance? It isn’t different, really: it’s just that treating white people who aren’t “woke” as the “other” is considered acceptable, while doing this to minorities, gays or women is considered bigotry, hateful, and cowardly.

3. It annoys me that I should even have to say this, but calling “Die Hard” a Christmas movie is nothing but a cynical way to diminish Christmas and the spirit of kindness and love that the holidays are supposed to foster in order to promote future holiday marathons of a violent action movie. Celebrating the film’s 30 Anniversary, some Grinch at 20th Century Fox decided that it would be cute to promote Bruce Willis’s break-out film as “The Greatest Christmas Story” ever told, according to 20th Century Fox. Right: the movie ends with a strained family brought back together, takes place during a Christmas party, and Bruce’s wife is named “Holly.” It also involves the killing of  more than twenty people, including police,l FBI agents, and innocent victims in addition to the bad guys the hero smokes.

And I like “Die Hard.” I even like two of its four vastly inferior sequels.

4. Ethics test, intelligence test, silliness test...Anyone who think this revelation from Axios isn’t signature significance for ridiculous, pandering website: “Majority of mass shooters finance their weapon stockpiles with credit.”

Other possible headlines of equal illumination:

  • “Majority of reckless driver finance their car purchases with credit”
  • “Majority of financial scam artists  financed their education with credit”
  • “Majority of Americans finance most of their major purchases with credit.”

Have we scraped the bottom of the desperate media anti-gun bias barrel yet? Boy, I hope so.

5. See, this is why people listen to socialists like Bernie Sanders when they ought to just laugh in their faces...The Cato Institute surveyed  1,700 Americans about  paid family leave. The results showed that Americans  were overwhelmingly in favor of it, as long as they didn’t have to pay for it, or if there were any significant trade-offs required—higher taxes, higher debt, lower compensation and opportunities, or lower spending on other valued government programs—to make such a Federal program a reality.

Of course, if those trade-offs are kept hidden, lied about or made too confusing to focus on between football games and reality shows, such intellectually dishonest program proposals can get unscrupulous or economically illiterate politicians elected.

6. And now the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say but nobody remembers Paul Harvey so I don’t know why I bother quoting him except maybe to prompt the intellectual curious to Google the man and maybe learn how influential he was on the culture…

The seemingly heart-rending tale of a Good Samaritan and a grateful beneficiary tried to return act of kindness began here, but a year later had deteriorated into a cynicism-feeding saga of deception and greed. From USA Today:

In November, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey charged Katelyn McClure and Mark D’Amico, both of Florence, New Jersey, with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft in connection with the viral story. The man described by the couple as a homeless veteran and good Samaritan, 35-year-old Johnny Bobbitt Jr., was charged with the same crimes. The story that prompted the donations: Bobbitt supposedly gave McClure his last $20 when her car ran out of gas. About 14,000 people donated to a campaign that promised to help Bobbitt start a new life, but authorities say the money was spent on luxury items and casino trips.

“The entire campaign was predicated on a lie,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in November.

Officials said Bobbitt and McClure didn’t have a chance meeting caused by her car running out of gas. Instead, Bobbitt met the couple “at least a month prior to the date of the GoFundMe campaign’s launch,” Coffina said. The couple had met Bobbitt during “their frequent trips to a local gambling casino,” he said.

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said yesterday that “all donors who contributed to this GoFundMe campaign have been fully refunded” and that the organization was cooperating fully with law enforcement.

 

 

 

 

57 thoughts on “Ethics Reflections, Post Christmas, 12/26/2018: Quotes, Dummies, Movies And Scams

  1. 5-Ah, the best laid entitlements of Mice-n-Men…

    Form the 10/05/2013 Mercuty News:
    “(Bay Area residents) Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

    ”Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

    ”Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.”

    It gets worse.

    ” ‘I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,’ Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.”

    And the epitaph/kill shot/ever luvin’ coup de freakin’ grâce:

    Vinson: “Of course, I want people to have health care, I JUST DIDN’T REALIZE I WOULD BE THE ONE WHO WAS GOING TO PAY FOR IT PERSONALLY.” (bolds/caps mine)

  2. 3) grew out of one of the more enjoyable moments of Twitter. It’s a viral meme about what’s the best Christmas movie. Someone flippantly said Die Hard because it tangentially involves Christmas. It’s a big twitter joke. I don’t think anyone seriously considers it a Christmas movie. And Fox is probably just enjoying the one moment of internet civility.

  3. #4
    You were too kind in the possibilities you provided as examples of comparable silliness. As someone (like many) who rarely carry much cash, I suppose I could be accused of “financing with credit” my every chicken sandwich, bag of groceries, or tank of gas. (but at least I get airline miles 😉

    • I don’t understand what that is trying to prove anyway. If you are planning on dying in a hail of gunfire next week, why would you buy ANYTHING with your own money?

      • True story: my mom was losing her battle with cancer, and was fighting bill collectors each and every month. I took over her mess, and got creditors to agree to minimum payments to keep the accounts current while she was being treated. I set the payments up to autodraft her bank account.

        She eventually passed away. While rectifying her affairs, I found that she had gone out and opened new lines of credit and maxed them out.

        She owed Dress Barn, for example, something like $10,000. There were others of similar magnitude. She died without assets (her house she remortgaged to take out equity before she got sick) so there was no money to pay the hospitals and doctors, much less JCPenney!

        I was somewhat… put out. Actually, I was pissed at her selfish actions. She rationalized it as ‘she felt bad, and the world owed her.’

        Society paid those costs. She put her selfish wants above her grandkids’ well being.

        For years afterward we joked that we could not drive by Dress Barn, as they would repossess a child…

  4. 4) but delighted Left Twitter is abuzz with ways the government could use this kind of predictive tracking. Not once pausing to recognize their embrace of pre-crime and surveillance state.

  5. 1. Speaking of timing, Merry Christmas to Jack and all readers! I had too much of a fun day with the family, exchanging gifts, petsitting a friend’s cat and grabbing last minute tickets to the Spider-Man movie (totally worth it, by the way) to stop by my favorite corner of the internet. So belated Christmas wishes to all.

    3. I always took the Die-Hard-is-a-Christmas-movie as a very tongue-in-cheek thing to say to diffuse family discussions when things got a little too heated about politics or religion. I’ve playfully debated friends on both sides with a beer or stronger drink on hand because it’s a silly and fun way to pass the time. The fact that the studio is doing it without a hint of playfulness has me shaking my head. Guess I’ll now have default to my next favorite faux-debate topic (which is only half as fun), “Is Pluto a planet?” (until NdGT and his fans make it a taboo topic too).

  6. 2: I saw that one more than once over the years, (brother isn’t into football) and I believe this is part of his stance against PC as earlier shows were milder. All of his characters are offensive to some group, but they are a good span of groups. I think there are few talented people, by far not enough, willing to buck the PC/progressive cant and are good enough to get away with it. Yes, it’s too rude in places, but being a court jester today is walking on a tightrope.

    3) It takes more than time of year to make something a Christmas movie. Another action flick I like “RED,” doesn’t really mention it but Christmas decorations are a small clue. There are very few Christmas movies that have a death toll, especially a violent death toll. Christmas movies at their best are about goodwill, faith, love, redemption, giving, new starts, and usually making kids happy. You’d have to work pretty hard to write a summary of “Die Hard” with those terms. You MIGHT be able to term it the ‘greatest thriller at Christmas’ but not the greatest of all.

    6) I used to listen to Mr. Harvey in the car around high school. I think he inherited the human interest with a twist that Ripley held before. Sadly, the station went all music and there were no alternate stations and this was long before the net and Sirius were available. I cannot remember any specific stories without finding the paperback up in a back bedroom, but they were good at encouraging people to look beyond the surface and tropes. He trended to traditional values, but did not seem partisan. We could use another like that, maybe one on Youtube is getting up to speed.

    About those scammers? I take these heartwarming human insterest stories with a huge grain of salt, so I avoid crowdsourcing. I wasn’t always this cynical on the net, in my early days on the IRC, a woman scammed a group of fellow fans of a large wad of money for a nonexistent final stage fatal disease. It was a useful lesson.

    • >Christmas movies at their best are about goodwill,
      …shown by Sgt. Powell and Holly toward McClane in spite of his multiple screw ups.

      >faith,
      …that everything will turn out right.

      >love,
      …between the lead and his romantic interest, and also unlikely brothers in arms

      >redemption,
      …experienced by John at the end of the movie

      >giving,
      …back to the terrorists what they deserve

      >new starts,
      …at the building site as it probably will have to be rebuilt

      >and usually making kids happy.
      I’ve never seen a kid not happy after watching the movie.

      Cheerfully (and with my tongue deeply stuck in my cheek),
      -Alex

  7. It is sad to say, but I often feel that Martin Luther King, Jr. only holds the place in American history because he was killed. When I look at what happened Civil Rights leaders like Coleman Young and Jesse Jackson, I wonder if the same thing would have happened to Martin Luther King, Jr.

          • That’s confusing correlation with causation. Gandhi’s career wasn’t ended by his death, even though that marked it – no matter its form – but by the British departure. After that, Gandhi’s occupation’s done.

            Of course, he could well have reinvented himself as an irredentist, lending his prestige to the non-pacifist methods that India has used ever since, as and when convenient, to get the acquisitions and hegemony it was after but didn’t get then. That would have been no more hypocritical than each of his several earlier versions and shifts, or indeed than Indian culture more generally. But he had no more platform to use to call on misguided, right thinking world opinion, so Gandhi the myth was effectively over.

            It is an irony that he never achieved what he made out he was after, Indian independence, but only managed to steer it astray by unintentionally assisting partition. But to Indian culture appearances matter and substance doesn’t.

            It is a further irony that, like the Mau Mau, independence activism served to slow a door that was already opening. At least after the Napoleonic Wars (think Ionian islands), Britain always aimed at readying its possessions for responsible self government or other safe disposal, for entirely self serving reasons (usually financial, to end the drain on the home treasury). The real bone of contention – as with Irish Republicans and Free Staters – was about making a severance at a deeper level, something that echoes in the Brexit motives too. British plans, deliberately disrupted by Congress, aimed at making India like the so called “white Dominions”. Gandhi and his ilk only affected the “how” and maybe (adversely) the “when” and “what” of Indian independence, not the “whether”.

    • Well, it’s a bit of a stretch, but how about Pratchett’s Hogfather ? Bad guys’ plot to destroy a Santa analog includes taking over an important structure. Good guys (including Death) foil them.

  8. 2) Whether or not it should be ridiculed, Kwanzaa is a manufactured celebration to INTENTIONALLY increase the cultural distance between the African American community and the larger American community of which it is a subset. Are there forces in our society that don’t want blacks to fully integrate after all these years?

  9. #3 If you are looking for irony in your Christmas movie choice (and think that choosing Die Hard is overused) try going with Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho.’ It too takes place during the blessed Christmas season! Happy New Year, everyone!

  10. 5) Envy or jealousy rarely delivers a wise economic policy.

    There is almost always someone doing better, many minds think, by underhanded or illegal means. Those doing better are, therefore, greedy and should be made to pay for any little thing as a way for evil capitalism to repay for allowing evil greedy people to steal from me and my proletarian brothers. (Or something like that.)

    Seriously, governments almost always intervene on the side of equality against efficiency, especially when the equality (wealth transfer) being championed represents beneficiaries making up more than half the population.

  11. I dedicate this essay to Michael West and to his Neo-Imperial Projects.

    [The purpose is always to break through borders and limits and to show oneself as capable of thinking dangerous thoughts . . . getting out from under PC thought-control is hard indeed . . .]

    He began his set with “Walter,” his bitter old curmudgeon dummy, whose face is perpetually scowling and whose arms are crossed in disgust with the world. To my amazement, Walter launched into an extended section ridiculing black speech, black slang, hip-hop, Kwanza and the Black Entertainment Network, and the huge, apparently all-white mid-West audience roared with laughter. How ugly and disturbing. These were jokes of denigration, about people who weren’t there. This was never anything but hate-mongering humor, not in 1948, 1958, 1968, or now. It’s an audience laughing at other people for simply being different than they are.

    As you might imagine I look at this from a different perspective. The humor may be, or may verge on, something ‘ugly and disturbing’, but there is no humor that I am aware of that does not have a biting edge. By its nature or as part of its nature the stand-up comedy humor pushes itself into an area that is ‘uncomfortable’ for the hearers, and then causes people to react with laughter.

    Preamble

    The essence of the problem for African Americans in America begins in the fact of their primitiveness. Tribal people from Africa that were uprooted and chained into slavery in a world totally not their own. Liberation was given to them eventually — they did not have to fight for it — but the process did not end there. Liberation was another octave of slavery (if one were to be completely frank and honest). And there you have the tragic aspect of this initial robbery (or persons), their enslavement, their conditional freedom, and their present status as post-slaves. Studying Black Liberation (Marcus Garvey, Black Liberation Theology, Malcolm X, Angela Davis et cetera) one is always reminded to ‘know your history’. Even Bob Marley makes this the core of his message. In order to have an identity one has to clearly visualize where one has been and in this case what had been done to one. There is no other way! Therefore, for all the obvious reasons, the presence of Black Americans in white America is problematic. It is not simple. It does not simply end there with so-called ‘freedom’. The issue is on-going. Every country that had colonies deals with this. The evil of slavery — and it is an evil — backfires in horrifying ways. But then so do unjust neo-imperialistic wars such a that of Vietnam. You can never escape the ‘karma’ of one’s own actions. The ‘chickens always come home to roost’ as said Malcolm X.

    Everything here: “black speech, black slang, hip-hop, Kwanza and the Black Entertainment Network”, all has to do with the conflict in the soul of Black people, which is conflict with environment as well as self-conflict, and different attempts to *construct an identity* and also a defense against the white culture that by its very nature must condition, mold, alter, and also manipulate the Black person. Part of having identity is *striking out against*. The backlash against oppression. It is as though white culture says to Black people: You can be here, and you can have *freedom*, but only under the conditions that we establish. Adapt yourself to white culture. Become ‘white’ (more or less) and you’ll have a little corner. Again, there is a tragic element in the reality that Blacks face in America, and in this sense it is white America that is the cause of that tragedy. Who will accept those conditions? The real truth is that no one will, nor can they if they are going to be *in integrity with themselves*. These elements still function . . . they are part of a complex ‘shadow’ that hangs over the land.

    Psychologically, this produces entire groups of problems. CG Jung, not long after the turn of the century, wrote of the untenable situation of primitive Black Africans within an advanced and civilized Western culture. It is a definite problem for the Blacks, but Jung also described what happens to whites as a result of social contact. This is hard to face, and it is hard to talk about. Finding the words is not easy. One must begin with the notion of ‘resentment’. Deep-seated anger that borders into hatred — a desire to kill and maim — that the slave-victim will naturally feel toward his or her oppressor. Richard Weaver in Southern Traditions at Bay included anecdotes about Blacks who after the liberation began to attend ‘devil dances’ that were sort of like voodoo ceremonies, the purpose of which was to channel this rage — perhaps a blind rage — against their former masters. But also toward an uncertain future, a frightening new reality. The impetus for this of this, I would suggest, continues to manifest itself within the Black psyche. It has to do with a desire to overpower, to seduce, to reverse the situation of control, to dominate, but also to harm. It literally cannot be otherwise.

    Within this *psychology*, I would suggest, there is a destructive and rebellious element. There is hardly anything more seductively attractive to a angry, rebellious Black than the possibility of seducing a white woman. That was expressed very clearly by Malcolm X in the biography. But the impetus of ‘seduction’ in American culture really came to life in the rock’n’roll era. It was recognized as being a devious, dangerous, sexualized influence. And that is in fact what it was. Not somewhat, nor partially, but nearly completely.

    In this way one can, keeping CG Jung in mind, understand that the presence of a primitive man within an advanced and also Christianized culture (based in fact on sexual repression and the channeling of sexual libido), was and still is a disturbing and disruptive element. Black Liberation in the 1950s and 1960s had numerous *fronts*. It dovetailed with one of the most destructive periods in American culture. Sexual seduction, ‘sexual liberation’, the influence of revolutionary Marxism, the politicization of the male and the female, and the employment of the white female in a war-of-resentment against the white male with the sexual element always just under the surface. Revolutionary Marxists, of course, will use whatever tools lie to their hands. One has only to *locate* the disruptive, destructive and undermining impetus within revolutionary Marxism, and then to begin to make lists about how it has infected all categories.

    But here it is important to understand that the empowerment of the Black Liberation Movement (the Civil Rights Movement) was a tool in the hands of Revolutionists. This brings us to Blazing Saddles and to Mel Brooks. Blazing Saddles is built on an open contempt for white culture. But what is more interesting is to consider the Jewish ‘revolutionary spirit’ as it builds solidarity with Black Americans and empowers this movement ideologically into a channeled rebellion. In the movie clip, but couched in humor, one gets this message. As if to say: “I will empower you to ridicule your white oppressor and appear to side with you (because I truly understand you and I am your friend)”.

    (E Michael Jones — and this does not dismiss his imperfections — writes about the long association between Revolutionary Jews in America and their association with oppressed Blacks. One can simply dismiss it completely, or one can try to understand it better. I choose the latter obviously, and this has been, for me of course, a self-critical process given my origins).

    If you want to look for, and if you want to locate and understand (and also to combat and to reverse) the destructive trends that have literally taken over in America, you first have to see them directly and clearly. A destructive, undermining spirit has now become manifest in our present. It began its movements 30-40 years back. The roots are strange and even a little inconceivable. And since it is a ‘spirit’ it is by nature non-visible. Is it an emotion? Is it an idea? Is it something that moves through the social body like a fever? Is it sickness, is it health? What is it and what will it lead to? These are the questions that must be asked. These are the questions that cannot be asked in America! There is no one with the strength to face them! The mere mention of any part of what I have just written about, to the average American, causes them to wilt away in fear, shame and horror.

    That is in a certain sense how this ‘spirit’ gets and holds its power. And this ‘spirit’ is now being challenged. It is just at the beginning though.

    Do you recognize that all this preamble (and more really) is needed to situate us properly to be able to discuss “Walter” and what this comic is doing with him? Complex situations cannot be solved or resolved through simple binaries. And there is nothing at all simple about America at its present juncture as it faces a revolt against the racial mixing project that was begun, against its will, 40-60 years back in time.

    • (Pro-tip: if you think my strain of *interventionism* is a reflection of imperialism, you don’t have to add “neo” as a prefix to make it look like some sort of greater intellectual analysis has gone into the label. If it’s imperial it’s imperial. If it isn’t, maybe it’s just interventionism. A strange imperialism it seems to be that generally leaves nations to handle their affairs after the intervention. But hey, you stick to your brand)

      • A strange imperialism it seems to be that generally leaves nations to handle their affairs after the intervention. But hey, you stick to your brand).

        That is what the term neo-imperialism means.

        The real question is if you regard the US as either an empire or a neo-empire? I thought you were a fan of George Friedman’s POV? Anything changed?

        • If “neo imperial” means “interventionism”, then EVERY nation on this planet, once it establishes the base set of national needs, becomes a “neo empire”. So devoid of meaning. If “empire” doesn’t suffice, then call it something else.

          I enjoy George Friedman’s analysis and count it as a useful source to aid in my own analysis. Believe it or not, we don’t have to copy paste some other intellectual’s work like some automaton disciple with no thoughts of our own.

          George Friedman is a very intelligent man, even if his chosen terms are a bit poetic. The term “empire” is a bit problematic anyway. What’s an “empire”? And if we can expand the definition enough to include America, I’d say “empire isn’t inherently bad though there were bad examples”. If we define it narrowly enough to cover only the “bad” ones, as we are wont to do when accusing a nation of being an “empire”, we’d be hard pressed to include the United States.

          So, whatever you want to do with the term “empire” or whatever George Friedman wants to do with the term, I’m not going to agree with one definition only to have you cudgel me with the term under your definition.

          • My most cherished Michael West. Good Morning!

            Here is a definition that I came across, it may help us here (Encyclopedia.com):

            Whereas imperialism is typically characterized by conquest and rule, and colonialism by migration and residence in the conquered territory, neoimperialism is domination and sometimes even hegemony over others primarily by way of formally free legal agreements, economic power, and cultural influence. One of many designations for the form taken by U.S. political power and economic domination in the twentieth century, especially during and after World War II, neoimperialism is a name with serious faults. Other, clearer, and more vivid designations include informal empire, imperialism without empire, empire of liberty, and Pax Americana. But neoimperialism is the most common term, and therefore will be used here. The United States is not history’s only neoimperialist power, and neoimperialism is not exclusively a phenomenon of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. However, the United States is history’s most predominant and creative deployer of neoimperial power strategies, as opposed to directly colonial or imperial strategies. And the second half of the twentieth century is the period in which neoimperialism became the predominant mode of global political power.

            The underpinnings of the present ‘informal’ imperialism of America (a few paragraphs are needed here to come to a fuller definition) can be understood if you consider the first area of American expansionism: the Caribbean. Starting in the late 1800s and through to the 20s and 30s. Certainly ‘intervention’ was a major element, and limited occupation, but what is important to understand is how the *system*, as it were, of informal empire was established.

            I agree with Friedman when he says that no one in politics can speak or will speak openly of America as a holder of empire, be is neo-imperial, informal, or ‘Pax Americana’. I think I understand why this is and I have mentioned it a few times already. There is an American Mythology which is expressed through a group of tenets of the American civil religion (see Robert Bellah’s The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in Time of Trial) which defines America through an idealistic mythos. This mythos is part of a national patriotism that is also linked to notions of ‘American exceptionalism’ and, importantly, to an idea that America can do nothing but good in the world.

            The mythic purpose of America, which is rarely examined in depth, and its special exceptionalism, becomes part of the very structure of individual persons and is incorporated into their very *selves*. They then speak of *America* as a singular person and use the term *we* as if it is the same as their own self and person. So for instance they will talk about ‘what we did in Vietnam’ or ‘what we tried to do’ as if it all happened because a bungling person, somehow linked to their own self, simply made human errors. They fail to understand that in no sense at all is the America that undertook that war in any sense linked to their own private self! And what put that war in motion was a set of *mechanisms* to which they have nearly zero relationship.

            Now, the stance that I am taking here (I imagine) is rather radical for you, based on what I have read of how you view things. You have very little critical position. Your views (seem to me) not to be your own. They are re-mouthings of notions that were concocted by others for purposes you have not yet become aware. I believe it is vital — it is crucial and morally necessary — to undertake a critical examination of all these *machinations* that occur in our present, and definitely those of a government which is, to all appearances, nearly totally out of control. This involves (as I do not tire of saying) a radical reanimation of INTELLECT. The capability of engaging in free thought.

            The American Conservative (I am not sure if you define yourself as one but I assume you do not define yourself as an American Leftist-Liberal) is not a free-thinker and is, in my view, an intellectual proxeneta. I can quite easily bring a powerful critique against the attitude of George Friedman which is revealed in his chuckling-snickering stance. I would suggest that he does not really serve America in its Constitutional sense, but rather serves a perversion of it which has subsumed the former idealism. What this means, of course (though someone who thinks and sees like you seem to has to be guided to this realization, or dragged along by the nose) is that America now is defined not through any sort of idealism but through its will to hold to its neo-imperial activities in the world. Some call this ‘the Americanopolis‘ and when they do so they do so based on being able to have a critical position.

            I could direct you to those intellectuals who do this (who are capable of free thinking) if you like. On your own, and as you circle round and round inside of a fixed set of imperfect and indeed outmoded definitions, cannot see either your own self nor understand what, in reality not in phantasy, your country has become. The reason I take this tack, and the reason we take this tack, is because we are a part of a new movement in right-leaning or a conservative-leaning movement. We are attempting to *see* more clearly and arrive at fair and useful definitions. I have mentioned this numerous times over 4 years now. The New European Right, the Philosophical Right, the Traditionalist Right, and a developing strain of the same that is coming on the scene in America.

            Believe it or not, we don’t have to copy paste some other intellectual’s work like some automaton disciple with no thoughts of our own.

            Except, dear Michael, this is largely what people do. And you do this as well. Based on what I have read of what you write you are largely doing something like this. I am sorry to be this direct with you (well, only in a way). Everything that you have recently written reveals intellectual ignorance, not a well founded position. You participated in one of America’s most notorious neo-imperial projects and you struggle to understand what ‘neo-imperialism’ is. You have never even thought about these things! Yet you strike a pose of being some sort of Constitutionalist. Why do I beat on you so mercilessly? It is a moral duty. The c**k-servative class, the American intellectual class, is largely a proxeneta class. Taken on the whole you are liars, deceivers, and servants of evil.

            In order to recover what is being destroyed there has to take place a revolution in awareness, a recovery of the capacity to think freely and also morally-ethically.

            What’s an “empire”? And if we can expand the definition enough to include America, I’d say “empire isn’t inherently bad though there were bad examples”. If we define it narrowly enough to cover only the “bad” ones, as we are wont to do when accusing a nation of being an “empire”, we’d be hard pressed to include the United States.

            This is an example of pure *pose* Michael. You have not even gotten to the borderline of the first important point and that is the relationship between the neoimperial project, brought about through an alliance between government the military and a constellation of corporations, and the destruction of the American Constitution and thus of the Republic, going on right in front of you! You are not even *seeing* the present and what undergirds it. You are enthralled to a phantasy. You are not alone by any means.

            • This might interest you [a talk by Sam Dickson given at an American Renaissance conference]. I think it will help to reveal a developing position within American critical thought that demonstrates certain links to the European New Right. The reason this is important is because this really is a larger ‘pan-European issue’ and has to do with the restoration and preservation of Occidental culture. In my view this is the *awakening* that needs to take place among those of European descent in America. Do that or perish, more or less.

            • Many of these distinctions and definitions (yours here, and others’ elsewhere) are spurious at several levels. Not only do they set up for a No True Scotsman argument further down the line, but also they are often applied wrongly to situations that are already misunderstood, so making confusion worse confounded.

              First off, there is nothing “neo” about any of that; “palaeo” or “proto” would be more apt. Most empires start off that way, degenerating into more direct methods as the more cost-effective ones’ feasibility erodes. For instance, Rome helped build on its own early efforts by using the privileges of connubium and commercium. Anyway, that makes “Whereas imperialism is typically characterized by conquest and rule, … neoimperialism is domination and sometimes even hegemony over others primarily by way of formally free legal agreements, economic power, and cultural influence” into utter crap as it stands, thus:-

              – To make sense, the first limb of that would need to be qualified into meaninglessness, allowing “conquest” to include the French “peaceful penetration” too, and allowing “rule” to include puppet rulers and client states, the way Britain handled Egypt and much of India – and those are not unique and special cases themselves.

              – But then the second limb becomes meaningless from not distinguishing empires, though it would make some limited sense as a description of stages of empire, as long as analysts remember that there can be variation, some steps being skipped or followed in a different order, or even reversed.

              Anyhow, broadly understood, the U.S.A. is and always has been an empire, not different in any material way from any of the others. That is, such differences as there are relate only to not (at any rate, not yet) having fully implemented later stages, or are smaller than real differences between other cases and so don’t make actual distinctions.

                  • “mental weakling”

                    Says the girl who literally can’t stay on topic without falling back on her hobby horse of metaphysics, cultural marxism and cuckservatives.

                    You’re an intellectually lazy buffoon. Get lost.

                    I’ll compliment anyone’s post that does a better job than me at clearly communicating what I was going for.

                    • I would hope that you could demonstrate 1) that you understand why each of those topics is important, and 2) or clearly explain why they are not.

                      Then 3) explain to me clearly what tools or *view* I must take so to be able to a) clearly see the world I and we live in and b) navigate that world.

                      Remember:

                      But the thing a man does practically believe (and this is often enough without asserting it even to himself, much less to others); the thing a man does practically lay to heart, and know for certain, concerning his vital relations to this mysterious Universe, and his duty and destiny there, that is in all cases the primary thing for him, and creatively determines all the rest. — CARLYLE.

                      I say:

                      A) It is vital and necessary to revisit and strengthen a *proper metaphysics* and to live in it and out of it.

                      B) That Cultural Marxism, in a specific and dark sense (there are positive aspects mind you) is an *acid* that works against ‘proper metaphysical structure’ and tears things down, and does not built them up. I say that American Cultural Marxism is a real thing that can be discussed maturely and realistically and that to do so is to engage in what is, in fact, a struggle to hold to crucial meaning.

                      C) You have just used a forbidden word! The ‘C’ word! Tsk tsk. You naughtie man!

                      In seriousness: It is completely imperative to a) see and understand what the term ‘American Conservative’ means now and has come to mean. b) to understand that the American Conservative is a ‘handmaiden’ of Progressivism or, at the worst, an agent of Neo-conservatism that has been described as modified Trotskyism: a virulent form that has nothing to do with ‘conservation’.

                      You see, Dear Michael, I can actually talk about the ideas that inform my discourse. You have very little idea where even you stand!

                      God may be ambivalent at this point, but I assume your mother still loves you . . .

                • This fits just perfectly:

                  This is an example of pure *pose* Michael. You have not even gotten to the borderline of the first important point and that is the relationship between the neoimperial project, brought about through an alliance between government the military and a constellation of corporations, and the destruction of the American Constitution and thus of the Republic, going on right in front of you! You are not even *seeing* the present and what undergirds it. You are enthralled to a phantasy. You are not alone by any means.

                  Quack me up some other duck-like non-sense . . .

              • …but also they are often applied wrongly to situations that are already misunderstood, so making confusion worse confounded.

                Your comment, ‘broadly understood’, does not consider the more important aspects. The wars being conducted by the US are destructive to the nation. They are conducted by factions which have little or no relationship to ‘the people’, and the influence of the neo-conservatives and their policies, show themselves to be destructive. Your post in this light makes very little sense. It does not contribute anything and does not address the most important part.

                I have no idea what your personal orientation is, but this sort of post, this sort of comment, does not serve a productive purpose, at least not so far as I define productive.

                My interest is in getting to the bottom of this; being able to see what is going on in the present and being able to at least make some recommendation as to what can be done and what needs to be done.

                Anyhow, broadly understood, the U.S.A. is and always has been an empire, not different in any material way from any of the others.

                In other places on this Blog I have written about a shift that occurred when America launched into more serious and implicating forms of imperialist conquest. The Spanish-American War and the Philippine War are said to have marked this shift. At that time, these invasions and occupations were hotly discussed, and at that time the alarm bells were rung. One can read what the opponents of those choices wrote and understand that they noticed what would come of this.

                At the same time, more or less, the public relations industry was born. And the tools were perfected for what I understand to be — you obviously do not have to make the same conclusion as I do — a subversion of America ‘broadly understood’, and the beginning of a consequential shift from being an Ideal Republic to being something else substantially different. Perhaps this has no meaning or importance for you and you will, like George Friedman, chuckle and snicker in that non-chalant manner? I recognize that different people, with different levels of interest and also of complicity, see these events differently, and that they are as well part of the Culture Wars: the wars of defining America, defining what is important, and defining focus. The discussion in the Culture Wars do not seem to me vain and meaningless. They seem in fact crucial and very important.

                Whether America is a *neo-imperialism*, an actual empire, an informal empire, an imperialism without empire, an empire of liberty, or a Pax Americana, are all questions that can be discussed. But I say the following: if one wishes to really arrive at an understanding of what is going on in our present, and at the same time if one has foresight and recognizes that very significant events and changes will become manifest/are becoming manifest that will affect the US in profound ways, one must examine the *causal chain* which has brought us to this strange juncture.

                I have come to conclude that many who contribute to this blog are not serious people. Therefore, what *you* do is to examine small events from a contingent perspective, complain a great deal, and fail to see how your own stance and attitudes are a significant part of the problem. Additionally, *you* jump down on top of people who are trying to understand things in more depth and do everything you can to derail their focus, denigrate them, etc. (Obviously I am speaking personally here, yet I am not complaining. *You* provide me with an unparalleled chance to see things more clearly and to define a stronger platform).

                My original comments to Michael West had to do with a critique of the intervention wars in the Middle East. Nearly 20 years of incredibly stupid an ill-conceived efforts. I do not see these wars as being defensible. The destruction and harm done to those other nations is a concern as it should be of all people who have moral sensibility. Americans, in my opinion, especially those with a superficial and sort of false-patriotism, do not need to be moral or ethical people of course. The damage done to the *social body of America* is another level of consequence, and this manifests in our present in define ways. What *they* (the apologists) seem to end up doing is defending the policies of their government reflexively and failing to examine the larger picture.

                However, there is another aspect here that interest me and it has to do with the abandonment of ‘idealistic rhetoric’ about America. The businesses classes — the classes that dominate America, dominate its policies, and significantly influence how people think and the parameters of conversation — will often tell the truth about America’s affairs. They say it quite plainly and they do not mince words. George Friedman seems to me one of those. Moving from the ideal plane to the plane of realpolitik, and simply stopping this pretense of ‘bringing great and wonderful freedoms to people in far-flung places’, I would describe as if not a *good thing* then more an honest thing. Then, everyone can better understand ‘what is going on’, who really dominates and controls, and (in my opinion) the degree to which the Republic of America has been effectively superseded by something else.

                But in fact this has already happened, and is happening, as people in Europe and also in America begin to distinquish the absurd picture of an Ideal and Rhetorical America from a real picture of America as Americanopolis. This is a term that Pierre Krebs used in his essay ‘Fighting for the Essence’:

                Dr. Krebs offers a devastating critique of multiculturalism, showing that although it claims to be the watchman of racial and cultural diversity, it is actually destructive to both, as it denies the significance of racial differences altogether. He traces its origins to the legacy of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and shows how this has developed into many of the most powerful tools of liberalism of our times. These are serving the interests of the global marketplace by turning all of humanity into compliant consumers. Those who endorse multiculturalism are, in fact, the enemies of all traditional culture. Dr. Krebs also takes issue with the use of the term ‘West’ to describe our culture, which he sees as an effort to deprive the various European cultures which comprise it of their unique characters and histories. This will lead to their replacement by a grey conformity divorced from any authentic roots, as well as a value system that is frequently used as a weapon against those nations which refuse to share them. This assault is not limited to Europe, but is something that is going on in every corner of the globe. Dr. Krebs says that it is time for all those who believe in the worthiness of their heritage and unique ethnic identity to return to the wellsprings of their peoples, and defend what is rightfully theirs. With a deeper trench between the camps of multiculturalism and traditional culture being dug all the time, this is the conflict that will define the 21st century. Drawing examples from many of the most notable contributors to science, philosophy and religion, Dr. Krebs illustrates a truth that is difficult to deny. Anyone who heeds his warning will find it impossible not to accept his challenge to take sides in the ongoing struggle against universal conformity. Dr. Pierre Krebs (b. 1948) is a major figure in Neue Kultur, the German branch of the European New Right, and is also the leader of the Thule-Seminar. He holds degrees in law, journalism, sociology, and political science. This is his first work to be translated into English.

                America is no longer a ‘friend’, and these corporate, intelligence agency, government-corporate intrusions are becoming unwelcome. If you make the effort to understand that the ruling classes, and their structures of interest, are not *you* and do not serve your interests, then *you* might be able to understand the rising oppositional movement taking form in Europe and also here in America. You might then understand what the NY Intellectual Class (NYTs) actually serves, and what the media structures actually serve. And if you do get to this point you might be able to understand why we regard the American Conservative (not to speak of the radical Marxist or proto-Marxist) as persons who are not using their minds and their intellects in a proper and productive way.

                Speak to me of important and meaningful things. Please don’t waste my time with inanities.

                • Your comment, ‘broadly understood’, does not consider the more important aspects.

                  And it doesn’t consider global warming, the best way to make jam, and many other things. But it does consider some of the foundations of what you bring out – and, by implication, some of what your critics have brought out, too. Perhaps you should think of this as an exercise in the Rectification of Names: the mental tools you and others borrowed, dealing with empire, aren’t fit for purpose because they turn in our hands.

                  The wars being conducted by the US are destructive to the nation. They are conducted by factions which have little or no relationship to ‘the people’, and the influence of the neo-conservatives and their policies, show themselves to be destructive. Your post in this light makes very little sense.

                  Then you should at least entertain the thought that that was not what I was getting at. (For what it’s worth, those things actually strike me as poetic justice and give me Schadenfreude, not any sense of pressing need; it’s all rather amusing, in the same way that Confucius said that there was no pleasure quite like seeing an old friend falling off a roof.)

                  It does not contribute anything and does not address the most important part.

                  May I suggest you re-read everything, this time from the point of view that we are looking at the tools used in the job? Your complaint is like saying “don’t bother about the tools, the job is what matters”. But that’s what makes the tools matter, and refusing to get them right is locking in getting the job wrong.

                  I have no idea what your personal orientation is, but this sort of post, this sort of comment, does not serve a productive purpose, at least not so far as I define productive.

                  My interest is in getting to the bottom of this; being able to see what is going on in the present and being able to at least make some recommendation as to what can be done and what needs to be done.

                  You won’t, if you don’t do the ground work. Chuck out those tools, or failing that only apply them where they belong.

                  … And the tools were perfected for what I understand to be — you obviously do not have to make the same conclusion as I do — a subversion of America ‘broadly understood’, and the beginning of a consequential shift from being an Ideal Republic to being something else substantially different. Perhaps this has no meaning or importance for you and you will, like George Friedman, chuckle and snicker in that non-chalant manner? …

                  No, except that of course it is always amusing when someone is so up themselves as the American people.

                  Your error, in correctly pointing out that the U.S.A. was like that after that point, lies in not noticing that it was always like that. It fell prey to the same temptations as other countries; don’t mistake this for anti-Americanism. But invading Canada (twice) and calling it liberation, welching on obligations to France and to the Barbary States that had been freely entered into and calling those avoiding foreign entanglements and refusal of tribute, infiltrating, destabilising and seizing the Floridas by means of a mock plebiscite, doing much the same in much of the Oregon Territory, driving out and then chasing down various lots of Mormons (in the Rockies and the Great Lakes) and then suppressing their democratic participation until they got it right, and on and on… These mark the whole previous course of U.S. history and should be known and understood for your project to have any prospect of succeeding. That includes understanding that whole catalogue as incidental rather than essential to any idea of the U.S.A., since catalogues proportionally as bad or far worse can be made for any other country (e.g. modern India, vis a vis Hyderabad, Goa, the Sikhs, Sikkim, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, etc., etc.).

                  Therefore, what *you* do is to examine small events from a contingent perspective, complain a great deal, and fail to see how your own stance and attitudes are a significant part of the problem. Additionally, *you* jump down on top of people who are trying to understand things in more depth and do everything you can to derail their focus, denigrate them, etc.

                  Er… unless you are claiming to be inerrant, you could say that of any “stop! wrong way! go back!” But why would I tell you when you are coping?

                  I know you “are trying to understand things in more depth”. That is why it seemed worth telling you “stop! wrong way! go back!”. But feel free to keep going just the way you are.

                  If you make the effort to understand that the ruling classes, and their structures of interest, are not *you* and do not serve your interests, then *you* might be able to understand the rising oppositional movement taking form in Europe and also here in America. You might then understand what the NY Intellectual Class (NYTs) actually serves, and what the media structures actually serve. And if you do get to this point you might be able to understand why we regard the American Conservative (not to speak of the radical Marxist or proto-Marxist) as persons who are not using their minds and their intellects in a proper and productive way.

                  Er… you do know that I am in yet another country, right? Furthermore, my lot have been rootless cosmopolitans of the Celtic Diaspora for three generations now. None of those things matter to me except as examples of wider things or out of human sympathy.

                  Speak to me of important and meaningful things. Please don’t waste my time with inanities.

                  Go thou and do likewise, neither abuse help that you choose to refuse.

                  • You are a mysterious fellow!

                    Er… you do know that I am in yet another country, right?

                    How could I possibly know that?

                    You won’t, if you don’t do the ground work. Chuck out those tools, or failing that only apply them where they belong.

                    Wait, wait! I thought I was Yoda. This is going to take some adjustment on my part, please give me some time. 🙂

                    Maybe you can speak a little of what exactly you mean.

                    I know you “are trying to understand things in more depth”. That is why it seemed worth telling you “stop! wrong way! go back!”. But feel free to keep going just the way you are.

                    Okay. But I have to guess at what you mean. Can you speak more directly?

                    Go thou and do likewise, neither abuse help that you choose to refuse.

                    Fighters must fight . . .

                    • Er… you do know that I am in yet another country, right?

                      How could I possibly know that?

                      It has often come up in my comments around here. But the burden runs the other way: people shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that I am in the U.S.A. (where I have never been) or in the U.K. (which I left nearly thirty years ago); for instance, someone on a newsgroup once told me that Bush the younger was my president as part of a chain of reasoning, which was nonsense (even if it had been true, it would have been a non sequitur).

                      Brief recap: my mother’s family were Irish politicals who found it convenient to emigrate to France just after the First World War (during which my maternal grandfather had been an inspector of munitions). My mother was brought up there and then went to the U.K, where she became a bilingual secretary in MI6 at or about the time her uncle was the Irish diplomat in Spain who was conducting tentative discussions with the Nazis about the future of Ulster. Meanwhile, my father was being trained as an interpreter in Arabic and Turkish; unlike his naval architect/naval officer older brother, born in British Guiana before their father retired from being an inspector of schools there (having started his civil service career as an itinerant schoolteacher in the Falkland Islands, after being educated while a cabin boy on a sailing ship on which his own older brother was a ship’s steward), my father was a Scot born in Dundee but caught young. Those circumstances led to my parents’ meeting in (then French) Algeria and marrying at the British Embassy in Paris, while in the consular service (thus, I am not English). Their later careers working for a multinational as expats led to my living in the Middle East and Africa until my mid teens, apart from my parents’ leave and when I went to boarding schools in the U.K.; after that I read mathematics at Cambridge, worked in the U.K. for just over ten years, and then moved on yet elsewhere.

                      Maybe you can speak a little of what exactly you mean… Okay. But I have to guess at what you mean. Can you speak more directly?

                      Maybe we could start by going over what I posted about empire up there, with you bringing out what you disagree with or don’t see the point of, then asking me to clarify. (But I have limited energy, drained even further by this summer heat.)

                    • Maybe we could start by going over what I posted about empire up there, with you bringing out what you disagree with or don’t see the point of, then asking me to clarify. (But I have limited energy, drained even further by this summer heat.)

                      No worries. I think you made your point(s). To talk with you would likely be interesting and rewarding — all your concerns about language and such are very wonderful and simply great fun (having looked over the site linked by your name).

                      I do not think you have much of a place for my militancy and, I must admit, sometimes I think I would gain a great deal more if I were to give it all up and return to Shakespeare studies!

                      From a Vladimir Nabokov story but I forgot which one.

                      “In moments of happiness, of rapture, when my soul is laid bare, I suddenly feel that everything – Life, Patria, April – is but a muddled preface, and that the main text still lies ahead”.

                      From Pale Fire:

                      I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
                      By the false azure in the windowpane
                      I was the smudge of ashen fluff–and I
                      Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky,
                      And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
                      Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
                      Uncurtaining the night, I’d let dark glass
                      Hang all the furniture above the grass,
                      And how delightful when a fall of snow
                      Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
                      As to make chair and bed exactly stand
                      Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!

                      I do not believe that anyone [here] has understood what it means to live metaphysically! But though *the world* kills us, and too the metaphor, we yet find a way to live on, fly on, in the reflected sky.

                    • Sorry, I messed up. I hope this formats correctly:

                      Maybe we could start by going over what I posted about empire up there, with you bringing out what you disagree with or don’t see the point of, then asking me to clarify. (But I have limited energy, drained even further by this summer heat.)

                      No worries. I think you made your point(s). To talk with you would likely be interesting and rewarding — all your concerns about language and such are very wonderful and simply great fun (having looked over the site linked by your name).

                      I do not think you have much of a place for my militancy and, I must admit, sometimes I think I would gain a great deal more if I were to give it all up and return to Shakespeare studies!

                      But I came out fighting … and it is a habit of my personality.

                      From a Vladimir Nabokov story but I forgot which one.

                      “In moments of happiness, of rapture, when my soul is laid bare, I suddenly feel that everything – Life, Patria, April – is but a muddled preface, and that the main text still lies ahead”.

                      From Pale Fire:

                      I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
                      By the false azure in the windowpane
                      I was the smudge of ashen fluff–and I
                      Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky,
                      And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
                      Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
                      Uncurtaining the night, I’d let dark glass
                      Hang all the furniture above the grass,
                      And how delightful when a fall of snow
                      Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
                      As to make chair and bed exactly stand
                      Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!

                      I do not believe that anyone [here] has understood what it means to live metaphysically! But though *the world* kills us, and too the metaphor, we yet find a way to live on, fly on, in the reflected sky.by this summer heat.)

                      No worries. I think you made your point(s). To talk with you would likely be interesting and rewarding — all your concerns about language and such are very wonderful and simply great fun (having looked over the site linked by your name).

                      I do not think you have much of a place for my militancy and, I must admit, sometimes I think I would gain a great deal more if I were to give it all up and return to Shakespeare studies!

                      From a Vladimir Nabokov story but I forgot which one.

                      “In moments of happiness, of rapture, when my soul is laid bare, I suddenly feel that everything – Life, Patria, April – is but a muddled preface, and that the main text still lies ahead”.

                      From Pale Fire:

                      I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
                      By the false azure in the windowpane
                      I was the smudge of ashen fluff–and I
                      Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky,
                      And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
                      Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
                      Uncurtaining the night, I’d let dark glass
                      Hang all the furniture above the grass,
                      And how delightful when a fall of snow
                      Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
                      As to make chair and bed exactly stand
                      Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!

                      I do not believe that anyone [here] has understood what it means to live metaphysically! But though *the world* kills us, and too the metaphor, we yet find a way to live on, fly on, in the reflected sky.

                    • This is really frustrating to me! This demonic WordPress!

                      Maybe we could start by going over what I posted about empire up there, with you bringing out what you disagree with or don’t see the point of, then asking me to clarify. (But I have limited energy, drained even further by this summer heat.)

                      No worries. I think you made your point(s). To talk with you would likely be interesting and rewarding — all your concerns about language and such are very wonderful and simply great fun (having looked over the site linked by your name).

                      I do not think you have much of a place for my militancy and, I must admit, sometimes I think I would gain a great deal more if I were to give it all up and return to Shakespeare studies!

                      From a Vladimir Nabokov story but I forgot which one.

                      “In moments of happiness, of rapture, when my soul is laid bare, I suddenly feel that everything – Life, Patria, April – is but a muddled preface, and that the main text still lies ahead”.

                      From Pale Fire:

                      I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
                      By the false azure in the windowpane
                      I was the smudge of ashen fluff–and I
                      Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky,
                      And from the inside, too, I’d duplicate
                      Myself, my lamp, an apple on a plate:
                      Uncurtaining the night, I’d let dark glass
                      Hang all the furniture above the grass,
                      And how delightful when a fall of snow
                      Covered my glimpse of lawn and reached up so
                      As to make chair and bed exactly stand
                      Upon that snow, out in that crystal land!

                      I do not believe that anyone [here] has understood what it means to live metaphysically! But though *the world* kills us, and too the metaphor, we yet find a way to live on, fly on, in the reflected sky.

  12. See also CG Jung in the Heart of Darkness and many similar articles. Most are critical articles, naturally. My view is that ‘Europe’ (this is a complex term in my view and requires explanation) must protect itself and is *under attack*. My defensive posture, as anyone can recognize, is disturbing and also threatening. We on the New Philosophical Right are thinking about these things even if *you* can’t or won’t . . .

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