There has been some discussion in recent days about the appropriation of compelling symbols by various noxious groups, and whether this should inhibit the use of such symbols. One symbol in question was the phoenix, which has apparently been employed by neo-Nazi groups.
The phoenix is a powerful icon, and is used to represent many entities, including the U.S. military, medical organizations, businesses, and American Indians. When my father retired from NSA, he became a member of the Phoenix Society, an association of former NSA employees.
So the neo-Nazis have no unusual claim to the use of the phoenix.
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Certain symbols, via psychological mechanisms that are not well-understood, automatically grab the viewer’s attention. The cross, the eagle, the lion, stars, crescents, sunbursts, spirals — all of these communicate directly to a deeply atavistic region of the human psyche.
Then there’s the swastika, or fylfot, which has been contaminated for all time due to its use by the Nazis. Prior to the 1920s it was a perfectly respectable symbol, with a pedigree running all the way back into prehistory. It had been employed by the Hindus, the Boy Scouts, and American Indians, among others. But now, like Michael Jordan’s jersey number, it has been retired.
The same process can apply to words and phrases. Any organization that dubs itself “The Foundation” or “The Base” may raise eyebrows for its Arabic translation, al-qaeda.
There’s another tainted phrase that I particularly like: “The Invisible Empire”. Its employment by the Ku Klux Klan renders it unusable in polite company, but it certainly does provide an intuitive description of powerful processes that work in secret under the surface of human affairs. It’s unfortunate that this particular phrase has been pre-empted by the bedsheets-and-burning-crosses crowd.
Invisible empires are stirring right now all across the Western world, under the surface of public acknowledgement. The Danes are resisting the encroachment of dhimmitude. British residents of Windsor are fighting back against Muslim bullying. People like Wayne the carpenter are facing down the forces that would destroy American liberty.
Despite the efforts of the Anointed in the legacy media and our political culture, a synchronicity of grassroots efforts resisting the dominance of PC multiculturalism has begun. It is much larger than any of us can comprehend, and it is growing too rapidly to assess.
One component of this synchronicity is Democracy Project, an organization whose mission statement includes the following:
America today faces unique threats to her continued internal stability and prosperity because of a failure to defend and pass on a civic spirit based on patriotism, education, obligation, and opportunity. Confidence in the institutions that support democracy and the rule of law has eroded among elites and institutions which once buttressed a common civil society. Nowhere is this failure starker than in the abandonment of assimilation programs for newly arrived immigrants and the weakening and politicization of civics education among secondary and college students. By shortchanging these groups upon whom the future of our nation rests, we dilute our identity as a people bound not by race or ethnicity but by a common love of liberty. We risk our future as a nation of free men and women who, within a pluralistic society, exercise our individual pursuits within the parameters of a common culture and state.
We are a grassroots institution that reaches out to interested parties around the world to organize networks to support pro-democracy efforts. To accomplish this task, we seek volunteers to carry the torch for freedom in their communities and among their peers. Sympathetic individuals, community leaders, government officials, educators, clergy, and others who share our commitment to freedom are invited to contact us about organizing at the local level.
I was alerted about Democracy Project by a reader who happens to be a member of it. He wrote in reference to last week’s post, “The War Against… What?”, and told me that he and his group “are working on similar things regarding asymmetric 4th Generation Warfare as applied to ‘info ops.’ Whether you realize it or not, [your post] is a partial description of the topic of that article.”
I’m honored to be linked by the group. I have often said, as have many others, that the most important component of the current conflict is the information war, the war of ideas, and that the enemy so far has the drop on us in the “info ops” theater.
But that is changing right now, under the surface, as part of the invisible imperial process. There are many intelligent and well-educated people who are fed up with the way our leaders are handling the Great Islamic Jihad, and the media coverage of it. We are not fooled; we know the emperor is butt-nekkid.
In a Democracy Project post responding to my essay, Dr. Mitchell Langbert wrote:
Several of our correspondents to include Phil Beckman, Warren Bonesteel, Phil Orenstein, Candace de Russy and I have noted that fifth generation warfare integrates complicated issues associated with western cultural versus Islamic extremist value systems and that an understanding of Islam and Islamic politics needs to be integrated into the fourth generation model. Bodissey brilliantly re-emphasizes the need for cultural re-taking through grass roots action and exposure of institutional corruption in the media and other cultural institutions. David Horowitz has been doing this brilliantly at frontpagemag, Steve Balch has been doing this equally well at the National Association of Scholars as have the folks at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Bodissey is absolutely right that spontaneous assaults that aim at weakening liberal media interests and occupying left wing and liberal institutions are the way to go.
So we’re definitely on the same page.
I referred the Democracy Project to the 910 Group (and vice versa), in hopes that their respective efforts might synergize with one another.
“What,” you may ask, “is the 910 Group?”
It’s a new component of a worldwide grassroots network that is proceeding under the radar of the guardians of our culture. Initiated by Vicktorya in the comments thread on one of my posts, it is growing too fast for me to keep track of.
The group’s intent is to gather together a lot of the strands of the counter-jihad and anti-PC resistance, in order to form a decentralized “network of networks” with a global reach. No board of directors. No hierarchy of command. It’s simply an affiliation of like-minded people, sharing information and planning proactively to reframe the concept of the current war and rise up to help defend the West.
So now we return to the phoenix. I’ve had the privilege to help the 910 Group by designing images, and here’s one that I put together over the weekend:
The group seems to like this logo, so watch for it: you will probably see it popping up here and there across the Web.
If you’re interested, go to the comments threads here and here and look for information left by Vicktorya (VSK). Or wait for members of the group to show up right here, as they inevitably will…
There is also another interesting (and fun) reference here: The Order of the Phoenix, from the Harry Potter books. The Order is created because the government and the rest of officialdom is useless at confronting Voldemort. It is the Oder of the Phoenix that organizes the resistance.
quite, er, appropriate. . .
Hey, I only mentioned its existence in Nazi symbology as a heads up to accusations levelled later by the ad hominites (
Anyway, you know my views well enough to know that my bringing it up was not as an attack on it, or at least as an attack besed on politically correct reasoning. Hell, I think the logo is great, and if it were based on St. Georges Cross, an Iron Cross or even a Swastika, it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to me from the perspective of political correctness.
If I have a negative comment to make about the logo, and quite aside from its artistic merit, it would be the evocation of 911, as that symbol tends to limit the logo to a descriptive of Islamic fundamentalism or even the meaningless term “terrorism”, and leaves aside the more insidious Islamic inroads through “peaceful means” in western society. In other words, it is if anything too focused. It doesn’t even begin to address the much larger issue of immigration and the multicultural attack on the west.
Having said that, from a marketing perspective I think it is crucial to generate a strong emotional reaction with the logo, and to appeal to as broad a base as possible. From that point of view I can’t think of anything more appropriate than ground zero.
Heck, I didn’t mind what you said, not at all. It just got me to thinking, is all.
And 9-11 images don’t just evoke Islamic terrorism. 9-11 (for me and many others, I think) has come to mean the end of the old ways, the end of submission to PC/Multiculti dogma, the end of “the end of history”, and the beginning of… well, something else.
Big Smile from Vicktorya!
Thanks again Baron; your posts are crucial to get this word circulating. We have strength untold, but I can see that we are … nucleating. The networking of the networks is right — like the brain connecting itself up, I think we are becoming … mobile!
And the symbol is perfect. True, Scott, your mention the symbol being associated with negatives … true, and that was also brought to my attention privately by another 910 member. I do think our answer has to be ‘too bad’, we like it, we’ll use it, and we’ll CHANGE that definition. A lot of changing of perception needs doing, and may as well start with perfectly wonderful symbols; I don’t wish to concede another pentagram, cross, or cube. (Next the sphere will be suspect?) LOL
Crusader Coyote — yes, as a Harry Potter reader (after having my arm twisted)– I really do like this Order of the Phoenix resonance. That’s what it ‘feels’ like. (Anyone wanting some light reading, from all our heavy studies, just relax into the fantasy of that 4th volume of JK Rowling, and see what we mean.)
Lovely to be flying with you all.
Anyone who gets a tingle from all this, send me an email
“firstname.lastname@example.org”, or if that doesn’t work try:
vsk at vicktorya dot com (yes, note the funny spelling.)
or send blank email to email@example.com
(tell me something convincing so I know you’re one of the good guys!)
I think the name, 910, combined with the iconic hell of 911, moves it past the limits you describe.
911 changed us and changed the world incalculably. The same way that other nodal events have radically moved the riverbed of history to a different course.
Such changes are usually incremental; this one was instant, and will remain imbedded in the minds of those who wittnessed it until the last of us has died. The sad attempts of some to live a 910 life simply underlines its reality.
In the long run, 911 may even be seen as a good thing — but that “long while” will be after we’re gone and those who have the long perspective of history are not suffering from its aftermath. Kind of like the way we look at the Black Death and how it affected Europe. Fascinating, but it doesn’t impact our lives.
One image cannot “address” everything you mention. Images work on a non-verbal level; that’s why they’re so powerful. And the rebirth from the ashes of Ground Zero will indeed have a profound impact on immigration, foreign policy, the direction our ideas about sovereignty takes, etc…
A phoenix is merely a beginning…
Whoops — I can see that I need to learn to spell “Vicktorya”. Oh well…
No problem; if I was worried about misspellings, I’d have chosen differently.
Just need it correct to get to the email.
Phor Odor uv the Fenicks
In regards to part of your excellent post which said that American college students have not been getting enough ‘civics education’:
I spent many years in America teaching at community colleges, state universities, and small private colleges. Believe me, they have been getting a ‘civics education’ , but it has been mostly left-wing agit-prop multi-culti horsesh*t. Most college students, like most people, are not interested in poitics all that much, and they study for & take tests and then forget it all and move on
But there is, I think, a ‘residue’: a residual effect which makes many people more wiling to accept left-wing agit-prop multi-culti horsesh*t.
I don’t see any way to stop it.
Dymph…You’ll have noticed that I tend toward the right hand of the spectrum, even within the context of our mutual endeavor.
To that end, I tend to stake out positions further to starboard than most, on the theory that the only way to swing the course of society from its present direction is the throw out radical sea anchors and settle for something less.
In other words I agree with your assessment of 911 as shock therapy, but I agree with Gramsci in believing that social change is STILL an incremental process, and if we don’t agitate for more than we want, we will only get half of what we really want.
In mathematical terms, if the status quo is 1, and we want 3, and ask for 3, we’ll get 2. If on the other hand the status quo is 1 and we ask for 6, we’ll stand a far better chance of getting 3.
That, among other reasons, is why I am tilting against the ‘racism’ windmill (to mix metaphors), and tend to push the envelope in that direction. The left has used the tactic of social innoculation for decades: getting people used to what once shocked them; and its time we started using it back.
If the term ‘racism’ stops having the power it has to shut down debate, our message actually has a chance to get out there and reaching beyond the already-converted.
For the marketing reasons I mentioned before, and with a tip of the hat to your belief in the transcendence of 911, I think the logo is a good tool, and ultimately is the face we ought to show the world.
But I would be just as happy with a logo of a Panzer tank flying a swastika and whatever other radical symbology we could scrape out of the dregs of history, doing a wheelie over hordes of turbaned Taliban just outside the gates of a babymilk factory. But that’s just me 🙂
Janos, Baron and Dymphna have suggested one way for people to stop it, which is to homeschool their children. As far as I can see homeschoolers will always be a minority but there’ll be enough of them to make a difference to society over the course of a generation and, given that most shomeschooled childred excell in their education, it’s certain they’ll have a disproportionate effect for their actual size. Perhaps you should encourage people to educate their own children whenever you get the chance.
Ok, — back to the starting topic, and Vic Fanning the 910 Group Flame —
I think we have just become turbocharged —
you know how to reach me by now
vsk @ vicktorya . com
The Foundation of the 910 Group Clarity
— Rev this engine! It is 9/10 … every day … and it’s time to move.
As I said, thank God, the blogosphere never sleeps. The logo is beyond great.
if someone works up some html language so that we can post the picture on our blogs and refer people to the group that would be mega cool and i would gladly put it on mine.
like dk shidler said…
HTML is easy to do. If you want to link to this image right here, just do this…
But do put a at the end. 🙂
Hey — re: Russet Shadows — don’t hot-link the image. Our ISP is a small-potatoes deal, and you’ll clog our bandwidth.
Just copy the image to an image server of your choice, and link it there. I claim no copyright on it — I stole the original phoenix and the Ground Zero photo from someplace else anyway. Mind you, I altered them a lot… 🙂
As a graphics person myself, the logo is very creative and although I am somewhat educated in the ways of the world and history I believe, in no way does that image invoke any reference to me other than 9-11 and the rising of a new day per say which would be open to interpretation as well.
To me the people that will find offense in it are the same type of folks who want to change the name of the color black because it is offensive to African Americans.
This comment comes to you from an American of Italian-German heritage that is disabled somewhat by MS, or in short just call me a crippled dago kraut. From that I think you can judge my feelings about PC and it’s waste of all our energies.
Leave it alone I say, it’s fine and we still live in a free world here in America at least.