The Handyman’s Tale

For readers who are unfamiliar with the novel The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood — to which the following allegorical pastiche by JLH pays non-hommage — here’s the Wikipedia entry for the book.

The Handyman’s Tale

or

Margaret Atwood meets Quentin Tarantino

by JLH

Birth of a Nation

It happened in a place once called California. There was a surprising change of leadership in the national government, which had, until then, pursued a reasonable policy of social benefits for the poor to offset the incredible wealth amassed by the governing class and its consiglieri, and a sensible foreign policy of financial rewards for countries most likely to dislike and attack us. With the unexpected shift in leadership came a fanciful desire to improve an economy that successive bipartisan leaders had shown could not be improved; and a wrong-headed insistence that this country — like any other — should stand up for itself.

The final straws were perverted, “fundamentalist” interpretations of the 1st and 2nd Amendments. A brush-fire revolutionary movement formed, led by a retired power politician named Barbara Wrestler (known to friend and foe alike as “Barbie Bananas”). 10-term Governor Lunagleem was persuaded to declare the Feminist Nation of Westland, with the Golden Teddy Bear as its symbol. Its ready-made rallying cry was the title of the runaway bestseller, Cherchez la femme puissante. A widespread and visceral distaste for “flyover fundamentalism” among the elite of Westland was the impetus for a decree that the official philosophy of the new nation would be based upon principles outlined in the sociological milestone 50 Shades of Pink. The defining motto on the Teddy Bear seal of the new nation would be “allectio privus puellae” — To each her own.

Governor Lunagleem — in recognition of his long and faithful service in government, and his unflagging advocacy of women’s rights — was retired with great honors and offered, by way of exception, a passport that would not expire, should he ever decide to leave Westland and seek the presidency of that other country.

Offal

Our tale of life in the Feminist Democratic Republic of Westland is largely contained in the life of Offal. We first encounter him in the exclusively female- staffed public pre-school (there was no private schooling, except for the few daughters of highly placed officials), where he learned that a dispute between boys was decided on the basis of which boy was perceived to be the aggressor, who was then punished by being sent to an isolation corner for a while. A dispute between girls was resolved by a serious talk with an advisor, who would mediate an agreement between them. A dispute between a girl and a boy was regarded as Right versus Wrong or Good versus Evil. The girl was Right and the boy was Wrong. He was required to stand alone, as all the girls circled him and slapped his face — some angrily, some more kindly and softly. If he resisted — which became increasingly rare — he graduated to being Evil. He was made to lean his elbows on the teacher’s desk; and each girl was given a willow switch to strike his buttocks as she passed by. Offal and his classmates learned two lessons from this: 1)Never argue with a girl within view of any authority; 2) Never wear shorts to school — some girls will choose to whip the bare legs.

Bathroom facilities in schools, as in all public institutions, were of two kinds: Female and General. Offal’s introduction to this system was witnessing an outraged 7-year-old classmate complaining to their teacher that there was a girl standing at the urinals, observing and commenting. “Of course, dear,” the teacher told him kindly, “How else will she learn? She aspires to be a urologist.”

After the conditioning of pre-school, Life Entry School offered more substantive knowledge in arithmetic, reading, writing and the History of the Golden Teddy Bear Republic. All classes were issued waterproof helmets for their required, weekly depilatory shower. Boys were observed, to decide when they should be issued facial depilatory. The goal was no visible hair below the eyes. Everyone alike. There would be no returning to the era of “hairy-chested men.”

A companion program in the summer found every boy at “Summer Camp” — a more social than pedagogical training. Instead of a recorded version of Reveille, the day began with a loud call of “Soo-ee, Soo-ee, Pig! Pig! Pig!” Breakfast was sugarless oatmeal served in lengthy wooden trenchers referred to as “troughs” and a thick slice of bread. After eating, each boy carried his trencher past an open spigot, rinsing it off as he passed and stacking it upside down on the large drainboard. Lunch was beans with some salt pork in the same trencher, and bread. Supper was meatballs in tomato sauce, and bread, with a suety chocolate pudding for dessert. Each meal was presided over by watchful female counselors, who roamed between the long tables, noting when a boy seemed not to be eating, and rapping him across the back with a bamboo stick, saying, “Eat, Piggy, Eat!”

Activities during the day were various kinds of manual labor: moving boulders, leveling paths and roadways, gathering firewood from the surrounding woods. The great advantage for both “campers” and “counselors” was that this regimen facilitated an exhausted sleep. Nonetheless, the older boys were pulled — one by one — out of their bunks during the night and taken to one of the counselors’ cabins for what the counselors laughingly called, “Sex 101,” where they learned all the ways in which a woman could be pleased.

Offal never did know what the girls’ Summer Camp was like, but he noticed that with each end-of-summer return to school, the girls seemed to become more distant and contemptuous of the boys.

The final levels of public education — before girls went to one of the plethora of Westland universities, and the boys went to either blue- or white-collar trade schools — were also the closing phases in the treatment of male toxicity. Boys were separated into algorithmically selected groups and pulled from class twice a week to attend “de-masculinizing” clinics, where they were electronically connected to monitoring devices. Conducted by therapists working in pairs, the clinics featured 50-minute videos of young people at various activities. Blood pressure, pulse and skin temperature often spiked with one of three things: dangerous activities like cliff diving or dirt bike racing; warlike confrontations between males; the sight of an unexpected expanse of female skin. Every boy who registered a spike received an instantaneous electric jolt high inside his thighs. By the end of the second year, the attraction of danger, physical conflict and sex had dwindled to such an extent that images that had once caused a spike now barely registered. Many of the boys just closed their eyes or looked away.

Boys’ credits for graduation — aside from the masculine detoxification sessions — included the ability to read a newspaper, math through plane geometry (algebra and beyond were considered too intricate), a comfortable acquaintance with a computer and keyboard, and at least six credits in gardening/farming, tool-handling and crafts.

Thus well-trained in the necessary rules and attitudes of the Feminist Republic of Westland, Offal matured into a shy, comely young fellow. He was appointed to be a Domestic Worker, and was given a multi-year assignment as a handyman for three of the leading Wives in his designated community, doing yard work, animal husbandry and carpentry.

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The Swelling Tide of International Support for Tommy Robinson

Dr. Turley comments on the growing anger and the far-reaching consequences of Tommy’s arrest. With some good news for a change.

Here’s his book:

President Trump and Our Post-Secular Future: How the 2016 Election Signals the Dawning of a Conservative Nationalist Age

Here’s his bio:

Steve Turley (PhD, Durham University) is an internationally recognized scholar, speaker, and classical guitarist. He is the author of Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (Classical Academic Press) and The Ritualized Revelation of the Messianic Age: Washings and Meals in Galatians and 1 Corinthians (T&T Clark). Steve blogs on the church, society and culture, education, and the arts at TurleyTalks.com. He is a faculty member at Tall Oaks Classical School in Bear, Delaware, where he teaches Theology, Greek, and Rhetoric, and Professor of Fine Arts at Eastern University. Steve lectures at universities, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His research and writings have appeared in such journals as Christianity and Literature, Calvin Theological Journal, First Things, Touchstone, and The Chesterton Review. He and his wife, Akiko, have four children and live in Newark, Delaware.

Please pray this is over soon or the B may starve to death… when I have no appetite, I can’t cook.

Weather or Not We Go Down

Just to the southwest of us are tornado warnings…and the weather is moving to the northeast.

My title comes from being in the middle of a book on the sinking of the Titanic…on April 14-15 1912, depending on where you were standing. As the author says, it was the first major catastrophe in a century that was to hold so very many.

I wonder if it ended the Edwardian Age?

The Other Side of the Night: The Carpathia, the Californian and the Night the Titanic was Lost

The author’s bio – from the Titanic to the first jihad:

Daniel Allen Butler, a maritime and military historian, is [also] the bestselling author of

“Unsinkable”: The Full Story of RMS Titanic,

Distant Victory: The Battle of Jutland and the Allied Triumph in the First World War,

and The First Jihad: The Battle for Khartoum and the Dawn of Militant Islam.

He is an internationally recognized authority on maritime subjects and a popular guest-speaker for several cruise lines.

Butler lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Daniel Allen Butler was educated at Hope College, Grand Valley State University, and the University of Erlangen.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

If it looks like nobody’s home, it’s because the lights here are out.

The Red Evolution IV: The Subversive Left, the Destabilising Left, the Antecedents of Generation Snowflake and the Ultimate Surrender of Rationality (Part Three)

The piece below is the third part of the latest in an occasional series of essays by our expatriate English correspondent Peter on the history of the Socialist Left in Britain. (Previously: Part 1, Part 2.)

The Red Evolution IV: The Subversive Left, the Destabilising Left, the Antecedents of Generation Snowflake and the Ultimate Surrender of Rationality

by Peter

THREE

By the mid-1970s, students had returned to those classes that would have them. Some had progressed to become lecturers while some lecturers had become professors, having produced books, theses, papers and other unintelligible documents of which only they could make sense, and about which only other academics cared. Others went into the professions and trades, earned a living and paid their taxes, but that was by no means the end of it. In the UK, particularly during the 1980s, we had the rise of political correctness in tandem with that of the Looney Left, except nobody used the term “political correctness” in those days — although “Looney Left,” was on the lips of many people, particularly those of the mainstream media since Political Correctness, or whatever it was they were calling it back then, had first manifested itself in Labour-controlled local authorities. In those days, these were seen as fair game for journalists of every political persuasion, especially those who sought to deflect public attention from the excesses of Margaret Thatcher.

For about twenty-five years, a scenario then unfolded which I would never have believed possible, had I not lived through it myself as the doctrine of the Frankfurt School insinuated itself into our daily working lives, though nobody could put a handle on it. We didn’t even have a name for it. Some places called it “equal opportunities,” but as Orwell himself put it, some people were more equal than others.

From just before 1980 until just after the end of the Millennium, the entire Western world was enslaved by this leftist creed, and many people still did not know what to call it. It was only after the publication of Allan Bloom’s book The Closing of the American Mind in 1987 that many of us first heard the phrase “Political Correctness”, by which time we were not so much submersed by it as being held under by some dark satanic hand and drowned in it. It was only during the first ten years of the Millennium that I was finally able to identify what had been going on, when I came upon an article on the Catholic Insight website entitled “The Frankfurt School: Conspiracy to Corrupt” by Timothy Matthews. I downloaded the article and re-read it over and over again. It is still online and well worth a read. That article led me to “The New Dark Age — The Frankfurt School and Political Correctness” by Michael Minnicino and from there to a piece co-authored by William S. Lind and Paul Weyrich about Cultural Marxism as a conspiracy against traditional Judeo-Christian values.

At about this time, everyone seemed to have learned about the Frankfurt School and its activities, and the cat was well and truly out of the bag. Even a Guardian reporter sarcastically stated as an aside to an unconnected article that he had never even heard of the Frankfurt School, with that familiar swagger adopted by Guardian reporters and their far-left ilk.

I’d first come across the term Cultural Marxism in Melanie Phillips’ book Londonistan in 2006. When I checked out the various references, I used Wikipedia as a starting, point even though it is described as left-leaning, and therefore should be taken with a pillar of salt, the type I usually save for The Guardian. Initially, Wikipedia reflected faithfully the contents of Matthews’ article and I did not pursue the matter, at least not then. Some months later I double-checked the Wikipedia page and was shocked to find that it had been re-written. The part of the narrative that corresponded to Timothy Matthews’ article was now relegated to the status of a conspiracy theory rather than the full-blown conspiracy I believed it to be. Wikipedia stated that the primary purpose of the Frankfurt School was the development of Critical Theory, without attempting to explain what Critical Theory actually was — the arrogance of the Left never changes.

Suddenly the Left had started to bite back, as it always does, with lies, misrepresentation, abuse, superciliousness and the now-familiar supremacist attitude. Finally, they would resort to the three “Ss,”: Sneer, Smear and Slander. Firstly, they sneer at any opinion that contradicts the leftist narrative, often with an acidic air of condescension, as if they should not be expected to acknowledge the existence of a low-caste dissenter, never mind engage with him. Having attempted to undermine the conflicting message, they then turn on the messenger, whom they subject to a smear campaign which morphs into slander as time progresses. We have all seen something similar happen to conservative commentators over the last few years. The leftist internet response is rather like a mass leafleting campaign.

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Taxed to Death in America

Good news: you have two extra days until you have to write that check to the U.S. Treasury. Sell your campaign button collection, that ought to do it.

Here’s her book:

How Do I Tax Thee?: A Field Guide to the Great American Rip-Off

An excerpt from the editorial:

We all know the government taxes our pay: federal, state, and local taxes are withheld by employers, as are social security payments. But what about the many other ways the government drains money from our wallets? Have you studied your cell phone bill? Customers in New York State pay an average of 24.36% in federal, state and local taxes on their wireless bills. They’re also charged for obscure services they didn’t ask for and don’t understand like a universal service fund fee, an FCC compliance fee, a line service fee, and an emergency services fee. These aren’t taxes, strictly speaking. The government imposes these administrative and regulatory costs, and your wireless provider passes them along to you. But the effect is exactly the same.

What about your cable bill? Your power bill? Your water bill? The cost of a gallon of gas, a cab ride, a hotel stay and a movie ticket are all inflated by hidden fees. How much of what you pay at the pump, the box office, or the airport is really an indirect tax?

Good to see a libertarian from her generation. There’s hope.

By the way, look at New York City’s tax on a pack of smokes (in 2014. No doubt it’s gone up since then):

Thanks to New York’s laughably high cigarette taxes ($4.35 state plus another $1.60 in the city) and higher prices generally, a pack of smokes in New York City costs $14 or more.

That creates a powerful incentive to smuggle smokes in from states such as Virginia, where you can buy a pack for a third of that price. Fill a Ford Econoline van with a few hundred cartons and you can make a nice five-figure profit in a weekend. Some people do.

[“Some people” had better be careful they don’t run afoul of the crime syndicates who run tractor-trailer loads of un-taxed cigarettes up interstate 95 all the time. And the tobacco traffic increases mightily each time New York gets desperate for another tax hit. — D]

The robust cigarette smuggling irritates officials in New York, because they miss out on a lot of tax revenue. The trade irritates officials in Virginia for the same reason, because smugglers buy wholesale to avoid the retail sales tax.

There’s an easy fix for all of this: Cut New York’s cigarette taxes. (Virginia could hike its own tax, but then Virginia didn’t create this problem—New York did.) Yet cutting the cigarette tax would deprive New York of revenue, and we mustn’t have that, oh no. Besides, it would send the wrong signal. New York wishes to make people stop smoking, and punitive taxes are the way to do that without outright banning tobacco, which would be too obviously narrow-minded.

That whole post is interesting since it describes the garbage wars between New York and Virginia.

Yep, we take Yankee trash all the time. The future Baron visited The City a few years ago and one of the amazing sights (to him) was the huge numbers of green garbage bags piled everywhere – I think it was in The Village. His uncle used to say that we could take care of all the nuclear waste in the country by simply leaving it in green trash bags in random places around New York City. I thought this was funny until I found out those bags would end up here.

A Dystopian Masterpiece: Jack Vance’s “Wyst: Alastor 1716”

Notes from the Baron:

The following review by Thomas Bertonneau discusses Wyst, one of the finest novels written by the late Jack Vance.

Long-time readers know that my nom de plume is taken from Jack Vance’s work — not from a character in his fiction, but from an imaginary writer, scholar, and commentator named Unspiek, Baron Bodissey, who provided the (sometimes lengthy) disquisitions on history, sociology, and political economy that appeared as footnotes in the novels.

The cover of Wyst shown below is not from the currently available version of the book, but from the original published by DAW Books, the first printing in 1978. I scanned it from my own Vance collection, and then de-yellowed it.

A Dystopian Masterpiece: Jack Vance’s Wyst: Alastor 1716

by Thomas F. Bertonneau

Towards the end of a long life, the American genre writer — and merchant seaman, jazz-man, and master of many trades — Jack Vance (1916-2013) produced an amusing autobiography entitled This is Me, Jack Vance! (2009); the book also carried a parenthetical and apologetic subtitle, Or, More Properly, This is I. In the subtitle Vance takes a jocund swipe at grammatical pedantry, and therefore at pedantry and Puritanism generally speaking, but he also affirms his passion for order, of which grammar is the linguistic species, without which (order, that is) freedom and justice, both of which he held as dear as anything, would be impossible.

There are a number of scholarly anthologies devoted to Vance’s authorship and at least one book-length single-author study of his fiction, Jack Rawlins’ Dissonant Worlds of Jack Vance (1986). It is a pity, however, that no intellectual biography of Vance exists. This is Me gives the essential details of its writer’s curriculum vitae, but it is largely bereft of information concerning Vance’s artistic-philosophical formation. So is Rawlins’ study, although it remains otherwise useful. If only, like Henry Miller, Vance had written his version of The Books in my Life! Concerning Vance’s artistic-philosophical formation, however, one might plausibly infer and arguably surmise a few probabilities. A writer is liable to be a reader, a prolific writer a prolific reader. A merchant seaman, as Vance remarks in his autobiography, finds himself with a good deal of time on his hands. Vance, who had briefly studied English at the University of California Berkeley, spent long stretches at sea during the Second World War, with a good deal of time on his hands. Two plausible guesses in respect of books that would have impressed themselves profoundly on Vance as he passed his time in their company are The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père and The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler.

The Count of Monte Cristo would have supplied Vance with a plotline, that of righteous and carefully plotted vengeance against arrogant and powerful offenders, which he used in his own brilliant way many times. Two books of Vance’s Alastor trilogy, Trullion (1973) and Marune (1975), are vengeance stories, as are all five volumes of The Demon Princes (1964 — 1981).

As it did for F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, and the science fiction writer James Blish, among innumerable others, The Decline of the West would have deepened Vance’s sense of meaning and large-scale patterning in history; and it would have stimulated his interest in the comparison of cultures. In Spengler’s theory of the Great Cultures, as he called them, each Great Culture has a distinct physiognomy (Spengler’s term) that imprints and flavors its institutional manifestations and pervades the mental outlook of its every individual. A major element of Vance’s fiction is to establish through detailed description the distinct physiognomies — or as he calls it in a coinage of his own, the esmeric — of his fictional worlds and their societies. The Decline would also have honed Vance’s sensitivity to the crisis of European civilization, just as it had for Fitzgerald and Miller. Once again, the breakdown of social structures and the descent of civilization into renewed barbarism interest Vance almost obsessively. Vance’s authorship contains many other signs of Spengler’s background presence, not least in its tendency to insert extended philosophical discussions, sometimes as footnotes, into the unfolding story. In Vance’s later work, commencing with The Demon Princes, references occur to a certain “Baron Bodissey,” who seems to have been the Spengler of the settled cosmos, or the “Gaean Reach,” in the long-colonized solar systems of which, and among immensely old societies, Vance’s stories tend to occur. Spengler saw his Great Cultures as living entities. Vance’s Ecce and Old Earth (1991) quotes Bodissey’s study of “The Morphology of Settled Places,” in which he argues that “towns behave in many respects like living organisms,” a decidedly Spenglerian proposition.

Wyst: Alastor 1716 (1978), the third installment of Vance’s Alastor trilogy, falls somewhat outside the vengeance pattern of its two precursor installments although its denouement entails an act of supremely satisfying justice. Part of Wyst’s interest lies in the fact that it instantiates Vance’s knack for dystopian satire, the object of the satire being in this case the phenomenon of socialism, with its cult of egalitarianism. Before getting into the details, however, of Vance’s Spenglerian critique of the welfare state, a bit of context urges itself. The Alastor trilogy takes its overall title from its cosmic setting — Vance’s “Alastor Cluster.” As Wyst’s prefatory chapter explains, “Alastor Cluster, a node of thirty thousand live stars, uncounted dead hulks and vast quantities of interstellar detritus, clung to the inner rim of the galaxy with the Unfortunate Waste before, the Nonestic Gulf beyond and the Gaean Reach a sparkling haze to the side.” Of the thirty thousand solar systems that constitute the Cluster, three thousand are inhabited. The word alastor, not at all incidentally, stems from an ancient Greek name for an avenging spirit. The protagonists of Trullion and Marune indeed act as agents of retributive desert, but in matters of private offense. In Wyst Vance invokes justice rather than vengeance. In the early chapters of the novel, Vance’s protagonist and point-of-view character Jantiff Ravensroke functions as a perceptive visitor to and observer of the planetary “Egalist” society of Wyst. Readers gain their sense of Wyst’s cultural physiognomy through Ravensroke’s experiences, as he attempts to assimilate himself in a new and in many ways shocking environment. In the later chapters of the novel, while becoming increasingly involved with his new acquaintances, Ravensroke functions as a responsible citizen of the Cluster who feels the moral compulsion, at rising risk to his life, to report to the highest authority about wicked machinations unfolding on Wyst concerning which he has apprised himself. Ravensroke’s visit to Wyst, which he had undertaken for artistic reasons, becomes an ordeal and, pitting himself against a murderous conspiracy, he discovers his capacity for heroic action.

The highest authority in Alastor Cluster resides in the office of the Connatic. In the Connatic, Vance has taken a somewhat preposterous stock figure from pulp-era science fiction — the sovereign of a stellar empire, as in Edmund Hamilton’s Star Kings or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy — and reinvented it in his own masterful way. The Connatic, who rules the Cluster from a towering architectural complex at archipelagic Lusz on the planet Numenes, incorporates traits from Shakespeare’s Henry IV and from the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius. Like Henry IV, the Connatic sometimes goes in disguise among his people in order to discover their disposition. Like Marcus Aurelius, the Connatic is a philosopher who is nevertheless prepared to act, having at his command an immense and super-competent diplomatic corps and the “Whelm,” a potent military force. In the opening chapter of Wyst, receiving four representatives of the Egalist society in his tower, and being criticized by one of them for his “position of unnatural privilege,” the Connatic replies: “I am I, who by reason of events beyond my control am Connatic. If I were someone else, I would not be Connatic; this is indisputable.” In that hypothetical case, however, “He, like I, would ponder the singularity of his condition.” The irascible ambassadors know not what to make of it. They take up again their crass demands on behalf of their world. The Connatic, whose name implies the cognitive faculty, knows these petitioners for precisely who they are. Vance bestows on the Connatic an encyclopedic knowledge of the planetary societies that he oversees and a near-instantaneous and deeply penetrating intuition in respect of character-nuance and political implication. He, too, is practiced in the Spenglerian art of physiognomic tact.

That Ravensroke should come to the attention of the Connatic partakes of the inevitable. Vance has endowed on Ravensroke artistic percipience, curiosity, and openness to experience so that, in a novice’s way, he resembles the Connatic in his talents. Ravensroke originates on the many-islanded largely aquatic planet Zeck at a place called Frayness, where custom dictates that those entering on adulthood declare a profession and begin to fashion themselves to live by it. (In other words — the usual way of life!) Ravensroke finds that he cannot declare for any customary profession, although his family would like him to do so, but he knows himself to possess a contextually eccentric talent for landscape and portrait and he would like to cultivate it. One night, in order to escape the tension with his parents and siblings, Ravensroke appropriates the family houseboat and steers it to a remote place. At dusk, while “water moths fluttered among the leaves,” Ravensroke hears from the sea “the sound of quiet voices in measured discussion.” The “sea-voices” elude clear audition: “The meaning… always just evaded intelligibility.” These susurrations haunt Ravensroke, to use Vance’s verb; and his acknowledgment of them indicates both his attunement to the world and his talent for attentive, non-egocentric awareness of his environment.

It is during his solitude that he learns fatefully of Wyst. Someone has left a copy of The Transvoyer, presumably a newspaper, on the table in the houseboat’s kitchen. A front page headline refers to “THE ARRABIN CENTENARY,” Arrabus being the inhabited continent of Wyst, and the story having been filed from Uncibal, “the mighty city beside the sea.” According to the story, which in hindsight appears to be rank Egalist propaganda, the people of Wyst live in a “dynamic society, propelled by novel philosophical energies.” As for the Arrabin goal, the article describes it as “human fulfillment, in a condition of leisure and amplitude,” which the society has achieved “by a drastic revision of traditional priorities.” On the other hand, as readers later learn, Arrabins not only disdain but anathematize anyone who “wants to do something… extraordinary and individualistic.” That would be “non-mutual” and “mutualism” is a major tenet of Egalism. The extravagant ideological claims of the journal article exercise less compulsion on Ravensroke, however, than the article’s reference to “the remarkable light of the sun Dwan,” under the luminosity of which “every surface quivers with its true and just color.” The aesthetic allure wins him over. He resolves to travel to Wyst to refine his skills as a painter and photographer.

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Poor Jordan Peterson

He truly believes in the myth of the soi-disant “moderate” Muslim.

Perhaps our Canadian readers can take up a collection to buy for Dr. Peterson the definitive book on Sharia law:

Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik

The reason I’m not suggesting the excellent work of, say, Robert Spencer or Bill Warner, is that in order to truly understand a subject – to “stand under” it – one has to begin by reading its own documents. The blurb on “Reliance” states:

This is a classic manual of fiqh rulings based on Shafi”i School of jurisprudence and includes original Arabic texts and translations from classic works of prominent Muslim scholars such as al Ghazali, al Nawawi, al Qurtubi, al Dhahabi and others. It is an indispensable reference for every Muslim or student of Islam who needs to research on Islamic rulings on daily Muslim life.

The Baron will remember when it was that we bought our own copy (I find the past becoming one fluid succession of moments). But I well remember the price since I do all our online ordering. It cost $30.00 back then. Thus, when “Reliance” arrived, I was surprised to see how beautifully bound it was. I wondered then if it were not being subsidized by some Sunni group (not a book for Shi’ites – another distinction Jordan Peterson will have to learn).

At the time, there were fewer than a dozen reader reviews and many of them were written by devout Muslims. The times have certainly changed; current top reviews (i.e., five-star verified purchases) are decidedly against the book whilst still recommending that one buy it.

Today the price stands at $56.00, but still worth it for those who want to be thoroughly informed about what it means to live under Sunni Sharia Law.

Here’s one review [edited]:

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Paul Weston’s Cri de Coeur

I am tardy in posting Paul Weston’s response to the by-now infamous take-down of Ms. Newman by Dr. Peterson on Channel Four. The views on what I think of as the “We’re All Lobsters Now, Kathy” “interview” are up to five-and-a-half million by now and I’m sure that’s not the end of it.

Paul sent his response to us right after he posted it on YouTube, and I was quite taken by his own verbal evisceration of the crabby Inquisitor Newman. Nobody does it as well as the English, eh?

But beyond that, Paul’s despair over Britain’s current state was a sentiment I’ve often shared about the overwhelmingly ugly condition of our MSM mafia. [They were out in full force after President Trump’s State of the Union speech. And during his speech, the Democrats sat there like stone gnomes.]

Meanwhile, Dr. Peterson’s book continues to sell well.

I don’t know the total numbers of books sold, but I’ve little doubt they’re waaay up in that Pareto distribution Dr. Peterson likes to quote.

After the ugly attack against a Canadian professor simply trying to hawk his book, his London publisher arranged an evening’s talk for him. Or perhaps it had already been arranged as part of his publicity tour. But anyone familiar with the Peterson Effect could have told his publicists that one talk wouldn’t be enough. They ended up holding three events, each one successively larger. And they sold his autographed books at all of them. JBP might still be there, had his schedule not required him to move on to the Netherlands.

Below the fold is the third lecture in the London series. As usual, he demonstrates a firm grasp of his subject. He speaks without notes though he admits he can’t always remember the chapter titles for his book, which is why he had his own copy.

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Geert Wilders Speaks in Hungary

Geert Wilders was in Hungary over the weekend to launch a Hungarian translation of his book Marked for Death and speak at various locations. Below is a speech that was given by Mr. Wilders and posted by the Hungarian news portal Pesti Srácok. His talk is interspersed with a consecutive interpretation into Hungarian:

Hat tip: CrossWare.

Dr Peterson, Ms. DimBulb, and a Lobster Walk into a Bar

[The title of this post was lifted and changed; with apologies to a YouTube channel, The Saad Truth, found here. Since seeing his title, all others seem too tame now, which will become apparent in the course of this takedown – on the off chance you haven’t yet witnessed this humiliation.]

Being an American, I was (gratefully) unaware of this BBC Channel Four news babe. Or journalista, if you prefer. Ignorance of her future work is greatly to be desired since, as is the case for much of the American MSM, she appears to suffer from a terminal case of cognitive dissonance. Combined with her inability to hear or to parse Dr. Peterson’s statements, these deficits should, one thinks, serve her well in her chosen profession (and we all know how old that profession is).

Dr. Peterson evidently appeared on this wymyn’s program in aid of selling his book,

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

Our GoV link for the book is here.

The book can be pre-ordered, to arrive tomorrow, if you want the Kindle version.

An editorial review (by one of my favorite culture critics) says:

Jordan Peterson is the most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan. His international fame and impact continue to grow exponentially. Peterson’s bold interdisciplinary synthesis of psychology, anthropology, science, politics and comparative religion is forming the template for the genuinely humanistic university of the future.” —Camille Paglia

For those too young to remember McLuhan, he no doubt has a wiki page. For those old enough to remember his predictions, you know how prescient he was.

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Channel Four is no doubt off somewhere licking its wounds and wondering if they’re mortal afflictions. Those lacerations certainly are as wide as a church door. Well, at the very least, a small country church door.

My acquaintance with Dr Peterson’s work is fairly recent, but I plan to make up for my ignorance with an in-depth study of his writings. I do wish his early research on the sons of alcoholics was more widely available. Yes, the many articles are co-authored with other young scholars, but just based on their breadth, they deserve wider dissemination.

We’ll be posting more of his talks in the future.

I welcome your comments on this video or on his work in general.

The Deep Blue Force Field

Who can resist it?

The latest Twitter trick is shadow banning accounts. Here is another exposé by Project Veritas:

Isn’t technology wonderful? This algorithm saves True Blue Believers so much trauma; now they can rest assured that no one will disturb their daydreams of a clean, bright new day when all the right-thinkers (i.e., you *wrong* thinkers) are silenced.

Now we just have to wait till they automate tongue-ectomies. No doubt this project is already on some Dreamer’s bucket list.

Understanding Abrogation: The Koran in Reverse Chronological Order

An anonymous emailer contacted us about a version of the Koran which has been compiled in reverse chronological order, so that abrogating verses appear before abrogated ones. The abrogated passages are struck through, to make it clear that they no longer apply. There is also a system of color-coding to provide the reader with additional information.

The text of the PDF document is too long and the formatting too complex for it to be converted to HTML. However, I’ve uploaded a copy of it here (1.45MB).

Below are excerpts from the introduction:

This translation

The Koran reproduced here was translated by the convert to Islam Muhammad Marmaduke Picthall (b.1875 d. 1936). It was published in 1930, with the title “The Meaning of the Glorious Koran”. It was authorised by Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. This University is acknowledged to be the foremost in Islamic scholarship in Sunni Islam.

This translation is no longer restricted by copyright, as more than 70 years have passed since the death of the author. Unfortunately the style of English is old-fashioned. There are numerous more recent translations freely available online, which can be read in parallel if a particular verse is unclear. Also, some authors, including Picthall, seek to minimise the full impact of the violent instructions, by somewhat disguising the meaning. For example “Then smite the necks. “ Koran 8:12 rather than the actual meaning, which is to behead the disbelievers: “Therefore strike off their heads…”

Note that there can be discrepancies of verse numbering between translations. If reading another translation it may be necessary to search a few verses before or after the corresponding number, in order to find the same verse.

Abrogation

The concept of Abrogation is the single most important point to understand when attempting to study Islam. Simply stated, it is that the chronologically more recent verses supersede the older verses, wherever contradictions exist. Verses which have been abrogated are shown crossed out, and the abrogating verse number is noted.

The Koran itself describes the principle of abrogation:

Koran 2:106 Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?

The sura (chapters) in this copy have been arranged in reverse chronological order (i.e. the most recent first). The conventional numbering of the sura has been retained. If you have limited time, then start by reading the most recent sura (110, 9, 5 etc.)

Mohammed’s career started in Mecca. Initially his movement was weak and had few followers. At this time he was more conciliatory towards other religions, particularly Christianity and Judaism. He was attempting to persuade the scholars of those religions that he was a genuine prophet. However they rejected him. He became increasingly unpopular in Mecca, and had to flee to Medina, over 200 miles distant. The Medinan sura became increasingly intolerant, violent, and uncompromising, as his power increased. The citizens of Medina had initially welcomed him into their city in order to act as an intermediary arbiter between competing factions. They soon came to regret this mistake. Intolerance and violence are the features of genuine Islam that we see today. It has superseded the more tolerant Meccan phase.

Today political leaders are desperately trying to avoid any criticism of Islam itself. They repeatedly tell us that the latest terrorist atrocity is nothing to do with Islam, and that it was only a lone individual with mental health problems. Unfortunately for these politicians, such excuses are not credible. Not if you have read the Koran for yourself. Do they not see that being obliged to believe the Koran with its instructions to violence and religious hatred and inhuman attitudes might lead to such mental health problems? Nevertheless a proportion of Jihadis may not be clinically insane. The most straightforward explanation is that they genuinely believe the teachings within the Koran – the teachings to kill nonbelievers.

Abrogating verses

The verses listed here abrogate one or more other verses. Note that these abrogating verses are generally the most intolerant ones, commanding violence against nonbelievers.

Download the current version (PDF) for the rest of the introduction, and for the entire annotated Koran:

The Koran in Reverse Chronological Order, translated into English by Muhammad Marmaduke Picthall (b.1875 d. 1936), with commentary and annotations by non-Muslims, second edition. To check that you have the latest edition, visit http://blueprintislam.bravesites.com/.

Finis Germania: The Mythos of Overcoming the Past

The well-known German writer Rolf Peter Sieferle committed suicide late last year. He left behind two works to be published posthumously, one of which — Finis Germania — caused immense controversy. Rembrandt Clancy has translated a crucial chapter from the book, and includes an introduction and extensive end notes, as well as a translated and subtitled video from Junge Freiheit.

Finis Germania
The Mythos of Overcoming the Past

“The eternal Nazi, as the revenant of his crime, will long adorn the trivial mythology of a post-religious world. The earth, however, will only be purged of this stain of shame when the Germans have completely disappeared; that is, when they have become abstract Menschen”.

                                                                       —Rolf Peter Sieferle

Introduction

by Rembrandt Clancy

Another Zeitgeist-critical book, in the genre of Thilo Sarrazin’s “Germany is Abolishing Herself “ (Deutschland schafft sich ab, 2010), has been unleashing a storm of “hysterical reaction” in Germany, “a book which is making headlines like none other” (Epoch Times, German). Finis Germania, by Rolf Peter Sieferle, was published in June of 2017 and is a historico-philosophical collection of four short essays arranged as chapters and united by the common theme of decline in a moribund late-culture. They consist of such leitmotifs as personal responsibility in a history dominated by subjectless or impersonal functionality, the illusion of conscious political control in history, collective guilt and the problem of evil in the world.

Rolf Peter Sieferle took his own life in September of 2016 at the age of 66 in Heidelberg. The author left the manuscripts of Finis Germania and The Migration Problem as a legacy to Verlag Antaios, a publishing house in Schnellroda, Saxony-Anhalt. The business is directed by Götz Kubitschek, who describes himself as a conservative intellectual, is well known in Islam-critical circles and is close to some of the main actors within the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party which performed unexpectedly well in the last federal election. He provides an alternative for authors of books on political theory and literature who may not otherwise easily find a publisher.

The most controversial of the four chapter-essays in Finis Germania, Mythos VB, is translated here. The initials “VB” stand for Vergangenheitsbewältigung. The term refers to “a nation’s confrontation with a problematical period of its recent past, in particular with National Socialism in Germany” (Duden). Vergangenheitsbewältigung is the broad ideological container within which Sieferle’s analysis of Germany’s post-war drama of collective guilt unfolds.

About the Author

The following biographical details are taken from an article by Götz Kubitschek (sezession.de). Rolf Peter Sieferle was born in 1949 in Stuttgart. He studied History, Political Science and Sociology and earned his doctoral degree in 1977 with a focus on Marx’s concept of revolution. His post-doctoral qualification as a lecturer (Habilitation) followed in 1984 in the field of Modern History. Beginning in 1991 Sieferle served as Adjunct Professor at the University of Mannheim, and since 2000 he has been full Professor of History at the University of St. Gallen. His work, “The Underground Forest” (Der unterirdische Wald, 1982) is considered the standard work on the implementation of hard coal as a source of energy and the repercussions which this event had on all domains of society.

Other works of Sieferle are considered to show a high degree of scholarship: Enemies of Progress?: Opposition to Technology and Industry from the Romantic Period to the present (1984); The Crisis of Human Nature: On the History of a Concept (1989); Epochal Change — Germans at the Threshold of the 21st Century (1994); The Conservative Revolution (1995); Retrospective on Nature: A History of Mankind and his Environment (1997); Karl Marx: An Introduction (2007) and The Migration Problem: On the Incompatibility of the Welfare State and Mass Immigration (2017).

The Title of the Book

Finis”, in Finis Germania, may be a noun or a verb in Latin. In either case, however, “Germania” remains a noun in the vocative case, invoking the feminine personification of Germany which found frequent representation in the Romantic period. The title carries the general meaning of “The end, Germania“, “Germania, you are dying“, “You are coming to an end, Germania“ or in a more ‘Sarrazinian’ idiom, “You are Abolishing Yourself, Germania“. The vocative case also points to Germany as a country with a long and venerable heritage, for Germania is the name the Romans gave to what we know today as Deutschland. The title does not mean “The End of Germany”, which would be Finis Germaniae”.

The ‘Skandal’ of Finis Germania

In early June, Finis Germania acquired a very high degree of unexpected publicity as a result of what appeared in the end to be a miscalculation of a single Spiegel journalist, Johannes Salzwedel. The book was broadly denounced in the mainstream German feuilletons, newspaper feature sections, in this case, dealing with literature. Far-right radicalism, right-leaning conspiracy theory and other denunciatory labels including the very widespread accusation of anti-Semitism were among the condemnations. There were also ad hominem attacks on the author. But despite the almost universal negative publicity, the book reached first place on German Amazon and remained there for ten days. It also fared well on Spiegel’s best seller list until it was removed. Altogether it is reputed to have sold an enormous number of copies in a very short time. Götz Kubitschek, referred to the book’s defiant popularity as a “Streisand-Effekt”.

The prime cause of the “Skandal” was the attention Sieferle gave to what has been known for some time in Germany as the Auschwitz-mythos. Journalists widely misrepresented the meaning Sieferle attributed to the term and treated it as identical to the “Auschwitz-lie” (Auschwitzlüge), or Holocaust denial.

A Video: Finis Germania: (JF-TV Im Fokus): “The Case of Rolf Peter Sieferle”

The 13-minute video immediately below provides a brief account of the circumstances dominating the publication of Finis Germania. The political and cultural newspaper Junge Freiheit interviews two personalities close to the situation. They are Konrad Adam, a publicist and former editor with the Frankfurter Allgemeine — a mainstream media outlet at the forefront of the attacks on Finis Germania — and Andreas Lombard, himself a publisher and the individual holding the rights to the Sieferle estate. He granted the licence for the book’s publication to Kubitschek’s Verlag Antaios. Adam and Lombard provide some insight into the character of the book and what the author has achieved. They also offer interesting interpretations of the attacks on Finis Germania.

Substantiated personal biographical material on Sieferle is hard to obtain. However, the video sketches the author’s political trajectory dating from the time he was a student. The author’s wife, Regina Sieferle, gives her reaction to the personal attacks on her husband by means of quotations from an earlier interview.

The original video is on the YouTube channel of Junge Freiheit.

Context and Thematic Material

Definition of the Auschwitz-Mythos and the Auschwitz Lie (Auschwitzlüge)

While Mythos VB allows for a fairly smooth reading, its clarity depends on a few important conceptual distinctions which have been overlooked even by serious commentators, with the result that misconceptions arise. In the second paragraph, Sieferle begins with a definition of Auschwitz as a mythos, a clear understanding of which is a guide to the remainder of Mythos VB.

National Socialism, or more precisely Auschwitz, has become the last mythos of a thoroughly rationalised world. A mythos is a truth which is beyond discussion. It requires no justification; on the contrary, even the hint of doubt, which is inherent in the relativisation of the mythos, indicates a serious breach of the taboo protecting it. Has not the Auschwitz lie been punished as a kind of blasphemy? Behind the insistence on the “incomparability” of the mythos, is there not the old fear of every revealed truth that it is lost as soon as it accedes to the enlightening exercise of historical comparison and justification? “Auschwitz” has become the embodiment of a unique and irredeemable guilt. [p. 2-3]

Thus an encapsulated definition of the Auschwitz-mythos may be rendered as follows: It is a perceived, non-rational, taboo-protected truth, held to be self-evident, which embodies a “unique and irredeemable guilt”, the source of which is the historical event of “Auschwitz”.

That “Auschwitz” itself is a crime which underlies the guilt is of course implicit. Note that Sieferle sometimes places “Auschwitz” in quotation marks as a pars pro toto for the Holocaust.

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The Barbarians Are Lurking Everywhere

The following essay from Neue Zürcher Zeitung describes the end-state of the Long March Through the Institutions, which is what we are currently seeing in the twilight of Western Europe.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

The Barbarians Are Lurking Everywhere

by René Scheu
October 28, 2017

Anti-racism is racism, too. How Progressives are risking the heritage of the Enlightenment — and the equality of citizens.

Progressives style themselves the ones who regard human progress as a moral task.

They intervene to force society into the direction they see as the only correct one. Magic words are: emancipation, integration and inclusion. They see themselves as the avant garde of global openness and tolerance. These same progressive comrades have become entangled lately in contradictions that give rise even among their leftist friends to doubts about the progressiveness of their positions. Is it not astonishing when logical secularists like them demand tolerance for an Islam that does not distinguish between religion and state?

How can someone who decries the attitude of the Catholic Church toward contraception and the priesthood simultaneously defend a worldview that values women less than men?

How is it that eloquent, progressive feminists advocate for the right of women to be fully veiled?

And how to explain that these same people who call themselves progressives and detect racial discrimination everywhere are themselves prone to discredit their critics in terms of skin color and gender — especially raging white men?

Just to be clear: Yes, I am a white man — not raging, but firm in my convictions. When progressives lecture reactionaries, and professed anti-racists are promoted to stooges of the racists, then something is rotten in the state. The paradoxes and contradictions in which the custodians of progressivism have entangled themselves have certainly been accentuated under the aegis of immigration from outside Europe. Considerable psychic resources and intellectual pirouettes make it possible to ignore this. In the process, the logical dislocations simply reveal the result of a far older mode of thought.

Defeat of Thinking

Alert observers such as Alan Finkielkraut have long since described its outlines. In 1987, the French intellectual published a book that is worth remembering today, thirty years later: The Defeat of Thinking. His thesis: After WWII, when they had the moral high ground on the basis of resistance to the National Socialists, the Left took leave of the Enlightenment and its postulation of a universal human reason. From a legitimate criticism of the West grew a kind of intellectual auto-exorcism whose new magic word was ethnocentrism or Eurocentrism. What Europeans call human reason — according to this — is nothing more than the hegemonic form of a breed of people who brought forth the greatest evil of the modern age through capitalism and totalitarianism.

A Culture of Debate is More Necessary Than Ever

And with that, the culture critics throw out the baby with the bathwater. The new cultural relativism, which began to take effect in the new Left milieu of the 1960s, undermined the equality of human beings and played into the hands of the new Right. It just took some decades for the effects to become noticeable. And that is where we are today.

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