Freedom of Speech is Not When Everyone Says the Same Thing

Many thanks to JLH for translating this op-ed from Junge Freiheit:

Freedom of Speech is Not When Everyone Says the Same Thing

by Laila Mirzo
August 23, 2019

Freedom of expression is probably the most contended constitutional right in the context of today’s political discourse. It is the foundation for democracy and the rule of law, and any curtailment is an indicator of a social-political imbalance. There is something rotten in a state in which everyone is of the same opinion. A lively diversity of opinion is part of pluralism. Striving for a similarity of opinion is a deceptive harmony — the first step toward enforced conformity. It is difficult to ignore that public as well as private broadcasting companies and publishing houses are playing politics with their reporting. Neutral and objective reporting of facts gives way more and more to an instructional pedagogy.

Anja Reschke, journalist and moderator of the ARD [German state TV] political magazine “Panorama” speaks plainly about the “educational task” of journalists in an interview with Swiss Television in December, 2018. Answering the question of what the media’s task is, she says: “A media landscape that is intended to educate the citizen to [become] a responsible, democracy-voting citizen or to enable the citizen to participate in elections. That is the job.” Astonished, the Swiss moderator saw a similarity to the “re-education” of German prisoners of war in Great Britain. Reschke confirmed the parallel.

Re-Education 2.0

The goal of the erstwhile program of re-educating post-war Germany to become a democratic society, and the subsequent “re-orientation” measures was the de-Nazification of the Germany population. The purpose was to break through the Germans’ deference to authority and strengthen critical and independent thinking in the citizens. So that never again should a totalitarian, inhumane ideology plunge Germany into misfortune.

The constitution, the rule of law and a pluralistic media landscape would be effective bulwarks against a new totalitarian regime. But 70 years after Hitler’s Germany, the information task of much of the Fourth Estate has become a “re-education 2.0.” From Tagesschau to Tatort[1], we are told what to think.

If the alternative to advocating a one-sided welcoming policy is ostracism, objectively dealing with political opponents becomes impossible. Ultimately, there would be no “platform for a rightist populist’s incitement.” It could, of course, be that one or another of the onlookers has a provocative thought in the “wrong” direction. If it manages to create a critical voice, a morality trial pronounces sentence.

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Nazis, Nazis Everywhere!

These days German Communists are out on the streets marching against “Nazis”.

Oh, they don’t call themselves “communists” anymore — presumably the stigma of Stalin and the gulag and the Stasi would make for bad PR. Nowadays they call themselves Die Linke (The Left) or Die Grünen (The Greens). But it’s the same old ideology, and its adherents go to great lengths to demonize anyone who is even a smidgen to the right of the Social Democrats.

In recent months the communists have been more and more stridently attacking members of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) as “Nazis”. What began as murmur of allusion about National Socialist tendencies has morphed into a full-throated scream of “Nazis! Nazis! NAZIS!” whenever the AfD is mentioned.

The three videos below provide various illustrations of this process. Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.

The first video features Katja Kipping, the leader of Die Linke, speaking to an adoring crowd in Dresden:

The second video shows an anti-AfD demonstration in Dresden. As Vlad points out, the demonstrators are completely in tune with George Soros and his “Open Society”:

The final video is the creepiest of the three. It features an East German woman named Marianne Birthler, a prominent veteran of the campaign for human rights in the DDR before the fall of the Wall in 1989. If anyone should know what real totalitarianism is all about, it is Ms. Birthler. Yet all she can do is join the chorus of “Nazis! Nazis! NAZIS!” against the AfD.

Note that the AfD said to have “stolen” the slogan “Wir sind das Volk” from the activists protesting against the DDR back in the 1980s. In other words, no group is allowed to proclaim “We are the People” without the imprimatur of the State:

Video transcript #1:

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Dymphna, Patron Saint of the Insane

I just returned from my mini-vacation; everything went well. I got to see a play (a Neil Simon comedy) performed by a local amateur troupe, had dinner with friends and relatives, and drank adult beverages at a honky-tonk while listening to live music.

It wasn’t the same without my wife — those were Dymphna’s friends and relatives, too, and it was a place we had visited together numerous times in the past. Still, it made for a break from rattling around by myself in this empty house.

Below is this week’s installment of Dymphna’s Greatest Hits. As far as I know, this is the first time she told the story of St. Dymphna. It was originally published at The Neighborhood of God, and not at Gates of Vienna.

Dymphna, Patron Saint of the Insane

by Dymphna
First published October 25, 2005

This essay is dedicated to Erico.

The saints’ stories were among my favorites growing up. I don’t mean the anemic virgins-and-martyrs-eaten-by-lions books, illustrated with men and women lifting their eyes heavenwards as the lions stalked them in the background, waiting for the blessing of the food before they ate it. Nor did St. Sebastian, his body full of arrows, hold my attention, other than a brief look — “yikes” — and turn the page, please.

There were lots of men and women who were canonized for more mundane reasons than dying for their faith and it was their stories which attracted me. In my house, being full as it was of expatriate Dubliners, St. Patrick had pride of place. My mother never quite got over the fact that while New York City and Savannah had large parades on his feast day, the rest of the country used it as an excuse to drink green beer. In Ireland, on St. Patrick’s Day, in serious honor to his name, the bars were all closed and the churches were open.

Alongside St. Patrick there was St. Bridgid. Early on, the Catholic Church had a rough gender equality; frequently a male saint had a companion female saint. They usually knew one another. To my mind, some of them probably got up to a little hanky-panky: the intensity of the holy can do that. One thinks of Heloise and Abelard, those star-crossed lovers who veered from the paths of holiness, dropping off into the ravines of fleshly distractions. In Spain, St. Theresa of Avila and John of the Cross were friends. He was the more mystic of the two; she was the reformer.

The thing is, the desire for union with God and the desire for union with another human being arise from the same root — the urge for transcendence, for flight from our solitary experience, for immortality. Given our differing temperaments, predilections, and experiences we can diverge in many ways from the usual paths of what the Church used to term “vocation.” The idea was not that we chose what we would do with our lives; instead we were to listen to that small inner voice in order to be given our marching orders. Within evangelical circles, I believe the term “calling” refers particularly to some kind of ministry. Back in the old pre-Vatican II days, it meant that you were supposed to have divine assistance in trying to figure out what you were going to do with this, your one and only life. Some of those choices were limited; now there are almost no limits at all and young people freeze in the quandary of too much choice and too little direction. Saint Dymphna’s situation was familiar: her “vocation” was not what she chose but rather what was forced upon her by circumstance.

But before we consider her story, let’s discuss its veracity. The oral tradition surrounding Saint Dymphna probably points to a real person, given some of the artifacts. In Roman Catholic terms, the relics of Dymphna are considered “first class” relics. But that’s hardly important here since we are talking about a mythos which likely formed around an all-too-familiar story, a situation which repeated itself through the generations in many areas of Europe (the story is too old to call these “countries” in the modern sense). There are similarly named women with comparable stories in Ireland and in Germany.

Since we can’t know for sure, and since there seem to be physical remnants of someone in a final resting place, I choose to envision Dymphna as real. For lack of a better term, call her my transitional object. But that’s my meaning: you can read her story and decide its significance for yourself. I am merely the teller of the tale. Since there are variations in the stories, I have chosen to present the dominant narrative while appropriating elements from various accounts.

Dymphna was born in the 7th century (a contemporary of Mohammed, though as far from Allah’s servant as one can be and still exist on the same planet). She was the daughter of an Irish chieftain father, Damon, and an unnamed Christian mother. At least this is how most stories present her parentage. Since Patrick knew intimately the clan system in Ireland his strategy was to convert all the chieftains first, knowing the rest would follow (a good strategy. It worked with Constantinople). Thus, it’s likely Damon was in fact a Christian, though this takes some of the luster off the shamrock. To get around the problem of his obviously murderous tendencies, he is often portrayed as a pagan rather than a Christian. Hagiography is not history.

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The Wall in Our Heads

JLH has translated an interview (published last winter) that focuses on the persistent East-West divide in the minds of Germans.

The translator includes this prefatory note:

This interview is with Frank Wolff, an “historian and academic associate at the Historical Seminar (recent history) and at the Institute for Immigration Research and Intercultural Studies at the University of Osnabrück, Lower Saxony.” In other words, a (converted) Wessi academic, whose doctoral thesis, to be published this Fall by Suhrkamp is entitled “The Wall Society: The Social History of the German-German Migration 1961-1989”

Note how the “before-and-after the Wende” experiences emphasize the older generation’s embrace of the authoritarian GDR, and that the younger generation are traumatized by economic reality in the West.

When Easterners move to the West, they acquire the term Ossi, says the interviewer. Yes but, replies Wolff and proceeds to say that when the newly joined East acquired new leadership, then “suddenly” the term Wessi arose, along with “Besserwessi.”[1] So, no matter what the Ossis may think, they and their leadership are even more responsible for the split feelings.

There is also the problem of City vs. Country, and the almost inescapable conclusion that rural = yokel = rightist = Ossi. Especially since apparently the author had a very uncomfortable youth, when everything around him was overwhelmed by rightists who took over clubs and centers in a way that is reminiscent of the leftist “march through the institutions.”

His suggestion for concentrated German history, especially of the Cold War era, has real possibilities, but his own, well-meant attempt to be objective is weighted in favor of the West, and it is difficult for me to imagine how to identify and assemble the truly neutral people for a commission to agree on a curriculum.

The translated interview from Cicero, the monthly German magazine of politics and culture:

The Wall in (Our) Heads is Being Rebuilt Right Now

The Journalist Chiara Thies interviews Frank Wolff

February 13, 2019

Thies: Mr. Wolff, we are now in the super-election year 2019, with three state legislative elections in the East. Many parties are campaigning with supposedly “East” issues. Does the much-evoked “wall-in-the-head” still exist, West here, East there?

Wolff: It is being built again right now. The Wall is no more, except in various worlds of recall. That is both the advantage and the disadvantage of the discussion. With a leap into the present, we automatically jump forward two generations. Multiple levels of experience are mingled in the present perspective. On one side, that of the older generation which grew up in the GDR and — we must not forget — were to some extent positively inclined toward the state.

And the generation after?

They are on the other side; they grew up in the nineties, and therefore in this extreme economic disruption. They experienced it directly, seeing their parents having trouble finding their footing. The Wall’s fall was less the problem than that the new states were the first subjected to the extreme new liberalization (deregulation), which then occurred later in other European countries. This strongly shaped identities, and so before-and — after-Wende experiences overlap in today’s perspectives.

How did this “Wall-in-the-head” begin?

It was a long process that had begun before the building of the Wall. The division became evident for the entire society with the building of the Wall. In the process, the border — East and West — was forcibly acquired, and with it, a certain pattern of thought. And there was more, for example, in the Cold War, separation as a way of thinking by the West about the East. But this is not just a history of division. At the same time, an increasingly intensive communication developed between West and East. Travel increased greatly after the breaks caused by the Wall. So these two processes of separating and moving toward one another happened simultaneously.

Many people who moved from the East to the West report that they had never before identified as “Ossi,” but in the West they were made into that. So the problem of the East was made by the West and thus made a problem for the East. Can you confirm this subjective perception with you research?

Definitely. But there is also its opposite. As the new positions of leadership in the East were freshly occupied — that is, government, economy, etc. — suddenly the Wessi was created. Then it was the “Besserwessi.” We have these two pictures circling around each other in our heads. What we should not forget in this discussion is that people were very much on the move at that time. It is not only those who live in the East and see themselves as East Germans with a specific experience who actually represent the East German experience.

How do you mean that?

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Eid al-Adha: When Muslim Streets Run Red With (Animal) Blood

Eid al-Adha: When Muslim streets run red with (animal) blood

by SF

The Muslim calendar year is strictly lunar, and consists of twelve lunar months, making a year of 354 or 355 days. That is because Muhammad wanted to show that Islam is “holier” and “truer” than both Judaism and Christianity. Since Jews have a mixed solar/lunar calendar, and Christians a purely solar one, Muhammad chose one that neither of the others use. (Just as he chose Friday as the Muslim holy day rather than Jewish Saturday or Christian Sunday.) But using a purely lunar calendar removes from it any linkage to the seasons. As a result, for every solar year, the Muslim calendar is short by eleven days, and so, year by year, Muslim holidays shift a bit through the different seasons.

Islam itself is a form of Judaism. Jewish Rabbis living in Arabia taught Judaism to Muhammad. Then he killed them and created an arabized version of Judaism. Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice) was originally called Eid al-Qurban. But when the Muslims realized that “Korban” was the unique Hebrew word used by Jews for sacrifice, they changed the name. “Hajj” itself is the Arabic pronunciation of the unique Hebrew word designating a pilgrimage festival. The Hajj celebrates Abraham’s sacrifice of Ishmael at Mecca.

The Koran tells us that the Jews and Christians are liars who falsified their scriptures. According to “Islamic truth”, Abraham was a Muslim, and not a Jew. Allah ordered him to sacrifice his favorite son Ishmael (not Isaac). This was to be done at Mecca, and not Jerusalem. But, similar to the Jewish story, at the last moment allah tells Abraham not to sacrifice his son, and to substitute an animal in his place.

Each year this event is commemorated throughout the Muslim world (in the USA this year it was on August 10 and 11). In Muslim countries, halal animals (kosher for Muslims) are slaughtered. (Australia profits by shipping tens of thousands of live sheep to Muslim countries, while liberal New Zealand recently stopped this practice.) Muslims cannot eat pigs, but can eat camels, cows, and sheep. In Muslim countries, Eid is celebrated by slaughtering and butchering these animals in public. Any good Muslim man can do the slaughtering. The mandatory method of slaughter is to cut the animal’s throat with a knife. It often happens that this slaughter is botched, with the result that the bleeding animal runs screaming in pain through the streets of the town.

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Feel the Björn

The following analysis by our German translator JLH chronicles the rise of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) and the political career of Björn Höcke.

Feel the Björn

by JLH

The title of this summary is obviously a parody of a saying that itself was satirical — “Feel the Bern”, referring to Bernie Sanders and the unexpectedly powerful upsurge of leftism in the Democrat Party that threatened to deprive Hillary of “her” nomination. While the situation here is not the same, there are similarities to the unexpected and — for the established parties — unwelcome rise of a rightist party in Germany. The author of this distressing re-balancing of the political spectrum is the AfD. The focus of unease about right extremism within the AfD is Björn Höcke.

A comment by Lavinia, in a comment on Gates of Vienna on August 3, 2019 is a model of brevity and clarity in summing up the “Höcke” conundrum:

Björn Höcke is currently running for the upcoming state elections of Thuringia in October. He is a somewhat controversial figure amongst AfD members themselves. Some of them consider him Germany’s only hope for the future, others think he should simply shut up, because with his pathos and emotional speeches he’s doing more harm than good. For mainstream media and politicians on the other hand he is Hitler reincarnated. The last part is nonsense, of course, German mainstream has just moved so far to the left that any genuine conservative seems very far to the right and is considered unacceptable, but personally I must say that I don’t like his style very much. Whether he would be competent as a chancellor or in any other capacity as a member of a government — who knows.

Because much time has passed, some may not remember the defining struggle within the AfD in its early days of success. Founded by the economist Bernd Lucke, the AfD’s original aim was the rejection of the euro and the ruinous financial policies that accompanied it. No one had as yet emphasized the disproportionate success of the new party in the “new lands” — the five states constituting the former East Germany.

The absorption of the “neuen Länder” into the Bundesrepublik after the fall of the Wall (Mauer) was traumatic for both “nations” as the so-called “reunification” attempted to shoehorn a poor, proud, oppressed, largely Protestant people into a wealthy, democratic, majority Catholic, economic powerhouse. While the Wessis (Westerners) resented the increased tax burden for clean-up of industrial pollution, upgrading of infrastructure, etc., the Ossis (Easterners) resented the sudden plunge in their incomes, the ex-residents who rushed back with old deeds in hand to “repossess” their properties, the generally supercilious attitude towards their poor cousins. There is one example of the German Michel[1], showing inside his brain an “innere Mauer” representing the continuing separation of the two minds of Germany. After a while, there was less public recognition of this split within Germany, and outside of Germany it was pretty much forgotten.

In 2010 Die Freiheit was founded as a definitively anti-immigration party. Its first attempt to enter the Bundestag reached only 1%, but René Stadtkewitz and his colleagues persevered, under a barrage of leftist pressure to deny them venues, Antifa attacks and other harassment, until an internal election put Michael Stürzenberger into a position of authority in the party. Stürzenberger’s strong anti-Islamic statements concerned many of the more moderate members of the party, and there was a large flight from membership. After that, it was only a matter of time.

When the remnant of Die Freiheit was dissolved, Michael Stürzenberger noted the presence of its natural successor, the AfD.

Then, in 2015, the “innere Mauer” appeared again. Bernd Lucke’s brainchild was shaken by the Erfurt Resolution, and things were never the same again. An internet site, Der Flügel, which was initiated by two state AfD heads — Björn Höcke (Thuringia) and André Poggenburg (Saxony-Anhalt) — published the manifesto. In the ensuing conflict, Höcke, the resolution’s author, took the lead in public exchanges.

The Erfurt Resolution, which was, in its own way, a revolutionary document, follows:

Erfurt Resolution

The project “Alternative for Germany” is in danger. We have had glittering electoral successes in the past year, but we are on the verge of squandering the confidence the voters have placed in us.

The citizens voted for us because they hope that we are different from the established parties — more democratic, more patriotic, more courageous. But now, instead of the alternative we promised, we are becoming more and more comfortable with the political enterprise — the world of technocracy, cowardice and betrayal of the best interests of the country.

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Michael Stürzenberger on Islam and the Nazis

For more than ten years Michael Stürzenberger has been holding his popular presentations on Islam in downtown Munich. He is a tireless, fearless, and articulate speaker who provokes both Muslims and leftists with his well-informed expositions on the history and scripture of Islam. He has been prosecuted a number of times in Germany and Austria for saying doubleplus ungood things about the Religion of Peace.

The three videos below were recorded recently during one of Mr. Stürzenberger’s presentations in Munich. Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.

In the first video a Gutmensch in the audience complains about the speaker’s “aggression”. It’s clear that he fully subscribes to the sharia view of insults to Islam — that is, anyone whose truth-telling about Islam causes Muslims to become angry and violent is himself responsible for that violence:

The second video shows that to the average German leftist, as long as there is a single native German who admires Hitler, it doesn’t matter how many Muslims revere the Nazis and buy copies of Mein Kampf (in Arabic) — that single native Nazi supporter trumps them all:

In the third video Mr. Stürzenberger takes exception to being called a Nazi repeatedly by a smirking member of the audience, and at the end promises that he will bring a lawsuit against him in court. In the USA, of course, such insults would not be actionable, but evidently the laws are different in Germany:

Video transcript #1:

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We Have a Burka Ban — Not

Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan sends this exposition on the recently-enacted burka ban and related matters in The Netherlands.

We have a burka ban — not

by H. Numan

The Dutch government passed a law banning burkas and niqabs in the public space. No, that is not correct. In some public spaces. Not in all. As you can expect, the progressive left and mohammedans are up in arms. The latter for the moment in arms attached to your body. Don’t worry, a burka ban is worthy of a suicide attack. Mohammedans aren’t that broad-minded. Anything that conflicts with the dawah must be eradicated. With blood, preferably.

From the 1st of August women can no longer practice their freedom of religion in public in The Netherlands. They are discriminated against by the evil Dutch. The law has been changed, so that the wearing of burkas and niqabs in (a few) public places is forbidden. The fine is €350 for virtuous women who cover their modesty. From now on, women are expected to dress like harlots as Dutch women ordinarily do. This, of course, is not my viewpoint, rather the mohammedan one. And that of the progressive left.

It’s a silly law. Why? First of all, not that many women dress in tents. According to different sources, about 300-1200 in total. Second and far more important: nobody is going to enforce it. Comrade Femke Halsema, who heads as burkamaster the People’s Republic of Amsterdam, said it will under no circumstances be enforced in her city. For those of you who don’t know: Amsterdam is now effectively a communist commune. During the last elections Green Left (successors of the communist party) took control of the city.

Green Left is what we call in Thailand a watermelon. Dark green on the outside, bright red on the inside. I’ve checked: the only things they changed were the wordings, images and the logo. The party structure itself would be approved by Joseph Stalin himself. That did not change. They fight then and now for a classless society in which the proletariat rules. Class struggle is out, fighting for the environment is in. You can fight your class struggle just as well by pretending to protect the environment.

Comrade Femke is a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ type of leader. She had a hobby: old-timers. She proudly owned and drove an old Mercedes 200 D. I’d be hard pressed to say which pollutes more: a Trabant from East Germany or comrade Femke’s old rust barrel. Given its age, I assume the latter. Nothing wrong with old-timers, but if you are the chairwomen of the party that wants to be environmentally correct, not a good choice. It’s like the chairman of the WWF being an avid hunter. Oops. That was exactly what Prince Bernard von Lippe-Biesterfeld (husband of queen Juliana) did.

Comrade Femke also has children. Two, a boy and a girl. They were send to a ‘black’ school. We don’t have black schools, but for us a black school is a school where the majority of children have an ethnic background. They are also very bad schools. Not the best teachers, huge classes, lots of absentees, etc. So, as soon as the media were finished with the photo ops showing dear comrade mum bringing her kids to the politically correct school, Femke hurried to change them to a 100% ‘white’ school. That’s a school with a high price tag to keep the undesirables out. Lots of ‘blacks’ in those schools: the son of the ambassador for Nigeria, for example. Again, very hypocritical. But then, so is socialism in general. Comrade Femke puts a lot of effort getting ‘white’ children forcibly assigned to ‘black’ schools. “For community cohesion.”

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Amadeu Antonio and the Dead Boy from Frankfurt Central Station

Before I read the op-ed below, I was quite familiar with Anetta Kahane and her privatized Stasi organization, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, but I had no idea where its name came from. An extra layer of irony has now been added to the quasi-governmental body charged with enforcing goodthink among citizens of the Federal Republic.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for translating this piece from Henryk Broder’s website Die Achse des Guten:

Amadeu Antonio and the Dead Boy From Frankfurt Central Station

by Chaim Noll

Amadeu Antonio, a guest worker from Angola, was beaten to death in November 1990 by a group of young Germans in Eberswalde, Brandenburg. I remember the impression that this brutal and senseless act made on us. It seemed symbolic of the emergence of right-wing extremist moods in East Germany. In 2002, the former Stasi employee Anetta Kahane and the interest groups behind her founded the Amadeu Antonio Foundation — today nothing more than a poorly-veiled, state-subsidized institution for monitoring undesirable attitudes and thoughts.

The name Amadeu Antonio was thus not only used for dubious purposes, but also — and this is the positive aspect — saved from oblivion. And with it the atrocity that led to the death of the young African. It has entered the collective memory of Germany: Amadeu Antonio has a Wikipedia entry, documenting his death with newspaper articles and radio broadcasts, his case is mentioned in schoolbooks and contemporary historical works, a good dozen full-time employees of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation live off him, off the memory of him. This is what his name is all about. A name can become a symbol. But what happens if the victim remains anonymous?

The name of the “eight-year-old boy” whom another African bumped in front of a train arriving at Frankfurt main station on track seven on 29 July 2019 — i.e. deliberately murdered — hasn’t been disclosed. (I avoid using the sensitive word “push”, which Dirk Maxeiner pointed out was misused in a murder case a few days ago.) The German authorities — and with them the media loyal to the state — conceal the victim’s identity. There may be plausible reasons for this: Respect for the family, especially for the mother, who barely saved her own life, and whom one understandably wants to spare public attention. This argument is so serious that no reasonably considerate person will criticise the measure. However, there’s a hidden aspect. A clandestine side effect, which I assume will be well known to those responsible.

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Hello, This is Your Caliph Speaking!

Yesterday I posted our Hungarian correspondent László’s hypothesis about a possible coded message contained in the latest jihad poster for the Islamic State. Today he sends the follow-up below, with this note: The post of my hypothesis motivated me to do some more research to see if it can actually be proven. The answer is probably in the affirmative.

Hello, This is Your Caliph Speaking!

A Secret Koranic Message on an ISIS Poster Refers to al-Baghdadi’s Sermon

by László

The hypothesis, posted previously at Gates of Vienna, that an ISIS poster contains a hidden message for the Ummah seems to be proven because the supposed message has actually the same core content as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Caliph of the Islamic State, has preached. And this fact allows for a further hypothetical conclusion: the poster could be intended to be seen as a message from the Caliph.

This is how Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s (in)famous 2014 sermon commences:

Truly all praise belongs to Allah. We praise Him, and seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our souls and from the consequences of our deeds. Whomever Allah guides can never be led astray, and whomever Allah leads astray can never be guided.

See also “ISIS Rhetoric for the Creation of the Ummah”.

The numbers (6:39) on the suicide belt express a message that is very similar to that of Baghdadi’s, and therefore may indeed refer to the content of this verse:

Koran 6:39

“But those who deny Our verses are deaf and dumb within darknesses. Whomever Allah wills — He leaves astray; and whomever He wills — He puts him on a straight path.”

The subsequent Koran verses are also in line with the content of al-Baghdadi’s sermon.

Baghdadi says:

We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our souls and from the consequences of our deeds.

This refers to the same event as these verses, namely the judgement of Muslims’ deeds by Allah when they die:

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So Do You Have to Be Crazy to Convert to Islam?

Over and over again we learn that Muslims who commit atrocities in the name of their faith suffer from psychological problems. But what about converts to Islam? Are they also lunatics?

So do you have to be crazy to convert to Islam?

by SF

Historically, before Muhammad, the countries of Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco were 100% Christian, while Iran was 100% Zoroastrian. Now, after Muhammad, they are all nearly 100% Muslim. So what happened?

If you ask a Muslim (or a Muslim-enabler in the EU or the Democrat Party), he will gladly tell you that this is “proof” of how Islam is “superior and preferable” to Christianity.

But how does history itself answer that question?

Well, clearly, if Islam conquers your non-Muslim country, then you are inevitably (sooner or later) totally screwed. Islam is a supremacist “religion”. Only Muslims, as the beloved of Allah, are true human beings, while all non-Muslims are less than fully human. When Muslims conquer your non-Muslim country, you lose all your wealth, property, and possessions to the Muslims (unless they first choose to enslave you or kill you outright). You and your children then become permanent second-class people, despised, degraded, humiliated, impoverished, and marginalized. Islam is like a boa constrictor: it starts squeezing you and never stops.

But there is a way out: convert! Islam is indeed supremacist, but it welcomes all comers, and by converting, you regain your rights and status.

Clearly, this “carrot and stick” method was incredibly successful in the countries that Islam conquered. One technique they used was to first approach the non-Muslim peasants, and tell them that they could become the new masters if they converted. Then they approached the defeated ruling class, and told them that if they did not convert, then their former slaves would become their new masters. This was quite effective. It is hypothesized that most Hindu converts to Islam came from the “untouchable” caste.

But, as they say, that was then and this is now. Who converts to Islam nowadays in a Western country, where Muslims cannot force you? Hardly anyone. The men who do so are all unsuccessful, resentful losers, many with a prison background. They convert because they believe that they can acquire a new sense of self-worth; and that even better, they now become justified by Allah in seeking revenge on their non-Muslim former oppressors. (So if someone proudly tells you that he just converted to Islam, then run away, because otherwise the next thing you know he might be holding your severed head in his hand, while recording it for the internet!)

It is more surprising that even some women convert to Islam. They turn out to be ones who feel lost, have little self-respect and self-worth, and want to be “owned” (like when they were children living with their parents), so that Islam (like any good cult) provides them with meaning, importance, identity, community, and a rigid, secure social structure.

Previous posts by SF:

2019   Jul   18   Is America Heading Towards a Second Civil War?
        26   How Do Muslims Justify Emigrating to Non-Muslim Nations?
 

Cultural Nonsense? A Programmed Denial

Last week I belatedly posted a response by Victor Onrust to an essay by Thai Peter. Below is Peter’s counter-response.

UPDATE: The Catholic Insight article referred to by Peter is here.

Cultural Nonsense? A Programmed Denial

by Peter

That was an interesting response from Victor Onrust. It cuts across something I was working on already concerning Tony Blair and New Labour, but that is for another time. For now, ever since the concept of Cultural Marxism arose, the Left has been unanimous in the vehemence of its denial that it ever existed. At least Victor appears to be prepared to argue the point rather than resort to the usual name-calling and sneering.

There is one point I must refute from the start: I do not see, nor have I ever seen “Cultural Marxism” as a conspiracy theory. It was a conspiracy, pure and simple — a conspiracy to corrupt in order to impose a communist revolution by stealth. That is how I have always seen it, and it is still at work in the here and now. I first came upon the phrase “Cultural Marxism” in Melanie Phillips’ book “Londonistan”, though she attributed it to the work of Antonio Gramsci rather than the Frankfurt School.

Victor states in his opening paragraph “As with most conspiracy ideas, little is said about who the conspirators are.” Not true. The identities of the “conspirators” are well known. Among others, the main players were Georgy Lukacs, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Leo Lowenthal, Erich Fromm, Max Horkheimer, and Jurgen Habermas — Victor mentions them in his fourth paragraph. As for having a definite plan, that was formulated decades ago and was designed to impose a world-wide Communist revolution by the gradual destruction of Western culture, particularly Judeo-Christianity. It has taken a long time, but it is closer to success today than it has ever been.

Towards the end of 1922, the Comintern (Communist International) began to consider why their 1917 revolution failed to spread into Europe and throughout the West. On Lenin’s initiative, a meeting took place at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow to “clarify the concept and give concrete effect to a Marxist Cultural Revolution” — presumably as opposed to a proletarian bloody one, which had already failed to take off outside of Russia. Georgy Lukacs was present at the meeting, and I am reminded that, soon after becoming a Communist, sometime in 1917, he wrote, “Who will save us from Western Civilisation?” Maybe he would.

Also at the meeting was one Willi Munzenberg, a German-born Communist propagandist and fundraiser. Munzenberg foresaw a top-down initiative to “mobilise all the intellectuals and use them to make Western civilization stink. Only then, after we have corrupted all its values and made life impossible, will we be able to impose the dictatorship of the proletariat.” It took a lot of time, but that seems to have happened, particularly over the last thirty years or so.

In 1924, after Lenin’s death, Stalin began to view Lukacs and like-minded people as revisionists, so a number of them decamped to Germany, where Lukacs chaired the first meeting of a group of Communist-oriented sociologists, a gathering that was to lead to the foundation of the Frankfurt School. It was from here that the basic principles of Cultural Marxism were formulated. When Hitler’s rise caused the primary members of the group to flee to America, a number of them were put to work by American institutions. For instance, Adorno — an accomplished musician — obtained the post of Head of the Music Section at the Office of Radio Research at the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Popularly known as the “Radio Project,” and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, it examined how the media could affect the population and increase their susceptibility to mass indoctrination and control techniques.

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Cultural Nonsense

Victor Onrust is a Gates of Vienna reader from the Netherlands. He sent this essay sometime last year, and I have been so dilatory that I failed to post it until now. For the first time in many months, the pressure of new material has abated — possibly because MissPiggy is on vacation! — and I’ve actually had time to dig down into my immense “to do” pile and excavate some material that should have been posted long ago.

This article is a response to an essay by Peter in Thailand.

Cultural nonsense

by Victor Onrust

I have followed “Peter’s” series on the loony left. And although he makes some good observations, especially in part one and part three, The Red Evolution IV: The Subversive Left is rather problematic. Although he doesn’t state this explicitly he sees “Cultural Marxism” as a conspiracy theory. An active conspiracy theory, at work in the here and now. As with most conspiracy ideas, little is said about who the conspirators are. Some vaguely-defined groups are held responsible. To my knowledge, any conspiracy needs some committee or other organization that has a definite plan. So I will leave it at that: CM is not a conspiracy.

So what is it? For most of the more regular users, especially in Europe, it describes the ideology of the (loony) left, the social justice warriors, etc. The core of CM is: There is great injustice and inequality in the world; many groups (“natives”, women, homosexuals, people of [black] color) are oppressed and exploited by… the white male. This should end, if necessary, with revolutionary violence. Each of these named groups have their own ideas, cultures, which are equal or even superior to the culture of the white man.

It is clear that these ideas have great influence and are put in to actual policies by the ruling class. The question is: Where did these ideas come from, why are they called “Cultural Marxism”, and why are they so influential?
In general, and Peter is no exception, the primary source of CM is thought to be the Frankfurter School, while many add Gramsci. What is interesting is that I haven’t found any article, with references to Frankfurter School authors, describing how this Cultural Marxism came about. The one thing I have found is that Martin Jay, the author of The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School fell into a trap set by William Lind (also here towards the end). Note in the piece by Jay that there are certainly anti-Semitic issues with CM, as is usual for most world-scale conspiracy-theories.

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Two Windows Into a Different World

And now for something completely different.

I don’t normally indulge in pop-music nostalgia, but… I recently happened to run across the first of the two songs embedded below. I remembered it clearly, and it reminded me of the second one, which had a somewhat similar theme.

Strictly speaking, both songs were before my time — I was still in my “latency” period back then, but the older boys were listening to those songs and singing along with them, so I remember them well. If I had been an actual testosterone-infused teenager when these tunes were being played on the radio, they would no doubt have had the same heart-wrenching impact on me that they did on the boys who were a few years older.

The first song is “Patches”, by Dickie Lee. It was recorded in 1962:

The second tune, “Rag Doll” (1964), is by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It has a similar theme, but omits the suicide motif:

There was no one like Frankie Valli. He sang like a gelding, but he could really belt it out.

The two relevant lines are:

“My folks say no, and my heart breaks inside.”

And:

“My folks won’t let me ’cause they say that she’s no good.”

“Folks” meaning “parents”, of course. Two parents, a mother and a father. And still married. How odd!

The issue in both cases is the difference in social class between these lovestruck blades and their young fiancées, who are from impoverished circumstances. The parents — who are able to foresee the tragic results of such matches — refuse to let their sons go through with the nuptials.

Just think: the young men that the singers conjure up — who are presumably of legal age — can’t marry their sweethearts because their parents forbid it.

What world was that? Was it in a galaxy long ago and far, far away??

These songs were recorded between 1962 and 1964, just 55-57 years ago. I can remember the period clearly. But it might as well be the Middle Ages.

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