Saturday, 27 February 2010

Tories reveal six election themes to contest general election - BBC

The Conservatives will contest the general election on six themes, the party has announced at their spring conference in Brighton.

Ah.....Themes! Tory themes to do a St George on Labour's Dragon...errr Themes.
They cover the national debt, the economy, family, the NHS, schools and changes in Westminster.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne is expected to say he wants to create the "solid economic foundations of a Britain that works for all".

The Tories have revealed their election slogan will be "Vote for change".
Vote for change? Now where have I heard that before? Everyone knows Obama faces problems just 12 months after being swept in for "change". I wonder if that will convert into a public suspicion of change thereby hampering Tory exploitation of it (as a theme).
"We can either continue down a path of decline and fall, a path with rising debts, higher interest rates, ever rising taxes and high unemployment.

"Or we can change direction - tell the difficult truths, put debt and taxes back on a downwards trajectory, and create the solid economic foundations of a Britain that works for all. That is the Conservative path."

Tory front bencher Theresa May said the party would be setting out "real changes" that the country needed.
Tell the difficult truths? Hmmm. Bit vague.

Put debt and taxes back on a downward path? Cut spending drastically, and quickly, you mean?

Create solid economic foundations? Has anyone ever called for anything other than solid economic foundations? No, let's build castles on sand instead?

A Britain that works for all! Hmmm. As jobs spending inequality increases.... Austerity measures - wrapped in silk. A Britain that works for all? My arse.

And the theme of "real change" again. Hmmm. Like what? Spending cuts, shift from direct to indirect taxation, retrenchment of finance sector, scapegoating of poor, punishment of "anti-social" drinking, youth culture, "scroungers", anti-europeanism, privatisation of NHS, benefit cuts, reduced social house building, threat to minimum wage, dismantling of the BBC.......

Compare to the Labour launch of their election "themes" I mentioned previously.
Although the PM has not yet announced an election date, he will reveal four themes at an event in the West Midlands attended by senior cabinet ministers.
Labour only have four themes and the Tories have six! 1-0 to the Tories. Or is that 2-0?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

InfoWars Distortions - Socialism

InfoWars has this advert:

It might more accurately be put:

Being generous, we might call Alex Jones' views "libertarian" this:

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Orwell, again

Left governments almost invariably disappoint their supporters.......

Left governments almost invariably disappoint their supporters because, even when the prosperity which they have promised is achievable, there is always need of an uncomfortable transition period about which little has been said beforehand. At this moment we see our own Government, in its desperate economic straits, fighting in effect against its own past propaganda. The crisis that we are now in is not a sudden unexpected calamity, like an earthquake, and it was not caused by the war, but merely hastened by it. Decades ago it could be foreseen that something of this kind was going to happen. Ever since the nineteenth century our national income, dependent partly on interest from foreign investments, and on assured markets and cheap raw materials in colonial countries, had been extremely precarious. It was certain that, sooner or later, something would go wrong and we should be forced to make our exports balance our imports: and when that happened the British standard of living, including the working-class standard, was bound to fall, at least temporarily. Yet the left-wing parties, even when they were vociferously anti-imperialist, never made these facts clear. On occasion they were ready to admit that the British workers had benefited, to some extent, by the looting of Asia and Africa, but they always allowed it to appear that we could give up our loot and yet in some way contrive to remain prosperous. Quite largely, indeed, the workers were won over to Socialism by being told that they were exploited, whereas the brute truth was that, in world terms, they were exploiters. Now, to all appearances, the point has been reached when the working-class living-standard CANNOT be maintained, let alone raised. Even if we squeeze the rich out of existence, the mass of the people must either consume less or produce more. Or am I exaggerating the mess we are in? I may be, and I should be glad to find myself mistaken. But the point I wish to make is that this question, among people who are faithful to the Left ideology, cannot be genuinely discussed. The lowering of wages and raising of working hours are felt to be inherently anti-Socialist measures, and must therefore be dismissed in advance, whatever the economic situation may be. To suggest that they may be unavoidable is merely to risk being plastered with those labels that we are all terrified of. It is far safer to evade the issue and pretend that we can put everything right by redistributing the existing national income. To accept an orthodoxy is always to inherit unresolved contradictions. Take for instance the fact that all sensitive people are revolted by industrialism and its products, and yet are aware that the conquest of poverty and the emancipation of the working class demand not less industrialisation, but more and more. Or take the fact that certain jobs are absolutely necessary and yet are never done except under some kind of coercion. Or take the fact that it is impossible to have a positive foreign policy without having powerful armed forces. One could multiply examples.


As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.

They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are 'only doing their duty', as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any the worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil.

One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognizes the overwhelming strength of patriotism, national loyalty. In certain circumstances it can break down, at certain levels of civilization it does not exist, but as a POSITIVE force there is nothing to set beside it. Christianity and international Socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power in their own countries very largely because they could grasp this fact and their opponents could not.

Also, one must admit that the divisions between nation and nation are founded on real differences of outlook. Till recently it was thought proper to pretend that all human beings are very much alike, but in fact anyone able to use his eyes knows that the average of human behaviour differs enormously from country to country. Things that could happen in one country could not happen in another. Hitler's June purge, for instance, could not have happened in England. And, as western peoples go, the English are very highly differentiated. There is a sort of back-handed admission of this in the dislike which nearly all foreigners feel for our national way of life. Few Europeans can endure living in England, and even Americans often feel more at home in Europe.


HAHA - what a line! I love George Orwell. This is a really good piece, remarkably funny and seemingly a very accurate description of "The British". Foreigners, take note. ;) I love hearing foreign impressions of Britain - seemingly so do the British - Bill Byson made a living out of it? This is really funny:
When you come back to England from any foreign country, you have immediately the sensation of breathing a different air. Even in the first few minutes dozens of small things conspire to give you this feeling. The beer is bitterer, the coins are heavier, the grass is greener, the advertisements are more blatant. The crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are different from a European crowd. Then the vastness of England swallows you up, and you lose for a while your feeling that the whole nation has a single identifiable character. Are there really such things as nations? Are we not forty-six million individuals, all different? And the diversity of it, the chaos! The clatter of clogs in the Lancashire mill towns, the to-and-fro of the lorries on the Great North Road, the queues outside the Labour Exchanges, the rattle of pin-tables in the Soho pubs, the old maids hiking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn morning–all these are not only fragments, but CHARACTERISTIC fragments, of the English scene. How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?

But talk to foreigners, read foreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought. Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.

And above all, it is YOUR civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillar-boxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you.

Meanwhile England, together with the rest of the world, is changing. And like everything else it can change only in certain directions, which up to a point can be foreseen. That is not to say that the future is fixed, merely that certain alternatives are possible and others not. A seed may grow or not grow, but at any rate a turnip seed never grows into a parsnip. It is therefore of the deepest importance to try and determine what England IS, before guessing what part England CAN PLAY in the huge events that are happening.


National characteristics are not easy to pin down, and when pinned down they often turn out to be trivialities or seem to have no connexion with one another. Spaniards are cruel to animals, Italians can do nothing without making a deafening noise, the Chinese are addicted to gambling. Obviously such things don't matter in themselves. Nevertheless, nothing is causeless, and even the fact that Englishmen have bad teeth can tell something about the realities of English life.

Here are a couple of generalizations about England that would be accepted by almost all observers. One is that the English are not gifted artistically. They are not as musical as the Germans or Italians, painting and sculpture have never flourished in England as they have in France. Another is that, as Europeans go, the English are not intellectual. They have a horror of abstract thought, they feel no need for any philosophy or systematic 'world-view'. Nor is this because they are 'practical', as they are so fond of claiming for themselves. One has only to look at their methods of town planning and water supply, their obstinate clinging to everything that is out of date and a nuisance, a spelling system that defies analysis, and a system of weights and measures that is intelligible only to the compilers of arithmetic books, to see how little they care about mere efficiency. But they have a certain power of acting without taking thought. Their world-famed hypocrisy–their double-faced attitude towards the Empire, for instance–is bound up with this. Also, in moments of supreme crisis the whole nation can suddenly draw together and act upon a species of instinct, really a code of conduct which is understood by almost everyone, though never formulated. The phrase that Hitler coined for the Germans, 'a sleep-walking people', would have been better applied to the English. Not that there is anything to be proud of in being called a sleep-walker.

But here it is worth noting a minor English trait which is extremely well marked though not often commented on, and that is a love of flowers. This is one of the first things that one notices when one reaches England from abroad, especially if one is coming from southern Europe. Does it not contradict the English indifference to the arts? Not really, because it is found in people who have no aesthetic feelings whatever. What it does link up with, however, is another English characteristic which is so much a part of us that we barely notice it, and that is the addiction to hobbies and spare-time occupations, the PRIVATENESS of English life. We are a nation of flower-lovers, but also a nation of stamp-collectors, pigeon-fanciers, amateur carpenters, coupon-snippers, darts-players, crossword-puzzle fans. All the culture that is most truly native centres round things which even when they are communal are not official–the pub, the football match, the back garden, the fireside and the 'nice cup of tea'. The liberty of the individual is still believed in, almost as in the nineteenth century. But this has nothing to do with economic liberty, the right to exploit others for profit. It is the liberty to have a home of your own, to do what you like in your spare time, to choose your own amusements instead of having them chosen for you from above. The most hateful of all names in an English ear is Nosey Parker. It is obvious, of course, that even this purely private liberty is a lost cause. Like all other modern people, the English are in process of being numbered, labelled, conscripted, 'co-ordinated'. But the pull of their impulses is in the other direction, and the kind of regimentation that can be imposed on them will be modified in consequence. No party rallies, no Youth Movements, no coloured shirts, no Jew-baiting or 'spontaneous' demonstrations. No Gestapo either, in all probability.

But in all societies the common people must live to some extent AGAINST the existing order. The genuinely popular culture of England is something that goes on beneath the surface, unofficially and more or less frowned on by the authorities. One thing one notices if one looks directly at the common people, especially in the big towns, is that they are not puritanical. They are inveterate gamblers, drink as much beer as their wages will permit, are devoted to bawdy jokes, and use probably the foulest language in the world. They have to satisfy these tastes in the face of astonishing, hypocritical laws (licensing laws, lottery acts, etc. etc.) which are designed to interfere with everybody but in practice allow everything to happen. Also, the common people are without definite religious belief, and have been so for centuries. The Anglican Church never had a real hold on them, it was simply a preserve of the landed gentry, and the Nonconformist sects only influenced minorities. And yet they have retained a deep tinge of Christian feeling, while almost forgetting the name of Christ. The power-worship which is the new religion of Europe, and which has infected the English intelligentsia, has never touched the common people. They have never caught up with power politics. The 'realism' which is preached in Japanese and Italian newspapers would horrify them. One can learn a good deal about the spirit of England from the comic coloured postcards that you see in the windows of cheap stationers' shops. These things are a sort of diary upon which the English people have unconsciously recorded themselves. Their old-fashioned outlook, their graded snobberies, their mixture of bawdiness and hypocrisy, their extreme gentleness, their deeply moral attitude to life, are all mirrored there.

The gentleness of the English civilization is perhaps its most marked characteristic. You notice it the instant you set foot on English soil. It is a land where the bus conductors are good-tempered and the policemen carry no revolvers. In no country inhabited by white men is it easier to shove people off the pavement. And with this goes something that is always written off by European observers as 'decadence' or hypocrisy, the English hatred of war and militarism. It is rooted deep in history, and it is strong in the lower-middle class as well as the working class. Successive wars have shaken it but not destroyed it. Well within living memory it was common for 'the redcoats' to be booed at in the streets and for the landlords of respectable public houses to refuse to allow soldiers on the premises. In peace time, even when there are two million unemployed, it is difficult to fill the ranks of the tiny standing army, which is officered by the country gentry and a specialized stratum of the middle class, and manned by farm labourers and slum proletarians. The mass of the people are without military knowledge or tradition, and their attitude towards war is invariably defensive. No politician could rise to power by promising them conquests or military 'glory', no Hymn of Hate has ever made any appeal to them. In the last war the songs which the soldiers made up and sang of their own accord were not vengeful but humorous and mock-defeatist [Note, below]. The only enemy they ever named was the sergeant-major.

[Note: For example:

'I don't want to join the bloody Army,
I don't want to go unto the war;
I want no more to roam,
I'd rather stay at home,
Living on the earnings of a whore.

But it was not in that spirit that they fought. (Author's footnote.)]

In England all the boasting and flag-wagging, the 'Rule Britannia' stuff, is done by small minorities. The patriotism of the common people is not vocal or even conscious. They do not retain among their historical memories the name of a single military victory. English literature, like other literatures, is full of battle-poems, but it is worth noticing that the ones that have won for themselves a kind of popularity are always a tale of disasters and retreats. There is no popular poem about Trafalgar or Waterloo, for instance. Sir John Moore's army at Corunna, fighting a desperate rearguard action before escaping overseas (just like Dunkirk!) has more appeal than a brilliant victory. The most stirring battle-poem in English is about a brigade of cavalry which charged in the wrong direction. And of the last war, the four names which have really engraved themselves on the popular memory are Mons, Ypres, Gallipoli and Passchendaele, every time a disaster. The names of the great battles that finally broke the German armies are simply unknown to the general public.

The reason why the English anti-militarism disgusts foreign observers is that it ignores the existence of the British Empire. It looks like sheer hypocrisy. After all, the English have absorbed a quarter of the earth and held on to it by means of a huge navy. How dare they then turn round and say that war is wicked?

It is quite true that the English are hypocritical about their Empire. In the working class this hypocrisy takes the form of not knowing that the Empire exists. But their dislike of standing armies is a perfectly sound instinct. A navy employs comparatively few people, and it is an external weapon which cannot affect home politics directly. Military dictatorships exist everywhere, but there is no such thing as a naval dictatorship. What English people of nearly all classes loathe from the bottom of their hearts is the swaggering officer type, the jingle of spurs and the crash of boots. Decades before Hitler was ever heard of, the word 'Prussian' had much the same significance in England as 'Nazi' has today. So deep does this feeling go that for a hundred years past the officers of the British army, in peace time, have always worn civilian clothes when off duty.

One rapid but fairly sure guide to the social atmosphere of a country is the parade-step of its army. A military parade is really a kind of ritual dance, something like a ballet, expressing a certain philosophy of life. The goose-step, for instance, is one of the most horrible sights in the world, far more terrifying than a dive-bomber. It is simply an affirmation of naked power; contained in it, quite consciously and intentionally, is the vision of a boot crashing down on a face. Its ugliness is part of its essence, for what it is saying is 'Yes, I am UGLY, and you daren't laugh at me', like the bully who makes faces at his victim. Why is the goose-step not used in England? There are, heaven knows, plenty of army officers who would be only too glad to introduce some such thing. It is not used because the people in the street would laugh. Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army. The Italians adopted the goose-step at about the time when Italy passed definitely under German control, and, as one would expect, they do it less well than the Germans. The Vichy government, if it survives, is bound to introduce a stiffer parade-ground discipline into what is left of the French army. In the British army the drill is rigid and complicated, full of memories of the eighteenth century, but without definite swagger; the march is merely a formalized walk. It belongs to a society which is ruled by the sword, no doubt, but a sword which must never be taken out of the scabbard.

And yet the gentleness of English civilization is mixed up with barbarities and anachronisms. Our criminal law is as out-of-date as the muskets in the Tower. Over against the Nazi Storm Trooper you have got to set that typically English figure, the hanging judge, some gouty old bully with his mind rooted in the nineteenth century, handing out savage sentences. In England people are still hanged by the neck and flogged with the cat o' nine tails. Both of these punishments are obscene as well as cruel, but there has never been any genuinely popular outcry against them. People accept them (and Dartmoor, and Borstal) almost as they accept the weather. They are part of 'the law', which is assumed to be unalterable.

Here one comes upon an all-important English trait: the respect for constitutionalism and legality, the belief in 'the law' as something above the State and above the individual, something which is cruel and stupid, of course, but at any rate INCORRUPTIBLE.

It is not that anyone imagines the law to be just. Everyone knows that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. But no one accepts the implications of this, everyone takes it for granted that the law, such as it is, will be respected, and feels a sense of outrage when it is not. Remarks like 'They can't run me in; I haven't done anything wrong', or 'They can't do that; it's against the law', are part of the atmosphere of England. The professed enemies of society have this feeling as strongly as anyone else. One sees it in prison-books like Wilfred Macartney's WALLS HAVE MOUTHS or Jim Phelan's JAIL JOURNEY, in the solemn idiocies that take place at the trials of conscientious objectors, in letters to the papers from eminent Marxist professors, pointing out that this or that is a 'miscarriage of British justice'. Everyone believes in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory.

An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is 'just the same as' or 'just as bad as' totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are very powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct, national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the castor oil? The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays there corruption cannot go beyond a certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest of the moneyed class. But until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become COMPLETELY corrupt. You do not arrive at the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even hypocrisy is a powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man in scarlet robe and horse-hair wig, whom nothing short of dynamite will ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe, is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.


I have spoken all the while of 'the nation', 'England', 'Britain', as though forty-five million souls could somehow be treated as a unit. But is not England notoriously two nations, the rich and the poor? Dare one pretend that there is anything in common between people with £100,000 a year and people with £1 a week? And even Welsh and Scottish readers are likely to have been offended because I have used the word 'England' oftener than 'Britain', as though the whole population dwelt in London and the Home Counties and neither north nor west possessed a culture of its own.

One gets a better view of this question if one considers the minor point first. It is quite true that the so-called races of Britain feel themselves to be very different from one another. A Scotsman, for instance, does not thank you if you call him an Englishman. You can see the hesitation we feel on this point by the fact that we call our islands by no less than six different names, England, Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, the United Kingdom and, in very exalted moments, Albion. Even the differences between north and south England loom large in our own eyes. But somehow these differences fade away the moment that any two Britons are confronted by a European. It is very rare to meet a foreigner, other than an American, who can distinguish between English and Scots or even English and Irish. To a Frenchman, the Breton and the Auvergnat seem very different beings, and the accent of Marseilles is a stock joke in Paris. Yet we speak of 'France' and 'the French', recognizing France as an entity, a single civilization, which in fact it is. So also with ourselves. Looked at from the outsider even the cockney and the Yorkshireman have a strong family resemblance.

And even the distinction between rich and poor dwindles somewhat when one regards the nation from the outside. There is no question about the inequality of wealth in England. It is grosser than in any European country, and you have only to look down the nearest street to see it. Economically, England is certainly two nations, if not three or four. But at the same time the vast majority of the people FEEL themselves to be a single nation and are conscious of resembling one another more than they resemble foreigners. Patriotism is usually stronger than class-hatred, and always stronger than any kind of internationalism. Except for a brief moment in 1920 (the 'Hands off Russia' movement) the British working class have never thought or acted internationally. For two and a half years they watched their comrades in Spain slowly strangled, and never aided them by even a single strike [Note, below]. But when their own country (the country of Lord Nuffield and Mr Montagu Norman) was in danger, their attitude was very different. At the moment when it seemed likely that England might be invaded, Anthony Eden appealed over the radio for Local Defence Volunteers. He got a quarter of a million men in the first twenty-four hours, and another million in the subsequent month. One has only to compare these figures with, for instance, the number of conscientious objectors to see how vast is the strength of traditional loyalties compared with new ones.

[Note: It is true that they aided them to a certain extent with money. Still, the sums raised for the various aid-Spain funds would not equal five per cent of the turnover of the football pools during the same period. (Author's footnote.)]

In England patriotism takes different forms in different classes, but it runs like a connecting thread through nearly all of them. Only the Europeanized intelligentsia are really immune to it. As a positive emotion it is stronger in the middle class than in the upper class–the cheap public schools, for instance, are more given to patriotic demonstrations than the expensive ones–but the number of definitely treacherous rich men, the Laval-Quisling type, is probably very small. In the working class patriotism is profound, but it is unconscious. The working man's heart does not leap when he sees a Union Jack. But the famous 'insularity' and 'xenophobia' of the English is far stronger in the working class than in the bourgeoisie. In all countries the poor are more national than the rich, but the English working class are outstanding in their abhorrence of foreign habits. Even when they are obliged to live abroad for years they refuse either to accustom themselves to foreign food or to learn foreign languages. Nearly every Englishman of working-class origin considers it effeminate to pronounce a foreign word correctly. During the war of 1914-18 the English working class were in contact with foreigners to an extent that is rarely possible. The sole result was that they brought back a hatred of all Europeans, except the Germans, whose courage they admired. In four years on French soil they did not even acquire a liking for wine. The insularity of the English, their refusal to take foreigners seriously, is a folly that has to be paid for very heavily from time to time. But it plays its part in the English mystique, and the intellectuals who have tried to break it down have generally done more harm than good. At bottom it is the same quality in the English character that repels the tourist and keeps out the invader.

Here one comes back to two English characteristics that I pointed out, seemingly at random, at the beginning of the last chapter. One is the lack of artistic ability. This is perhaps another way of saying that the English are outside the European culture. For there is one art in which they have shown plenty of talent, namely literature. But this is also the only art that cannot cross frontiers. Literature, especially poetry, and lyric poetry most of all, is a kind of family joke, with little or no value outside its own language-group. Except for Shakespeare, the best English poets are barely known in Europe, even as names. The only poets who are widely read are Byron, who is admired for the wrong reasons, and Oscar Wilde, who is pitied as a victim of English hypocrisy. And linked up with this, though not very obviously, is the lack of philosophical faculty, the absence in nearly all Englishmen of any need for an ordered system of thought or even for the use of logic.

Up to a point, the sense of national unity is a substitute for a 'world-view'. Just because patriotism is all but universal and not even the rich are uninfluenced by it, there can be moments when the whole nation suddenly swings together and does the same thing, like a herd of cattle facing a wolf. There was such a moment, unmistakably, at the time of the disaster in France. After eight months of vaguely wondering what the war was about, the people suddenly knew what they had got to do: first, to get the army away from Dunkirk, and secondly to prevent invasion. It was like the awakening of a giant. Quick! Danger! The Philistines be upon thee, Samson! And then the swift unanimous action–and, then, alas, the prompt relapse into sleep. In a divided nation that would have been exactly the moment for a big peace movement to arise. But does this mean that the instinct of the English will always tell them to do the right thing? Not at all, merely that it will tell them to do the same thing. In the 1931 General Election, for instance, we all did the wrong thing in perfect unison. We were as single-minded as the Gadarene swine. But I honestly doubt whether we can say that we were shoved down the slope against our will.

It follows that British democracy is less of a fraud than it sometimes appears. A foreign observer sees only the huge inequality of wealth, the unfair electoral system, the governing-class control over the press, the radio and education, and concludes that democracy is simply a polite name for dictatorship. But this ignores the considerable agreement that does unfortunately exist between the leaders and the led. However much one may hate to admit it, it is almost certain that between 1931 and 1940 the National Government represented the will of the mass of the people. It tolerated slums, unemployment and a cowardly foreign policy. Yes, but so did public opinion. It was a stagnant period, and its natural leaders were mediocrities.

In spite of the campaigns of a few thousand left-wingers, it is fairly certain that the bulk of the English people were behind Chamberlain's foreign policy. More, it is fairly certain that the same struggle was going on in Chamberlain's mind as in the minds of ordinary people. His opponents professed to see in him a dark and wily schemer, plotting to sell England to Hitler, but it is far likelier that he was merely a stupid old man doing his best according to his very dim lights. It is difficult otherwise to explain the contradictions of his policy, his failure to grasp any of the courses that were open to him. Like the mass of the people, he did not want to pay the price either of peace or of war. And public opinion was behind him all the while, in policies that were completely incompatible with one another. It was behind him when he went to Munich, when he tried to come to an understanding with Russia, when he gave the guarantee to Poland, when he honoured it, and when he prosecuted the war half-heartedly. Only when the results of his policy became apparent did it turn against him; which is to say that it turned against its own lethargy of the past seven years. Thereupon the people picked a leader nearer to their mood, Churchill, who was at any rate able to grasp that wars are not won without fighting. Later, perhaps, they will pick another leader who can grasp that only Socialist nations can fight effectively.

Do I mean by all this that England is a genuine democracy? No, not even a reader of the DAILY TELEGRAPH could quite swallow that.

England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled largely by the old and silly. But in any calculation about it one has got to take into account its emotional unity, the tendency of nearly all its inhabitants to feel alike and act together in moments of supreme crisis. It is the only great country in Europe that is not obliged to drive hundreds of thousands of its nationals into exile or the concentration camp. At this moment, after a year of war, newspapers and pamphlets abusing the Government, praising the enemy and clamouring for surrender are being sold on the streets, almost without interference. And this is less from a respect for freedom of speech than from a simple perception that these things don't matter. It is safe to let a paper like PEACE NEWS be sold, because it is certain that ninety-five per cent of the population will never want to read it. The nation is bound together by an invisible chain. At any normal time the ruling class will rob, mismanage, sabotage, lead us into the muck; but let popular opinion really make itself heard, let them get a tug from below that they cannot avoid feeling, and it is difficult for them not to respond. The left-wing writers who denounce the whole of the ruling class as 'pro-Fascist' are grossly over-simplifying. Even among the inner clique of politicians who brought us to our present pass, it is doubtful whether there were any CONSCIOUS traitors. The corruption that happens in England is seldom of that kind. Nearly always it is more in the nature of self-deception, of the right hand not knowing what the left hand doeth. And being unconscious, it is limited. One sees this at its most obvious in the English press. Is the English press honest or dishonest? At normal times it is deeply dishonest. All the papers that matter live off their advertisements, and the advertisers exercise an indirect censorship over news. Yet I do not suppose there is one paper in England that can be straightforwardly bribed with hard cash. In the France of the Third Republic all but a very few of the newspapers could notoriously be bought over the counter like so many pounds of cheese. Public life in England has never been OPENLY scandalous. It has not reached the pitch of disintegration at which humbug can be dropped.

England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare's much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control–that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.

Full jobbie here

Evening News

Not music I usually like, but these songs are excellent - especially with the videos, which is rare. Mosh especially sends a shiver down my spine. There's a lot in the videos: clearly the far-right aren't the only people with concerns - neither the far-right nor Troofers have a monopoly on radical and angry criticism - and one needn't turn there to find it. Did Troofers or the far-right ever come up with something as good as Mosh or Hip-Hop Police?

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Election Post Numero Uno

Election campaign to be stepped up by Brown

So reports the BBC.

In some surreal convulsion, they elaborate:
Although the PM has not yet announced an election date, he will reveal four themes at an event in the West Midlands attended by senior cabinet ministers.
Themes by Jesus! In the Midlands? Ah - help is at hand!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Joseph Stack III


Dude had a plane. Awwww - so hard done by. How cruel and unfair life is, Joseph, you fucking twat.

Rivero Promoting (another) Scammer

Well, surprise surprise! Rivero is promoting another scammer. Meet "Lord Stirling Evansville, IN, United States" whom claims to "hold several ancient Scottish titles, Earl of Stirling, Viscount of Canada, Viscount of Stirling....."

Our "Lord Stirling" also claims to "hold 3 degrees: B.Sc. in Pol. Sc. & History; M.A. in European Studies; B.Sc. in Education."

Shame he can't even spell properly.

Rivero's source, and our subject, the "Rt Hon Lord Stirling" (!) - in fact a simple Mr Timothy Alexander - came to the attention of the UK Baronage website.....and he features under their pages titled "SCAMS".
....we assumed that the reason we had received no answer to our question on the blazon of his arms was that Lyon Court had not recognised him as the baron of Greenan, that he had no baronial additament and had no arms either. (Perhaps he uses the arms illustrated at the head of this page, on the right, either alone, or quartered with a galley.) We assumed also that we would receive no answers from Timothy Alexander to the many further questions his early answers had prompted.

We would thus have to investigate his claims ourselves.
This MR T Alexander has a history of posting at conspiracy websites, including featuring at (no surprise, eh?) Seems he is trading on his name, asking for speaking fees for his lectures. Topics? That the Haiti earthquake was caused by a "scalar weapon"......
I am a specialist in theoretical weaponry strategy and design. I generally harbor no illusions about the truly evil nature of the global banking families, their Illuminati organization and related groups, but even I was reluctant to see the large earthquake in Haiti as anything but a natural event. It’s not that I lack knowledge about the little known field of Scalar Warfare, which is largely based on the works of the late Nickola Tesla.

I have come to the conclusion that the use of a scalar weapon on the poor masses of Haiti did happen and is directly connected to the massive little known oil reserves in and near Haiti and to the coming attack on Iran/general Middle East War/World War III.
Oh dear. Who would pay for that? Especially from some self-declared "Rt Hon Lord Scam"?

But it's good enough for Rivero, and good enough for Troofers. (Who was it that said "No-one ever went broke underestimating an American audience"?)

Here's more
of the lowdown from the people in the know on this scamming Troofy POS.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The soul of man under Socialism

by Oscar Wilde

The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible.

There is also this to be said. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property. It is both immoral and unfair.

Under Socialism all this will, of course, be altered. There will be no people living in fetid dens and fetid rags, and bringing up unhealthy, hungerpinched children in the midst of impossible and absolutely repulsive surroundings. The security of society will not depend, as it does now, on the state of the weather. If a frost comes we shall not have a hundred thousand men out of work, tramping about the streets in a state of disgusting misery, or whining to their neighbours for alms, or crowding round the doors of loathsome shelters to try and secure a hunch of bread and a night's unclean lodging. Each member of the society will share in the general prosperity and happiness of the society, and if a frost comes no one will practically be anything the worse.

Upon the other hand, Socialism itself will be of value simply because it will lead to Individualism.

Socialism, Communism, or whatever one chooses to call it, by converting private property into public wealth, and substituting co-operation for competition, will restore society to its proper condition of a thoroughly healthy organism, and insure the material wellbeing of each member of the community. It will, in fact, give Life its proper basis and its proper environment.

The virtues of the poor may be readily admitted, and are much to be regretted. We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity. Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful. They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious. They are quite right to be so. Charity they feel to be a ridiculously inadequate mode of partial restitution, or a sentimental dole, usually accompanied by some impertinent attempt on the part of the sentimentalist to tyrannise over their private lives. Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table? They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it. As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute. Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty. But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less. For a town or country labourer to practise thrift would be absolutely immoral. Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal. He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing. As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg. No; a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious is probably a real personality, and has much in him. He is at any rate a healthy protest. As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them, of course, but one cannot possibly admire them. They have made private terms with the enemy and sold their birthright for very bad pottage. They must also be extraordinarily stupid. I can quite understand a man accepting laws that protect private property, and admit of its accumulation, as long as he himself is able under these conditions to realise some form of beautiful and intellectual life. But it is almost incredible to me how a man whose life is marred and made hideous by such laws can possibly acquiesce in their continuance.

Under the new conditions Individualism will be far freer, far finer, and far more intensified than it is now. I am not talking of the great imaginatively realised Individualism of such poets as I have mentioned, but of the great actual Individualism latent and potential in mankind generally. For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses. It has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain not growth its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be. The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is. Private property has crushed true Individualism, and set up an Individualism that is false. It has debarred one part of the community from being individual by starving them. It has debarred the other part of the community from being individual by putting them on the wrong road and encumbering them. Indeed, so completely has man's personality been absorbed by his possessions that the English law has always treated offences against a man s property with far more severity than offences against his person, and property is still the test of complete citizenship. The industry necessary for the making of money is also very demoralising. In a community like ours, where property confers immense distinction, social position, honour, respect, titles, and other pleasant things of the kind, man, being naturally ambitious, makes it his aim to accumulate this property, and goes on wearily and tediously accumulating it long after he has got far more than he wants, or can use, or enjoy, or perhaps even know of. Man will kill himself by overwork in order to secure property, and really, considering the enormous advantages that property brings, one is hardly surprised. One's regret is that society should be constructed on such a basis that man has been forced into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful, and fascinating, and delightful in him in which, in fact, he misses the true pleasure and joy of living. He is also, under existing conditions, very insecure. An enormously wealthy merchant may be - often is - at every moment of his life at the mercy of things that are not under his control. If the wind blows an extra point or so, or the weather suddenly changes, or some trivial thing happens, his ship may go down, his speculations may go wrong, and he finds himself a poor man, with his social position quite gone. Now, nothing should be able to harm a man except himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has, is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.

With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. It is a question whether we have ever seen the full expression of a personality, except on the imaginative plane of art. In action, we never have.

It will be a marvellous thing - the true personality of man - when we see it. It will grow naturally and simply, flower-like, or as a tree grows. It will not be at discord. It will never argue or dispute. It will not prove things. It will know everything. And yet it will not busy itself about knowledge. It will have wisdom. Its value will not be measured by material things. It will have nothing. And yet it will have everything, and whatever one takes from it, it will still have, so rich will it be. It will not be always meddling with others, or asking them to be like itself. It will love them because they will be different. And yet, while it will not meddle with others, it will help all, as a beautiful thing helps us by being what it is. The personality of man will be very wonderful. It will be as wonderful as the personality of a child.

Full jobbie, here

Monday, 8 February 2010

"This website is not for you!"

Progressive Independent's.......conversion to class politics? Hmmmmm.

That graphic used to be worded quite differently. Shame the WayBackMachine has been blocked by Progressive Independent's use of Robots.txt.

Odd place.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Paranoid Style in American Politics - Richard Hofstadter

Written before Alex Jones was even born, Hofstader does such a great job of describing "the paranoid style" we can clearly recognise Alex Jones and The Troof Movement in his words.

If....we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.
Events since 1939 have given the contemporary right-wing paranoid a vast theatre for his imagination, full of rich and proliferating detail, replete with realistic cues and undeniable proofs of the validity of his suspicions. The theatre of action is now the entire world, and he can draw not only on the events of World War II, but also on those of the Korean War and the Cold War. Any historian of warfare knows it is in good part a comedy of errors and a museum of incompetence; but if for every error and every act of incompetence one can substitute an act of treason, many points of fascinating interpretation are open to the paranoid imagination. In the end, the real mystery, for one who reads the primary works of paranoid scholarship, is not how the United States has been brought to its present dangerous position but how it has managed to survive at all.

The basic elements of contemporary right-wing thought can be reduced to three:

First, there has been the now-familiar sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt’s New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism. A great many right-wingers would agree with Frank Chodorov, the author of The Income Tax: The Root of All Evil, that this campaign began with the passage of the income-tax amendment to the Constitution in 1913.

The second contention is that top government officialdom has been so infiltrated by Communists that American policy, at least since the days leading up to Pearl Harbor, has been dominated by men who were shrewdly and consistently selling out American national interests.

Finally, the country is infused with a network of Communist agents, just as in the old days it was infiltrated by Jesuit agents, so that the whole apparatus of education, religion, the press, and the mass media is engaged in a common effort to paralyze the resistance of loyal Americans.

Perhaps the most representative document of the McCarthyist phase was a long indictment of Secretary of State George C. Marshall, delivered in 1951 in the Senate by senator McCarthy, and later published in a somewhat different form. McCarthy pictured Marshall was the focal figure in a betrayal of American interests stretching in time from the strategic plans for World War II to the formulation of the Marshall Plan. Marshal was associated with practically every American failure or defeat, McCarthy insisted, and none of this was either accident or incompetence. There was a “baffling pattern” of Marshall’s interventions in the war, which always conduced to the well-being of the Kremlin. The sharp decline in America’s relative strength from 1945 to 1951 did not “just happen”; it was “brought about, step by step, by will and intention,” the consequence not of mistakes but of a treasonous conspiracy, “a conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man.”
Uncanny. What a good description of the Conspiracy Theorists of 2010. Watch out for the Jew World Order!!

This part is interesting (I'm thinking of Larry, and many other NWO-believers):
As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated—if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction (the Catholic confessional).

It is hard to resist the conclusion that this enemy is on many counts the projection of the self; both the ideal and the unacceptable aspects of the self are attributed to him. The enemy may be the cosmopolitan intellectual, but the paranoid will outdo him in the apparatus of scholarship, even of pedantry. Secret organizations set up to combat secret organizations give the same flattery.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Chip Berlet - Toxic to Democracy

“Right-wing pundits demonize scapegoated groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.”

Read the full text of the body of the report

Not only is this an interesting read on the (far) right, but Berlet suggests a very cogent explanation of conspiracy theory in general. I think he's pretty damn spot on.

Here's the Executive Summary:

Even before Barack Obama was sworn in as the
44th President of the United States the Internet
was seething with lurid conspiracy theories exposing
his alleged subversion and treachery. Among the
many false claims: Obama was not a proper citizen of
the United States (and his election as President
should thus be overturned); he was a secret, fundamentalist
Muslim; he was a tool of the New World
Order in a plot to merge the government of the
United States into a North American Union with
Mexico and Canada.

Hours following a flubbed inaugural oath of
office, the Internet circulated claims that Obama was
not really President of the United States because the
wording of the oath of office had been scrambled by
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. A few
days after the inauguration came a warning that
Obama planned to impose martial law and collect all

Many of these false claims recall those floated by
right-wing conspiracy theorists in the armed citizens
Militia Movement during the Clinton administration
—allegations that percolated up through the media
and were utilized by Republican political operatives
to hobble the legislative agenda of the Democratic
Party. Assertions that President Clinton assisted drug
smugglers, ran a hit squad that killed his political
enemies, and covered up the assassination of his aide
Vincent Foster first circulated on right-wing alternative
media, spread to right-wing information networks,
and eventually appeared in mainstream
media outlets.

A similar scenario could add to the already
daunting challenges of the Obama administration.
When Obama’s “web-savvy” aides saw “conspiracy
theories building up on the internet,” they staged a
repeat swearing in as “the fastest way to stop the
speculation getting out of control.” Such events illustrate
the power and pervasiveness of conspiracism.

What Richard Hofstadter described as the “paranoid
style” in U.S. right-wing movements derives
from belief in an apocalyptic struggle between “good”
and “evil,” in which demonized enemies are complicit
in a vast insidious plot against the common
good, and against which the conspiracist must heroically
sound the alarm. As seen in the aforementioned
examples, this type of conspiracism can move
easily from the margins to the mainstream.

This study challenges the validity of conspiracy
theory as a form of political analysis, and traces the
roots and dynamics of conspiracism through United
States history. Drawing on his extensive scholarly as
well as popular writing on the topic, author Chip
Berlet shows that the development of modern conspiracismis
rooted in bigotry and that the conspiracist
analytical model itself encourages demonization and
scapegoating of blameless persons and groups. In so
doing, conspiracism also serves to distract society and
its would-be agents of change away from ongoing,
structural causes of social and economic injustices.
Examining various episodes spanning more than 200
years of U.S. history, Toxic to Democracy demonstrates
how conspiracy theories have repeatedly garnered
mass public followings. Throughout, the basic
dynamics of conspiracism remained the same regardless
of the ideological leanings of the conspiracists, or
the (often interchangeable) identity of their targets.

The resurgence of conspiracy theories—on both
the Right and the Left — since the September 11,
2001 terrorist attacks, and the tendency for antisemitic
conspiracies to surge during times of financial
crisis, makes the lessons of this study particularly
urgent. What follows is a summary of key findings
from Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracies, Demonization &


The conspiracist narrative is built upon four key

elements, which Berlet calls “tools of fear”:

1) Dualism; 2) Scapegoating; 3) Demonization; and4) Apocalyptic Aggression.

Dualism is an overarching theme or
“metaframe” in which people see the world as divided
into forces of good and evil. Scapegoating is a
process by which a person or group of people are
wrongfully stereotyped as sharing negative traits and
are singled out for blame for causing societal problems,
while the primary source of the problems is
overlooked or absolved of blame. Demonization, a
process through which people target individuals or
groups as the embodiment of evil, facilitates scapegoating.
Even the most sincere and well-intentioned
conspiracy theorists contribute to dangerous social
dynamics of demonization and scapegoating.
Apocalypticism, also ametaframe, involves the expectation
that dramatic events are about to unfold during
which a confrontation between good and evil will
change the world forever and reveal hidden truths.
Apocalyptic Aggression occurs when scapegoats are
targeted as enemies of the “common good,” and this
can lead to discrimination and violent acts.


The way in which the tools of fear are employed
allows for scapegoat targets to change along with
historic circumstances, even as the process by which
these targets are vilified using the “Tools of Fear”
remains the same.

A central motif of the 1950s Red Scare was that
the enemy — communists, both at home and abroad
— threatened the common good. Today Arabs and
Muslims are portrayed in a similar demonizing way
as an alien force conspiring to destroy Western culture
from without and within. It is not that threats do
not exist; it is that these threats are hyperbolized in a
way that harms civil society and weakens homeland

The Christian Right, which in the 1960s mobilized
to battle “Godless Communism,” now battles
“Godless Secular Humanism” which they see as supporting
sinful abortion and gay rights. Since these
views are often wrapped around conspiracist theories
claiming liberal sedition or satanic collaboration, the
ability to resolve disputes through civic compromise
is hobbled.


Immediately following the attacks, stories began to
circulate about 4,000 Jews being warned to avoid
the twin towers on 9/11. Reporters traced the contention
back to a series of rumors and claims by
unnamed sources that bounced around the Internet,
becoming more elaborate with each retelling. Within
weeks of the 9/11 attacks, some on the Left circulated
claims that government officials were “Guilty for 9-
11.” This has turned into a “9/11 Truth Movement”
where conspiracists debate whether then-President
Bush and Vice President Cheney allowed the attacks
to happen to gain political advantage, or actually
planted explosives to collapse the World Trade Center
and sent amissile into the Pentagon. Outlandish conspiracies
fingering then-Vice President Dick Cheney
and “the neoconservatives” have been injected into
mainstream anti-Iraq War venues and documents.
Sometimes these claims carry the baggage of antisemitism.


The roots of contemporary conspiracism can be
traced back more than 200 years to the French
Revolution. Conspiracists claimed the French
Revolution was not due to long simmering public
resentment due to poverty and despotism, but was
orchestrated by the Illuminati, a secret society
evolved from the ranks of Freemasonry, who were
allegedly scheming to turn contented peasants into
violent rebels.

In the early 1900s, the merger of Freemason and
Jewish scapegoats took hold in the United States with
the publication of the influential hoax, entitled the
Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The Protocols
purports to be the minutes of secret meetings of a
Jewish ruling clique conspiring to take over the
world. It incorporates many of the core conspiracist
themes outlined in the Freemason attacks, and overlays
them with antisemitic allegations. A common
conspiracist interpretation of the Protocols is that,
peeling away the layers of the Freemason conspiracy,
past the Illuminati, exposes a rotten Jewish core.
Some contemporary conspiracy theorists directly
mention the Protocols and claim they are an authentic
document. This is easily found on Far Right websites,

especially those affiliated with Neonazis and
Christian Identity. However, mentions of the Protocols
cut across the political spectrum.

In the 1960s the John Birch Society (JBS) and other
Patriot Movement groups peddled the anti-
Freemason ideology from the 1790s, using it to
explain the communist threat. Communists allegedly
were just one guise of the Mason’s Illuminati leadership.
Later the Illuminati were variously said to control
Wall Street, Hillary Clinton, and Dick Cheney. In
terms of public discourse, when the JBS blamed the
secret elites and plutocrats for the vast conspiracy, the
organization was not covertly blaming the Jews.
Instead a favorite theme of the JBS continues to be
that the liberal globalists are planning a New World
Order run by a totalitarian One World Government
through the United Nations. Nonetheless, the JBS
cites books and other works that perpetuate stereotypes
about Jews, banking, and global power.

The right-wing group Populists American takes a
step further toward antisemitism. For this group, the
problem is not all Jews. Rather, its website explains
that the real “enemy of all mankind” is the “Zionist
Jews” who are “not to be confused with other Jews.”
The website then posts the text of the Protocols with a
disclaimer typical of this genre.

Out on the fringes of conspiracism are organized
White supremacist groups and neonazis who are
mad about what they call ZOG: the Zionist
Occupational Government (their name for the U.S.
government in Washington, D.C.). The National
Alliance, Aryan Nations, and Christian Defense
League are White racist groups that cite the Protocols.


Contemporary Leftist conspiracism gained a significant
foothold as a response to blows suffered
by social justice movements, starting with the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and
increasing after the 1968 assassinations of the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert F.
Kennedy. Conspiracism percolated at the margins of
the Political Left until the mid 1980s. In 1986 the liberal
Christic Institute filed a lawsuit, Avirgan v. Hull
(known in the popular press as the La Penca bombing
case), which unwittingly helped pull at the seam of
what would soon unravel into the Iran-Contra scandal.
The Christic Institute charges originally concerned
a series of allegations of CIA misconduct
involving covert action and gunrunning in Central
America to assist the overthrow of the socialist
Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Christic soon
wrapped the case in conspiracy stories dating back to
the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War —
diverting attention from the illegal activities of the
Reagan administration. The case was dismissed, but
the conspiracist claims lived on.


Leftist conspiracy theories of the ’60s and ’70s
established conspiracism as a form of discourse
and analysis on the Political Left as well as some leftof-
center countercultures, thereby facilitating the
migration of (somewhat sanitized) right-wing conspiracy
theories from Right to Left.

In its signature Avirgan v. Hull lawsuit (mentioned
above) the left-leaning Christic Institute incorporated
the central, conspiracist claims of The Secret
Team, a book by right-wing populist L. Fletcher
Prouty. Christic’s investigators maintained back
channel communications with right-wing groups
known to purvey antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Christic inadvertently took conspiracy allegations
rooted in the Protocols, sanitized the antisemitic references,
and peddled the results to the Political Left
and gullible liberal funders.

The 9/11 conspiracy theory alleging 4,000 Jews
were warned of the attacks is a clear case of antisemitic
conspiracism peddled by certain Political Right groups
as a recruitment tool. Their ultimate goal is mobilizing
people to oppose progressive social and economic justice
campaigns by targeting vulnerable communities as
scapegoats. The progressive version of the 9/11 conspiracy
generally avoids blatant antisemitic references.
Some on the Left, however, picked up phrases such as
“international bankers,” “globalist elites,” “secret government,”
“international bankers,” and “banksters,”
that historically have been used as coded references to
alleged Jewish power.While their target was Bush and
Cheney, the accusations and catchphrases employed
were laden with antisemitic bigotry.


While some theories reject overt bigotry, as in
the main branch of the “9/11 Truth

Movement,” they fail to appreciate that the analytical
model of conspiracy thinking normalizes the
process of demonizing a scapegoated group. Once
researchers embrace the conspiracist mindset in
which a vast global conspiracy is effectively an analog
of the allegations about conniving secret elites
found in the Protocols, the step from a Secret Team
to a Secret Jewish Team is a very small one. Even
when conspiracist theories do not center on Jews,
homosexuals, people of color, immigrants, or other
scapegoated groups, they still create an environment
where racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia,
homophobia, and other forms of prejudice,
bigotry, and oppression can flourish.


Conspiracy theories are not confined to the margins
of the political spectrum. Conspiracist theories
have been used by governments to preserve the
status quo against those they characterized as subversive
alien outsiders and their sympathizers.
Countersubversive conspiracy theories can be utilized
by governments to build mass support for the
surveillance, disruption, and crushing of dissident
social and political movements in the U.S., as was
done during the McCarthy era and again with the
backlash against the social justice movements of the
1960s and ’70s. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, anticommunists
both inside and outside government
moved away from conspiracy theories about global
communist subversion and embraced a new target—
terrorists. These conspiracy-based fears are present
in hardline U.S. foreign and domestic counterterrorism
policies that undermine First, Fourth, and
Fourteenth Amendment protections for dissidents
and religious and ethnic minorities whose views
span the political spectrum. This could have potentially
far ranging implications for how the United
States prosecutes the “war on terror” abroad. Antiterrorism
policies based in hyperbolic conspiracy theories
reduce the effectiveness of homeland security.


Conspiracism is neither a healthy expression of
skepticism nor a valid form of criticism; rather it
is a belief system that refuses to obey the rules of
logic. These theories operate from a pre-existing
premise of a conspiracy based upon careless collection
of facts and flawed assumptions. What constitutes
“proof” for a conspiracist is often more accurately
described as circumstance, rumor, and hearsay;
and the allegations often use the tools of fear—dualism,
demonization, scapegoating, and aggressively
apocalyptic stories—which all too often are commandeered
by demagogues.

Thus conspiracism must be confronted as a
flawed analytical model, rather than a legitimate
mode of criticism of inequitable systems, structures,
and institutions of power. Conspiracism is nearly
always a distraction from the work of uprooting hierarchies
of unfair power and privilege.


Conspiracist theories are attractive in part because
they start with a grain of truth embedded in preexisting
societal beliefs.

Conspiracy theorists are correct about one thing:
the status quo is not acceptable. Conspiracists have
accurately understood that there are inequalities of
power and privilege in the world—and threats to the
world itself—that need to be rectified. What conspiracy
theorists lack is the desire or ability to follow the
basic rules of logic and investigative research.
Conspiracy theories spotlight lots of fascinating questions—
but they seldom illuminate meaningful

While conspiracists tell compelling stories, they
frequently create dangerous conditions as these
stories can draw from pre-existing stereotypes and
prejudices. Cynical movement leaders then can
hyperbolize false claims in a way that mobilizes dangerous
forms of demonization and scapegoating.
People who believe conspiracist allegations sometimes
act on those irrational beliefs, and this has
concrete consequences in the real world. Angry allegations
can quickly turn into aggression and
violence targeting scapegoated groups.
Conspiracist thinking and scapegoating on a
mass scale are symptoms, not causes, of underlying
societal tensions; and while conspiracism needs to be
opposed, the resolution of the grievances themselves
is necessary to restore a healthy society.
Whether conspiracist claims are circulated by
angry populists or anxious government officials, the
dynamics generated by conspiracy theories are toxic
to democracy.

Alex Jones - Part 38

Here's a good description of Alex Jones, written by Michelle Goldberg:

.....Jones’s roots are very much on the far right. He represents an old strain of American conservatism--isolationist, anti-Wall Street, paranoid about elite conspiracies--that last flowered during the John Birch Society’s heyday. He began his radio broadcasting career in 1996, in his early twenties, with the Austin-based show "The Final Edition," which promulgated all sorts of black-helicopter theories about Bill Clinton. Steeped in the rhetoric of the militia movement, he’s long been a champion of Randy Weaver, the white supremacist whose wife and son were killed in 1992 by federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
On March 15, Jones released a documentary called The Obama Deception....... [a]rguing that Obama is the front man for an oligarchy working to create a planetary totalitarian state, it is like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion stripped of any reference to Jews.
Spot on?

Randy Weaver, white supremacist? Here's Infowars reporting a story about how Alex Jones helped promote Randy Weaver involvement with the Ed and Elaine Brown standoff thing:
Alex Jones.....first publicized Weaver's willingness to travel during an interview on his show Tuesday.

"He said, 'I'd like to go support those people to draw attention to that,' " Jones said in a phone interview yesterday. "Next thing I heard, he is on his way up to the property, and I'm really excited about it because I want to get as much attention to this nationally as I can."

Monday, 1 February 2010

Ron Paul and Bill Johnson (Who he?)

I missed this at the time, but worth recounting.

First of all, Who is Bill Johnson?
Judicial candidate's racial separatist past exposed
May 1, 2008 | 9:25 pm

It just goes to show what can happen if you don't pay attention to judicial elections. Los Angeles voters could unwittingly end up electing white separatist Bill Johnson to the court.
Bill Johnson, a white separatist?
Johnson wrote a 1989 book, under the name James O. Pace, called "Amendment to the Constitution," backing what became known as the Pace Amendment. Here it is, in part:

No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood, nor more than one-eighth Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood, provided that Hispanic whites, defined as anyone with an Hispanic ancestor, may be citizens if, in addition to meeting the aforesaid ascertainable trace and percentage tests, they are in appearance indistinguishable from Americans whose ancestral home is the British Isles or Northwestern Europe. Only citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States.
And what's Bill Johnson's relationship to Ron Paul?
Follow-Up on Bill Johnson

New updates on the Bill Johnson scandal. It seems as though Ron Paul was close enough to Johnson to host a fund raiser at his house last September. Admission for the event was completely sold out, at $2,000 a person. Good lord! Someone should submit that story to Digg. Of all the venues where they could have held their fund raiser, it seems that Ron Paul was unlucky enough to host it at the home of a known white supremacist. Whoops! This of course forces the question... exactly how much money did Bill Johnson help raise for Ron Paul?

Alex Jones, Ted Pike, and a bunch of nazis.

Why do all the same people keep cropping up?

Because they share something - ideas - goals - a worldview: ideology.

Here's Alex Jones talking with "The Reverend Ted Pike" --- notice the imagery? Seemingly one might suspect Pike and Jones must be warning of fascism - particularly nazism.

The video is uninteresting, Pike is clearly a nut. It's the same old crap. I post it for reference only - it's an example of Alex Jones' promotion of Reverend Pike......and it clearly illustrates how twisted and plain fucked-up Alex Jones, Pike and their audiences political worldview is/are.

Simply - Alex Jones supports Pike, and Pike and Alex are closely affiliated with a range of anti-semitic and fascist agencies. Jones and Pike are part of the far-right propganda and organisational network.

It's undeniable. Here's the real low-down on our pious Reverend Pike:
Ted Pike/National Prayer Network - Affiliations

Pike maintains a broad-based network of anti-Semitic, white supremacist and conspiracy-theory oriented affiliations to broadcast his anti-Semitic message. Pike has given numerous interviews to anti-Semitic and racist radio and television hosts. For example, he has made appearances on the Internet radio show run by Daryl Bradford Smith, an American living in France who publishes articles on his Website that name "Zionists" as the "masterminds” of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

He has been a guest on the Tennessee-based radio show, "The Political Cesspool," on which neo-Nazis and white supremacists regularly appear. Additionally, Pike has appeared on conspiracy-oriented Internet radio shows that often feature anti-Semites and extremists, including the “Jeff Rense Program,” and former Michigan militia figure John Stadtmiller’s “National Intel Report.” Pike has also appeared on “Current Issues,” a weekly cable television show hosted by Palestinian-American Hesham Tillawi, which regularly features Holocaust deniers and white supremacists.

Pike has a long-standing affiliation with American Free Press (AFP), an anti-Semitic conspiracy-oriented newspaper that prints articles written by Holocaust deniers, racists, and conspiracy theorists and promotes groups, events, books, videos, and individuals espousing such ideologies and theories. Willis Carto, AFP’s publisher, founded the now-defunct Liberty Lobby, an anti-Semitic propaganda organization, and also currently publishes The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial magazine.

Pike is an AFP staff member, having served on its Western Regional Bureau since the Regional and International Bureaus were formed on October 29, 2001.
He continues to serve on staff with several anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists, and Holocaust deniers including Mark Glenn, an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, AFP writer who authored a pamphlet blaming Israel for the September 11 terrorist attacks, the 2001 anthrax mailings and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Pike also serves with George Kadar, an AFP reporter, associate of white supremacist David Duke, and active participant in the white supremacist Stormfront Internet forum. Another problematic figure that has served alongside Pike on the AFP Bureaus is Eustace Mullins, a prolific anti-Jewish propagandist.

AFP printed one of Pike’s articles in its first issue in August 2001. In that same issue, the newspaper advertised Pike’s video entitled Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians, which premiered at a conference run by The Barnes Review. In addition to AFP reprinting and promoting Pike’s works, Pike authored an article “exclusive to AFP” in its November 5, 2001, issue. Michael Collins Piper, an anti-Semitic AFP writer, authored a praiseworthy review of Pike’s 2003 anti-Semitic video Why The Mid-East Bleeds, in the April 7, 2003 issue of AFP.

Pike provides a link to AFP’s Website on the National Prayer Network (NPN) Website’s “Links” section. Pike also links the NPN Website to various other extremist Websites “as sources of further information concerning the thread of Zionist control.” These include links to Daryl Bradford Smith's site and to the site of Criminal Politics, a virulently anti-Semitic, conspiracy-oriented publication. He also “strongly recommends” visiting Web sites such as those belonging to the Arizona-based anti-Semitic group We Hold These Truths, the virulently anti-gay group Repent America, and Texe Marrs, a conspiracy theorist with a record of anti-Semitism.

Just as Pike affiliates himself with the radio shows, cable TV shows, and newspapers of a variety of extremists, so too do extremists often post Pike’s articles and sell his videos on their own Websites. In July 2006, the now-defunct neo-Nazi National Vanguard Website featured an article, co-authored by Pike and its own staff, which claimed that Jews are plotting to control the content on the Internet and that Jewish-run telecommunication companies want to initiate policies that would favor Jews and other “protected minorities” over other groups. Numerous other extremist individuals and groups have posted his materials on-line, including conspiracy theorist Jeff Rense; Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel; white supremacist David Duke; the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network; the virulently anti-Semitic Websites Jew Watch and Ziopedia; Western Voices World News, the news Website of the neo-Nazi European Americans United; the neo-Nazi National Alliance; and the Yahoo group of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.

Extremists have utilized Pike’s work in other ways. In 2005, the neo-Nazi National Vanguard produced an eight-part DVD entitled, The Dark Side of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, filled with anti-Semitic propaganda. Included in the DVD was Pike’s anti-Semitic 2000 video entitled Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians.

When Pike produced The Other Israel (1987), a professionally made, anti-Semitic video, Louisiana white supremacist James K. Warner and the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust denial organization, offered it for sale. Though 20 years old, anti-Semitic individuals, groups, and Websites still promote and/or sell Pike’s video, including Holocaust denier Mark Farrell, Texe Marrs, the neo-Nazi National Alliance, and Ziopedia.
These are all sources close to the heart of 911 Troof. Indeed - 911 Troof looks like "a project" these guys run. To what purpose? Well, look at the nexus of the beliefs and the agencies pushing them? Anti-semitic and fascist/nazi. That's the locus. 911 Troof hasn't even noticed - let alone does it try to denounce and remove these elements. 911 Troof has shown itself incapable of resisting the ideological gravitational pull which anti-semitism and fascism have clearly exerted upon it. Hence Troof.....not Truth. There's a real relationship between anti-semitism, fascism and Truth becoming Troof.

BTW - in addition to what is mentioned above, Pike also has a column at David Duke's "WhiteRights" website.

Alex doesn't mention this to his viewers when fawning over Pike. Instead Pike and Jones wave a great warning flag against 'the rising spectre of nazism.'

Yet notice - they are *not* raising their voices against their own friends and colleagues and fellow-travellers whom are clearly closely identified with genuine fascism. No - instead they point to liberals and democrats as being the source of this supposed critical threat of fascism. Even as they hide the genuine fascism within their own ranks.

And now, of course, they have a whole army of delusional blackshirted internet dweebs (such as Troofers) shouting "FREEDOM!" as they jackboot their way about. Great.