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The speech delivered by Emmanuel Macron, at the Armistice Centenary this week, was a carefully targeted rejection of Donald Trump and his popular platform.

French President Emmanuel Macron remarked that

“The old demons are rising again, ready to complete their task of chaos and of death. Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying, ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others’, you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: its moral values.” [source]

Macron was referring to hyper-nationalist imperialism, regarded as one of the primary causes of WW1. The French leader also alluded to its like minded cousin, which ignited WW2: ethnocentric nationalism and fascist imperialism.

The connection made between the contents of Macron’s speech, and the American leader, are not hard to miss. In October, Donald Trump publicly separated himself from Globalism, and declared himself to be a nationalist.

This also rides on the back of Donald Trump’s speech at the United Nations in September, where he gave a resounding “no” to Globalist Imperialism.

Yet it wasn’t Macron’s remarks about Nationalism, or the inferences behind it that prompted the push back from Trump on Twitter the next day.

The Trump/Macron exchanges are fuelled by the French leader’s claim, made in early November, that Europe needed to protect itself, not just from China and Russia, but also from one of their longest, strongest, and most supportive allies, the United States.

Even German chancellor, Angela Merkel came out in support of Macron, saying

The times when we could rely on others is past. We have to look at the vision of one day creating a real, true European army. According to the Guardian, Merkel added that a European Army would be a “compliment to [the largely U.S. tax-payer funded] NATO.”

Via Twitter, Trump gave public criticism of Macron’s claim, stating, that it

‘was very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidises greatly!”

In response to Trump’s tweets, Macron shot back with:

“France was a U.S. ally but not a vassal state…at every moment of our history, we were allies, so between allies, respect is due.”

Instead of answering Trump, Macron threw out a red-herring. Avoiding Trump’s question, Macron decided to cheapen American sacrifice, good-will and support for the maintenance of peace and safety in Europe, by reducing America’s relationship with Europe to the context of a Suzerain vassal treaty, where overlords demand fealty.

Macron’s meaning is clear enough: “Americans see themselves as feudal overlords, and have a fascist dictator who seeks to impose his will on Europeans.”

All of which is false, when presented with the facts. Donald Trump’s call for a fairer funding model of NATO, would allow America to roll back its contributions to NATO. By seeking a fairer share of the financial commitment to peace, America is looking to raise others up, not enforce a conqueror-slave dictatorship.

Trump’s frustration is understandable. Based on figures from NATO, American funding is at 22.2%. This is 33% more than Germany, and twice that of Britain and France.

Macron’s advocacy for a European Army built on his premise that Europe needs to protect itself from America, means that The United States would be funding the protection of Europe, while Europe raises an Army against The United States. Trump was right to call this an insult.  If member nations of NATO view America as someone they needed an army to protect themselves from, why would the United States continue to fund NATO at its current rate? Why even have an alliance?

Macron’s comments about Nationalism, during the Armistice Centenary, was also a red herring. He invoked the “Trump is Hitler” fallacy, and was predictably applauded for doing so.

It’s worth noting that the very fact Emmanuel Macron still speaks French, and is able to be the President of a nation called France, negates some of what he said about nationalism, and all of what he projected onto the President of the United States and his “Make America Great Again” platform.

For example: France acted in its own national interest when it became one of the few European nations to ban the Niqab; an action that the United Nations [wrongly] considers to be a violation of human rights.

Healthy Nationalism [aka responsible borders[1], rejection of ethno-nationalism, empowering fair trade etc] isn’t a betrayal of patriotism. Surrendering the French people to the rule of unelected Globalist overlords, in the European Union or the Middle East is.

If the European Union, and its unelected bureaucratic caste, is aiming to build an Army at America’s expense, no wonder the President of the United States is frustrated. America’s funding of NATO would be illogical and counter-productive.

During the Armistice Centenary Emmanuel Macron presented himself as a political opportunist. He made himself the centre of attention, drawing attention away from the service and sacrifice of ALL allied soldiers. He made a mockery of the sacrifice of ALL United States service men and women, who’ve paid the ultimate price to liberate Europeans, from the dark grasp of real tyrannical overlords, and their oppressive social Darwinian ideologies.

American blood lies mixed with the blood of Europeans, Canadians and Australians[2] on the sands of Normandy, Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword.

Macron’s appeal to globalism is an appeal to imperialism. If the European Union, and its unelected bureaucratic caste, is aiming to build an Army, under Emmanuel Macron’s premise that Europe needs protecting from the United States, it’s no surprise that Poland would ask the United States to build a military base within its border. Not only does Poland have Russia to its East, Poland is geographically centred right in the middle this growing globalist imperial bureaucracy.

In the words of Historian, Veteran and author, Col. Douglas V. Mastriano:

“Even during the ceremony to commemorate the end of World War I, Macron refused to walk back his statement. If such lack of appreciation and disdain continues to grow against the United States, Europe may just wake up one day and find that America has decided to part ways with them.
Should this happen, a generation of rich, spoiled, and prosperous Europeans like Macron will have to learn the hard way what their grandparents endured but a generation ago. Freedom is not free, and the United States of America is the sole reason for the enduring peace the French have enjoyed.”

The real threat to global security isn’t Donald Trump or his Make America Great Again platform. It’s another “Fortress Europe” defended by an army built by unelected bureaucrats and forced allegiance to their lordship.


References & Notes (not otherwise linked:

[1] Nations cannot protect refugees from the evils that they are fleeing, through multiculturalism and open borders.

[2] 3000 Australians took part in the air assault, a small contingent in the Royal Army and 500 served on board Royal Navy Ships. 14 Australians are known to have died. (source: Australian Department of Veterans Affairs)

Also published at The Caldron Pool, 18th November, 2018 under the heading, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to build a European army to oppose the United States:  How Emmanuel Macron used the Armistice Centenary to smear Trump and the memory of dead American soldiers.

Photo credit: Imke van Loon-Martens on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2018

Who Are The Real Fascists?

November 13, 2018 — 1 Comment

If the facts cannot be squeezed into a meme the level of attention those facts receive is reduced. Attention to detail is overlooked for what will best attract a view, a like, a follow or a share. Information is seen purely as a commodity.

The problem is that when information is seen purely as a commodity, truth is easily compromised.

We don’t need to look any further than the internet. It’s now common place to log on and find someone accusing someone else of being a Nazi or a racist. This may have reached the status of cliché, and as such is easily dismissed. Nevertheless real concern should be given to it. Especially, when we’re bombarded with celebrity endorsed outrage, and articles written by professionals, (often falsely) equating their opponents with the National Socialists of the 1930’s, without qualification.

For example: in August 2016, a lecturer from Sydney University,  compared fair-minded conservative opposition to same-sex marriage, with the Nazi treatment of homosexuals. In addition, a student was reported to have been disallowed from presenting a case, linking examples of how anti-Israel sentiment, is linked to anti-Semitism. [source]

Historical comparisons made between present and past, should be measured for accuracy. Responsible self-criticism leads us to ask ourselves whether or not our opponent has a point. However, measuring the accuracy of our opponents claim shouldn’t stop with us. For it to be completely fair, the enquiry must also include the consideration of whether or not our opponents, are themselves guilty of doing the very things they’re accusing others of doing.

One good practice, when being likened to the Nazis, is reading material from those who’ve studied the historical context; the history of and the history associated with Nazism. Read those who’ve engaged with the primary sources, and who understand not just what the Nazis did, but how, and why, they did it.

It’s here that Thomas Doherty’s insightful and well researched 2013 book, ‘Hollywood & Hitler‘ shines:

Page 9, citing a PCA[i] report on the prohibition of the movie ‘All Quiet on The Western Front‘, Dec, 18, 1930:
“There is no doubt that this wave of intense national prejudice, which is for now going on, will continue and that any pictures, particularly foreign pictures, which offend the sensibilities of the National Socialists will be a signal for riots and demonstrations.’ [i]
Page 21: ‘Even before Goebbels laid down the law, the Nazi rhetoric on race was being implemented by pumped-up S.A. thugs and zealous party bureaucrats. From Berlin radiating outward, the iron grip tightened over all aspects of film-related culture – artists and technicians, film content and style, trade periodicals and reviewer bylines, theatre ownership and ticket buyers.’ [ii]
Page 97: ‘The Nazis, said Prince Hubertus Lowenstein [an early critic of Nazism], had annihilated all that was good in German culture.”Everything that had made for the glory of Germany has been destroyed in the past three years. The best actors and artists have been expelled. Approximately 1100 scholars and scientists have had to leave, only because they believed in freedom of art, of thought, and of religion.” Jews were forbidden to buy milk for their children, and Catholics were jailed for keeping the faith. The jackboot crushing Jews and Catholics, he predicted, was but a preview of oppressions to come. All those speaking that night urged a united front against Hitler. “We must organise to fight the Nazi invasion before Americans lose their constitutional liberties”‘[iii]

Doherty helps to shine a light on where, and if, Nazism or fascists are active today. When matched against current events descriptions such as, “intense prejudice, the iron grip, that which offends the sensibilities is a signal for riots and demonstrations; rhetoric on race by pumped-up thugs and zealous party bureaucrats”, all show that those pointing their finger and crying wolf about Nazism and fascism, reflect it the most.

The radical Left is already becomes suspect when its adherents use its political platforms to denounce all opposition as Nazism, without any real qualification. It’s already suspect when those same adherents ignore questions, make false claims and turn all fair criticism into “hate speech”. It’s already suspect when this very same ideology backs policies that undermine the humanity of the unborn, democratic debate, diversity of thought, reasoned opinion, expression and faith.

It’s already suspect when some of its most fervent adherents remain silent about the current events in Turkey, or Islamism in general, and yet continue to promote the BDS academic boycott movement against Israel. [source] The radical Left is more than worthy of our suspicions when we only hear the sound of crickets chirping to the tune of double standards, hypocrisy, selective outrage, suppression of faith and reason, political evasion, and propaganda.

As Theodore Kupfer asked, ‘Where are the Academic Boycotts of Turkey?’ It’s tragically ironic that anti-Israel protesters are loud and proud, yet they remain silent about Turkey:

“The response of Western academia has thus far been limited to expressions of grave concern for the fate of individual academics who have been subject to the purge [in Turkey].
No organised boycott effort has surfaced on any level. Mere proclamations of solidarity are supposed to suffice in the case of Turkey, while the same organisations agitate for nothing short of a blanket institutional boycott in the case of Israel.
Mind you, academic conditions in Israel are far superior to those in Turkey. Even attempts to portray Israel as hostile to academic freedom are evidence for this.” [iv]

The irony feeds suspicion of the radical Left. All that’s missing from the trajectory of this ideological radicalism is a figure-head with the power to influence enough people to fanatically fall in line behind them. With what’s happened in opposition to Donald Trump’s election in the United States, such suspicions should be weighed carefully.

Whether we like it or not, we’re being forced into categories by those who want to define us, determine what we think, and turn our freedoms into a carrot on a stick. The agenda isn’t about equality, it’s about dominance. The agenda isn’t about rights, it’s about power. The agenda isn’t about progress, it’s about pride.

It’s ironic that a people’s court stands ready to condemn those who don’t align, agree or pledge allegiance to the Left. The oppressor presents themselves as the oppressed, and no one is allowed to have an opposing view. It’s at this point that we’re not far from Gene Edward Veith, in his underrated 1993, book ‘Modern Fascism’, rightly suggested that there is a link between Heidegger’s revisionist/deconstructionism and fascism.

For example:

“What is the deconstructive basis for condemning Nazism? Would it not be in keeping with the in keeping with the logic of deconstruction, the deconstructive basis for condemning Nazism, reverses a claim like “the Nazis oppressed the Jews,” showing instead that the Jew cooked in a Nazi oven was really the Nazis’ oppressor.
The real-world endpoint of Heideggerian (and now Derridean and de Manian) deconstructionism [and its elimination of] the logocentric (Judeo-Christian) tradition is Auschwitz […]” [v]

This is why theology is important. As Timothy Gorringe states, ‘[Judeo-Christian] theology stands as a critique of ideology,’ [vi] but if it’s to remain authentic theology, it will have to navigate society’s obsession with the Left/Right metaphor. This is partly why I’m not big on the Right/Left metaphor in regards to describing factions within the State or the Church. Throughout history, the meaning has shifted. The metaphor is inadequate. We cannot rely on it entirely.

Another reason for why theology is important is because faith seeks understanding. To confess that Jesus Christ is Lord necessarily means to admit that Jesus Christ is no human pawn. Whether they be, deconstructionists, modernists, futuristic, archaic, primitive, progressive, communist, fascist, conservative, material or spiritual; Any Christian theology worthy of its name-sake, is and always will stand as a critique of all human centered strongholds that claim godlikeness; a challenge to all towers of Bable.

Genuine Christianity is, as Karl Barth duly noted, ‘the protest against all the high places which human beings build for themselves’ (Karl Barth C.D IV/II p.524).

To say that history is being repeated is not overstating the current zeitgeist. History is not, however, being repeated in the same way that the Left often sells it. Based on what is presented by Doherty, Kupfer, Vieth and Hirsch above, it’s those who recklessly cry wolf about Fascists, and subsequently point to the Right, who have more in common with the Nazis, than they do the victims of Nazism.

May we continue to be free, and well informed enough to differentiate between the real and the wrongly labelled.


References:

[i]  Doherty,T. 2013 Hollywood & Hitler: 1933-1939 Columbia University Press

[ii] ibid, 2013

[iii] ibid, 2013

[iv] Kupfer, T. 2016 Where Are the Academic Boycotts of Turkey? sourced 24th August 2016 from nationalreview.com

[v] Hirsch, D. 1991. The Deconstruction of Literature: Criticism after Auschwitz (p.87) Cited by Gene E. Veith, Modern Fascism, 1993. Concordia Publishing House.

[vi] Gorringe, T.J 1999 Karl Barth: Against Hegemony Christian theology in context Oxford University Press New York

[Updated and edited from an article posted in August, 2016, called, The Usurping of Things To Come?’ Also published at The Caldron Pool, 13th November, 2018 under the heading, ‘Who are the real fascists?’]

Photo credit:  Taton Moïse on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2018.

There’s an eerie similarity between the protests against Asia Bibi and the protests against Brett Kavanaugh.

The tension, and rhetoric, of anti-blasphemy protesters in Pakistan, are at the same fever pitch, as anti-Kavanaugh protests were during the senate hearings, surrounding Kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination (and subsequent confirmation) in the United States.

Placards brandished about during the Ford-Kavanaugh debate which labeled Kavanaugh a rapist (without evidence or a judicial trial), have much of the same intensity as the placards brandished about by Islamist protestors in Pakistan.

For evidence of this, see the long list of celebrity outrage expressed online against the Kavanaugh confirmation.

In a similar vein, after Asia Bibi’s acquittal, Islamist protestors took to the streets in order to demand that Asia Bibi’s death sentence be carried out. This is despite a court acquitting Asia Bibi, because the evidence was inconsistent and contradictory.

Protests against the acquittal of Asia Bibi on the 1st November have only increased, with the Pakistan Government being strong-armed into keeping to its promise to uphold blasphemy laws.

Imran Khan, (now) Prime Minister of Pakistan, made the promise in July before a group of Islamic leaders in Islamabad, where he went on record promising that his party will: “stand with Article 295c and defend it”.

According to The Guardian’s, Memphis Barker, Article 295c is a “clause of the constitution that mandates the death penalty for any “imputation, insinuation or innuendo” against the prophet Muhammad.”

Asia Bibi, a Christian, fell victim to this law. In 2009, while picking fruit she was in involved in a disagreement about a bucket of water with two sisters, “who said that because Bibi had used a cup, they could no longer touch it, as her faith had made it unclean. Bibi was then accused of making three offensive comments about the Prophet Muhammad after the women said that Asia Bibi should convert to Islam. She was later beaten up at her home, during which her accusers say she confessed to blasphemy.” (The BBC)

Not only is there an eerie similarity between the two sets of protests and reactions, but each case has a list of obvious parallels.

For example:

Both have faced accusations from dubious witnesses with a potential motive for making a false accusation.

Both Bibi and Kavanaugh’s family have suffered because of those accusations.

Both Bibi and Kavanaugh are Christians.

Both are being protested after their acquittal.

Both live in nations that claim to Democratic Republics, who uphold the right of due process (benefit of the doubt/innocent until proven guilty).

Even the differences between Asia Bibi’s case and Brett Kavanaugh’s merge at certain points.

For instance:

Bibi faced a judicial trial, and has, based on spurious evidence, served an 8 year sentence for blasphemy against Islam. Now, after her acquittal, there are ongoing protests calling for her execution.

Kavanaugh faced a virtual people’s court, and  on zero evidence, was deemed guilty, by verdict of those protesting his candidacy to be a United States Supreme Court judge.

Where no comparison between the two cases can be found, is in Asia Bibi’s imprisonment, the travel ban imposed on her, and that Bibi lives in Muslim majority country, on a different continent.

In both groups of protesters, concern for the just workings of the rule of law is absent. Protests because a Christian woman wasn’t executed, based on trumped up accusations, directly reflects the Ford vs. Kavanaugh lynch mobs who were demanding Kavanaugh’s head, without granting him due process.

Any removal, or denial of due process, would easily lead to the same thing happening to habeas corpus. Conclusions based on raw emotions about accusations, without any regard for evidence is regressive.

#FREEASIABIBI


©Rod Lampard, 2018

Originally published on The Caldron Pool, 7th November, 2018 under the headline: ‘Death by lynch mob: Brett Kavanaugh, Asia Bibi and the shared rage of the mobs out to get them: Guilty until proven innocent?’

Abortion to be or not to be.Guest post by Jonda Lampard.

There have been lots of news articles, memes and comments after Queensland passed its recent laws legalizing unrestricted abortion. Predictably, there were immediately calls for New South Wales to follow suit.

Although they are already performed by qualified Doctors despite this law, and have been for many years, I was surprised to hear that abortions are illegal in New South Wales. Even though abortion is technically a criminal offence, there are enough loopholes in the law already to allow abortions, (even to girls under 16 years old WITHOUT their parent’s consent or knowledge[1]).  I have seen comments saying that abortion up until birth has not been legalised under the new Queensland law, however, it has, with the approval or consultation of two doctors.  One of those doctors doesn’t even need to see the mother of the unborn child’s file. What two doctors, who are paid well, to work in an abortion clinic are going to say “No, there is no good reason to kill your baby, take your money and go home”?

A frighteningly confronting truth is that the unborn human has been dehumanised. We’re told by abortion activists that an unborn baby is just a ‘parasite’ or a clump of cells and not a ‘real’ baby. Through subliminal means the idea is implanted that conceiving a child is the equivalent of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Add to this the fact that someone is financially benefiting from operating abortion centres. These centres already openly operate in New South Wales, providing women with a private procedure, so that they don’t have to wait, deliver or recover in an actual maternity ward.

There are also the calls from abortion activists to fully cover the cost of abortions under Medicare. This would enable abortion activists to make an even bigger profit, padding their murderous bottom- line with the tax-payers purse. All under the guise of ‘helping’ women, so that they don’t have to pay any out of pocket expenses for killing their own child/ren.

Another frighteningly confronting truth is that abortion statistics in Australia are inaccurate[2]. They are complicated by the fact that only South and Western Australia keep actual abortion records. The other states use approximation based on Medicare codes for post-miscarriage procedures during all trimesters and other situations or conditions that may require procedures like a ‘D and C’[3].

This is to the advantage of abortion providers because no one knows exactly how many abortions they perform a year (and at how many weeks) except for them- and they aren’t telling. For the majority of Australia, the loop-hole abortion industry is unregulated, and exists without any real accountability.

Australia doesn’t need a tax-payer funded murderous monolithic political conglomerate like America’s ‘Planned Parenthood’.  It doesn’t need to place graphic sex education placed up there in importance before even Math, Science and English. Australia needs to encourage and cherish the value of human life and self-control, not abort it.

With the level of contraception available to women today, there should be no need for abortion. What happens if a woman becomes pregnant because of a violent sexual assault? Not every woman who is raped and becomes pregnant chooses to abort the unborn child. It’s a misconception to believe that conception during rape is a wide-spread issue. Only a small percentage of abortions in the West are performed as a result of a woman having been raped. The majority of abortions are for adult women who have consented to having premarital sex, with multiple partners, without choosing to protect herself, first against sexually transmitted diseases and without being responsible enough to use a wide range of contraception available to her and her male partner/s. Something that can be simply bought at the grocery store.  There are likely to be more cases of conceiving a child because of intoxication and drug use, than through the vile act of rape.

There is no excuse in this day and age for abortion. Most Western countries have sex education classes for children. Some, thanks to activists, are now pushing this onto children at younger and younger ages, for spurious reasons.  With all this effort and education, it would be a weak case for any reproductively healthy adult male or female, to claim to not know that when a man and woman are sexually intimate, the possibility of conceiving a child is always a high probability. Abortion is not a form of birth control, and there is nothing ‘reproductive’ or ‘healthy’ about it, it takes a life. It dehumanises the unborn and pads the coffers of the greedy with the blood of the innocent.


References:

[1] https://www.fpnsw.org.au/sites/default/files/assets/law_on_abortion_fs.pdf

[2] It is estimated by ‘family planning services’ at one quarter of all pregnancies. https://www.childrenbychoice.org.au/factsandfigures/australian-abortion-statistics If we use the 2015 birth total, approximately 155,000 babies would have been aborted each year. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/australias-health-2018-in-brief/contents/births-in-australia

[3] https://www.childrenbychoice.org.au/factsandfigures/australian-abortion-statistics

(Photo credit: Manuel Schinner on Unsplash)

78 year old, actorvist, James Cromwell, has predicted that “if we don’t stop Trump now, there will be blood in the streets.”

The actor and activist, most famous for his role as farmer, Arthur Hoggett in the 1995 movie ‘Babe’ (et.al), inferred that Trump was a fascist dictator, and that America was dangerously close to losing its democracy.

Variety reported that Cromwell made the “candid comments” during a quick Q & A, while walking up the red carpet. He was attending an award ceremony where he was also “honored for his work as a character actor.

According to Variety, Cromwell said,

“This is nascent fascism. We always had a turnkey, totalitarian state — all we needed was an excuse, and all the institutions were in place to turn this into pure fascism […] If we don’t stop [President Trump] now, then we will have a revolution for real. Then there will be blood in the streets.”
“We’re living in very curious times, and something is coming up which is desperately important to this country and to this planet, and that is an election, in which hopefully in some measure we are going to take back our democracy.
We will have a government that represents us and not the donor class. We will cut through the corruption, [and] we won’t have to do what comes next, which is either a non-violent revolution or a violent one, because this has got to end.”

If Cromwell is right, and America is heading for totalitarian rule, it’s difficult to see how Cromwell was able to freely speak his mind in public. Let alone be free to give a speech. All while moving without hindrance into an award ceremony where he was honoured for his work. This was all achieved without a special security detail to ward off any potential harassment from the alleged fascist dictator and his totalitarian minions.

Cromwell gave his speech in relative safety, was celebrated by his peers, and spoke his mind in public without fear of harassment; inferring that a bloody revolution needs to take place, in order to restore America to democracy.

It’s a pity that the same cannot be said for Conservatives like Ben Shapiro, who, when giving a speech at UC Berkley in 2017, saw the “Campus pay an approximate $600,000 for security, in order to anticipate violent protests” from the allegedly anti-Fascist, Leftist movement, Antifa.

If we add onto this, examples of people being assaulted for wearing MAGA hats, public personalities advocating for the assassination of Donald Trump, or the calls for people to harass Trump supporters and Trump administration officials, perhaps Cromwell is looking in the wrong direction.

If the fires of fascism are being stocked, Trump isn’t stoking the fire.

Exhibit A): 15 Stars Who Imagined Violence Against Donald Trump.

Exhibit B): 12,000 Assasination tweets: Trump’s Social Media Presence is a new challenge for the Secret Service

Exhibit C): Two Years of Democrats Calling for Assassinations & Hate

And who can forget the September 13, 2016, Washington Post article by Shalom Auslander, headlined:

‘Don’t Compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. It belittles Hitler.’

Or more recently, Democrat, Maxine Waters calling for the public harassment of men and women in the Trump administration:

“Tell them they’re not welcome.”

If James Cromwell is right, the “nascent fascism” isn’t coming from opponents of the Left, it’s coming from those on the Left.


Originally published, 1st November, 2018 on The Caldron Pool, under ‘Hollywood actor-vist warns: “There will be blood on the streets” if Democrats lose.’ 

©Rod Lampard, 2018

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

American celebrity and UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie, who had recently visited Venezuelan refugees in Peru, has been accused of being a tool of “Right Wing Propaganda”.

Venezuelan Socialist Party boss, Diosdado Cabello, as reported by The Washington Post labelled Jolie’s visit, as “right wing media”, distracting from a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants heading to the United States.”

 

 

 

Cabello’s tweet:

 

Angelina Jolie was in Peru on behalf of the United Nations special envoy.

In an UNHCR press release yesterday, Jolie gave her assessment on the Venezuelan refugee crisis, saying that it was ‘all the more shocking for being predictable and preventable.’

 “Every Venezuelan I met described the situation in their country as desperate. I heard stories of people dying because of a lack of medical care and medicine: cancer patients whose chemotherapy was abruptly stopped, diabetes sufferers without access to insulin, children without basic antibiotics, people starving, and tragic accounts of violence and persecution. None of the Venezuelans I met want charity. They want an opportunity to help themselves.” source

Jolie’s statement is in direct contrast to, Jim Carrey, who in September gave a bizarre affirmation of socialism when he said,

“We have to say yes to socialism, to the word and everything. We have to stop apologizing.”

Carrey was reprimanded by Venezuelan columnist Laureano Márquez, who, in an open letter (on Runrun.es, which now appears to have been deleted) said,

“I read that…you said: ‘We have to say yes to socialism, to the word ‘socialism’ and to everything.’ Perhaps for you, as for all humanity, the word ‘socialism’ sounds beautiful [….] [In] Venezuela, what we find is just that our regime is not – for God’s sake – the antithesis of selfishness,” […] “In Venezuela, dear Jim, from what I have just told you, there is no equitable distribution of wealth; wealth is concentrated, as rarely before in our history, in very few hands. In Venezuela, we’ve seized hatred for the word ‘socialism,’ it represents oppression against a people, the destruction of a flourishing nation, and the despair of its citizens”. source

A special report for World Magazine, headlined, ‘The Undeniable Venezuelan Migrant Crisis’, World reported that Venezuela is seeing 5000 people leaving the country every day, as the country’s economic decline under socialism’ continues. The growing migration crisis is yet to be acknowledged by the Venezuelan socialist government.’

Props to Angelina for giving a voice to those who genuinely don’t have one because their Socialist government continues to deny there is even a problem.

She’s giving a voice to the suffering and oppression of those living under the crushing weight of socialism, in opposition to Socialists, who continue to claim there’s nothing wrong with it.


References & Sources linked.

©Rod Lampard, 2018

Details about Simone Weil’s life and thought are enigmatic. Other than what’s included in the general encyclopedic biographies circling the internet, I know very little about her. Unlike someone such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, there is no long, authorised biography written by her friends. What knowledge I have been about to find out about her, is padded by what I’ve learnt from conversations with internet friends, whose admiration for her work has increased over the years.

Simone was a French intellectual. Like Jacques Ellul, Weil worked in the French resistance, was an admirer of Karl Marx, and a contemporary of Albert Camus.

Weil moved back towards Roman Catholic Christianity and took an interest in Catholic mysticism. This detached her from the French intellectual trends of her day. Weil also made a break with Marxism. Whilst Weil remained a fan of Karl Marx, alongside her criticism of [crony] capitalism, she also wielded a heated criticism of Marxism.

Some of these criticisms are set out in Oppression & Liberty, 1955. Weil’s major criticisms begin with the monopoly of centralisation. This is what Weil says fuels forms of ‘bureaucratic oppression’ from a ‘bureaucratic caste’[i]:

‘All exclusive, uncontrolled power becomes oppressive in the hands of those who have the monopoly of it… instead of a clash of contrary opinions, we end up with an “official opinion” from which no one would be able to deviate.’ (pp.15 & 16)

Three bureaucracies exist: these are ‘state, capital industries and worker’s organisations (trade-unions)’ (p.17). Given the right environment (such as Germany in the 1930s) all three can merge into one. The state takes control of the market and runs it from a centralised politick, with a salaried and bureaucratic hierarchy. Weil calls this ‘state capitalism[ii]’. This means that the economy is managed by the government and government approved capital industries. In 1930’s Germany, this manifested as a dictatorship resting on the twin supports of trade unions and the national-socialist movement[iii]’ (p.25).

The zenith of all of Weil’s criticisms is when she calls Marxism ‘a fully-fledged religion in the impurest sense of the word’ (p.165). Two other earlier statements back this up: ‘‘Marxism is the highest spiritual expression of bourgeois society’ (p.124); ‘Marxism is a badly constructed religion; it has always possessed a religious character’ (p.154).

In a similar way to Jacques Ellul, Weil advocates the truth in Marx’s critique, but is not a believer in Marxism.  For her, the social, economic and political mechanisms of bureaucracy and industry, turn men and women (the working class), into machines. The working class becomes a means to an end.

Weil’s praise for Marx doesn’t go any further than this:

the truth in Marx’s critique is found in how he ‘defined with admirable precision the relationships of force in society […] Two things in Marx are solid and indestructible. First: method; study of and defining the relationships of force. Second is the analysis of Capitalist society as it existed in the 19th Century – where it was believed that in industrial production lay the key to human progress ’ (p.152).

Weil’s short lived praise for Marx ends here: ‘Marx was an idolater; he idolised the Proletariat and considered himself to be their natural leader’ (p.151); Marx made oppression the central notion of his writings, but never attempted to analyse it. He never asked himself what oppression is’ (p.154)

Oppression & Liberty concludes with Weil’s summary of Marx’s failings. This includes his obsession[iv] with production, class war and moralism.

‘The only form of war Marx takes into consideration is social war – (open or underground) – under the name of class struggle.  Class struggle or social war is the sole principle for explaining history. Marx was incapable of any real effort of scientific thought, because that did not matter to him. All this materialist was interested in was justice. He took refuge in a dream and called it dialectical materialism.’ (pp.178 & 180)

As Weil explains,

‘Marx fell back into the ‘group morality which revolted him to the point of hating society. Like the feudal magnates of old,  like the business men  of his own day, he had built for himself a morality which placed above good and evil the activity of professional revolutionaries; the mechanism for producing paradise’ (p.182). Marx’s ‘moral failing was that he do not seek the source of the good in the place where it dwells.’ (p.183).

When I was given a copy of Oppression and Liberty, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I hadn’t planned on reading the book, but I’m thankful to have had the chance to make a careful study of it.

The subject matter is dense. This is made more complex by Weil’s writing style. However, this complexity doesn’t make Oppression & Liberty unbearable to read. Weil takes aim at a lot of relevant themes which pose serious questions for our contemporary setting. These themes include unintended consequences, ‘bureaucratic oppression’[v], monopolies, power, materialism, group-think morality, sociopolitical force, the mechanisms of power, and subjectivism.

The latter coming out through her discussion and warning about seeking morality in places other than where genuine goodness and authentic morality dwells. This can be interpreted to mean that God is the only means by which humanity has a moral anchor. Weil’s example of this is Karl Marx and his obsession with justice, production and power. These led to contradictions in his theory and its application. His subsequent moral failing was that his quest for morality searched everywhere, but where the source of goodness and authentic morality is, can, and therefore, ought to be found.

Oppression & Liberty is a book that teaches something new each time it’s opened. Weil’s book is a gold mine, with a complex nature and a variety of themes which require careful navigation. Because of this it’s difficult to take ownership of Weil’s main points with just one reading.

Oppression & Liberty’s main theme pivots on an analysis of Karl Marx. Within this analysis, Weil yields a critique of Marxism. This criticism is balanced by her agreement and disagreement with Marx. For Weil, any centralised control of an economy (monopoly), leads to the oppression and tyrannical rule over those who work under it, or are made to serve it. In sum, this criticism states that despite appearances, Marxists, plutocrats and bureaucrats alike, all pose a threat to equity and morality.

The warning from Simone Weil in Oppression & Liberty is loud and clear: those who chose to entertain Marxism, big bureaucracy or crony capitalism, ride the backs of monsters.


References:

[i] Weil, S. 1955, Oppression & Liberty, 2001. Routledge Classics, ‘the dictatorship of the bureaucratic caste’ (p.14)

[ii] Weil credits Ferdinand Fried with the term and its definition.

[iii] An interesting add-on to this is Weil’s statement: ‘The communists accuse the social-democrats of being the “quartermaster-sergeants of fascism”, and they are absolutely right.’ (p.27)

[iv] Ibid, (p.178)

[v] ‘the bureaucratic oppression; the bureaucratic machine’, (p.13)