Almost 64% of voters in Sunday’s referendum supported tougher restrictions on semi-automatic and automatic weapons, final results show.
Switzerland is not an EU member, but risked removal from the open-border Schengen Area if it had voted “no”.
Nearly 48% of Swiss households own a gun – among the highest rates of private ownership in Europe.
The EU had urged the country to tighten its laws in line with rules adopted by the bloc following the 2015 Paris terror attacks.
The rules restrict semi-automatic and automatic rifles and make it easier to track weapons in national databases.
The EU’s initial proposal sparked criticism in Switzerland, because it meant a ban on the tradition of ex-soldiers keeping their assault rifles.
Swiss officials negotiated concessions, but some gun activists argued that the rules still encroached on citizens’ rights.
What does the result tell us?
Analysis by Imogen Foulkes, BBC News, Geneva
Opponents of the new gun laws described them as a diktat from Brussels, being forced on non-EU member Switzerland against its will. The Swiss national identity, with its long tradition of gun ownership, was, they argued, being undermined.
But Sunday’s nationwide referendum shows voters think differently: they have overwhelmingly backed the new gun laws, following their government’s advice.
The Swiss seem keen to co-operate in the EU’s attempts to prevent terror attacks, and to keep their often tricky relations with Brussels as smooth as possible.
Why is the EU concerned about Swiss gun laws?
After the 2015 Paris attacks, the EU issued Schengen members with new restrictions on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
The rules called for:
- A ban on weapons capable of rapidly firing multiple rounds
- Automatic and semi-automatic weapons to either be banned or heavily restricted
- Each owner of such a weapon, and the weapon itself, to be known to police across Europe
- All essential weapon components to be clearly labelled and registered electronically
The EU hoped the rules would help to protect people across Europe, and prevent a repeat of the 2015 attacks.
Failure to adopt the changes could have forced Switzerland to leave the Schengen zone and the Dublin joint system for handling asylum requests.
What did Swiss officials say?
The Swiss government urged voters to back the changes.
Nothing really new here, just a good reiteration.
In the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” part of the dystopian government that George Orwell imagined was its use of the language of “Newspeak,” a simplification of the English language to serve the needs of the state. Newspeak altered thoughts, so that people were rendered incapable of thinking outside Party lines.
We now see this same principle at play in political correctness, in which concepts behind words are being altered to fit political narratives, and people are censoring their thoughts to not violate the artificial morals of the state.
The effects of political correctness can be found most clearly where the concept originates: under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as Mao Zedong created the concept in 1967 to control public dissent at the start of the Cultural Revolution. The idea was simple: support the regime’s policies and you are politically correct. Oppose them, and you can be targeted and destroyed.
In its details, the CCP’s use of political correctness is different from the way it’s used in the United States and Europe, yet underneath it has the same purpose. Under the Chinese regime, it’s used as an artificial moral system to guard the policies of the CCP. In the United States, it’s used as an artificial moral system to guard socialist policies.
We would be better off as a country with a longer discussion about the ‘Columbiner’ subculture, and how to prevent teenagers and other young people from falling under its sway.
Yesterday’s shooting at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch, Colo. — only a few miles from Columbine high school — involved two shooters, which is rare in school shootings. The school will be closed for the rest of the week and other schools in the area are adding additional security.
This comes just a few weeks after parents in the area awoke to warnings that an armed 18-year-old woman with an infatuation with the massacre had flown across the country to Colorado; she later was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. And this year marked the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting; the date fell on a Saturday with the community marking its third annual “Day of Service” and other events to remember that awful day.
Columbine wasn’t just a massacre; it was a form of ideation, and it cracked open some barrier that made the unthinkable thinkable for many disturbed, deeply troubled, and angry individuals. Some family members of the victims are still getting harassed, two decades later:
Coni Sanders’ father Dave Sanders was the only teacher killed at Columbine.
To this day, Sanders still gets bombarded with messages from what she calls “Columbiners,” people obsessed with every last detail of the massacre that took her father.
“There are hundreds of social media accounts claiming to be the killers,” Sanders said. “Worse, some claim to be my dad.”
Maybe you love more background checks for gun purchases, maybe you don’t, but either way, background checks for gun purchases won’t solve the problem of angry, emotionally unstable young people developing an obsession about Columbine. And when a teenager starts getting obsessed about Columbine, the odds of him attempting a school shooting increase dramatically:
“The phenomenon is feeding on itself,” said Peter Langman, a psychologist who is the author of “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters” and who runs the website SchoolShooters.info. “It’s gaining momentum, and the more there are, the more there will be.”
Mr. Langman has created a mass-shooter diagram tracking the influence Columbine has had on more than 30 other rampage attacks at schools and elsewhere, from California to Germany. The diagram resembles a corporate flowchart, with lines branching out and intersecting, but all of them flowing out of two names: the Columbine killers.
In the past, we’ve seen past moral panics about cultural factors that are only tangentially related to teen violence — heavy-metal music, Dungeons and Dragons, violent movies, and video games. But the Columbiner subculture is explicitly about school shootings, and almost always portrays mass murder as a form of justice or retribution. If law enforcement monitors jihadist and other extremist groups that have potential for mass-casualty attacks, they should be monitoring this one.
God bless everyone living in the Columbine and its surrounding communities. They just want to live their lives in peace, not be forced into the role of someone else’s symbol.
For generations, younger Americans found Communists just as scary as Count Dracula, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Darth Vader. Socialism, so strongly associated with Marx and Lenin, never caught on in the United States. To modern millennials, however, fear of socialism seems as ancient as a rotary phone.
In March 2019, Axios released results from a Harris poll showing that about half of millennial and Generation Z respondents believed that “our economy should be mostly socialist.” That result is no outlier, but rather a consistent finding over recent years. In 2018, Gallup found that 51 percent of 18- to 29-year-old Americans view socialism favorably; only 45 percent look at capitalism positively.
An August 2018 YouGov poll revealed that only 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds had good feelings toward capitalism, while 35 percent regarded socialism positively. Bernie Sanders, an avowed Democratic Socialist, nearly captured the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, thanks in part to youth support. Another Democratic Socialist, newly elected House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, herself a millennial, has achieved overnight celebrity, accumulating more than 3 million Twitter followers while trumpeting a 70 percent marginal tax rate.
Just 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, how can socialism have made such a comeback? The likeliest answer: the Great Recession left millennials looking for alternatives to capitalism, without the Cold War ideological guideposts that positioned older generations. Both the Right and the Left have redefined socialism, moreover, so that many young supporters now think that it just means a cuddlier, more equitable government.
Yet even if socialism has been redefined, its rising approval among the young is still a problem for proponents of economic liberty. For decades, apostles of free markets could condemn bad economic ideas merely by branding them “socialist,” because real-world Marxists did such a good job of showing how much evil could radiate from a state-controlled economy. But those negative examples are mostly vanquished now.
The task ahead is to convince today’s young people that society requires liberty as well as compassion. The private ingenuity that generates new products and new jobs needs both incentives and reasonable regulation. If our current politics tell us anything, it is that this case must be made again, with arguments that resonate among Americans who’ve probably never heard of Lavrentiy Beria.
Today is the National Day of Prayer.
General George Washington’s Prayer
I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have the United States in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the Characteristicks of the Devine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.
From Milton Friedman’s introduction in 1994 to the 50th-anniversary edition of Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom:
To understand why it is that ‘good’ men in positions of power will produce evil, while the ordinary man without power but able to engage in voluntary cooperation with his neighbors will produce good, requires analysis and thought, subordinating the emotions to the rational faculty.
Surely that is one answer to the perennial mystery of why collectivism [and socialism], with its demonstrated record of producing tyranny and misery, is so widely regarded as superior to individualism, with its demonstrated record of producing freedom and plenty. The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument. And the emotional facilities are more highly developed in most men than the rational, paradoxically or especially even in those who regard themselves as intellectuals.
Experience has strongly confirmed Hayek’s central insight—that coordination of men’s activities through central direction and through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions: the first to serfdom, the second to freedom. That experience has also strongly reinforced a secondary theme—central direction is also a road to poverty for the ordinary man; voluntary cooperation, a road to plenty. The battle for freedom must be won over and over again. The socialists in all parties to whom Hayek dedicated his book must once again be persuaded or defeated if they and we are to remain free men.
By Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
We are living in a new era, a time when added security is needed in places where it was previously not considered essential. We need to ask how society got to this point. I believe too many observers are addressing symptoms and not the root of the caustic violence occurring across this country.
On the one hand, we see violent and deadly acts from extremists on all sides of the political spectrum. However, from my perspective and experience, I have come to the conclusion that American society is on the wrong path.
While hate emerges from both sides of the aisle, a feeling of acute helplessness causes violence. The rancor of the left – pundits and politicians – the bullying and demonizing, the denunciations of alternate political views as immoral and untenable, has pushed many buttons on unstable haters all over country.
We should not point fingers. However, the identity politics being pushed constantly by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Forward newspaper and website, the ACLU, the NY Times, and similar organizations, create an environment in which hatred has become the dominant cultural theme of our day. By denouncing political opponents as haters, they isolate and demonize whole swaths of this country, whose fringes are driven further
Those trafficking in the narrative of identity politics are the fascists of the left, ironically and inadvertently partnering with the hateful alt-right nationalists leading our commonwealth to a roiling state of discomfiture and enmity.
Our country is in big trouble when irresponsible leaders, who refuse to take responsibility for their overheated rhetoric, lead national human rights organizations. They see hate everywhere and suspect every opinion that does not reflect their own. Their overactive defensiveness causes untold damage by vilifying those outside their political circles.
I do not mean to assign blame for shootings to leftist leaders. The blame lies only in those who undertake these heinous attacks. I refer to the climate that encourages hatred to blossom into full-fledged violence. The would-be defenders of freedom of the left cause the real purveyors of violence and hatred to gain many fellow travelers. As dialogue disappears and responsible figures refuse to lead, chaos and loathing bubble uncontrollably.
Being a mensch means adhering to standards, boundaries, goals, respect for oneself and respect for all of G-D’s creations. Western society, and particularly the United States, used to have a culture of faith, responsibility, respect and ethics.
The leftists have replaced this culture of faith, responsibility and boundaries with one lacking definitions of ethical human activity and morality to the point that “thou shalt not murder” bears little meaning for too many people in this society. Those who disagree are labeled haters, shouted down and forced out of the public square. Many who could act and lead with sound moral and logical strength have been weakened by this culture of leftist shaming and denouncing.
Strength of character comes from following a clear path in life based upon a “higher” reality called the Creator, G-D, or in Hebrew, Hashem.
Over the past decades, nearly every civil rights organization in America has acquired the cultural high ground by abandoning a strong foundation in G-D and faith. These civil rights organizations have failed, yes failed miserably, in creating a more just moral and tolerant society. The absolutist demands for diversity have caused a profound lack of diversity. As reverence for G-D has decreased, so has reverence for humanity. As abortions and cases of euthanasia increase, so do suicides. Without G-D, we cannot build a better society.
My fellow Americans of all ethnicities and communities let us all return to our divinely bestowed responsibilities as individuals and not put our faith in the many failed organizations that collect so ably our financial support and destroy the moral fabric and strength of our society.
The time for a paradigm shift for every American is now. We need to restore dignity, self-respect and faith in the Al-mighty.
May the Creator of us all allow us to regain the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood of all humanity, recognize that we are all children of One Creator, and direct our activities to wholesome and true unity with recognition of the One who has mercy on His Creations.
With love and respect and with sincere blessing rooted in the Source of all blessings,
Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht,
In 1989, alongside several U.S. officers, William S. Lind helped to originate fourth-generation war (4GW) theory.
Lind served as a legislative aide for Senator Robert Taft, Jr., of Ohio from 1973 through 1976 and held a similar position with Senator Gary Hart of Colorado from 1977 to 1986. He is the author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Press, 1985) and co-author, with Gary Hart, of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform.
The Left has adopted the word “woke” to describe people who have accepted the ideology of cultural Marxism and are willing to act on it. The equivalent I hear most often for the Right is “getting it”. What does it mean to “get it”?
First, it means understanding that the Left is no longer made up of liberals. It is now dominated by cultural Marxists, believers in the ideology concocted largely by the Frankfurt School that translates Marxism from economic into cultural terms. Like all Marxists, cultural Marxists are totalitarians. There is nothing “liberal” about them, in any sense of the word. Their goal, as we see from what they do on college campuses they control, is to punish any thought or expression that deviates from their views. The usual terms for such a deviation are “racism”, “sexism”, and “homophobia”. (Denunciation for these imagined sins is itself “ism-ism”, the magical belief that realities such as differences among races or between the sexes can be nullified by calling them names ending in “ism”.) Cultural Marxism’s call for “equality” is a lie; it seeks to put Blacks over White (and Asians), women over men, and gays over straights. Everything noble, beautiful, or grand is to be pulled down while whatever floats down humanity’s sewer is to be plopped on the civic altar with a demand we bow down and worship it.
Second, America is not a democracy. It is an oligarchy, run by a “new class” that rules both in Washington and on Wall Street. The new class has three main characteristics: it can’t make things work, it uses its wealth and power to exempt itself from the consequences of things not working, and it cares about only one thing, namely remaining the new class. It is made up overwhelmingly of people who want to be something, not people who want to do something. It knuckles under to cultural Marxism not because it believes in it–t believes in nothing but its own right to money and power–but because it is made up of moral cowards. Principles have a nasty habit of getting in the way of career progression.
The Wall Street wing of the new class–each wing supports the other–has become the top 1% financially in part by exporting the jobs of middle-class Americans. By moving a great deal of our manufacturing abroad, with white-collar jobs now following fast, the 1% has obliterated the blue-collar middle class that was the pride of 1950’s America. Middle class Americans now find themselves falling further and further behind until they can no longer afford a middle-class way of life.
Third, this whole rotten structure is about to fall. Heartland Americans are fed up with cultural Marxism, also known as “political correctness”, that’s one of the main reasons they voted for President Trump. The 2016 electoral map, seen by county, shows a vast red America with a few tiny blue enclaves. Red America will not let itself be ruled by those enclaves any longer.
Economically, the whole world is headed for a massive debt crisis, which means not a recession but a depression. When that hits, everyone but the 1% will become poor. Already, young people entering the labor force find it almost impossible to get a job with a living wage. In a depression, no one can find work, and moving home with mom and dad isn’t an option because they don’t have any money themselves.
Does this mean revolution? Over roughly the past five centuries, it might have. Now, in an era when the state is in decline, it is more likely to mean devolution. People will seek, and find, ways to disconnect themselves from the new class, a.k.a. the Establishment, and Washington; from cultural Marxism and its clients; and from a dead globalist economy. To the degree this happens peacefully, it will not be a bad thing. A return to local economies, local government, and local solutions to problems would be beneficial and welcome. This shift is in fact already underway, drawing on ideas from both the Left and Right.
Unfortunately, neither Washington, nor Wall Street, nor the cultural Marxists are likely to step aside voluntarily or peacefully. The collapse of the current order will probably get messy. Disorder is not something any conservative can ever welcome. But “getting it” includes being ready if disorder comes.
Thoughts from a hipster coffee shop
My generation is becoming the largest voting bloc in the country. We have an opportunity to continue to propel us forward with the gifts capitalism and democracy has given us. The other option is that we can fall into the trap of entitlement and relapse into restrictive socialist destitution. The choice doesn’t seem too hard, does it?
The author is much too generous to Occasional-Cortex.
I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me.
We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it.
Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.
Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”
Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Now, I’m not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s words to outright dishonesty. [I am] I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided. My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand.
When I co-founded the Home Depot in 1979, I just been fired and I was broke,” Bernie Marcus continued. “There’s no other country in the world that has a system where someone under these circumstances could turn a simple idea and hard work into a company that employs more than 400,000 people and has created thousands of successful millionaires. While I’m no longer in the management of the Home Depot I still believe in the free market enterprise system that helped build it.”
“That’s why it pains me to see people in this country glorifying socialism; young people especially have been indoctrinated into believing that free enterprise is immoral, because it enriches the greedy and depresses the poor,” Marcus said in the video. “The reality is that the free market system has created the biggest middle class population in the world. And while some may say socialism is well-intentioned the fact is it robs people of their independence their dignity and their finances leading to government dependence suppression of ideas and lower standards of living for those under its thumb.
A funny thing happened on the way to the 2016 presidential election. The unelectable, uncouth, unintelligent, unpolitical, unlikeable, and utterly unthinkable guy won. Clearly, the “deplorables” assisted, as did the “bitter clingers” — owners of guns and Bibles — and the so-called uneducated, unsophisticated, and ridiculed patriotic swath of the American people.
But it took more. The uncovereds carried President Trump over the finish line to unbelievable victory.
Who and what are the uncovereds? They are the silent army who are passionately pro-Trump but wouldn’t and still won’t admit it. Why? one might ask. Were they cowards?
In the months leading up to the 2016 election, the reasons for secrecy were very different from and far more benign than those dictating secrecy today. In 2015, Trump’s inner circle was aware of the phenomenon, as were the ancillary Trump campaign volunteers who walked the streets, knocking on doors, and toiling for hours at phone banks.
What did they collectively discover? Diverse but large groups of people were committed to voting for Trump. However, while they would admit their pro-Trump predilection to anonymous pollsters or door-knockers or phone surveyors, they would not tell their family, friends, co-workers, bosses, or teachers. Universally, their response would be “I’m voting for Trump, but I’m not telling my spouse, or anyone else.” In 2015, it just wasn’t worth the hassle and ridicule to them. They didn’t want to argue with friends and relatives, teachers and students. And they didn’t want to be perceived as dumb. . . .
In 2019, going into the upcoming presidential election cycle, the uncovereds’ reticence stems from far more profound fears. There is a fear of violence. There is a fear of being fired. There is a fear of grade retribution. There is a fear of a car with a pro-Trump bumper sticker being vandalized. This fear radiates in America. Incredibly, the Democratic Party has created an atmosphere of free speech suppression — “if you disagree with us, we will silence you.”
The Democrats, with their anarchistic thug minions, blackmail serial con artists, and monolithic control of public education and social and print media, have terrorized many Trump aficionados into diving underground and undercover. By doing so, they have perpetuated the inevitability of their second and seemingly more comprehensive demise. That is because, by pushing more uncovereds underground, they don’t know how many uncovereds exist.
Yet despite massive intimidation, another funny thing is happening on the way to the 2020 presidential election: Many of the heretofore uncovereds are banning together and openly bursting forth from the Trump closet. These include the Jewish groups Jexit and Jexodus and the ever-expanding black American and Caucasian movement #walkaway.
The groundswell of Jewish appreciation for President Trump, in some Jewish enclaves, is so overwhelming that it has permeated the 2019 Jewish celebration of Passover.
Sisterhood of the Gun
What I saw at A Girl & A Gun’s 2019 national conference
That’s the word I kept hearing repeated as women gathered in Texas hill country last week for A Girl & A Gun‘s sold out national conference.
And, after spending a few days among the ladies, it wasn’t hard to see why.
About an hour away from the BBQ pits of Austin, among the Bluebonnet-covered rolling hills, where there’s a Whataburger in every small town, lies the massive Reveille Peak Ranch. It’s there where 450 women congregated to take courses from 60 different professional firearms trainers over the course of 3 days. They came from all across the country and all different backgrounds to improve their shooting.
For history’s rare multiracial and multiethnic republics, an “e pluribus unum” cohesion is essential. Each particular tribe must owe greater allegiance to the commonwealth than to those who superficially look or worship alike.
Yet over the last 20 years we have deprecated “unity” and championed “diversity.” Americans are being urged by popular culture, universities, schools and government to emphasize their innate differences rather than their common similarities.
Sometimes the strained effort turns comical. Some hyphenate or add accents or foreign pronunciations to their names. Others fabricate phony ethnic pedigrees in hopes of gaining an edge in job-seeking or admissions.
The common theme is to be anything other than just normal Americans for whom race, gender and ethnicity are incidental rather than essential to their character.
But unchecked tribalism historically leads to nihilism.
As the long conga line of Democrats prepare for their chance at the Presidency, not since the American Civil War has the country been so divided on critical issues as it is right now. Moreover, although Democrat Socialists, aka leftists, say the country is in a mess, they don’t seem too concerned with the traditional topics of taxes, military spending, and balanced budgets. They are, however, very focused on trying to demonstrate what a bad person they think Trump is and how righteously superior they think they are.
Listening to Democratic candidates lecture Americans on morality regarding a border wall or the sanctity of sanctuary cities their campaign rhetoric sounds more like a religious movement than a political position. It is rather apparent that the left is entirely void of any economic plans or international policies. Instead, it has resorted to becoming pseudo-preachers of a quasi-socialist religion, sounding more sanctimonious by the day. So the only questions Americans can ask themselves at this point is whether or not they want to remain a nation based on the belief in God and laws or a country based on faith in government and social justice?
One of the biggest scams and tactical deceptions that leftists use to gain support from outsiders is the attempt to equate Christian teachings to their socialist policies. As if Christianity is more closely matched with the left’s good socialist intentions rather than the God-centered Constitution. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, according to a February 2016 article on the Action Institute power blog, since the mid-1800s every Catholic pontiff from Pius IX to Benedict XVI has forthrightly condemned socialism.
The American conservative sees God as the architect of everything and originator of man’s freedom, and the view of government is limited to protecting those God-given gifts. Whereas the leftist sees government as a godlike idol and their role as the arbiters that control the allowances parted out to the masses — two opposite ways of life with socialism utterly incompatible with Christianity on every level.
Be careful when taking tomboys to doctors. You could easily get all twisted up in this crap-for-brains ‘trans’ movement.
According to medical doctors and a parent of a gender non-conforming child speaking on a panel for the Heritage Foundation, their quest to stop dangerous transgender treatments on minors has exposed that “government-funded research now allows wrong sex hormones such as testosterone to be given to girls as young as 8,” reported The Christian Post on Tuesday.
Through FOIA requests, Dr. Michael Laidlaw, a California-based endocrinologist, and some of his colleagues “found that in 2017 they lowered the minimum age for cross-sex hormones from 13 to 8,” the report said.
Canadian academic Jordan Peterson warns that socialism is so appealing to young people because they are “unbelievably ignorant” about the history of the 20th century.
During an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation this week, the clinical psychologist and best-selling author said that millennials are embracing far-left ideology because they weren’t taught about its disastrous outcomes at school.
“People are unbelievably ignorant of history,” said Peterson. “What young people know about 20th-century history is nonexistent, especially about the history of the radical left. How would you know? They are never taught about it so why would they be concerned about it?”
Milan Kundera is 90-years old on April 1, 2019 and his central subject—The Power of Forgetting, or historical amnesia—could not be more relevant. Kundera’s great theme emerged from his experience of the annexation of his former homeland Czechoslovakia by the Soviets in 1948 and the process of deliberate historical erasure imposed by the communist regime on the Czechs.
As Kundera said: (QUOTE OF THE DAY)
The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.
I first read Kundera’s Book of Laughter and Forgetting (1979) back in 1987, when I was a member of the British Communist Party. The book shook my beliefs and Kundera’s writing became a part of a process of truth-speaking that shook the USSR to the ground in 1989……
For a brief period, the consensus was that the communist experiment had failed. Never again, said the postmodernists and historians. Never again, said the economists and political parties. Never again said the people of former communist countries. Never again.
Fast forward 20 years and never again has been forgotten. The Wall Street Journal in 2016 asked: “Is Communism Cool? Ask a Millennial.” Last year MIT Press published Communism for Kids and Teen Vogue ran an excited apologia for Communism. Tablet announced, with some concern, a “Cool Kid Communist Comeback.” On Twitter, there is new trend of people giving themselves communist-themed names: “Gothicommunist,” “Trans-Communist,” “Commie-Bitch,” “Eco-Communist.” The hammer and sickle flag has been re-appearing on campuses, at protests and on social media.
How could we have forgotten?
A poll in the UK by The New Culture Forum from 2015 showed that 70 percent of British people under the age of 24 had never heard of Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung, while out of the 30 percent who had heard of him, 10 percent did not associate him with crimes against humanity. Chairman Mao’s communist regime was responsible for the deaths of between 30 to 70 million Chinese, making him the biggest genocidal killer of the 20th century, above Stalin and Hitler.
One of the reasons Mao’s genocides are not widely known about is because they are complex and covered two periods over a total of seven years. Information on the internet tends to be reduced into fast-read simplified narratives. If any facts are under dispute we have a tendency to shrug and dismiss the entire issue. So it is precisely the ambiguity over whether Mao’s Communist Party was responsible for 30, 50 or 70 million deaths that leads to internet users giving up on the subject………….
To get rid of an enemy now, you don’t have to prove anything against them. Instead, you use the internet to generate conflicting accusations and contradictory data. You use confusion to elevate hatred and fear until that enemy is either banned from the net, their history re-written or erased from the minds of millions through conflict-induced apathy.
If the struggle of man is the struggle of memory against forgetting, as Kundera said, then we have in the cacophony of the internet a vast machine for forgetting. One that is building a new society upon the shallow, shifting sands of Historical Amnesia.
There are few methods of literally wiping out a nation more effective, than indoctrinating the people to the point of being useful idiots. Unfortunately, many idiots grow up and are elected to political office. Or even worse, dingbat educators and professors con young Americans into undermining their own nation. One of the hallmarks of this exceptional nation is the heavy emphasis on the importance of “We the People” Our first president stated, “The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will be recalled.”
Washington’s words are astounding when you consider their historical significance. Before establishing the United States, no nation other than possibly antient Israel recognized the importance of the people being involved in the governing of the society…
We all know that what is taught to one generation dictates the direction the nation takes in the next. The dangerous influence of leftist radicals today is a direct result of leftists being foolishly allowed to infiltrate the government school system. Have you noticed how leftist controllers of indoctrination do not allow critical thinking, American history or civics classes? The leftists indoctrinate students with social studies, Islamic culture courses, social studies, socialism and a gradual downgrading of literacy in the primary grades. In order to ultimately destroy a nation from within, there must first be a systematic decrease in the quality of literacy and morality. As illiteracy and the racism of low expectation was indoctrinated into the American black community, there arose an illiterate community of high criminality, Ebonics and low achievement.
And why do demoncraps suddenly want to give 16 year olds the vote?
If you’ll look back on your biblical teaching, the Israelites didn’t consider someone a fully grown man able to handle adult responsibilities until he was 30, no matter the Bar/Bas Mitvah for 13 year olds.
At what age does someone become an adult? Many might say that the 18th birthday marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. After all, that’s the age at which people can typically join the military and become fully independent in the eyes of the law.
But in light of research showing our brains develop gradually over the course of several decades, and at different paces among individuals, should we start rethinking how we categorize children and adults?
“There isn’t a childhood and then an adulthood,” Peter Jones, who works as part of the epiCentre group at Cambridge University, told the BBC. “People are on a pathway, they’re on a trajectory.”
What was revealed was the extent of rottenness in the system. If Trump had been a godlike Alexander it would have been one thing. But he's not. That they are actually less competent than a casino manager and reality show host is too much for them to take.
— wretchardthecat (@wretchardthecat) March 23, 2019
Even elite mediocrity is not the real crisis, IMO … they have always been mediocre.
The real crisis is how WE placed such blind faith in the elites to solve our problems FOR us, that we replaced our own initiative with slavish dependence upon them.https://t.co/bSTg7ezm0k
— Ritchie The Riveter (@ritchiedriveter) March 23, 2019
The selfie-video made by New Zealand shooter Brent Tarrant shows the world once again how shockingly banal an act of mass homicide can be. He went through the various chambers of two mosques in suburban Christchurch exterminating unarmed, helpless worshippers as if they were mere points to be racked up in a video game. They had no personalities or histories. They were just targets. And when they moaned or moved, he shot them again to make sure they were out of the game. The shooter was arrested and lives on in police custody.
He went about his task with exactly the sort of paramilitary efficiency that is portrayed so admiringly in the Mission Impossible or Fast and Furious movies, all business, no emotion. The manifesto he left on the Internet shows his clear and detailed motive for what he didn’t hesitate to label as “a terrorist attack.” He was especially interested in provoking a fresh debate over the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution in the USA, in the hopes of provoking a civil war that would break-up the nation into warring regions divided by race. He calls himself “an eco-nationalist” because he considers overpopulation the leading threat to the planet and non-Europeans to be the most fecund and therefore responsible for the problem. He will go on trial and he says he intends to plead innocent. You’d better take him seriously.
At least half the political class in the USA doesn’t take the immigration issue seriously, except as a gambit for what they think is political advantage. The Left is doing everything possible to confound the issue and muddle it with litigation at every level, from local law enforcement to congress, starting with the longstanding effort to garble the definitions of legal versus illegal immigration. The “conservative” Right doesn’t dare call them on it, out of fear of losing Hispanic votes. So, it is left to the awkward, inflammatory figure of Mr. Trump to demand clarification about what official policy will be, including the enforcement of existing laws, and he has been reviled for it all along the way. He’s not a consensus-builder, to put it mildly.
Last week, coincidental with the New Zealand mosque massacre, Mr. Trump said the following:
“You know, the left plays a tougher game. It’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. O.K.? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
As usual, his syntax is disastrous as well as his habit of placing himself at the center of every issue. But, also as usual with Mr. Trump, and because of his filter-less tongue, he lays out matters that should be extremely troubling to all Americans: that the land is full of men with tremendous potential for violence — and most particularly men with military and paramilitary training in killing and warfare, who have, so far, barely expressed in action their discontent with the tactics of their adversaries on the Left. This Pandora’s box of calamity includes the Left’s recent campaign to denigrate men as toxic and without value, especially white men wearing their scarlet letter “P” for privilege.
The Left had better sober up and join an intelligible good faith debate about US immigration policy and the enforcement of existing laws or this will lead to exactly what Brent Tarrant laid out and what Mr. Trump maladroitly hinted at. Instead, of course, we will more likely commence another bootless campaign over guns. Here are some plain facts about that. There are already enough firearms of every sort loose in this land to commence hot civil warfare and they will not be surrendered by their owners. The horses are out of the barn on that one, even if sales of military-style weapons are outlawed. Any effort to confiscate them from people already possessing them will only provoke more overt antagonism between the two poles of American politics — and would probably lead to exactly the sort of violence that sober observers discern on the horizon.
Our battered American common culture and its expression in political consensus ought to start with the foundation of the social contract: the agreement to not slaughter each other. That is, at least, the one principle that ought to stand on its own as self-evident, without any need for equivocation via “diversity” arguments. The Left is playing with fire on this with its dishonest, bad faith approach to debating the immigration question, and the gun debate will only provide a distraction from it.
THE NEW MAN
Do we have the resolve to defeat the new totalitarians?
If we don’t we better find it.
The 20th Century was the era of the “new man,” and leftist leaders are preaching the same failed sermon again today. From Mussolini to Mao, the totalitarians of both left and right recognized that their ideologies required a basic change in human nature. Italian fascism, emerging from the Great War, insisted that the heroes of the battlefield were the only ones qualified to lead Italy to new glories. As time passed, Mussolini maintained that it was imperative to train a new generation, with the qualities demonstrated by the war fighters, to govern the country. Fascist Italy needed a new kind of human being, a new fascist man. This imperative gave rise to the well-known fascist institutions, from ideologically-driven schools to youth organizations and paramilitary bands, as well as the mass rallies that fused individual Italians into a fascist mob.
Mussolini set the model for the others. Hitler permitted only Aryans to hold high office, and though this practice was often observed in the breach (Goering famously quipped, “I decide who is an Aryan”), it was certainly official doctrine, and was relentlessly preached to the German people. Like the fascists, the Nazis herded the people into officially approved groups, from the Hitler Youth to the schools and the many ideological bands. Hitler ritualized the relationship between leader and masses in his famous rallies. You can see the dynamic in the celebrated film The Triumph of the Will.
Stalin officially called for the creation of a “new socialist man,” stripped of “bourgeois” thought and habits. This required extensive indoctrination, both in didactic settings—schools and Communist Party meetings and discussions–and in the interminable speeches from the rulers.
It is therefore no surprise that perhaps the most brilliant book of the 20th century was Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power, which is still in print, and is an indispensable guide to mass movements. Canetti, who won the Nobel prize for literature, traces the steps in the creation of the modern crowd, the prototypical form of organization for totalitarian states. The totalitarian regimes wanted nothing less than a reworking of human nature, and they were notably successful. It alarms me, therefore, when our contemporary political leaders speak in the same terms, as when Senator Kamala Harris says we must change people in order to successfully enact her climate change schemes. They are the new totalitarians. It is no accident that mass rallies are so popular among our radical leftists. That, like their doctrines, are textbook cases of the totalitarian impulse, and like the mass movements of the last century, have developed political rituals to hail their leaders and denigrate their enemies. Like the fascists, Nazis, and Communists, contemporary totalitarians have declared ideological warfare against Jews and capitalism. They need a “new man” to swell their ranks.
Can they win? They might. Their predecessors were exceedingly successful. Twentieth-century totalitarians dominated much of the West for quite a long time, and only two desperate wars—one hot, one cold—defeated them.
Before that, the Communists, fascists and Nazis were supported with the sort of wild enthusiasm that we can see in today’s mass demonstrations and rallies. They were tough to beat. We didn’t reason the Germans and Italians out of Nazism and fascism; we crushed them on the battlefield. We had to rally the opposition against the Soviet Empire after seventy years. In all three cases, there were millions of Americans who supported our enemies, and we had to fight them as well.
The search for the “new man” has been going on for a century, and it was quite a hit the last time it was tried. It will be a tough fight once again. We are more corrupt and less educated than we once were. The would-be totalitarians today generate myths that would have been the envy of the ideologues of the last century. Can we muster the resolve to take them on and defeat them?
That this question is very much unanswered shows how hard it’s going to be.
“The left is so determined to try to paint America as a source of white supremacy when, in fact, there is virtually no institutional support for these handful of kooks (with crap-for-brains. ed.) that are insane. They are violating the very premises of Western Civilization.”