On campus censorship: it looks like we’ve been deceived

I remember back in 2015-2016 there were many things going on within both American and British colleges/universities. The safe spaces, the loud minority of people who came to be referred to as social justice warriors, the trigger warnings, anti-racist protesters who demand the removal of some speakers, and people like Michelle Click, painted the picture of the modern university as a repressive environment (though I always thought it weird how this was never the case for my university as such). This put together with a confluence of narratives surrounding left-liberal intellectual hegemony within wider society, made it easy to believe that there was some kind of authoritarian left dominance of the campus space at the expense of intellectual diversity and freedom. You’ll find this narrative parroted to this day by the likes of Jonathan Haidt, Jonah Goldberg, David Frum, Douglas Murray, Jonathan Chait, Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Bret and Eric Weinstein (the latter of whom works for Peter Thiel and supported the NXIVM-backed The Knife Media), Dave Rubin (himself backed by the Koch Brothers), Dennis Prager (from the outright Pravda organisation known as Prager University), Charles Murray, Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk (from another Pravda organisation and living meme known as Turning Point USA), as well as the people who comprised the GamerGate crowd, including Carl Benjamin. It’s so ubiquitous an idea that even former president Barack Obama referenced it in a speech about free speech on college campuses. As much sense as it seemed to make at the time, some data has recently emerged that casts doubt on the narrative we’re used to.

Vox recently released an article about some data drawn from studies conducted by Georgetown University back in March, and the Niskanen Center in April. The overall picture, contrary to popular imagination and the odd New York Times column, is that it is actually left-leaning individuals who face the most censorship. In the Niskanen Center study, you will find a graph sourced from The US Faculty Termination for Political Speech Database which shows that it is actually liberal/left-leaning faculty members who are terminated over political speech more often than their conservative/right-wing counterparts. Not only that, if you look at the graph, you’ll notice a curious trend: starting at 2015, you do indeed find that it is conservative academics who are more likely to be terminated, but when you get to 2016, not only do we see liberals/lefties get fired more, but the number of liberals/lefties getting fired for political speech skyrockets over the next year, while the number of conservatives getting fired flatlines from 2016 onwards. If conservatives were really getting persecuted for political speech across the board, that trend would be reversed.

The Georgetown University study points out that while there are definitely high-profile instances of right-wing speakers being shut down (Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopolous, Ben Shapiro et al), there are just as surely incidents of (at least seemingly) left-leaning individuals who faced censure and don’t get nearly the same coverage: there was Lars Maischak (a professor of American history at California State University) who was fired for tweeting that Donald Trump should be hanged, there was Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (a professor at Princeton University) who was forced to cancel speeches in Washington and California because of death threats following a commencement speech where she called Trump a racist, sexist megalomaniac, there was Sarah Bond (a professor of classics at the University of Iowa) who faced death threats from white supremacists for suggesting that the ancient marble statues of Greece and Rome became white because of age and were originally painted in colour (because apparently suggesting that Greek statues were painted is some kind of Cultural Marxist agenda for white genocide), and there was a student named Dee Dee Simpson (a graduate of Sonoma State University in California) who was reprimanded for reciting a poem during graduation in which he condemns the violence that occurs against African-Americans.

Let that last part sink in: a student in what we’re all told is a left-dominated academic environment was reprimanded for condemning violence against African-Americans. That alone should cast doubt on the narrative concerning academic political correctness.

I should also mention John Summa from the University of Vermont (who is not mentioned in the study), who tried to teach his students alternative economics and critiques of neoclassical economics and whose contract was not renewed, and has had to fight for his career in order to continue teaching. But you will not see self-proclaimed “free speech warriors” take the side of any of those people, because they do not care. It is typically only when non-left-leaning or non-progressive figures face silence that they sound the horn of outrage. And sometimes they even call for the censorship of people they disagree with, as was the case for George-Ciccariello Maher (over his white genocide tweet). Not to mention, Fox News openly calls for the censorship of anyone in academia, college or high school, who insults a Republican or whatever it is they care about, chiding them for basically committing hate speech (funny how conservatives can’t even be consistent in their opposition to the concept of hate speech), such as the example of Gregory Salcido who bashed the military and was accused of bullying and snitched on by some snowflake students. Ironic, isn’t it?

And if that’s not enough, even the basic premise of this authoritarian far-left dominance of academia is not supported by data. Last year, InsideHigherEd looked into the subject, and one of the things they found was that academia was actually dominated by self-identified moderates. 46.1% of faculty members identify as moderates, 44.1% identify as liberal or left-leaning, and just 9.2% identify as conservative or right-leaning. This would mean that, technically, left-leaning academics are not in fact the dominant force in universities. Hell, even the narrative of academic dominance has shifted over the years. According to the Niskanen study, even the number of conservatives who believe that universities are hostile towards their speech has gone down within the last two years, while now it’s liberals/lefties who believe that universities are hostile towards them.

While we’re still here, I’ve also discovered some research conducted by a political scientist named Justin Murphy, specifically an article titled “Who Is Afraid of Free Speech in the United States?”, and it turns out that the far-left are nowhere near as averse to freedom of speech as you would be lead to believe nowadays. His research showed that “extreme liberals” (possibly referring to hard-leftists given America’s bastardized political lexicon) are actually the most supportive of freedom of speech within the broad political spectrum, and that the centre-left (or slightly left) and the far-right, not the far-left, are the groups most opposed to freedom of speech. In a way this finding kind of dovetails with a recent New York Times article which showed that centrists, rather than extremists, are statistically the least supportive towards democracy (which is ironic considering the New York Times is one of the archetypal liberal centrist outlets).

Keep in mind, all of this is applicable to America, here in the United Kingdom, a YouGov poll was released a few months ago which suggests that there is no actual evidence that students are more likely to oppose freedom of speech.

So, in broad summary, the narrative of overbearing dominance of academia by crazy left-wing ideologues and the suppression of academic freedom by them is a myth, based on lies by omission and popular anecdotes concerning political correctness on campus, pushed predominantly by conservative ideologues for the purpose of delegitimizing both left-wing and liberal movements, increasing support for right-wing political causes and politicians, getting liberal media outlets to hire conservative writers (whilst they hardly ever practice the same intellectual diversity with liberals for their own outlets) and generally projecting their own sense of victimhood. Yes, you heard me: much of this has been a self-serving victim narrative this entire time. The SJWs you see make up a loud minority that can be used to paint the left in general with a broad brush by those who want to accuse them of being fascists.

Pretty much

All this in mind, I would like to add some historical context to the basic premise I’ve described as well, because it is actually an old narrative within American politics. Right-wing pundits have been complaining about what they termed political correctness for past few decades, arguably beginning with the release of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind, Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals and Dinesh D’Souza’s Illiberal Education.  Even centrists embraced it at the time, with publications such as The Atlantic and New York Magazine running such cover stories as “Better Watch What You Say!” and “Are You Politically Correct?” as far back as 1991. Furthermore, as John K Wilson pointed out in The Myth of Political Correctness, the Olin Foundation gave thousands of dollars not only to Dinesh D’Souza, Charlie Sykes, The New Criterion (a conservative art journal edited by Roger Kimball), Peter Collier, David Horowitz (both of whom wrote a journal called Heterodoxy dedicated to “exposing” excessive political correctness), and Carol Iannone, but also supposedly liberal and centrist figures such as Christina Hoff Sommers and Richard Bernstein (the latter of whom worked for the New York Times), in order to promote the idea that authoritarian, politically correct left-wingers are attacking academic freedom. While the modern outrage over political correctness seems grassroots, and arguably sort of is (which I will touch on later), back then the whole political correctness thing was very much a mainstream media narrative backed up by right-wing think tank money. But this isn’t even the beginning of the trope. That honour goes to William F Buckley Jr, probably the grandfather of modern American right, and his 1951 book God and Man at Yale, which argued Yale was forcing left-wing ideology on its students and suppressing conservative (not to mention, Christian) thought on campus, and incidentally was also published by Regnery Publishing (owned by the financiers of the National Policy Institute). Huh, it seems even in the beginning there was right wing money behind it.

In broad terms, what we are seeing now is a repeat of the academic debates surrounding political correctness and alleged suppression of intellectual diversity that occurred in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Since there is no evidence of a takeover of authoritarian left-wing politics between the 1990s and the 2010s in the United States (I mean, unless somehow a secretive Bolshevik cabal successfully infiltrated the American government), we can conclude that the discussion of back then proved to be just a moral panic, and can speculate from here that the modern discussion surrounding academic political correctness will likely prove to be a moral panic as well.

Of course, while not identical in nature, the narrative also dovetails nicely with the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory, which has been a thing since the late 1980s, originally propounded by far-right thinkers such as William Lind, Paul Weyrich (who along with Jerry Falwell started the Moral Majority movement in the late 1970s, and was also the founder of the Heritage Foundation), Pat Buchanan, and Paul Gottfried, and largely took off after the Cold War. The theory goes that the Frankfurt School infiltrated academic institutions across the West in order to displace classical Western philosophy and “Judeo-Christian values” in order to subvert the political stability of the West, and also something about Jewish subversion. No seriously, guys like Lind and Buchanan ascribed “Cultural Marxism” to the Jewish race, and Lind himself even said “they are also, to a man, Jewish” when describing the Frankfurt School in a speech to Accuracy in Academia, which is probably no accident considering that the general theory of Jewish Marxists subverting culture and academia is essentially an echo of the Nazi ideology of Kulturbolshevismus (or Cultural Bolshevism), where just about anything that wasn’t romantic fascist culture that promoted the Nazi party and ideology was deemed the product of Marxist and Jewish subversion. This is an idea that continues to be prominent within the far-right, and hasn’t died out with the Nazis. In fact, the mythology of Cultural Marxism in some form is espoused today not just by hardline right-wingers, but also self-described libertarians and classical liberals, and one Jordan Peterson (who repackages it as “postmodern neo-Marxism” because he doesn’t understand any of the ideologies he’s trying to reference). Oh, and the notorious fascist terrorist Anders Breivik, whose massacre of students in Norway brought the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory back into the spotlight.

According to the modern version of Cultural Marxism, the SJWs and the already nebulous and non-empirical notion of illiberal progressive dominance of academia, not to mention the liberal media, is actually part of a long standing, ongoing conspiracy by Marxists to destroy not just traditional values (this time) but also the liberal democratic values of the Enlightenment as a quest to destroy all forms of meaning and value and replace them with mindless intellectual anarchy so that they can create a populace ripe for control by elites. Oh, and if you believe the whole package for long enough, it still involves Jews. It’s still a revival of a fascist conspiracy theory, and because it got spread around as an explanation for modern political correctness, many people on supposedly liberal circles who found themselves opposed to the SJWs ended up adopting the term to describe modern liberal-progressive tendencies and the SJWs, though not always believing it wholesale.

I think I’ve said enough on this point, but it’s worth considering how the mythology of academic political correctness and thought suppression became a thing in the 2010s. Like I said earlier, I think it can still be argued that the modern outrage about political correctness had a somewhat grassroots source, and I do stand by that. While it is true that right-wing money is still there and a powerful player in all this (Turning Point USA, for instance, is sponsored by Dennis Prager and the NRA, and Dave Rubin is sponsored by Learn Liberty, a division of the Institute for Human Studies which is partly run by one of the Koch Brothers), I do believe there are people in both academic and online circles who have encountered people who are progressive and/or liberal but possess an authoritarian mindset or controlling personality, and their activities and personalities may have moved a number of people to the right or at least away from the left. Not to mention, we can’t erase the well-documented incidents of SJWs doing what they do best – namely intimidate and harass people and disrupt events by shouting at them about privilege. A lot of this probably has something to do with the way GamerGate exploded into a wider “culture war” of sorts against progressives, and while the original impetus of the movement began with 4chan chat logs, it did trigger a lot of grassroots support drawn towards it. Not to mention, the broad concept of political correctness does sometimes apply to real phenomenon, such as the cases of the Rotherham and Rochdale grooming gangs and how they were handled by the authorities. Finally, while, academia is dominated by moderates, there is still a large enough presence of left-leaning academics and there is much said about said left-leaning academics in various media circles that can lead you to think that left-leaning thought is dominant.

Taken together, there are good reasons you can find yourself falling into this popular myth about academic suppression based on political correctness. If there is a lesson to take from this besides the main point, it’s the simple fact that people and their worldviews are formed and shaped by the environments they are in and the information they take in about it (which is often limited, either by circumstance or willful denial stemming from personal bias). And so for many Americans at least, their experience at university could well lead them into the worldview they have now. It’s also worth addressing how a lot of grassroots sentiment can be picked up by big moneyed political interests when it aligns with their own pre-existing goals. It happened with The Tea Party and the Koch Brothers, it’s been going on with the Mercers supporting nationalism, right-populism and the alt-right, it happened with Occupy Wall Street where a surprising number of the bourgeoisie supported it, and we’re seeing a lot of the “free speech warrior” crowd line up with conservatism and find the support of Turning Point USA, which is financially tied to Dennis Prager and is even known for trying to funnel money to conservative causes. In fact, there are several conservative think tanks operating on college campuses in America funneling dark money to conservative causes, suggesting that what’s been going on back in the 1990’s is still happening today, and that these dark money groups see, in the modern liberal outrage against SJWs, a golden goose opportunity to infiltrate universities and swing disaffected liberals over to the Republican Party and the right wing. All the same though, it would be a mistake to think this is some sort of anti-establishment sentiment. In fact, as I’ve established, far from being a sentiment that exists chiefly on the rebellious fringes of Internet politics, the mythology of academic political correctness is not only a long-held right-wing trope but also an embedded idea of the neoliberal-neoconservative-centrist alliance for decades.

Meanwhile, I think the mythology of a leftist dominance of academia and plot to destroy academic freedom is likely to set Americans down a path that will, ironically, be the real danger to academic freedom, because the ideologues who propound this mythology are ultimately hypocrites. Jordan Peterson not only barred Faith Goldy from sharing a platform with him and other “free speech activists”, but he is also on record saying that there should be a blacklist for professors who teach postmodernism and “neo-Marxism”, which is just a rehash of what Joseph McCarthy did and is also the kind of thing you expect from Richard fucking Nixon. Turning Point USA has a project called Professor Watchlist, which is pretty much exactly the kind of blacklist that Peterson advocates and exists almost entirely to shame professors for holding the wrong opinions on campus. Bari Weiss, a Zionist New York Times columnist who claims to defend academic freedom, has a history of trying to suppress academic criticism of Israel. There are also many cases where the liberal Alan Dershowitz pressured colleges and journalists over cartoons depicting him as having odious political views and colleges hosting BDS speakers, all because it’s “offensive” to him as a Zionist, and he even led a campaign to deny Norman Finkelstein his tenure at DePaul University because of his academic criticisms of Israel. It is actually somewhat well-documented that anti-Israel voices have a habit of being smeared as anti-Semites by people who want to shut them down, and cartoonists can actually be fired for making satirical cartoons critical of Benjamin Netanyahu or Israeli foreign policy. As I mentioned earlier, Fox News and many right-wing channels on YouTube will openly condemn any academic speaker who is against Republicans, Trump, the armed forces, Israel and other things they care about, and sentimentally disregard their exercise to free speech as treasonous hate speech. They wouldn’t be the only right wingers who aren’t consistent about free speech either. And, contrary to the narrative surrounding campus censorship, the real threats to free speech are not radical left-wing students, but actually the American government in accordance with the whims of Donald Trump and the Republican party, who are all too eager to suppress left-wing or anti-fascist/anti-racist protests whilst having gall to claim they’re supporting freedom of speech, expression and association. What’s more, far from being alienated, libertarian and conservative ideologues are being pushed into academia by right wing donors. But you’ll never be told this by the likes of Fox News, The New York Times, Spiked, or Carl Benjamin, or any of the intellectuals set against what they call the regressive left (by now simply a catch all term for any leftist that liberals don’t like).

That’s all I have to say on this. I do regret focusing so much on the American situation without saying anything about the British situation, but there honestly isn’t much to say about the situation here in the UK, or at least it’s far less pronounced than in America where there is dark money everywhere. However, I would not be too surprised if I found that there are right wing think tanks operating in colleges in the UK and doing similar things to what the American think tanks are doing. What happens in America never really stays there. As a final point, let me just say that political correctness as a broad concept is still a thing. It’s overplayed and mythologized to merry fuck by right wing capitalists who want to take over higher education, but it can used to refer to many things in political life pertaining to some semblance of unspoken manners of conduct, though hardly the monolithic progressive ideology that certain reactionary ideologues portray it as in order to smear left-wingers as totalitarians-in-waiting. But the narrative of this concerted left wing effort to silence free speech on college campuses is simply not supported by data. In fact, it is empirically clear that it is the liberals of the center who are among the real authoritarians, who ally with the right wing in order to suppress dissident voices in the name of capital and power on behalf of the establishment, for they don’t really value freedom of speech like they claim to, at least not universally.

So, in closing, if you are for freedom of speech, you must realize that the left, for the most part, are not your enemies. The evidence is clear on this matter. It is time to stop treating them as such. The real enemies are the coalitions of capitalists who funnel money towards right-wing causes and the centrists who cry free speech in one breath while silencing opposing voices in the next, and the rapid expansion of state power in the Western world that threatens freedom of speech for everybody. The narrative that the left are the real authoritarians is a way for the American liberal-conservative alliance to maintain power and clout and push back the influence of social-democratic and progressive politics in America, which is no coincidence given the rise of social democracy in the 2010s.

Do not be deceived.

Alright, fuck it, America probably needs The Satanic Temple

You guys know me by now: I’m not the biggest fan of The Satanic Temple. I kind of supported them in the early days of my blog, but then I went on to criticize them on numerous occasions, particularly last year as I found their particular brand of liberal politics unappealing despite their support for secularism. I was starting to see them as opportunistic, self-aggrandizing political activists who used Satanism as a costume through which to promote secular atheism through culture jamming, and was really annoyed that they had really nothing to do with Satanism. Now of course, much of that is probably still true, but insofar as their utility is concerned, I think recent developments in the US regarding religion have led me to change my mind.

This week, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced the creation of what’s been dubbed the “Religious Liberty Task Force”. What is it exactly? Apparently it’s supposed to be the US government’s way of “implementing religious freedom”. Which, knowing American politics, simply amounts to increasing the power of Christianity in the public sphere. Sessions justifies this by claiming that there’s basically a conspiracy in America to undermine the religious freedom of Christians. To quote Sessions himself:

“We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives,” he said. “We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma—even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips.”

Jack Philips, of course, was the man who was sued by a gay couple for refusing to make a custom same-sex wedding cake. But let’s just get to the point.

“Let’s be frank: A dangerous movement, undetected by many but real, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. There can be no doubt. It’s no little matter. It must be confronted intellectually and politically and defeated.”

That’s right. Jeff Sessions, and presumably others within the US government, believe there’s an unspecified, unnamed, mysterious movement that seeks to destroy religious freedom in the United States. Of course, there isn’t, really, but that never stopped anyone before. Honestly it seems like a major tell that this claim Session is making is most probably bullshit when he seems reticent to even give a name to his enemies. I mean who the hell are these enemies of religious freedom supposed to be anyway? Atheists? Humanists? Pagans? Liberals? Muslims? Satanists? Communists? Democrats? Freemasons? Pope Francis? Nazis? Jews? Stop me if I get it!

Who am I kidding? From what I have heard its likely that he might be referring to the rise of secularism, or the whole bake the cake issue – Sessions extrapolates the truly horrific burden of….the idea of actually having to serve gay customers gay wedding cakes…into some kind of grander conspiracy against Christianity and its believers. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that many liberals and human rights advocates are already worried that this “Religious Freedom Task Force” is simply a pretext to limit the rights of gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals under the auspices of Christian dogma cloaked in the mantle “religious liberty”.

Either way, it looks to me like the Trump administration is going to attempt to elevate the power of Christianity withing the political sphere by trying to grant more protections to Christianity under the law. And, to be honest, I think The Satanic Temple was probably trying to warn people about the Trump administration’s obvious play to Christianity, and that’s why they joined in on the anti-Trump protests during Inauguration Day back in January 2017.

That’s why I’ve decided to change my tune on them for the time being: it seems like they were probably right about the American government under Trump moving to expand religious power, and naturally I think they are one of the main forces in American cultural politics who could stand against this.

While I still dislike aspects of the actual politics they tend propose – I think of it as a mediocre liberalism with a dash of the brand of contemporary identity politics that comes with it – and I almost certainly maintain that they aren’t Satanists nor are they interested in Satanism (though me being a self-identified Luciferian one might wonder why I would complain), I am ready and willing to admit that some of their activism has been pretty effective. The famous Baphomet statue provoked a debate about the separation of church and state and got the Ten Commandments movement removed from government property, and I think that the After School Satan project, while admittedly weird in its execution, was a decent counter to the prevalence of Christian after school programs designed to indoctrinate children across America. I also approve of their Grey Faction, dedicated to debunking SRA conspiracy theories and related falsehoods. Now that there’s this looming threat of the expansion of religious power in American politics, it looks like the time is ripe for further activism on their part in order to confuse the conventional political boundaries regarding religious freedom in order to win the battle for secularism.

And I must say just as an aside, for a year or two until recently I was under the impression that the power of Christianity had declined and that fundamentalist Christianity was a toothless political force. But Donald Trump has made it explicitly clear that, in his view, religious organizations (read: Christian bullshit) will make up the bedrock of American society and that he will support Christianity, as evidenced by his statement from a few months ago. In a way this could be seen as a revival of George W. Bush’s policy concerning faith-based initiatives, which if anything is yet more proof that Trump is nothing more than Bush 2.0 (or should it be 3.0, counting Bush Sr?). Not to mention, the Republican Party has a stranglehold over the entire government (unless this blue wave I’m hearing about has anything to do with it), which makes it inevitable that there would be a religious agenda of some kind. And evangelical politics is not going away yet in America, especially now that the evangelicals seem to be getting social/religious conservatives in the Supreme Court, and guys like Jim Bakker and Rick Wiles will continue to have certain talking points mirrored by the conservative movement in the US. What’s more, a large section of Alex Jones’ hot takes now center around some kind of insane, coked up Christian victim complex wherein Christians are being persecuted by demons from the fourth dimension and how “left-wing Satanists” (or something) hate you and want you dead because you’re not one of them, and not only has he had correspondence with Donald Trump on his show but it also looks like the FBI might be taking his views seriously and acting on them. Needless to say, there is still some entrenched power

So take a bow, TST. You are not the kind of people who I wholeheartedly support for various reasons, but you might prove to be useful in making sure America doesn’t completely fall into theocracy, which would be an abomination to behold on top of numerous other developments. Keep culture jamming until all of this is over.

OK guys, you win this one. Good luck out there.

Remember when I said we’re probably doomed? Well we might actually be doomed.

Back in February 2016 I gave my first take on the British referendum to leave the European Union. It was a deeply cynical take on both fronts, one that I’d sort of renege on two months later when I went from neutral to full-blown supporter of the Leave campaign. Since I voted Leave, the process of Britain leaving the European Union has been incredibly tumultuous. No sooner than we began the negotiations, we have had the Eurosceptic right see some of its key proponents bow out and leave things to whoever’s there to take over. Not only did the pro-Remain PM David Cameron resign, only to be replaced by the single worst Prime Minister I think of. Nigel Farage of UKIP left his party believing his work was done, leaving his party to practically die as a result of revolving door leadership, infighting and general irrelevance in the face of a seemingly confident Tory government, in order to spend his days on Fox News as that guy they have on whenever they talk about Britain (though he swears he’s coming back, any day now).

But for a while, things were going somewhat smoothly for the first half of 2017. The government seemed to be confident, and the economy wasn’t crashing like the Remainers said it was going to. Then, out of nowhere, Theresa May called a snap election in order to gain an even larger majority than she already had, believing it would secure the ultimate mandate for her government to leave the EU. In reality though, the opposite happened: while the Conservative party ultimately defeated Labour, they failed to gain a majority and were forced to form a coalition with the DUP, and her position as a negotiator and as a leader were greatly weakened afterwards. The once confident new leader overplayed her hand and showed herself to be nothing more than a weak, hubristic fool.

This year it was starting to look like Brexit was taking a turn for the worse. For all of our rhetoric concerning national sovereignty, a Brexit delivered to us from the right seems to be a case of shifting from one set of capitalist masters to another, as our government’s plan for a “more global Britain” means being more dependent on China. On the other hand, we could also be set to become vassals of the EU, technically leaving the European Union but still remaining subservient to their laws as though we never left at all. And now, it kind of looks like we are heading down just that path. It has recently been announced that the UK would be kept under European Union laws until December 31st 2020, despite us leaving the European Union. Theresa May also seems to be taking over the negotiations with Brussels as the main negotiator, which to me does not strike me as a positive move considering her incompetence over the last year, and is attempting to exercise her dominance in that regard by threatening a no deal Brexit if her fellow MPs don’t line up in support of her plan. Furthermore, the prospect of a no deal Brexit is leading to concerns of Britons having to stockpile food as though they were preparing for the end of the world following Dominic Raab’s comments on the subject.

Put simply, I feel like we’re getting the bad ending, the worst of both worlds in some sense. Without a plan for leaving the European Union (which, let’s be honest, David Davis seemed to suggest there wasn’t a plan at all), the Conservative government has put us in a situation where we have been making up the program for Brexit as we go along, leading up to a scenario where we are independent in name only. Despite the rhetoric of national sovereignty, we will remain subservient to the very foreign entity we struggled to break free of. And all the while there is the very real sense that the whole thing is going to fall apart and screw everyone over. It’s like Paul Mason was right all along in some respects. Meanwhile there is talk among liberal/social democratic Remainer circles of a second EU referendum, and talk among right-wing Brexiteer circles of replacing the Prime Minister who they view as a traitor to the country. But of course, the Conservatives are trying to assure us that everything is going to be just fine.

I still oppose the European Union (I think it should be destroyed and replaced by something along the lines of COMECON 2.0), I value national sovereignty, but I believe I’ve made the case that it is because of my value for national sovereignty that I have become deeply cynical about our current path. At this point my mind turns to the prospect of Welsh independence, if only because I think the EU issue won’t matter because the EU probably won’t let in an independent Wales or Scotland or the European Union will probably collapse within the decade. Funny, with America going down a horrible path of its own and England in a sorry state, I kind of feel lucky to be in Wales to an extent, and not necessarily for nationalist reasons (strange as that may sound). But of course, to speak of national liberation without socialism would be an empty exercise, for the simple fact that – and I think the current Brexit otucome is proof of this – the goals of national liberation, or even simple populism, cannot be fulfilled within a capitalist order which drives all things toward the globalization of capital and the value of profit and money over liberty and sovereignty.

All I can do at this point is to sit in my corner of South Wales, going about my life, waiting to see what happens next.

The coming war

I’ll try to talk less about politics on the blog in the future (that is, let’s be real, if I get around to writing much at all), but what I am about talk about is of perennial importance.

This week, it was announced that in light of a chemical attack in Syria, and the unverified accusation that it was caused by Bashar al-Assad, America looks set to engage a military campaign in Syria to “punish” Assad for allegedly killing civilians in Douma. Basically, Trump has gone from punitively striking Syria once and saying America won’t invade Syria again, to sending military forces to attack Syria in spite of this position, to openly suggesting a military response to Assad. Remember when people like me supported him instead of Hillary Clinton partly on the grounds that her proposal for a no-fly zone would lead to war with Russia because Russia’s interests are aligned with Syria’s? Well now it appears we’re likely to be involved in conflict with Russia anyway. Thanks a lot Trump.

And it looks like my country, the UK, is going to be in on it as well, as the Prime Minister Theresa May joined Donald Trump and French president Emmanuel Macron in calling for military intervention, without a vote from the House of Commons. Because of that, I’ve officially gone from hating Jeremy Corbyn (even as a recently converted socialist) to supporting him just because he might be the only viable alternative to the decidedly pro-startting World War 3 agenda of the Conservatives. Of course, Theresa May did say on Wednesday that she would be making our participation in the Syrian war conditional depending on if we have more evidence of Assad’s role in the chemcial attack in Douma. Only for her to send submarines to Syria anyway.

So why am I so appalled by this development, you might ask? After all, muh North Korea! Kim Jong-un is a mad man, right? Well, considering that denuclearization is actually on the table with North Korea, and the North Korean state is shedding is Songun (military first) policy, you would frankly have to be a sheep if you still believe by this point that North Korea is the biggest threat to world peace. Not to mention, even I didn’t believe that North Korea was even capable of blowing everyone up. With Syria, however, if NATO presses against Syria long enough, if they depose Bashar al-Assad, and if they consequently encroach upon Russia for long enough, they will not be able to defeat NATO in a straight fight, and so the only option left for Russia will be to use its nuclear weapons against the West. The difference in the level of threat involved is quite clear. We knew this when the American people were making their choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but for some Trump himself isn’t aware of this and even many of his supporters seem to be lining up like dogs to support his actions, although some of them are outright condemning him (of all people, Alex Jones has outright said “fuck Trump” on the issue).

We are on our way to World War 3 any moment now, and it could well end with nuclear fire, and I wish I were being hyperbolic, and I don’t even know how many people care because people still think North Korea is the one that will destroy us all, even as all pretense of that idea fades slowly and Syria and Russia (and Turkey to some extent) become much more relevant. Just goes to show you that despite all insistence from conservatives that the media is left-wing, they still want you to be threatened by the more communist nations out there (despite the fact that the North Korean state technically no longer positions itself as communist).

I, for one, will oppose my country’s involvement in Syria to the last. I do not want to have any part in this carnival of greed, unjust violence and needless human suffering just so the congloms can make money off of developing missiles to lob at Syria and so that the political establishment can take out anyone who poses a threat to their global economic interests. Even if the Douma attack was Assad’s fault, for which there hasn’t been any investigation, it is not our business to oust him from power in Syria – America already tried that bullshit in Iraq and Libya in recent memory, and it ended up getting taken over by Islamist regimes who proved to be even worse than the dictators that were removed by military intervention. When the time comes, I will do what is necessary to avoid participating in the abomination of a war that is to come, perhaps agitate against it.

If it comes to war and either I drafted (which I hope can be avoided somehow) or bombs drop where I live before I have the chance to get a bunker then, well, it was nice knowing you guys.

(PS: Don’t take the last comment to hard, I do still intend to write some posts, though the pace will likely be as slow as it’s been recently; at any rate, I’ll try not to let my readers think that the worst has happened)

On Sinclair and corporate media

Something has come to my attention this week that I think will be important, though I am certain you have already seen it. A lot of attention has been given to a series of readings from local American news outlets where the news anchors read out a script provided to them by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the owner of those local news stations. In fact, I will leave a video below which illustrates the point that I’m sure some of you may have already seen.

Sinclair Broadcasting has been increasingly put under the spotlight for its apparent right-leaning tilt. In fact, back in the day they even supported George W. Bush. They are also being scrutinized for their closeness to the Trump administration, which is unsurprising given Ajit Pai’s ties to the company. Given that Sinclair Broadcast Group owns the most TV stations in America, this grants Sinclair an enormous amount of influence within the media. Not to mention, guess who supports Sinclair in all this? None other than Donald Trump himself.

That’s right, that is Donald Trump, the guy who attacks the liberal media for being a bunch of propagandists, openly supporting corporate media. While he positions against corporate media through his opposition to liberal media outlets such as CNN, in reality it seems he simply wants another faction of corporate media to take over, just that this faction agrees with him and the liberal media is opposed to him. Which is funny considering a lot of the stations and channels owned by Sinclair are also affiliated with ABC, CBS, and NBC, who Trump identifies as the fakers, as well as FOX. I must say corporate media in America seems practically incestuous if you think about it.

And don’t expect the right to care about corporate media on a consistent basis. One thing I learned recently is that Breitbart, possibly the flagship of ostensibly counter-cultural media on the right, is directly funded by billionnaire computer scientist Robert Mercer, who also funded the Trump campaign, owns a hedge fund named Renaissance Technologies, was revealed to be a major shareholder in Cambridge Analytica, and is currently charged with funding adverts featuring a fictional “Islamic States of America”, among various other adverts aimed at other countries. This would mean that every anti-establishment right-winger’s favorite news website is really no different to any other corporate media, just that they spew populism instead of liberalism. Not to mention, if you want to look at the really far-right, Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute was founded by William Regnery II, another multi-millionaire, who was also the founder of the Charles Martel Society (which seems to be named after the Charles Martel Group, a French terrorist organization who committed numerous attacks on Algerians during the 1970’s and 80’s), another far-right think tank which publishes a magazine called The Occidental Quarterly. These people are basically what the populist right has instead of George Soros (who spends millions of dollars on liberal causes) or the Koch Brothers (who spend millions of dollars promoting conservative/libertarian causes).

This suggests to me that the populist or radical right might not be some grassroots movement after all, but rather a political push by millionaires to get people they like in power, possibly to stymie the growth of left-wing movements that might otherwise have prevailed. This is not the first time this has happened. Indeed, we must consider how, when you actually look at how fascism came about, you’ll find that people like Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco, were actually supported by wealthy capitalists who felt threatened by the rise of radical left-wing movements. While Trump himself is not much for a fascist, it still kind of vindicates the view of some leftists that the movement gathering around him is an upper class project. At any rate, Trump seems to want his own corporate media to support his power.

A note on Brexit and Europe

You know, in my post about my personal political development I talked about what I’ve seen of the right wing as a movement and what has led me to become fed up with it and instead move to the left – the actual socialist left; not a bunch of liberals whining about how Bernie Sanders could have won, or a pack of social democrats gassing on about how great Jeremy Corbyn is – but I neglected to comment on how this has related to issues in my own corner of the world; or, more specifically, Britain. So I’d like to write a bit about my current thoughts on the Brexit situation, with perhaps a nod towards British politics in general as well as the wave of European populism that I forgot to talk about in earlier months.

I’ll keep this is as simple as possible: the waters are looking increasingly shaky and uncomfortable at the moment. Given the numerous concessions my government seems to be making, the many times that Parliament has had to get their say on the vote despite this being a matter of the democratic will of the people rather than the political class, and then the European Union consistently trying to basically gerrymander the process so as to get it running all on their terms, I get the feeling that we might not get the hard Brexit that people like me wanted. However, this is not my only gripe. In fact, my primary gripe is increasingly to do with what the country is going to look like after Brexit, assuming we leave the European Union. Last month I heard that our current Prime Minister Theresa May refused to rule out selling off the NHS to private owners in the USA. Think about what that means for a moment: for all of its faults, the national healthcare system is a part of our national apparatus. We created it to serve our people. For it to remain under our control is an extension of our sovereignty as a nation. Simply privatizing it within our own country is one thing, but to sell it off to foreign buyers is completely different. Because if you do that, then guess who owns it? Not us, not our government, but private owners in another country, that will never be accountable to us. If we sell it off, we are giving away part of our national sovereignty to foreign corporate powers. This is almost literally no different from signing it away to the European Union, that giant capitalist trade union from beyond our borders.

Not to mention, it’s looking increasingly likely that we’re going enter into a situation where we’re basically going to be cucks to China. What do I mean by this exactly? Well for starters we are probably going to embrace China’s One Belt initiative, which is effectively just China opening up new markets at the cost of effectively undermining the sovereignty of the countries that initiative is getting involved with through economic dependency, and if that’s not enough, if Chinese media is any good indication of how they view us, if we take too long to do things that China likes they may chastise us, which I’m inclined to believe will not go down very well for us. The whole notion of “a more global Britain” that the Conservative Party likes to go on about it comes across as simply us transferring from one set of capitalist masters to another.

And this brings me to my main point: under the circumstances afforded to us by the capitalistic economic establishment, we’re not going to recapture the idea of national sovereignty and independence in any meaningful sense, because we are either still going to be dependent on the true economic incentives at play in the current system, hence we will always have new masters.

As I mentioned in my rant against Trump, I also see this reality at play within the political system of the United States of America. Consequently, I believe there is also reason to believe that this is how it will play out in Europe as a whole, except in their case it might arguably be worse. If people like Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders, the unfortunate reality is that, whilst they may succeed in destroying the European Union by destabilizing it politically, the people of the nation states themselves may end up living in a more authoritarian countries. Not only have you got Geert Wilders who wants to outright ban Islam, thereby effectively sacrificing freedom of religious association, you also have Hungary: their president is an outright champion of the idea of “illiberal democracy”. He’s also been using this new anti-globalist current to elevate his political career and demonize his political opponents as being the allies of George Soros, conspiring to erode the Hungarian borders. In the absence of the EU, people like these could well make up the new political establishment in parts of Europe, and their answer to the tricky problems of the world is simply to give the state an iron hand while not address the root economic incentives that created the globalist phenomenon to begin with.

In closing, let me illustrate my position by using a quote attributed to Marine Le Pen, the right-wing populist candidate of the French elections, last year:

“They’ve made an ideology out of it. An economic globalism which rejects all limits, all regulation of globalisation, and which consequently weakens the immune defences of the nation state, dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws and management of the economy, thus enabling another globalism to be born and to grow: Islamist fundamentalism.”

This is, whether she likes it or not, a description of capitalism. It is an economic ideology that is based on infinite growth and accumulation of profit, and to that end it must invariably transgress the boundaries of the nation state and its values, rejecting all limits to its growth and its ability to access new markets across the world, undermining the will of the nation states (which, funny enough, is kind of what the IMF does by pushing for its economics in third world countries that don’t necessarily want it, but the right never talks about this with regards to globalism even though it is clearly an example of economic globalism), and as a consequence it cannot remain a national grassroots system. It is at the heart of what the right now identifies as globalism, and funny enough the left has a somewhat longer of opposing the effects of economic globalization than the right does, just the mainstream left has now gotten on the globalist bandwagon and ceded the populist energies that once belonged to the left, allowing right-wing opportunists to hoodwink those energies from it.

Thus, I repeat my point: if you support the restoration of any kind of sovereignty, of popular democratic will, indeed of the nation state over the interests of globalism, then logically your true enemy is not the left, but capitalism. In fact, I say it’s high time the left regain the energies of populism and anti-globalism that the right has stolen from them.

Political developments

I first entered into some vague sense of political consciousness, like many in my generation, as a teenager during high school, and I started out with a heady mixture of idealism and confusion without any theoretical or ideological ground upon which to base my political assumptions, goals and ideals beyond a consistent passion for the idea of freedom. In my early years, I would oscillate frequently between an undefined anarchism and an equally vague left-liberalism, though many times I would often fall on the side of anarchism. Before that though you would probably find me supporting political candidates like Barack Obama or Nick Clegg in my early teenage years because I didn’t like the opposition or I suppose I was something of a basic liberal at the time. In the case of the anarchistic tendencies and passions, there was no real detail or ideology behind it, although I think I can say with some certainty that I was never an “anarcho-capitalist” (which I put in quotes because anarcho-capitalism even as a moniker is as much of a joke as the actual ideology appears to be). Literally, my primary reasoning was simply that the state was a bad thing, an infringement upon human liberty at its core, and alongside that I saw what I vaguely recognized as the right wing of politics, the conservative wing, as interested in the suppression of culture and the harvesting of the planet through hegemony and warfare. Back then I also used to be somewhat into the Zeitgeist films for a while, though I disagreed with what I perceived as their collectivism as well as their raging case of technophilia and utopianism, and I admired people like Bill Hicks, George Carlin and even Michael Moore, and I also had a fascination with people like Timothy Leary who were essentially free-thinking hippies for lack of a better word. So I guess you could say that I was pretty left wing at the time. This also coincided with the seeds of my interest in spirituality and to some extent the occult, as I discovered via the Internet the writings of people like Vadge Moore, Robin Artisson, and Osho.

By the time I entered college, I aligned less with anarchism or left-liberalism and drew closer to what I would call a sort of libertarian-lite sort of philosophy. Like with my anarchist phase, there was no ideological or theoretical base or praxis that I worked with, and it was still not clear if I was into left-wing libertarian ideologies or right-wing libertarian ideologies, in fact often times I would hold positions from both sides of the aisle – from the American right, for example, you’d find me with a notably strong support for gun ownership, particularly in contrast to pretty much everyone else in my college class, while on the left you’d largely find me supporting fairly socially liberal and sometimes even progressive causes. Keep that in mind, because for a long time going forward, until very recently, I had a certain personal distrust of socialism and related ideologies. It was around this time, or perhaps somewhere before that, that I became a Satanist as well. The emergent egoistic perspective, loosely borrowed from Anton LaVey and largely drawn from my obsession with the thematics of the Shin Megami Tensei series, lent itself rather nicely to the satanic libertarian phase of my life. Even after abandoning anarchism, I have often said on this blog that I would still held anarchy as an ideal of things, just non-attainable in reality. Why, I’m surprised that I never read the writings of Max Stirner at the time, because open introspection something tells me that the egoistic outlook probably lent itself at times to being something of a crypto-Stirnerite without me realizing it (although, in all fairness, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t outright embrace Stirnerite philosophy from what I’ve heard). Instead I thought of myself more in line with LaVey, and I guess Ayn Rand by proxy to some extent given how influential she was to LaVey’s philosophical outlook, as well as the ancient Chinese egoist Yang Zhu, who I even devoted a short blog post to back in 2013. Anyways, this egoistic vaguely libertarian outlook remained fairly consistent, although as time drew on I became very cynical, even to the point where I would dismiss democracy as a failed system.

However, as you may know, a lot changed back in 2016. By this time I had been vaguely aware of concepts like political correctness, and I had started seeing all manner of ludicrously illiberal proposals put forward and laws enacted by my country’s government, but eventually I would start to become more and more aware of exactly what kind of hot mess liberal society was in. In the space of two months I went from a cynical individual who didn’t care about the Brexit referendum much other than “maybe the EU will stop the Tories from making anti-porn laws” to becoming a strong and convinced Eurosceptic after realizing that my rationale for this was complete nonsense (and after seeing David Cameron, one of my most hated of politicians and then Conservative Party leader, come out in support of remaining in the European Union). As I begun to see large sections of the “left” oppose this, and in general act as antithetical to the liberty of their political opponents, I shifted right over the course of the year and began to take interest in things like populism, nationalism and “classical liberalism” (I’ll explain why that’s in quotes later on). With regards to American politics, I eventually became one of the rare Satanists to lend his support to Donald Trump, having rejected Bernie Sanders, become fed up of the Libertarians, and utterly opposed to Hillary Clinton, and because initially it looked like he might actually. Of course, we now know how that worked out.

Being on the right hasn’t actually been that easy on me, and it’s more often than not been a source of conflict on my part. On the one hand, being a Satanist, I could justify sympathizing with the right through the sort of socially Darwinist perspective that you find in Satanism and that I stressed as separating Satanism from simply being humanism. On the other hand, the tendency towards traditionalism or just cultural conservatism makes them annoying from time to time, and trying to deal with some people who went on and on about Christian culture whilst being a Satanist who supported secularism has been frustrating. Even on economics I was never such an absolutist as many libertarian capitalists are. Looking back, I wonder how many people on the right managed to reconcile economic libertarianism with the desire for the nation state to maintain control of its borders considering that full on economic libertarian logic inevitably leads to the conclusion that borders violate the non-aggression principle (an argument that I oppose), as well as, as I will go on to mention, the fact that capitalism cannot stay nationally grassroots because it must transgress borders in order to sustain itself. And then there’s the alt-right, who I never supported but always had to deal with the fact that they were on the radical end on the right.

In addition to this, I had noticed quite a few dubious things. The first, and this is honestly where I get into repudiation territory here, when you look into it, what the right calls “Cultural Marxism” is largely a myth. It has nothing to do with Marxist economics, and the way they use it is simply a stand-in for what would otherwise be called postmodernism or simply liberal political correctness. The only reason I used the phrase at the time was because I didn’t know shit about Marxism at the time, and I wanted nothing to do with the left so I distanced myself from them too much to learn about it until recently. I will leave a video below from a channel named Comrade Pierre Tru-Dank which I think explains the myth quite well, and I highly recommend you check out his other content as well.

Of course what my man Pierre doesn’t mention is that the term “Cultural Marxism” originated by critics of the Frankfurt School, such as Trent Schroyer, before becoming distorted by people like Pat Buchanan and William Lind into the “Cultural Marxism” meme we know today so that they could wage culture war against socially progressive, hell even just plain liberal causes, under the guise of fighting communism after the fall of the Soviet Union. I don’t think I can say I was a total believer, in fact it was often when I saw it applied to religion that I often saw glimpses of the theory’s weaknesses (seriously, Christianity is not dying because of “Cultural Marxism”, it’s dying because it is an increasingly irrelevant religion, impotent before the dawn of consumerism and the death of Yahweh), but I was simply aware of the term being paraded by “classical liberals” and thought of it as just another way of referring to the particular ideology that we kept seeing from campus ideologues and their progressive apologists. I think it’s fair to say that many people who found themselves opposed to the modern, authoritarian culture warrior breed of the left ended up getting duped by this trope and its proponents, and sadly I think many of them will not realize the same thing as I did before they become further entrenched into the right than I was.

Another thing I began to realize is how many on the right will often lay claim to a principle, such as opposition to political correctness, and then violate it for tactical reasons, or sometimes out of pure idiocy and hypocrisy. We saw this with Laura Loomer and Jack Posobiec gatecrashing last year’s Shakespeare In The Park rendition of Julius Ceasar and having it shut down because they seemingly believed that the play was endorsing violence against the president, which anyone with two brain cells would have interpreted as utterly nonsensical. You can also see this with how many on the right will claim to hate Saul Alinsky and his tactics because of his communist political leanings, and condemn Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for allegedly using their tactics, only to cite the very same Alinskyite tactics as a rationale for condemning someone as having offended them, as was the case when a Twitter personality named psychicpebbles uploaded a caricature of Ajit Pai to express disapproval of the repeal of Obama-era net neutrality protections. Both of those things they will rationalize with some unprincipled tripe about how it is the only way to teach SJWs the errors of their tactics, when in reality all it does is showcase the idiocy of the people who play them and their willingness to violate the ideals they claim to stand for just to compete with, let’s face it, blindingly insane college liberals who have no real politics beyond the realm of outrage culture and a kind of selfish intersectionalist metaphysics. That leads us nicely into another thing: as time went on I noticed that the whole social justice thing had petered out and slowly become irrelevant, but the right on the other hand keeps wanting to milk the whole thing for what it’s worth, and all the while you’ve got plenty of right wing snowflakes out there. In fact, just this week I have noticed that a high school teacher in California was fired over a rant he made just shy of two months ago where he basically dissed the military, and not only that but the student who got him fired said he was happy to get a man fired over his speech. Yes, there’s people on the right who believe that mere offensive speech constitutes bullying, the same side that rallied in support of Jordan Peterson for refusing to say whatever pronoun Canada asks him to, and almost no one was calling this out. And it’s all a product of the culture war which we’ve allowed ourselves to think is another other than bullshit that distracts us from the real problem.

What real problem you might ask? The short answer, frankly, is capitalism. The long answer is multi-faceted, but I’ll do my best to explain. For starters, you may remember a series of events concerning social media and censorship, in particular pertaining to YouTube. I have covered YouTube’s path towards authoritarianism and retardation many times, including that time Jeremy Crow found himself the subject of demonetization. Also, as it turns out, it’s not just edgy right-wingers who get subject to the limited state feature. Even communists are subject to it. Even liberal SJW apologists are subject to it. I’ve even seen channels like ReviewTechUSA get a video put into limited state at one point. Once you discover this, the idea that Google is solely attacking right-wingers or Nazis falls apart, and what you instead see is that this is probably the product of the particular algorithm that YouTube has. But, that’s not my main point. My main point is that companies like Google and YouTube are simply doing this in order to secure advertisers on their platform, and you can also see Twitter banning far-righters and collecting data on what website you go on in order to curtail “hate speech” as simply a reaction to their decline in the market and the perception that it this is caused by an online harassment problem. Thus, the erosion of freedom of speech on social media is directly caused by capitalistic incentives via the profit motive: or, in other words, you. Not to mention, we all know that many of these companies also sell your data and information and have been doing so for years for much the same reason: to make a profit off of it. This on its own should be a refutation of the axiom of “the freer the markets, the freer the people”. But more than this, it is a manifestation of the capitalist, even liberal, idea that freedom is all tied in with property, meaning that, if you are a subject of that property, the property owner takes away your freedom of speech. See, many critics of the actions of these social media websites I’ve seen will question the private company argument because they rightly think that you should not be suppressed arbitrarily by these companies, but in every other instance they will ultimately use the propertarian lens to support the very same political and economic system that has made these problems manifest to begin with.

Then you have the looming automation crisis, which I have discussed before. I have always been worried about the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, and the effects that it will have on humanity and society at large. What I never realized though is that this is another reason to reject capitalism. Think about it: you’re going to see millions of people economically displaced, they’re not going to be able to get employment because they’re not needed anymore for the most part, and universal basic income will not help because you’re going to run out of money to support it because no one is going to get any income because they can’t get jobs. And if that’s not enough, . Not to mention, the only reason we have things like planned obsolesence is because companies like Apple know that they can make an extra buck by shortening the life span of their products, forcing customers to buy more. Oh, and if political correctness and feminism bother you, take a look at the kind of people who sponsor it. Then there’s mass immigration in regards to the current migration crisis, which, as it turns out, can be explained largely by decades of American destabilization of the Middle East coupled with the capitalistic interest in cheap labour. Hell, what I recognize as globalism is nothing more than the product neoliberal capitalism inevitably transgresses the borders of the nation state because, as a system built on profit, growth and consumption, it must access new markets by any means or it will stagnate and die. Not to mention, pretty much everyone who can accurately be pointed to as one of the globalists is also a died in the wool member of the capitalist class (just look at the American Deep State, the European Union, or the IMF and you’ll see what I mean). Then there is simply the fact the consumer culture that I have long hated can easily be traced to the mass industrialization of culture that the capitalist mode of production has generated.

I mean there are so many capitalistic interests underpinning what I’ve been opposing the entire time that I’m starting to think the only reason the right is so autistic about Marxism is because they don’t want to oppose capitalism despite it being the logical conclusion of some of their grievances. Only by replacing the current economic system with a system that isn’t based off of profit and consumption, and is instead based on putting economic power into the hands of the people rather than corporations or the state, are you going to get rid of the incentives that drive all of the woes I speak of, but I guess they’re not smart enough to realize it. And we’re going to need to do it pretty soon before either automation robs us all of jobs or we run out of the resources needed to make even tiny little computer chips within a century. Not to mention, when the next economic crisis arrives, which it is predicted to do so within relatively short order, people are going radicalize in response to the material conditions and turn away from liberal capitalism. At that point, the two options most people will pick will be either socialism or fascism. And I really, really, really would not like to see the return of fascism. I’ve even discussed this before when writing about Edward Bernays, just from the libertarian and anti-socialist perspective that I once had. Mark my words, we have seen fascism arise , it will happen again.

In many ways I am starting to think that I was right-wing for the following reasons: (1) I sympathized with libertarians on wedge issues, (2) I simply reacted to the left at the time, and without any understanding of the actual ideas of the left I could not criticize the actions of people like Antifa from a left position, and (3) because at the time I began to think that supporting some form of national populism was the logical means of rebelling against the establishment. But if I think about it, the position I was in really ultimately supports the system more than it opposes it. The only area in which that isn’t the case is in the culture war and the whole globalism thing, and even then, unless it goes outside of and opposes capitalism in meaningful way, all it’s going to do is support the status quo that generates my woes to begin with. All I did was dislike the way some of the left was acting, and then I found myself in a position that really isn’t going to do much in the long run, and is based simply on reaction. It was, I guess for all intents and purposes, a reactionary phase.

That, in one long rant, encompasses my political journey, and the realizations that I have made along the way. I hope it wasn’t too boring. I won’t be deleting any of my posts from my prior political phase simply because there is no point in trying to scrub that out of my blog’s history.

Well, it happened, we’re on our way to becoming an authoritarian country

I know I already released a blog post this afternoon, but I feel I must release one quick blog post because I have just learned that in my country, the YouTube personality known as Count Dankula has officially been found guilty of hate crime. That is, in his case, the “crime” of uploading a “grossly offensive” video of him teaching his pet dog to do the Nazi salute and say “gas the Jews” as a joke. This trial has been a long and protracted affair, with Dankula having to appear in court numerous times before now being found guilty, and even now he will not officially be sentenced until April 23rd. It is also possible that Dankula may have a Restriction of Liberty Order placed upon him, which would entail him being placed under house arrest with a GPS tracking device attached to him.

In my opinion, the Scottish court has no idea what kind of horrible precedent it has set, not just for Scotland but also Britain at large. Today, it has been decided that you can be put in jail for uploading a comedic video on YouTube just to annoy your girlfriend and have a laugh out of it, simply because it has been deemed as offensive. I can only see this ending in the Scottish, indeed the British government as a whole, sending people to prison for similar activities, hell simply for writing posts on Twitter (as the Scottish police at one point already said they’d do anyway) because other people have judged them offensive. It is my view that we are not going in a free society for much longer, and that the British government is now very much on track to becoming one of the most authoritarian democracies in the Western world that I can think of.

I’m sick of Trump, among other things

I was going to post about this in a larger post about politics in general, but I’ve decided instead to make this post about Donald Trump, considering all the recent developments concerning his administration, and then try to cover some other things I want to write about as related tangents.

I have arrived at a point where I am officially tired of Donald Trump. Over the last year I have seen him make a lot of blunders, and I’ve even seen him pretty much go back on some key promises. For instance, during his first week of office, he scrapped the TPP, and I was quite excited about that, but then early this year I found out that he was considering revitalizing that very deal. Before that, back in April, Trump’s administration bombed Syria after his daughter fucking bauled her eyes out on Twitter over what she saw on CNN, one of the very news outlets Trump rightly identified as being essentially a glorified propaganda outlet, and then (if I recall correctly) said that America would not be going to war with Syria, and then what happens? Last month American forces attack Assad forces in Syria. Not to mention, I’m informed that under Trump, the very same guy who promised Americans an age of isolationism compared to the foreign policy of both Bush and Obama, military spending looks set to go up. Because why the hell not if you’re dealing with Republicans, I guess? Oh, and America is still dropping thousands of bombs across the world. Because that’s isolationism now, apparently.

And more recently, after the Parkland shooting, Donald Trump makes a surprise announcement to implement stronger gun control legislation, even going so far as to say he will basically take your guns and think about due process later (I wish I were exaggerating here), only to basically walk away from that shortly afterwards right after talking to the NRA. Now let me make something clear here: on principle I am not for gun control, but if you’re going to pursue this, no, if you’re going to be the guy who does it and then talks big about how he’s not afraid of the NRA, you almost immediately cucking to the NRA is proof to everyone of how easily influenced by lobbying interests you are, after running against the queen of lobbying interests herself. Let’s face it, that’s what it is: he talked big about doing something that would go against his voter base and the standard Republican Party line, only to chicken out. Even as a supporter of gun ownership, I think this is pathetic. Oh, and on top of all that, it seems his views on violent video games haven’t changed since 2012, going on record to blame violent video games for the shooting. Not only that but he goes on to have talks with video game companies to discuss possibly regulating the video games industry because somehow that is totally consistent with being an economically right wing guy who opposes regulation and also Jesus fucking Christ why couldn’t we just have Bernie Sanders instead. I’m not kidding. At this point I would rather that America had Bernie Sanders as the President, even though I think he’s a foolish, senile old social democrat who touts the mainstream political line.

But one of the worst developments I’ve seen so far is that his administration has become incredibly neoconservative, more so than ever. Before his cabinet seemed to be just filled with his wealthy friends, that was questionable enough for me (not to mention Jeff Sessions who frankly can go fuck himself). But now Trump has a new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who is not only an active Russiagate shill, but he was the director of the CIA, is also a supporter of the NSA, believes Edward Snowden should be given the death penalty, wants to crush Wikileaks, wants to invade Iran and wants regime change in North Korea, and is opposed to shutting down Guantanamo Bay. And let me just emphasize for a moment: it was Wikileaks who exposed just how corrupt the Democratic Party was, particularly how they set up the Democratic primaries so that Bernie Sanders would be rigged out of the Democratic Party nomination, and now Donald Trump wants the man who wants to crush Wikileaks as his secretary of state. I supposed I should have been more shocked to find out he was the director of the CIA. Still, what a back-stabbing slimeball. But that’s not even the end of it. The person replacing Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA is Gina Haspel, who was directly involved in the Bush administration’s torture program as well as the concealing of torture. Fuck it, it’s so well known that you can just Google “Gina Haspel torture” and you’ll find among the image search an infamous photo of her standing besides a victim of torture whilst smiling and giving the thumbs up. That’s the kind of sadistic bitch Trump’s got as director of the CIA. And then there’s John Bolton, the man who could be Trump’s national security adviser. This guy was one of the main ideologues behind the Iraq War, and still believes the Iraq War was the correct decision for America despite the all the chaos it caused in the region after it ended and the fact that it was unjustified to begin with. He has also expressed a desire for the United States to “make the Russians feel pain” in response to Russia’s alleged attack on the American elections, and right now he’s talking about how NATO should pursue a “strong response” to Russia after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia. That’s right: Donald Trump, the isolationist president, has one of the biggest war hawks in America in his administration. And do you want to know what the biggest joke is? Trump has gone on record to say he likes his commentary in the past. Hell, speaking of Trump, I swear he himself is looking more like a neocon what with him expressing a willingness to execute drug dealers. Why does he like that idea? Because Singapore does it apparently.

In addition to all this neoconservative slime, he’s hiring a guy named Larry Kudlow as his economic advisor. Now this is just the cherry on top of the shit sundae. First of all, this guy was a host on MSNBC, one of the major mainstream media outlets, the ones Trump hates, remember? And now he’s bringing him into his administration. Secondly, he is a pure free market ideologue. So much so in fact that he predicted that there wouldn’t be a global recession and that the Bush boom would never end. And we all know how wrong he turned out to be. But even after he was proven to be wrong, he continued to deny that there was even a recession. He is the free market capitalist equivalent of Paul Krugman, the Keynesian economist who notoriously predicted that the Internet would not have any significant impact on the economy whatsoever, and now Trump wants him on his team. What a disgraceful and idiotic display.

Between all this it hit me: this guy, although useful in uprooting the order of things and paving the way for something else to come in later on, is just another neocon in a suit. Not to mention, I’m becoming convinced that this guy might just be a culture war president. I mean think about it: he managed to get into office partially because of not just the Democrats’ failure to provide a meaningful economic message (which Sanders might have succeeded in doing if he weren’t rigged out of the Democratic primaries), but also because the Democrats instead insisted on a cultural message consistent with the unpopular social justice warrior version of left-wing politics, which by now is only being kept alive as a relevant political force by the mainstream media occasionally paying them lip service or by obsessive right-wing ideologues who want to do nothing but basically profit off of liberals being offended at everything. Apparently making America great again has not so much to do with fighting globalism (how can he? he said before he’s both a nationalist and a globalist) or helping the forgotten man as much as it is to do with signalling to your voter base how patriotic you are. That’s partly what his Twitter activity is for.

I mean think about it: the people whining about his Twitter being divisive and hateful and all that good crap are missing out on the fact that he does it to piss off the right people. I am not convinced that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing at this point because he must have figured out ages ago that whenever he does anything on Twitter people go nuts. Hence you have all manner of perennially triggered liberals within the media who do nothing but whine about his tweets. Christ, for a lot of last year the American news cycle was dominated by things said by Trump on Twitter. He’s using his Twitter to wind people up with his rants, as well as appealing to conservative wedge issues and the culture war, so as to distract everyone from what’s actually going on in the world, to obfuscate the fact that he is not only not the reformer he and his supporters billed him as but also just another neocon except less consistent.

And finally, I’d like to add some miscellaneous criticisms. I already mentioned the NRA basically getting him to back off from his shock gun proposals, but would you believe that the NRA talked to him within a day of those proposals being announced? Then there’s the Shayrat missile strike, for which I am convinced the influence of Jared Kushner, who is now known for being massively corrupt, as well as his more neocon-leaning friends in the White House. If you don’t like the Obama era net neutrality protections being repealed, it might interest you to know that the guy Trump picked as the chair of the FCC is tied to private/corporate interests, specifically to the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is also becoming increasingly known for its political bias towards the right. And right now his administration looks set to deregulate Wall Street in a bipartisan effort between Republicans and Democrats, and it’s getting paid by Saudi Arabia to give them nuclear reactors. For a man who promised to drain the swamp, this administration has gotten pretty swampy over the last year.

Because of all this, at this point, I have pretty much decided to give up on supporting Donald Trump, because, frankly, I can’t take much more of all this happening, particularly while, in addition, I keep seeing his supporters address very little of this and constantly rally behind Trump even as it’s increasingly clear that he is a neoconservative fraud who tactically utilised otherwise legitimate populism and nationalism simply to elevate himself to power. Hell, I keep seeing his supporters act like he saved Christmas simply by being in office instead of Obama. Because having a Democrat president ruins Christmas, somehow, for some reason. You know what, I’ll spare you the bullshit: they’re snowflakes who give the left crap for being snowflakes. The only difference is that there have been snowflakes on the right for decades and their talking points have almost never changed in that time.

Finally, I would like to mention I realisation that I have made, which I might like to cover in more detail in a later post. The fact that Trump is so easily beguiled by corporate and establishmentarian interests despite being an ostensibly anti-establishment character to me suggests not only that Trump is a compromised and unreliable politician, but also that the American political system at large is the primary problem here, as those loathsome interests of corruption are simply far too entrenched within the system for a man like Trump to change them without radicalism. Furthermore, I have begun to think that the kind of populism that I might like to see will not be realized under Trump, or even the current capitalistic economic order because the incentives present within it, namely profit, do not allow for anything other than the ruling economic class to influence the state and corrupt the democratic order. This also means that the economic right does not have any answers, because all they seem to want is more capitalism. But like I said earlier, I will explain this in a future post.

The Church of Satan? Progressive?

A rather fascinating article from The Guardian caught my attention, titled “Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool”. And by fascinating I mean this was just a puff piece. The article in question goes on about how the Church of Satan suddenly got hip and cool in the eyes of progressive commentators because some imbuing of left-wing radicalism into the Satanic zeitgeist (by the way, please no), and lamenting the fact that Chelsea Clinton isn’t a Satanist. I don’t see why that last part is a problem: the last thing Satanism needs is the Clintons tarnishing its image.

And a strange puff piece indeed. As you’ll see in the link I’ve left at the end of the post, most of the article deals less with the Church of Satan and more with a Los Angeles Times article (which I will also leave a link to at the end of the post). The LA Times article in question makes the case that  ̶a̶ ̶b̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶e̶d̶g̶y̶ ̶C̶a̶l̶i̶f̶o̶r̶n̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶i̶p̶s̶t̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶  a new breed of Satanists are channeling their affinity for the dark side towards progressive political causes to unite against Donald Trump.

Yep, it’s more bourgeois left-wing political activism with a layer of pop occultism on top. Just like last year, when you had “witches” casting “spells” against Trump and then nothing came of it other than they looked ridiculous.

Essentially, these people buy into the idea that the world is going to hell, that American life is never-ending chaos, and that, because of this premise, they’ve decided to mix Satanism with feminism. They earnestly believe that without a sense of magical community centered around their version of Satanism, you’d have the rise of groups such as The Proud Boys (Gavin McInnes’ no-fap PUA brigade), and they, seemingly without any sense of irony or  self-awareness, describe the fact that people have those groups as “black magic”. It’s so bizarre to hear that complaint when that’s what you’re into. I mean, the idea of just people forming social clubs as a form of magic is stretching, hard, but even if it’s true, why are you complaining? Is it good when you have black magic, but not when they have it? For me but not for thee, is it? They also talk about how one of their main advantages is being more well-versed in Internet culture, which is ironic because, anything, the anti-leftist political circles seem more savvy than they are in Internet culture because of their skill in making irreverent memes – the right arguably helped a President get elected through memes for shit’s sake. And then later on, the article goes on about how it’s all connected to African belief systems like Voodoo (which have nothing to do with Satanism) and how, predictably, The Satanic Temple is promoting inclusivity in Satanism and that sort of thing. I must say, for a bunch of spiritual rebels they certainly are very politically correct. But we’ll get to that later on. And to say that the new direction is more feminist than nihilist is rather accurate: there’s really nothing intrinsically nihilistic about it, because the progressive movement is, fundamentally, one that vies for its own brand of meaning, however vapid it may be.

But I see no sign that this current has anything to do with the Church of Satan. In fact, the funny part is how in the LA Times article they actually acknowledge that supporters of the Church of Satan believe in resisting liberal pieties as well as Christian ones, referring back to LaVey’s opposition to the hippie movement. So The Guardian went and promoted the Church of Satan as being more feminist, based on an article where they outright say The Church of Satan is still against liberal and progressive orthodoxy. The Guardian article just goes on to extoll the virtues of autistically responding to everyone casually using the phrase “satanic” in a manner not consistent with their beliefs. Funny, I’ve seen them accuse all Christians of being pedophiles just because a bunch of Christian priests came out to defend Roy Moore, who was accused of child molestation during the Alabama special election. I wonder, is that just a part of their “laconic” wit? Because to me it sounds like the take of a bitter teenager who still unironically listens to Antichrist Superstar and thinks he’s got religion all figured out. And the way they quote the FAQ section is rather pretentious. They seem to be under the delusion that the universe being indifferent to humans and values being subjective doesn’t apply to their own brand of progressivism as well: as in, surely it’s just as meaningless as Christianity? But hey, self-serving leftists rarely have that consistency about them.

What I find really, almost insultingly hilarious, is when at the end it says that “Satanism’s latest mutation is something else, a contrarian uprising against a patriarchal world order that deserves its comeuppance”, which gives you a very good idea that these people have no idea what contrarianism is. Feminist progressivism? Contrarian? Well I mean it has to be, that’s why in my country you have an entire political party embracing the zeitgeist. No, two! Labour is now thoroughly progressive in its socialism, and the so-called Conservative Party are actively in the business of diversity hiring with their most recent cabinet reshuffle. I mean it’s definitely contrarian, because you see so many Hollywood celebrities virtue signal about equality. Yeah, that’s what contrarianism is: going with the flow!

Whereas, here’s what Anton LaVey had to say about his conception of the “modern Black Mass” in The Satanic Bible:

Any ceremony considered a black mass must effectively shock and outrage, as this seems to be the measure of its success. In the Middle Ages, blaspheming the holy church was shocking. Now, however, the Church does not present the awesome image it did during the inquisition. The traditional black mass is no longer the outrageous spectacle to the dilettante or renegade priest that it once was. If the Satanist wishes to create a ritual to blaspheme an accepted institution, for the purpose of psychodrama, he is careful to choose one that is not in vogue to parody. Thus, he is truly stepping on a sacred cow. A black mass, today, would consist of the blaspheming of such “sacred” topics as Eastern mysticism, psychiatry, the psychedelic movement, ultra- liberalism, etc. Patriotism would be championed, drugs and their gurus would be defiled, cultural militants would be deified, and the decadence of ecclesiastical theologies might even be given a Satanic boost.

It amazes me how no Satanist movement that I have seen seems to be interested in tapping into this, because the simple fact is that we don’t live in the 1980s anymore. Even in America, the age of people like Bob Larson or Pat Robertson is long over. There’s still Satanic Ritual Abuse themed conspiracy theories spread around today, but it’s not the media phenomenon that it was until the early 1990’s. And despite the left’s fears in the wake of Trump getting elected, we see no signs of theocracy in the United States. If anything, despite the government being in the hands of the GOP, the zeitgeist of the wider establishment seems to be against him (including most media outlets). The idea that anyone’s being contrarian by embracing progressivism is dubious at best, and incredibly deluded at worst. It’s disappointing that there are no Satanists out there, that I know of, who are exploiting things like the reactionary movement as a form of rebellion against contemporary culture. Whatever your opinions on them, you can’t deny that they are at the opposite end of the establishment political zeitgeist, and exploiting the energies of such movements would play right into the kind of thing LaVey was talking about. But nope. If the LA Times and The Guardian are to be believed, it seems that modern Satanism is looking to embrace an ideology that, frankly, oozes with not just conformism and moral purity, but also (that’s right, I’ll say it) Christian universalism.

I fear that this will lead to the loss of a chaotic, rebellious edge that was classically associated with the Satanist movement, and if that happens, then I think it will be the end. Satanism’s primary impact and appeal came from the fact that it was rebellious towards the establishment, it placed the individual in opposition to outside social forces and institutions aligned against it, intent on corralling it into conformity in opposition to its will, and dared the individual to think for himself, treat these ideas with derision and mockery, and laugh at those stupid to embrace such hollow dogmas. But whereas in the 60’s it was Christianity and the hippie movement, and in the 80’s it was fundamentalist Christianity, in the 2010s, the popular zeitgeist is progressivism. You can be fired for publicly expressing ideas contrary to progressive ideology, that alone should be enough of a reason to channel rebellious intent against it. But instead a new breed of Satanists are embracing it. This will undo the original spirit of Satanism, rob of its chaotic, rebellious vitality, and turn it into just another whiny progressive movement based on what is, ultimately, feminist emotional porn. It would be sad to see such a defiant movement fall like this.


Link to the Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2018/jan/08/chelsea-clinton-church-satan-got-cool

Link to the Los Angeles Times article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-satanism-music-20180105-story.html