The Scottish referendum: meh

The past week or so I’ve heard discussion about the possibility of Scotland having a second referendum on its independence from the United Kingdom, and today I have just learned that Scotland intends to carry out this referendum some time between 2018 and 2019. And you know what I think? Go ahead.

Yes, go ahead. If Scotland wants to pursue self-determination as its own country independent from the UK, even if it causes a major shake-up, then so be it.

Don’t think I don’t know what this is all about. It’s patently obvious, at least to me, that this is the SNP trying to get Scotland into the European Union separate from the rest of the UK because almost all of the Scots voted to Remain. That they chose to stay a member of the UK in 2014, thus staying as British citizens and therefore voting in the EU referendum as British citizens, appears to be irrelevant in this at least for Scots who want to secede from the UK.

And to be honest this is actually what bothers me, not the premise of Scottish independence in and of itself. Essentially Scotland’s plan is to secede from an existing national power and become its own nation-state, only to try and integrate into a larger supra-national political/economic union. One that is run by elite bureaucrats whose power cannot be affected by a democratic vote. That just seems like a damned farce to me. What’s the point? And from what I understand, the Scots won’t be automatically granted EU membership if they secede. They will have to apply to become an EU member state. And that’s assuming they’ll be accepted by the European Union at all.

Now this is just a hunch on my part, but I have a suspicion that the European Union isn’t interested in Scotland as a standalone nation. To me, a United Kingdom is too valuable for the European Union for them to take in only separate parts. Why do you think the EU leaders pursued the punitive measures that it did in response to the Brexit vote? Because they were about to lose a member state that they considered to be an important benefactor, whose separation from the union may well have inspired a succession of populist triumph across the rest of Europe and undermine the stability of the project as a whole. Beyond that, I suspect that a United Kingdom is simply of greater economic value to the European Union than Scotland, which has been hit with a major oil crisis in recent years.

I currently see two potential outcomes of a Scottish secession: if they succeed in leaving the UK and in entering the European Union, then it will be a farce; Scotland will have gained independence only to hand some of its power to the European Union – and make no mistake, the EU is very much on the path towards becoming its own supranational empire, with its own army, and its own central bank. If they succeed in  leaving the UK and fail to become an EU member state, then it will still be a farce, for Scotland will have pursued its independence only to fail – essentially they’ll have done all that for nothing, and that’s important because I don’t believe for a minute that, in this instance, Scotland is interested solely in its own independence.

But then there’s the elephant in the room that is the SNP itself. If Scotland becomes indepenedent, then barring a Scottish general election afterwards I presume that the new nation-state of Scotland would be governed by the SNP. That’s a little worrying because I suspect that the SNP has an authoritarian bent, an example being their advocacy of the named persons scheme which requires that children have a state-appointed guardians intefering with their lives on a regular basis, and another being Alex Salmond’s desire to “ban all Donald Trumps”, and then there’s the super ID database they proposed a while back. So needless to say, I worry that an independent Scotland won’t actually be freer at all, and may become more authoritarian instead.

Other than that, I don’t feel compelled in any way to oppose the Scottish referendum ultimately, or its outcome. Either way they vote, then bully for them. If they’re doing this because of Brexit, then I am willing to accept an independent Scotland and/or potentially a divided United Kingdom as the price to pay for us leaving the EU (not least because that was my vote).

Oh, and if the British government or whoever does decide to rename the UK if Scotland successfully secedes, then whatever you do don’t call it England! I have a funny feeling that it might just piss off Wales.

On the Netherlands

In just three days the Netherlands will have a general election, which may prove to be a highlight of this year’s European elections and another portent of doom for the European Union’s project of “ever closer union”.

The main candidates for the upcoming election are Geert Wilders, the leader of Party for Freedom, Mark Rutte, the current Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Lodewijk Asscher, leader of the Dutch Labour Party, and Emile Roemer, the leader of the Socialist Party, among quite a few other candidates, though I assume much of the election coverage will focus on Wilders and Rutte. The election is being treated by the media as a bellwether for the growth of populism in Europe, and perhaps not for an entirely invalid reason. Europe’s last shake-up was the Italian referendum, when the people voted against the government of the then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi when it proposed its changes to the constitution. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders is getting a lot of attention due primarily due to his strong stance against Islamization and Islam in general,  as well as his platform of limiting immigration and exiting the European Union. The fact he is running against the current Prime Minister kind of shows that he is going against what is currently the established order in the Netherlands.

The thing is, I find that Wilders himself leaves a sour taste in my mind. While I sympathize with his desire to oppose Islamization in his country, I don’t like his solutions: mainly the fact that he wants to outright ban the Quran and mosques. Honestly I find it quizzical that Wilders is being treated as so analogous to Donald Trump because, say what you will about Trump, at least he never talked about actually banning the dissemination of the Quran or mosques. He talked quite a bit about the threat of *radical* Islam, and wanted to ban immigration from Middle Eastern countries (which is actually permissible according to US law by the way), but not a hell of a lot about Islam as a whole. Wilders, however, seems to view Islam as a doctrine as part and parcel with the threat of Islamic terrorism. To be fair on him, I’ve done a whole month’s series of posts back in August excoriating the teachings of Islam for, among other things, having Quranic verses and Hadiths that justify violence against the non-believers and “hypocrites” (in other words, Muslims who don’t fully or properly practice Islam). But I think that closing mosques and banning the Quran will just drive more Muslims into believing that they are persecuted by the West, which would likely cause them to gravitate towards Islamism, and the measure is simply a form of authoritarianism. For all the acrimony I espouse towards Islam, we already know that the Bible worships a God who talks about genocide on non-believers and at one point commanded murders, so as trite as it seems to my ears one must wonder if the Bible should be banned for being violent religious literature from savage times just as the Quran is if we go down the line of reasoning.

However, I support his desire to exit the European Union, and at the moment it looks like he is the most likely to pursue that exit. I also think he is probably going to take the stronger stance against Turkey. Why is that important? Recently Trukey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in the business of eroding the liberty and secularism of the Turkish state, had been doing some political campaigning among the Turkish diaspora within the Netherlands and he jailed a Dutch journalist who happened to be a critic of the Erdogan regime. Apparently Erdogan also has a “satellite party” in the Netherlands known as DENK, supposedly representing the Turkish diaspora. So it kind of looks, at least from the outside, as if Turkey is playing a role in influencing what goes on in the Netherlands, which I would describe as very much out of order. And recently, there have riots in the city of Rotterdam carried about by Turkish diaspora members who support Erdogan over the fact that the Netherlands has banned a Turkish foreign minister from visiting, apparently because he was planning to do some political campaigning on behalf of Turkey in the run up to the upcoming election. In response Erdogan, in what I can only assume is an example of a lacking in self-awareness on his part, actually accused the Netherlands of being a fascist country or something to that effect, a sentiment echoed by encephalopaths who actually supported the riots and condemned Turkey for actually blocking a foreign country from influencing its own elections! And Mark Rutte, though recognizing Erdogan’s judgement of the Netherlands as crazy, still wants to maintain relationships with Turkey. Wilders, on the other hand, has sent a video message out to pro-Turkish rioters, and his stance on Turkey is quite clear.

Honestly, this actually makes it harder for me to be totally against Wilders. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like Wilders, but I also detest Erdogan and the Turkish state and thus find the latter party to be worse. And not just for what they’ve been doing in the Netherlands either. Erdogan has gotten a German comedian in legal trouble for satirizing him, used last year’s military coup to, frankly, set Turkey on the road to totalitarianism, and he’s blackmailed the European Union into being friendly with Turkey and opening up negotiations for Turkish entry into the EU on pain of flooding migrants to the European continent. For that, I would likely vouch for anyone in the Netherlands who’s prepared to stand up to Turkey. And, unfortunately, it looks Wilders is the guy to do it.

It’s probably going to be a real shit show out there, and I’m not enthused about any of the candidates. All’s I can hope for is that something worthwhile comes out of all this.

Vault 7

This most may seem sudden, but I want to share something very important, particularly for my American readership. Last month, Wikileaks released a series of cryptic tweets on their Twitter page regarding the mysterious Vault 7, and until now we didn’t know what it meant. But yesterday, Wikileaks released a document revealing the extent of CIA hacking tools and confidential documents. Vault 7, as it turns out, was the code name for these documents. It revealed, among other things, that the CIA under the Obama administration stole Russian malware and used it to hack into computer systems in order to extract information from them using that malware, and apparently they lost that malware along with other hacking tools.

Given that the CIA lost the malware recently in 2016, this was also probably some time before the election or even around that time (I can only speculate) and that the malware the CIA obtained was from Russia, I am wondering if this has something to do with the theory that Russia hacked the DNC, and why the CIA claimed to have evidence but refused to provide it or put a name to it. I can only speculate.

But it does show that the NSA was not the only intelligence agency under Obama that had been gathering information , and apparently they are doing this as some kind of larger project involving cyber warfare. As if I *needed* another reason to hate Obama.


Vault 7: https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

And the new face of the resistance is…George W. Bush?

For the first of the political posts I want to get out of the way, you might not believe what the American media has been up to this past week: promoting America’s 43rd president George W. Bush: the man who got America into a war in Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 while never going after Saudi Arabia in any way, effectively lied to the American people about Saddam Hussein having chemical weapons so that he can destabilize Iraq and whose administration instituted the PATRIOT Act, diminishing civil liberty in the name of patriotism and security, and paving the way for the Obama administration’s own legacy of authoritarianism, all while pontificating about the higher power of Jesus Christ.

Yes, that man has gone from being the face of everything wrong with the GOP to being adorable in the eyes of the left. In the last week or so he spoke of his “affection” for Michelle Obama, with whom he scooped an opportune photoshoot, he made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show (with whom he had another photoshoot) where they talked about some stupid wet poncho photo that was taken during the Trump inauguration ceremony, as well as on the Jimmy Kimmel show for laughs, and I’ve seen lots of articles promoting his paintings. And the Guardian, the supposed bastion of journalism and left-wing commentary? They are hailing Bush as a “welcome return”.

What the fuck happened here? I mean I get that you can’t go around hating George W. Bush all the time given that he’s no longer President and up until now he was pretty much not active in politics, not even pressuring the Obama administration as far as I’m aware. But now I find the “liberals” lifting up a man who they should’ve been opposed to. And why? Apparently because he is opposed to Donald Trump. Because he called insinuated that Trump was a racist and because he thinks Trump is attacking freedom of the press by not allowing media organizations into his press conferences – which is exactly what the media thinks as well. George W. Bush, it seems, is being embraced by the liberals and the media for one crucial reason: the rationale that the enemy of their enemy is their friend. And to that end, the left will ignore the ramifications of the policies of Bush’s administration, which they themselves opposed, to wage their ineffectual war on Trump. And don’t kid yourself. Bush’s policies had considerable ramifications in the eight years that Obama was president, namely that it gave the state more power over the rights of its subjects. Obama was an authoritarian, sure, or at least very illiberal, but upon election he ultimately just jumped a machine that was already geared towards the erosion of civil liberty. I have to wonder if “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is such a good reasoning to have.

Bush and Obama, united at last

The echoes of the past that today’s intelligentsia probably don’t want you to think about

My brother had to sit through another contextual studies lecture at university, this time he was introduced part 1 of a four part documentary series by Adam Curtis entitled “Century of Self”, which is all about how the thinks the idea of a consuming self was manufactured by society, and last night he invited me to watch it because he wanted to see what I thought of it. And let me just say something up front: I personally detest Alan Curtis. I think of him as someone who trades in sophistry and generates a living from it (does that Nixon documentary he aired on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe ring a bell?). Weirdly enough it’s not so much that the documentary I’m talking about is based on complete lies – there is factual content to be found within the documentary – but Curtis’ argument is also misleading in that he presents half-truths alongside otherwise factual information. But the documentary also provides a fascinating window into a historical parallel to the political travails of the current era.

This film (which is subtitled “Happiness Machines”) centers around the exploits of a man named Edward Bernays, an advertiser, propagandist and innovator in the realm of public relations during the 20th century, and how according to Curtis he was responsible for the creation of modern consumer culture. Right away I have a problem with the essential premise. According to the film, Bernays seemed to view humans as passive consumers who are ruled by drives that they cannot control (he even seemed to view the masses as stupid), and that by satiating their desires they can be controlled, deriving his theory from Freud’s theory of the unconscious. But strangely enough the film often makes it seem like Bernays is responsible for implanting desires into peoples’ heads that they didn’t have before, and that this is where today’s consumer culture comes from. But it seems to me that all Bernays did was exploit desires that were already there and do what we already know advertisers do today – take a desire that already exists, and appeal to that desire and convince people to follow that desire via persuasion.

I had a similar discussion in a dissertation-themed contextual studies lecture once when one of the speakers talked to us about advertising and subliminal messaging – he argued that we are driven to want something that we otherwise wouldn’t through carefully crafted imagery, while I pointed out that many of the drives being exploited via advertising – lust, envy, hunger etc – are already present in the human condition. All the advertisers do is find a way to titillate them in order to achieve the outcome of consumption. It’s not exactly brainwashing in the strictest sense. The film makes it seem like corporations and politicians create desires, but desires are not created by others. They already exist, just that they can be awoken through the power of suggestion. And man’s desires and needs are part of a hierarchy – we don’t just pursue only what we need, and then have to be conditioned into wanting more. Once we have the lower parts of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs fulfilled, we can pursue other desires, like the desire for self-improvement for instance. Hell, I’d argue that even the basic needs spring from one desire in particular – the desire for self-preservation. After all, if we didn’t want to stay alive, we would we bother killing animals for food, building shelters or fires for warmth, drinking water or even sleeping, and if we didn’t want to continue a line of succession for the species, why would we procreate?

The film seems to present Bernays as responsible for getting people to trade stocks, pushing what would become the first department store, convincing women to smoke and getting an entire generation of Americans to believe in the magic of the free market. And this guy claims he’s not a leftist. For starters, the idea of a market where people trade in stocks or bonds has been around for centuries, dating back to at least the 17th century via the East India company, and the New York Stock Exchange we know it has been around since 1817. Also the first department store was established in 1858 and the idea that begun to spread before the 1920’s, free market capitalism has a long history, the ideological formations of which dating back to the likes of Adam Smith, and women have been smoking for centuries (though there may have been a social taboo surrounding it). And you can find most of that out with only a couple seconds or a minute on Google. It’s not great that you can find flaws in Curtis’ case so easily.

Apparently, at some point during the 20th century, confidence in the idea of democracy was weakening. It was increasingly believed that Man was incapable of making informed, rational decisions, was dominated by unseen and dangerous unconscious forces, and because of that Man was by nature an “unrational” being and needed to be controlled. Bizzarely enough the Russian Revolution, which happened in 1917, was seen as evidence by the media class of the day, who were according to Curtis influenced by the pessimistic view of human nature held by Sigmund Freud, that Western democracy needed to be challenged because of the mob mentality that erupted in Russia was proof that humans could not make rational decisions, seemingly invalidating a key principle of democracy, despite the fact that Tsarist Russia was both an autocracy and an empire – the opposite of the kind of republican democracy envisioned in the United States of America. Of course, not that the Soviet Russia that succeeded it was any better (in fact, arguably it was somehow worse). Bernays’ daughter Anne recounts who her father felt that democracy could not be trusted because he couldn’t trust “all those publics” to make the right judgement and not vote for the wrong person or have the wrong desires, which sounds like what the Remoaners were saying after they lost the Brexit vote. Are you beginning to feel like you’re in familiar territory yet?

A contemporary of Bernays, a political thinker by the name of Walter Lippmann, advocated for the concept of an elite group of people to manage democracy on behalf of the people and control their opinions through communication and media. Apparently he too was influenced by Freud and was interesting in psychological persuasion techniques, like those of Bernays, to convince the people that what Lippmann’s elites said was true, one of the methods of which was to form a “barrier between the public and the event” thereby allowing for the manipulation of information for public consumption. Well fuck me if that doesn’t sound like the mainstream media we have now. Oh and by the way, Lippmann also happened to be an advocate for socialism, and he was a member of various socialist groups including the Socialist Party of America. And isn’t that just magical? A socialist intellectual arguing for an elite, aristocratic class to stand above the people? Why is that relevant you might ask? Because it sounds a lot like the thought process behind the conception of the idea of the European Union before World War II and the actual foundation of what would become the European Union afterwards. Before World War II there was The United States of Europe, a paper released by Arthur Salter which documented his vision of supranational governing entity to govern the nations of Europe. After the war, Monnet, another leftist (not a died-in-the-wool socialist, but a consistent supporter of the French Socialist party), paved the way for federalism by working to pool economic resources into what would become the European Union, which over the years would grow from a supranational economic power, to a full-blown supranational political one with its own anthem, treasury, borders and the ability to override the will of its member states, managed by an elite technocratic class who cannot be elected or ousted democratically and obsessively and single-mindedly march toward the fruition of their “European project”. It’s like a billion-piece jigsaw puzzle suddenly falling into place, to quote Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, as if I needed another reason to despise the American, British and European left.

Bernays apparently felt like they had to guided from above (like in conventional religion, much?), believing in an “enlightened despotism”. Which, honestly, sounds a fucking lot like Bob “MovieBob” Chipman’s Twitter feed, a Guardian column about Internet “hate speech” or every filum of technocratic, anti-democratic dribble spewed from the leaders of the European Union. Assuming this is true, then we have a modern media and so-called liberal class that is full of people who follow the doctrine of Edward Bernays to this day. For today’s progressives and “liberals”, you can’t trust humans to think for themselves and you can’t trust them to be active citizens in a democracy, democracy doesn’t mean anything if they don’t vote the right way, so you have to convince them through propaganda to vote the right way or else the end of civilization as we know it is inevitable. That, my friends, is the philosophy that our political class follows today.

Apparently there was talk of the idea that, because Man is unrational and driven by unconscious desires and needed to be controlled because of it, a leader could ascend to power by taking the deepest fears and deepest desires of a subject or a citizen and appeal to those desires and use them to your own purposes. When I saw that with my brother I thought “this sounds like naked demagoguery” – demagoguery being when someone neither uses conventional reason nor speaks truth to power, instead cynically manipulating deep-seated longings and even prejudices in order to ascend to power – and this is what every Guardianista, every Clintonite and every modern leftist think that the likes of Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and the European far-right are doing, to the point that I honestly ask myself, how come the former are not ardent supporters of the latter?  If they truly believed that Donald Trump existed solely to give . Oh that’s right, because Hillary was the one actually doing this. Using sentimental slogans (Stronger Together anyone?; by the way, the Remain camp called and they want their originality back) and appealing to the vapid political and social climate of the day (for fuck’s sake she even had selfies taken of her as part of her campaign) rather than honestly addressing the issues outside of towing the Democratic party line. And that’s not getting into her corporate backing or the numerous wrongdoings that are now out in the open for all to see.

Or maybe it’s not because of Hillary. Maybe it’s because the media is the one decided what the terms are for being a demagogue. Someone speaking truth to power on anything, to those people, whilst going against the established order of things is a demagogue to those people. Either that, or it’s their job to make you believe that this is the case – which, let’s be honest, it is!

By the way, if you want to see what an actual demagogue looks like in my country, consult Owen Jones’ speech at an NUS rally circa November 19th 2016.

Getting back to the point, we also have Sigmund Freud coming out with his own take on civilization, which he felt was not an expression of human progress but instead nothing more than a necessary cage for human passions that would otherwise become dangerous. Apparently Freud felt that humans constantly needed to be controlled, and freedom of self-expression was impossible because it would bring about destruction. The implication is, thus, that humans are incapable of controlling themselves and constantly need to be guided by someone else. The problem I have with this is that this is not the proper remit of a government. It is true that humans can’t contain the savagery of a lawless state of affairs on their own, try as they might, and there is the need to outsource the need for security and stability to a larger body of power (hence, government). But a law enforcement can usually only contain savagery and criminality after the fact, they cannot and should control the passions of a citizenry. The onus is on individuals to at least attempt to control their own passions. Otherwise, if you want to live in a Demolition Man or Minority Report style world then go ahead – enjoy governments that act on the thoughts, feelings and desires of others rather than on actions and real issues and actively attempt to control or outright police them at the expense of your own freedom – but I would rather not. And the idea that civilization doesn’t bring content? Sounds like something I actually used to believe not too long ago, but now recognize as bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, modern civilization has its problems and can be a limiting force on the human spirit, but the idea that civilization doesn’t bring content or progress can be refuted by literally any technological and economic advancement that has ever been made in any civilization in the realms of not just entertainment, but also medicine, security and raising the standards of living. Anyone who actually believes that people aren’t happier living in a civilized society than otherwise should spend sometime in the pure state of nature, divorced from civilization and its benefits, and then see if that makes you much happier (I’m looking squarely at the anarcho-primitivists).

Let me tell you, I find the central premise of Lippmann and Freud’s assessment of human nature and democracy and their proposed solutions to both to be ultimately insensible. Don’t get me wrong I am apprised of the fact that there is indeed the innate capacity for savagery within the human species, and the fact that human history with resplendent with accounts of violence, war and mayhem, whether it’s in the name of either God (or the gods), a higher set of ideals or simply perceived self-interest. But I am also apprised of the underrated capacity for what others might call humanity. We are, at least in part, social animals. One of the key aspects of our survival as a species is the ability and willingness to cooperate with each other to achieve a desired goal, in fact I am willing enough to concede that certain fundamental aspects of our civilization is probably doomed without it. But more importantly I’d like you to just ponder for a moment: if we are all irrational, all eternally guided by unconscious forces and we are in no position to control ourselves, then who is? Who is enlightened compared to the rest of us beasts? Who then is fit to control us besides the strong, and the next strongest after him? What is the guarantee that the philosopher kings that Lippmann and his modern inheritors (like the EU and MovieBob) advocate for aren’t going to be exactly as irrational and beastlike as the rest of us? If we are not without sin by dint of our very humanity, why are they without sin, and how is that decided? This is why I don’t like the benevolent dictatorship concept. Not simply because at the end of the day it’s still a dictatorship, but because I don’t trust the dictator be benevolent, especially given that human history is also resplendent with the fallibility or outright corruption and even despotism of its leaders and elites. And ultimately, these people, whilst holding us as utterly savage and as falling short of their ideal of a rational human, hold that the solution is to controlled by an elite class who they expect us to believe will not be more savage than us.

Case in point, we get to how the Nazis seemed to take the ideas of Bernays and the growing despair about democracy and ran with it, blaming democracy and capitalism for economic decline and unemployment and that by sacrificing individual liberty and giving up the will of the people to a totally centralized state under National Socialism. You see, the 1930’s was a time that began fresh off the heels of the Great Depression, and this caused people to lose faith in both democracy and capitalism. At the same time eugenics was a part of popular ideology and was seen as desirable, while fascism was a growing ideology that was gaining some support, including in UK (with the British Union of Fascists), Japan (with the rise of extreme militant nationalism) Spain (the rise of fascist groups such as Falange) and Italy (with the rise of Mussolini). Nazi Germany thus can be understood as an unfortunate product of its time – a time were desperation and a crisis of confidence in democracy led people to genuine political extremism (unlike the modern populist wave that is still being spun as political extremism). And guess who admired Bernays’ work and used it to build the foundations of his own propaganda campaign? None other than Joseph Goebbels. He kept Bernays’ books in his personal library and studied them attentively, despite the fact that Bernays himself was a Jew and Goebbels a Nazi (not that the Nazis didn’t believe that Jews could collaborate with the Nazi regime, of course). From there, the Nazis aggressively propagandized the German people to accept the rule of a political elite with complete control over German society that would eventually destroy anyone it deemed undesirable.

For a party that embraced the idea that democracy threatened to reek destruction upon society, we all know the barbarism they inflicted on Germany and the nations it conquered in pursuit of its ideological goals. Just think about it: the Nazi Party wanted to save the German people from the “irrational” power of selfish individualism and the destruction it was perceived as causing by inflicting an irrational totalitarian regime upon the German people and liquidating people on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexuality and political opinion? This, though it is an extreme example, is a demonstration of why I find the Lippman and Bernays way of thinking to be internally inconsistent. For an influential political intellectual and a talented propagandist, they were both fools.

And you know what I find unbelievable? If Curtis was correct then we must come to the conclusion that the Second World War traumatized the entire world, with the Western world particularly troubled by the horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany, and yet the Western World has somehow managed to convince itself that the path to saving itself from repeating those horrors is by applying the same philosophy of propaganda, and the worldview that accompanied it, that the Nazis via Joseph Goebbels built on and utilized in order to convince the German populace that democracy needed to be discarded, the state needed absolute control of public life and that Jews, non-Aryan Europeans, gays, political opponents and other “untermensch” needed to be exterminated. That is nothing short of the grandest folly that the Western world has ever imbibed in, grander even than the phenomenon of political correctness and cultural Marxism we are seeing today, itself still carried forward by the doctrine of propaganda. Among the clear lessons of World War II is not that there is a dangerous force within humanity that must be controlled at all costs, but that some of worst horrors in human history were incited by the propaganda that men like Bernays and Lippmann thought were instrumental in subduing the irrational powers that caused them!

Yet here we are, living in an age where the mainstream media in the Western world can lie to your face in order to try and control what you think, and now outright browbeating the people with the causes of activist journalists, and Western leaders view the solution to the world’s ills as being more centralized control over the lives and minds of their citizens. And at the vanguard of this is the modern “liberal” left, who have been supporting a propagandist media, corporatist politicians, authoritarianism, and social engineering and they been in the business of propaganda through the media and through universities in order to disseminate their ideology.

The connection between all of us is the zeitgeist of Bernays’ and Lippmann’s time – the zeitgeist where Freud’s view of human nature has been taken as the basis of a worldview that holds that human beings must be controlled by a higher societal force in the form of an elite class that will propagandize them by manipulating their emotions and desires, because they thought humans could not be trusted to make rational decisions –  a view that, if Curtis is right, was discredited by the rise of scientific political polling. The rise of fascism in the 1930’s sprung out of this zeitgeist, and the modern antipathy towards democracy among the progressives echoes it. For all the sophistry that’s sometimes scattered throughout the film, there is a valuable window of insight into a historical parallel, if not a historical root, to some of the modern travails of our political climate.

Fuck Edward Bernays, fuck Walter Lippmann and fuck the modern inheritors of their way of thinking.

Now I would like to address the people who took the side of the mainstream media, social media, popular groupthink and the ideological agendas that they supported: you are all fools. You have been misguided by an elite class that, despite demonstrable failure in its worldview in the past, continues to follow the doctrine of Bernays, Lippman and Goebells whilst actually believing that this will prevent fascism from claiming the world within our lifetime. The only chance you have of escaping the cycle of history is to reject the mainstream media, cut yourself off from the zeitgeist of social media and the corporate culture that lingers over it, free your mind from the boundaries of herd mentality and think for yourself. And the only chance mankind as a whole has of becoming free from this is if those of us who succeed in doing this learn to spread this authentic free thinking to others as best they can without force.

Edward Bernays (left), Walter Lippmann (middle) and Joseph Goebbells (right)

Edward Bernays (left), Walter Lippmann (middle) and Joseph Goebbells (right)


If you actually want to see the documentary here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DotBVZ26asI

Witchcraft (so-called anyway) + radical feminism/social justice = autistic screeching

Remember back in 2015 when a group of Mexican witches (or Brujas) tried to hex Donald Trump in order to try and stop him from getting elected or something like that? Apparently there are American witches that are intent on “resisting” Donald Trump. Of course, I say witches, but it’s not evident that these are people who have studied witchcraft or the occult for a long period of time, and much like The Satanic Temple they appear to be political activists who are using spiritual systems as a costume for their existing political agenda. Just looking at the head image I see what looks like a typical Tumblr rad-fem or social justice warrior, not a genuine devotee of the witchy arts. All of the other images in the article give me the same impression: trendy trustafarian hipsters using witchcraft as a costume for their own lame political activism.

Here’s an extract I found rather interesting:

A fantastic 2015 feature at Vice profiled how LGBTQ youth have found sanctity within their witch communities in the face of society’s failure to create spaces for them.

So, basically, LGBT people go to left-wing witchcraft communities because they want them to provide a safe space. Times like this I feel like they would not last long in an path of authentic Satanic, or Luciferian, philosophy. We don’t care about safe spaces, and we don’t believe that society should be obliged to create “spaces” for you, whether you are gay or not. We don’t want you to just be comfortable with who you are, or what you think you are. I’d say we think you should be happy with who you are, but we also want you to grow and become more than that. That is the way found in the spiritual paths that comprise the Left Hand Path. If you want your own space, just make one for yourself, or go and live somewhere with people who are more like you.

There’s also this emotional porn in the article about how witches have always lived in the margins of society. And I’m sure they have, but I doubt that today’s trust fund baby generation of Tumblr witches are as marginalized in the modern West as they think they are. I, as a Satanist/Luciferian, am aware that people like me are in a position where we aren’t exactly considered normal. I even go so far as to think that I have to hide it from people sometimes, particularly potential employers. But am I going to create some kind of victimology about with myself and other Satanists at the center of it? Make some big deal about how I’m a victim because I’m non-conforming in some way? Fuck no! Because I know that it would achieve nothing for myself or other people beyond infantilizing myself and violating my own personal values, and possibly reduce my social standing as well if we successfully move toward an age where making a victim of yourself is no longer trendy or fashionable.

And let me tell you something Catie Keck: THAT is how you survive. You survive by adapting, growing stronger IN SPITE of your present trevails and conditions before you have any hope of changing them, and surpassing yourself as an individual because of it. Survival doesn’t mean you getting to say “I will survive” or “I shall overcome” in some pretentious fluffy bunny bullshit or pursuing some witless and futile effort to change the outcome of an election. And that is why I think these Tumblr witches will never achieve their goals.

At some point the article talks about a group called W.I.T.C.H., which is an acronym for, I shit you not, Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell. Cringe-worthy name aside, this group is actually a feminist and women’s liberation movement activist group which happens to use what it calls witchcraft as part of its activism. For them, this manifests in such ways as performing “hexes” on Wall Street. W.I.T.C.H. has actually been active since 1968, and far from being the 1960’s equivalent of The Hellfire Club, they were a socialist feminist movement dedicated opposing both “the patriarchy” and capitalism. They believed that capitalism and “patriarchy” were essentially two heads of the hydra, and so they allied with a wide range of left-wing causes with the aim of removing capitalism in order to remove “patriarchy” and capitalism and usher in their preferred kind of social change. Their understanding of witchcraft is another point worth talking about. For them, all you need in order to be a witch is to consider yourself a witch. That’s it. You don’t have to study at all, you just have to be a woman who calls herself a witch, perhaps also a woman who’s on board with the whole socialist feminist witchcraft thing. And according to an article from (of all places) VICE, most members didn’t even practice or study witchcraft, despite that the group uses witchcraft as an emblem. In many ways this reminds me of how The Satanic Temple uses Satanism as an emblem, but really they’re just a bunch of atheist activists who push for liberal progressive ideology (albeit sometimes doing so in a positive manner, such as pursuing actual liberal ideals and doing fundraisers for charity) and dress it up in a kind of Satanic philosophy that is significantly detached from the kind of philosophy found in, say, The Satanic Bible. Oh but that’s not all, apparently W.I.T.C.H. were among the many feminists who espoused the claim that the death toll from the “burning times” (the Neopagan term for the European witch hunts) was 9 million, whereas scholars put the highest figure at about 100,000.

There’s not much more to say other than the other examples put forward are feminist witches and Wiccans who actually believe that they live in a world that only allows straight white men to attain political power, and they believe that witchcraft can change the fact that Donald Trump is now the President. I have to say, if a bunch of witches in Mexico couldn’t do anything to change the course of the US election, what makes them think a bunch of self-described queer, feminist and socialist witches, who from the looks of it just think of witchcraft and occultism as something that you don’t have to study at all and can just use as political activism, what makes them think that these delusional self-described “witches” can do anything?


Link to the Bustle article: https://www.bustle.com/p/what-witches-can-teach-us-about-fighting-back-against-trump-30574

Some post-Inauguration thoughts

Well, here we are. The peaceful transfer of political power in the United States of America has come to pass and Donald Trump is now officially the 45th President. So ends the whole election (and post-election) saga and a really turbulent chapter in America’s history.

Watching the inauguration ceremony, as well as the Make America Great Again concert from the previous day, I did not get the impression that this was some kind of ushering in of some kind of American reich. Far from it. For one thing, there was no evidence of any goose stepping or anything resembling some kind of Nazi salute. Second of all, the gathering was not a sea of Aryans heralding the ascension of their new orange Fuhrer, but rather a gathering of Americans of all races, male and female, irrespective of creed, united by a sense of optimism and a sense of national pride. Trump’s speech seemed to echo this, focusing on talking about how large sections of the population are disenfranchised and focusing on how American and all other nations should put their own interests first, as well as speaking about some his other political platforms. I kind of doubt that we have heard the creed of a reincarnated Adolf Hitler. The idea of “America First”, nothing more than a proclamation of putting national self-interest above the international order of things, was more important than everything put forward by the extreme left and the extreme right.

Thankfully, the ceremony itself seemed to go without a hitch. However, in the surrounding area in Washington D.C., there were fervent protests from people who were opposed to Donald Trump, and there have been examples protesters blockading bystanders and examples of looting and clashes with Trump supporters during those protests. In fact, as I write this, it seems that there is still rioting going on in DC. At least I can be assured that the new President won’t die, and it doesn’t look like that plot by the DC Antifascist Coalition to release a stink bomb at the Deploraball event has not come to fruition, but it does seem that Washington DC has been subject to a lot of rioting been riots. Twitter is of course ablaze with footage of riots carried out by anti-Trump protesters, which even includes footage of protesters burning limousines and other property.

You know, I think there’s a bitter irony here, one that I discussed with my brother. I can’t help but imagine Ted Cruz standing in front of a podium, talking to a lot of these far left protesters and saying “how does it feel knowing you are the losers now”. After all, I still remember back in 2013 when Ted Cruz and his fellow Republicans shut down the government all because they lost on the issue of Obamacare. You know, when the Supreme Court declared Obamacare to not be unconstitutional. They lost, and they acted like crybabies, only they didn’t go out on the streets and smash shit. Now in 2017, who’s acting like the crybabies now? The left-wing activists who hate Trump so much that they’re willing to smash windows, cause trouble and get into fights with pro-Trump bikers. They lost, and now they’re throwing a huge tantrum over it. It was kind of the same with the Remoaners over Brexit, except I don’t recall a lot of rioting done over it. These people who are now screeching at the thought of a Trump presidency need to instead face the reality of the situation: they will not change the fact that Trump is the president, no matter how many windows they smash, how many limousines they burn or how many bikers they get into fights with. Their war is over, and in fact it has been over since the election ended – they had their time to advance their ideas and convince people to vote in their general direction, and that time is over and they have lost the battle. I said this about David Cameron getting elected in 2015, I said it about Brexit and I’m saying it now – get over it and focus on challenging real problems as they arise instead. And maybe be more willing to unite or cultivate harmony with your fellow countrymen regardless of your political differences instead of constantly creating division and acrimony, or else you will only stifle progress further.

I’d like to also mention that I as a Satanist am rather embarrassed to find members of The Satanic Temple apparently joining in on the protests, as well as joining in on the delusions that they have been fed by the mass hysteria generated by the progressive media – mainly the delusion that Donald Trump is the reincarnation of a certain fascist dictator who will destroy everyone’s rights. Yeah, as if America’s system of government isn’t designed precisely to limit how much the President can do to your rights. Some bastions of independent and critical thinking they are proving to be. I can only assume that they are going to take part in the more peaceful side of the protests rather than the pure vandalism we’ve seen from some of the protests. Also, I suppose now that Trump is the President it will only be a matter of time before they can at least cling to the idea that they are rebels, particularly because up until now they could only truly be seen as rebels in the Bible Belt or other more religious parts of America due to the fact that much of their ideals dovetailed nicely with the kind of left-liberal/progressive ideology that was already mainstream in urban America. The irony of this is that on the same day, I find that The Satanic Temple was willing to defend Milo Yiannopoulos’ right to freedom of speech by disavowing anti-Milo protesters, with Lucien Greaves stating that “If you defend Free Speech, you don’t only defend that which you agree with”. Which of course is fantastic because it gives me some hope that these guys are still willing enough to defend liberal principles. It’s just unfortunate that this has to mingle with the fact they seem to have the same mindset and, in some cases, political philosophy as mainstream progressives. And just like every progressive when it comes to Trump, they act as though the end of the republic is coming and the reincarnation of Hitler is going to take away everyone’s rights. It’s just that unlike their more fanatical counterparts outside of the Satanic movement that comprise the social justice warriors, they aren’t willing to compromise liberal principles (such as freedom of speech for everyone) and they prefer peaceful civil disobedience over mob violence. Don’t get me wrong that’s no bad thing – in fact by all rights I ought to applaud them for going down the route of purely civil disobedience -, but they’re still deluded enough to think that they are protecting your rights from some kind of made up fascist apocalypse. Well thanks but no thanks but I don’t need your protection. No Satanist who actually holds true to Satanic philosophy rather than merely using it as a costume for what is basically pure atheism ultimately does.

I’m not foolish enough to believe that Donald Trump will be the second coming of Jesus, as some of his more die hard supporters seem to believe he might be, and I have my doubts. Indeed often times I sat through some of Trump’s speech and responding with “well I can only hope”. I guess that speaks more to the realist in me mind you. But unlike many people in my country I think I can hold out some hope that Trump will do something of a good job. From what I understand, Trump has already been writing execute orders and set to act on some of them as soon as he gets into office and he has apparently been busy in the months between his election and his inauguration, so he’s certainly giving the impression that’s he’s ready to roll as President. All he has to do in the next four years is live up to most of his promises or, at least, prove that he is a better president than Obama, which honestly might only take being perceived as an average president in contrast to Obama, who many outside his circle of fans (read: CNN) consider to be a failure.

At the end of the day, I am happy enough not only to see Obama out of the White House, but also his chosen successors, the Clintons, defeated electorally and thus denied the opportunity to take power, and in that regard the people who voted for Trump have done well to ensure this. I hope that, at the very least, Trump manages to upend the old order of things in whatever way he can and dispel presumptions many people have of how his Presidency will pan out. Given that America now has the Republicans in pretty much full control of the government I am somewhat concerned about the return of social conservatism, but I also know that Trump isn’t like most conservatives, in fact he’s often been at odds with many conservatives (just ask Ben Shapiro, The National Review or Glenn Beck – the man who, by the way, went from bashing Obama throughout his career to unironically praising the Obama family). If he fails to do this, then I think that will ultimately be the main reason I become disappointed with him.

Until that time, it would be terribly rude not to give him a chance now that he has been sworn in. I wish Trump the best of luck in achieving the upheaval of the old order, and I will keep an eye on Trump’s America as much as possible.

Donald Trump is sworn in as President

Donald Trump is sworn in as President