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.

On Alex Jones being deplatformed

Well isn’t this funny. Not too soon after I write a post where I mention Alex Jones and now I find myself talking about him again. I have received news that yesterday Facebook, iTunes, YouTube and Spotify have all removed Alex Jones’ show and channel from their respective platforms, effectively banning him from being able to broadcast on their platforms. The main reasons being given for this decision seem be that InfoWars violated the websites’ guidelines concerning hate speech, but I’m not entirely sure what specific action triggered this decision. I have heard from one source that it was over a podcast in which he seemingly threatened Robert Mueller and fantasized about killing him on his show, or how he seemingly threatened homosexuals, transgender individuals and drag queens and called for them to be burned alive, but I’m not quite sure what did it for Apple, Facebook, Spotify and Google. It’s possible, however, that his recent efforts to put his podcast on Spotify might have sealed the deal, with Spotify users apparently threatening to cancel paid subscriptions to the platform if they continue to host Infowars.

Now, why am I talking about this? Well for one thing, I think we in the Satanist and Luciferians circles are all too familiar with his shtick: him peddling conspiracy theories wherein politicians and media personalities he doesn’t like are basically demons from the pit of hell who want to kill Christians, enslave mankind and take over the world. You know, fundamentalist Christianity jacked up on ketamine, and with a bunch of other weird conspiracy theories on top of it (like gay frogs, chemtrails, and NASA allegedly running a pedophile ring on Mars). So he’s been on our radar for some time now, and imagine many of us aren’t really shedding a tear for him at this moment. And for another thing, I think there are points to make about freedom of speech and incitement.

I, honestly, am quite neutral on this issue. I know that might seem strange for someone as pro-free speech as I am, but do hear me out.

In principle, I don’t support the idea of Alex Jones getting deplatformed in the way that has been. However, it would be easy for me to take his side on the issue were it not for the fact that Alex Jones has come suspiciously close to incitement numerous occasions. For instance, in January he went on a bizarre, unhinged rant about CNN’s Brian Stelter, where he accuses him of being a devil worshipper who wants to control every aspect of your life somehow, and implies that he is going to “resist” him (whatever that entails) with everything he has and that God is going to destroy him. In 2016, Jones outright called for supporters of Bernie Sanders to have their jaws broken. More recently, he seemingly called for drag queens to be burned alive, which Pink News also claims is the reason for Alex Jones getting banned from Facebook. There was also a rant last year where Jones threatened to beat up Rep. Adam Schiff, apparently over something to do with accusations of him being an agent of Russia. And that recent story about Robert Mueller? I’m not making that one up. In fact, let me just leave a video compilation below which shows multiple examples of Jones’ threats, including some I already mentioned.

In summary, Alex Jones frequently skirts the line, sometimes even outright crosses the line, into incitement to violence for individuals he doesn’t like, usually while layering a sense of plausible deniability on top of his grandiose and vulgar threats. With Robert Mueller for instance, he insists that he’s going to get him “politically” in his rant. Because you know, he doesn’t really want to shoot him, even though he says he’s a pedophile who should be shot. Classy. But then there is a peculiar question we must ask, and I think some journalists have asked the same question: why hasn’t Alex Jones been deplatformed sooner given his particular history?

To be honest, I think the answer to that is probably to do with the ways in which Jones can give a sense of plausible deniability to himself. Besides the kind of thing I already mentioned, when Alex Jones was sued for custody of his kids by his ex-wife Kelly, his lawyer defended him by claiming that Alex Jones is a performance artist playing a fictional character. This is a very effective way of granting plausible deniability to his threats – after all, if it’s all just an act, then those threats aren’t really threats, they’re just part of the act; just a meme bro. It’s also a convenient falsehood, given that Alex Jones tends to double down on his conspiracy theories when pressed on the subject, and he will insist that what he believes is the truth outside of his show.

There is another issue with the subject of his deplatforming however, one that cannot be overlooked. I have heard the argument that after Alex Jones’ deplatforming, it is only a matter of time before the media begins to deplatform others who are accused of promoting conspiracy theories – not just right-wing nutjobs like Alex Jones who actually promote conspiracy theories, but left-leaning guys like Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore who are both critical of the Russiagate canard and are considered to be conspiracy theorists and fake news promoters by their centrist opponents. On the one hand it’s easy to the logic: America is already at a point where it looks like Silicon Valley capitalists can generate a monopoly on what is considered true and false because of their entrenchment within mainstream political circles. This may partly explain why they have wanted Alex Jones gone for some time now, because they believe he is spreading fake news (which, to be fair, he is and that’s his business model). On the other hand, I do have to stress again that Jones has a record of incitement, and I believe this sets him apart from people like Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore, who never come close to inciting anything.

Another argument you could make, one that I think might have more weight, is that deplatforming Alex Jones will only give people more reason to believe his ideas or give them credence, as The Guardian’s Sam Levin has argued. It makes sense because the removal can seen by devotees or sympathizers of the conspiracy theorists as proof that they are trying to shut that person down for his ideas, even in cases where that’s not actually true and you can point to cases of incitement to violence as a reason for their deplatforming.

Regardless, I will say this to any self-proclaimed free speech warriors thinking of unequivocally defending him. Why is it that someone like Alex Jones, who skirts the line between free speech and incitement to violence, worthy of defence in the name of free speech, and someone like Jake Flores, a comedian who made a joke on Twitter about ICE agents getting killed, gets his door knocked down by the US government is treated to radio silence? Keep in mind, when Count Dankula made jokingly taught his dog to give Nazi salutes, you guys rightly defended him. But when the US government bust down someone’s door over a joke, I don’t see you guys saying anything, and not only that but some of you guys defend the very state organization that violates your free speech principles. The Spanish government also arrests people for joking about public officials being assassinated and insulting the monarchy, and I have never, ever seen anyone outside the left talk about that. And aren’t you usually the people who, when you’re not talking about people you like getting deplatformed by private companies, you defend the very architecture of capital and private property that allows social media companies to have flagrant disregard for your freedom of speech? Well, even within that premise, why does Alex Jones getting deplatformed elicit moral outrage, but not when Facebook targets pro-Palestine groups at the behest of Israel and the US government? Is it because Alex Jones is somehow anti-establishment? Never mind of course that Alex Jones defends the people now in power in America on a regular basis, says nothing about the detention camps that ICE has implemented since the Obama administration even though he was the same guy who claimed Barack Obama was going to implement FEMA camps on his way out of office, and no matter how many times Trumps bombs Syria and goes against his supposedly non-interventionist America First program, he will always go back to supporting him out of Republican partisanship. Or is it simply because of some sort of partisanship wherein if it happens anyone who isn’t to your left you don’t care? Gee, it really gets my almonds going when even fundamentalist right-wing Christians like Rick Wiles decide that Alex Jones is going too far their liking, but the average online “free speech warrior” takes Alex Jones’ side.

Overall, this for me is not about hate speech. I oppose the concept of hate speech, but I also oppose incitement to violence. I can’t take Alex Jones’ side on this one. I’m not gonna cheer for his apparent censorship, but I’m not going to shed a tear either because I think Alex Jones might have ultimately brought this on himself.

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.

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.

Haram Month 2017 #4 – The foreign policy canard

Whenever we have to discuss the threat of Islamic terrorism, there is always a rather pernicious canard thrown around. The idea that Islamic terrorism is driven predominantly by American or Western imperialism, most of the time referring to America. While I’m sure America’s antics in the Middle East has indeed caused some resentment among ordinary Muslims towards the American state, one wonders why it seems like Islamic terrorists love to target Europe? Do they think that by attacking Europe they will cause America to back down, when at this point they would probably be more likely to shut their borders? What’s more, if they are solely motivated by hatred of the American state because of alleged imperialism, why do they go and kill ordinary European citizens, rather than target American government officials, embassies or military bases?

And while we in Britain were still reeling from the brutal terrorist attack that occurred in Manchester, England, radical Islamist military forces were busy trying to take over a city in the Phillipines. Yes, an Islamic militia known as Maute (aka the Islamic State of Lanao) attacked the city of Marawi, and became locked in battle with Filipino forces. The entire time I wondered, baffled, what did the Philippines do to deserve this? Where are they involved in the foreign policy canard? Was the Philippines involved in any military interventions or excursions in the Middle East? Whenever I asked, no one could give an answer. Perhaps that is because they can’t. There is no intervention that I’m aware of. Clearly, whatever reason the Islamists had to try and take over Marawi had nothing to do with it.

America is great

I have no intention to cover the Trump administration specifically on this post, because what I intend to defend is not the United States government. What I’m defending is the country that is the object of a long-standing affair of mine – the United States of America. I mainly want to address an idea which seems to have some traction in the American imagination particularly among modern progressives, and that is the idea that America was never a great nation, and brings nothing but bad things to the world. Nothing could be further be from the truth, and I hope I will adequately demonstrate why without going overboard.

Let’s begin with the event that started it all, the American Revolution. At its heart, the revolution was in essence the act of a people the majority of whom were tired of the burdensome will of a monarch and decided they no longer wanted to be governed by him. And what’s more, while the French revolution ended in yet more autocratic rule for a time and future revolutions would lead to far worse systems being implemented (i.e. communism), the American revolution ended in the establishment of a government in which real tyranny, despite whatever autistic screeching goes on these days, still has yet to occur, and the principles of individual are enshrined in the principles by which the government is established, and it is at least partly through the guidance of these principles that America has progressed.

America has achieved much since then. Over the years America brought to the world the photo camera, pre-natal care, flight, world series’ of sports (in this case, the first world series in baseball), the phonograph (and by extension recorded music), air conditioning, the assembly line (and thus mass manufacturing), the light bulb, the telephone, the tractor, rockets and many other inventions. America also helped shape modern culture. Through the achievements of capitalism and mass production, the American economy boomed owing to a period of greater leisure for Americans. Around the same time, youth culture as we may know recognize it had its beginnings. America was also the father of video games and modern comic books, which by the 21st century have become decisively influential in modern culture. Not to mention, it was in America that jazz, blues, rock and roll, punk (The Ramones, not The Sex Pistols, were first) hip hop and pop as we know it were all born over the years. And during the 80’s, America was one of the leading powers that led the ideological battle against communism, and while the weren’t the first people to lead to the fight against fascism they certainly won. Truly, American culture and invention has been a gift to the world. Oh and for all the complaints I have heard about gender equality from feminists, America was actually the first country to make it illegal to pay someone based on their gender rather than the work they put in through the Equal Pay Act of 1963. America was the father of the Internet, the method of global communication that you and I are using to share a world of information to be accessed at your fingertips, and which continues to revolutionize the media and the world, rapidly outpacing the old media, and until last year America was the guardian of the Internet via its ownership of ICANN.

The most important thing for me about America, however, is simply the ability of ordinary people to say whatever they damn well please, without undue restriction by the law and sometimes unburdened by social norms or courtesy. We Brits may be aghast at the idea that there’s a country where someone like, say, a Westboro Baptist Church member can go on a protest saying “God hates fags” all day, but that is the freedom that America allows: anyone can say what they want, and if you don’t like it you can criticize them publicly. Meanwhile, in my country, not only is there a man who faces jail time over a video of him training his pug to say Nazi slogans as a prank, but you have the police in general spending more time worrying about “Islamophobic hate speech” than actually catching terrorists. For however much is wrong with America, and there are still many things wrong with it, this is the country that its people love and cherish – the freedom to say what you want, without fear, protected by the iron letter of the Constitution.

Happy July 4th everyone, especially my American followers. Keep being the people that you are. I hope that some day I’ll finally set foot in your country once more.

The common trend among mass shooters

The way I see it, there is a distinct trend connecting so many of the people in America who decide to go out and murder scores of people with a firearm. In order to solve the issue, I believe it is more important and of greater necessity to examine this trend rather than to try and pinpoint the thing Americans are supposed to be banning, thinking it will solve the problem.

To that end, I’m going to go through 10 examples of American mass shooters, some perhaps more infamous than others, in order to examine what drove them to commit the atrocities that they committed, in order to try and establish a common trend between them.

 

Kip Kinkel

I think people far too often forget that Kip even existed, let alone murdered his own parents and some of his fellow students. But he did, and in a rampage that pre-dated the Columbine massacre by only a year. Unlike the Columbine shooters, however, Kip didn’t kill himself afterwards, which not only means that he was arrested and punished for his crime but also that the police were able to extract a motivation from him through interrogation, which is sadly never the case in the majority of these incidents.

Kip was interviewed by detective Al Warthen in May 21st 1998, he told the detective that he was aware that his mind “wasn’t right” and he knew that it was considered wrong to bring a gun to school but did it anyway. He told the detective that he was ashamed of having done something wrong, and that he killed his father because he loved him but was also “fucked up in the head”. After Kip’s arrest, some writings were found detailing his state of mind around the time of the Thurston High shooting. He seems to have wallowed in a desire to end his own life, he saw himself as profoundly disturbed or abnormal and as a consistently destructive influence to the world around. He claimed to hear voices in his head telling him to kill and was full of rage and hatred towards mankind. He also mentions a woman who he was seeing, but apparently broke up with him, which caused him to feel like his heart has broken, which he doesn’t even think is possible because he didn’t think he even had a heart. During Kip’s trial, Dr. Orin Bolstad testified that he had been hearing voices since he was 12 years old, and had experienced hallucinations, and that he told him that the voices in his head might have come from either “the devil” or a chip put into his head by the government. He stated that these were the signs of psychotic thinking, a manic phase of bipolar disorder, extreme depression and schizophrenia, as well as a consistent state of delusion. He was also said to have an obsession with violence, and to have exacted “revenge” on people who he perceives as having crossed him, whether his perceptions were accurate or not. Kip was on anti-depressant medications for a period time before eventually being taken off of it when it appeared he was showing positive results. After he was taken off the medication, however, his mental health began deteriorating again. It’s very clear that Kip was profoundly, extremely disturbed, and guided by delusions.

 

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

Perhaps the most infamous school shooters in American history, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were responsible for the Columbine massacre, which is now etched into the memory of the collective American consciousness. Many people attempted to find scapegoats in guns, heavy metal and gothic music and the first-person shooter genre of video games (which back then was a rising star of PC gaming, home to such titles as DOOM, Quake, Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein). However, the diaries of the shooters were uncovered not long after the massacre, and they offer insight into their motivations.

Eric Harris wrote in his journal about how he believed that everyone around him was irredeemably stupid and robotic, incapable of thinking for themselves, that only he and his friend possessed what he called “self-awareness”, and that he wants nothing to do with society except to kill those he deems unfit to exist. He believes that human society is best run by a principle of “NATURAL SELECTION”, which for him entails as the murder of the disabled, the “rich snotty toadies”, fat people, people of low intelligence and people with “brain fuck ups” (presumably with the exception of himself and Dylan, if you get me). He believes that the human race is not worth saving, only destroying. Dylan’s journal suggests that he may have been extremely depressed and self-loathing, but like Dylan he also viewed himself as a literal God compared to most people, who he viewed as just zombies. Apparently they both felt pushed to the edge by, of all things, getting busted for breaking into a van and stealing things from it. They agreed to participate in a diversionary program in exchange for the juvenile officers expunging their criminal records, and they performed so well that they were let off early, but they still treated this is as the moment they became the “bad guys” with no going back. If you read it, you’ll find it to be a textbook case of extreme pathological narcissism and aggressiveness. Strangely enough, they say their parents raised them fine.

 

Randy Stair

stair7

This man’s story was widely covered on the Internet, with many details emerging outside of the mainstream media’s analysis. Stair happened to be a transsexual individual, in this case a young man who believed himself to be a woman (or a “female soul”) trapped in a man’s body, and it is because of this fact that he felt separated from the rest of society. He was a self-confessed racist and misanthropist, who simultaneously hated the human race as a whole and everyone who isn’t white, and he especially hated men, both straight and gay people (though he did go on record as a homophobe). He seemed to be a deeply confused, highly irrational and extremely depressed individual, carrying around a combination of self-loathing, gender confusion, personal identity crisis, solipsistic tendencies, depression and intense irrational hatred for various groups of people and humanity in general.

He was also the creator of a cartoon series on YouTube called Ember’s Ghost Squad, which seems to be based off of a character named Ember from the children’s cartoon series Danny Phantom, who Stair claimed “brought out the girl in him”. The show centers around an all-female cast of ghosts who recruit lost souls into their army by having them killed in some way. That all the souls in the squadron are female, with no males, can be related to his own belief that he is a female soul, and a female spiritual presence that, in his own words, “puts [you] where you need to be”. The final episode of this show before Stair’s crime and death was a high school shooting, in the vein of the Columbine massacre, taking place at a high school committed by a character named Andrew Blaze, who seems to Stair’s alter ego, along with members of the ghost squad with the aim of killing innocent students and ultimately himself. The episode in question was released around the same time as the Weis Market massacre wherein Stair killed 3 people and himself.

Cursory research into Ember’s Ghost Squad can offer significant into the profound mental instability that Stair was suffering. While some have assumed that Stair had been radicalized by intersectional feminist (or social justice) ideology, the reality is much less simplisitic. For one thing, I haven’t seen evidence of him having operated on any radical feminist, Marxist or generally leftist websites – if anything, he was a brony.  I think he happened to embrace basic bitch social justice ideology as something to latch onto whilst he rationalized his disturbed psyche to the wider world and justified his future actions.

 

Adam Lanza

On the face of it, there is no conclusive motivation that would explain why Adam Lanza carried out the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. However, I think there are clues that might help to explain what he was thinking before he did it. He was often described as a profoundly autistic individual, and according to his father he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of thirteen. However, autism campaigners have objected to this description by pointing out that most autistic people do not have the kind of aggressive and strongly isolationist tendencies that Lanza exhibited. According to a team of Yale researchers, Lanza was prescribed a behavior-based treatment program and an anti-depressant called Celexa, but his parents discontinued the treatment after they noticed that Lanza “was unable to raise his own arm” and attributed this as a side-effect of the treatment. The parents could not be convinced otherwise. As he grew older, he became much more isolationist and socially rigid with his youth, and increasingly obsessed with mass shooters. He was also active on a now (presumably) defunct online forum called Shocked Beyond Belief, under the username “Smiggles”, which was a forum in which people talked about the Columbine killers and a video game based on them entitled “Super Columbine RPG”. Dr. Peter Langman has written a report about Lanza’s mental tendencies and has concluded that Lanza suffered from deeply psychotic personality tendencies, and suggests that his mentality was very similar to many other mass shooters in not just psychotic personality but also in the sense that he went through similar failures in life.

Apparently, in 2014, a radio clip has emerged of what is supposedly Adam Lanza speaking to an anarchist/primitivist anti-civilization radio show called Anarchy Radio. He talked about a chimpanzee named Travis, a pet chimpanzee and animal actor who in 2009 attacked a woman and was shot to death by police, trying to articulate that Travis’ violent behavior was ultimately a reaction to civilization, which he thinks conditions people away from their instinctive nature. Some of his postings on Shocked Beyond Belief indicate that he had great sympathy for the dead chimpanzee, and he felt that after his death Travis was now free of the “rape” of civilization.

 

 

Elliot Rodger

elliot

Elliot killed six people in Isla Vista, California, and injured 14 others before ultimately killing himself. Before the shooting, Elliot Rodger released a 141-page journal on the Internet, in which he recounts his life in excessive detail as well as his belief that he is akin to a god in human flesh, entitled to whatever he thinks is deserving of him especially the company of women, and sent to rid the world of those he deems impure. For all his godly pretenses, however, he also complains that he was jealous of other men for attaining pleasures that he did not and feels his life to be pathetic in comparison. His YouTube channel consists of videos where he talks about how he views the world as fundamentally unjust and unfair because he is incapable of finding a romantic or sexual partner.

His father, Peter Rodger, was an unsuccessful filmmaker most recognized as a second unit director for The Hunger Games. His own film, a documentary called Oh My God?, was a failure, scoring terrible reviews among film critics. If Elliot’s manifesto is to be believed, Peter invested all of his money in the film, kept talking about how it make him loads of money, and in the end it lost him money to be the point that he claims the film bankrupted him.

Many progressives and feminists used Rodger as a symbol of their conception of “toxic masculinity”, basically grandstanding for their ideology on the corpses of the people he killed. They propped him up as a political point about how they view all men in general as fundamentally suffering the same sickness as Elliott Rodger, when in truth most men aren’t actually like him. Elliott viewed himself as the greatest man in the universe, a god among men, and not the sad, narcissistic and possibly somewhat spoiled individual that really was. That’s all he was. He was a textbook narcissist, who was constantly disappointed with the world for supposedly denying him that which he believed, and the primary motivation seems to be that of “punishing” women for not having sex with him, as well as other men for having sex with women instead of him, coupled with his developed hatred for mankind as a whole, whom he blames for his internal anguish. His father believes that he was just the sweetest boy who was kind to everyone and wouldn’t hurt a flea, but the truth is that he was a profoundly egocentric individual who was obsessed with sex because he never had the company of a woman and who was consumed with loathing, desperation and hatred of mankind, which might have enabled him to separate himself from Man and negate any sense of value of the life of his fellow Man, not least because he felt himself to be above human life. It is possible that he may not have learned how to cope with failure and disappointment, and never accrued the characteristics associated with maturity and what it means to become a man before he died.

 

James Eagan Holmes

James killed 12 people at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. In his notebook he diagnoses himself with dysphoric mania, social anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, schizophrenia, body dysmorhpic disorder, psychosis and several other mental disorders. He justifies this self-diagnosis by describing numerous symptoms such as catatonia, excessive fatigue and isolationism. He believed that the reason for life is fundamentally arbitrary and thus life should not exist. According to Dr. Raquel Gur, an expert on schizophrenia, Holmes’ writings suggest that he was intelligent, capable of tackling deep subjects that most people don’t typically think about, but also incredibly delusional, noting that very intelligent people are also capable of generating more bizarre delusions. She compares his level of delusion-crafting to that of the “Unabomber” serial killer Ted Kaczynski, who also happened to be a professor of mathematics at Harvard University. She also says that Holmes did not feel wronged by anyone and was not motivated by a desire for revenge, and the last straw is instead cited to be him believing himself to have failed his neuroscience program. According to his defense attorney, Holmes was a schizophrenic and suffered mental illness for years before eventually succumbing to a violent delusion. Prosecutors note that he was aware of what he was doing and planned every aspect of his attack in advance and in detail within his notebook.

 

Jared Lee Loughner

Jared was responsible for a 2011 shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, in which he intended to kill Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and ended up killing six other people before being arrested. Before the shooting in question, he released a video claiming that Pima Community College was a “genocide school” that tortured its students. Incidentally, he was suspended from Pima Community College following the release of the video. According to TIME, he showed multiple signs of mental illness, including disorganized speech and writing, paranoia and an inability to function in social situations. According to a friend he also frequently used drugs, including marijuana, magic mushrooms, LSD, salvia divinorum, and even cocaine. Loughnor had been diagnosed with schizophrenia by experts who interviewed him. However, in an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Langman offers a different diagnosis. He instead suggests that Loughnor’s illness is closer to paranoid personality disorder, on the grounds that he read the idea of secret meetings into his encounter with Gabrielle Giffords which may have led to the development of grudge between him and Giffords, and that he did not seem to think that everyone was specifically against him.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Loughnor’s alleged political motivations, possibly due to the fact that he targeted an elected representative; namely Gabrielle Giffords. Although many in the media have taken to painting him as an expressly far-right Tea Party partisan, Loughnor himself was an Independent voter and according to a friend of his he was neither left-wing nor right-wing. Another classmate describes him as very left-wing. He was apparently interested in conspiracy theories, and was active on a web forum called AboveTopSecret which specialized in conspiracy theories and similar subjects, and he was particularly interested in the idea that the world would end in 2012. He also happened to be interested in the 2007 film Zeitgeist, which can be seen as distant from the ideals of the Tea Party. He talked about refusing to pay in any currency not backed by gold and silver, and yet far from being a gold standard advocate he advocated theories of “an infinite source of currency“. Much of the idea that he is strictly a right-winger comes from the Southern Poverty Law Centre, who it must be noted are so thoroughly couched in leftist ideological bias that they have more recently declared people like Maajid Nawaz (a liberal Muslim) to be “anti-Muslim extremists”. In general, Loughnor can accurately described as an enthusiast of fringe politics in general, without necessarily aligning with the left or the right. Some people even blamed Sarah Palin for inspiring the shooting simply because of her use of a target symbol in an electoral map. Needless to say, this was a stretch.

 

Dylann Roof

At face value, it would seem fairly obvious that Dylann Roof’s massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AE Church was an act of pure radical white nationalist ideology and nothing else. I am, of course, not going to contest the idea that he was motivated by extreme racist ideology – after all, the evidence for his ideological persuasion is clear as day – but I submit that there is another motive at work, one that may be decidedly less obvious compared to his ideological persuasion.

If you read his manifesto you find will find, perched alongside the ideological material,  an obvious signifier of profound narcissism. As expected from a militant white supremacist, he believed that black people presented a threat to American society and needed to gotten rid of, but towards the end of the last page of the manifesto he proclaims that no one is doing anything about it other than talking on the Internet, and so he states that “Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”. This to me is Dylann positioning himself as the lone savior of the white race. For him, only he can save America from racial impurity. Not to mention, the idea that he had some kind of “racial awakening” to me harks back to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s concept of “self-awareness” – a profound “knowledge” of the world around them that no one else had. He claims he attained this “awakening” after Googling black on white crime following the George Zimmerman verdict, and he claimed to have become “completely racially aware” after checking out the website for a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens and looking up black on white murders in America and Europe. I can’t help but think, based on that, that he was the kind of person who either saw things in the world that have been spun by radical ideology and not necessarily reflective of the truth, or simply did not look at the larger picture of things and focused on very small details.

Other than that, recently released documents introduce the element of Dylann’s possible mental abnormality. They suggest that Dylann had suffered a combination of social anxiety disorder, schizoid personality disorder, mixed substance abuse disorder, possible autism and a history of depression. It is suggested that Dylann suffered from various symptoms associated with autism that may have cast doubt on his mental competency to stand trial, and that he had a high IQ that was compromised by an inability to process information and a poor working memory. They also entail that it was revealed in an investigation that Dylann was extremely socially isolationistic, pre-occupied with fallacious health concerns, used narcotics, possessed firearms and believed his life was falling apart. However, Dylann was deemed by the court to be mentally competent enough to stand trial and he chose to represent himself, apparently to block his legal team from presenting evidence of his mental health issues. His reasoning for this may have something to do with the fact that he viewed his reputation, rather than his actions themselves, as the most important thing, which one would argue is a fruitless endeavor considering that almost no one holds him in high esteem for his actions.

 

Seung-Hui Cho

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One of a number of individuals who is claimed to be part of an alleged current of right-wing terrorism in the United States of America, Cho was born in South Korea before emigrating to the United States. He was responsible for the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, in which he killed 33 people (including himself) at the campus of the Virginia Tech university. He sent a “manifesto” of sorts to MSNBC before the shooting, in which he outlines his motivations for what would become the Viriginia Tech shooting. In the “manifesto”, he lambastes the people he sees as “the rich kids”, accusing them of being sadistic, debaucherous, hedonistic, and fraudulent and of being rapists and lovers of terrorism, and he views himself as being abused by the world around him whilst positioning himself as the savior of the “Weak and Defenceless”. There are also multiple religious references in the manifesto in question, particularly towards Christianity. He also viewed Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers, as martyrs who laid down their lives in order to claim vengeance from what he calls the “Apostles of Sin”. Some even thought Cho was a Muslim because he identified himself as Ax Ismail, Ismail being the Arabic name for the Biblical figure known as Ishmael. Despite the religious tone of manifesto, however, Cho himself apparently hated his parents’ sense of religiosity, and when asked if he had religious beliefs his answer seemed to be no.

Cho had undergone psychiatric evaluation by court order after he was deemed to be a danger to himself and others. A report that was produced on Cho’s mental health concluded that he suffered from extreme social anxiety, depression, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, aggressive personality tendencies, and the loss of positive influences (including coordination between his school, therapist and psychiatrist) that had in his school years. Apparently the campus authorities at Virginia Tech were warned about his mental instability, but it seemed the warnings had gone unheeded. It is also possible that he was motivated by a sense of jealousy and rage sparked by his romantic advances towards a woman named Emily Hilscher having been turned down. To me, he also comes off as somewhat narcissistic; after all, how exaggerated must your sense of self-importance be for you to position yourself as the savior of the weak, helpless and downtrodden when in reality you’re a terminally depressed loner or something? Still, in his manifesto he makes it sound like he was raped by his friends in some kind of orgy, and I have to wonder what the hell inspired his writings, if not for a kind of pre-existing insanity or mental instability.

 

Charles Andrew Williams

Dr. Langman notes that the case of Charles is replete with contradictory information, particularly as some of Charles’ own statements are contradicted by other statements he made. It doesn’t help that it has recently come to light that Charles views himself as an “awesome liar”. It has been widely reported in the media that Charles was a good and wholesome kid who was pushed into becoming a serial killer by bullies. However, it had also emerged that Charles was actually a troublesome kid who was cocky, disregarded authority and delighted in breaking social norms through mischief. He apparently abused drugs, started fires (though Charles himself has no recollection of this), solicited the theft of alcohol, stole drugs and hung around with other delinquents who would later grow up to be criminals. Despite this, however, he managed to make it seem to others like he was a good kid. Whenever he was questioned about trying to “pull a Columbine”, he laughed. When he was taken into custody after the attack, he appeared to be calm, cold and nonchalant, demonstrating a lack of remorse for his actions. It is likely, therefore, that Charles was pretty much a psychopath, one with a history of delinquent behavior rather than simply having been bullied into becoming a monster. Furthermore, Charles has claimed to have been egged on into committing the attack by friends, but it appears to be more likely that he just shifted the blame for the massacre onto other people.

 

Conclusion

There are many more mass shooters besides the ten presented in this post, but what is clear is that all ten of these seemed to have suffered from various mental issues. Many were extremely depressed, some were clearly psychopathic, a number of them have expressed a deep seated hatred of humankind, some were schizophrenic, some were narcissistic enough to view themselves as gods or saviors who would bring salvation or judgement down upon us in a hail of bullets, and there was a tendency among them to feel isolated, hopeless and desperate. In the case of some of them their mental health problems were known to parents and experts and it was given treatment for a while, until the parents took them off the treatment, either because it they thought they no longer needed it or because they thought it produced unwelcome side-effects. In the case of some others, their mental health problems were never known to their parents or some of their peers. But all of the shooters had profound problems with their psyche, and had severe psychological problems before they resorted to mass violence. And it is likely that they weren’t driven by one single problem either. The shooters had multiple profound issues and problems that guided their respective personalities. Personally, in doing the research for this post, I have also come to the opinion that these people generally don’t just snap out of the blue, but rather that their problems develop for years before they finally kill scores of people.

Of course it should be noted that not all mentally ill are violent, and many mentally ill people may nonetheless not be driven to commit atrocities. However, there are enough murderers who are profoundly mentally disturbed to suggest that there is problem with mental health in the United States. In fact, it is no secret that there is a problem with mental health in the United States. There is a researcher at Yale that, I think, makes a very salient point in one of the articles I linked here:  he says “When mental illness is well-treated in society, patients are not necessarily more violent. But when they go untreated and they are allowed to become severely ill, then we’re seeing a larger share of violence being committed by mentally-ill individuals. That violence is different in nature, because it’s often unpredictable — it’s often based on delusions.”. I wonder, just how well are the mentally ill being treated in America?

 

Chaos shall make America, and the West, great

Apologies in advance for subjecting you to another lengthy post about the electoral victory of Donald Trump, but there are some things I’ve been thinking about not just with Donald Trump getting elected, and the prospect of his presidency as I now see it, but also the prospect of other political developments – which I will get to later on in this post. Essentially, I want to talk about what I think of as some of the wider ramifications of Trump’s victory, and I had no desire to split my points into separate posts.

Before I get to my main point let me first explain that I am not one of those full-blown hardcore supporters of Donald Trump who likes everything he has to say, nor am I a supporter of the Republican Party, nor have I been in favor of a Trump presidency from the beginning. At first I disliked him because, at the time, I actually thought that he might become some kind of unstable dictator. I reluctantly supported Bernie Sanders, despite his very socialist-sounding platform, on the grounds that he seemed to be a politician who wanted to offer meaningful change to the political system (particularly on the point of money in politics). I wanted to see him defeat Hillary Clinton, mostly because already hated her (she was, let’s face it, literally the establishment candidate, and I despised her newfound sense of identity politics the more I learned about it). But before the Democratic primaries ended, it was starting to look like Sanders’ revolution was full of crap, and after New York he lost big time and it was starting to look like he was going to lose. Plus, I got sick of all the talk of Bernie’s revolution after that loss. Then for a while I supported the Libertarian Party and their nominee Gary Johnson. While this was the case, I learned more about the election cycle, and I had learned about the narrative that had been crafted by the establishment, as well as everything about how the left-wing/progressives had come to be the establishment and the elite and I realized that Trump was not the man that they painted him to be (though he may be many things) and I was appalled at the level of half-truth and manipulation that had been presented to me. However, this didn’t push me towards Trump just yet, it just made me give him the benefit of the doubt.

Then the DNC leaks came, and I learned that the DNC deliberately rigged the Democratic primaries in a concerted effort to secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton. And after the primaries ended, more leaks followed, showing more collusion and more corruption with the media and various other parties to manufacture the Clinton presidency. Then Gary Johnson started acting like an idiot, rather than the sane third option that I thought he was, and kept going from there, and in the end he failed to make it to the presidential debates. Then more leaks, the Clinton Foundation, the Veritas tapes and the stupidity of the Billy Bush tapes scandal came up. And not to mention, I learned about her no-fly zone plan and the fact that it would actually require going to war with Russia, who controls the airspace, leading to the prospect of a new Cold War with Russia turning hot which, in the worst-case scenario, would actually involve nukes, which would lead to the same nuclear annihilation we all feared in the 1980’s. And not to mention the literally Cold War style propaganda we’ve seen, blaming Russia for everything under the sun. So after rejecting the establishment narrative, seeing the corruption and subversion of American democracy and watching the third party I supported reduced to abject failure, I decided that Trump, despite him being an often thoughtless buffoon, was the only option left. Not that this is all he was, mind you. If he was truly nothing but an idiot, I suspect he wouldn’t have gotten very far. In fact, I at least think he was clever enough to use the legitimate issue of Hillary’s corruption and use it against her. And in the end, I think that at least Trump might actually disappoint on at least some of his promises (like building the wall on the southern border for instance), because even though the Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, I know for a fact that a lot of Republicans still don’t like Trump or his policies (as a matter of fact, quite of few of them abandoned Trump over the Billy Bush tapes), so he could wind up having to deal with being blocked. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, I believe would have an easier time getting what she wants. After all, we know for a fact that she not only has years and years of political experience behind her and also connections with powerful and wealthy interests. I doubt that she will have much trouble getting most of what she wants. And don’t kid yourself, she wants more war in the Middle East and she wants to get America into a war with Russia.

Anyways, long story over, now that Trump has won the presidency what do I see? The media in abject horror, having to face the fact that the candidate they banked on and backed wholeheartedly has failed – despite the conspiracy orchestrated by the DNC and despite collusion with the media. Those who supported Hillary, both the public and celebrities, gushing with sadness, believing what they have been told (remember, these people actually believe, or have taught everyone to believe, that Trump is literally the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler). Much of the world taken by surprise, when frankly the people should have known better than that. And mass protests on the streets, sometimes with people resorting to vandalism and, in a few cases, even possibly people attacking other people who voted for Donald Trump. The supposed good guys, in service of what they believe to be their greater good, have truly unraveled or shown their true colors now that they realize that their preferred outcome will not come to pass. And while they speak of fighting the rise of hatred, it is in fact their own hatred and irrationality that is on public display. The old order of things is, clearly, undergoing a major shake-up. And this is kind of what I want to see happen.

You know what the irony is? I bet some of Trump’s supporters, at least some of the more Alex Jones-y types out there, are the kind of people who fought that Hillary Clinton represented a kind of “New World Order” and they thought that they were going to stop the formation of a “New World Order”. I say, hogwash! I believe Trump and his supporters have done the opposite. Far from stopping the formation of a new world order, they have pushed back against the old order of America and they look set to establish a new one. And it shall be forged out of chaos.

The chaos I speak of is not necessarily the entire country descending into total anarchy, but rather the same kind of massive overhaul that we Brits experienced with the Brexit. I’m sure my fellow Brits know what I mean. The Remaoners (might as well drop the formality with them) refused to accept it, and British politics had unraveled, but it had also been revitalized. Public participation hasn’t been so important in ages. Before the Brexit came along politics was lifeless, useless and seemingly distant from the common person. In the run up to the vote, the establishment was against Brexit – world leaders tried to discourage Britain from leaving, the political establishment waged a propaganda war (Project Fear) against the British people, and they even went out of their way to use taxpayer money to produce a booklet in order to persuade the average voter to vote Remain. After the vote, the political parties in this country (most of the main ones anyway) have undergone a lot of changes. David Cameron resigned and so the Conservatives had appoint a new leader, and thus we had a new Prime Minister. Labour has unraveled as well, undergoing massive division to the point of gutting itself. Nigel Farage stepped down as UKIP leader, naively assuming that his work was done, leaving a power vacuum within UKIP, but also subjecting it to a greater state of in-fighting. The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are at the vanguard of the old order of things, taking up the side of 48% – the people who lost and now want to oppose a legitimate democratic mandate. Not sure what the Greens are doing though. They seem to have faded into the background in all this. We underwent a lot of tension, division and we voted to cut ourselves off from an overly centralized economic union with superstate ambitions led by unaccountable bureaucrats who, for a clear majority of people, do nothing for the people and think only of their own advancement. And when we voted to Leave, our political establishment and landscape unraveled, and politics had been revitalized by the referendum, which by the way had record voter turnout.

Donald Trump’s electoral success is having a somewhat similar effect, only so far it doesn’t look like any of the political parties are undergoing any major changes (that and I’m not sure how high voter turnout was in the recent presidential elections). American politics is in an interesting position. On the one hand, this election cycle has been a shitshow and the average voter has never had a more negative opinion of either of the mainstream candidates – both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been despised by large sections of the public, and I’m assume a large number of Americans didn’t bother to vote. On the other hand, now that Trump has won, I think that once people realize that they cannot undo the election result no matter how many American flags they burn, and that the electoral college will most likely not do it for them, I think it will dawn on them that, like with Brexit, participation in democracy becomes more important than being angry at Trump and then releasing your anger on everything around you.

Talking of Brexit, there’s something else to look out for. Last month, while we were all thinking about the US presidential election, Iceland held a general election of their own and the winner was the Independence Party. Iceland is not part of the European Union, but it seems the possibility of becoming an EU member is a contentious issue. Not to mention, Iceland had its own Project Fear. And next month, Romania and Macedonia will hold their own general elections. Romania is an EU member, while Macedonia has yet to become a member. In addition, Austria is having a redo of its presidential election in December, and it seems that the right-wing populist party – the Freedom Party of Austria – has been growing in popularity while the more mainstream political forces have been in decline. And don’t forget 2017. In March, the first country to have a general election will be the Netherlands, and it’s possible that the European migration crisis and recent Islamic terror attacks will play a part in convincing people to vote for Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, which is anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism and anti-EU. In April, France will have its own election, and it has been anticipated that the French government’s and the EU’s lackluster response to the spate of terror attacks it endured over the summer will prove to be quite a political windfall for a Eurosceptic hard-right party called Front National. And then there’s Germany, which appears to be at the center of Europe’s problems. Not only is Germany bearing the brunt of the issues generated by mass Middle Eastern and North African migration, but its government has been working with social media companies to prosecute individuals who dissent from its agenda. I anticipate that Germans will have a lot of resentment for their current government and the EU, and will probably elect a new government just to oust the current one. It doesn’t help things for Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor, that her party has suffered defeat in recent local elections. In in October, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg will have their own general elections as well, and it looks like there may be resentment for the EU growing in the Czech Republic. Depending on who wins in these elections, there’s a chance that more EU referendums will be held in European countries within the next few years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the populist right, Eurosceptics and generally anti-establishment forces in Europe found themselves emboldened and inspired by the success of Donald Trump’s campaign. After all, no one expected a radical populist to win the democratic mandate of the American people and thus get elected as President of the United States of America, particularly when the entire establishment was against him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole thing sparks a chain reaction across Europe which will weaken the European Union and cause it too to unravel, and perhaps eventually collapse.

Going back to America, I think a Trump presidency with a Republican Senate and House is going to have another effect. I expect the pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans to be in conflict with each other, as they do not all agree on Trump’s policies. Read some traditional conservative outlets like The Blaze, Red State or The Federalist and then read outlets like Breitbart and you’ll understand the split between the conservatives who are for and against Trump. If anything, I think it shows that party unity isn’t a guarantee with the Republicans. However, I think there will be a shift towards the right in America, possibly even in other parts of the world as well. The left has suffered a major defeat in this election, and the regressive left and progressives in general have paid a heavy price for glossing over Hillary Clinton’s obvious dishonesty, corruption and warmongering ambitions with the perverted cult of identity politics. People fed up of the regressive left are likely move to the right, and Trump’s victory may validate this in the minds of many. But there is also a movement of classical liberalism on the Internet, particularly on YouTube, consisting of people who are just as content to criticize conservatives and the alt-right as they are to criticize the regressive left. And let’s not kid ourselves: after Trump, the regressive left will lose the power of Western culture that it once had, and after successfully defeating the establishment, Trump will become part of a new establishment. This is what rebels and revolutionaries do, for their basic goal is ultimately to overtake the system and replace it with their own design, the only other option being to ride out into the sunset and let someone else do it. Not to mention, I think there will still be plenty of people who don’t like the fact that conservatives now control the government and still don’t like Trump all that much. They won’t change anything through protests, riots or political violence, so in Trump’s America they will have to actually participate in democracy, which means engaging with the system via political pressure. If you don’t like what the conservatives might do, remember that democracy doesn’t begin and end with elections – or referendums for that matter. The will of the people is not limited to a vote, and a government bound to democratic principles is unlikely to pursue something massively unpopular unless it didn’t actually care or had vested interests driving it to begin with.

My hope is that Americans, as well as all of us in the West, will recapture what Saul Alinsky considered to be the essence of the democratic way: conflict. Not in the sense of civil war or political violence, but rather a conflict of culture and ideas, the same conflict that enriches democratic societies and human ways of live. I’ll quote Alinsky himself, and this is a quote I find very fascinating:

Conflict is the essential core of a free and open society. If one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Chaos is a necessary thing in this world, at least under the right circumstances. Alinsky correctly identifies this harmony in dissonance as the lifeblood The only time you don’t find this harmony in dissonance is in totally authoritarian and totalitarian societies, where this is no freedom and thus no room for a conflict of ideas and values to happen. It is absent only in societies that do not even breathe. And yet I fear we are losing this lifeblood of democracy, and not just to a new rise in anti-democratic sentiment. When think of Western democracy before 2016, I think for the most part of a culture and system that inspires apathy. The public has been lacking confidence or even interest in the institutions of democracy, our leaders seem like they’re just typical gormless politicians who don’t give a damn about the common man, the media is less than objective towards the establishment nowadays (whilst being very adversarial towards certain figures opposing the establishment) and powerful and wealthy interests have a foothold and can influence both politicians and the media. These are not good signs in what should be a healthy democratic culture. Without the shockwaves and the unraveling of the old order of things produced by Brexit, Donald Trump and the rise of populism, this would not change and thus stagnation would become inevitable – at least before the new Cold War goes hot that is, but I bet few people would even notice by then because the West would be too inculcated in pop progressivism and identity politics to even realize what is going on before it’s too late. In the case of Brexit, this is also necessary to stop the centralizing of international power which would invariably come at the expense of democracy – this is what “ever closer union” means, by the way: national identity and national power being slowly conglomerated into a single international entity, one that will require authoritarianism.

In addition to this, I think we as a species are becoming weak. We are becoming complacent, dependent on the establishment and external forces to guarantee everything for us. Our minds our becoming weak and we need a great unraveling of this weakness, we need this system to be shocked and challenged so that, ultimately, we will become greater and more evolved for it. And this is being facilitated, if not outright engendered, by a combination of the chilling culture of political correctness, celebrity culture, consumerism, and in general the soft attitude that seems to come with mainstream culture. Mark me when I say this needs to be corrected, and we cannot do so under the current order of things. Ironically, it can also be shown that the establishment has proved somewhat complacent in its own right. It took its own power over the Western zeitgeist for granted, while refusing to engage openly and honestly with any dissenting influence.

And this is why ultimately, I now not only accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections but am ultimately in favor of it in the long run. Not only was Hillary Clinton defeated, but potentially so was the current culture dominated by the kindly authoritarianism brought about by the regressive left and the weakness it engendered in the human spirit. A brief forest fire is often necessary to clear the way for new life to grow and allow the seeds of certain pine trees to be released – therefore, constructive chaos becomes a necessity in the presence of stagnation. Trump and his campaign are proving to be that forest fire. At any rate, I would prefer the proverbial forest fire across the West to the prospect of a nuclear war. The chaos I speak of is necessary in order to wake up the vast majority of people, shake them up and force them to adapt and look at the world as it really is, detached from what they have been fed by the mainstream. And this will put society in much better shape than it is now in the process, having been forced to re-examine itself and undergo a significant paradigm shift. Ultimately, I think this will rejuvenate a culture wh

chaos-pepe

The victory of Donald Trump, and how it happened

I won’t lie, as I was going to my bed last night to get my sleep (as a UK citizen with a university schedule I can’t be expected to stay up to catch the whole election play out) I was expecting that I would wake up today and find that Hillary Clinton became president elect, in spite of the part of me that thought that, surely, Trump could not be stopped. But, to my surprise, I was wrong. Against all odds, after every sling thrown at him from literally everyone outside his support base, Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States of America.

I could not help but laugh. This crazy radical populist has managed to capture the highest position of political power in the Western world! I have admit, I applaud the Donald Trump campaign for their success in defeating Hillary Clinton despite every obstacle. And already, I think people are losing their shit. While the pro-Trump people, particularly his more died in the wool supporters, are doubtless celebrating, the pro-Hillary people are shitting their pants, and apparently they are crying about it. Some of the celebrities are apparently in tears as well, like Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. I imagine their tears must taste like make-up, which is a shame because it would be satisfying to drink them at this point in time, along with the tears of everyone else who foolishly got emotionally invested in her campaign through the lull of the loathsome cult that is modern left-wing identity politics. And it’s not just in the US. I heard from my brother that some of his fellow students got really upset about the election result, to the point that one of them got so distressed that he refused to attend his classes. In my class it wasn’t so bad, but we were at a point where we couldn’t stop going on about “President Trump”, and most of us took the piss but I think my tutors were kind of ignorant of the subject of American politics, for the most part at least. One of them was at least charitable enough to point to some kind of voter disenfranchisement, that we as a society refused to engage with the ideas of ordinary people even if, in his eyes, they were wrong.

I ask my fellow Brits, does this not strike you as familiar? America is going through similar tensions that we, the British public, during the Brexit vote. Only I suspect that now those tensions are worse, playing out in a much more polarized environment dominated by political tribalism. And if what my brother tells is to be accounted for, that some of those tensions have spilled over into this country. But I wouldn’t know it at my university. When one of my classmates said that he’d rather America have the Mexicans pissed off at Trump than the Russians with Clinton, no one seemed to mind this slight difference of opinion. I didn’t even receive any major backlash when I told them about a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about Clinton’s planned no-fly zone in which General Joseph Dunford basically tells the Senate that her plans will require the United States to go into a hot war with Russia in Syria.

Regardless, I think that the backlash against a Trump presidency has already begun. I have heard that Hillary supporters have taken to fervent protests against Donald Trump, some of them taking to vandalism and burning the American flag, and apparently police have been preparing for the possibility of full-blown riots. And just like in Britain when we had vapid idiots declaring themselves to be part of the “48%” to denounced the result of the referendum, America Hillary supporters are taking to Twitter under such hashtags as “#StillWithHer” and “#NotMyPresident”. Make no mistake, if they believe themselves to be in service of a greater good, then they will not accept the reality that, let’s be honest, they themselves and their precious candidate helped shape. They’re part of a mainstream culture and status quo that has refused to engage with ordinary people, particularly the working class, with a different viewpoint and divergent interests and try to convince them to their side with honesty and openness and instead decided that the people who oppose their vision deserved to be shunned, leaving no home for them but the realm of populism, nationalism and, in some cases, radical politics.

If you were alive for the George Bush Jr years and you noticed how all those who opposed the neoconservative war fever as “unpatriotic” and yet you don’t recognize this phenomenon, then, frankly, you are a tool. There’s nothing else I can tell you, because if you had any awareness of the Bush Jr years then I would have thought you should know better. I remember when I was teenager I would hear about people being sick and tired of Bush, because under him, they though and with some good reason, that Bush represented nothing but war, fear dressed as patriotism, authoritarian, economic collapse and a lack of progress regarding environmental policy. I suspect it was 8 years of Bush that lead to a lot of support for, and the eventual election of, Barack Obama in 2008. Obama seemed like a breath of fresh air to a lot of Americans, and he seemed to be the path to meaningful change in the system. What’s better, he was a charismatic and charming public speaker, he seemed like a real positive force. And John McCain? He was seen just another Bush-era Republican. But Obama was slandered by the conservative establishment in his day as well. Not so much because he was black, but because of the fact that his name was Barack Hussein Obama, and to them this was surely a sign not just that wasn’t as American as apple pie but also of his allegiance to Islam. I know, silly if you think about it. But that’s how it was. Now look at Donald Trump. Every sling in the book was thrown at him, and he was even accused of being a pawn of Vladimir Putin, to the point that none of it matter to a whole lot of people anymore. And in 2008, the attacks from the right weren’t enough to stop Obama from becoming President.

When I was 14 years old, I remember hearing shit like “Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther King could walk, and so Obama could run.” That was from the BBC by the way, and quite the optimistic picture they painted. If Obama became president, surely, the economic crisis, the war-mongering and racial tensions in America would fade away, and America could look forward to a brighter future under his Presidency. I wouldn’t hear the end of how Obama was supposedly the best thing that happened to American politics, and truth be known there was a time where I had supported him myself. And then he turned out to be just another politician, another cog in the neoliberal epoch of American politics. The first thing I remember him doing was bail out the big banks. You know, the big banks that crashed and were widely seen as the cause of the 2008 financial crisis in the first place? Over time, I saw him as being supportive of the NSA’s massive spying regime, which Edward Snowden helped expose to the public, his healthcare plans resulting in shambles, the US under him was droning the Middle East and their actions in Syria, along with those of the UK, helped create the migration crisis that Europe is now still dealing with.

Oh, and under the watch of this supposed great healer of a divided America, race relations have only gotten worse after the start of his second term. The rise of Black Lives Matter and other forms of identity politics spread by the social justice movement have only furthered fractured relations between the races with by painting African-Americans, and other non-whites, as a victim class and Caucasian (white) Americans as the evil oppressor bourgeoisie class who need to be overthrown. It’s the same with gender – women are angels, men are monsters, regardless of any sense of individuality. That’s the law of modern feminism, and this has resulted in a divide between the sexes to the point that men are starting to flee from relationships with women. Through this we also have the phenomenon of political correctness, which had now risen to the point of being a meme unto itself, metastasized into a considerable force of cultural authoritarianism (some would argue even fascism), and had become emboldened by a mainstream media that was completely fine with spreading the lies of the cultural Marxists in order to control what the population thinks. America is now at a point where the lie of a police force waging war on black people is enough to convince some African-Americans that killing police officers, and attacking white people because they’re white, is a morally good thing to do. That’s how bad it is now.

On top of all that, people now feel that Obama changed very little, at least for them. Either that, or things are getting somewhat worse. The poor are still poor, the national debt has gone up, people are more divided than ever, the country is still sticking its dick in the Middle East, which proved partly responsible the rise of ISIL, and the middle class is shrinking, while American culture drowns in political correctness, identity politics and laziness. Then you have a government that is perceived as way too soft in a world that is seen as increasingly hostile with the continuing rise of Islamic terrorism. It was only natural that someone like Donald Trump would rise, and Bernie Sanders for that matter. Bernie Sanders offered a revolution of his own. It wasn’t Trump’s radical populist revolution, but rather a left-wing (in truth, socialist – or democratic socialist) and somewhat populist revolution. Though I now dislike Sanders and denounce him as a socialist snake-oil salesman (particularly after having learned more about his “democratic socialism” and socialism in general), he seemed like he genuinely wanted to affect change in the political system, particularly regarding money in politics. Then Hillary won the Democratic nomination, and Bernie sold out and supported Hillary, who embodies a great deal of what Bernie Sanders opposed. Then the DNC leaks were published, and it was revealed that the DNC basically rigged the Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton. And all the while, Obama, the hope and change candidate from 2008, endorsed Hillary Clinton as his successor. Bernie’s revolution was over, but the American people are still angry at the system. Who else do they have to do turn? None other than Donald Trump. And the leaks didn’t stop. Combined with the Veritas tapes, and the already public knowledge of her corporate backers, this was evidence enough to many people that Hillary Clinton was a corrupt and manipulative career politician unworthy of the public’s trust. Not to mention, the mainstream media is widely distrusted – only 6% of Americans actually trust the media today – and there is reason to suspect their corruption and collusion with Hillary Clinton.

It should be no wonder Donald Trump won, if I think about it, and yet I see too many people acting totally shocked that Donald Trump could even remotely grasp the power of the presidency. Although Trump is clearly not an ideal candidate (as a matter of fact I initially rather disliked him), he represents a significant overhaul of the old order of things, as evidenced now by the panic and shock across the world and particularly in America that has accompanied his electoral success. And no mythical devil worshiping conspiracy managed change that, by the way. Of course, I think that even if Trump did not win, Hillary Clinton is the gatekeeper to some big change in her own right. And no, it’s not because of her gender. She would represent the apex of the neoliberal interventionist American establishment, which would culminate the heating up of a new Cold War, possibly resulting in nuclear warfare (with both the US and Russia possessing nukes, not to mention Clinton’s past statements on attacking Iran). And I think society, regardless of either candidate, looks set to go in a new direction – as I said before, we just don’t know what shape that new direction will take. But regardless, again, I don’t think Trump’s candidacy will be taken lying down, and as we are already seeing there will be plenty of opposition. If it’s anything like Brexit, it’s going to be ugly. Speaking of Brexit, guess what I found? A petition calling on Hillary Clinton to redo the election to stop Trump. That’s right. Just like Brexit, the opposition will actively oppose the democratic will of the majority, even to the point of spinning fictional narratives, if they don’t like the outcome of an election or referendum. And I would not put it past the Americans who voted for Hillary to go on more protests. I wouldn’t even put it past them if they started riots across the country. It reminds me of when David Cameron was re-elected in the UK and a bunch of twats went out and protested and clashed with police just because they hated him being re-elected. It was stupid and futile then, and it will be stupid and futile now.

However, my brother thinks that the electoral college won’t allow Trump to actually be sworn in. I don’t know how true that is, but if it is, then it will probably be seen by a lot of Americans as a sign of how meaningless democracy would become. Only time will tell what Trump’s presidency will look like. But in the meantime, I should try to keep a close eye on things. I think a lot of people are going to have a strong desire to move to Canada because of Trump’s election. You know what? Let them! I’m now fine with some day going to America regardless of Trump or Clinton, so that’s just more room for me! Not to mention, I think if too many people leave America, then here’s a thought: maybe it will necessitate a reform of the immigration system so that it’s much easier for people like me to lawfully emigrate to the country. That’s one thing to look forward to at least.

In the end, I personally am ultimately glad only for the fact that Hillary Clinton has been defeated. I could never conscionably support her, not in a million years, and everything I’ve seen of her has only convinced me or her corruption and the depths she will go to get herself into power, laws and ethics be damned.

Finally, I just want to say that if I feel sorry for anyone, it’s the third parties. Particularly the Libertarians. They had the best opportunity ever, what with the undercurrent of disgust for both Hillary and Donald in America. The Libertarians should have kicked ass. On top of that, the Libertarians and the Greens got quite a few appearances in the mainstream media. But in the end, the Libertarians only got 3% of the vote, and the Greens only 1%. I’ve heard a lot of hype around Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, as well as independent conservative candidate Evan McMullin, but in the end they have proven to be fucking useless. It’s a sad day for anyone seeking the overthrow of the two-party system, to be sure.

More madness about guns and gun laws

Just yesterday a murder-suicide style shooting occurred at the University of California, Los Angeles. From what I’ve gathered, there are those who wish to use this event as proof that America needs tighter gun controls before the bodies of the victims have even gone cold, and everyone on the anti-gun camp has once again opted to straw-man the NRA and gun rights advocates. Especially Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, whom I suspect I will have to pick a fight with one of these days because of how obnoxious the man is. One phrase that comes up among anti-gun advocates is the term gun-free zones, which are spaces where carrying and using firearms are forbidden. The thing is, the UCLA was a gun-free zone. There is clear evidence for this as the institution has a policy clearly forbidding weapons on university property including firearms barring some exceptions.

What can clearly be drawn from this is that there were explicit restrictions on the presence of firearms on the UCLA premises, and those laws were still broken. And just like seemingly all these shooters, the perpetrator committed suicide thereby evading lawful justice. It seems obvious that rules were in place and presumably observed by everyone on the premises except the shooter, who obviously would have no intentions of observing these rules. And yet in spite of the facts of the matter, the anti-gun progressives still call for stronger laws. It begs the question: how much stronger do you want your regulations before you realize that the law, rules and the power of the state don’t change much.

In other words…

Instantly, I feel like this situation also reminds me of something that happened here in the UK. Back in 2010, a man named Raoul Moat took a sawed-off shotgun and killed two people (including himself) and injured two more people in a manhunt that took place in Northumbria. The same year, another man named Derrick Bird killed 12 people, including himself, and injured 11 others in a shooting spree in Cumbria, using a shotgun and a rifle. In the UK gun ownership is viewed as a privilege, whereas in America it is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution. You can’t carry guns, whether openly or concealed, you need a license issued by the police in order to own a gun, and you’re outright prohibited from privately owning even hand guns, whereas long guns (such as shotguns and rifles) are regulated by the law. British gun laws are generally seen as strict, but they didn’t stop someone from breaking the rules – nay, two people from breaking the rules. Surprise surprise, there was outcry over gun control, and The Guardian even joining in. Strangely enough though, David Cameron discouraged what he saw as “knee-jerk” reactions. He was probably quite right to do so – too bad that he . If anything, however, the laws only got more invasive in this country, with the government in 2014 allowing the Association of Chief Police Officers to carry out random checks on registered gun owners for fear of them being “vulnerable to criminal or terrorist groups”, effectively persecuting law-abiding citizens. And funny enough, according to MPs, young people in this country have been managing to illegally obtain firearms over the last three years. And again, this is in spite of the laws in place in this country, which are seen as so strict that some people are calling for them to be relaxed.

The bottom line: the whole furor over gun laws not working is madness. There were laws, but criminals don’t obey laws, and the worst thing about this is that the American public have been compelled to talk about the UCLA shootings as a political issue all while the bodies of two people who died haven’t gotten cold yet, and while you can find a PDF of the UCLA’s gun policy simply by searching for it on Google. What happened at the UCLA was a crime, and the matter of gun control at the UCLA is already an open and shut case. But the progressive majority refused to do something so simple as search for the UCLA’s gun-free zone policy before engaging in pointless virtue-signalling and calling for tighter gun control, all instead of leaving the dead to rest in peace and their families to grieve!