Perhaps the overriding factor is war is the spirit and morality of those who are fighting it. From Nora Hoppe at thesaker.is:
I have no idea about war… I have never experienced one. I understand nothing of military campaigns, strategies, manoeuvres, weapons, etc. I’ve only seen several war films, read novels featuring war and followed the news on various wars…
* * *
I have heard that each war is different, and that comparisons are only useful for “certain aspects”.
I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia.
Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)
When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”.
Looking at the Ukraine War through the lens of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel, from Anthony J. Constantini at theamericanconservative.com:
As war wages in central Europe, remember why the Western world needed Armistice Day.
The Russo-Ukrainian war has been a humanitarian disaster. Though accurate casualty counts are difficult to ascertain, analysts have found that at least tens of thousands of soldiers have died in combat since the full-scale Russian invasion began in February 2022. As for civilians, the U.N. records the minimum confirmed dead at just over 6,000, though the actual number is likely higher. Millions have been displaced.
And daily—nay, hourly—the entire conflict plays out for all to see on their smartphones. While other conflicts have occurred as social media was widespread, the role social media is increasingly playing in this conflict is unique. On Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his diplomats have sparred with billionaires, who in turn joked with and simultaneously trolled former Russian presidents. Russia has turned its network of embassy accounts into meme factories. Random trees in the background of TikTok videos have been used to geolocate coordinates.
And from the digital sidelines, spectators cheer their chosen side and wear the colors of their chosen team. Unfortunately, the sporting metaphor ends there. Every time a Russian nationalist posts after a missile attack on a Ukrainian position, every time a D.C.-based consultant with a Ukraine profile flag celebrates a video of a Bayraktar drone striking a Russian convoy, they aren’t cheering points on the board—they’re cheering lives lost. While such celebrations of death are not unique to this war, when so much of the violence can be seen almost in real time it has become particularly nauseating. Such cheering is especially grotesque to those like this author who personally know men on both sides of the conflict called up to fight.
Twitter is perhaps the most apt symbol of our age: slogans over substance, vacuity over acuity. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
One of the more interesting dialogues in Orwell’s 1984 has to do with the language of the world of 1984.
More specifically, its calculated diminishment.
The character Syme – in the novel, he is presented as a philologist working on the “definitive edition” of the latest Newspeak dictionary (Newspeak is the official language of the Party, in 1984) – explains it a little too openly and ends up the worse for it.
He is worth quoting at length:
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word, which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take ‘good,’ for instance. If you have a word like ‘good,’ what need is there for a word like ‘bad’? ‘Ungood’ will do just as well – better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of ‘good,’ what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like ‘excellent’ and ‘splendid’ and all the rest of them? ‘Plusgood’ covers the meaning or ‘doubleplusgood’ if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words – in reality, only one word. Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston?”
This is a very long article, but using the famous Grand Inquisitor segment from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamozov as a point of departure, the author reaches some profound conclusions. If you’ve got the time, it’s well worth the read. From the 2nd Smartest Guy in the World at 2ndsmartestguyintheworld.substack.com:
There is a pivotal scene in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s masterwork The Brothers Karamazov where the atheist Ivan delivers a quasi-religious poem to his novice monk brother Alyosha. In this passage known as The Grand Inquisitor, Dostoyevsky not only predicted the Bolshevik Revolution, but he also envisioned the current Cult global takeover scheme known as the Great Reset aka The 4th Industrial Revolution.
Imprecise and ill-defined language leads to imprecise and ill-defined thought, which we have in abundance. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:
International Man: Recently, the Biden administration tried to change the traditional definition of a recession which is “two consecutive quarters of decline in a country’s GDP.”
The new definition of a recession is more vague and is “a significant decline in economic activity that is spread across the economy and lasts more than a few months.”
What’s your take on this?
Doug Casey: Odd. It sounds like the definition of a depression, not a recession that I’ve used for years.
Words shape thoughts, and thoughts shape beliefs. That was a major theme in Orwell’s book 1984. The government consistently changed the meaning of words, labeling some as “bad think” or “thought crime.” 1984 is the ultimate evolution of cancel culture, PC, wokeism, and the like.
It’s critical that words be defined and used precisely. If definitions are nebulous and can be changed at will, it becomes hard to communicate. The closer we come to redefining “blue” as “red,” or “war” as “peace,” or “recession” as “prosperity,” the closer we come to literally not knowing what we’re talking about.
Culture reflects values and American culture has been captured by values most of us despise. It doesn’t have to be that way—check Great Books by Robert Gore! in the right-handed column, particularly The Golden Pinnacle—but we can’t expect any support and only opposition from the present cultural infrastructure. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.us:
The woke will ban everything except strict woke dogma. From Theodore Dylrymple at takimag.com:
A creative writing course at a British university has withdrawn graduation requirement that students should attempt a sonnet, not on the reasonable grounds that it is futile to try to turn people with cloth ears for language into sonneteers, but because the sonnet is a literary form that is white and Western.
Indeed so: One has only to read a sonnet of Shakespeare to appreciate just how parochial and ethnocentric, but at the same time offensive to most of the world’s population, any sonnet by the “greatest” sonneteer in English is. I need take only one of the most famous as an example, Sonnet XVIII, which begins:
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Does Shakespeare (the ignoramus) not realize that there are equatorial and tropical parts of the world in which there is no summer, at most a wet and a dry season, and where the day and night are invariably more or less twelve hours long? Millions of people live in such regions, for whom the term “summer” can mean nothing. Of course, the people who live in such regions are predominantly those of color, to whom Shakespeare, with his typical Eurocentrism, was indifferent if not actually hostile. He simply didn’t care whether or not they understood him.
Modern academia inches ever closer to what Orwell had in mind. From Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. at lewrockwell.com:
If you want to know what it’s like to live in a totalitarian dictatorship, you don’t have to look far. American colleges and universities, the so-called “institutions of higher learning”, have become the equivalent of Communist reeducation camps in which people are subjected to endless propaganda and compelled to mouth agreement with political slogans. If a teacher or student commits the slightest infraction of “woke” orthodoxy, he will be fired or suspended from his job or expelled from school, His rights do not matter. Students are also subjected to Covid tyranny even more than the general population.
Let’s look at some examples. For the past 75 years or so, Orwell’s 1984 has been the classic attack on totalitarianism. Now, at some universities Orwell’s book has been banned. Daniel Newton gives us the details: “As free speech is destroyed under the guise of ‘wokeism,’ one would agree there is no lack of irony in a recent report that a trigger warning was placed on Orwell’s novel due to ‘offensive and upsetting’ material.
The University of Northampton, UK, placed warnings on the grounds of ‘explicit material’ it claims is contained within the iconic book.
The globalists are never distracted; they keep pushing their plan to rule the world. From Derrick Broze at thelastamericanvagabond.com:
While much of the “mainstream” world has spent the last few days obsessing over and debating the celebrity spectacle surrounding American actor Will Smith slapping American comedian Chris Rock, the international elitists were meeting in Dubai for the 2022 World Government Summit.
From March 28th to the 30th, corporate media journalists, heads of state, and CEOs of some of the most profitable companies in the world met for discussions on shaping the direction of the next decade and beyond. Anyone with a functioning brain should ignore the tabloids and instead pay attention to this little known gathering of globalist Technocrats.
Let’s take a look at the speakers and the panels, starting with Mr. Great Reset himself, Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum.
Schwab gave a talk entitled, Our World Today… Why Government Must Act Now?. “Thank you, to his excellency for enabling this initiative to define a longer-term narrative to make the world more resilient more inclusive and more sustainable,” Schwab stated during his address. The use of the term narrative is important because in January 2021, Klaus and the World Economic Forum announced the next phase of The Great Reset, The Great Narrative.
Posted in Civil Liberties, Collapse, Crime, Cronyism, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Literature, Media, Morality, Politics, Propaganda, Tyranny
Tagged Globalism, Great Reset
This is a beautiful, moving story. From Dr. Naomi Wolfe at lewrockwell.com:
Mushroom, our beloved and unbelievably elderly dog, finally passed away. There was a day when he simply pulled his snout back sharply at the offer of food, and from then on, his decline was rapid.
There was a day when I would come into the house and find him slouched like a little black and white parcel in unusual places such as the corners of the dining room, or else I’d see him oddly trying to stand behind the wood stove. There were days during which he lay in his bed, curled in a furry round circle as usual, but scarcely moving; the concern, practically the breath, of angels, was palpably over him.
Brian, my husband, made broths, and tried to feed him with a spoon. At last the spoon was refused, and we knew we did not have long with him.
We called two vets; both were compassionate, but brisk, and quick to suggest euthanasia. “There’s a vet service that comes to your house, very sensitively, to put your dog to sleep,” explained one veterinary assistant. “This woman is great — you will love her.”
“I don’t think I’ll love anyone who is coming over to euthanize my dog,” I blurted out.