Is a Tolerant Culture Being Replaced by an Intolerant One? by Saher Fares

Islamic extremist violence takes aid and comfort from the Koran and many Islamic texts. From Saher Fares at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • One need not go back centuries to the Muslim conquest of the Christian late classical world — the medieval Barbary corsair raids, the Ottoman yoke in Central and Eastern Europe or the slave markets of Kaffa in Tatar Muslim Crimea — to understand that this violence clearly predates the European colonial era, the creation of the modern state of Israel, or the issue of climate change.
  • Countries such as China, Nigeria or Kenya that are not Western, not“imperialist”, not whatever the excuses that Islamists make, are still spectacularly attacked by similar stabbings. Month on month, there seems almost nowhere that Islamic terror did not strike.
  • Volumes of revered Islamic texts establish in great detail the grounds of violence and oppression of non-believers and those deemed heretical. These supposed grounds — made alive daily in madrassas and mosques across the world before being acted upon by religiously-trained terrorists — are childishly dismissed by Western liberals as immaterial.
  • The first step towards a solution is to question the received knowledge tirelessly dished out by media pundits in the West. What is lacking is simply seeing a huge body of evidence of theological justification for Islamist terror.

How thin can excuses wear every time an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam?

When 13 people were killed and scores more injured this week in a vehicle-ramming attack in Barcelona, Spain, and stabbing men shouting “This is for Allah!” on London Bridge and in Borough Market in June, what the victims least cared about was the Western elite pontificating that the latest atrocity “had nothing to do with Islam”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “It is time to say enough is enough” and promised a review of her country’s counter-terrorism strategy.

In the absence, however, of an honest and tempered look at the root causes of this terrorism, sacred or not, and a painful soul-searching by Muslims themselves of the grounds in their religion that give rise to such violence, it will never be “enough”.

To continue reading: Is a Tolerant Culture Being Replaced by an Intolerant One?

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How Welfare States Make Us Less Civilized, by Per Bylund

Who would have thought that taking money from some people at the point of a gun and giving it to people who didn’t earn it might make all concerned less civilized? From Per Bylund at mises.org:

Throughout history, the state has justified itself on the grounds that it is necessary to protect us from others whose habits and beliefs — we are meant to believe — are dangerous. For millennia, this fiction was easy to maintain because most people interacted so little with people outside their nearly autarkic — and therefore impoverished — communities.

But, with the rise of industrialization and international trade in recent centuries, the state’s claim that it is necessary to keep us “safe” from outsiders has become increasingly undermined.

Much of this is thanks to the fact that in order to benefit from the market, one must engage in activities designed to serve others and anticipate their needs. As a result, trade increases our understanding for both members of our community and even the stranger; it also makes us realize that other people are much like us. Even if they speak strange languages or have odd customs and traditions.

The Market Order and Civilization

This is in essence Say’s Law, or the Law of Markets, which states that in the market we produce in order to trade with others so that we can thereby, indirectly, satisfy our own wants: our demand for goods in the market is constituted by our supply of goods to it. In order to effectively satisfy other people’s wants we need to not only communicate with them, but understand them. If we don’t, then we’re wasting our productive efforts for a random result. Obviously, we’d benefit personally from learning what other people want, both their present wants and anticipated future wants, and then produce it for them.

So far so good. Most people (except for Keynesians) grasp this very simple point about the market — and how it contributes to civilization and peaceful interaction. But all people aren’t saints, so good, hard-working people risk being taken advantage of as they have nothing to set against such actions. Without a central power such as the state, who will protect us from such people?

Answer: the web of voluntary transactions aligns people’s interests. In the market, “bad people” are not only defrauding, stealing from, or robbing a single person or family. They are, in effect, attacking the community of interdependent producers and network of traders.

To continue reading: How Welfare States Make Us Less Civilized

The Death Of A Nation, by James George Jatras

Reconciliation between the two sides of the War Between the States, difficult and imperfect as it has been,  has been of the foundations of the American conception of itself as a nation. Now that reconciliation is under attack by people who want to replace the conception of nationhood with something else. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org via zerohedge.com:

Every living nation needs symbols. They tell us who we are as one people, in what we believe, and on what basis we organize our common life.

 This fact seems to be very clear to the current leadership in Russia, particularly to President Vladimir Putin, in restoring and reunifying a country rent by three generations of Red and White enmity to achieve a national synthesis. With regard to things spiritual, this meant first of all the world-historic reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church, between the Moscow Patriarchate and the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. It also meant the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior dynamited by the communists 1931, not coincidentally the recent target for desecration by degenerates hailed by western «democracy» advocates.

Civic and military symbols matter as well. After 1991 there were those who wanted landmarks of the communist era to be ruthlessly expunged the way the Bolsheviks had themselves sought (in Solzhenitsyn’s description) to rub off the age-old face of Russia and to replace it with a new, ersatz Soviet image. Instead, wisdom prevailed. The national anthem adopted in 2001 retains the Soviet melody but with new lyrics (written by Sergey Mikhalkov, who with Gabriel El-Registan had penned the original lyrics in 1944!) – Lenin and Stalin are out, God is in. The old capital is again Saint Petersburg, but the surrounding district still bears the name Leningrad. The red star marks Russia’s military aircraft and vehicles, while the blue Saint Andrew’s cross flies over the fleet. The red stars likewise are still atop the Kremlin towers while the Smolensk icon of Christ once again graces the Savior Gate. The red banner that was hoisted triumphantly on the Reichstag in 1945 is carried on Victory Day. The remains of exiled White commanders like Anton Denikin and Vladimir Kappel were repatriated and reburied at home with honor.

To continue reading: The Death Of A Nation

He Said That? 8/17/17

From John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th President of the United States, Civil Liberties, “Nixon & Kennedy Present Their Views on Civil Liberties Issues to ACLU Members,” October, 1960:

From time to time our national history has been marred by forgetfulness of the Jeffersonian principle that restraint is at the heart of liberty. In 1789 the Federalists adopted Alien and Sedition Acts in a shabby political effort to isolate the Republic from the world and to punish political criticism as seditious libel. In 1865 the Radical Republicans sought to snare private conscience in a web of oaths and affirmations of loyalty. Spokesmen for the South did service for the Nation in resisting the petty tyranny of distrustful vengeance. In the 1920’s the Attorney General of the United States degraded his office by hunting political radicals as if they were Salem witches. The Nation’s only gain from his efforts were the classic dissents of Holmes and Brandeis.

In our own times, the old blunt instruments have again been put to work. The States have followed in the footsteps of the Federalists and have put Alien and Sedition Acts upon their statute books. An epidemic of loyalty oaths has spread across the Nation until no town or village seems to feel secure until its servants have purged themselves of all suspicion of non-conformity by swearing to their political cleanliness.

Those who love the twilight speak as if public education must be training in conformity, and government support of science be public aid of caution.

We have also seen a sharpening and refinement of abusive power. The legislative investigation, designed and often exercised for the achievement of high ends, has too frequently been used by the Nation and the States as a means for effecting the disgrace and degradation of private persons. Unscrupulous demagogues have used the power to investigate as tyrants of an earlier day used the bill of attainder.

The architects of fear have converted a wholesome law against conspiracy into an instrument for making association a crime. Pretending to fear government they have asked government to outlaw private protest. They glorify “togetherness” when it is theirs, and call it conspiracy when it is that of others.

In listing these abuses I do not mean to condemn our central effort to protect the Nation’s security. The dangers that surround us have been very great, and many of our measures of vigilance have ample justification. Yet there are few among us who do not share a portion of the blame for not recognizing soon enough the dark tendency towards excess of caution.

Outside coastal cities an ‘other America’ has different values and challenges, by Chris Arnade

A slice of life of an America that doesn’t get much coverage from a newspaper that doesn’t do much coverage. It sounds inauspicious, and the article does sometimes descend into the language of someone examining an alien society, but the article is surprisingly good. From Chris Arnade at theguardian.com:

Beyond the bubbles of the big cities and elite college campuses is an America that values community over careers, and has faced a downward trajectory for decades

Anthony Rice
Anthony Rice on the election: ‘We didn’t have a dog in this fight’. Photograph: Chris Arnade
Anthony Rice’s house in Youngstown, Ohio is a mile away from a river valley once filled with factories offering jobs. Many of those left in the 1980s, and with them, many residents.

His home is one of the few occupied on the street. Empty lots or boarded-up homes make up most of the block. He points to those remaining, listing his neighbors and their age. They are all over 70. “This neighborhood is okie-dokie, although not much goes down here”, he says. “Stores used to be all around here, but they mostly gone. The people left are either too old to move or waiting for someone to buy them out.”

The road itself is a patchwork of potholes. “This street hasn’t been paved in like forever. They just don’t care about us. But we used to that.”

Youngstown is the largest city in Mahoning County, Ohio, where Donald Trump narrowly lost a county Barack Obama won twice easily. That was partly because turnout in Youngstown – which is lower income, younger, and close to half African American – dropped by roughly 15%.

It was a blueprint replicated across the US – getting just enough working class, older and wealthier suburban whites to flip and turn out for Trump, while a small enough sliver of minorities and younger white voters did not turn out. It was achieved in just the right places: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

To continue reading: Outside coastal cities an ‘other America’ has different values and challenges

In America Propaganda Has Vanquished Truth, by Paul Craig Roberts

Most of the soldiers who fought for the South in the War Between the States were fighting not for slavery or the Confederacy, but for their states and states’ rights. The myths about that war, including the name Civil War for what was not a civil war, are legion. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

In Durham, North Carolina, the seat of Duke University, a gang of largely white males destroyed public property by pulling down a statue of a Confederate soldier. Perhaps they took their cue from the neo-Nazis installed in Ukraine by Obama and Hillary following the US-engineered coup that overthrew the elected democratic government. The first thing the new Obama-installed neo-Nazi regime did was to pull down all the Soviet war memorials of the liberation of Ukraine from Nazi Germany. The neo-Nazis who pulled down the war memorials were the descendants of the Ukrainians who fought for Nazi Germany. These neo-Nazis comprise the government of the “democracy” that Obama and Hillary brought to the Ukraine and is the government that the US government and its European vassals support.

What did the destruction of public property in Durham achieve, and where were the police?

What the films of the event reveal is a collection of crazed white people, mainly white men, kicking and spitting at a bronze statue and jumping back as if the statue were going to strike back. It was a display of ignorant psychopathic hatred.

Where did this hatred come from and why was it directed at a statue? To the ignorant gangsters, most likely Duke University students, the destroyed statue is a symbol of slavery.

This ignorant association between a Confederale soldier and slavery contradicts all known history. Slavery in the Southern states was confined to large argicultural tracts known as plantations. Slaves were the agricultural workforce. This institution long predated the Confederacy and the United States itself. It was an inherited institution from the time that the New World was colonized by European economic interests. Slaves were not a Southern invention. They were brought in long prior to the Declaration of Independence, because there were resources to be exploited but no work force.

The first slaves were white slaves, but they died like flies from malaria and yellow fevor. Next indigenious Americans (“Indians”) were used as slaves, but they would not work. Then it was discovered that some Africans had immunity to malaria and resistance to yellow fever, and finally a work force was located. The slaves were purchased from the African tribes that annually conducted warfare between themselves, the booty of which was slaves. Socialist historians, such as Karl Polanyi, the Jewish brother of my Jewish Oxford professor, the distinguished physical chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi, to whom my first book is dedicated, wrote detailed and exacting histories of the African slave trade conducted by black Africans.

Before “Fake News,” America Invented “Pseudo Events”, by Ryan McMaken

Media manipulation by politicians and other interested parties has been going on a long time. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

In the wake of the Chalottesville riot, it’s been interesting how quickly the focus has shifted away from the actual events in Charlottesville and toward the public pundits and intellectuals are expressing opinions about the events. 

Already, the media has lost interest in analyzing the details of the event itself, and are instead primarily reporting on what Donald Trump, his allies, and his enemies have to say about it. 

This is an important distinction in coverage. Rather than attempt to supply a detailed look at who was at the event, what was done, and what the participants — from both sides — have to say about it, we are instead exposed primarily to what people in Washington, DC, and the political class in general, think about the events in which they were not directly involved.

This focus illustrates what has long been a bias among the reporters and pundits in the national media: a bias toward focus on the national intellectual class rather than on events that take place outside the halls of official power. 

Note, however, that those quoted rarely have any special knowledge about the events themselves. Their opinions are covered not because they are knowledgeable, but because their quotations fit easily into a narrative that the media wishes to perpetuate.

In a March 2017 column, Peter Klein noted this bias and what economist F.A. Hayek had to say about it:

The intellectual, according to Hayek, is not an expert or deep thinker; “he need not possess special knowledge of anything in particular, nor need he even be particularly intelligent, to perform his role as intermediary in the spreading of ideas. What qualifies him for his job is the wide range of subjects on which he can readily talk and write … Such people wield enormous influence because most us learn about world events and ideas through them. “It is the intellectuals in this sense who decide what views and opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough to be told to us, and in what form and from what angle they are to be presented” (pp. 372–73).

 

To continue reading: Before “Fake News,” America Invented “Pseudo Events”